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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
10/15/10
As I locate photos I'll try to insert them in chronological order to give you guys a little timeline of the project. So... here goes.

1989 CRX HF, originally Superior Blue. Bought it as a rolling chassis, the previous owner had swapped a B16 into it, then the car was stolen and recovered - minus engine/trans, engine harness and seats. The door latches were damaged, and an engine mount bracket was bent, as well as the main harness damaged. The previous owner was enrolled in a body repair class at school, and thought he could fix up the front end. Hood, bumper, and fenders were primered, including the fender trim.

I purchased it for $300 bucks, and started by purchasing a B16 swap for it from Hmotors. Y1 trans with factory LSD! Put a *used* main and engine harness in it, but for some reason couldn't get it to run right, VTEC didn't engage and the engine would randomly die. Bills came and the engine went. Car sat in storage for a while, and when I transferred to our dealerships bodyshop, I took it over with me.

Traded out some work for body work and paint labor, I walked away with an $86 paint job! In the meantime I had picked up a D15B bottom end and a 16 valve head from an Si along with an Si trans for $50. Sent the bottom end off to get it freshened up, and went thru the head myself. Put it back together since I didn't really want to keep the D15 in for to long, and now it sits in a crate in the garage, awaiting a legit harness to run it.

My goal for the CRX is to semi restore it, more or less make it complete again and a fun weekend car to drive. I really miss the 88 Si that I had, but there were things I wanted to do to it and never got the chance, so I'll take my time and do this one up how I want it. I've got a brand new set of PDN pistons I was going to play with, but finding a block to work with the ZC trans I have tucked away isn't real high priority. I also have a TD05 turbo that I was thinking about throwing on the D15 when I get it running, however money is slow coming in these days.

Anyways, I'll pull pictures off of the other hard drive when I have some time later tonight. In the interim... here are a few teasers. :)


 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
10/15/10
So a little more background...

I really liked the blue, however it had seen better days. The whole car needed to be refinished, and glass pulled out, and doors overhauled, and etc... so what better time for a color change? That's later, though. I pulled the fenders and hood and most everything from the engine bay, and shot it with semi flat black. Looking back, I should have cleaned it better and scuffed it. But when you are new to the game working out of a storage unit, you have lots of mistakes to learn from.:lol: I tore the carpet out, and threw it away. Should have kept it. Took the cowl off and dropped it, broke a corner. Should have been more careful. Pulled the windshield and set it aside, bumped into it weeks later and broke it. Should have put it away safely. Eh... frustrations. A few pictures of The Beginning:





While immobile, I took the front suspension apart to clean it up. Previous owners had put DX knuckles on it, and the junk yard writing was still visible. That would not do! (Gotta love the foot-in-picture.) Also took the the front and rear crossmembers out, sway bar out, and steering rack to clean them up and give them some rust fighting paint. Did inner/outer tie rod ends, rack boots, and rack end bushing, as well as lower ball joints on the knuckles.



Car came with cheap eBay coilovers and blown OE struts. I purchased new SS braided lines to look oh so shiny! Originally bought an 90-91 set from Summit Racing figuring that I'd swap out the drums for discs, but thinking about it, the car stops well enough and the extra braking that rear discs would give me... :rolleyes1: I'll save some money and leave them alone. Well.... maybe. If I find a pair of trailing arms for cheap, I might do it when I do the poly bushings in the rear. Saving up for Koni yellows and GCs, from what I hear they are they best. The rex might see some track duty, so adjustable dampers will come in handy down the road.



Around this time of no progress, I took the car to work, and it sat in the parking lot for many moons. Thought about scrapping it at this point as well... but somehow I was drawn to it... It was calling my name. Maybe just because it was getting tired of being wet.



Thats it for now. I'm sure I have more pictures around here somewhere...
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
10/16/10

While the CRX was outside at work, any free chance I had to work on it, I brought it inside. A little scuff here, a little wash here. During this time the fenders and doors were being worked on, smoothing the dented fenders and repairing door handle pockets. Unfortunately I don't have any pictures of this, but I will say that about 60% of the passenger door had at least a little filler on it... :( Jambs all laid out for paint on a Saturday! I ended up taking the emissions label off. Shoulda kept it...






And the finished jambs... Drum roll please!






What do you think of the color choice? I know its a bit hard to see in the sunlight on jambs, but you'll get a better idea once I post pictures of the exterior... 8) After all the jambs were done, all of the panels were put on and lined up. In this picture I was about to start checking the hood to see how bad it was... Its bad. I dropped a tire on it from above when I had the hood propped open at the storage unit... Eh. Reason to replace it down the road with a CF one perhaps?



So with the HF came blue interior... ugly I thought. Looked around on the local import board for a black set of interior in decent shape, but never found one. The interior I had was in decent shape, only small cracks in the door panels by the glass and a few missing plastic tabs. The dash trays were cracking, but I figured I could fix them. Days before I moved back to Oregon, the dash fell off of the stand and broke a corner off. Damn. Anyways, I had tried painting the panels with some vinyl and fabric paint by Duplicolor... with mixed results. In some areas the semi flat black had held up good but others were peeling quite bad. I have a feeling it was a combination of not using a paint designed for plastic, and not enough prep. I ended up repainting them with a Krylon rust eliminator enamel after reprepping them, and so far so good. They look decent, and I don't plan on really using the back of the car so I hope they will stay decent. Also undercoated the inside of the rear while everything was out.



 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks, roughly half of our business at the bodyshop were BMWs, so I had a lot of up close exposure of the different metallics that different manufacturers use. I can't remember exactly what it came on or the name at this moment, but it ended up being a low cost Omni solvent base and a high dollar PPG clear. I really like it, something different.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
10/19/10
A little more work done over the past few days... Got the doors just about buttoned up. Cleaned up the door panels and got them painted and installed, after making new vapor barriers and installing those.




I had a bumper protector that came with a chrome Ford bumper, it is a closed cell foam I guess you could call it with a plastic backer that I thought would hold up decently, provide some sound deadening, and keep out the Oregon weather as well. The stuff is about .150" thick total, while the liner is .003". I cautiously used spray adhesive to mount it to the door, and I'm quite impressed at how well it worked. Not as messy as I thought it'd be, I was going to use butyl but that can be very messy if you ever have to go back into the door. I wanted it semi-permanent, otherwise I would have used some auto body grade silicone sealant. Made templates and fit it on the door before spraying it and putting the panel on. The doors sound solid!






 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
LadyInRed said:
Looks great. :D If i may ask how did you go about painting the interior pieces? what and how did you paint it?
I actually am disappointed in how most of the interior plastic turned out. I'm thinking I need to find a paint designed specifically for plastic. They stuff I used just doesn't hold up that well (Krylon Semi Flat Enamel), and I've had a few spots where the paint didn't adhere at all, although my prep work was all there. More or less it was just something to do, the panels are pretty rough (scratched, broken tabs, cracks here and there) so eventually I'd like to find a clean set in black.

The vinyl on the other hand, (headliner and door panels) came out really good. I used Duplicolor Vinyl and Fabric paint in Semi Gloss and Medium Gray, prepping with a vinyl prep solution from an autobody paint supplier. Its more of a coating rather than a dye, but seems to hold up really well. I wish the gray was a little darker, but it is better than what it was before.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
10/21/10
This I did the week before the body work was finished and the car painted, so its not exactly in chronological order, but here it is anyways!

I had picked up a basically complete D swap for $50, although the D15B (JDM D15Bx equivalent I assume, no VTEC or anything) was tired and needed a rebuild. Not to mention it was painted some weird yellow color...



I tore the block down and sent it to the machine shop. Didn't want to put a whole lot of money into this, cause I figured its life inside the rex would be short anyways. May even see some turbo duty, haven't decided yet. Had them clean the block, hone the cylinders at STD, check the rods, and polish the crank. Piston to wall clearance was a little on the loose side, but within spec. New rings and bearings completed the rebuild, along with new seals and such. The head that came with it looked way clean under the VC, so all I did was tear it down to make sure there wasn't any metal bits inside, lap the valves and put new seals and gaskets in it.



The crank pulley that it came with was kinda cool, the paint looked like a swirled bowling ball! Repainted it black.


I used a Z6 headgasket and purchased an ARP head stud kit to finish it up. Painted the block and its ready to bolt onto the Si transmission I got from the same guy. I took that apart as well, and replaced bearings and the input shaft seal. Just need a clutch kit now. Before I put the engine into the crate for storage, I had a co worker weld a bung for an oil drain and repair the drain plug hole with a M14x1.5 nut that'll accept an OE drain plug and washer.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
11/5/10

Not really an update, but more of a tidbit of info... The online dealers may show the front bumper cover as unavailable (at least for an 89 HF) but call up the local dealer. I picked up a brand new cover for like $150 (employee cost) in August. Inside the cover is a little date stamp showing what month/year the parts were being molded, and the stamp dots go from 9/87 to 6/89... and 1/99 through at least 11/99!

I'm not sure if the second run was because of demand or because it was a common collision part, but it was just interesting to me that I had bought a new bumper that had been sitting in box at a parts warehouse for the last ten years.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
2/24/11

Been a while since I've updated my progress, money has been tight. Got a new job at one of the local Honda dealerships, so money should start trickling in here shortly.

I had found a Blade Silver 88 Si in a local wrecking yard about a month back, and I was going to ask the lady if I could purchase what was left of the car as a package deal to scavenge what parts were still left that I needed. Went in today since I got off work early, and was told they are sending it to the crusher on Monday! I'm off tomorrow, so I'm going there and picking what I need before it is gone forever. Going to pick up the dash, drip moldings, main harness firewall gommet, all the body plugs I can pull out, and a few other tidbits. I was planning on buying the remainder of the car to pick clean and part out what remained to try to keep as many of the good used parts in peoples hands, but that plan has been nixed. Earlier in the week I picked up a black radio bezel and a set of OE front corner lights from a guy on Craigslist, but turns out one is a DEPO replacement. Looks ok, but I'll keep my eye out for another OE unit.

As soon as I can find my USB cable for my camera, I'll post up my diggings, as well as the new engine harness I've been working on. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
2/25/11

Went to the junkyard today... the CRX is five rows in, third car up.


Picked up the dash, two trim moldings, a fender liner, and this grommet:


Now that I have the firewall grommet, I can finish up the engine harness. I need to take a few more pictures of it, but I think it looks pretty nice.

I re-routed everything through the passenger hole, and used expandable sleeving for each leg of the harness. (Kinda like RyWire's) Reworked the injector harness so with one connector, the whole intake manifold can come off with injectors intact, hiding the resistor box in the process:
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
2/27/11

Installed the firewall grommet over the engine harness and temporarily taped it up.


Once I hear the engine run I'll shrink tube the harness to the grommet and fill the backside of the grommet with silicone sealer to try to minimize water intrusion. The red tape marks the location and orientation of where the harness holders will be. The one on top will be zip tied to a bracket on top of the starter, and the lower one will be tied to another bracket on the oil vapor box.

Also installed the right side fender liner and secured that leg of the chassis harness.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
3/1/11

Did a bunch of work on the car this weekend. Since I had gotten the harness grommet from the junkyard a few days ago, it was time to put the harness in and rewire everything.


When I tired of working on the wires, I attempted to repair the dash. It had the usual hairline cracks in the trays, but also had a huge hole where someone manhandle the dash to get to the main relay. Fixed them with some epoxy and a clamp. Thinking about lining the dash trays with a thin sheet of rubber, to hide the cracks and keep any loose items from sliding back and forth when I do my mad drifting stunts.




Before I put the blower back in I redid the sealing foam with some 10mm thick EPT that I had laying around.


Dash is back in, along with the column and pedals. Will probably take it out again after I hear the engine run to finish routing and tying the harness to the chassis.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
3/5/11

IT RUNS! It doesn't have gaskets for the intake or exhaust manifolds, but it freakin' runs!

My bonehead move of the weekend: Wondering why I was getting power at C451-(9&10) and C451-(16-17) when they should be grounds for the ECU and main relay with the key switched on. Turns out you have to ground the motor for G151 (T-stat) to get ground! :doh:

Anywho... a coworker hooked it up with an HF exhaust manifold... one step closer to a turbo setup... :p
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
4/17/11

Worked on the rex a little bit this past week, got the engine running in tip top shape. (Well, as good as a car without a clutch can run.)

FITV - When I cleaned up the intake and reassembled it last summer, I also installed the FITV. It turned out to be bad, and had a slow rolling idle that wouldn't level out. Rather than open it up and screw around with it, I ended up making a block off plate for it and installing it between the FITV and the TB. I rerouted the coolant lines directly to the IACV.

ECU - When I did the Mini-Me in my first CRX, I had attempted to make my own OBD1 jumper harness, but failed miserably. Now that I'm doing it all over again, I decided to give it another try. This is the result; it worked the first time I turned the key, I'm so happy! SCS connector and jumper above, and additional WeatherPack connector for 6 added wires for OBD1 is under the jumper. 3pin data link connector on right side. The ECU is a chipped P06, I was told it had a P28 basemap installed. Idled like crap, ran real rich with weird timing, and had ELD disabled. Also no codes for VTEC sol and pressure switch. So I cut J1 to run the factory map, and it runs a lot crisper. Idles well at 800 rpm, 23" of vacuum.



Engine - Engine ran like crap when I first ran it, real noisy and didn't idle well, 12" of vacuum. Checked the valve clearances, none of the adjusters were tight! I had assembled this head a year and a half ago, and didn't finish adjusting the valves. Got those dialed in and re checked cam timing; I had used the wrong marks on the cam pulley. Got everything back together, and fired it up, and perfection! Set the idle and base ignition timing, and let it warm up. Idles very nice now.

Now I need to get a cooling fan, clutch kit, and windshield, and I should be driving! :D
 
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