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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 20 Jun 2007, 10:24 pm
mjc13
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Default '95 Civic EX: Slug or Sick?

I just put my newly acquired '95 EX sedan on the road today, and
took it on a fairly long trip, mostly on long back roads. My previous
car (still for sale) is an '86 Civic Si. I am struck by how little low
and mid-range power this 125HP sedan has, compared with my 91HP
hatchback. It seems to be as much gearing as power curve, although both
deserve criticism: the engine makes little low end power at all, and
each of the gears feels like the next higher one on the '86. What was
Honda thinking? If it was fuel economy, I've got news for them: the '86
not only has more power in normal driving - it also gets much better
fuel economy. I figure this EX is running about even with our '95 Camry
wagon in fuel economy: mid to high twenties, overall. And it should be
noted that the EX is a 5 speed, while the wagon is an automatic.

I'm really hoping the air filter is plugged, but even if it is, that
won't change the silly gearing...
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  #2 (permalink)  
Old 20 Jun 2007, 11:12 pm
jim beam
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Default Re: '95 Civic EX: Slug or Sick?

mjc13<REMOVETHIS> wrote:
> I just put my newly acquired '95 EX sedan on the road today, and took
> it on a fairly long trip, mostly on long back roads. My previous car
> (still for sale) is an '86 Civic Si. I am struck by how little low and
> mid-range power this 125HP sedan has, compared with my 91HP hatchback.
> It seems to be as much gearing as power curve, although both deserve
> criticism: the engine makes little low end power at all, and each of the
> gears feels like the next higher one on the '86. What was Honda
> thinking? If it was fuel economy, I've got news for them: the '86 not
> only has more power in normal driving - it also gets much better fuel
> economy. I figure this EX is running about even with our '95 Camry wagon
> in fuel economy: mid to high twenties, overall. And it should be noted
> that the EX is a 5 speed, while the wagon is an automatic.
>
> I'm really hoping the air filter is plugged, but even if it is, that
> won't change the silly gearing...


check the weight difference between the two vehicles - the 95 is
/significantly/ heavier. then compare power to weight ratios and you'll
have your answer. that's one of the reasons i sold my 2000 and kept a 89.

that said, you need to make sure the 95 is in tune properly. good
plugs, oil, filters, plug leads, valve lash set correct, ignition
timing, timing belt not loose, etc. lots of little things add up.
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  #3 (permalink)  
Old 21 Jun 2007, 12:19 am
mjc13
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Default Re: '95 Civic EX: Slug or Sick?

jim beam wrote:
> mjc13<REMOVETHIS> wrote:
>
>> I just put my newly acquired '95 EX sedan on the road today, and
>> took it on a fairly long trip, mostly on long back roads. My previous
>> car (still for sale) is an '86 Civic Si. I am struck by how little low
>> and mid-range power this 125HP sedan has, compared with my 91HP
>> hatchback. It seems to be as much gearing as power curve, although
>> both deserve criticism: the engine makes little low end power at all,
>> and each of the gears feels like the next higher one on the '86. What
>> was Honda thinking? If it was fuel economy, I've got news for them:
>> the '86 not only has more power in normal driving - it also gets much
>> better fuel economy. I figure this EX is running about even with our
>> '95 Camry wagon in fuel economy: mid to high twenties, overall. And it
>> should be noted that the EX is a 5 speed, while the wagon is an
>> automatic.
>>
>> I'm really hoping the air filter is plugged, but even if it is,
>> that won't change the silly gearing...

>
>
> check the weight difference between the two vehicles - the 95 is
> /significantly/ heavier. then compare power to weight ratios and you'll
> have your answer. that's one of the reasons i sold my 2000 and kept a 89.


I figured that, but unless the '95 is more than 30% heavier, it
doesn't make power where it's usable, for no good reason. I'm sure that
in a drag race with both engines redlined, the V-TEC would win. In
everyday driving, however, the little 1.5 Si is *much* more fun, and
quite a bit quicker.


>
> that said, you need to make sure the 95 is in tune properly. good
> plugs, oil, filters, plug leads, valve lash set correct, ignition
> timing, timing belt not loose, etc. lots of little things add up.


It probably needs all of that - the owner fixed things as needed,
but wasn't proactive. Still, the car starts and runs fine. The only
thing that seems off is a low idle - about 500 RPM. I'm hoping it's the
air filter. The timing belt isn't due until next year, so I'm hoping I
can make due with a tuneup. But then I'm also hoping I can replace the
broken left headlight without dropping the bumper, so I guess I'm just a
wild-eyed optimist!

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  #4 (permalink)  
Old 21 Jun 2007, 01:06 am
Elle
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Default Re: '95 Civic EX: Slug or Sick?

"mjc13<REMOVETHIS>
> jim beam wrote:


>> that said, you need to make sure the 95 is in tune
>> properly. good plugs, oil, filters, plug leads, valve
>> lash set correct, ignition timing, timing belt not loose,
>> etc. lots of little things add up.

>
> It probably needs all of that - the owner fixed things
> as needed, but wasn't proactive.


The very first thing I would do is remove and inspect the
PCV valve, then either discard it or clean with
carburetor/PCV cleaner. It's a cheap part whose malfunction
can drastically affect fuel mileage. If it's filthy and/or
full of waxy buildup, you may have found the main cause of
the poor mileage.


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  #5 (permalink)  
Old 21 Jun 2007, 02:54 am
mjc13
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Default Re: '95 Civic EX: Slug or Sick?

Elle wrote:
> "mjc13<REMOVETHIS>
>
>>jim beam wrote:

>
>
>>>that said, you need to make sure the 95 is in tune
>>>properly. good plugs, oil, filters, plug leads, valve
>>>lash set correct, ignition timing, timing belt not loose,
>>>etc. lots of little things add up.

>>
>> It probably needs all of that - the owner fixed things
>>as needed, but wasn't proactive.

>
>
> The very first thing I would do is remove and inspect the
> PCV valve, then either discard it or clean with
> carburetor/PCV cleaner. It's a cheap part whose malfunction
> can drastically affect fuel mileage. If it's filthy and/or
> full of waxy buildup, you may have found the main cause of
> the poor mileage.
>
>


Thanks. I'll do that today, if I can get the part. Do I have
to go OEM or can I get one at an auto parts store?
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  #6 (permalink)  
Old 21 Jun 2007, 06:56 am
Elle
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Default Re: '95 Civic EX: Slug or Sick?

"mjc13<REMOVETHIS> @verizon.net>" <"mjc13<REMOVETHIS> wrote
>> The very first thing I would do is remove and inspect the
>> PCV valve, then either discard it or clean with
>> carburetor/PCV cleaner. It's a cheap part whose
>> malfunction can drastically affect fuel mileage. If it's
>> filthy and/or full of waxy buildup, you may have found
>> the main cause of the poor mileage.

>
> Thanks. I'll do that today, if I can get the part. Do I
> have
> to go OEM or can I get one at an auto parts store?


I would buy one OEM. It should run under $25 at the dealer.
Or buy one online for around $17 total using the resources
at http://home.earthlink.net/~honda.lioness/id9.html. If you
have to wait for the delivery of the online order, then
meanwhile just clean the old PCV valve, maybe in advance
doing the check on it described at the online service manual
site mentioned in my other recent post to you, to see if the
old PCV valve seems to be working, more or less. Chilton's
may also give this test.

The test will not tell if the PCV valve is working
optimally, but it will indicate, more or less, if the valve
has failed completely.

I replaced the original PCV valve on my 91 Civic in 1993
after about 140k miles (not knowing any better prior to this
date). It was chock full of waxy buildup. Fuel mileage shot
up.

By the way, ignition parts such as plugs, wires, distributor
cap, coil, and igniter should be OEM, too. They pay for
themselves in my experience, via longer life.


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  #7 (permalink)  
Old 21 Jun 2007, 02:28 pm
mjc13
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Posts: n/a
Default Re: '95 Civic EX: Slug or Sick?

Elle wrote:

> "mjc13<REMOVETHIS> @verizon.net>" <"mjc13<REMOVETHIS> wrote
>
>>>The very first thing I would do is remove and inspect the
>>>PCV valve, then either discard it or clean with
>>>carburetor/PCV cleaner. It's a cheap part whose
>>>malfunction can drastically affect fuel mileage. If it's
>>>filthy and/or full of waxy buildup, you may have found
>>>the main cause of the poor mileage.

>>
>> Thanks. I'll do that today, if I can get the part. Do I
>>have
>>to go OEM or can I get one at an auto parts store?

>
>
> I would buy one OEM. It should run under $25 at the dealer.
> Or buy one online for around $17 total using the resources
> at http://home.earthlink.net/~honda.lioness/id9.html. If you
> have to wait for the delivery of the online order, then
> meanwhile just clean the old PCV valve, maybe in advance
> doing the check on it described at the online service manual
> site mentioned in my other recent post to you, to see if the
> old PCV valve seems to be working, more or less. Chilton's
> may also give this test.
>
> The test will not tell if the PCV valve is working
> optimally, but it will indicate, more or less, if the valve
> has failed completely.
>
> I replaced the original PCV valve on my 91 Civic in 1993
> after about 140k miles (not knowing any better prior to this
> date). It was chock full of waxy buildup. Fuel mileage shot
> up.
>
> By the way, ignition parts such as plugs, wires, distributor
> cap, coil, and igniter should be OEM, too. They pay for
> themselves in my experience, via longer life.
>
>


I know about OEM ignition parts. I was hoping I could use a generic
PCV valve, as they are pretty simple devices, and shouldn't have close
tolerances. I will see if it's working.
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  #8 (permalink)  
Old 21 Jun 2007, 05:04 pm
william1977@gmail.com
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Posts: n/a
Default Re: '95 Civic EX: Slug or Sick?

I would also do a compression test when you change out you spark
plugs. If you have lo compression that will decrease power a mileage.
I just got a 95 EX and besides a short ram intake it is stock and my
car scoots right along, It's not as quick as my 90 Integra but it
moves.


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  #9 (permalink)  
Old 21 Jun 2007, 10:46 pm
mjc13
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Posts: n/a
Default Re: '95 Civic EX: Slug or Sick?

william1977@gmail.com wrote:
> I would also do a compression test when you change out you spark
> plugs. If you have lo compression that will decrease power a mileage.
> I just got a 95 EX and besides a short ram intake it is stock and my
> car scoots right along, It's not as quick as my 90 Integra but it
> moves.
>
>


Low compression should be accompanied by other symptoms, like
smoking. I'm not seeing any. And the gearing is definitely too high: I
can easily compare tachometer readings with my Civic Si. I hope that the
compression is ok, but if I change the plugs myself, I'll test it.
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  #10 (permalink)  
Old 22 Jun 2007, 09:39 am
JXStern
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Posts: n/a
Default Re: '95 Civic EX: Slug or Sick?

On Thu, 21 Jun 2007 03:24:19 GMT, "mjc13<REMOVETHIS>"
<"mjc13<REMOVETHIS>"@verizon.net> wrote:

> I just put my newly acquired '95 EX sedan on the road today, and
>took it on a fairly long trip, mostly on long back roads. My previous
>car (still for sale) is an '86 Civic Si. I am struck by how little low
>and mid-range power this 125HP sedan has, compared with my 91HP
>hatchback. It seems to be as much gearing as power curve, although both
>deserve criticism: the engine makes little low end power at all, and
>each of the gears feels like the next higher one on the '86. What was
>Honda thinking? If it was fuel economy, I've got news for them: the '86
>not only has more power in normal driving - it also gets much better
>fuel economy. I figure this EX is running about even with our '95 Camry
>wagon in fuel economy: mid to high twenties, overall. And it should be
>noted that the EX is a 5 speed, while the wagon is an automatic.
>
> I'm really hoping the air filter is plugged, but even if it is, that
>won't change the silly gearing...


I think you've got all the factors there, the 125hp rating is only on
the cam, otherwise, especially at low RPM, the EX is tuned more to
economy and low pollution, compared to an Si. Back in the day, the
tradition of Euro sports cars was tiny engines with high revs and
short gearing so that even your 56hp VW bug was fast off the line.
Modern Honda engines just couldn't be more different. Lugging the
engine at low RPM is optimal for pollution and almost for mileage and
the computer prevents knocking, so there ya go!

J.

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