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> 1996 Honda Accord Wagon - Claire, Now immortalized in RCR glory!
Master0fMadness
  Posted: Aug 23 2016, 08:33 AM


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This is my new 1996 Honda Accord Wagon (CE1) that survived... what you see in front of it.

I paid $750 for this car, more of an act of charity to the previous owner than anything else given its shape, but it helped fund him a more reliable ZZT231 Celica GT-S.

Or her shape, rather.

Her name is Claire.

She has 225,000 miles, give or take a few thousand.

She needs a lot of work.

So I'm logging my build of the car here.

Let's begin with what has already been done.

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That's not accident damage you see there, that's fire damage. The whole driver side of the car was melted, and the headlight and turn signal got a good licking. The car originally had these retarded-looking ricer spec headlights and yellowed crystal turn signals, so I decided to just buy a new set of CAPA-certified headlights and amber turn signals.

Also, out went the eGay 7,000K HIDs and in went a set of perfectly reasonable Sylvania Xtravisions.

My commuter/Lyft car had underwhelming Continental ContiProContact E tires which I uptraded into BFGoodrich Advantage T/As but since the tires on Claire were worn down to the cord, she was a perfect receptacle for tires that kind of suck but only have about 1,500 miles on them.

But this car needs work. Right now she has a gasser stance because the front struts and springs are from the junkyard and the rear springs were HEATED not from the fire, but from a man with a torch who wanted his car to look 'street' but didn't want to spend money on it. Front had that too, but the suspension was wrecked from it and the ride quality was terrible.

These struts are pretty much stock, but blown out. I'm thinking of Bilstein struts and MOOG coil springs.

The CV axles click and grind. Badly. I'm afraid they'll break soon so for now she's parked in the back lot waiting for me to spend money on that.

The steering rack leaks and the tie rod ends creak.

4th and 5th gears are kinda crunchy.

The left side power window regulators don't really work, and when they do, the window goes off track unless you manhandle it while depressing the up button.

The power door lock actuators don't work on the passenger's side and you can hear them screaming when pressing the button.

There's no radio and the speakers are blown out.

The engine leaks oil from every seal and needs to be re-gasketed, but makes a hell of a lot less valvetrain noise than Hanna's civic, so there's that. Probably needs a tune-up, too. It's an F22B2, so no VTEC.

-

Mods?

Let's fix this shopping list of repairs first and then we'll talk.





-Master

This post has been edited by Master0fMadness on Mar 6 2017, 07:14 AM
Lonely_Driver
Posted: Aug 23 2016, 12:47 PM


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Love wagons and Hondas! Looking forward to this build.



This post has been edited by Lonely_Driver on Aug 23 2016, 12:48 PM
Sensation!
Posted: Aug 23 2016, 02:32 PM


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QUOTE (Master0fMadness @ 5 hours, 59 minutes ago)


Mods?

Let's fix this shopping list of repairs first and then we'll talk.


Words I never expected you to type.
That's a compliment.

Looking forward to see where this ends up. I've always wanted an accord wagon like this.
Spaz
Posted: Aug 23 2016, 08:29 PM


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Dang, those are getting to be pretty rare these days. Be cool to see it all fixed up and then see what direction you go with it.
Master0fMadness
  Posted: Aug 23 2016, 09:42 PM


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Yeah, I bought this car almost out of desperation due to the fact that I wasn't sure if the repo man was going to come for my other car after filing bankruptcy or if I'd be able to keep her.

Well, turns out I can, but man, this thing is really going to be a project.

But man, the amount of body work she needs is insurmountable.

Let me be clear... most 'repairs' are going to be me throwing money at a guy who buys a lot of stuff from my store, handing him parts and going 'fix this, fix that'.

I can take care of the radio situation on my own, maybe the window regulators, but I have no place to do actual work on the car. It sucks.

I might just make this trashy car visually trashier... IDK. A proper paint job and exterior restoration would cost a small fortune, probably 5-8 times what the car's worth, but some JDMStiva-esque mods are dirt cheap and I wouldn't feel bad about doing it to a car that's already fucked up.

Oh man, almost forgot, that purple tint that you can't really see has to go. Maybe a retint, maybe not.

I'm just happy that I've got the financial skills these days to maintain a decent enough budget to save up and fix this wreck, piece by piece. It's kind of nice, in a way, to pay retribution to all the cars in my past that I've ruined or abandoned once problems began to mount.

Plus I know people who fix shit now and aren't in the business to rip people off. That's also nice.
Nomake Wan
Posted: Aug 23 2016, 10:05 PM


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If the frame is solid I don't see why you can't just replace body parts rather than repair what's already there. That said, I don't know these cars, so I could just be talking out my ass. Best of luck, I now feel a hell of a lot better about my $400 Protege with a BHG. I might just fix it so I have experience doing a head job on a DOHC and to see if I can get it up and running for less than you paid for this thing. awesome.gif
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Master0fMadness
  Posted: Aug 24 2016, 08:27 AM


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By repair the body, I kind of meant replace panels and strip down/repaint what can't be replaced.

Hey, if you got that car dirt cheap, good for you! It's not a competition.

Truth be told I haven't seen another single CE1 on the road and even the CB9 is a rare sight, so it may be worth cleaning the car up just because it's an occasion to see one of these on the road, and the ones I have seen in the past year are in significantly worse shape.

IDK. Waiting for Friday to come so I can order up the steering rack.

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kyonpalm
Posted: Aug 24 2016, 11:36 AM


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So lemme get this straight. You actually paid $750...

QUOTE (Master0fMadness @ Yesterday, 12:33 PM)
She has 225,000 miles, give or take a few thousand.

She needs a lot of work.

The CV axles click and grind. Badly. I'm afraid they'll break soon so for now she's parked in the back lot waiting for me to spend money on that.

The steering rack leaks and the tie rod ends creak.

4th and 5th gears are kinda crunchy.

The left side power window regulators don't really work, and when they do, the window goes off track unless you manhandle it while depressing the up button.

The power door lock actuators don't work on the passenger's side and you can hear them screaming when pressing the button.

There's no radio and the speakers are blown out.

The engine leaks oil from every seal and needs to be re-gasketed, but makes a hell of a lot less valvetrain noise than Hanna's civic, so there's that. Probably needs a tune-up, too. It's an F22B2, so no VTEC.

...for this?
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Master0fMadness
  Posted: Aug 24 2016, 12:09 PM


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Yes. And that's the previous owner wearing black, and that's what's left of his house and his possessions.

That's why I posted the picture I did.

The fire destroyed everything. The Accord barely escaped the garage fire before it spread to the house.

So let me guess... you're going to call me for being a retard for being a decent being.

Or did you skip over the context you didn't quote. You know, the part about it being an act of charity?

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kyonpalm
Posted: Aug 24 2016, 12:21 PM


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QUOTE (Master0fMadness @ 9 minutes, 31 seconds ago)
Yes. And that's the previous owner wearing black, and that's what's left of his house and his possessions.

That's why I posted the picture I did.

The fire destroyed everything. The Accord barely escaped the garage fire before it spread to the house.

So let me guess... you're going to call me for being a retard for being a decent being.

Or did you skip over the context you didn't quote. You know, the part about it being an act of charity?

I don't fault you as a person for helping someone out, but the fact is you essentially paid $750 for the ability to pay hundreds more dollars to get a car that won't be worth a fraction of your end investment. I can't speak for your financial situation but I can say I don't think it makes much sense for you or the owner because all it does for you is get yourself into a(nother) money pit when you literally just said you're bankrupt, and the owner could just as easily have went and junked it and still gotten at least a little money for it.

All I can say is if it were me and I wanted to help the guy out, I'd have offered anything but buying his ruined and useless junker off him - especially when I'm in desperate need of reliable transportation in the immediate present. I guess that's just me.
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Master0fMadness
  Posted: Aug 24 2016, 12:39 PM


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Truthfully, back in July when I acquired this car it was quite uncertain whether or not I'd have that reaffirmation agreement mailed to me, the used car market in my area was pretty dry of anything under $1,000 that wasn't either a gas guzzling pig like my Suburban (which went back to Dad when I got my new car) or had severe engine or transmission issues.

He actually wanted $1,000 for the wagon but I said, given the car will need $2,000 worth the work to be fully safe, the most I could offer was $750. He said he'd get back to me and then a few weeks later practically begged me to buy it for $750 because his dad was threatening to junk it now that his parents loaned him money to buy the Celica and nobody was even interested in the car at any price.

So I went out to PA, gave him cash, took the title, went back to NJ, titled the car under Hannah's name, drove back, threw plates on it and took Claire in as my own so I could nurture her back to health.

Perhaps I should also mention he doesn't have a job because he can barely stay awake and almost always has a terrible migraine due to scarily bad sleep apnea and PA told him to kick rocks as far as welfare/health insurance goes (cpap machine, sleep studies, etc.), plus the Accord was unsafe as is and the Celica isn't.

Hm... maybe I should also add I've known him since 2008. Remember the Legacy wagon I had? That was his, too.

tl;dr if it was a stranger I wouldn't look at this car twice but this is my friend and 2016's been a fucking cunt to him, I'm trying to make his bad situation just a little bit better and maybe have a nice, somewhat unique car once all is said and done.

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kyonpalm
Posted: Aug 24 2016, 03:50 PM


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QUOTE (Master0fMadness @ 2 hours, 48 minutes ago)
... the used car market in my area was pretty dry of anything under $1,000 that wasn't either a gas guzzling pig like my Suburban (which went back to Dad when I got my new car) or had severe engine or transmission issues.
QUOTE (Master0fMadness @ 2 hours, 48 minutes ago)
... a few weeks later practically begged me to buy it for $750 because his dad was threatening to junk it now that his parents loaned him money to buy the Celica and nobody was even interested in the car at any price.

So he even had help getting a new car already? And it was a Celica? Shit, I wish I could have gotten a Celica.

QUOTE (Master0fMadness @ 2 hours, 48 minutes ago)
Perhaps I should also mention he doesn't have a job because he can barely stay awake and almost always has a terrible migraine due to scarily bad sleep apnea and PA told him to kick rocks as far as welfare/health insurance goes (cpap machine, sleep studies, etc.), plus the Accord was unsafe as is and the Celica isn't.

Hm... maybe I should also add I've known him since 2008. Remember the Legacy wagon I had? That was his, too.

More sob stories won't change my opinion. I get why you did it, I just don't think it was the smartest decision for either of you. But I don't know the intricacies of his situation, so I guess I can't say for sure.
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Sensation!
Posted: Aug 24 2016, 06:36 PM


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Pick who you call your friends carefully.
Kyonpalm brings up a good point, that car could've been an insurance write off from the fire damage.
I just hope that friend of yours will provide you with the same charity when you're at an low as you did to him.



Still, Accord wagons are cool. I think if you do it right, its a worthy restoration.
kyonpalm
Posted: Aug 24 2016, 07:02 PM


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QUOTE (Sensation! @ 26 minutes, 7 seconds ago)
Still, Accord wagons are cool. I think if you do it right, its a worthy restoration.

That's the only thing keeping me from calling this a complete waste, to be honest. Wagon versions of these kinds of cars in general are harder to find - I saw a Camry wagon today for the first time in... I can't remember how long.
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Master0fMadness
  Posted: Aug 25 2016, 11:19 AM


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If it was an automatic or not a wagon I'd probably pass on it. I really wanted to help him out. And no, home insurance doesn't cover vehicles. He tried writing it off but I saw the denial, plus the other things he lost that he got paid way less for than they were worth. If I didn't buy the car I'd probably just give him $600, so I guess really this car was $150.

Whether it was a smart decision or not rests entirely on me. The only thing I can do now is move forward with fixing it. I'm too deep in to just write it off, so I'll play the hand I dealt to myself and own this.

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Hannah
Posted: Aug 26 2016, 12:36 PM


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Funny, R63, that you should find these miraculous postings that, one or two may seem worth buying, though have only been posted 2 weeks ago, at most. I certainly don't trust cars that have only 1 problem documented on CL, especially in NJ, because noting our history in buying cars off of CL, a mountain of problems would appear mere days after buying the car. Hazuki, Samantha, Billy, Dorothy and... well, Rei.
At least we know what Claire has been through, and are prepared to fix these problems.

I, on the other hand, have foolishly become attached to cars bought off of strangers, only to have to scrap or resell them in a single season.
Master0fMadness
  Posted: Aug 26 2016, 01:03 PM


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Thanks, Hannah. You put into words what I couldnt. I needed to post an update anyway.

I dropped the Bilstein concept, at least for this "round" of maintenance. Doing the math, it just didn't make sense to spend $600+ on struts, springs and mounts when I could get a full set of Quick-Struts for $360

So I bought a set of Quick-Struts for $360.

Cue up the LCD Soundsystem, because T H I S I S H A P P E N I N G


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Nomake Wan
Posted: Aug 26 2016, 02:58 PM


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QUOTE (Hannah @ 2 hours, 22 minutes ago)
Funny, R63, that you should find these miraculous postings that, one or two may seem worth buying, though have only been posted 2 weeks ago, at most. I certainly don't trust cars that have only 1 problem documented on CL, especially in NJ, because noting our history in buying cars off of CL, a mountain of problems would appear mere days after buying the car. Hazuki, Samantha, Billy, Dorothy and... well, Rei.
At least we know what Claire has been through, and are prepared to fix these problems.

I, on the other hand, have foolishly become attached to cars bought off of strangers, only to have to scrap or resell them in a single season.

>implying that finding several listings posted ~2 weeks ago means that there were no listings in their category at any time in the past

It's called demonstrating a pattern. I'm sure he could've found more if he'd bothered to look harder, but showing five examples seemed to get the point across. Clearly it didn't get it across well enough.

I like how you are also indirectly asserting that you and he are wholly incapable of accurately assessing a used car for its flaws and making a decision that balances magnitude of problems with driveability and repair/maintenance cost.

That being the case, it's no wonder this project exists. As per all his projects I wish him well, but I'm not of the opinion that it was a good move.
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Master0fMadness
  Posted: Aug 26 2016, 03:24 PM


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Maybe it's just the bad luck I have with buying used cars from strangers, but the last 10 in a row all had underlying issues I was oblivious to, even during the test drive/inspection.

Good decision or not, I'm moving forward with this.smile.gif

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This post has been edited by Master0fMadness on Aug 26 2016, 03:26 PM
Hannah
Posted: Aug 26 2016, 07:25 PM


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Did I word everything wrong or am I just not worth shit? I know I said we buy cars that didn't have any problems until after we bought them. I just don't see how having shitty luck equates to being ignorant.
Whatever, this isn't my tgread, so I'll just see myself out. I don't belong here, anyway.
Nomake Wan
Posted: Aug 26 2016, 07:48 PM


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Depends. For context, this thread is about a car where you know that it has so many problems that it's not even safe to drive, if it can even drive at all. Now, as for past vehicles, you're saying that 'luck' is why so many vehicles in your past had issues not long after you bought them, and that there were absolutely no warning signs that any of those issues existed prior to that point?

Like, hmm, I dunno...I seem to recall a certain brown Toyota that, the moment he drove it, he said had trouble keeping up with normal traffic. I, and I believe others, pointed out that the vehicle had no problem doing that when it was produced, and that therefore there is something incredibly wrong with the engine that should be looked into. Instead of following that recommendation, he decided to drive his not-able-to-keep-up-with-traffic vehicle five hours north to try to race it, and subsequently blew up the engine in the attempt.

Just something to think about.

EDIT: And besides, are you seriously going to argue that "we have shit luck with cars" is why rather than going for something on Craigslist that looked pretty good and could be worked out, you decided to purchase a vehicle that you knew was not at all roadworthy? Seems pretty asinine.

This post has been edited by Nomake Wan on Aug 26 2016, 07:50 PM
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Master0fMadness
  Posted: Aug 27 2016, 10:24 AM


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Guys, this isn't the "dwell on the past and rub in Master's previous mistakes" thread. This is a build thread and I'd appreciate it if it was treated as such. smile.gif

Bottom line is this: engine is solid, makes no funny noises, passed the compression, combustion and leakdown tests and the chassis has absolutely no rot. Everything else can be repaired in 3-digit increments, so that's good enough for me.

Rear Quick-Struts arrived! They're... struts. Weight, construction, etc. All seems perfectly... adequate. Nothing cheap or premium about them. Mounts look pretty good as well. Less than ideal, but agreeable.

Now for the front Quick-Struts to arrive! ...on September 7th. =.=

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This post has been edited by Master0fMadness on Aug 27 2016, 10:25 AM
Nomake Wan
Posted: Aug 27 2016, 05:46 PM


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Discussing why a build thread is focusing on a particular car in worse shape than other options for the same money is valid discussion, I would wager, but sure, let's drop it. As I've already said in my first post, I wish you luck with the build as I do with every build you've done.
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Master0fMadness
  Posted: Aug 27 2016, 06:00 PM


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Oh, I need to mark my calendar.

I have a 'safe and roadworthy' goal set. It's a modest one, but one I'll fight with all of my will and conviction to meet.

Saturday, October 29th.

Why?

To drive to the Regular Car Reviews meet on the morning of the 30th.

In the meantime, I've found a gentleman who's a 'traveling' mechanic to do all 4 Quick-Struts for $200. If I'm feeling confident, I'll take a crack at them myself, but at least I can literally park my car at work, hand him the keys whenever he shows up, pay cash when it's done and I've test driven it on my break, and drive home without a gasser stance.

...Wait.

Shit.

The front sits like... 2 inches higher than the rear.

I adjusted the headlights with this stance.

That means they're going to be pointed directly down at the road when the car's sitting level. D'OH!

Oh well, 5 minutes with a co-worker's car and a Phillips head screwdriver can fix that. awesome.gif

This post has been edited by Master0fMadness on Aug 27 2016, 06:01 PM
Master0fMadness
  Posted: Sep 2 2016, 10:23 AM


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They're here!
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Sorry, no install pics. It's Hannah's birthday and I'd rather take her out than wrench on Claire, but here's a before photo:
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