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1999 Honda Civic EK Hatchback 150i
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey, guys. Coming at you from the Eastern Coast of South of Africa, I'm glad to say I've joined the D-Series club.

Well, around a year back, actually, I purchased this '99 Civic 150i. A great little daily that was to take me around a 40km/25-mile commute to work and back, as well as the aim to be built into a fun little toy

I carried out a major service on the car the day she got home. Some minor cosmetic gremlins popped up here and there, but man was I not expecting the mechanical issues that awaited! "It's a Honda! These things don't break! At least, none I know of".

About 3 days after purchasing the car, and just two mild pulls down the freeway, the head gasket blew. Much to my dismay, a corroded block was the outcome of the analysis, thanks to the most basic of negligence regarding coolant. Or lack thereof.

Unfortunately, I never questioned this with the previous owner. Turns out she had a life of being given a strictly water-filled diet only. Insurance towed her home, and I then trailered her to a local mechanic, where I had another D15 block fitted. I had the head machined, as well as a replacement on the radiator, water pump, oil pump, new head bolts, new gasket set, and the likes. I didn't have the time to do any of this on my own or to get time off from work back then

To my disappointment, she still never ran well. Constant over-heating issues.Even after replacing all the coolant pipes, and so much other nitty-gritty stuff. I was done with this car. I needed to know what was wrong this time. I asked for an extra pair of hands on a Saturday to help see what's up. We stripped and removed the engine out in a blitz, only to find that my mech didn't actually fit any of the internal parts I bought.

Removing the head revealed that the old head gasket was reused, the old head bolts, and pretty much anything else that was supposed to be replaced internally. I threw a wrench down and I fumed. I don't think he expected me to be tearing down the engine just a short while after he assembled everything but with workmanship like that, what would you expect? I won't get into the details, but I sorted out what I needed to do with the mech and took my business nowhere else.

I parked her aside and just went on using my dad's vehicle as a daily. She began to cost way too much for something that was meant to be a daily commuter. Honda parts aren't cheap in SA. Neat old Honda's aren't cheap in SA either. And we get taxed hard on parts brought in from overseas thanks to our customs. You've always gotta factor in at least another 35-40% on parts pricing, excluding shipping

I was now on the search for an E82 120d coupe. Regardless of whether or not the Civic got redone. She laid aside, in the open corner of the yard. Collecting little bits of rainwater in the boot (trunk) from the leaking tail-light gaskets. Rain, sun, rain, sun. I couldn't be bothered. I was just irritated at this point

A month or two in, I found the perfect spec 120d. M sport, one owner, FSH with agents and balance of an extended motor plan and warranty, a complete DEKRA report (SA's version of Carfax), and in Alpine White. Perfect. I phoned up to view, ready to sign papers if all was as said. That weekend on a clear Sunday evening, I got back home from a night out with some friends. Parked up alongside the Civic and just stared at the car. I lit my cigarette and just stood there, knowing this decision was going to impact this car's future. I couldn't abandon it. Purchasing the 120d would mean that I'd only be focusing on the 1er whilst the Civic just gets neglected and left aside to die.

I had always wanted a fun daily Civic Hatchback. The whole point of this car was to be a built, fun, daily. Something for me to get my hands dirty with. Enjoy the ride home from work. Rip up a B road on a Sunday morning. Crank up some synth-wave and blast down the coastal roads at midnight with pure 90's mechanical feedback. Yeah, there's plenty better out there, but nostalgia and sentimental values will always mean more.

As a kid, I grew up and was exposed to cars of all kinds thanks to a family well involved in the motoring scene, but I'd always loved the Civic platform. My dad being an air-cooled VW, and BMW guy, an uncle being a V8 guy, and all the cousins were pretty much a mixed bag of all that. SA car culture is vast but mostly dominated by Europeans and Japanese manufacturers. We get the best of the best from Europe and Japan, spec for spec in most cases. And anyway, I knew I wasn't purchasing something perfect. S*** this wasn't even a VTEC model. And it's a 23 year old car. What was I expecting? Sure, not two engine rebuilds within a year, but I had some breathing room since then

I canned the idea of the 120d that night and decided to go ahead with building up the Civic once again. In the interim of owning the car prior to its second breakdown, I managed to get some decent replacement trim pieces in to tidy up the interior. I've still yet to install any new ICE or the seats I purchased, but that's the last thing on my mind now

I've also decided to stay D-Series, to simplify things for myself, and hugely thanks to the information I've found on this forum, and the influence of a close friend who has built many B and D Series in his time. This will also be my first personal, fully hands-on build. I will be fully responsible for this car going forward. No one, formally, from a shop will be touching this car mechanically, for this phase of the build.

I will be doing the basic Vitara Piston/Skunk2 rods turbo build set-up, with an aim of 350hp at the wheels. The block has been changed over to a D16ZC, and internals arecurrently being purchased along with supporting pieces for fuelling, cooling, transmission, etc. A higher comp setup is not how I want to be spending my money right now

I've got some visual touches as well as interior mods that I'll be carrying out to the car l. In due time, I will post up the progress on the vehicle. I've never actually taken out too many images of the car due to more time spent in the bay than in the drivers seat, but I've included a few here

If you've read through all of this, I sincerely thank you for your time to read about a bond with a car that should have been annihilated a long time ago in anyone's right mind, but I'm carrying out my elementary schoolboy build. And I'm looking forward to spending a lot more time on this forum, and getting to learn from and know many others as well as their builds


Easter Egg in pics: A little sketch I did of her the night I decided to move forward with the build
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Tire Wheel Car Vehicle Automotive parking light
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· Registered
Sloppy Jalopy
4,630 Posts
about a bond with a car that should have been annihilated a long time ago in anyone's right mind

anyone's right mind has no place here.
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