Haven't been on the forums for a long time so I thought what better time than now to finally post something - I recently bought a car which I plan to restore and I wanted to share my experiences during this journey. Hopefully will keep sharing updates as we go along.
What this is about
My friend was selling his car, a 2001 Civic VTi Oriel (Gray Color). This guy is an old time friend of mine so I knew a bit of the history of the car, but in the last couple of years it had fell completely into the hands of his drivers and was severely neglected. So anyway, I was up for a bit of a project and he was kind enough to sell it to me at a throw away price so I could do that.
When I checked the car from a condition assessment point of view, I got to know that it requires quite a bit of work. Broadly speaking, I thought it would probably need an engine swap - the current engine had been overhauled once before and had a recent blown gasket after fixing which the car was experiencing terrible missing and stalling. And the paint on the body had aged so it would require a full paint job as well.
The decision about the engine swap was almost finalized, I was looking for D17As and had almost sourced once, but my mechanic worked his magic and with the replacement of a few ignition coils, a fuel pump and some valve and timing adjustments was able to get the current engine back into quite a decent nick. I'm currently testing it out to see how well it runs and might just continue to use this.
Body and Paint
The car is currently in the process of getting a full paint job. I had a couple of options to choose from and decided to go with the paint job available with the best possible guys here in Karachi. Hope it'll be worth the spend and wait.
Alongside, I'm trying to get my hands on lots of stuff which I want to upgrade/replace in the car. Below are the items I've secured to date along with their prices for guidance:
Seats. The stock seats in this model are ultra uncomfortable and gave me a back ache from the first time I sat in them, plus Honda have been so cheap and have literally used the 'mattress wala Molty Foam' (see picture below). So I decided to throw those out. I got a replacement set of Toyota IST seats. They are comfortable and similar profile in terms of seat height etc so seemed to be a good option. These costed me 5K in exchange for my old seats, it would take another 2K for installation.
Rear Bumper. The one I had was cracked from the right side, got a new genuine bumper for 5500. Thailand/Taiwan ones were available for 3-3.5K but are made out of harder plastic but they're decent too.
Tail Lights. I decided to upgrade and go crystal, even though the car originally has the non crystal version of lights. I got the DEPO (Thailand) ones which costed 9K for a full set.
Under Sheilds. Genuine, 3 pieces for 3.5K
CF Steering 3K
2005 Speedo 4K
Inside Sun Visors 2K (Japanese)
Door Panel Upholstery. The condition of the upholstery was quite bad, it was coming off or sagging. A couple of glorified 'cushion walas' i visited were asking 2.5K just for a simple re-pasting job so I decided to do this at home. DIY pictures below.
Headlights For now, I've got the old headlights refurbished and will be using those but I will be on the lookout for a set of OEM HID headlights that are available for this model, as soon as a clean pair can be located. What i know is that those cost between 12-15K -
So the car is currently at the workshop where it will get a paint job. At the moment it is being dented, so in about a couple more weeks the paint job would be completed. Below are some pictures which will do the rest of the talking about all I've mentioned above. Will try to update as much as possible as developments happen.
Big shout out to my great friend @uiv for being super helpful!