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1994 Acura Integra GS-R
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well I've always wanted to create an in-depth build thread, so here we are! This is cross-posted to Honda-Tech, and is moreso for myself to track and document my progress than for anyone else (especially seeing as how these forums are a ghost town now).

Some history on the car and how I came into ownership before we get into this, yeah?

Summer 2019 I was daily driving a very mint ~100k mile 1990 Cressida. Long story short, the 7M **** itself, popped a head gasket, and I wasn't looking to dump money into the motor for a rebuild, nor did I have the money to put into a 1J swap. So the car was put up for sale, and I was on the hunt for something a bit more enjoyable to daily drive, and something with a manual transmission.

Enter this 1994 GS-R. From the records I have, it was originally a Virgina car with the original owners having it until about 2017, when they decided to trade it in to the dealership it was purchased from and serviced it's entire life. At some point after trade in, I'm assuming it was sent to auction where it found its way to a small NJ "dealership", and sold to someone in CT where it would sit as a restoration project until being listed on eBay in the Fall of 2018. My uncle, a Honda enthusiast his entire life, past CB7 and DC2, and current DC5 Type S owner, called me up one day about going to pick up a car he bid for on eBay -- this one. He bought it with 284k miles, entirely sight unseen, on a dark and rainy night, and drove it home two hours with me driving support. Without a single issue. The following weekend we took a closer look at it. Like the previous "owner" this car would be a restoration project for him, his first Integra after the White 2001 GS-R he had before his RSX was totalled.

The photos in the listing didn't lie about the condition. She was well used and cared for mechanically, but the interior and body had seen far better days. Quarter panel rust from failed taillight gaskets, dents, a poor respray resulting in clear coat peel and paint bubbling at the quarter arches, and a huge dent on the hood; the dealer optioned leather interior absolutely thrashed and the steering wheel faded and cracking. But the car itself was completely original, unmolested, and mechanically in (somewhat) decent shape.

About one year later, an accumulation of some parts, the hood replaced and some of the paint sanded down, the car had barely moved and stayed unregistered. It's true what they say -- life moves fast -- and with a new baby, the restoration was at a standstill, and money needed to be freed up. As I had said, I needed a car at the time, and it was discussed that if he were to sell the car, it'd have to go to someone who had the same passion for these cars as he did. Well, spoiler alert, that person ended up being me; we both felt that the car should stay in the family, and should I one day want to part with it, he'd be a phone call away.

This was in late October, and before we even negotiated a price, the car had to be registered and titled. Living in Massachusetts, and the car being bought out of state, it would end up being the most difficult experience of this entire process, and a story for another time. In short, after four visits to the RMV, the car was finally, after the original owners traded it in, roadgoing and legal. The next step was taking it to a shop to have it looked over so I could get the car mechanically sound for daily driving duties.

The car wasn't too bad, like expected, but obviously needed an overhaul. In the end we had the Timing Belt and Water Pump, Accessory and Drive Belts, Spark Plugs and Wires, Camshaft and Front Crankshaft Seals, Camshaft Cap, Distributor O-Ring, VTEC Solenoid Gasket, Valve Cover Gasket, PCV, and the Power Steering Pump replaced, along with a Valve Adjustment, IACV cleaned, and Coolant/PS/Oil changed.

All of that out of the way, we came to a price for the car: $1,200 including all of the parts he obtained. More than fair, even with the work ahead.

We we're heading into winter by now, so I picked up a set of Bridgestone Blizzak WS80s in 185/65R15 for a steal, had the undercarriage oil coated, and started to clock miles and plan for the inevitable rabbit hole I'd find myself in with choosing to resto-mod the car -- a dream I've always had, but never quite imagined it'd be with a 25 year old Golden Era Honda.

Photos to come once I'm at my computer and can organize everything chronologically.
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