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Black ‘87 Crx Si Resto-mod “hoot”


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#1
rufusbob

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Hi Folks - I had an 87 CRX Si as my DD for 85k miles between 87 and 93. In 2014 I realized it was the car I missed most of all cars Id driven.

So I bought this 87 CRX Si with about 82k miles. Its Mugen LSD, low miles, lowered stance and condition were what attracted me. It appeared to have only 4 flaws at the time: it needed a new muffler, would soon need new tires, had one cracked plastic panel (a door cap) and the sunroof opened but wouldnt close under power. I took a floor jack & jack stands to enable inspecting underneath before negotiating the purchase. Soon after getting it home, I changed the engine & transmission oils and sent samples for analysis. The results were reassuring.

I drove it about 7k miles before something apparently let loose in the transmission in early 2015.

Sadly the cars been relegated to sitting outside in the elements ever since, and other priorities have prevented investigation of the transmission problem.

My neglect has taken its toll: practically all the plastic panels are now cracked or broken, and other problems have cropped up, like the fuel level gage not working and parking brake warning light being on continuously. Who knows what else since I only start & warm up the engine a couple of times a month. Even worse, I discovered a rust perforation in the RR corner of the floor floor just forward of the suspension attachment. When I jacked it up in 2014 to inspect it, I jacked the opposite side up and obviously missed the rust. It has that awful Rusty Jones, Ziebart kinda stuff smeared on the floor, so my 1st job will be removing it all to determine the full extent of the rust once its in the garage. Luckily the interiors still as nice as when I bought it.

Im really hopeful the floorpan isnt too bad. If so, Ill restore it; but not to completely original condition. Ive been reluctant to take it further away from original. But now the need for plastic panel repair / replacement, and the limited availability parts for maintaining major components like the D15A3s distributor, provide rationale to create a resto-mod focusing mostly on mechanicals. Its important to me to stay close to the original exterior & interior appearances. Im ok with an engine swap, but wish the engine compartment to look to the untrained eye like an original Honda installation, if that makes sense. A personally imposed constraint is that the OE wheels remain. Part of the plan includes compensating for the added drivetrain weight as much as possible with weight reduction measures; overall, but especially up front.

So far, these are the possible changes Ive identified:

Carbon fiber hood, sunroof, and to replace all the plastic body panels.
Either B18C or K20A swap with suitable LSD transmission, both freshly rebuilt to OE performance levels.
Wilwood aluminum 4 piston front calipers (have yet to put any research or thought into the appropriate M/C).
Delete F/R bars under the bumper covers, A/C, replace std battery with lithium. Remove radio & speakers, and as much of sunroof & rear wiper motors, mechanisms, etc. as feasible.

Lately Ive been looking around RPR mostly researching swaps, posting WTBs for parts, etc.. So far, I have a pair of NOS aluminum drums, and ordered an adjustable panhard bar.

Facilitating this project will be emptying my 1 and 1/2 car garage of 2 old Corvettes, an old Porsche and a disassembled Rotary lift. The CRX and my 1970 914/6 w/2.7l RS spec engine will take their place, and be keepers until such time as my 24 yo daughter has to deal with them.

Here are some photos from early 2021:

https://next.photobu....com/u/rufusbob

https://imgur.com/user/rufusbob

Edited by rufusbob, 12 June 2022 - 11:53 AM.

Bob

#2
CSPCRX

Great to see you have taken an interest in the car again and good luck bringing her back.

 

good news is Marcus at HealToe has the plastic panels and rust can be fixed.  As for the motor you have listed a few options there that will work but it’s going to be clear the engine is more modern.  If your okay with that the K20 and K24 are great options as they are readily available, simpler (motor design standpoint) in some ways and a swap kit, as you can see from my thread, is coming out very soon.  You could go with a D series from an integra and get more hp than the original EW3 but they are getting harder to find.  B series, I had a B16 in mine before we started the K swap, are also getting hard to find and the prices have shot through the roof.

 

if your EW trans has a mugen diff in it that would pull top dollar and fund some of a motor swap for sure.

 

keep us posted on your project!


Victor
86 B-Powered CRX SI (SMF Solo2, HPDE-4 NASA & TA-A Time Attack

85 CRX DX totally original
07 Harley FXST Softail

2021 Tacoma Tow/Daily


#3
rufusbob

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Hi Victor- Thanks for your encouragement. As you probably suspect it was your thread that inspired the K-series thought. A quick search showed what you mention; K’s are currently less $ than B’s.
Bob

#4
CSPCRX

Bs have shot through the roof.  The mount kit for the K will be out very soon and you can junk yard source many of the key parts and keep cost down.  Plus the Ks have more power and torque than the Bs in stock trim.  Stock K will make any 1st gen a blast to drive, basically doubling what the car had stock.


Victor
86 B-Powered CRX SI (SMF Solo2, HPDE-4 NASA & TA-A Time Attack

85 CRX DX totally original
07 Harley FXST Softail

2021 Tacoma Tow/Daily


#5
rufusbob

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Victor, I agree with everything you say on B vs K; especially wrt superior torque of the K. Appears to me the choice is clear once a kit is available due to the similarity in weights.

Edited by rufusbob, 09 June 2022 - 09:18 PM.

Bob

#6
na-spirit

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Good luck on your restoration! Looking forward to your updates.. For sure go K!   btw I can't see your photos without logging in. I've been using https://imgur.com/to host my pics. 

 

I'm not a expert on bodywork, But I do know my bodymen use a special bumper repair filler for plastic parts.  I myself would just try that to save the panels, maybe the very first lite spread being a epoxy filler, then after that go with the bumper repair. 



#7
greasemonkeyreborne 5x1g's

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    • Drives: 9 crx's: #1 228k 87si beater, #2 concours 25K, #3 108K 87si, #4 98K parts car, #5 213K 87si parts car, #6 84 straman, #7 86si 150k #8 67k parts #9 129K si for straman conversion

I can't chime in on performance, but I feel your pain on having a car sit for a long time.  Sounds like your new CRX has a lot of goodies on in.  Curious the reason why the tranny shot out at such low miles?

 

Looking forward to hearing your updates!


Keepin' it OEM

#8
rufusbob

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Thanks much Guys. I love 1Gen CRXs.

na-spirit I tried uploading photos to Imgur; hopefully you can see them now

greasemonkey re the blown tranny. I think most likely abuse, or possibly track time. But when I get time, Ill definitely investigate. Im not home now, and dont have my Honda service manual in front of me. But IIRC, there are 2 screws which attach one end of the transmission counter shaft to the housing. Just speculation, but I wonder if the 2 pops I heard in transitioning from coasting to light uphill load were them letting go? Well see

And btw the time spent outside resulted from having too many cars, magnified by a long contentious divorce settlement

Edited by rufusbob, 12 June 2022 - 12:47 PM.

Bob

#9
na-spirit

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Time capsule of a crx right there.. beautiful!  It's your time to play now, Build that crx and enjoy man. If you need help with paint and body let me know :)