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The Maintenance Diary

Originally, I had planned for this to be a diary of the swap.  But when I got to it, there was just too much to tell without a bunch of pictures, so I decided to turn this into a diary of car maintenance and problem fixes.  Hopefully, this page will be pretty short!  To get all the mileage straight, this is where everything starts:


Car Body: 156,000 mi

B16A engine: 42,600*

Odometer 0.7 mi.


*Now, about this engine mileage.  I consider all these "less than 30,000" claims to be pretty worthless.  I didn't even ask the seller what the mileage was because again, it's pretty worthless anyway.  After the sale, he said, "This should be a great engine for you, the odometer of the car shows about 42,600.  Now if this was in a JDM car, isn't the odometer going to be in kilometers?  So that is more like 26,600 miles.  Either way, I was pleasantly surprised by my exam of the oil pan, valve cover, and a quick peek into the cylinders.  Very little in the way of wear patterns and gunk in the engine.  The oil and tranny fluid looked great when I got it, but of course, that all got changed anyway.  So remember, this maintenance is starting from essentially a new engine.


10-06-02 / 0.7 mi - We hit the road

11-09-02 / 1020 mi. - 1000 miles already?  Time for an oil change.  I changed the oil and tranny fluid.  My idea is that the previous owner probably wasn't running Mobil 1 oil and Honda ATF like I am.  So, any crud that gets loosened up will hopefully flush out in this quick drain interval.  The next changes will come at normal intervals.

11-23-02 / 1840 mi - The voltage gauge is doing some crazy things, I think the alternator is shot.  Wouldn't you know it...the one moving part of the car that is not brand new!  A quick trip to the auto parts shop and $150 gets this straightened out with a new '91 Integra alternator...a direct bolt on!

12-29-02 / 3740 mi - Stranded!  We hit a huge bump in the road on the way back from the 800 mile cross country odyssey for family Christmas.  I think we caught some air over the bump and when the car crashed down on the other side, no fuel pressure, but the pump is still turning.  We finished the last 40 miles of the trip behind a tow truck.  Later examination reveals a piece of fuel line in the tank sheared loose.  Simple enough to fix.

01-25-03 / 5120 mi - Oil change.  4,000 miles and the oil still has a brown / caramel color.  This engine seems to be very tight and clean burning.  Hope to keep it that way.

03-30-03 / 9111 mi - Oil change.  Also, since I got the car on the road, it has had a minor surge during steady state freeway cruising, but no codes.  A few weeks it set a code for MAP sensor and the surge suddenly is getting about 4MPG more, too.  I think the junk-yard MAP may have been flakey and finally gone south.  Will troubleshoot in warmer weather.  Maybe a few more MPG are available if I have a good working MAP?

05-29-03 / 12451 mi - Oil change...another refill of the good stuff, Mobil 1 10W-30, Rotated the tires.

07-21-03 / 16120 mi - Another 3K already?!?  Another oil change and recharge the K&N Filter.

09-27-03 / 21710 mi - Busy day.  I let the oil run a little longer this time (5500mi)  The oil still has a brown color, not burnt or black and tests showed it still has adequate levels of the additives left to deal with stresses of the engine.  Also dropped in a set of NGK BKR6ES-11 plugs.  The old plugs looked fine, but I wanted to switch to NGK's...consider it a little present to the car for the 1 year anniversary coming up next week.

10-28-03 / 24010 mi - Finally after a 10 day wait, my set of Konig Helium wheels came in.  I like the plain-jane look of the Geo Storm wheels but the Pirelli tires are getting pretty worn and I wanted to get something besides high performance summer tires for the snow...had to drive the Pirelli's for a couple of miles of snow last winter...downright scary!  So, I got a set of Konig wheels and mounted some summer tires (the Konig's shave 6.5lbs off of the 18 lb Geo wheels).  You can tell a difference in handling loosing 26 pounds of un sprung weight!  Soon I will be getting a set of snow tires to mount on the old Geo wheels.

12-18-03 / 26890 mi - Wouldn't ya know...coldest day of the year so far and first snow fall and the heater motor goes out!  Had fun pulling that in the cold.  But it's all buttoned back up with a new motor now.

01-08-04 / 27066 mi - Time for another oil change.  Mobil 1 seems to run like a champ.  Never even notice any drop in the level on the dipstick, and the oil is still brown after 5K miles.

03-14-2004 / 31960 mi - The usual oil change w/ Mobil 1, clean and recharge the K&N Air Filter

06/11/2004 / 36986 mi - Oil change w/Mobil 1 & Purolater Pure 1 oil filter, ATF change w/ Honda Genuine ATF .  Weighed the Kumho / Konig helium tire & wheel combo...30 pounds on the dot (11.4 lbs on the wheel, 18.6 for the tire).  Also replaced cracked windshield with new glass.

10-30-04 / 42,890 mi - Oil change/Mobil 1 & Purolater

03-05-05 / 47,250 mi - Replaced alternator - second time since the new engine.  You'd think they would last longer! Also replaced the drivers side CV shaft.  The shaft was fine until the rubber boots split - man, those boots didn't last worth a crap!  I didn't feel like changing the joints in the winter cold, so I just waited.  They were doing the old Snap-Crackle-Pop routine so I took advantage of this warm spring day!

03-21-05 / 48,010 mi - Replace rear brake pads, flush brake system w/ new fluid

4-18-05 / 48,950 mi - Oil change/Mobil 1 & Purolater, recharge K&N air filter