By on February 9, 2018

TTAC commentator PandaBear writes:

Hi Sanjay, (First Sanjeev, now we’re using my brother’s name? – SM)

I have a ’97 Acura Integra RS on which my mechanic recently did a top end rebuild. The radiator got stuck closed and somehow created a vacuum in the cooling system, overheated and warped the head. Soon after the rebuild a new grinding noise started and the mechanic isolated it to a failing water pump bearing. Before the rebuild my car had a noise that I thought might be exhaust or valvetrain related, but ended up being the failing water pump. After the water pump was replaced the car is a lot quieter, and because it is a lot quieter, I’m now hearing cold start piston slap that I never heard before.

The cold start piston slap seems to remain till the engine is completely warmed up. It seems to come when the outside temperature is about 50F or lower. The car has about 260k original miles and is in OK condition, and I’ve replaced the ignition coil, radiator, axles, struts / shocks, hoses, oil pan gasket, so far so it actually drives OK for its age (kind of hard as the bushings are old). How much should I worry about the piston slap if all I care is durability of the engine? My goal is to daily drive another 5-10 years and 100k miles out of it if possible without a rebuild or an engine swap.

(Read More…)

By on January 29, 2018

1994 Acura Integra in California wrecking yard, RH front view - ©2018 Murilee Martin - The Truth About Cars
The third-generation Acura Integra went on sale for the 1994 model year and sold very well in North America. Well-built, reliable, and an immediate favorite of racers and customizers, resale values stayed up and it took a good 15-20 years before the third-gen Integra began showing up in large quantities in self-service wrecking yards; today discarded examples are plentiful.

Since the model’s junkyard numbers are beginning to decline after a few years of glut, I decided to photograph one for this series. Here’s a very typical California 1994-2001 Integra, covered in flat-black paint and showing evidence of merciless beatings during its 23 years on the road. (Read More…)

By on March 1, 2016

Ask Bark: Which Beater Should She Bet On?

New-to-TTAC reader Kobe writes:

Hi Bark,

I’ve only begun to read TTAC and your email responses are a great read, so I figured I’d give sending you a question a shot.

Two of my wife’s friends are looking for reliable, used cars. The parameters I’ve been given were $4,000 or less (as she will need to save a little for maintenance repairs I figure), a hatchback (preferably four-door), automatic, front- or all-wheel drive, and decent gas mileage. Her friend has lived around NYC most of her life, so although she has her driving license, she has rarely driven.

Now, I went about scrolling through all the makes and models that are listed on Autotrader and came up with this possible list:

(Read More…)

By on March 16, 2015

Acura_Integra_Type_R_eBay_1426492742

If you’re looking to make money in classic cars, the air-cooled Porsche 911s are what finance types would call a “crowded trade”. Everyone and their mother wants one, no matter how awful or over-priced. Time to turn your attention towards something not so overvalued.

(Read More…)

By on June 21, 2013

Integra1998

Derek writes:

Where do you find a clean, unmolested Integra Type-R in Toronto? In somebody else’s driveway.

(Read More…)

By on March 1, 2013

It’s hard to swallow the fact that the above photograph of me perched on the hood of my father’s Integra GS-R, one of the all-time great Acura products, is now nearly 20 years old. I can’t even remember the last time I saw an Integra on the road. Most of those cars have been crashed, stolen, rusted out or some combination of all three. There is nothing remotely close to the three-door VTEC hatchback in Acura’s lineup right now – and if you ask some people, that’s exactly why Acura is in its current predicament.

(Read More…)

By on November 28, 2012

So I’ve still got an Integra GS-R engine sitting in my garage, waiting to be swapped into my hooptie ’92 Civic DX— because the fifth-gen Civic, with its ease of parts-swapping and galaxy of aftermarket stuff, is to the present day what the ’55 Chevy was to the 1970s— and when that happens I’ll need better brakes, right? Problem is, whenever a third-gen Acura Integra (which was a fifth-gen Civic with luxury and performance upgrades) shows up at a cheap self-service junkyard, it gets picked clean faster than just about anything this side of a Toyota Land Cruiser. It’s much like a ’55 Chevy owner in 1974, discovering an intact 396/4-speed Caprice 20 minutes after the car hit the yard at the U-Yank-It. When I found an intact ’94 Integra while on a Junkyard Find photo expedition at the Denver yard near my place, I knew I had to work fast. (Read More…)

By on June 26, 2012

Like Lexus and Infiniti, Acura launched with two models, a bespoke flagship sedan and a smaller car based on an existing mainstream model. Unlike the Lexus ES 250 and the Infiniti M30, though, the Acura Integra received rave reviews. The Integra was discontinued for 2002 as part of Acura’s failed upmarket push. The Civic-based Integra sedan’s slot was sort of filled with the larger, heavier European Accord-based TSX. The 2004 TSX was a good car, but it was no Integra, and the model gained additional inches and pounds with a 2009 redesign. For 2013 Acura returns to its original playbook with a Civic-based four-door model. They’re not yet ready to officially admit the stupidity of going alphanumeric, so the new car is unfortunately appellated the ILX.

(Read More…)

By on March 23, 2011


Those of you who follow 24 Hours of LeMons racing know the tale of the One Lap Integra, an Integra GS-R that got knocked down to LeMons price range because it had been rolled into a ball by a leadfooted previous owner. The car was hopeless, but the 170-horse B18C1 engine and transmission are in good shape… and now I’ve bought them for my beater ’92 Civic DX. (Read More…)

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