New-Old Member

Hello: My name is Gary. I live in Ventura, Ca 93003.

I have been a member on this website for a number of year's, but I have not, I do not think, made any introduction's.

I have had three Civic Wagon's. One was an 1988, a 1990 and currently I have a 1989. I don't have any photo's of any of them, but I will try to get some picture's and put up what I have, at this time.

My first Wagon was the 1988. It was a "rust bucket" that I purchased from a seller in Southern California, who had managed to SNAP a Spark Plug Off, Right at the thread's going into the Head. He had tried to get it out, but had been unsuccessful at getting it removed. I bought it and then rented a trailer to bring it back to my home, in Ventura. I had been looking for one, for a while, because I had purchased several Civic's for some of my Children to drive, while they were going to College.

I bought a used 1985 Honda Civic Hatchback for my oldest daughter, when she left to finish going to College. I could not afford much, but I purchased this car for $1500.00. It initially ran fine, but started mis-behaving and after looking at the Carb complexity, I took it to a mechanic who only worked on Honda's. At the time I did not realize that they had basically used a specially shaped o-ring for the base of the Carb and that over time it would get dried out, warped or whatever and under some condition's it would allow extra air into the intake.

After it was fixed and I had checked everything she could, she took it to College, which was about 700 mile's away. I was a reasonably high level of uncomfortablness, because of the number of miles on the car combined with the distance that she would be driving. BUT, it was fine and it was extremly amazing to me, because it hardly uses any oil. She drove it for the first year of College and then came back to Ventura, for the Summer.

I had tried to teach her to check her oil, every time she bought gas, but between the mileage it got, which was about 27 or 28 mpg and the low amount of oil that it used, I think she mostly started doing the "I'll check it next time I get gas". When she came home, I don't know if she changed or had the oil changed, before she came back to Ventura, but I believe she had at least checked it to make sure it was full.

After she came home, she had a sister who was getting married at the latter part of August and she was going to be the bridesmaid. Additionally, the next day, after her sister's wedding she had to leave to go back to school. I did not check her oil, because I had told her that, that was something that she needed to do, for herself.

So, she left the next day to go back to school, in Provo, Utah. She was driving back and about 10 miles from Mesquite, Nevada, her car STOPPED RUNNING. She had a very thoughtful man who stopped to see if she needed some help, and so she told him what had happened. He happened to have a Truck and a Nylon Tow Strap, so he offered to tow her to Mesquite. When she got to Mesquite, he took her to a/THE Gas Station. I think there might have been two or three, but not much more.

She called, in Tear's, because she didn't know what had happened or why it would not run AND she HAD to be at School, the next day, to be able to KEEP the classes she had that were starting. So, I told her to go across the street to a Casino and get a room and try to sleep as much as she could and I would collect my tool's and drive my pickup to Mesquite to see if we could do something to fix her car and if we couldn't, we could take the Pickup and drive to Provo, so she could start school, the next day.

When I got to Mesquite, and I opened the hood, it took about 2 second's to see that I was NOT going to be able to fix the car, there. It turned out she had NEVER checked the Oil level, AFTER she had left Provo, four month's earlier. While the engine still had 3 quart's of oil, the camshaft front bearing had gotten starved of oil and got hot enough that the camshaft drive had just sheared completely off of the camshaft. It never over heated and she said no light's ever came on, until the engine just quit.

I was TOTALLY amazed that she had been able to even drive it as far and as long as she had, with the oil being at very low level's and very dirty.

Anyway, although she had the camshaft shear off, after I got the car back to Ventura and started trying to figure out how badly damaged it was and what I might need to do, to either fix it or just call it a TOTAL LOSS and find some alternative. To my complete amazement, so far as I could tell, the front bushing, which is really a forged part of the whole head, was the ONLY thing that was substantially damaged. The Crank bearing's were a little looser, but no more than I would have expected with the number of mile's on the motor. But, the bearing surface's were not scored or scratched at all.

That was about 1999, I believe.

Anyway, THAT was my "introduction" to Honda car's.

I will probably try to share some more thing's, later.

Currently, I have a 1989 Honda Civic Wagon that is mostly Rust Free. My domestic circumstane's have dictated that I get RID of the car, so I am going to post a listing for the car, on this website, for a couple of week's, before I try to do anything more, to free myself from the "challenge's" that I am now having about it.

I'll fill in more detail, in the listing but basically the Motor, Drive Train, Brakes, Shock's and Mechanical have ALL been completely rebuilt, with a NEW CLUTCH and I was driving it for about 9 month's but I got an exhaust leak that turned into a exhaust replacement that I have not been able to finish. I would prefer to sell the car to someone who has an interest in this Model, so that someone can get the benefit of a solid engine and mechanical's and make use of a largely sound body and frame, instead of just having it just go to the Junk Yard.

So, that's the "short" story.


  • Gary, great story about the first wagon. If it makes you feel better I did the same thing when I was in HS with my first car that my dad got for me. 25 years later and Im doing my third full engine build, so there is still hope for your daughter!

    Always hopeful that a member can keep their wagon, but if not hopefully the community can help find a good buyer for you.

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