1985 Honda Civic DX 1.5L Hatchback 5-Speed SURVIVOR

Price: US $310.00 Item location: Canton, Michigan, United States
  • Make: Honda
  • Model: Civic
  • SubModel: DX
  • Type: Hatchback
  • Trim: DX
  • Year: 1985
  • Mileage: 204,268
  • VIN: JHMAH5322FS039658
  • Color: Blue
  • Engine size: 1.5L
  • Number of cylinders: 4
  • Power options: Cruise Control
  • Fuel: Gasoline
  • Transmission: Manual
  • Drive type: FWD
  • Interior color: Blue
  • Options: Cassette Player
  • Vehicle Title: Clear
  • Want to buy? Contact seller!

1985 Honda Civic DX

This is a Honda Civic DX hatchback 1.5L 5-Speed manual car in Avignon Blue Metallic (B-26M) with the blue interior made in Suzuka Japan.

The 1984-1987 Honda Civic was a classic youth car that was well made, cute, fun to drive and managed 40+mpg. It still represents itself well, nearly thirty years later. This particular car has been in the family for its whole life with the majority of its tankfuls averaging over 40 mpg year after year. It’s been titled by various family members to suit the insurance company, but in the end it was the car that seemed to keep coming back for more. My father drove most of the miles on it and he was a very meticulous man, therefore I can provide you with significant documentation including copies of the window sticker and dealer invoice as well as a carefully used shop manual for you to keep with the car (see photos at bottom). According to the license tags, the car has not been licensed since about 2010. Most of the miles were accumulated before 2003. I know this because just about every tankful and stop is documented. My dad refused to let us sell it or drive it once he was unable to drive it, until his death. He insisted on maintaining this car in case he needed to drive again. I’ll document later the steps I took to carefully get it out of storage and going again (September 2016).

I think the car is complete except maybe for the correct rear wiper which I have yet to find. There were a few clips and screw covers out of interior panels, but of course they were tagged and bagged by my father and they are in the car. The windshield was also damaged and I just had that professionally replaced by Safelite (September 2016). That glass is still under warranty. I also picked up other minor things that I noticed it would need immediately such as wiper blades, tune-up parts, correct radio, key blanks, a headlight and other clips and such. Any of these not already installed will be packed in the back bay when the car arrives. if you are in doubt about anything, simply check out the pictures. That is the car that will arrive at your door.

Note: There are 62 Photos and 1 Video at the bottom of this page.

Why am I selling it?

Well, I’d like to keep all of my Dad’s stuff but the reality is that my two restoration partners both died this year and I am now absolutely buried under the load of work and materials that landed on me in that fallout. So I have to pick my battles very very carefully and more than half of my cars need to move out. I did take some steps to make sure this car was a worthwhile project before I wasted your time or mine, but other than that investment documented here, I need to move on. I have much more important projects I must attend to. If you are someone who remembers these cars or wants to restore one for a young driver coming of age, then this could be a good starting point. I have not gone through this car in every respect as I normally do. I will tell you all that I have seen or know below.


First I'm going to be clear that I did not detail this car. I could have easily cleaned up the oxidaiton, touches up all those little rust spots and made this thing photogenic. But that was not my goal. My goal was to capture and document this car and all those little imperfections that tell you its story. I’m going to go into great detail here based on my survey so far. If I say something that sounds to be a mistake please check out the photos. I will provide a ton of photos and those are of the car as it sits today, so please assume that what you see is what you get. If there is anything that seems really out of line please ask and I will clarify for everyone tuned in.

As a general rule when a project car arrives, I immediately get it weather-tight, steering, starting, moving and braking. I can’t have cars around that require a tow-tug every time I need to move them. This car however will be an exception because it just got here and it isn’t a high-enough value piece to get carried-away going through all the systems before I sell it. So I’ll tell you what I've observed, and what I’ve done, and what I know: weather tight - fixed, roll and steer – good, Engine and driveline – actively confirming function and working on drivability, brakes – I have not touched. Details are below by section/topic.

Exterior panels: Just look at these body panels and you can see just how much Honda panel integrity had improved since the early seventies. There are a few places with problems but the condition seems remarkably good to me for a car this age. I will try to capture in photos any spots that you would have wanted to see in person. I’m impressed at how good this car looks for being a real driver. And I can add more pictures if I miss something. However, at last count there were more than fifty down there so I doubt it.

Paint: Paint looks to be mostly original with a patina that could be improved in place without being removed. There are a couple of touch up points and the bumper covers are looking faded. But I purposefully did not polish, wax, seal or silicone any panel on this car. All it has seen is detergent and soap solutions to get off the heavy storage grime. Detailing would have made the for-sale pictures look a lot better, but then you’d have to deal with possibly undoing that silicone and touchup mess when you got it. So if you want to polish and silicone it you’re going to be able to make a lot of progress on this old car, because I did nothing – to not inhibit those who may want to move to body work, sealing or paint preservation.

Structural and hidden panels: The doors, hatch and window frames look good to me. I just had the covers off of the cowl and vent sections for the windshield repair cleanup and I saw no rust or problems in there. I have added photos of those sections.

Underbody panels: The pans in general look pretty good. I will try to show pictures of any of the rust near the torque boxes or in thepainted driver-side rocker-rail-cover areas. I think the passenger rocker cover is as good as the visible body panels. This should be well covered in the pictures.

Interior upholstery: The rear seats are very good. The headliner has some marks but is solid not fabric so you might be able to actually fill, sand and paint it if you care about it. Front seats have splits on side bolsters as one might expect, but they work fine and they are correct originals should you choose to have someone match or repair those. Door panels look correct and intact. Door handles and carpet also look to be original. Some carpet stains, some mats. Some factory mats. I will include any of the clips or mirrors or anything we took off for safe keeping during the glass work. It’s in the back of the car now. I did not get to doing carpet cleaning or anything like that other than vacuuming glass technician messes. So you should be able to make progress improving what you see.

Dash and Instruments: Dash areas look good and not abused. Clearly this was an adult owned car. I don’t remember seeing any splits, hacks, cracks or tool marks. The screw covers on the back of the instrument bubble were popped out by someone working on the spedmeter cable or prepping for the windshield. Again, those and any other related parts are bagged and included. I just hate to start reassembling things you might want to inspect. The only oddities here are a no-cut after-market stereo cassette player from the 80's and the addition of a cruise-control panel. I did find a correct radio for it and I will include it in the back of the car. I also ordered some correct factory key blanks. You can’t get keys like these at the local homecenter but they can cut these correct blanks. I’ll need to put those in the car so you can make some proper Honda logo keys.

Wheels and Tires: I love these wheels. I had several Hondas in the 80’s and early 90’s and I never had nice steel wheels with the trim rings and centers like this. Mine were always plastic fake mag-wheel covers. Even the 1986 Si had plastic wheel covers. So honestly these are the nicest 80s wheels I’ve seen on a Honda. And these are complete because that’s the way my dad was. If they got a ding or bend he was out looking for an exact replacement. Also the spare is there under the back deck. I did not get it out, only took a photo. I also have pictures of the tire tread. Ti is very sharp and very deep. Records show about 10K since they were installed, but they look even better than that to me.

Bumper covers: These have some marks and maybe some stains or scars but I don’t remember seeing any cuts. I didn’t polish or seal them to make them pretty for you, in case your next step was going to be clean, seal, fill or paint. I remember thinking that they look entirely usable as is. Check out the pictures.

Engine: This is the largest civic 1.5L (EW1) engine with the 3 barrel Keihin carburetor. A nice little engine, or big, by Civic standards. I was worried about it having sat so long, so first I dropped the oil and filter, then filled it with a high mileage synthetic blend oil. Then soaked the top valve-train with a quart of fresh oil and injected the cylinders with 10cc of oil. Later I rotated it and let it sit again and then spun it up on the starter for a bit before risking an engine start a couple of days later. I also opened the carb top plate, soaked up the “coffee” in the fuel bowl and blasted the orifices and jets before putting it back together and confirming that fuel was flowing in. I addded fresh fuel and additive to tank, but tank fuel still mostly not good stuff. It should probably be pumped out but I was in a rush. Ignition system is now freshened with plugs, wires, cap, and rotor that were also replaced this week. Tests show nice strong spark on all four cylinders. Engine starts up quickly but carb is not happy enough to stay running. My goal was to confirm it would run and ensure that it didn't make any scary mechanical noises. I was able to confirm that it sounds fairly healthy but you will need to finish the cleanup on the carburetor and such to get it to idle and begin reaching your drivability goals. The factory service manual (included) will take you through all the adjustments. It's just time consuming. In my limited testing, oil pressure comes up fast and solid, voltage comes up fast and solid. My objective was to confirm that the engine was not a write-off while not killing it in the process. I think I’ve done that. One of the advantages to this car is that every underhood clip and little clamp seems to be there. Maybe not in every photo, since I may have some images for you where I needed to take off some of the emissions gear to get to the carburetor systems, for example. But I will include additional engine photos soon after I know I won't have any more time for carb adjustments and I button it up. When you get the car it will be buttoned up like it arrived to me, even down to the exhaust heat return hose, fabric covered fuel lines and factory clamps. Fuel filters should still be changed. I love unrestored cars that still have all that stuff. There may be oil on the pan or front of the engine but that's my fault from erring on the side of letting it get safely oily and spinning oiled cylinders with the plugs out. This car was not dripping and had all its fluids after sitting for those years. It seems solid in the seals department.

Transmission and Clutch: Remember this is a 5-speed car, not a 4-speed car. Back then DX was deluxe, not sitting below an EX model. This car had the best engine and transmission available that year. Transmission seems to move through the gears without any undo noise or friction. Clutch engagement and plate movement feels right. Clutch is about 10K miles old according to records. It will engage well enough to turn the engine if I roll the car with the plugs out and gear engaged. Obviously I haven’t road tested this. I’m just trying to confirm the basics in my driveway for you. We have the advantage of knowing that this car was being driven before being parked. I expect you to have good luck with these systems.

CV-Axles Boots: I will try to get pictures for you to put at the end. The axles, boots. and bearings were done about 45K ago. Records show it went back in to have the outer boots redone.

Brakes: Normally I go after this as soon as I get the car weather-tite to get the drivability sorted out. But this time I have not touched these and they’ve been sitting for years. So you’ll need to go through them completely. The brake reservoir is still full believe it or not. You'll certainly want to change that old stuff out. However, you can bet that they are correct and complete and unmolested if they match the other systems I’ve opened, but they are not something you will be able to overlook. I didn't focus there with the limited time I had because brake parts are plentiful and cheap. You just need to invest the time to take them down. I might even have the lifetime warranty brake receipt in the package if you are bold enough to take the brakes back to Meineke or Autozone for free replacements. I'm certain there are several exhaust warranties in the receipt package.

Glass: Windshield glass had some flaws. I had it replaced so the car could sit outside. Since the windshield is perfect I left off the wipers because that’s the last thing you need on new glass while you are working on the car. They, along with the new Bosch blades and such are, again, in the back packed and ready for you.


Title: I officially acquired this from my Dad’s estate via probate assignment of ownership to me in September, so I have a new clear title for it in my name. Transfer with a title and a bill-of-sale should be trivial.

Warranty: Clearly none. This car is for someone who knows what they are doing or wants to become that way. This is the kind of car I used to pick up in college and restore on the weekends to make cash. I've tried to describe it based on what was left to me and what I saw, but I am not omniscient. Use your best judgement and have some fun figuring it all out.

Transport: You are not going to be able to turn the key and drive away. This car needs careful sorting out to make sure everything is safe and happy before you commit to the road; unless you are a member of the Hot Rod Roadkill team. So plan on safe transport to your preferred location to dig in and have fun. I'll ship it wherever you want it, once the payment has been cleared by my bank. You will need to provide the courier.

Payment: This car will not go for a bunch so I expect that you can pay for it if you win. I need to move on to the next car so please help me to wrap-up this transaction quicly by providing for quick payment according to the posted T&C. I will make second chance offers if necessary to get this thing to move on out if the winning bidder is a flake.

That's about it. When in doubt review the photos or ask questions. Enjoy. Thank You. Stephen.

For those who cannot view the photos below, here is an Online photo repository covering everything that I can imagine someone might want to see: https://www.icloud.com/sharedalbum/#B0YGlxzuqGe5Fnp

If the ebay Experian AutoCheck link is not showing I did pay for that report and it is here.

Purchase7/16/856065.28 Honda East
530Various warranty tasks7/24/85Honda East
Throttle Cable Free-play Adjust7/29/85Honda East
Fast idle Investigation7/29/85Honda East
Dana Cruise Control Install7/29/85145.49Larricks
Craig Stereo Install8/3/85102.64Hammond electronics
1137Flat Tire Service8/12/85
7146Replace BiMetal & Fast Idle Cam10/9/85Honda East
7386Solve vibration while driving10/16/85Honda East
17770Wiper Blades
23348TouchUp paint and Air Cleaner Nut4/14/86White Allen Honda
24451Air Filter4/28/86
30087Front bumper, supports and grill6/24/862246.48Wayside Body
30087Plugs and Distributor Cap7/15/8636.05ProCare
40206 RF Fender Clear Coat Touch-up11/11/86Wayside Body
42443Wiper Blades12/2/86Auto Warehouse
63583 Super-cruise Regulator7/13/87Larricks
64356Cold idle Start and Adj Valves7/21/8749.91Honda East
65271Bumper Cover and reinforcement7/29/87308.67Martino Body
67938Exhaust System9/1/8782.47Speedy Muffler King
Dealer Service9/8/87White Allen Honda
77288Battery Replace12/15/87Kmart
Dealer Service1/8/88White Allen Honda
Dealer Service2/2/88White Allen Honda
Dealer Service5/11/88White Allen Honda
99648Tires8/2/88175.62Tire America
Wiper Blades9/12/88Bumper to bumper
111600Full Brake Job12/6/88174.74Speedy Muffler
Rear Hatch Touch7/29/8979.13Dodd's
Back Bumper Touch10/9/9084.6Dodd's
138850Dealer Checks10/11/90Honda East
Exhaust System12/7/90144.42Griffith Service Station
Starter Rebuild4/11/9188
Battery Replace9/21/9134.87Kmart
152869Tires Replaced1/28/93238.25Sam's ClubGeneral Tire 175/70R13
158978Insulator Comp8/17/93Roush Honda
158978Valve Cover Gasket8/17/93Roush Honda
158978Timing Belt8/17/93Roush Honda
158978Water Pump Comp8/17/93Roush Honda
158978Antifreeze8/17/93137.26Roush Honda
Exhaust System9/3/93167.84
Vacuum Control Assembly9/16/93Roush Honda
Spark Plugs9/16/93Roush Honda
Distributor Rotor9/16/93Roush Honda
Distributor Cap9/16/93110.02Roush Honda
161487Cold start idle work10/28/93184Roush Honda
Set Choke10/28/93Roush Honda
Replace Thermovalve10/28/93213.47Roush Honda
Axles Boots Bearings2/16/94426.66Nationwise
Exhaust System2/16/94158.41Nationwise
163379Outer CV Boots replaced3/1/9482.46
Exhaust System3/10/94132.03Meineke
Wiper Blades8/11/94
177710Tire Service - Rot & Bal7/17/96NTW
Alignment Check12/24/96NTW
Exhaust Insulators9/7/97Napa
190303Tire Service - Rot & Bal9/2/98NTB
Double Silicone Hoses1/15/99
Tire Service - Rot & Bal2/6/9933NTW
194853Exhaust System9/12/00185.5AAA Muffler Service
195609Tires Replaced1/7/01Sam's ClubMichelin Symmetry 175/70R13
Thermostat & O2 Sensor9/22/01
Tire Service - Rot & Bal10/4/0165
Tire Service - Rot & Bal10/5/01Wal-Mart
Honda 12 Hole Wheel 13 inch10/10/0115.9Deercreek
NGK Spark Plugs10/12/01
Brake Service10/15/01
New Clutch & Speedo Cable10/23/01371AAA Muffler Service
196474Tire Service - Rot & Bal11/2/01Wal-Mart
Wheel Trim Ring11/13/0126.44Wirthman's
202861Tire Service - Rot & Bal7/18/0377.96Wal-Mart Tire Replacement
203084Tire Service - Rot & Bal8/22/03Wal-Mart
204268Gain clear title from estate9/1/16State of Michigan
Replace windshieldSafelite
Replace battery
Change oil, soak engine parts
Clean car & carburetor
Replace Distributor Cap, Rotor Wires, plugs
Slowly bring up car to running
Inspect and document condition
Purchase headlight, wipers, key blanks, clips, screws
Collect documentation
Collect photos
204268List for sale9/29/16