So I've made the commitment to fix up my 1988 CRX Si. I just can't bear to part with it - still super fun to drive, still gets 33MPG. And it's paid for!
I'm thinking of restoring to factory new condition. Keeping it stock. Restoring it to its original magnificence. Is this even possible? Help me out here folks, if you will!
This is a long post, and pretty much every part of the car needs a little work, so read on if you dare - any bit of advice you can offer would be appreciated. Thanks!
I had some front end wobble developing, so I put new Fulda Assuros on the front, which mostly fixed the problem... love those tires. Not quite as much as those Yokohamas they stopped making for it, but pretty darn good. I've seen them on other CRXes out there, anybody else have a favorite tire that's both sticky and long-wearing like these? By the time I get done with this project I'll probably need a whole new set lol. At least tires are relatively inexpensive with those 14" rims!
I'm going to get an alignment also, but I suspect I may have a CV joint or some other issue like a bearing happening. I should probably have that looked at first before the alignement, yes? There's still a little bit of wobble on occasion, but the new front tires haven't "bit" yet, so it's really hard to tell. The other thing is that I had new front struts put on 30,000 miles ago, and I noticed that the front tires wore out on the inside edges. Some canter/toe issue here? Any advice on this one? Maybe they put on the wrong thing for this car?
The rear suspension is special in the 88 CRX Si. Anything I need to do to tune up the suspension and restore it to factory condition? New struts perhaps?
Had the catalytic converter replaced last year to pass smog. Muffler looks ok. Still has those corny stainless dual tips
She just turned 200,000 miles. I've been doing regular oil changes and using full synthetic for a while now. Do you think synthetic is still the way to go on this high-mileage CRX? Enquiring minds want to know
I was going to bring her in for a tune-up - can't remember when the timing belt was replaced last. I understand this is the most important item to make sure I get done. Then the water pump? Is that right? Any other tips on what to have the mechanic check out at that time would also be appreciated. Perhaps a compression test? At what point would you say a rebuild is in order? Or just new head gaskets? etc.? What else can I easily do to prop up the performance of this little engine, but remain fully stock?
The one thing that was added as an aftermarket addition was cruise control, which I loved, until it stopped working a few years ago. Any advice?
Oh and this is at least the second stereo that has crapped out or been stolen. I was thinking of doing Sony again (maybe CDX-GT310?) since Sony's what's in there now and so the wiring harness maybe wouldn't have to be changed, with Polk speakers (I like those). It's 6.5" in the front and rear both, right? Or did the rear speaker installation have some latitude? How do I get the rear strut speaker grilles of to have a look?
At some point I had a mild front-end collision and needed a radiator replacement. At that time we decided that the A/C was leaking and wasn't worth fixing, so we disconnected it. But now I see used A/C units complete on here for cheap. What are the chances of getting this working again? Is it worth it?
Speaking of heating and cooling, like so many CRXes, the climate control panel is broken and the temperature knob is screwy and I have to baby it to get it to work. I've seen a few climate control panels on here, but they do seem rare. Is it worth hunting one down and putting in a new heater core to get some heat going in this puppy? I live in sunny CA, for me heat is mostly optional, but my girlfriend doesn't seem to think so
As for the body, I've got someone sending me a sunroof assembly to fix that problem. Then I'm still looking for corner lenses - one is broken. One of the projection headlights has what looks like serious road gravel or BB gun impact damage, although you can't see it during the day, only at night with the headlights on. I should probably buy lenses and lights in pairs so they match, eh? I've heard fit can vary widely if they're not stock parts here.
I have a few dings in the hood from years back - can they be banged out or would it be better to fill them? The carbon fiber hood solution has been suggested, but doesn't really seem in the spirit of the stock restoration... Two small dimples, you don't want to know how that happened... in my younger days, as the song goes...
The door on the driver's side suffered an impact at some point. It's in not so good shape. Can I find a used one to put on that might be easier and better, just swapping the internal elements? The window is scratched from the crappy body shop repair, a whole new door might be the way to go here.
I do have a few patches of rust. Not too bad though. The hood and roof are down to the primer, and there are some scratches throughout. There is a bubble developing along the windshield I understand a grinder and bondo are the thing for this? I saw at Honda they still have some body panels available, it would just be the rear driver's side, but that sounds like a real freaking pain in the ass to change out a body panel. Six of one, half dozen of the other? Probably about the same cost, since I won't be doing the body work myself... but what's better? Maybe I should learn? Seems like the old panel may fit better, eh?
Then I was thinking of having the whole thing repainted black, perhaps with an irridescent topcoat, like the native Brewer's Blackbird... then naming her Blackbird. Any advice on what to look for in a paint job? Is enamel the best? What's quality paint going to run me? I hear irridescent topcoat is pricey.
And what about all of those aluminium pieces that were anodized black and have worn away? Like the windshield wipers, the top part of the door window trim, the top part of the hatch? What can be done about that?
For the interior I was considering replacing the seats and carpet, which I can get. I'm missing the lock for the storage tray in back (broken into once, they just pulled it out). The headliner on the sunroof should come with the new sunroof unit, but the visors are starting to sag. Also the rear compartment cover pieces are in sad shape, and of course, I haven't had struts on my hatch working in years lol. Any advice on good replacement struts? Like ones that will last longer than a year?
Lastly I need one plastic cap for the stock 7 teardrop Si alloy rims. They still have them at Honda, but I'm hoping I won't have to pay the nearly $50 they want for this little piece of plastic lol. I might be able to just get a whole new set of these rims, that I love dearly, for around $200... I've seen them around. Any advantage to keeping the original and slightly dinged up rims?
So this should keep me busy until I get rich and can fly to Britain and buy a 3 door Civic Type R and ferry it over, or they start selling those here