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Curtis73 (Forum Supporter)
Curtis73 (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
10/28/22 12:22 a.m.

I mentioned to a buddy of mine that I was potentially looking for a combination spare DD/Challenge racer.  He mentioned that he has an 82 Civic 4 door and an 83 Corolla wagon in his driveway.  He's one of those guys who drives a car until he thinks it might soon become a money pit and then buys a new car.  Then he lets the old car sit in his driveway for 20 years while his wife yells at him to sell them.  Hence the 2 cars in question.  Both are slushboxes.

We haven't talked money yet, but I did throw out $400 and he said "oh no, not that much... we're friends."

I have about the same amount of time to fix up a car as I do space to fix up a car, so most of this is total bench racing, but...

- Which would you choose? 
- What would you do to it?
 

Let's assume it's not a total rust bucket.  He described them as being in fine mechanical condition when they were parked.  The goal would be street legal, registered, insured, challenge-budget.  I have times where I want a small car A) if the van is in the shop, or B) when I don't need the van and want to not club baby seals with my fuel consumption.  Also something that can get some sticky rubber, take out the back seat, and re-adjust some camber plates to autocross.

Civic with a B16/manual swap?  Corolla with a 1ZZ-FE?

j_tso
j_tso HalfDork
10/28/22 12:47 a.m.

Corolla wagon could probable do more van-like things than the Civic if the van was in the shop.

Also those are RWD, that would swing it for me over the Civic for motorsport.

I don't know enough about them to say what engine swaps are easiest, but I think that chassis has some aftermarket support if the suspension is anything like the coupe's.

yupididit
yupididit GRM+ Memberand UltimaDork
10/28/22 1:58 a.m.

Buy both I'll send you money for whichever you don't want lol

My fav hondas are of that generation

ZOO (Forum Supporter)
ZOO (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
10/28/22 5:28 a.m.

The Corolla should be much more receptive to any number of swaps . . . stick axle if I remember?

OHSCrifle
OHSCrifle GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
10/28/22 6:05 a.m.

Rolla would be my pick. How have those not returned to the earth - does the buddy live in Cali?

Andy Neuman
Andy Neuman SuperDork
10/28/22 7:21 a.m.

In reply to Curtis73 (Forum Supporter) :

I think you should get the civic and I'll take the Corolla, get them out of his driveway.

Duke
Duke MegaDork
10/28/22 7:40 a.m.

I had an '81 Civic hatch. It was IRS - not sure about the sedans. Wagons had a beam axle.

It was light as a popcorn fart, very tossable, and scooted along just fine with the 1500 and 5-speed. Frankly it was the car that taught me to love small cars.

With a warmed-up B16 and a manual it would be a hoot to drive.

The Corolla would be great as well. Frankly, I would buy both and keep whichever is cleaner.

 

Captdownshift (Forum Supporter)
Captdownshift (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
10/28/22 8:14 a.m.

4AGE, 1UZ or 1.5JZ swap the Rolla. 

 

Or horsetrade either for something that's heavier, but has more aftermarket and parts support. 

tuna55
tuna55 MegaDork
10/28/22 9:37 a.m.

The Civic starts 400 lb lighter.

 

If it were me, I am buying a Miata Na donor and tossing the front suspension of the Civic in the FMV pile and welding in the Miata, then shopping for the cheapest stick axle I can find and welding up whichever flavor of rear suspension I like, then finding a cheap engine/trans for the rest.

 

A more better idea is to buy the cheapest wrecked turbo powertrain you can find from Honda and swap it in with as much boost as you can stand, and just fix the suspension that's in there with random cast-off racing parts and a welder.

 

 

bmw88rider
bmw88rider GRM+ Memberand UberDork
10/28/22 11:20 a.m.

If you did the honda, I would go D series over B series with it. It's a lot less cutting to get it in there. If I was in the honda know back in the day I would have done that swap to my 83 that I pulled from NV. The other bonus is D series really are pretty cheap. 

purplepeopleeater
purplepeopleeater Reader
10/28/22 11:29 a.m.

In reply to tuna55 :

The front suspension on that vintage Civic bends like a pretzel at the mere sight of a curb.

Curtis73 (Forum Supporter)
Curtis73 (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
10/28/22 2:23 p.m.
j_tso said:

Corolla wagon could probable do more van-like things than the Civic if the van was in the shop.

Also those are RWD, that would swing it for me over the Civic for motorsport.

I don't know enough about them to say what engine swaps are easiest, but I think that chassis has some aftermarket support if the suspension is anything like the coupe's.

I thought only the AE85/86 were RWD.  E70s (previous generation) were RWD, but E80s should all be FWD except the GT-S/SR-5

Curtis73 (Forum Supporter)
Curtis73 (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
10/28/22 2:32 p.m.
OHSCrifle said:

Rolla would be my pick. How have those not returned to the earth - does the buddy live in Cali?

No.  They spent much of their lives in Brooklyn, hence why they're 40 year old cars with just north of 100k.  NYC also doesn't use much if any salt because of the fact that the whole city is built on a cavity of steam pipes and heated subway tunnels.  I'm also told they have to keep salt to a minimum due to the proximity to the two lovely rivers (cough cough) and runoff laws in NYS.  I'm sure there is plenty of rust, but they both passed PA inspection as of the year they were parked in his driveway.  How the rust has progressed is anyone's guess.

Once I get this musical on its feet I'm going to go look at them and I'll report more.

Captdownshift (Forum Supporter)
Captdownshift (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
10/28/22 2:55 p.m.
John Welsh
John Welsh Mod Squad
10/28/22 3:45 p.m.

Boy, its been a long time since I've seen one of these on the road!

1982 Civic 4 door

j_tso
j_tso HalfDork
10/28/22 4:05 p.m.
Curtis73 (Forum Supporter) said:

I thought only the AE85/86 were RWD.  E70s (previous generation) were RWD, but E80s should all be FWD except the GT-S/SR-5

oh, so it looks like this one?

Tom1200
Tom1200 UberDork
10/28/22 9:05 p.m.

The Civic of that era has horrible front suspension from a performance standpoint.

Don't know what sort of goodies are available for the 2A engine or what will Swap into that chassis.

nocones
nocones GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
10/28/22 9:18 p.m.

If you can get a not returned to earth 1983 Corolla wagon for <$400..   Why isn't it in your driveway yet?

That's about the most no-brainer of no-brainers that has ever not had a brain.  

 

The Civic is a neat car but the Corolla is RWD.  

Stampie
Stampie GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
10/28/22 9:34 p.m.

I mean it's gotta be faster than an BP Escort right?

Antihero
Antihero GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
10/28/22 10:17 p.m.

I mean.....even without the challenge/performance in mind I can't see why at least the Civic isn't yours yet.

 

If they were anywhere close I'd own both in a heartbeat. The wagon is probably better for your purposes but damn.....a $400 80s civic that isn't a disaster? Yes please

RaabTheSaab
RaabTheSaab New Reader
10/28/22 10:47 p.m.

At $400 each, why not both? 

 

Appleseed
Appleseed MegaDork
10/29/22 10:48 a.m.
yupididit said:

Buy both I'll send you money for whichever you don't want lol

My fav hondas are of that generation

This x10. Someone will gladly take the other one. Be a hero to buddy-wife.

Run_Away
Run_Away GRM+ Memberand Dork
10/29/22 12:07 p.m.

Am I wrong in thinking you'd need to value these at FMV for Challenge purposes because $400 is a buddy price?

 

Anyways, I'd probably chose based on condition. If equal, the Corolla would probably be an easier build for low $$ being RWD. The Civic is so small that doing a swap would involve more fab IMO.

Curtis73 (Forum Supporter)
Curtis73 (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
10/29/22 7:07 p.m.
j_tso said:
Curtis73 (Forum Supporter) said:

I thought only the AE85/86 were RWD.  E70s (previous generation) were RWD, but E80s should all be FWD except the GT-S/SR-5

oh, so it looks like this one?

I actually haven't seen it yet, but if his claim is that it's an 83, that should be E80/FWD... right?  My knowledge of 80s imports is about as extensive as my knowledge of rocket surgery.

Curtis73 (Forum Supporter)
Curtis73 (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
10/29/22 7:20 p.m.

Ok, now I'm reading that the E70 wagon was offered through 1987, but it's unclear if that was US market or just Japan/Europe.

If I'm going to be looking at an E70 RWD wagon, pretty much case closed.

They're in no danger of going anywere.  They've been sitting in his driveway for more than a decade, and he knows I'm DTF (down to facilitate) his desire to see them go to a friend.  I think I'm doing HIM a favor to get his wife to shut up about selling them.

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