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1988 Honda Crx Rebuild

This is where things started. I was 17, and this ’90 Si, started in my possesion with the paint faded to factory primer, so I figured some fresh paint, and a JDM front would clean things up. Bare with me on the pic quality for the red car, these were from back in the day. After about 2 years of owning the car, it started to look like this..

The engine bay

Me and my brother did after market power windows, door locks, Viper alarm.

The car @ Hot Import Nights Orlando, 2005

August, 2006..

December 2006, treated myself to some new Rotas for x-mas, lol

the day after Valentine’s Day, Feb 2007, an old man blows a red light, nails a pickup truck, and the tail of the truck slides across my front end. The car was very fixable, but I didn’t want to deal with the headache. I wanted a fresh slate.

After fighting with the old man’s insurance company, and them wanting to total my CRX, I get them to give me $4100, and allow me to keep my red crx with a CLEAN TITLE. So I pick up another JDM front end, and begin my search for another rex. April 2007, I find this car on Honda-Tech located in Pittsburgh. It was being sold by REXMAN. It’s rust free because it was previously from Arizona. The car is Hasport equipped, retains a/c, and for the most part, the swap was done properly. I get up there, by the car for $4500 and drive it home to Florida. The car needed alot of TLC..

Interior wasn’t too bad..

The engine bay was a nice start, but needed some love..

Got a temp tag for the car to drive it home legally. Peep the blow whole style muffler tip, and the nasty tint on the hatch. ugly ass ’88 tail lights FTL!

Got the car home safely with no problems, over 1600 miles. Slapped on my brand new OEM valve cover, and rattle canned a spare heat shield I had laying around..

Me and my buddy swapped over the good stuff from the red CRX, 90-91 JDM tail lights, including complete rear suspension, rear disc brakes, wheels, camber kit, complete exhaust system, etc..

rattle canned the rear wiper

started to clean the engine bay

finally removed the nasty tint from the hatch

Now, I wanted to start touching up the interior..some website makes OEM replica floormats, so I picked up some of those, some other goodies, and shampooed the seats..

picked up a stock EF8/9 airbox from Hmotors..

and this is pretty much what haunts me everyday, I need some money to paint my car

my friend Paul had a set of non PFM visors brand new, and I wanted them!

got around to making some of the final allignment adjustments on the front end..check it out

Slapped on my old Password chin spoiler

More junk..

Suspension time..

While waiting for my suspension stuff to arrive, figured I would clean up the driver’s side wiring. Here’s some pics of the process

All cleaned up..!!

Put everything back together, just chillin..

ETD traction bar arrived

Picked up an ITR throttle body with sensors, and gasket from a friend for dirt cheap

Ground controls came in, here’s the old setup vs the new goods

New stance with the Koni/GC combo

ETD traction bar install..shit was dirty down there, started to scrub, lol

Circuit Hero ain’t got nothin on my stock tow hooks, jk

More goodies!!!! Quick release FTW

Me and my brother hooked up my power door locks FINALLY! I went to the junk yard and picked up some keyless handles from the rear of a sedan..

some Vision CF

I dropped off the car at the body shop, here’s some pics I snapped while taking a few things off the car. Enjoy!!

Slapped on my wing for fitment before paint, and my ’90 rear bumper

Side shot, the wing looks killer from this view. Also put on these doo doo wheels I had laying around the shop. Didn’t want the body shop messing up my wheels

Installed keyless handles, these will be paint matched

My brother fixed the hood gap that was caused the hood dampers

Torino Red Pearl bumpers, haha

looks like they already started to fill out some of the dents..

Also, I went to Honda and ordered ’91 door protectors. I had these 90-91 protectors laying around because I wanted to repaint my red CRX. Also, I’m gona run the rear triangle badgeless. No more Si badge. Seen it on a few CRXs, and I like the way it looks.

Today, 3/227/08..Went to the body shop to check up on the car. They got the majority of the body work done. 

Also went to Honda to pickup my door protectors, and one was damaged during shipping, so I grabbed the good one, and the parts guy said he’ll have another door protector for me by Monday!

I will keep you guys updated, thanks for taking time and looking! 

Mini update, my other molding came in at Honda yesterday, and I stopped by the body shop to check on the car. Body work is pretty much completed. No more dents! Apparently my painter doesn’t want to shave my windshiled squirters because he feels the hood metal is too thin, and it won’t look perfect, so whatever! They opened the squirter holes back up. Also, I had a VERY MINOR area of rust on the sunroof, and it’s all taken care of now. It’ll prolly come back in 6 months, but oh well! Pics!

Well the car was painted today, and I didn’t have a ride up to the body shop, so my brother went for me, and was nice enough to snap off some pics for me, sorry about the photo quality. The car will get buffed out sometime Monday, so only a little longer! Also, I guess the painter ran out of paint today, so he said the wing will probably have to get sprayed on Monday. Top secret photos right here..enjoy guys!

My driver’s side headlight needed to be resealed, so figured while I have the lights sitting in my room, might as well do it up before I get the car back..PICS!

Who’s hungry for some “Headlight Helper”?

Some wax action..

clear RTV sealant yummy..

A little spring cleaning, before/after..

One light done, peep the reflection of my blue ceiling fan, BALLLLIN!

Both lights done 

On another note, I finally got some time to snap a few pics of the new paint. I’m beyond satisfied with the end result. Base coat of fresh Blade Silver, plus 3 clear coats, equals one happy CRX owner! The body work turned out great, plus there’s little to no orange peel. Blade Silver is a wierd color. It only shows it’s glossiness in certain lighting, I will have to get some night shots, in order to appreciate the clear coat. By next week, I have owned this CRX for 1 year, and this is a great way to celebrate. The car isn’t done yet, but it’s a large step for the car.

It’s amazing how $1500 cash goes from this..

To THIS….!!!! OMG, it’s finally one color!

Look how straight that body is, 20 year old car, I lucked out!

Greg was nice enough to paint the bottom of the hood without hurting my service decals, and he also painted the fender jams..

A little update, new valve cover action, plus the new stainless hardware for my headlights, and fenders. Here you go guys!

Last week, I picked up some newer Civic 1157 bulb housings from the junk yard, and wired up my bumper lights to be running lights, plus brighter turn signals, like all the newer Hondas/Acuras have, I like the way it looks.

So I took the day off today to wait around for DHL to drop off my radiator. I woke up and opened my bedroom door, and this huge box was sitting there. Looks like my roommate signed for me! I felt like a little kid on Christmas! Props for Full Race packaging, because this thing arrived safely! Also, thanks again to STREETWERKZ for easing my mind on this one! I read horror stories about half rads, and traction bars, blah blah blah on here!

PICS!

The graphic on the cap is funny..

And the fan is a perfect fit..

I still haven’t snapped any pics of the radiator installed, it’s been a busy weekend with work…but look what came in today..

Is it a new OEM dip stick?

Even better! It’s the Panducky Motorsports Oil Dip Stick, hahaha

So finally got around to getting a pic of the new radiator installed. I also made nice stainless brackets to hold my condensor fan directly on the condensor too. I went to the junk yard and got some plastic clips for my hood blanket, so I put that on also. There’s alot of room in the engine bay now. Intake manifold and header in the next few months when I’m no longer a broke ass!

So the wheels are not genuine Anniversaries, but the kid I purchased them from cleaned the wheels up big time. He painted them some color called Aztec green, which is almost the same color as the Anniversary editions. He even polished up the lips. I found the wheels on a local forum for $450 with no centercaps, no lug caps, which I thought was a really cheap price, especially because they had decent tires. I sent the kid a PM, offered him $350, and he said yes, but only if I made the trip to Ft Myers to pick them up. Ft Myers is about 2 hours away. So I drove out there, and picked them up. I ened up getting the goods for $340!!!! The kid was real cool, had a sick H22 swapped EG sedan, setup for autocross. He could have made way more money on these wheels I think, but he was unwilling to ship, and he lives in the middle of no where out on the west coast of Florida. I wanted to buy these with intentions to flip them and make some money, but now that I have them, and they’re in great mechanical condition, I want to keep them. I finally have a real set of Mugen MR5’s, the wheels I wanted since I was 17! Only problem is that the wheel color is hideous, so if I decide to keep them, the faces will be get black or silver paint. I’m leaning towards black. Anyone good with photoshop??

I finally sourced a NIB front set of mudflaps, special thanks to CRXone. My rear set came in last week from Honda, can’t wait to slap these on!

Picked up a new DA clutch cable last week, because whoever did my swap used the stock CRX Si clutch cable. Now they may work ok for some, but it really doesn’t allow you much adjustability. Honda recommends you adjust the clutch every 10,xxx miles or so. So the new cable feels buttery smooth, and has tons of adjustability! Also went to Acura the other day and bought some little things for my goodies that should be arriving here Thursday..

ITR throttle cable, P73 throttle cable bracket, and new bolts for the bracket..I’ll keep you guys posted, thanks for looking!

Time for a little bit of power adders..

Picked up a B&M fuel pressure modifier yesterday..

And UPS stopped by today and dropped off some goods I ordered from JHP..

The plan is to pick up a header pretty soon, and if all goes well, I’ll be getting the car tuned within the next couple weeks!

Thanks for looking everyone! 

A little update action..

So the inatke mani is now on the car, installed it on Monday. Big thanks to my buddy Justin who gave me a hand. Everything went smooth, except I was stuck with a hunting idle, which has already been fixed! I still need to throw on the new ITR throttle cable, and clean things up, then I’ll get some pics for you guys! For now this is all you get!

trying not to fuk up the new paint..

What a mess..

And my front flaps are here, SCORE! Huge thanks to CRXone for helping me out..

Picture time, went out last night for a bit, one the way home, figured I could get a few decent snaps of the new upgrades. Probably the last time the Rotas will be seen 

All angles, the flaps really fill the car out..

Updated inside shot, my steering wheel is getting beat 

mini update, I took apart the Mugens earlier this week, and dropped off the faces with my painter. Should be about 1-2 weeks, and then they’ll be on the car..

My new good arrived yesterday. Should get the job done 

So I’ve been slacking on updates, but I’ve had a few things going on, so here ya go! The header is on the car, also picked up a K&N filter for the stock EF8 airbox.

I went up to Panducky Motorsports last Monday. The shop is nice, I got a tour around the shop, saw all the cool shit they have going on, and I got to see Hocker’s rex.  I purchased a Zdyne ECU from him, and they did a little street tuning on it. The car feels money, definately gained some power from that. Thanks again Kevin! I’m having a little o2 sensor issue, but I’m gona try and switch out the o2 for a new one next week. Dyno tuning will get done within the next few weeks..

This past Monday, my painter called and said my wheels were ready for pickup. They came out sick. Pictures don’t do justice! Monday night, I had to help a friend setup his coilovers on his STi, along with servicing the brakes. So I helped him with that, and he helped me clean the shit out of the inside of the Mugen wheels. Basically ran through the insides of the wheel with a wire brush on a drill. 20 years of road grime takes forever to remove! My friends were complaining about the dullness of the lips on the MR5s. A buddy of mine gave me the 411 on polishing. So the fun began yesterday..

You can see how the lips were when I bought the wheels. The kid did a great job sanding them, but he never buffed out his work, here’s where I came in..

Look close, and you can see the difference, in person, you can REALLY see it..

Half done!

2 of the wheels done..

Close up, not perfect, but way better than they looked, and I’m not paying someone to do this for me

All four done, waiting reassembly. I’m gona try and get them back together later tonight or tomorrow..

My buddy gave me his Momo hub, because my Boss one just looked cheap, this one looks alot better

The new wheels.. 

Finally got around to upgrading to the Integra master cylinder and brake booster. My master cylinder was leaking, and the brake pedal felt like shit. I adjusted the booster today, and the brakes feel great now. Big improvement!

Started draining the fluids here..

shit was corroding the booster like crazy..

new Integra booster..

painted the new master cylinder real quick, because it was a bit dull looking..new hotness!

So the past few weeks have been very interesting with the car. About 2 months ago, Kevin @ Panducky hooked me up with a Zdyne ECU. They even did a street tune on it, and I was very pleased with it. The car ran great for about 3 weeks. Occasionally it would throw an o2 sensor code. I called Zdyne, and they told me to relocate my o2 sensor more upstream on the header, because my single wire o2 wasn’t getting hot enough there. I had my single-wire o2 in the newer OBD location on the header. So I relocate the o2 closer to the head, and the ECU was definately getting a better read out (tested it with a volt meter). One night, I got on it, and next thing I know, the car had insane sputtering when I was under 4000 rpms. I had enough at this point, slapped in the stock PW0 ECU. I talked to a few people, and they said that possibly the Zdyne lost it’s tune. The software is free to download, so I thought to myself, yea it’s a possibility. But at the same time, when the Zdyne came out, these things were over $900. How the fuk does a $900 ECU lose it’s tune. No fuking way. Fast forward to 2 weeks ago. Random sputter on the stock ECU, no CEL IN THE CLUSTER! WTF! I picked up brand new NGK wires, new plugs, and a buddy of mine slapped in a brand new distributor. The car feels better, but was still sputtering. I finally decide to check the ECU for a CEL, eventhough there’s no CEL in the cluster. What do you know, code 3 map sensor.

I slap on a new map sensor, throw the Zdyne back in, and the car is running flawless, and very strong. I mopped a Turbo Solstice with exhaust and who knows what else. The guy was pissed. Along with a few other cars. I couldn’t be happier. The Zdyne never lost it’s tune, the map was just going bad 2 months ago. So my lesson learned kids. Ever heard that rumor that ECUs will sometimes throw codes without triggering the CEL in the cluster? I thought it was complete bullsh!t too, guess not.  So the weather was pretty nice out today, figured I could give the car a bath and go out for some pics…

New distributor lol

I finally got my hands on a nice set of Mugen center caps!

Mini update. So here’s what’s next for the rex..

I can only afford one right now, but this should hold me off for awhile. Picked it up used, locally on ebay. It’s in amazing condition, even came with the original paper work, and a repair cushion. Supposively, it was only used for car shows. And judging by it’s condition, I can vouch for that. It came out of a some kind of S13/S14.

I finally snapped some updated interior shots . I finished the stereo 2 weeks ago. Nothing too crazy, but I kept it nice and simple. I keep all the cargo panels on, so no one will ever see this stuff. Only the head unit is visable, which is exactly all I want to see. Old Rockford amp juicing the 2 front Pioneer speakers, and the Kicker Comp 10″ sub. I made some flush panels for the trunk, and my brother built the box. Wrapped in cheap black carpet, no screws visable, and nothing slides around because of the way it’s mounted! My brother spent a good 30 minutes tuning the setup, and it sounds killer. It’s amazing what a small, properly setup stereo can sound like. Loud, clean/clear highs, & clean deep bass!

Ohh snap, what’s that?..

Finally got my seat in!

So, I went down the street late last night to pop off a few pics.

Alternator took a doo-doo last week. Installed the ‘new’ alternator. The car is off jackstands, and on the road again..

The evaporator and condensor arrived today, just need to go pick it up tomorrow. Random pics for now..

Look ma, no more a/c compressor!

Just kidding, pulled it out to touch it up real quick, clean the a/c Hasport bracket, and try and get some gunk off the block..

I’ve been waiting for my wide angle lens to arrive so I could get some updated pics of the engine bay. Well it arrived today!  So the fuse box has been pulled in the car, and the wiring relocated, FINALLY! I still have a few things to do like wire up the wiper motor, etc, but for the most part, I’m done, and I’m very happy with how things look. Maybe paint in the engine bay later on down the road..

The velocity stack/intake sound sick as fuk at WOT!

Originally, I wanted to have the battery laying down in the stock location, but that didn’t work out too well. So I mounted it on the frame rail, and I’m happier with it there anyways. Believe it or not, I used my friend’s iphone to level that bitch, haha. My boy Shelby found a great spot for the A’PEXi voltage stabilizer..

Little update today..I’ve been wanting to get a dyno tune session done for awhile now. I’ve been on a basic street tune for awhile, and that ran strong, but I knew there was a little more in it. I went to The Horsepower Connection to have Fred tune the car. If you live around here, he’s pretty much the Honda tuner you go to. They pump out some serious, respectable Hondas around here. They do alot for being a small location. Plus the tuner has tuned several of my closest friends’ cars.

Here’s a quick spec list..

*First gen B16A
*Blox 2.5″ Velocity stack with 2.5″ AEM short ram intake
*ITR throttle body
*Skunk2 intake manifold
*Greddy 4/2/1 header
*2.25″ custom mandrel bent exhaust
*ZDYNE Gold SECU

Started with a base line of 148. I was hoping for 150 wheel today as a peak number, so this was a great starting point. Did a few more pulls, reached 151, then 152. Stayed consistent at 152 for a few more pulls, and then the plugs were changed out for new ones. Put down 155. Yes, lol! Then we decided to make another pull with the filter off of the velocity stack. 156.8 wheel with a nice lean a/f of around bottom 13s. That was the final number. That pull sounded so crisp on the dyno. So smooth. Did a few more pulls for fun, and it was done. The car feels great, and I actually picked up alot of midrange throughout the power band. Plus a peak gain of about 8 wheel. Felt great in traffic when cruising in 5th at low rpms. Not exactly a built B20V, or worked ITR motor, but it feels mint.

I will post a video as soon as my homie uploads it, lol. No torque reading, but who the FAWK cares, it’s a B16, haha..

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OgKKQLbN6IU&feature=player_embedded[/youtube]

So I started my weight reduction today..

Just kidding, decided to touch up my bumper moldings, and side skirts. Rey told me about the SEM’s trim black, I’m glad I took his advice, because this stuff comes out looking great! Thanks again man!

Finished product on the front bumper..

Rear bumper all prepped and lightly sanded..not painted yet..

Before the SEM.. 

AFTAAA! 

Password lip back from the dead, CHEA!

So I traded the Mugen wheels, plus some cash, and I’m finally the proud owner of a set of Regas! They need new EVO stickers, and some stickier rubber, but here’s some pics for now. I removed the EVO stickers from the driver’s side. What a PITA! I’ll do the other side when I’m bored off my ass!

End of October:
Here’s a quick run down, inside and outside:

-rear 1/4 panel, rust repair, and respray
-hood resprayed, and picked up a brand new H emblem, lol
-wet sanded/buffed the whole car AGAIN (it was time)
-touched up a few things with SEM Trim Black (hood squirters, antenna plate, wiper grille, etc..)
-slapped on new ‘EVO’ stickers on the wheels

-new main relay, this thing was having trouble starting on hot days
-pulled out the carpet and painted it black (super budget style, ahaha)
-had the upper part of the door cards reupholstered in alcantara to look like base model ones from a European CRX. I didn’t want to buy some faded ones from Europe, then deal with shipping. 
-Picked up a Nardi Classic 330mm, my Mugen has been looking beat for awhile now

Here’s a before of the carpet

And here’s the new goods!

End of January:
Energy Suspension bushings for the entire front end
replacement crossmember
new steering rack + tie rods
new upper ball joints (new Skunk2 front camber kit)
new wheel studs
DA brakes/spindles, new pads, rotors

This rack has been sitting in my closet for over 3 years, it was for my old CRX.. finally putting it to use 

Straight project mode for now

Took these pics right before the alignment:

The DA front rotors fill out better than the stock 9.5″ units, haha

So nice having fully adjustable front suspension, here’s the specs:

caster angle- balls on, 2.9 degrees on both sides
front camber- balls on, -2.4 degrees, both sides (no more camber issues)
front toe- zero, for now .

Went straight to the blimp base after that. It’s a secluded winding road! The car feels insanely good, TONS OF GRIP and confidence, even on these gay Kumho tires! So many turns I could take flat out, and the little B16 just rips! I adjusted the Konis a bit, because the car was pushing a bit through low speed turns. Softened the front for more grip, stiffened the rear so it would have less grip. Now it has nice low speed rotation, but still pushes during higher speeds at its limit, which is what I want to be safe.

****ing ay, I need to update my sheet! Been super busy with work, and the CRX has been getting plenty of love on the weekends, just haven’t made time to update. Really planning on doing a swap this year, so to motivate me some more, figured it was time to ditch my NEW a/c system lol. It hasnt worked 100% in forever, so fuk it. One less thing to worry about, it’s diet for the ride, and makes your bay look cleaner, hahahah. Picked this up from Heeltoe

Since the rear suspension needs to be tackled now, figured I would finally treat myself to some nice LCAs. Ordered some Skunk lugs a week after the LCAs. Thanks again JHP!

So the shop my roommate Jesse runs, they specialize in race car engineering. I let Jesse drive the CRX with all the new suspension crap dialed in. He said the only thing I was missing was tighter steering. Nothing $40 at your local Honda dealer can’t fix. So I adjusted the steering rack, and holy sheeeet. So much feedback from the car now, way easier to control at the limit. I recommend this to everyone. Had some slight oversteer on 2 on-ramps last week. It was very controlable

The car is on hanging out on jack stands currently, need to paint the front rotors, lol

Yall heard of those new racing rotors, called caintseedem

And a shot of the engine bay with no mas a/c, and picked up some new hardware from Gallery Fresh for the fenders & headlights. I love it!

Did the timing belt & water pump a couple months back..

iphone pics shit guyz!

Picked up these bad boys in October as a bday present for myself. Brand spankin new with Nagaisa rails or whatever the fuk they’re called, lol.

Pics from a local meet in November, rode out with my homie Frankie, snagged these pics from another forum, lol. Props to Korey!

Finally made some time to take care of the oil pan gasket, hasn’t leaked a drop yet! My personalized license plate finally showed up, I know my car is far from a BEAST but it’s still a Honda, so I think the plate is suitable.

ditched my wiper motor/system 3 weeks ago

invested in some Goodridge lines a few months back, and added some ATE Super Blue fluid into the mix. The brake pedal is sensitive as fuk now, and I love it! 

I never took any legit photos of my door panels after I had them reupholstered in alcantara, over a year ago, lol. I was stoked on the end result!

11 replies
  1. rico valdez
    rico valdez says:

    I m moving to puerto rico in few mos. I m buying red honda crx si 1989 body is great. rims it looks like new… they re selling it for 4,200. lot additons on body. i m thinking if engine have over 100,000 miles? what is the cheapest way to… i dunno what to say. i want that car to last regardless of power and speed ya know? rebuilt the engine? cheap? i dunno how to do it? can I try? would i save whole lot? pls help!!!

  2. Mike Kelly (53 years old) Yes a old fart
    Mike Kelly (53 years old) Yes a old fart says:

    Hi, your car looks great. How did your CRX get a v-tech engine in it? I still have my old 90 CRX-Si and want to fix it back up. You have given me a lot of ideas. Keep up the good work. CRX is the most fun car I ever had. Thanks for taking the time to do all the pics for us. Mike

  3. David Walker
    David Walker says:

    Dude this is sick!!! I just bought a body in pretty good condition and little rust. I bought it from my neighbor and he has spare parts in boxes inside the car from other crx’s. I was curious what all you put in the car, and how much it cost approximately. 🙂

  4. Moglee
    Moglee says:

    Great build man! 🙂 Sorry about your old rex and the old man, that is the sh!ts.. I always love to see other people who are keeping the crx alive. I would like to do something similar to this for my next crx project coming up- but I don’t have the patience to photograph all the progress like you did.

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