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Hi! Just bought a Festiva, figured I found the place to talk about it

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  • Hi! Just bought a Festiva, figured I found the place to talk about it

    Hi all,

    I've been eyeing Festivas for a long time. I'm not sure what got me into them. Maybe it was the lightweight, fun-nature along with good space and reliability that got me interested. I don't remember when it happened, but I got the bug a number of years ago. I had never really needed one though. But recently I was looking for a good commuter hatchback, something like an older Mazda 3... but then a this car came up for sale on Craigslist, and I decided to take a look.

    1991, 76K miles, 2nd owner, CA car for $1600. My wife and I drove it, and really liked it, so we decided we should just pull the trigger!

    So glad I did, we are loving it so far!

    I'll see if I can post some pics...

    https://flic.kr/p/23t4tki

    https://flic.kr/p/23t4tpB

  • #2
    Welcome to the forum.. Very nice Festiva you have there...and only 76k for $1600 You got a really good deal.
    Nellie - Yellow 90 5spd LPlus (bought '05 at 44,000 105,811 as of 01/18.)

    Trixie - Dark Charcoal 89 L Auto. Bought 06/15/13 $1800 with 89,000 miles / 95,306 as of 01/18. Power windows and swoopie power
    mirrors. Rio front, Aspire rear, 165/55 R14 Miatas. Mercury Tracer front seats. Gave Trixie to my grandson 09/22/2018.
    Rosie - Red 92 GL 5 Speed Sold to Safety Guy 07/12/2018.
    Bessie - Surf Blue '90 5spd LPlus (bought new) As of 10/2018 354K. No longer in the family.. sold to a forum member 10/20/2018

    During the last 15 years I have also owned and then sold or gave away four other Festivas.

    Comment


    • #3
      Welcome to the forum, Eric! They are great little cars, fun, simple, and reliable!!! This is the place to learn a lot about them, from bone stock to highly modified. Look up "gas hood struts in 15 minutes". It's one of the simpler and, to me, more useful mods I've found here. Have fun!!!

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      • #4

        Welcome! I really like rust free,
        Stripe kits are still available. Any color goes with silver.

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        • #5
          Thats some sweet action, wow....silver is a great color for these cars. enjoy.
          92 GL, 98k
          77 Chevy shortbed

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          • #6
            Welcome! Looks like a nice car, how long have you had it now?

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            • #7
              Thanks for the warm welcome guys! I'm loving the car so far. I've had it about two weeks. Only thing I've noticed is that it needs new front tires, which may be hard to find in stock size. I think I'll have to pony up for the Yokohamas since everything else sounds like it's crap according to what I'm reading here. It's a bit scary in the wet right now.

              The headgasket also appears to be weeping some oil unfortunately. Nothing major, but it's not ideal. The previous owner, who was a really nice guy and had two of these cars, put synthetic oil in the car out of nowhere, so I'm thinking of going back to conventional oil and see if that changes anything. Anyone have experience switching between the two in these cars? I thought it was something you did gradually, and he sort of did it out of nowhere, so that doesn't seem great...

              All told, I'm thrilled so far. Got 41 mpg on my second tank, and I love driving it!
              Last edited by CyberEric; 03-03-2018, 02:59 PM.

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              • #8
                Just put a set of Federals on mine today. At around $32/tire from jet.com. I haven't really heard anyone say anything about them but Federals are pretty well known. I wouldn't think I'd have any problem out of them. Just an option for you to think about.

                Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G890A using Tapatalk

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                • #9
                  A common, cheap and easy tire/wheel upgrade is Geo/Chevy Metro 13" wheels (from 1995 on IIRC), which gives you a large selection of actual good-quality 13" tires. Not much good is available in 12". You can mix and match 12" and 13" tires with no handling ill effects, so if you have 155/80-13s on front and the original 12s on the rear, no worries. Keep one of the old stock 12" tires in the trunk, in place of your space saver tire. I would recommend this one for a better size. Slightly wider, slightly lower sidewall profile. Pretty much the ideal all-around tire size for Festiva general driving. Only fractionally taller than a 155/80-12, so the speedo will still be accurate. It will even fit in the spare tire well, if you have five of them.

                  Head gasket or (more likely) valve cover gasket? Cheap and easy to change it out.

                  Changing to dino oil will help with the oil leakage. Just do a normal oil change, no worries. Modern synthetic is compatible with dino oil. Go with 10W-30, not 5W.
                  Last edited by TominMO; 03-03-2018, 07:06 PM.
                  90 Festy (Larry)--B6M (Matt D. modified B6 head), header, 5-speed, Capri XR2 front brakes, many other little mods
                  09 Kia Rondo--a Festy on steroids!

                  You can avoid reality, but you can't avoid the consequences of avoiding reality--Ayn Rand

                  Disaster preparedness

                  Tragedy and Hope.....Infowars.com.....The Drudge Report.....Founding Fathers.info

                  Think for yourself.....question all authority.....re-evaluate everything you think you know. Red-pill yourself!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by CyberEric View Post
                    Thanks for the warm welcome guys! I'm loving the car so far. I've had it about two weeks. Only thing I've noticed is that it needs new front tires, which may be hard to find in stock size. I think I'll have to pony up for the Yokohamas since everything else sounds like it's crap according to what I'm reading here. It's a bit scary in the wet right now.

                    The headgasket also appears to be weeping some oil unfortunately. Nothing major, but it's not ideal. The previous owner, who was a really nice guy and had two of these cars, put synthetic oil in the car out of nowhere, so I'm thinking of going back to conventional oil and see if that changes anything. Anyone have experience switching between the two in these cars? I thought it was something you did gradually, and he sort of did it out of nowhere, so that doesn't seem great...

                    All told, I'm thrilled so far. Got 41 mpg on my second tank, and I love driving it!

                    Yokohamas are just the best by far. I have never had them, driven on other brands of 12in for 11yrs. I was fine with the lesser quality and the shake. All depends what you want out of it.
                    If your willing to buy or get other rims you get tons of good tire options. I got these rims from my brother and the tires are cheap in the usa. Handles real nice!

                    And yes, where is the oil leaking from, can you take a photo showing us?

                    I have switched from dino oil to synthetic and back to dino with no issues on other vehicles but not the festiva. No need to do it gradually that im aware of. I never have.


                    Sent from my SM-G920W8 using Tapatalk

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Like Tom said, 13" Geo Metro wheels are a cheap and easy upgrade and definitely makes tire buying easier. That's what was on my car when I first got it, but then I found some vintage American Racing wheels for it. It's a silver '91 as well! Some don't like how they look, but I think they're cool.

                      Do you do your own maintenance and repairs on your vehicles?? If you do change the valve cover gasket yourself you may have clearance issues between the throttle body and rocker arms when removing the valve cover. Just turn the engine over by hand until the offending drop down and give you room.

                      A Chilton's manual is also a good thing to have, but there is a link to a PDF of a factory service manual on here somewhere.

                      festy with wheels.jpg

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Thanks everyone for the warm welcome.

                        Radi8u, I like those weheels. I'll keep my eye out for some 13" wheels, but I sort of need to move quickly as the rain is a little scary right now. I might just put the backs on the front, they look to be in better shape (fronts have inner wear from neg camber).

                        Grizzly5984, I'd love to hear how the Federals work.

                        I took another quick look yesterday (didn't have the light for photos) and the valve cover gasket looks dry. The leak appears to be coming from the head gasket or maybe even the distributor. I need to clean it to be sure. I'll take pics when I have more time.

                        I like to do my own work, but I'm in grad school so I don't have a ton of time right now.

                        Again, thanks for all the tips everyone! Happy to be here!
                        Last edited by CyberEric; 03-05-2018, 02:29 PM.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by CyberEric View Post
                          (fronts have inner wear from neg camber).

                          The leak appears to be coming from the head gasket or maybe even the distributor. I need to clean it to be sure. I'll take pics when I have more time.
                          !
                          Would have to be a fair bit of negative camber to do that. A bunch of us run -3.5 degrees and are prettymuch fine. i had -2 degrees all last summer on my daily driver and it was fine. It hardly takes any toe in however to scrub the insides of these tires very, very quickly.

                          Distributor is a common leak point. There is like a $2 O-ring that seals it and after 25yrs they dry out and leak. Super easy to change. Determine what it is first but If you need part numbers or instructions on how to replace it just search the forum or ask.

                          This is my car with -2 deg camber. I think i did 20,000km last summer and loved the difference it made in handling. Looks real goofy with 12in tires though.

                          Sent from my SM-G920W8 using Tapatalk
                          Last edited by ryanprins13; 03-05-2018, 06:51 PM.

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                          • #14
                            Whats funny is the post just below yours is a guy selling plates so you can run -5deg camber
                            You will get tire wear driving that on the street though. But from what i hear its the bees knees on the track.


                            Sent from my SM-G920W8 using Tapatalk

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                            • #15
                              It could definitely be toe. I haven't had the alignment checked yet. Yeah, I like a lot of neg camber up front on McStrut cars, used to have camber plates on an old BMW and it really woke up the handling. The picture you have is of the back though, do run higher neg camber in the back too?

                              Thanks for the tip on the distributor. Once I get things cleaned up around there, I'll have a better idea.

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