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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everyone (long love story coming)

New guy hailing from Montana with a sultry 10 degrees this morning. Wife said I should get a hobby. A little red 90 HF with 216k showed up so I snagged it. Been a CRX fan for a long time but never owned one. This car sat from 2003 to 2022. An old fellow gave it to a mechanic who put on a distributer, pump, and filter and got it running. I bought it from him sight unseen and paid too much for it (dude said only a few rust spots- there's a gaping square foot glob of rust and bondo on the right rear quarter). Nonetheless, I bit the bullet and took it home.

Mice, everywhere. The SMELL. Youtube the worst mice infested cleanup car you can find and this sucker rivals it. I threw away the carpet (3 dead mice and crap stuffed everywhere), removed all the paneling save for the doors and dash. Pulled the blower fan and found a dead mouse in it (it vibrated on high so I thought it needed a new one. Nope!). Pulled the vents and replaced the foam seals and cleaned the hell out of them. Soaked everywhere I could in enzyme cleaner. Pulled taillights and found a lovely nest there. Ran vent and duct cleaner through the air intake twice. Soaked the seats in enzyme stuff and shampooed them. Smell down about 50% but still there. Sat in car one morning bewildered as to what could possibly be left. Suddenly I hear a little scratching above my head. Pulled the headliner. Poop fell everywhere. They'd chewed away about6 inches of headliner above my head. Nasty. So cleaned that. Set 4 traps and caught 5 little bastards in about 3 days. Two weeks, no mice (fingers crossed) Ran ozone machine twice with blower running to circulate air. Smell down to about 15% and I probably have hantavirus (good Lord what did I get myself into!). Pulled door speakers and peaked in doors. Looked ok but sprayed some enzyme stuff there, too. Any tips on anything else I could have missed would be great.

I did the timing belt (Crank bolt: this pulley was old school, honda crank tool didn't work. Hit it with heavy duty electric impact to no avail. Probably hurt bearings in the process. Used some heavy duty bolts and a trampoline net bar as a breaker extension. 9 hours and almost my marriage later it gave). Did the crank and cam seals while there, too. Followed threads on tightening the belt and for the life of me I couldn't get it right until my idiot head finally understood 3 teeth "at the cam" meant that's what your watching, not what you're turning! You still turn the crank you dummy! Anyhoo, smooth as butter now. Idled low when warm so pulled and cleaned the IACV and the throttle body. Gapped the plugs properly, new NKG wires. Idle improved a bit. Mechanic dude didn't set the ignition timing so need to find me a gun for that. But it does run and drive great. Slight idle bounce sometimes but appears to be at 600 to 650 which is stock. But shakes a bit. I imagine engine mounts there. Does drop to 500 or less it appears after about 10 miles of driving but never dies. Hoping the IAVC isn't bad. Plan to take a look at the FICV next. If it's off, it's probably just a little. New blue coolant ran through 3 jugs to clean the system. I got initial foaming when I first put in some basic prestone yellow stuff to flush it a little before doing the belt and water pump. That freaked me out and it appeared there was water in the exhaust, but after a full flush with the blue stuff it appears ok and there doesn't appear to be any white smoke or water coming out anymore. Watching the oil and coolant closely but there's a good chance my head gasket is giving out :(. Car shook like crazy when getting to 50mph. New tires cured that but probably almost died running those old tires for two weeks while I waited for new tires to come in. Struts are toast so prolly going to ebay that next along with all other bushing stuff. Surprised all wheel bearings were good. Pray they never fail as I hear you can't get them anymore? Replaced hatch struts. That gave me some dopamine watching the lift gate hold itself up now.

Car has a block heater so I plug that in at night and leave the car out in the cold. Starts right up. Engine heat takes FOREVER to get the needle to move and never budges past about a 3rd of the way even after driving 14 miles to work and I can't get the engine fan to come on (but then again, it's cold here). I'm thinking the thermostat is stuck open but I also read that that's just how these HF engines are? 180 degree thermostat is on hand and will do that next. Tape deck was toast (mouse urine). $25 Walmart Bluetooth deck solved that problem. Got some tunes now. 4 new 6 inch speakers on the way and will probably put an 8 or 10 inch sub to relive my teenage grunge glory days.

So next steps are thermostat, FICV, new carpet, put all interior panels back in (waiting out the last of the smell hopefully), fresh oil in the tranny (boy are HF trannys weird - Clutch good though), adjust the valves and timing, windshield if they exist, and body work adventures. Several small rust spots on doors and rear panels but front quarters and hood and roof and bumpers are good. Never done body work so that will be fun to learn. Engine does rattle a bit when cold and I can't tell if that's valve noise but leaning on piston issue so that makes me sad because I hear you can't get pistons let alone oversized ones if you need to. But I've also heard these honda engines just do that with high miles and just run it till she dies and you'd be surprised how many more miles it will go.

Finally, thanks to all!

Poured through idle issue and timing belt threads and you all made me become an expert. This D15B6 appears solid so far and I'm looking forward to seeing what kind of mileage it pulls off. I wonder how many of these HFs are still on the road. Since the car doesn't have AC I'm getting a little crazy thinking about a way to mount an electric motor there as the crank pully does have the spot for the AC belt. I'm wondering if it's possible to put an electric motor there with it's own battery and have a sort of button to turn it on for a little electric boost for fun. Probably more work than I know how to engineer though 💁‍♀️.

If you made it this far in the mouse mansion love story, any other tips or other points of advice for the project would be great. Can't get the kids to call the car it's proper name, The Red Mosquito, they prefer mouse mansion. Damn kids. :LOL: Perhaps easiest swap if the motor goes? Other points for why it takes so long to get warm? It only bugs me because at operating temp in 15 degree weather the heat is warm but not hot so it's not the comfiest at the moment but gets the job done.
 

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Welcome to the community
Glad to hear how enthusiastic you are after that much work. Lol
I agree with replacing the water thermostat.

Is it auto transm or 5sp?

Ther is a bit more to consider when replacing the engine. Its not as easy as tossing another engine in there.
Keep researching that option though, info will be harder to find as time goes by and same goes for finding spare parts.

Btw
The Rat's Mansion sounds classy, lol

I would not be surprised if they start calling you Mickey. Lol

Keep us posted.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
It's the 5 speed. I think HFs only came in manuals. Mickey has a nice ring to it. I could see calling the car Mickey.
It feels so strange getting hit with this dissonance. I still feel like it's 2002, not 2022 so in my head I keep getting shocked at the idea that these cars are 30 years old and 30 year old cars don't have parts as available as they used to. I need to make more money so I can just put a tesla motor in it when the D15 dies. :LOL:
 

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If you need to replace the rear trailing arm bushings check out energy suspension polyurethane.

I have them on mine and the rear suspension feels solid and good feedback. Its like a gokart, in a good way.

I liked them so much I purchased them for an integra I recently sold and a RD2 CRV. And as crazy as it may sound all 3 vehicles used the same part number.

Whenever the front bushing fail, I'm getting polys for the front As well.
 

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Congratulations. I think I might have seen that car on craigslist a while back. I enjoyed reading your recap.

My daughter bought an HF last February and it became a project car for us. For all of the time and money we've put into it, we probably could have bought a nice SI. Up-front though, a cheap fixer upper is easier on cash flow and easier to get wife approval.

I don't think they make oversized pistons for the D15B6 anymore. We tried but couldn't find any. So if you ever decide to rebuild the engine, I'd recommend sourcing all of the parts first, or doing a swap.
 
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