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Product Review: Upgrading 1988 CRX Si Clutch

3743 Views 2 Replies 2 Participants Last post by  joshman
Well it has been about three weeks and nearly 800 miles later since installing my new clutch and flywheel. When I initially researched options for a new clutch for my 88 CRX Si, I was overwhelmed by the different options. As many know the 88 uses a completing different clutch and flywheel than the all the other CRX's due to it being the smallest clutch and having 21 splines. The problem I had with most info out there is that I couldn't actually find anybody running different setups.

First option would be to use the O.E.M. replacement clutch from your local Auto Parts store. The problem with going O.E.M. is that you are using a weak clutch due to its smaller size. The other problem with this setup is the lack of aftermarket flywheels. If you prefer a lighter flywheel you must lightened the stock flywheel which could weaken it.

I ended up going with the second option. Because I wanted a larger clutch with an aftermarket flywheel I could not use the first setup. If you do some research on different options for a clutch you will most likely hear of using a clutch disc from 87 Prelude 2.0si or an 88 Accord Lxi. This is because both clutch discs are the same size as the clutch disc used in the 90 and 91 CRX but are 21 splines, like the 88 CRX and not 20 like other Civics.

After purchasing the clutch disc from the Prelude or Accord from above you now have to purchase a Pressure Plate from yet another vehicle. Since the clutch disc is upgraded to a larger size, the PP needs to be larger as well. A PP from a 90 or 91 CRX Si will work just fine.

Now that the clutch disc and PP has been upgraded you can now use an aftermarket flywheel for pretty much any D-series 90-00. The amount of flywheels available is absolutely amazing considering it is near impossible to find one for an 88 CRX.

The rest of the parts like the Release bearing, Pilot bearing, and alignment tool are all from the 88 CRX. One these parts are purchased you now have a complete clutch kit for an 88 CRX. There is an alternative to buying all the parts seperate and that would be buying a complete kit from ACT. I didn't go this route due to the fact I was dead set on having a Kevlar clutch, which ACT does not offer.

My final setup ended up using a SPEC Kevlar clutch disc from an 88 Accord LXi. Here is a link to there site. were very helpfull over the phone and was able to sell the clutch disc seperate of a kit, which many companies are not willing to do, for about $150.00. I decided to go with Kevlar due to its stock like drivability but capable of handling a lot more power if upgrading in the future.

Because I went with a Kevlar clutch disc I did not want to go with a stock Pressure Plate. Kevlar clutches generally require a PP with more holding power than stock. Action clutch make great pressure plates that are made specifically for kevlar. Unfortunately they did not carry the disc I needed or I would of purchased everything from them. Again, I highly recommend them as well for they were very helpfull as well as very knowledgeable. And here is a link to their site other.html.

For a flywheel I went with somewhat a newcomer to the import market. Evolution Industries makes billet aluminum flyweels in two different weight options. I opted to go with the street flywheel weighing in at 11.5lbs. As I stated before there are many companies that make flywheels that will work with this setup, and pretty all of them will work great.

Installation went without a hitch. I was ready for things maybe not lining up right. But everything went together as if it was built specifically for my car. I am not going into the specifics of removing or installing a clutch because there is already a great write-up on this site. This post is just to be informative for people owning an 88 CRX and are curious about their clutch options.

Now for the final verdict. The first drive was a real eye opening experience. My old clutch was completely worn, allowing you to almost release the clutch all the way without the car dying or taking off. This is definately not the case with the new setup installed. It almost feels as if I added more power. The pressure plate is definately firmer which takes some getting use to. I killed it a few times before I got use to the clutch engagement. It can be a little harsh if you not use to it, but a couple of times taking off takes care of that. Now about 800 miles later I couldn't be happier. Like I mentioned before it almost feels as if I added more power. The kevlar clutch is a grabbing monster that makes the car a blast to drive. At the time of the clutch install I also installed a Skunk2 short shifter with new brushings for a more precise shift. This also took a little getting use to but is no longer a problem.

Sorry for the long post. but I just felt the information needed to be put out there. I know I did a lot of searching and was not completely happy with a lot of the responses. In all I spent about $800 on everything. May seem to be a little much but this also includes an aluminum flywheel. If this post helps one person I am happy.

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Good choice on the clutch setup... i've fallen in love with kevlar disks for the street. They work great, grab good, and last a long time.

Action is a very good clutch company, and is who i'd go with for a street clutch company. Too bad they didn't make the disk you needed, but as least SPEC had it... they are a decent manufacturer as well, but i like Actions pressure plates better.

Action 2KS - 6-puck spring disk, dual diaphram pressure plate... great choice for anything from stock power up to 450hp or so. very drivable, and smooth 8)
Well I knew from the beginning I wanted to go with a Kevlar clutch. I found a few companies making them including, ZOOM, Action, Unorthodox Racing, Clutch Masters, and SPEC to name a few.

After doing some research most of them use the same Clutchtex Kevlar material and then assemble the parts in house. Where many clutch companies differ is with the pressure plate. I found out SPEC basically just paints the O.E.M. PP so I decided not to go with them. I heard that Clutch Masters, ACT, and Action all make their own PP. I decided not to go with ACT for the simple fact they want nearly $300 for a pressure plate and because they don't have any experience with Kevlar discs. Clutch Masters also wanted a ton for their PP. After negotiating with someone with Action Clutch, I was able to get there Heavy Duty PP for 200 shipped.

It a mess of different components but it happened to work out very well. The feel of everything is absolutely amazing. You can drive it like a baby, nice and smooth, or if you want to have some fun it is willing to play.
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