Trying to restore a 1997 EK9 to its former self


shieldsy94

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Feb 11, 2019
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29
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EK9 Pre Facelift
Post 1

So after having my Renault Clio 200 for just under 2 years and loving it, i made the stupid decision to sell it for a MK5 Golf GTI with the DSG. To say I regretted the decision was a bit of an understatement and I still wish I kept that car now. Hindsight is a wonderful thing!

Anyways, I only had the Golf for 3 months ish. Yes it was an excellent car and was so easy to drive, the problem was going from a semi stripped out Clio with Recaros, bracing in the boot, a non res Scorpion exhaust etc to a comfy well insulated automatic was too much of a jump. I was 24 after all and it was too sensible. It was quicker but handled nowhere near as good as the Clio.

So I sold the Golf and picked up my EK9 from down south (I'm based in Doncaster). The car has an interesting back story. So its a 1997 Pre Facelift that has been in the UK since 1998. Yes 1998. I'm assuming its one of if not the first in the UK. The car originally came from Nagoya from a dealer that no longer exists according to Google Street View and has lived all its life in Kent area. Its been serviced at the same garage since 2003 until 2017 regardless of owner so I'm assuming the owners were all related (last names match). If anyone recognises the car, do let me know! I found a Honda Specialities forum Tax Disc Holder in the docs so it has been on forums in its life.
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The car overall, has been great but with issues all along the journey since I picked it up that i'm guessing show its been neglected in the last couple years. I'll get into these in my next couple posts along with photos of its progress so far and the plans for it in the future!
 

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Kipper

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Awesome ! And good to see such an early imported car not yet broken for parts. I can imagine the jump in terms of how insulated the driving experience is would be comparable from Golf - Clio as it would be Clio - Civic.
 


Pete180

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No way! Love finding the history of cars, interesting stuff. Glad it's not broken etc keep her clean and going! :)
 


harvey j

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Nice, how has she faired with the UK winters etc, any rust etc...
 


Jclimb_EK9

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Sep 7, 2018
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98 Preface EK9 - Champ white
I recognise this car from the for sale ad here ! - I was going to look at it before buying mine..
Glad to see someone got it and is going to give it the love it needs :)
 


shieldsy94

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Feb 11, 2019
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EK9 Pre Facelift
Awesome ! And good to see such an early imported car not yet broken for parts. I can imagine the jump in terms of how insulated the driving experience is would be comparable from Golf - Clio as it would be Clio - Civic.
Yeah it was a bit of a jump to be honest. Felt like driving a diesel to be honest. Shame I got rid of it in hindsight again because I now have a new job where the commuting with a dsg would be ideal haha!

No way! Love finding the history of cars, interesting stuff. Glad it's not broken etc keep her clean and going! :)
Yeah i've got the first service in 1998, tax discs, the works in a folder!

Nice, how has she faired with the UK winters etc, any rust etc...
I think its faired up pretty well considering i think its been neglected the last couple of years. I'll be getting into the rust in later posts :))


I recognise this car from the for sale ad here ! - I was going to look at it before buying mine..
Glad to see someone got it and is going to give it the love it needs :)
Yeah I got it from him. Not for the price he wanted but nevertheless still the cheapest i've seen one complete. Was looking at importing one myself but the auctions vary so much, they either go for £8k ish upwards!
 


shieldsy94

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EK9 Pre Facelift
Post 2

So my plan with the first couple of posts is to recap what the last 6 months have been like and the issues i've had with it, so it should be fully up to date within a month!

So the first issue I had was the thermostat not working. It didn't open at all, not sure for how long it hadn't been working but it wasn't a smart idea. Anyways, changed that over for a genuine Honda one, but then the radiator cracked along the top, probably due to the overheating.
Haven't got any photos of this fitted as it was months ago but the radiator that turned up was a Koyorad. Not an uprated one but I bought the cheapest radiator that I could find to fit off ebay and it just so happened that this turned up.

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Changed that along with putting in a mishimoto fan switch as we couldn't get the fan to turn on normally (it did work if you shorted the connection) along with some Black Tegiwa Sillicone Hoses for the whole cooling system. Couldn't fit them all, such as the heater matrix ones at the back of the bay just because of access and rusty clamps which I didn't fancy disturbing just yet without replacement clips in hand.

Oh and went to my local monthly jap meet (Squires Cafe) and the car was papped.

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Next post - The car struggling to stay running.
 

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Jclimb_EK9

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98 Preface EK9 - Champ white
Yeah it was a bit of a jump to be honest. Felt like driving a diesel to be honest. Shame I got rid of it in hindsight again because I now have a new job where the commuting with a dsg would be ideal haha!



Yeah i've got the first service in 1998, tax discs, the works in a folder!



I think its faired up pretty well considering i think its been neglected the last couple of years. I'll be getting into the rust in later posts :))




Yeah I got it from him. Not for the price he wanted but nevertheless still the cheapest i've seen one complete. Was looking at importing one myself but the auctions vary so much, they either go for £8k ish upwards!
I wanted to import one, but again I managed to find mine for a decent price here in the UK already.. It's not been without it's problems but It should good to go soon enough !
 


shieldsy94

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EK9 Pre Facelift
Post 3

I had drove the car about to work and whatever else perfectly fine till October/November 2018 ish, then it all started to go wrong! Basically the car would not idle when hot or it had been on for about 10 mins and then would cut out and not restart straight away. It would eventually restart with enough throttle but was not happy to say the least.

The first thing i researched was possibly the distributor. So i went to inspect and found this:
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Changed it all for genuine Honda parts (note that the screw for the rotor arm to mount was missing as well) but that didn't solve it.

One time when this occurred at home, the car would not start at all. Not even a hesitation to turn over until suddenly i lost all electrics to the car. I literally had no power at all so checked and found this:

:))
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Excuse my awful fingers :)) In the meantime I ordered a replacement main battery fuse and sent it off at a local garage. They couldn't find an issue with it and said it fired up and drove normally, even with the fuse as above. Not a clue how it was getting power as I assume that if the main battery fuse isn't a solid strip, there should be no power?

Anyways, i took it to a local guy who has a rolling road but also owns an EK9 for many years. He checked the earths and they were all shot. It had an earthing kit on it and it was utter garbage. Frayed wires, earths to earths and it was a waste of time. So he put all new earths on the main factory points. Also found the below:

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That is the ignitor for the distributor and it was a Euro Car Parts Special with a manufacture date of October 2016 (i believe it says). So it has had issues with this before and swapped this out for a new ECP one to proof check this was at fault and the car runs like a dream! In the meantime I had put in a new main relay, which i sent back as it didn't fix it, and a new TPS in the hopes of fixing it. I had also taken it to another garage but I roasted the clutch doing so (to stop it cutting out) and now have the lasting effect of a knackered clutch/release bearing/something in that area. That'll be getting sorted in due course.

So it was either the earths or the ignitor. The common theme being heat or "load" when the car has been on a while so I assume that with enough current draw after a while, it must've broke the connection? God knows but its fixed and doesn't stall anymore (touches wood).

Next post: first mods!
 


Jclimb_EK9

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98 Preface EK9 - Champ white
The grounds are extremely important, I found out the hard way by using a fresher/ new bolt on the gearbox ground and I had all sorts of issues.. the engine bay had been painted by previous owners so the ground was using the bolt thread as contact point not the lug on the cable.. sanded it back and was all good again.

Sounds like they replaced the peers but did a bad job. At least it runs good now :)
Look forward to see the mods :D
 


shieldsy94

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Feb 11, 2019
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EK9 Pre Facelift
The grounds are extremely important, I found out the hard way by using a fresher/ new bolt on the gearbox ground and I had all sorts of issues.. the engine bay had been painted by previous owners so the ground was using the bolt thread as contact point not the lug on the cable.. sanded it back and was all good again.

Sounds like they replaced the peers but did a bad job. At least it runs good now :)
Look forward to see the mods :D
The only problem with older cars, finding other peoples bodges! Yeah it really got me in a twist cause the car isn't obd2 like all my other cars, so I couldn't check the codes haha!
 


shieldsy94

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EK9 Pre Facelift
Post 4

So the first mod i did on the car when I got it was fit my old Sparco 383 Suede Steering wheel from my Clio 200. Bought a Momo boss for pittance from someone on Facebook Marketplace and went about fitting it.

My god was it a pain in the arse to do compared to the Clio. There was no definitive or comprehensive guide online at all for how to do it. Some say take the Clock spring out, others say keep it in. Some say cut the clock spring wire for the resistor to fix the SRS light, others don't. I essentially winged it and got the wheel on with the SRS light on, then took it down to Luke at Outlaw Honda Worx to fix the SRS light as I couldn't get it to reset after about 2 weeks of sporadically trying.
IMG_1023.JPG


Only problem with a Suede wheel is that it gets a bit manky after a while with driving round without perfectly clean hands. A good old scrub with a suede shoe brush every so often solves it though.

Short post but next post: The pain in the arse brake pads and discs
 


Pete180

Lost in dreams..
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EM1 Coupe
So the earth's can be such an issue they can cause the car to start and run, but run like crap? Cause it to stutter and want to stall out? Damn what a pain chasing things
 



shieldsy94

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Feb 11, 2019
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EK9 Pre Facelift
So the earth's can be such an issue they can cause the car to start and run, but run like crap? Cause it to stutter and want to stall out? Damn what a pain chasing things
It was either that or the ignitor. The only thing i could think of was that once the wires got warmed up from use, that the connection weakened enough to do it. I changed them both at the same time so can't be certain but it was one of the two. The earths were really bad tbh, like really frayed
 


shieldsy94

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Feb 11, 2019
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EK9 Pre Facelift
Why is there crv clocks fitted in the ek9 dials centre bit??
I'm guessing to convert them to MPH. Cause the odometer is still in KM so guessing they put those in to overlay it when it arrived in the UK. Probably why the speedo is out by about 10mph as well haha!
 


irf

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I'm guessing to convert them to MPH. Cause the odometer is still in KM so guessing they put those in to overlay it when it arrived in the UK. Probably why the speedo is out by about 10mph as well haha!
They used to do that about 20 years ago when early 90s imports started coming in. Don't think converters were available then. I had to fit them on a early SIR and DA6
First time I've seen it on a ek9. Definitely had to look twice ..
 


shieldsy94

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EK9 Pre Facelift
They used to do that about 20 years ago when early 90s imports started coming in. Don't think converters were available then. I had to fit them on a early SIR and DA6
First time I've seen it on a ek9. Definitely had to look twice ..
Is it just the actual dials that are changed? I haven't took it apart yet but i'm not sure how they've done it i.e. if its just an overlay with the original underneath, the whole gauge etc.

The car was imported in 98 so would make sense.
 


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