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Considering buying a 400k mile Honda

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Considering buying a 400k mile Honda

Old 08-13-2018, 04:38 AM
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Default Considering buying a 400k mile Honda

Hello all,

I would like to retire my ap2 as my daily driver and get an older Honda of sorts. I came across a DA Integra GSR (my favorite body style, and it is a real GSR with the old B17) which is in beautiful condition, clean interior and exterior and no issues to speak of for a daily. The problem is the chassis has 398000 miles on it, and the b17 was rebuilt 80,000 miles ago. It runs great, ac works and everything. Having a soft spot for old school hondas, especially the DA integra body, would you guys consider buying this if the price is right and everything checks out? I intend on giving it a thorough inspection, especially the undercarriage. Being a car guy as well, I have a feeling I won't be able to keep my hands off of it, but I'm worried about the structural integrity of the chassis and how tired it may be as a modding platform. Any thoughts on this guys?

My other options are a 150k automatic DC integra, mint condition.
A 99 EM1 Si, 200k miles on it with minor cosmetic issues and minor mechanical issues.

Thanks for any and all input, I appreciate it!
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Old 08-13-2018, 05:31 AM
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It wouldn't stop me from buying it so long as the car drives well .
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The Prophet. (08-13-2018)
Old 08-13-2018, 06:33 AM
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Originally Posted by The Prophet. View Post

but I'm worried about the structural integrity of the chassis and how tired it may be as a modding platform. Any thoughts on this guys?

Even airframes wear out, Not sure I would do it, ESPECIALLY if I was going to mod it.

A lot would come from the history of the car and if I saw rust anywhere I would run away. A friend bought a car with 200k for some spirited driving because it was at the right price, the one day going around a corner, the hood rose up about a foot, there was a terrible grinding noise and the car screeched to a halt. The front strut towers broke free from the chassis and the rest of the car dropped to the ground. But we live where road salt is common in the winter.

The only way I would buy a car with 400,000k on it is if the price was practically nothing, and I mean nothing. The car is used up at this point. If the car is less than $1,500, ok, why not. You can still get a few hundred for it if you have to part it out and scrap it. At this point, if the electrical system is original, it is probably held together with splices and tape. The headaches from that alone would make me say, "Hell no."

Last edited by vader1; 08-13-2018 at 06:36 AM.
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The Prophet. (08-13-2018)
Old 08-13-2018, 08:41 AM
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All of the auxiliary and support systems are still old, even if the engine has been refreshed. Hoses and other rubber components are going to crack soon. Your mounts and joints are going to be bad (if they aren't already). Little gremlins are going to be very common and, on a daily driver, that's the last thing you want.

You're buying a headache.
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Old 08-13-2018, 09:20 AM
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Aren't there any good ones, with a little less mileage?
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Old 08-13-2018, 03:27 PM
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My advice to you is to figure out what you want to do with it while also figuring out how anal you are or will be with this car.

Will you keep it stock/as-is or mod it? Daily drive only or mod for fun/spirited driving or even track use?
How anal are you? are you the type of person to fix something right away that breaks? are you annoyed by any creak, rattle or knocking? Are you the type of person that only buys OEM replacement parts or are you fine with china replacement parts?

Here's my recent experience, which sounds similar to the Integra that you're looking at. Hope it helps:

Feb 2017 i picked up a 2000 GSR. It had 350K on the chassis and 20K on the rebuilt motor. It was no where close to a "grandma's" car. Had 7 owners and the last one was a young kid who just wanted a low cruiser. In the 1.5 years since, I've spent countless, time/energy/money restoring it for DD and track use--and i'm still working on the mechanicals. I am VERY anal about my cars. Any mechanical issues, i try to fix right away otherwise it eats away at me and I basically can't sleep.

Here's a condensed list of what i had to replace:
Engine mounts, axles, shocks, thermostat, Water pump, timing belt, radiator, radiator hoses, PCV system (new hoses), starter, distributor, entire power steering system (reman pump, rack, new hoses), all suspension bushings, ball joints, wheel bearings, toe arms, camber arms, control arms, driver door handle, muffler, trunk latch actuator, trunk lock assembly, various gaskets, nuts, bolts, and various brackets/small parts that were lost over the years.

You can do all of this cheap or expensive. You can shop china eBay brands or shop OEM. If you just want a DD to cruise around in, you will probably be fine going with cheap-ish parts. I did a 50/50 mixture of O'reilly parts and OEM since i wanted to save money where possible, but didn't want to skimp on the important parts. I chose O'Reilly for things like the starter and distributor because of their lifetime warranty and many locations--if i ever had a failure at the track i could find the nearest O'Reilly and get a replacement within a day. But for things like control arms, thermostat, water pump, ball joints, bushings, hoses, timing belt, gaskets, i chose OEM for quality and reliability. Don't forget, many OEM parts are now discontinued for the DA, so consider that as well when deciding on picking up an older car.

When i purchased my car i did not foresee just how much i would want to replace. If i did it all over again, i would have doubled my budget and purchased a nicer car. If you are not anal, a cheap, high mileage car might not be bad. But if you think you will be doing a semi or full restoration on it, then you will be better off saving up more cash and buying a nicer, lower mileage, example. Yes they are Hondas and are reliable for the most part, but nothing lasts forever, especially plastic & rubber parts--which are pretty much everywhere.

PS. My integra spent it's entire life as a California car, so i actually didn't encounter a single rusted or broken bolt. If anyone were trying to do this on a car that saw snowy winters--good luck is all i could say. I've already pulled out half of my hair dealing with this old honda--can't imagine a rusty old honda!
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The Prophet. (08-14-2018)
Old 08-13-2018, 04:29 PM
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don't buy anything with an automatic. why? because.

I wouldn't care about the chassis miles especially if it comes out of a dry state- as in, no rust.

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The Prophet. (08-14-2018)
Old 08-14-2018, 09:13 AM
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I feel like I'm specifically qualified to answer this thread, since I've owned a DA GS-R for the last 19 years and have 331,000 miles on her. BTW the B17 GSR model's chassis code is actually DB2.

Everything Chris Lum stated is accurate, and the list of work my car has undergone is very similar. Though in my case the engine is 100% original with no internal work, and I had to have the transmission rebuilt at 300k. Engine burns a little oil in VTEC, but cylinder compression is still 170-180 psi across the board (factory spec is 199) so I would rate the engine's current state of health as good. There are certain parts, as mentioned, that are discontinued...and that NOBODY makes replacement parts for. I'm in the process of converting my car to a non-ABS set up, as nobody sells replacement parts for several ABS components (system itself stopped working 10 years ago but I haven't removed any of the hardware yet). Window seals are another problem area. There is always going to be something or another that needs work/replacement on this car if you buy it; it's just the nature of the beast with a 25+ year old car with that kind of mileage. However, I will say that given the age of the car there is a serious wealth of knowledge online for troubleshooting issues. Odds are if you encounter a common problem for the car plenty of other people have too and a few probably talked about it online somewhere. Forums - Generation 2 Integra Club Forum is a great website. It is not frequented often, but a few of the people that check it weekly really know what they're talking about.

DA/DB Integras have some parts commonality with other Hondas, but not as much as the 92-95 Civic and 94-01 Integra. Powertrain yes, suspension not so much. I would recommend reading the following before considering a DB GS-R:


In response to Vader1's comment about paying very little for any car with 400k...what I say to that is while that's mostly true it's important to keep in mind that 2nd gen Integras were built to very very high quality standards. And the GS-R model is quite rare. Wouldn't surprise me if there are less than 2,000 still in existence. That alone warrants some added value. And they are not very complicated vehicles. There's a lot to be said for pre-OBD-2 cars. Several states exempt these cars from emissions testing. That means not worrying about failing state inspection because of some stupid sensor triggering the check engine light. Assuming rust is not a problem you can keep these cars going for a very very long time. I'm actually about to rebuilt the suspension with HPDEs in mind, and plan to start tracking my GS-R next year.
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Old 08-15-2018, 02:23 PM
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I would want that em1 si for sure. I would never want it as a dd though. That says steal me all over it
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Old 08-18-2018, 08:42 AM
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Why would you consider such a high mileage purchase? Lease a korean car for $99/month if you need something stupid cheap to drive.
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