ECM stolen! 1994 Civic EX KA5MT

Discussion in 'Civic' started by abeness, Mar 20, 2011.

  1. abeness

    abeness Guest

    I can hardly believe it. 1994 Civic EX, 17 years old, and a professional
    thief hit it. Stole the aftermarket stereo (who cares!) but then my wife
    tried to start the car and couldn't. I got down there and found the ECM
    was gone, gone, GONE. Dude just unplugged it, though, from the looks of
    it--all connectors appear intact, and it appears he/she even left the bolts.

    Killer is that I was planning to sell it within a month. Great car, runs
    great, and would be happy to drive it into the ground if it fit three
    car seats. I even recently replaced the timing belt, water pump, and
    front brake rotors.

    So the question is: a new ECM from e.g. Majestic is about $521. I
    imagine I could pull one in a junkyard, but don't have the time to do
    it. I found one from for $200, but I
    wonder if it's legit. Has anyone used one from these guys? Other leads?
    I figure I could post it as-is on Craig's list, but it would be nicer to
    sell a car that runs. Thoughts?

    Next question: I have the service manual, but I'll be darned if I can
    find info about replacing the ECM. Its location is noted in the
    Electrical section, but I don't see it listed in the section index.
    Could someone point me to the page? Do I simply pop a replacement in, or
    is there an initialization sequence?

    Thanks, folks.

    abeness, Mar 20, 2011
  2. abeness

    abeness Guest

    I also found a post that pointed me to , which looks
    useful as a salvage part clearing house.

    BUT: Just got off the phone with someone who was told that once you have
    the part, you have to take it to the dealership to have it programmed
    for your vehicle. Is that the case for a 1994 Civic? Meaning, if I take
    a part #37820-P28-A02 ECM from another 1992-95 Civic and pop it into
    mine, it won't work "out of the box"?

    I know this isn't a part that often fails, so if anyone has info on this
    I'd love to hear it.

    Back to googling... ;-)

    abeness, Mar 21, 2011
  3. abeness

    Tegger Guest

    It's plug-and-play. No worries.

    I've even found that an automatic ECU will usually work in a manual car,
    but not the other way around. But such a mismatched ECU will result in a
    permanent Check Engine light, since the computer is looking for
    transmission sensors which aren't there.

    Doesn't often fail, but appears to be frequently stolen, probabl yon
    account of how easy they are to reach. My impression is that thefts have
    declined over the years as fewer and fewer of these cars remain on the
    Tegger, Mar 21, 2011
  4. abeness

    abeness Guest

    Guess not in Brooklyn... ;-) I must've been lucky all these years.

    Thanks, Tegger. You (and your site) were very helpful when I first
    started working on this vehicle, and here you are again. Always good to
    know there's a nice crew of Honda users right over here. Perhaps one day
    I'll have another Honda (this one's too small to fit three car seats,
    and I'm not ready for another vehicle right now). Sure have loved this car!
    abeness, Mar 21, 2011
  5. abeness

    Elle Guest

    I remember using a few years ago. Wrecking yards across
    the country use it to list parts rather exactingly. The names and
    contact info come up when one does a search there. I called a number
    of junkyards at the time and all seemed legitimate.

    Try also . I bought a pulley from them
    sometime in the last seven years and was pleased with the used part,
    service, and price.

    The guys at change ECUs out all the time.
    Elle, Mar 22, 2011
  6. abeness

    Tegger Guest

    Glad to help.

    Less and less involvement from me, though. The site is growing gradually
    more and more outdated, as I've had less and less time to do much more than
    answer quick questions here and there.

    Usenet in general is dying; it doesn't attract nearly the audience it once
    Tegger, Mar 23, 2011
  7. abeness

    abeness Guest

    Thanks, Elle. Nice to see you still here. I ordered one from a yard in
    MO for $95 shipped. Hard to beat THAT price! Now I just hope that the
    traffic cops here are kind. We have alternate side parking regs that
    mean we have to move the car several times a week for street cleaning,
    and the part won't be here till Fri or Mon (depending on how lazy our
    UPS guy is feeling). So far so good.

    I gotta say, that salvage yards are putting parts online is rather
    amazing. Makes perfect sense, of course.
    abeness, Mar 23, 2011
  8. abeness

    abeness Guest

    Yeah, it's pretty sad. I hadn't noticed just how sparse the posting has
    been here in past months. Another board I frequent is practically dead,
    too, though that's in large part because the software it concerns hasn't
    been updated in almost 10 years. It's only "old-timers" that know about
    NNTP these days, and its port was off by default on my school's firewall.

    Personally, I despise the web-based boards a-la phpBB and the like.
    Though they have some advantages, I'm of the old-school, preferring
    clean, plain-text Internet communication. Heck, I read my email in
    monospaced Courier most of the time...

    So what are the successors to this board?, which Elle
    mentioned? What else? Ultimately I'm just curious, since I won't have a
    car soon.
    abeness, Mar 24, 2011
  9. abeness

    Tegger Guest

    My big problem with Web is that all the Web boards I've tried or looked at
    have an extremely high glitz-to-information ratio. By that I mean messages
    occupy 10% of the screen, and images, smileys, flashy ads, and white space
    occupy the other 90%.

    I've lurked in It's an appalling hodgepodge of ricers,
    aftermarket junkies, clueless newbies, near-illiterates, me-too'ers,
    halitosis-sufferers, voluntary shut-ins, Walmart shoppers, flood-pants-
    wearers, navel-noodlers, people who refuse to move to the rear of the bus
    as others get on, and other unfortunates. And it's typical of /all/ Web
    boards. Maybe I'm too old, but I just can't take to it. If Web-board
    software at least had THREADING and a killfile, I might change my mind.

    But then again, most of those aformentioned defectives used to inhabit
    Usenet before they deserted for the glitter of Web boards, so I guess I'm
    not missing much...

    And staying that way?
    Tegger, Mar 24, 2011
  10. abeness

    Elle Guest

    It seems to be working, business-wise, so it sure is a boon for
    hobbyists without a good set of wrecking yards near their homes. Good
    to have your preliminary report.

    Contrary to Tegger's opinion, I think honda-tech is better than the
    usenet car groups. Just the pictorial DIY reports that many hobbyists
    post all by themselves are invaluable. I am picking up all sorts of
    good anecdotal reports on the 01-05 Civic generation that alert me to
    possible problems. The mods there do a good job of making it a useful
    web site. The ad content is low in my opinion.
    Elle, Mar 27, 2011
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