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1991 Honda Civic CR-X b18c
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
hello everyone! i am new here to the community and car modification in general! i’m a college student studying fashion design and photography. i recently purchased truthfully my first car all on my own. i’ve had several before this under my parents. ‘97 Cavalier > ‘06 nissan altima, ‘14 Civic > 16 Lexus is350 f sport > and now my very own CRX!

i’ve had friends who have always been good at the skill sets needed to modify your own vehicle. skills like welding and in general they just seemed to “know” about cars. they would help me change my oil occasionally and tell me when it felt like my rotors were warped. and i admire and thank them for that immensely. but i always felt like “damn, i should learn how to do that” but it always felt daunting and too far ahead for me to ever catch up.

my three dream cars have always been the porche 964, bmw e30, and the honda crx. if i’m being honest, it was the supra first, but i felt like liking the supra was the “cool” thing to do and i like underground artist that you’ve never heard of, if you catch what i mean. so i went crx, and now, I OWN ONE!

i’ve been up and down these forums and HT and all over the internet researching for what i’m going to do with my little machine. already fixing some issues and have modification parts on the way and all that’s left is getting in there and doing it.

more specifics on the car:
1991 CRX USDM base chassis in white with blue interior
stock everything inside minus the seats. it is in amazingly great shape. all door trim and fittings still attached and functional. no door damage from seatbelt. trunk “lid” still in tact and carpeted. and even the spare tire and jack. all working dash lights and gauges. and even a fully in tact even lights up temperature control unit. the ONLY thing missing is the stock radio. but that’s it! lucky me!
and for the engine:
b18c3 dohc vtec
from what i can see there’s been an AC delete, and a few other things cleaned out of the engine bay. the vtec wasn’t engaging, which i used to drive the price down during negotiations. but i already ordered the appropriate ECU. and i found a guy with a full 91 crx ac system i can take for $450. so i’ll be able to drive in the heat soon!
exterior is as good as a 30 year old car can get. all parts still attached faded trim and chipped paint on some trim parts, tiny bit of body rust on the rear drive side fender. but other then that. it’s just an old car. AMR engineering suspension is on the way. as is a few other suspension pieces. upper control arms and the sort.

anyway. i got carried away. if you read all that, kudos to you. we’re friends now. haha thanks for welcoming me here everyone. i’ll post pictures of my crx on here!
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Pretty nice little car with some extra bits added to it.
That b18c3 is a replacement motor from Honda for the Asian market, it's essentially a GSR motor which uses a P72 Ecu.
I also noticed the Personal box and cig lighter, which tells me someone sourced those specifically because they are from a Japanese market car. The personal box I believe was a JDM piece, and the cig lighter and that box are opposite of what you would find in the US market. US market cig lighter would be on the right side, not the left, as yours is.

For not being a "car person" you speak surprisingly better and seem more knowledgeable than most of the Honda fan boys that think they know what they are talking about!
 

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1991 Honda Civic CR-X b18c
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
[QUOTE="For not being a "car person" you speak surprisingly better and seem more knowledgeable than most of the Honda fan boys that think they know what they are talking about!
[/QUOTE]

haha thank you, i appreciate the compliment. i don’t quite yet know my way around an engine and could not be able to tell you the slight difference a new map for the ecu made. but! im eager to learn and love the feeling of accomplishment when i finish even the smallest task or research for this project car. when i was able to explain to someone the difference between the b18 in my crx and the original d series that was probably in there, very proud moment. haha
 

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You might want to check out the front/passenger suspension components. The wheel is considerably rearward in the wheel well. Does the car have an aftermarket front crossmember? If so, the radius rod may be set to be too long. Or it's been in an accident.

Also...I see that the engine has been converted to run a coil-on-plug setup. I doubt that a stock ECU is going to properly work with that. Usually a piggy-back ECU setup (like Hondata) is required to operate the COP. (Or at the very least, some sort of "chip" modification to the ECU.
 

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1991 Honda Civic CR-X b18c
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
You might want to check out the front/passenger suspension components. The wheel is considerably rearward in the wheel well. Does the car have an aftermarket front crossmember? If so, the radius rod may be set to be too long. Or it's been in an accident.

Also...I see that the engine has been converted to run a coil-on-plug setup. I doubt that a stock ECU is going to properly work with that. Usually a piggy-back ECU setup (like Hondata) is required to operate the COP. (Or at the very least, some sort of "chip" modification to the ECU.
i was thinking about that the other day, i have new upper control arms for the front suspension, i was going to wait for the coil overs to get here to redo all of it at once. if it’s still looking weird i’ll have to figure what the problem is because i don’t think it’s got a new crossmember.

as far as the ecu, i ordered a p72 chipped ecu, i sent them a picture of the engine and the vtec solenoid specifically. he mentioned something about having to bypass it? unfortunately this is one of the areas im least knowledgeable about. so i’ve been trying to do my research.
 

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The wiring details need a pro to look it over, not a custom shop but someone who has experience specifically with Honda OBD-0 and OBD-1 wiring and ECUs. maybe someone here on the forum can assist if they are local. Without sharing specifics what general area are you located in? I think getting eyes on it or even a facetime call would go a long way.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
The wiring details need a pro to look it over, not a custom shop but someone who has experience specifically with Honda OBD-0 and OBD-1 wiring and ECUs. maybe someone here on the forum can assist if they are local. Without sharing specifics what general area are you located in? I think getting eyes on it or even a facetime call would go a long way.

im in the kansas city area. and i was afraid that it might be more than just plug and play for the ecu. the electronics and wiring is the thing i’m the least knowledgeable and comfortable on. i worked renovation for a while and swapping out outlets, making new extensions and changing lighting fixtures is about my level of comfort around re wiring.
 

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On the ECU, if you can take photos of your existing ECU (the logo and sticker/label) and also all wiring coming out of it, as well as the wiring from the distributor (red below) to the coil on plugs (COP, green below) we can steer you in the right direction. COP is not available without a daughter circuit board being installed in the ECU typically, so you cannot just swap to another ECU unless that ECU also has a COP daughter board modification.
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Dana (YoungStatic) on Youtube has a good video explaining COP install here:



If I were in your shoes, I would convert back from COP to stock distributor, spark plug wires, and standard spark plugs. Maybe I'm old school but that's my personal preference.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
On the ECU, if you can take photos of your existing ECU (the logo and sticker/label) and also all wiring coming out of it, as well as the wiring from the distributor (red below) to the coil on plugs (COP, green below) we can steer you in the right direction. COP is not available without a daughter circuit board being installed in the ECU typically, so you cannot just swap to another ECU unless that ECU also has a COP daughter board modification.
View attachment 1135
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okay! so my “new” ecu showed up today,! the labels on it were just warranty labels but i believe it is just a stock p72. i will double check. but here are the wiring pictures you asked about. if we need some different details let me know. i watched the video you included and it looks like i’m ground in the right place and have the appropriate cables coming out but the under dash ECU wiring is a mess and there’s quite a few clipped wires and stuff. but here it is!
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Ouch, that ECU wiring looks rough!

You need to decide, do you want to stick with COP or do you want to go back to OEM style distributor + spark plug wires?


As stated originally, I think a pro that is experienced in Honda OBD conversions is needed.

You have an 88-91 car which is OBD-0.
You have an engine which is OBD-1 (92-95).

You have to convert from OBD-0 to OBD-1 to run your engine (which is that red wiring plug adapter you have).

Here are some pinouts that may help clean up the wiring. Wish I was local, I could help out. I'm sure someone near you has the needed experience.

Here is a "how to" showing a fresh install. You are unfortunately working with someone else's botched work which adds some complexity.


OBD-0



OBD-1
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
okay so good news! i found a shop near me that does tunings and specialises in imports. and the owner of the shop drives a CRX! more good news, im already converted. i have the OBD-1 system and so all i need is to have the wire mess cleaned up, and then do a tuning on my new ECU. the shop owner said he knows a guy that does all the wiring and is gonna put me in touch. good news all around minus the fact that it’s gonna be like $400 total for tuning and wiring. but it could be worse i suppose.

now i’m not sure who brought this up earlier about my wheels sitting back in the wheel well. took it to a mechanic to get the whole car looked at top to bottom to see what i needed to fix or anything. mechanic said it’s the cleanest crx he’s seen in 20 years. (lucky me!) however, it turns out the wheels are sitting funny on the front possibly because of the engine swap. the way they put the engine in there is making the axle sit at a constant angle. there’s what looks like an adjustable control arm to make the whole thing fit. idk. looks weird. it’s causing the inside of the wheels to wear out insanely fast compared to the outside. not quite sure how to fix it. mechanic said suspension job looks botchy. not adjusted correctly. but he did take some pics and is sending them to me so i will post them as soon as i have them!
 

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okay so good news! i found a shop near me that does tunings and specialises in imports. and the owner of the shop drives a CRX! more good news, im already converted. i have the OBD-1 system and so all i need is to have the wire mess cleaned up, and then do a tuning on my new ECU. the shop owner said he knows a guy that does all the wiring and is gonna put me in touch. good news all around minus the fact that it’s gonna be like $400 total for tuning and wiring. but it could be worse i suppose.

now i’m not sure who brought this up earlier about my wheels sitting back in the wheel well. took it to a mechanic to get the whole car looked at top to bottom to see what i needed to fix or anything. mechanic said it’s the cleanest crx he’s seen in 20 years. (lucky me!) however, it turns out the wheels are sitting funny on the front possibly because of the engine swap. the way they put the engine in there is making the axle sit at a constant angle. there’s what looks like an adjustable control arm to make the whole thing fit. idk. looks weird. it’s causing the inside of the wheels to wear out insanely fast compared to the outside. not quite sure how to fix it. mechanic said suspension job looks botchy. not adjusted correctly. but he did take some pics and is sending them to me so i will post them as soon as i have them!
Is a clean looking car. You do have some issues that may be challenging, like the wiring, and the front suspension.
There is clearly something not correct with the front suspension, and the B18 motor is not the cause of the front suspension geometry. Many have a B conversion with correct front geometry.
What may be causing this? I'd look at every suspension part up front to make sure you have CRX parts. Upper, lower control arms, as well as locating rod. My guess is there are non CRX parts being used, causing this. I would think this is a big safety issue, and would have a negative affect on handling.
Good luck.
 

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Your front suspension may be from the install of a front traction bar or the front radius rods. If you have a picture of this it would be easy to see what is going on.

Glad to hear you found a shop locally! Some minor efforts now and you'll have a great driver on your hands.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
okay so i think i found the issue with the suspension. it looks like an aftermarket lower control arm that’s not been adjusted correctly is pushing the wheels back. i tried adjusting it but it wouldn’t budge. i thought maybe i had to remove it to adjust it? so i tried doing that but the bolts were too hard to get to. i might have to take off the whole shock forks but that seems like a lot. haha
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So a couple of things.....
1...Looks like you have the Innovative Pro-Series Competition crossmember / traction bar.

2...The radius rod (the aluminum bar in your photos) is mounted upside down. The chamfered edges should be facing upwards. That won't solve your problem at hand, but it helps with clearance against the transmission. Like you said though, the bolts that attach to the lower control arm are hard to access. It's easier to get those bolts in/out when the shock fork is removed.

3...The radius rods certainly have adjustment, but not from the end you're showing in your photos. At the front end, near where it attaches to the crossmember, there is a turnbuckle. Loosen the jamb nuts that are on either side of it, and then you can put a wrench on the turnbuckle. Turning that will bring the wheel forward/back in the wheel well. You can adjust it some, just to get it eye-balled to be closer to being centered in the wheel well. But you'll definitely want to take it to an alignment shop (that knows how to work on these kinds of aftermarket parts) to get it dialed in.
 
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