The New 1992 Integra GS Sedan 5-Speed, Part 2: Drive Home & Initial Cleanup

Odometer (Legend):  560,985

Alas, my adventure from the purchase of this 71,215-mile Integra was not over yet.  This new (old) Integra GS wasn’t quite ready to break free from the cobwebs of long term storage:  Just as I started getting comfortable on my return trip to Phoenix, roughly 100 miles into my trip, the motor started cutting out intermittently on the interstate.

At first it didn’t interfere with my ability to keep momentum, but eventually, even with my foot on the accelerator at full engagement, I was dropping speed – and quickly.  I was about 20 miles north of Las Vegas on I-15, in about 100 degree temperatures, on the shoulder.

I was able to re-start the car a couple of times and limp along southbound in the emergency line, but meanwhile I was doing my research and figuring out next steps.  I HAD to get back to Phoenix somehow that night, still over 300 miles away, for important work meetings the following day.

So, was my best option to tow the Integra home somehow, rent another car, or try and catch a flight out of Vegas?  I got the car to a Love’s gas station and bought a bottled water while waiting for a neon green tow truck, so I had a few minutes to do my research and collect my thoughts.  Look at this call history!

Not how I thought the day would go!

What I discovered was that rental car agencies are not friendly to work with on the phone – and that’s if you can even get someone on the phone at all.  Many were closed at 6:00 p.m.  One wanted to charge me a $300 one-way drop-off fee if I picked up a car in Vegas and drove it to Phoenix.  Another refused to rent to me at all without a round trip flight ticket.  WTH?  I met one slammed door after another.

Southwest Airlines came through for me.  Luckily, there are about 8 departures per day between LAS & PHX.  I was able to snag a seat on the last flight out for the day – departing around 10:30 p.m. – and make my way to the airport after leaving the Integra at the Acura dealership on Sahara Avenue.  My nerves were shot when I got home around midnight.  But by gosh by golly, I made it to those work meetings.

Description of the problem that I wrote on the envelope with the key when I night-dropped the car.

Flying home!

Meanwhile, the Integra GS sat for a week at the dealership, 300 miles away from my home.  Its diagnosis?  A bad fuel pump and a leaking fuel filler line, which of course was discontinued.  It’s a good thing I have friends in high places.  My friend Hy found a used part on Ebay which I promptly ordered and had shipped to the dealership.

I received word on Tuesday that the part had arrived and would work, then awaited an ETA on the car’s roadworthiness.  On Wednesday, I learned they had the wrong fuel pump and a new one would be arriving the next day.  Thursday, they got the right part.  And Friday, it was tested and confirmed good.

After what seemed like forever, I was able to fly back to Las Vegas and retrieve the car.  I took a 7:05 a.m. flight on Southwest on Saturday (really racking up those Rapid Rewards loyalty points!) and was on the ground a little after 8:00, picked up by my friend Dane in his Lincoln – Starbucks in hand for me.  Bless his heart.

We headed directly to the dealership on Sahara and I met up with a friend who works there, Louie, as well as my service advisor, Mitch.  It was a relief to (again) be heading out in my new car and I was optimistic about this latest fix taking care of the issues.  I grabbed breakfast with my Dane and Brandon at the Egg & I before hitting the road.


And smooth sailing it was – I kept things really easy on the car, low RPM, easy acceleration, kind of holding my breath that nothing else would happen in the 300 miles that remained.  When I finally got to my house at 3:00 p.m., I breathed a sigh of relief.

So here’s how the overall purchase timeline worked out.

  • April 27:  Notified of the car being for sale by Jeff
  • April 30:  Cody test drove
  • May 1:  Made offer, which was accepted, booked flight
  • May 2:  Scheduled 90k maintenance with Honda dealer
  • May 7:  Flew to Utah
  • May 8:  Picked up car, had maintenance, started driving home, broke down, towed to dealer
  • May 9:  Identified issue
  • May 10:  Found discontinued / used part, ordered on Ebay
  • May 15:  Part arrived
  • May 16:  Notified of incorrect fuel pump
  • May 17:  New pump installed
  • May 18:  Fuel system passed testing
  • May 19:  Returned to Las Vegas & drove the car home

After getting the car home, I spent dug in and started getting things cleaned up in the same fashion that I did it with my LS.  In fact, it was deja vu.  (I just spent 5 minutes looking at the etymology of that phrase.  Turns out it’s French, and it means “already seen.”  You’re welcome!).  Even the local emissions check station agents looked at me a little funny as I arrived in a new Integra.  “Weren’t you already here?” they asked me.  “Where do you keep finding these cars?!” was the next question.

So here I am, one Integra sold, one purchased, and taking a break from running a used car dealership for a little while now.    Here are a few episodes on YouTube for your viewing pleasure.  Get lots of popcorn ready.

Part 2:   Transport Home

Part 3:  Cleanup

Part 4:  Engine Cleaning

Home and part of the family!

That front plate was the first thing to go.

And of course – the next day – a few pics in the backyard.

Engine bay – before

Engine bay – after

Thanks for following along on yet another of my crazy automotive adventures!

28 Responses to “The New 1992 Integra GS Sedan 5-Speed, Part 2: Drive Home & Initial Cleanup”

  1. Wow. What a mission!

    • What can I say? I was determined to make it happen! And I don’t regret it. All part of the experience with this crazy hobby. Hope you’ve had a great weekend, Carlos!

  2. Quite the saga! Do you think crud in the fuel tank from that lost decade might have broken loose and taken out the pump? At least the story had a happy ending. Nice work on the detailing — the car looks great!

    • That was kind of my thought re: bad gas in the tank. It could also be something like the 26 y/o pump overheating due to a rare extended highway drive – considering the car probably hadn’t been driven at freeway speed for > 1 hour in the better part of a decade. Who knows. Good news is I’m back up and running!

  3. Joshua L Says:

    I’m glad that your Integra GS Sedan got run better with new fuel pump and fuel filter. I did watched the few videos that you cleaned outside of Integra GS Sedan and engine. I like when you always clean outside and inside of your car at home. Your Integra GS Sedan looks brand new, I love it. I hope you have a great weekend. 🙂

    • Thanks Josh! I am glad you enjoy the videos. It’s a lot of work to get my cars cleaned up when I first buy them, but then it becomes sort of easy to keep them clean. I injured my hands in a couple of places trying to reach into certain areas in the engine bay, but it was worth it. I hope you had a great weekend as well.

  4. Not exactly what you want to have happen on your drive home, but pleased that you managed to get the car repaired and eventually home to your garage. With a little bit of elbow grease, you’ve managed to get the car looking showroom-fresh! Any ideas what kind of replacement tyres you’ll put on the car?

    • I’m not yet sure on tires – that is definitely a priority. I need to see what brands are available for that size. I’ve heard a few people say that 14″ tires are sort of difficult to come by nowadays. I’m a Michelin guy so that is my preference, but I found some cheaper ones for the GS-R a couple of years ago (something like $44 each). For as much (or as little) as this Integra GS will get driven, those might do the trick just fine… We shall see!

  5. Glad you got it home! What a trip huh!?

  6. Great post, Tyson. What an adventure! First of all, I smiled when “Vogue” came on the radio- THE song of my middle school’s 8th grade dance. Also, I had a sun shade very similar to that one in my first car, a gift from my grandmom.

    The auto detailing came out great. I’ll be eager to see what the future has in store for this new ‘Teg. Aside from tires, what else do you think you’ll need to address, mechanically, for the car?

    • I’m definitely saving that sun shade with the sunglasses on it. And love me some Madonna of course! I was playing from my 15,000 song iPod “Classic” with 80 gigs of stuff on it. As far as mechanicals on the GS, I am a little concerned with driving the car much during this hot Arizona summer before getting all the belts and hoses evaluated by Hon-Man. I also don’t know how old the radiator is. So first order of business will be a full inspection by them. Other than that, it really drives great and has cold A/C. I’m very happy!

  7. Chris Miller Says:

    I would’ve had stomach and colon issues for a month. Keep this one around so I can drive it.

    • Planning on hanging onto this one for a while. Between the car, maintenance, and travel, I’m into it over $6,000. I’ll never make my money back on it. Haha. But I’ve never been into this hobby as a money maker.

  8. So I’m reading this “Odyssey” of yours and inexplicably this quote from “A Take of Two Cities’ comes to mind “it was the best of times it was the worst of times.”

    LOL… suddenly I realize your life is becoming a Charles Dickens novel! All I can say is I can’t wait to see the movie. 😉

    BTW speaking of friends in high places someone from Acura should have stepped up and given you an NSX as a loaner to get home. Hear that Acura couldn’t help a brother out!?

    Enjoying the vids… Deja Vu indeed!

    • Thanks Hy! Glad you had a chance to check the GS out and in the coming weeks I’d like to start playing around with some of the Zaino products you gave me. The hood has some swirling on it and there are some scratches on the right rear quarter panel that I think will come out with some of the polish. I also love that Gloss Enhancer. Just getting back into town from a 1,000 mile Utah trip in the Legend coupe so that one needs some cleanup too. Never a dull moment around here. Hope your weekend went well!

  9. Brad brought up a good point – I hope the dealer cleaned out the fuel tank before installing new pump . . . that’d suck DOUBLE if leftover debris kills a brand new fuel pump. Here’s to 71K more miles of low maintenance life!

    • Yeah agreed! 71k was not a very long lifespan for a fuel pump. My coupe’s lasted 399,000 before kicking the bucket. Hoping for a pretty trouble-free experience with this one for a while yet.

  10. autoscribe1974 Says:

    “This car just has too much flair on it.” LOL!
    Epic and stomach-churning adventures, as usual, Tyson.
    We enjoy coming along for the ride.

    • I’m glad to have you (and everyone else) along, Mark! Thanks for reading and watching. Lol – flair. The car with all the worst flair was my 1989 Prelude Si. Four fog lamps, chrome rocker panels, big chrome wheels, massive trunk spoiler, moonroof visor, half bra…. it just had far too much going on overall. I was a teenager. I hope my sense of style has improved a little 🙂

  11. Stl_Dave Says:

    And another Hugie Adventure® in the books! Hey, at least you already have touch up paint for the new ride, which I’m sure helps to balance out the extra $$ to get this one home…!

    • Haha, you’re a “glass half full” kinda guy! And yes – already put that Torino Red touch-up paint to use! Time to drive the car and enjoy it. I’m thinking of entering it in the 80s-90s Radwood show in LA later this year as its first debut into the show circuit.

  12. What a wild ride for both of those Integras! Certainly spices up the history books of Tyson. Glad it all worked out in the end. Still amazed of the condition of the GS. Good thing Max made room in her garage to keep things preserved. Now I need to get out to PHX again to drive that bad boy!

    • This car basically had a cocoon in Maxine’s garage. Based on some of the scratches on the doors and other surfaces, I’m pretty sure she stored belongings on top of and around it, haha. But that’s nothing a little swirl remover won’t remedy! Definitely keep me posted if and when your travels bring you out this way.

  13. Well, it’s never fun to spend even more time and money than you expect, but sometimes the journey can at least make for a good story later. Glad you got it home!

    My E46 M3’s fuel pump died in DC on a Saturday night. I’d driven in for a friend’s birthday dinner and the car stumbled/stalled a few times, but I thought I was just distracted and fumbling the clutch. On the way back home, it died in the middle of Thomas Circle at midnight… a very busy traffic circle in the heart of Northwest DC! Some kind people helped push me off to the side of the street and I made it home 90 minutes and two tow trucks later. First truck said the car was “too low to fit” and second truck said the first guy was just lazy, hah.

    It’s only money and you can always make more of it 😛 Will this sedan get some miles put on like the GS-R seems to be seeing lately?

    • Haha, I like your perspective and positive attitude. Sheesh, first tow truck driver does sound pretty lazy. I was lucky in this case to not be stuck in the middle of a busy area. To the contrary, I was in a pretty remote stretch of interstate and I was lucky there was even cell service. I’m not sure how much I’ll end up driving the GS – its tires are very old but since my “project car” budget is shot, those will have to wait for a few months. If you could just funnel some of the proceeds from that 560 auction over here, that would be grrrreeeeeeattttt. 😉

  14. Man Acura used o make good looking cars. I just haven’t liked any of their modern designs.

    Glad you got it home!

    • Thanks Alex! Glad I made it home too, and I agree with you that the designs of this era have aged well. Which is why people do a double-take when they see that it’s wearing Historic tags!

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