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Discussion Starter #1
My dad has a 94' GSR which was kept in good condition throughout it's operating lifespan. The only problem is that it's developed an issue of rot on a specifically crucial part of the frame. Most of the car is in good condition regarding rust apart from the area directly where the passenger's side control arm bolts to the body. It also needs some minor things like new tires, breaks, AC compressor etc.
Since it's already available, I would very much like to get this car back on the road. The only trouble is I'm not sure what the best/most viable method of going about fixing this rust is going to be. I live in Pennsylvania, so welding a new section of frame into the rotted one would be difficult to pass inspection with -- although it is viable if done properly and cleaned up. Because the car also needs some other work, I was considering buying a donor car and splicing the two together to get what is essentially a GSR (even if the donor car happened to be another integra model) with a solid frame and fully functional components. The trouble is I'm not sure exactly what I would need to find to do so. Is there a major difference between Gen 3 Integra models? If my dad's GSR is a Manual, does the donor I get have to be one as well? Or will I be able to convert it? Is there a big enough difference between the GSR and other models that I would have to find another GSR for a donor car? Or could I look at something more available, like an LS?

What do you guys think would be the best method of repairing this car in a safe manner?

Thanks
 

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If the rust is like you said "in 1 area" talk to a busy collision body shop. These shop chop cars and replace major section all day every day. But I've have family in PA and know that it's part of the USA rust belt. So if your dad drove the integra for many winter with the salt and ash it could be a bit of a task to repair. But on the other hand if you do a swap from one car to another that's a big task to take on. I've been working and restoring car for all my adult life. And a toilet swap out is .... a lot a of fun, work, and at the end a lot of experience that you'll have forever.
Keep me in mind if you need help.

Honda Mike
: ^ )
 

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Discussion Starter #3
If the rust is like you said "in 1 area" talk to a busy collision body shop. These shop chop cars and replace major section all day every day. But I've have family in PA and know that it's part of the USA rust belt. So if your dad drove the integra for many winter with the salt and ash it could be a bit of a task to repair. But on the other hand if you do a swap from one car to another that's a big task to take on. I've been working and restoring car for all my adult life. And a toilet swap out is .... a lot a of fun, work, and at the end a lot of experience that you'll have forever.
Keep me in mind if you need help.

Honda Mike
: ^ )
To be liberal in my characterization of the rust, there was noteworthy rot particularly on the control arm joint as mentioned, on the rear "ditch hitch" (the actual name escapes me -- the place where it's hooked to tow from behind in the event of an emergency), and some relatively minor sections of the floorpan. Beyond that any other rust my father and I noticed in our evaluation of the car was superficial. That being said, I've heard plenty of times that there's always more rust to be found on a Pennsylvanian car.
My dad actually knows someone who held a prolific position with a major car manufacturer regarding autobody work, and prior to that had owned/operated his own shop dealing in such things. Unfortunately he's now retired and is difficult to get a hold of, but he could potentially oversee or provide advice on some of the work if we chose to undergo the repairs. The initial allure of purchasing a donor car was in salvaging parts which the GSR needs that would otherwise have to be replaced separately. That and it may be easier to get inspected/safer to drive. Any parts the GSR needs are relatively minor, but between a new set of tires, brakes, rotors, calipers, AC compressor and other odds and ends, the shopping list adds up quickly. Do you happen to know if there's any important differentiation between the shell of the GSR and other models if I were to purchase a donor vehicle? Or between Manual/Automatic transmissions?
 

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Good morning sounds like you're ready and have good backup within your circle of friends. The only major difference between at and man is the brackets that hold the clutch brake pedal assembly. And that's a bolt in ordeal. Not sure about the drivetrain mount locations. I'm from Va. Beach and all the hondas I have restored have been a solid platform to start. If you're serious about a rust free integra I can help. Every so often one comes up in my area and I would be happy to pass that info to you.
Keep us posted on the progress.
And keep those wrenches spinning
Mike
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Good morning sounds like you're ready and have good backup within your circle of friends. The only major difference between at and man is the brackets that hold the clutch brake pedal assembly. And that's a bolt in ordeal. Not sure about the drivetrain mount locations. I'm from Va. Beach and all the hondas I have restored have been a solid platform to start. If you're serious about a rust free integra I can help. Every so often one comes up in my area and I would be happy to pass that info to you.
Keep us posted on the progress.
And keep those wrenches spinning
Mike
I just had a discussion about my father regarding the best course of action for this project. We seem to agree that the first thing to look into is if the current frame is repairable in any reasonable fashion. This will probably involve actually tearing into the car to get a better idea of the underlying rust which isn't immediately visible. If it's not easily repairable, we agreed the second best course of action would be to find another manual transmission 3rd gen Integra and do some sort of a swap. An added benefit of this would be that any sort of donor car, be it a running vehicle or a humble shell, would likely come with some additional parts which our GSR is already in need of. Things such as brakes, rotors, pads, tires, certain body panels which may be worse for wear, or even some of the more expensive parts like the AC compressor if the car is still in working condition. This would understandably offset the cost of purchasing a whole new body to swap our car onto. That being said, I've already plundered my local Facebook Marketplace and Craigslist ads, and there seems to be a minimal number of local Integras which have any sort of reputability. If you happen to stumble upon a manual 3rd gen Integra, neither of us would be opposed to arranging transportation from VA for the right car.
 
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