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Skyline's Cars (2009 Mazdaspeed 3, 2002 Subaru Outback H6, 1999 Land Rover Discovery II)


I’ve been in need of a proper new beater for a while. I bought a clean 1996 Honda Accord a few weeks ago to use for it, but it got totaled 2 days after I bought it. Rear ended by a lady in an Explorer.

Not much, but I got it for $400. And they gave me $1300 for totaling it out.

So after some looking, I bought a more battered, but still somehow (mostly) rust-free Honda. A 1994 Civic EX coupe.

Got it for $250. Like I said, it’s rough. It has a rebuilt title and 273,000 miles. Has some body damage as well. But nothing major. And it’s a very good runner. It drives just fine. The clutch and trans are both in great shape. The engine runs strong and doesn’t burn a noticeable amount of oil.

So why bother with it? I needed a beater that got better MPG than the Camry did. I’m more than handy enough to buy something like this that needs some TLC. Although the only part it really needs is the brake master cylinder (about $60 on Rock auto for an ABS equipped model). Plus I like 90s econoboxes. As those of you who know my car history know, I used to own a 1993 Civic EX. That car was super fun for very little money. And with all the driving I do, I’m not gonna pay for a clean example when it’s gonna get battered and bruised from Maryland/DC traffic.

I’m mostly just gonna put miles on this car, although I will inevitably mod it somewhat.


But what I’m wondering: What’s going on with the Geo, Neon & the 88’s accord? You likely mentioned it on Discord but I don’t go on discord very often, more so for the official automation discord or whatever discord you mentioned before in the thread.


Had to sell them due to some financial trouble I found myself in. Real shame. Especially the Neon. Took me a year of looking to find that one. But I don’t mind looking again. My troubles are behind me now. But I’ll probably wait until after I buy a more different project 1st.


Made a quick walkaround video of the Civic. A few things have been done since.

It got a new O2 sensor and valve cover gasket as well as fresh trans fluid. Also pounded out the driver’s side fender enough to fit a new marker light. Also pulled some of the other dent out. Probably not gonna go further than that unless I feel like using it for practice for another car.


Shingo is reborn


Cool Vibrations


Nice car (EJ1)! Just checked & cheapest Civic local to me is a 1998 EJ6 (LX Sedan) for $400 Canadian (about $302.08 US) with 246255km (153015.763 mi) on it, engine light is on, was for crank sensor but was replaced with a new one however there’s ticking from the engine, power outlet is broken but might just need a new fuse, muffler fell off & needs to be replaced, front & back shocks are shot & need to be replaced, still has winter tires on it as it has been sitting in the driveway but got 4 all seasons also.


Still making little improvements to the Civic. Found another oil leak from the Vtec solenoid valve. Ordered new gaskets for that. $15 for both. And the solenoid itself wad bad anyway (limits to 6k RPM and hurts MPG. But I still average 27.1 doing lots of stop and go while also cruising at 95 whenever possible). Also put in a new fuel filter.

My next upgrade is 4 tires. I’ll order those this friday once I get paid. And although it’s not performance related, I ordered a Myogi Night Kids sticker (I can already feel my inner Shingo shrieking with excitement).

But even without VTEC, it drives fantastic. Corners like an old Honda should. Trans is 100%. The synchros still have tons of life in them. And this sunroof doesn’t leak! Fuel gauge is still broken though. Hopefully not anymore come next week.


Update #2. Still haven’t fixed the fuel gauge. I just refill once the trip odometer hits 200 miles. Speaking of MPG, I’ve gotten rough average numbers for it. Gets about 29 city (lots of stop and go) and 37 highway (cruising at 85+ mph). Burns a bit of oil. Not enough to make it a major issue, but enough to irk me. Also the power steering in this car is acting up. But there is a manual steering rack available, which I’m just gonna swap in. I’ve just opted to cut the power steering until then anyway.


Update #3. Got a set of 4 fresh tires on the Civic (Falken Sincera SN250 A/S in the stock 185/60R14 size). Also replaced the left CV axle and replaced the trans fluid once more. I will likely replace both the front brake callipers soon. Also ditched the donut spare for a full-size one. Beyond that, just little things. Replaced the rear speakers (front ones and the head unit will follow suit soon), did an alignment, started a multi-stage coolant flush, and stopped caring about the bad fuel gauge.


An update:

The Speed3 is still working as normal, although it got the hood dented in a bit of a freak accident. Not too worried about that though. The intercooler is fine.

The Civic is currently laid up in the shop because of a bad wheel bearing. I brought it in to replace the right side CV axle and the front brake calipers, and fucked the old wheel bearing up while trying to press the hub in. I’m just replacing the whole knuckle since it’s not terribly expensive. But everything else still works fantastic.

The main update: I got a new car yesterday. Well, not a car. The first truck I’ve owned since my old Chevy Silverado 5 years ago.

It’s a 2001 Lincoln Navigator. 32V 5.4L V8, 4WD, 4R100 4 speed slushbox.

I’ve been looking for a beater truck for a few months now. Preferably something halfway decent off-road that can still be used to tow. The Navigators definitely can be modded for the former and with a factory 8,500 pound towing capacity, the latter is covered too. This particular example was only $500. The engine and trans are both solid, and the only major issue seems to be some rocker rot (already inspected the frame. It’s in remarkable condition for the age and miles). Speaking of miles, it has just shy of 230k. But most cars I buy are in the 200,000 mile range, so that’s nothing new.

As for other little issues, the battery may need to be replaced, the front seat covers definitely need to be replaced, the tires are 7 years old (they aren’t too dry rotted though. I will replace them, but not immediately. Probably just before winter), and the rest of the interior is a bit dingy. Surprisingly, the air suspension still works just fine, although I will be converting that out anyway. I bought this as a truck after all, not a luxury vehicle.


As far as cars currently on sale are concerned, a naturally aspirated V8 might as well no longer be something you see every day outside of a pony car, full-size truck, or a Chrysler 300/Dodge Charger Hemi. After all, Jack Baruth (the writer of the first two columns below at Road & Track) believes that no matter how much turbo or hybrid tech you throw at a four- or six-cylinder engine, nothing will ever match (or beat) a normally-aspirated V8 for acoustics and throttle response, except a V10 or V12 - and cars with either of those engine configurations are much more expensive.

It’s actually easier now to find a naturally aspirated V8-powered car on the used market than in new-car showrooms - and if you want one with a flat crank, the Shelby GT350 is now your only option - at least until the C8 Corvette Z06 arrives (probably), and even that’s not guaranteed either.

What this means is that modern classics powered by this particular engine combination are now more highly prized than ever before, and some of them are even starting to gain value as enthusiasts everywhere realize what they have lost (unnecessarily, it would seem) in the name of theoretically lower emissions (both pre- and post-WLTP, short for Worldwide Light Test Procedure) - but only if you drive very conservatively. In other words, to get anywhere near those over-optimistic claimed economy figures, you’d need to drive at a snail’s pace, which is frustrating to say the least.

Anyway, I would like to congratulate you on finally buying your first normally aspirated, V8-powered vehicle of any kind in several years. Thanks to depreciation, I am sure it will be an excellent workhorse for some time to come. I could imagine you using it to carry parts for all the other cars in your collection when they need them the most.


Things are looking grim at present, but I don’t think the V8 will go anywhere long term. And yeah, I’m glad I found this one. Finding a solid try to in the beater price range is like finding a needle in a haystack.


Another little update on the Civic. The knuckle has been ordered, but due to it shipping from California to Maryland, it’s gonna be a couple more days.

As for the Lincoln, not much has been done. It will be getting a new battery the second it gets tagged (probably tuesday or wednesday), and I’ll be changing the wiper blades, oil, transfer case fluid, and the gear oil in both differentials. I will drop the transmission pan and change both the fluid and filter in a couple weeks.


Dodged a bullet by getting the 4 valve 5.4 instead of the 3 valve on the navigator


I wouldn’t have bought it if it were the 3V. We’ve had a couple incidents with 3V Triton’s at the shop I work at. Suffice it to say, I ain’t touching them with a 40 foot pole.


I wasn’t planning on doing this until at least springtime, but I’ve received a few pretty decent offers on the Navigator, so I decided to part ways with it a bit earlier than anticipated. It wasn’t bad, but I did still make some compromises with that truck that I would’ve preferred to avoid (namely the automatic transmission and the electronically controlled 4WD system). The next truck I buy will have a proper transfer case lever for sure. I was always wary of the electronic ones, but some incidents with customer’s vehicles that had such systems recently have firmly turned me away from them.

Anyway, I used the money to grab something I just so happened to need around the same time: a newer car. I got some new work that has me around people more often, and I needed something more “presentable” to use. I had planned on grabbing something a bit newer at some point, but this sped that along.

The car itself is a 2013 Honda Accord LX sedan. Just picked it up 1 week ago.

I chose this car for a few reasons:

  1. It’s a stick shift.
  2. It was a lower trim model, so it still had manual cloth seats (I hate leather seats) and a keyed ignition. Plus the tires are a reasonable size at 205/65R16s all around. None of this low profile mess.
  3. The Accord is still somewhat engaging to drive without sacrificing ride quality or gas mileage while still being naturally aspirated.
  4. Of all the options in my price range (under $10,000), the K24 was the most proven reliability wise in a newer (2012 or up is what I looked for) model. I do plan on keeping this one indefinitely.

Still getting used to it for the time being, but it’s actually proven to be quite peppy for a midsize sedan with a 4 banger. I’m pleasantly surprised there. Of course gas mileage isn’t quite on the level of the Civic (I can easily get 40+ MPG in the Civic while still going 80+ mph. It only turns at about 28-2900 rpm at 85 mph. Really good for an old 5 speed) and gets low 30s highway. Still not terrible since it weighs more than the V6 Camry did by a couple hundred pounds. Overall, it’s a fine car for what it is. And it’ll make a more than adequate commuter.


Minor update on the Accord. Been taking care of routine maintenance since it’s at 120k and I have no service history. Besides, I always like to start off right with upkeep.

To start, I gave it an oil change the day after I bought it. I run Penzoil Platinum full synthetic in all my cars, and the Accord got 5 fresh quarts of their 0W-20.

Next up, 2 fresh quarts of gen-you-wine Honda manual transmission fluid. I don’t think it was changed prior to my ownership, and it will be receiving a change every 30,000 miles henceforth.

You can see some hue from the coat of Fluid Film I added. The war on rust is never truly won, but I can stop the battles from starting altogether with enough diligence.

Of course I also changed the spark plugs. I just ordered a replacement set of the OEM reccomended NGK Iridium plugs for good measure. Also got a new air filter while I was at it. The old one wasn’t terrible, but it was cheap enough. The old plugs were actually still in pretty decent shape, so I just threw them in my parts pile in case I need to call upon them once more.

Beyond that, the only things I’m likely to do maintenance wise are change the fuel filter and clean the intake valves. I’m probably going a bit overkill since it’s already a very good runner, but I pride myself on my cars being impeccably maintained.


Haven’t updated in a few months. So here’s my latest one.

Sold the Civic. Since I use the Accord for work, I just haven’t had the time to drive it. So I opted to sell it rather than let it sit and deteriorate.

The Mazda has had some routine work. Couple oil changes/rotations, a trans fluid change, and will be getting a coolant flush and new brakes/fluid soon.

Now the Accord.

I finally addressed one of the things I wanted to add the most. Fog lights. They make a massive difference when you live near a river and do half of your driving at night.

Also added a strut bar. Mine being an LX trim, it was the only one to not come with one from the factory. Extra rigidy never hurts, especially when you’re surrounded by potholes. Also should improve feel in corners. I’ll eventually get a TL rear sway bar for it as well. The forums all say it improves cornering on these.

Also done a bit of routine maintenance. Finally replaced the ignition coils. I should’ve done this when I did the plugs, but NGK coils are $50 apiece and I refuse to cheap out on parts. Did another oil change with my oil of choice: Penzoil Platinum full synthetic. Also did a complete flush on the brake and clutch fluids.

The old fluid in the clutch reservoir. It appears to be original. Good thing I did it before it became corrosive. Only one left for now is the coolant. I’ll probably do the radiator hoses and thermostat/gasket as well to be safe.


Been a while since I updated this thread. Few updates.

The Accord: I’ve just been putting miles on it like crazy. Only 7 months in and it has 16,000 from when I bought it. Other than that, it’s pretty mundane. I do hope to have it paid off by early fall though.

The Mazda: Been cleaning it out recently. I’m gonna be fixing an EVAP code that popped up some time ago. Currently sitting at 155k. Hard to believe I’ve had this car for 3 years now.

The new:

I’ve gotten 2 new cars recently.

#1: 1996 GMC K1500

My new beater truck. Got it about 3 weeks ago for $1000. L30 305 V8, 5 speed, 4x4. 339,000 miles.
It needs some work, but the frame is in really good shape. I need to replace the MAF sensor, cam position sensor, all the parking brake cables, a couple vacuum lines, and the catalytic converter. Other than that, it runs and drives fairly well, although it does periodically stall after starting thanks to the bad MAF. I’ve already ordered everything but the catalytic converter, and that I’ll order later this week.

#2: My new project. I wanted something that I wouldn’t normally buy, so I got this:

It’s a 2002 Subaru Outback L.L. Bean Edition, meaning it has the EZ30 flat 6. It’s also the only automatic currently in my fleet, and the first AWD car I’ve owned. I can’t say much about it yet since it’s not getting here until tomorrow. But I do have more pictures.

It currently doesn’t run. It said a possible problem with the timing chain and an oil leak. Both fairly common issues with this engine. That’s a fairly easy job here, and I can do the water pump while I’m in there. I’ll post a video once it arrives.