Skyline's many, many, many cars (2006 Honda Accord EX V6, 2015 Honda Fit LX, 1999 Chevy Tahoe LT)

Worked on the Civic and poked around it to gauge it’s overall condition.

The Good:
It kinda runs on it’s own now.
It has all the gears.
The clutch and brakes are all good.
The tires all hold air (although the valve stems are bad)
The alternator and power steering pump are working.

The Bad:
It stalled on me and I haven’t been able to start it since. The fuel pump was a problem, but it wasn’t the only problem. Further troubleshooting will be necessary.
Fuel sending unit is definitely bad.
Driver window motor is bad, and the passenger one is weak. At least the sunroof motor is good.
Makes a screeching noise when turning. Could be a misaligned backing plate on the front hubs, could be a bad CV axle.
Neither seat moves forward or backward
The previous owner did one of those dual head unit setups with some chintzy early 2000s head unit. Looks hideous and barely works.
Brake switch is stuck on.
Blower motor is probably dying. Or it’s full of mouse nests.

The expected:
Will need a full detail inside and out.
No battery.
Tires are all 10+ years old.

The unexpected:
Has strut braces on both the front and rear.
There are some various detailing supplies in the trunk. Apparently she was quite the looker before she was parked.

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Made a video of the Civic. Gonna try to actually put some effort into my YouTube channel for once.

Edit: Did some more tinkering after work. It started to stumble when I drove it for the first time. I let it run for a good 30 minutes and it ran better. Cooling system works as intended, fan kicks on, and it revs fine. Injectors and lifters are a bit noisy, but the old oil and gas probably isn’t helping.

One weird issue I did notice is that it stalls if I leave the headlights running for more than a couple seconds. Could be a weak alternator, could be that it still doesn’t have an actual battery in it. But it does drive still. First stop once I have the time is a car wash.

Worked on the Civic again. Changed the busted brake light switch (now I can actually leave the battery (picked up one from work) connected without it draining), got it washed (still not clean, but I can see out of it now), and got some parts for it courtesy of the (no longer local) pick and pull yards. Got a passenger mirror, donut spare tire (so that I have a leven trunk floor), and a “new” fuel sending unit, all off of a black 97 EX coupe. There are a couple more parts I’d like to pick off of it, but that can wait for now.

Also took it on the highway for the 1st time. Cruises just fine, although the tachometer acts up when VTEC is engaged and it has a clatter from what sounds like the top end. Probably just needs a valve adjustment and an oil change. I’ll go ahead and do the oil change tomorrow when I fit the junkyard parts. That plus some fresh gas (added 3 more gallons when I took it to the car wash) should help get rid of any old gunk in there.

And in a resounding twist, the MVA (Maryland is the only state that doesn’t call it the DMV as far as I know) actually sent me the title a week earlier than they said. It’s finally officially in my name. Too bad I still can’t get tags until the salvage inspection is done, even though it already runs and drives. Oh well.

I forgot to take pictures, but I did take some videos. I’ll get the last of it tomorrow and post part 2.

Looks like I’ll be living vicariously through you. I intended to do exactly this and more before Hurricane Ida swept through lol. Keep us posted on the build!

The GM fluid swap made my shifts smoother, but did not resolve the popping out of gear issue that I had. Granted, mine only did that in 1st gear, not 3rd, and only when under extreme negative load. Like engine braking from 20 mph in first going a steep-ish hill.

Never experienced it under negative load, only after attempting to shift into 3rd on power. Downshifting into 3rd was much more reliable in my case.

Been driving the Fit. The Accord needs a bank 2 (front) catalytic converter because I messed up the O2 sensor bung trying to replace it. That’s an $800 mistake. Oh well, I just need time to gather the funds.

On another note, I made another video on my Civic project. The last one kinda blew up, so I decided against flipping the Civic like I was thinking. Could actually grow my channel a bit. In the last week alone, I went from ~15 subs to >200. To think I could possibly get paid someday to film myself buying and fixing the same cheap beaters I’ve been buying and fixing for years.

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Been oggling little upgrades to set the Fit apart since I’ve grown very attached to it. Been eyeing a set of JDM Fit RS tail lamp assemblies for mine.

I think it fits much better than the stock ones. Even has little cutouts for the black bar on the tailgate.

Part numbers are:
33550-T5A-N21 and 33500-T5A-N21

Gonna probably buy a set once I have a bit more money. Also considering a leather Si shift knob.

I also want to get the Progress rear sway bar that everyone on Fitfreak loves, but I want to track it stock first (only mods that affect handling are the rims and tires. Only other mod is the exhaust).

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A lot of updates.

The Accord has actually been down due to a damaged bank 2 cat. If I drive it as is, I risk melting the front engine mount. I’m setting aside money for a new cat (an OEM one is $775 with my Honda employee discount and I refuse to put a cheap one on). In the meantime, it will sit and wait.

The Fit has been functioning normally. I just crossed 100k miles a couple weeks ago, other than that, nothing to report.

Main news is my latest attempt at a cheap truck. I’ve had to forgo my usual requirement of a manual transmission due to a lack of models that meet my other criteria (those being 4WD, a towing capacity of at least 5000 lbs, and it not being a rustbucket). And with me being a cheapskate who already has one car note to worry about, I didn’t want to spend a bunch of money on it (I will gladly throw away $2000 on parts with 0 second thought, but I will actively seek to spend under $1000 on the truck itself. That’s just how I roll).

I found something that meets my revised criteria yesterday.

This old girl is a 1999 Chevy Tahoe LT.
She features the L31 5.7L V8, the 4L60E automatic transmission, and the NP243 electronically controlled transfer case (I definitely prefer mechanically controlled ones, but none of those went cheap enough).

As you can probably tell by the backdrop and the lettering on the windshields, she’s an auction car. And I got her for a winning bid of $550 (before fees. About $770 after).

She meets all of my criteria. 4wd, 6500 lb towing capacity (according to the build sheet, this particular Tahoe is equipped with the heavy duty tow package (RPO Z82/KNP) as well as the positraction rear diff (RPO G80) with a 3.73 gear ratio (RPO GT4). Since I intend on using it for towing, hauling, and offroading, this is almost the exact spec I would want (just with the mechanical transfer case). I looked at a couple Suburbans as well, but the Tahoe is more ideal for my use due to the shorter length adding manuverability in tight DC streets as well as having a shorter rear overhang when it comes time to leave the pavement. I don’t usually have passengers, so not having a 3rd row seat is of no consequence to me.

Other pluses being that this being a GMT400 truck, parts are extremely common and cheap. Some of the most common and cheap of any truck, plus I can pull other parts off of different model trucks as I see fit (basically any Chevy or GMC truck from 1988(pickup)/1992(suv) to 2000 as well as the 1st gen Cadillac Escalade) and swap them in. Of the American big 3, I’m the most partial to GM, although I have owned Fords and Dodges as well. But GM has the most plentiful parts by far, and I’m more used to working on GM trucks than any other. The L31 is just a SBC and the 4L60E is possibly the most common automatic transmission in north America.

The other big draw is that the body and frame appear to be in very good shape.

There’s definitely some surface rust and a bit of scale, but that’s nothing to worry about. Although it will definitely need new shocks before any serious towing, and I will most likely buy a set of pre-bent stainless steel brake lines to ensure that they will never rot out on me.

So how did I get it so cheap? Allegedly it doesn’t run, and it also was allegedly deemed a total loss. I don’t care about salvage history, but I don’t see any damage indicating a major accident (there are some paint markings on the LR door) or flood damage, so I’m not sure where this claim comes from. I guess I’ll find out what it is in a few days.


The Tahoe arrived this afternoon. It’s definitely got a clean body. Battery is stone dead. Electronics work when I put a jump box to it. Also the engine and transmission should be workable based on fluid condition. The issue is that the starter is indeed bad. I tried pounding on it to unstick it, but no dice there. I’m gonna take a leap of faith and buy a new starter tomorrow. I think it’ll run just fine.


Took a bit longer than initially expected. The 2 lugs that the control wires bolt to had the nuts seized to them. I wrapped that up with a sledgehammer and an impact gun this morning. I also replaced the battery. I tried running it off of my jump box, but those stupid GM side post battery terminals do not play nicely with jump leads at all. But it started just fine with the new battery.

And not only does it start, it drives and stops. Trans goes into at least 2nd with no trouble, the alternator charges, the power steering pump doesn’t whine, and the engine holds temperature just fine.

I can’t believe it was that cheap all because of a battery. There are a few other issues though:

The 4WD selector buttons don’t respond at all at present.

The passenger mirror is damaged.

The driver front interior door latch cable isn’t hooked up and the latch itself has play in it.

I already noted the missing rearview mirror and the rusty shocks.

The front blower motor has a bad sounding whine. The rear blower appears to be fine.

The serpentine belt is badly dry rotted.

There’s no lock cylinder on the driver front door.

That’s about all with problems. It’s all minor stuff really. I should be able to fix most of it quickly and cheaply. A big plus is that it has 4 Michelin LTX AT2s with decent tread and no noticeable dry rot. That saves me $1100 in tires for now (when these wear out, I’m buying BF Goodrich KO2s)

Those GMT400 vehicles will always hold a place in my heart. The first car I ever drove was my uncles GMC Sierra when I was about 10 or 11. It was a single cab V8 in a burgundy color.

I own a 96 Suburban in gold, I love it but its got some high miles