David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
1/5/05 9:34 p.m.

Our Civic came fitted with a set of Acura Integra seats, which was both a blessing and a slight problem. Apparently a friend of the previous owner totaled his Integra, so our Civic received the Acura's seats, floor mats and hubcaps.

The front Integra seats are good looking and quite comfortable. We like them.

The problem lies with the back seat. The upper part of the seat fits fine, but the lower part left a gap, as it just didn't fit right. All of the interior upholstery matched, but the rear seat didn't look right. Plus, under strict SCCA Street Touring rules, we needed to install a Civic seat to make the car legal. (Street Touring rules do allow different front seats, so we're okay there.)

In talking to the SCCA's Solo Department, we were told that any 1992-'95 Civic hatch rear seat should be fine, as the rules allowing cosmetic changes could "explain away" the different seat fabric.

Armed with that info, we looked for a rear seat. While out searching our local U-pull-it salvage yard, Per called to say there were several Civic hatches present. We found two decent rear seats, one from an Si model and the other from a DX. The DX seat was less stinky, while its lighter color better matched our Integra front seats.

Still, the seat was greasy and a little gross, but for $17.99 our problems would be solved. We also picked up a can of Blue Coral Dri-Clean Carpet & Upholstery Cleaner and went to work: Soak the fabric with the cleaner, knead the cleaner into the upholstery with our hands, and then vacuum up the remaining foam with our shop-vac.

That $3.50 blue and white can did the trick, as our seat quickly looked nearly new--and smelled a lot better. A small squirt of a Simple Green Automotive Cleaner/Degreaser and some quick scrubbing with our finger eliminated the few tiny remaining grease spots.

While at the salvage yard, we also grabbed a new rear window. Our window isn't bad, but the tint is a mess. While we could have argued with the tint for a while while removing it, buying a complete rear window for $12.99 was certainly quicker. We needed a rear wiper arm anyway--a $2.99 part--so really the window only costs us $10. Since the move saved us some time, we don't feel bad. Plus we can probably sell our current window on eBay.

We first need to reattach one of the captive nuts that hold the passenger-side hatch strut in place, so once that's done we'll install our new rear glass. Our new Stabilus hatch struts ordered from Autohaus AZ (http://www.autohausaz.com) have already arrived, so they'll be installed along with the new rear gas. (Including Priority Mail shipping, both hatch struts costs us only $32.29.)

While at the Pull-N-Save (phone 386-255-8485), we also picked up a piece of windshield trim to replace one that is missing. We don't see the windshield trim on our receipt, so apparently it wasn't worth ringing up. (They also didn't charge us for the gearshift knob and rear badge we grabbed from a 1971 Honda Z600)

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