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BoxheadTim
BoxheadTim GRM+ Memberand UltimaDork
12/28/14 1:13 p.m.

You had exactly the opposite of my experience with braided lines - in my case, the front ones fit OK and the rear ones are about an inch too short. Funnily enough the ebay seller I bought them off has gone quiet after my initial contact to them, too...

If your rear lines are long enough I might be interested in them .

beans
beans Dork
12/29/14 9:31 p.m.
Keith Tanner wrote: Cavalier Z24, Escort GT and Omni GLH. I'm trying to avoid companies like Cheddas Although those front camber plates have me thinking. I'm also trying to avoid the temptation of the Enkei Classic Apache II wheels so I can run a 15x7 and better rubber.

Haha I figured you might considering your "job" ;)

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
12/30/14 6:29 a.m.

What I should have said was that I'm trying to avoid falling down the modification hole with this car. At least, not too much...

beans
beans Dork
1/3/15 12:25 a.m.

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
1/17/15 5:28 p.m.

It broke! How very un-Honda.

I have just determined that the lifespan of what appears to be an original Honda alternator is either 142,718 miles or 30 years, whichever comes first. Luckily, it was just a bearing and I was on the way home - at night. I had been planning on doing a timing belt/water pump change anyhow due to a belt of unknown history, so this just added on to it.

Honda D series water pumps are so cute! I need to line it up beside the LS1 part for a picture.

Turns out there are two different manufacturers of alternators for these cars, and from what I can tell there may be subtle differences in the connectors. So I didn't order a rebuilt alternator until pulled the old one to find out. I'll have it on Tuesday, then I can go back to having fun with the little thing.

Current average fuel economy is 34.3 mpg. With the current price of gas, my last fill cost me $15 and will take me about 275 miles. I can deal with that. My father was visiting from Canada and riding along with me, and he just about had a stroke when it saw the price of a tank

Swank Force One
Swank Force One MegaDork
1/17/15 5:38 p.m.

Yep! Just did my last fill up on the Miata, dead empty, 93 octane, $23. So awesome.

More CRX things!

Woody
Woody GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
1/17/15 6:41 p.m.

Long, relevant story ahead...

Back in August of 1998, I was about 225,000 miles into a 1989 Civic Si that I had bought new. The battery died one day, so I replaced it with a new one. A week later, I had another dead battery, so I figured that the original alternator had finally given up the ghost. I recharged the battery, went to Advance Auto, bought a remanufactured alternator, and installed it. A week later, the battery was dead again and I figured that the culprit was a bad ECU or something else that would be hard to find and very expensive to replace (pre-Google).

I gave up on the car, pushed it to the corner of the parking lot and went to the Honda dealer. I had just bought an Accord from them a few months earlier and they gave me a great deal on one of the first '99 Civic EXs on the lot. I really wanted a new Civic Si, but they were still a few months away and I needed a new car. I figured that the EX would be just like my old Si but with 20 more horsepower, right?

Wrong. I hated that car. After a few months, I started looking at my old Si in the corner of my apartment's parking lot. I charged the battery again and drove it to the Honda dealer's service department. They told me that I needed a new alternator. I told them that I had just replaced the alternator. They asked if I had replaced it with a Honda alternator. I said no. They said that I needed a new alternator. Reluctantly, I paid almost three times the price of the Advance Auto rebuilt alternator for a new Honda alternator.

I started driving that car every day, and continued to do so for another 75,000 miles. While I was doing that, the MSRP of new '99 Civics kept going up and up (remember, I had bought one of the first '99s in August of '98). My EX was still looking brand new (I don't think I ever even needed to vacuum the inside) and I hadn't put many miles on it. I started visiting the used car managers at a few local Honda dealers and sold it to one of them for $200 less than I had paid for it. Then for the same money, I found a perfect black and tan '96 Miata with 30,000 miles on it and lived happily ever after. I kept that car for ten years.

Moral of the story: Don't by a E36 M3ty alternator.

stuart in mn
stuart in mn PowerDork
1/17/15 8:03 p.m.

If it's just a bearing, you should be able to replace that for a lot less than the cost of a whole new alternator.

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
1/17/15 8:50 p.m.

True - but then I'd have an 142,718 mile alternator with a new bearing.

stuart in mn
stuart in mn PowerDork
1/17/15 9:29 p.m.

The thing is, once you replace the bearings (and brushes) you pretty much have a rebuilt alternator. The electrons don't usually wear out.

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
1/17/15 9:54 p.m.

I knew someone would want me to rebuild the whole alternator I'm comfortable having an expert do it.

Jerry From LA
Jerry From LA Dork
1/18/15 10:53 a.m.

Here in LA, it's a much better proposition to go to an independent starter / alternator rebuilder rather than a chain. The guy I frequent will rebuild the core I hand him for about 65 bucks. His shop is less than a mile from my house. In the time it takes me to eat lunch, I go back and it's done. Sometimes he'll tell me my core is too shot for him to rebuild quickly so I buy one off the shelf. Never a problem and I install them on customer cars with confidence.

Slippery
Slippery GRM+ Memberand Dork
1/18/15 11:24 a.m.

I love this build thread.

Coincidentally, I just purchased the complete polar opposite of this car and will be picking it up in couple of weeks .... 1100 miles away.

I might start a build thread titled "Life with a 1985 euro 500 SEL"

Slippery
Slippery GRM+ Memberand Dork
1/18/15 11:25 a.m.

BTW, another vote for either rebuild the alternator yourself or get one from Honda. I hate Chinese voltage regulators.

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
1/18/15 12:03 p.m.

Honda only lists remanufactured ones. The part number for a new one has been superseded. So I'm going to try a NAPA rebuild and we'll see what happens.

I've got too many other vehicle projects going on right now to learn how to rebuild an alternator. Maybe next time. Now, I need to go pull the dash out of the VW...

wbjones
wbjones MegaDork
1/18/15 12:35 p.m.
Jerry From LA wrote: Here in LA, it's a much better proposition to go to an independent starter / alternator rebuilder rather than a chain. The guy I frequent will rebuild the core I hand him for about 65 bucks. His shop is less than a mile from my house. In the time it takes me to eat lunch, I go back and it's done. Sometimes he'll tell me my core is too shot for him to rebuild quickly so I buy one off the shelf. Never a problem and I install them on customer cars with confidence.

there are no starter/alternator re-build shops, chain or indy, left around here

Nitroracer
Nitroracer SuperDork
1/18/15 2:46 p.m.

I just read through all five pages of this thread, and its great. Thanks for taking the time to post how thing shave been going with the old Honda.

BoxheadTim
BoxheadTim GRM+ Memberand UltimaDork
1/18/15 3:41 p.m.

I put one of the higher end Napa remains on mine recently after mine blew the voltage regulator and also needed new bearings and brushes.

So far the reman is working fine.

beans
beans Dork
1/18/15 8:13 p.m.

There's one of those alternator/starter places about a block from my house. They guy has no front teeth and is... interesting to have a conversation with. I brought him an alternator off a V6 Escape, first thing he said was "Holy E36 M3, you're some mechanic!" $50 and a half a ham sandwich later(walked back to my house where I was working on the dumb thing) and it was ready for pick-up, looked brand new and hasn't had an issue since.

BTW, never do an alternator on an Escape. Burn it to the ground first.

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
1/20/15 7:27 p.m.

So, I picked up the NAPA alternator today. First, it has a rebuild date of 6/13. It's been sitting in the warehouse for a year and a half. Guess there isn't much call for Honda alternators.

Then I found out it has the wrong connector on the back. It's a three wire while mine has a four wire. Ahh, nuts. I also did a quick search and found a few places in town that will rebuild alternators. So, guess what's going to happen tomorrow?

Vigo
Vigo PowerDork
1/22/15 10:46 p.m.

Well that's ironic.

You know, im kind of shocked you're only getting 34mpg. My 86 with the 4spd auto and a Weber that is wideband-verified to run 12:1 at cruise still got 29 and i thought that was HORRIBLE for an 1900 lb car. Not that 34mpg is bad. I just thought it would be 'more better' than what my car does.

MrJoshua
MrJoshua PowerDork
1/23/15 7:13 a.m.
Keith Tanner wrote: I knew someone would want me to rebuild the whole alternator I'm comfortable having an expert do it.

Yeah but are you comfortable having an 8 year old in Mexico do it?

Jerry From LA
Jerry From LA Dork
1/23/15 11:26 a.m.
MrJoshua wrote:
Keith Tanner wrote: I knew someone would want me to rebuild the whole alternator I'm comfortable having an expert do it.
Yeah but are you comfortable having an 8 year old in Mexico do it?

Send it here and I'll have a 50-year-old Armenian guy do it.

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
2/10/15 11:26 p.m.

Update!

The rebuilt alternator was sourced from a local alternator/starter shop. Never knew we had one. He had some pretty serious industrial stuff sitting around, my little tiny alternator was comical. Anyhow, it's in along with a timing belt and water pump. The size of the water pump is hilarious, you could shoplift one in a pocket. I need to take a picture of it beside my LS3 pump. The pulley on the LS3 pump is bigger than the entire Honda pump assembly. Anyhow, preventative maintenance and repair done, car is happy.

Well, except for something that's been bugging me for a while. The rear suspension bottoms more than I think it should. I was chalking it up to simply a characteristic of the car, but I noticed today that it was still squatting in the rear a bit. Remember, when I first bought the car, I dropped the nose a touch to level it out. I pulled out the manual and checked the rear ride height. It's about 1/2" lower than the minimum.

So I did something that's never been done before. I raised the ride height on a Honda.

The first plan was to use all my random coilover parts and make myself some coilovers with a stiffer spring rate while I was at it. Well, the 10" 225 springs I wanted were at work. And I didn't have a good way to adapt the 2.5" springs to the body. So we'll try that some other time.

Plan B was to add a spacer under the perch on the current setup. I grabbed a chunk of 1/2" UHMW plastic (leftover from making skid plates for the rally car) and a few hole saws. Buzz buzz buzz and voila. A spacer along with a centering ring.

Don't mind the crappy photos. Or the fact that I lost interest in cleaning up the edges on the belt sander after the first piece. I thought about swapping out the bumpstops while I was at it, but decided to just go with this to start. I did decide to assemble the bumpstop and Koni spacer correctly, unlike the previous fellow who had been inside the rear suspension.

The Koni shocks also turned out to be adjustable. I saw the color and assumed STR.T, but they predate that line. I also found out that they were adjusted very differently, with one at full soft and the other close to full stiff. So I carefully chose a random setting and matched them.

A short test drive is promising. I'll find out more tomorrow when I brave my torture test stretch of pavement on the way to work, but I didn't manage to bottom near my house. I may end up lifting the nose back up again, but the higher tail will give me a bit more oversteer thanks to the increased rear weight transfer.

Progress!

Mileage update: last tank was 36 mpg.

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
2/11/15 11:07 a.m.

Drive report: Much better. I don't know if it's the spacers or the shock settings, but the car is much better over sharp bumps. Yay!

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