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Birthday me decide!

4292 Views 10 Replies 8 Participants Last post by  progress
My birthday is coming up in late June, and I'm trying to decide what to ask for from my parents and grandparents. Obviously, it's all going to be rex-related, but my parents don't know much about cars, so I need to point them in the right direction. Basically, I'm trying to find reputable locations from which to buy parts, determine which brands are worth consideration, and find some decent prices. I have a stock '91 Si that needs tension adjustment on the alternator belt and new calipers, pads, and rotors in the rear. Here's what I'm thinking:

1) Factory Service Manual. From what I've heard, this is a necessity if I plan on personally maintaining a project car. I found one here for $62 that seems to have what I'm looking for:


Is Helms a reliable distributor, and is this a good price for a manual? Is there another site that I should consider?

2) Tool kit: Obviously, I can't work on my car if I don't have any tools. Presently, I'm limited to a hammer, a tape measure, 4 flathead screwdrivers, some vise-grip locking pliers, and 6" joint pliers. Any recommendations concerning brand, price, and location for a decent tool kit? Would this:


or this:


suffice? I've read "Kwicko's Honda Toobox" over on the Resource several times; should I try to get all of that stuff at once, or piece it together over time? Also, I don't have an jackstands; are these an immediate necessity, or can I rely on the car jack for now?

3) My rear brakes are crapped out. As I've mentioned before, there's a horrendnous squeaking sound from the right rear wheel well that seems to get worse every time I drive the car. The rear calipers are badly rusted, and I think the pads are worn down. I also think my front rotors are warped because the steering wheel shakes when I apply the brakes at high speeds. I'll probably go for OEM calipers, but while I'm replacing pads and rotors, I'd like to upgrade to something more performance-oriented. Any recommendations for upgraded pads and rotors that won't break the bank? Is it ok to fix the rear and leave the front rotors until I have more money?

Please bear in mind: there's no way that I'll be able to get all of this for my birthday, but I'm getting a job this summer, so I hope to get most of it by the end of the summer. If you had to prioritize the above in order of importance, how would you do it? I apologize for the torrent questions, but I'm trying to form a "plan of attack", if you will, to get the CRX back up and running in good condiiton. Thanks in advance!
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1) Helms is a reliable distributor... I don't of anywhere else where you can get it except maybe from the Honda dealer...not sure.

2) Get a decent metric wrench and socket kit. You can probably pick one up at any hardware store. On honda's, you usually need sockets and wrenches from 8mm up to 21mm

3) You can do the rear brakes and leave the fronts for later. What you can't do is one side of the car and not the other....that's dangerous. For your rear brakes, look into getting some Brembo blank rotors and some Hawk HPS or Porterfield R4-S pads. That'll give you some good bite on the rear brakes. Rear brakes don't account for a lot of your stopping power, but they do account for a lot of the brake stability. (ie: less nose diving when braking).
Stickershop nailed it... especially with the brakes part.

There are tons of road-racers out there that win consistantly, all with stock brakes. Obviously they're not using OEM rotors and pads....but they're not too far off. Since the car is daily driven and you do want to add a little bit of performance...I'd go with nothing but Brembo blanks and Hawk HPS pads.

They won't break the bank either! :D
Thanks guys, I really appreciate the suggestions. While looking through a few performance parts sites, I noticed that brake-line kits often appear next to rotors and pads. Is it necessary to replace my brake lines if I'm upgrading other parts of the braking system?

Stickershop, how did you change the URL's to "CLICK HERE"? I tried to put the URL's inside tags in the original post, but nothing happend.
Thepeug said:
Stickershop, how did you change the URL's to "CLICK HERE"? I tried to put the URL's inside tags in the original post, but nothing happend.
Actually, I did that. You do it like this: CLICK HERE
Cool, thanks. I'll do that from now on.
As for a shop manual, go HERE and download one. :D

I use this all the time when im working on mine.

As for tools I have the metric set of THIS. I picked mine up for $30 about a year ago and its great, nice lifetime warranty too.

I would suggest getting a metric wrench set, 8mm- 19mm. I would get doubles on all the size wrenches, in these sizes 10mm 12mm 14mm 15mm 17mm.
Thanks krix, I really like that kit. I know Craftsmen makes good stuff, and it's not too expensive, either. I'll keep that one in mind.
The best part about Craftsman is it's lifetime warranty from Sears. I'll bet I've broken hundreds of dollars worth of Craftsman tools in my day, only to have them all replaced for free!
I got big into the snap-on kick when i was enployed at a garage.. . the truck driver usually let you get what ever you wanted off of the truck and you would pay 20 weekly.... well thats a good deal and all but 120.00 for a 8 pc. screwderiver set is a little high... but hey i was young and dumb and bought them anyway. i do love the quality but once you are no longer in the garage scene as a pert of everyday work it makes replacement of broken tools hard as you have to chase the truck down to its next stop... where you can go over to sears anytime and get a no hassle replacement

When you pass a garage/yard sale, take a quick look to see if they have any Craftsman hand tools for sale. Usually they'll go for a buck or two, or even pennies if you're lucky. Buy them even if they are rusty and beat up cuz you can always take them to Sears a get a free replacement for it. My dad told me about this after I saw him rummaging through a box of hand tools at a yard sale once.

As for the manual, get the Helms...I've used my PDF version of it many many times since I got my CRX in mid January '05.

Can't say much about brakes, I'm still running stock.

Good luck! Now you've got me thinking what I would like for Father's Day and my birthday!
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