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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Following the post here of the CRX on the Rotisserie, here is the 'more detailed' thread of that project

Project 'Blues Clues'
K-RX With a Twist!

Project Objective: To completely reconstruct and partially restore a Honda CRX, including the installation of a fully built K24 engine with ITB's. When finished, the car will be restored with all new dash and interior parts, new clips, trim, plastic, window trim, even some new body panels. The seats will be aftermarket Corbeau seats, with a few small aftermarket touches in the interior. The suspension will be completely worked over with all new components, including a poly bushing kit installation. Nothing on this car will go untouched in one way or another. Even the hood will be custom-made for this particular project. The car is not being built for the track, or for the street particularly. It is being built as a weekend driver/fun car, and will be built more with autocross in mind rather than drag racing.

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This project should eventually wind up being one of the most extensively restored and modified CRX's in the world. Thankfully, the owner of the car (Kevin Hockersmith aka Iceycrx over on HT) is a very passionate fan of the 2nd Gen CRXs. He first introduced the idea to us at ICON of doing this work during the last FL CRX Meet at Old Town.



The original idea was to do a repaint of the car, and some motor work... namely, the new and ever-so-powerful K-Series swap. We had discussed several different options for the motor, and in the end, it was decided that it would wind up being a fully built K24 with ITB's... Well, with the extensive motor work being done, we started looking at the rest of the car. Kevin really wanted the car to stand out, and look absolutely stunning! The original color of the car is a Teal green color. It was painted over by its original owner in a basic white color. Also, the interior had been painted using a roller rather than being nicely sprayed on. This led us to the decision to strip the entire car down, and repaint it in a brand new color!

Kevin brought the car into the shop, and the games began!



In no time flat, our tech Jason had the entire car stripped down, and almost ready for the fabrication work to begin. During this time however, we started noticing some small issues with the car. Nothing major, but things that would affect portions of the build. For instance, the car had been side-swiped in a past life. The drivers fender was an aftermarket piece, the door had been reskinned (poorly), and there was some bondo work on the rear 1/4. Nothing major, but just little things. Also, the white paint job that had previously been done to the outside of the car wasn't the greatest base to begin building a nice car from.







It was becoming painfully evident that the car needed much more work to come off as clean as the owner wanted. Everywhere we turned, we started seeing more and more things that were 'scary' to us....

The mounting location of the strut tower bar was beginning to rust nicely, and also it is a poor mounting point for a strut bar anyway since it is so flimsy... so this hole will have to be filled in, and made to look like it was never there



When the original owner decided to paint the car, they pulled the trim off the windows, but instead of buying new trim and doing it right, they just used silicone goo, and reattached it.



Another point of interest, was the spare tire well, where there was a fuel cell... also, under where the battery was, there was the beginnings of a cancerous area.



Another area of interest was in the rear hatch sill area. It looks like it may have rusted out in the past or something, but it was clear that there was a lot of bondo in that area. We'll find out shortly exactly what is going on in there ;)



This was another fun area... it was being used as the vent for the gas tank, so it apparently had never really been opened much. But apparently when they painted it, they didn't bother to go in here and do anything.



The point of showing everything here, is that each of these items sort of came up and provided us with lots and lots of 'clues' as to its past owners... therefore, it is now affectionately referred to as 'Project Blues Clues' :)

After sitting down with Kevin, and going over these spots, and many other little things about the car, it was decided that only the most extreme of extremes had to be done to this car.... it was decided to media blast the entire thing!

This meant that the car had to be stripped down even farther than before. Every last thing, every last nut and bolt, all clips, EVERYTHING will have to come off the car in preparation for what was about to happen.

So, we went about the task of stripping it further:











Sometime around this point, we were looking at what needed to happen before it went in for paint. Part of the items we looked at were the roll cage. Initially, the car came in with a small bolt-in roll bar. Nothing wrong with that, except that it limited the use of the doors, and the panels had to be trimmed excessively to make it fit. Also, it was built for a right-hand-drive car, not a left-hand-drive car, so the harness attachment points were wrong (safe for the passenger though! haha!). Also, the attachement points to hte rear wheel wells were looking rather weak and non-structural:



So, we contacted the guys at MazWorX, who hooked us up with their latest Roll Bar setup with removable door bars. The car had to be transported over there, which was a LOT of fun. The car had no suspension, and no way to roll around. So, we loaded it up on my car dolly to get it ready for its trip across town.



It got loaded on the flat bed, and was on its way!





When the car returned a couple of days later, it had a cage in it that was WAY better than what it had before, with removable door bars, that would work with his interior, and allow him to have full door panels once again!







So, now that the chassis was back, with the cage in it, there was one thing left to do.... make it TWIRL!

Speaking of course, about the rotisserie! What is a rotiserie you ask? Well, it is much like the one you'd use to cook a turkey or something. In this case, it allows the media blaster to easily and efficiently get to all sides of the car while blasting... specifically, the underside of it. This way, he can roll it into his booth, and blast away! Also, this makes it infinitely easier to do things liek weld underneath the chassis if needed, do other body work, and so forth. In this case, we will be blasting the car, and undercoating the car with Rhinoliner! We may even weld up some holes underneath that aren't needed, so that future rust issues will never happen.

The rotisserie that we are using is courtesy of the shop doing the bodywork, Exotic Concepts of Longwood. Dennis (the owner of ECoL) allowed us to bring the rotisserie over to the shop, because we had to build an adapter for it. Since we already have plans to do another couple of CRXs like this in the future, we decided to make a rack specifically to hold a CRX, and make it something that will last us a wgood long while. With these care becoming more popular, and owners making more money and wanting to restore them, i'm sure we'll be doing this many more times in the future!



We began with a stout 3" square beam. Seeing as though the CRX is a unibody car, and its frame was -never- designed to hold the cars weight from the front and rear bumper points, we decided to build a rack that would mount to key suspension points. These points are mainstays of the chassis, and will definitely be able to support the weight of the car.



Once that section was built, it was time to determine the moutning points for the rack and the rotisserie. This is vitally important, because you have to work out ground clearance issues, as well as balance issues. You don't want something that is overly heavy to one side or the other, becuase then it'll be very difficult and dangerous to flip around. ALso, ground clearance is an issue, because you don't want to rotate it and have the roof hit the ground, or any other part of the car.

After making a few careful calculations, i had the fixture where i wanted it, and finished up the construction of the rack.







So... now that the rack was done, there was only one thing left to do... put the car on it, and see if all of the calculations paid off, and make sure that the rack would be able to support the weight of the car :)

Tada! It DOES!



And whattya know, its balanced so well, that one hand and very little stress is required to actually rotate the car.



The 1.2" or so ground clearance at its closest point is also quite breathtaking, knowing that the car is suspended in a position it has likely never been in before in its life, and it is that close to the ground.... haha!



Now, since we had the car there on the rotisserie, what fun is that without a neat animation to show it twirling around? :)

Click the following picture to open up a 3MB Flash animation of the car going round in circles!



And that is all for now folks! Next installment to this post will be from the body shop! It leaves here in a couple of days to go to the body shop after we get done
 

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Wow! That's a great write-up. I can't wait to see how the project progresses and I look forward for the updates.

Is Kevin Hockersmith also known as Maximus crx.honda-perf.org? I've been a member of that "group" since '98 and have read the little things Maximus did, including things like his custom strut tower bar and Takata racing harness. I'm just wondering if Maximus sold the car to Kevin? Or is it one in the same person? lol.

- C
 

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max (jorge) sold it to kevin.

looking good john
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Mark: Well, when that hunk of money comes in, let me know, it'll be waiting to take your car for a spin to ;)

jfrolang: Yea, its definitely not cheap to go this route, but in the end, it'll be absolutely awesome 8)
 

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Great post... definately keep us updated. I've always liked that car, back when it had the red wheels. I'd love to rebuild a car from the ground-up like that. Have fun with it.
 

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Again thanks for the writeup John. Yes this car use to be Jorges car and I bought it from him about a year ago. I was very pleased with the car and the old motor but we all have that goal for more...Also I was very big on doing my own work for the longest time and then I got into an accident and couldnt do much (which is why I bought the car) but something always nagged at me...it wasn't my own creation. So I had to put my mark on the car and have it speak of me.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Here is yet another installment of what went on today in getting it prepped for the body shop to do their thang with it.

After having the car on the rotisserie for the infamous animation of it twirling around, we brought it back over to the lift for support.



Then, it was on to messing with the Hasport mount.

Now, one thing about this mount that bothered me on the Green CRX, this CRX, and it will bother me on my own crx, is that these brackets aren't welded more than they are... to me, it is just tacked together when you get it with a MIG... and poorly at that. I'd bet that if i did a 'Rate my welds' thread on them in the fabrication forum here without telling anyone -exactly- what it was beforehand, EVERYONE would knock them... lol.

So anyway, first order of business, is re-welding athe entire mount. So, thats where the discoloration comes from. They come from Hasport completely bead blasted, so there is no coloring when you get them. Not that the coloring matters, after all, they are being fully painted over anyway.









Ok, so enough of that, lets weld this sucka ON!





And answer the phone.... :p



And weld some more 8)



OK, so now that is over with, we can sit back and admire the work... ahhh...





So... now that the mount was done, it is on to the next point of fabrication.... the shifter box.

What we do, is instead of using a aluminum kit that needs to be sealed with silicone or something, we opt for something a bit more permanant, and something thqat is 100% sealed no matter what. In this case, we cut the exhaust tunnel, and build a box. The floor of the box is a relatively thick piece of metal, and the sides and everything else is fairly thin... about the same thickness as stock. This gives the shifter a very nice floor to sit on that is plenty strong, and since it is welded shut, it'll never leak, come unsealed, or anything. niiiiiiice 8)





Me welding some more:





Finished Product:





Also, we went around the car and the engine bay, and found every hole that we won't be needing with this swap, and marked it to fill. The engine bay in this car is getting smoothed out slightly, and of course it is getting a wire tuck at the same time. Minimal wires showing :)



One last shot of the car on the lift with the old color... tomorrow she heads to the body shop to have the glass removed, holes filled, some bodywork done, and then it'll be off to the media blasters, and then back to the body shop. I'll continue with updates as we go along of course :p



:twisted:
 

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That is frickin awesome. I love to see this kind of work being done. It's just absolutely fascinating to me. Thanks for sharing and I can't wait to see it progress.
 

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I wish we had a media blasting company around here that could handle a vehicle chassis. I'm stuck doing it with my tiny blaster in my garage with no twirly. I *need* a twirly! :p
 

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With the car stripped down like that, you might also want to consider foam filling the spaces in the frame. Once in a lifetime chance - and it quites it down while stiffening it up!

Congrats, you are now the 2nd person to make a rotissery for their rex! I disagree on the bumper points not being strong enough, BTW. Seemed plenty strong to me and I still had the engine in. Another connection point to think of: The towing hook mounts... at least in the front.
 

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man, what i wouldn't give to have enuff cash to give you guys my rex to do that, where are you located?
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
rex2nr: I wish more cars would get this kind of treatment.. hehe. But it isn't hard to do if you want it. All it takes is a bit of money ;)

fisher: Thanks! Yea, this is really fun in person to :) I'm glad and honored that i'm able to take on this project.

Paul: While i'm not usually the one to call bs on people who have done stuff in the past, let me just say that my conclusion about the bumper points was not made without first trying it. The bumper mounts on the 2nd gen are not strong enough. As for the foam.... yea, there is a lot of things we could do while the car is like this. However, with the foam, that is more something you do for a race car that isn'tm enat to last a long time. The big concern there, is trapped water. Unless you have a system engineered so that you -ensure- that you have no trapped pockets of air, you open yourself up to creating a point that could easily condensate, and trap water, and become a rust issue. Anyhoo... i didn't make the rotisserie, so you are still the only one who has made a rotisserie for a CRX... ;)

Shadow: In FL :)
 

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fl? damn

you guys should do waht unique motorsports does, door to door pickup and delivery :p
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
You just haven't asked yet... lol.

If the money is there, anything is possible. UM doesn't do that for free either, i can assure you ;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Well, its off to the body shop she went...

Tow truck got here after doing a final inspection of the car to make sure we weren't forgetting anything :p



Once loaded on the tow truck, i made a neat little stant that went from the gorund up to the bottom of the rotisserie rack that would keep the car from stressing and bouncing while going down the road.... that way the rack doesn't do any damage to the car on accident, and keep the rack from possibly breaking.



And once again, out of the shop it goes, on to a life full of more welding, blast media flying around, and enough paint fumes to kill a small horse... 8)



More updates to follow of course :)
 

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ComposiMo said:
... let me just say that my conclusion about the bumper points was not made without first trying it. The bumper mounts on the 2nd gen are not strong enough...
Good to know! The 1G did work well, but we all know there was alot changed, I guess this would be one of them.

ComposiMo said:
... Anyhoo... i didn't make the rotisserie, so you are still the only one who has made a rotisserie for a CRX... ;)
Making it isn't what counts - YOU MOUNTED IT TOO!
 
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