CrustyRedXpress
CrustyRedXpress New Reader
8/20/18 2:10 p.m.

AKA-the Crusty Red Express

After years of reading about the challenge from the sidelines, a friend and I decided that this was the year to jump in. The search began in late 2017 and we knew we had our huckleberry when we came across this ad for a 1991 CRX HF with rear quarter panel damage.

One long road trip, some ill-advised towing, and $450 later the CRX was in my friend's garage in Miami. The seller (@sambones) was great, and we promised that his CRX would see action at the Challenge this year.

Meet Crusty-

  • Ugly and Red, but complete
  • Damage to rear passenger panel that narrowly avoided the suspension hardpoints
  • New suspension bushings and shocks all the way around
  • 5 Speed transmission with tall gearing and 62 ponies coming from a d15b6 engine.

Meet Us-

  • We're shade tree mechanics at best, and have never raced
  • We live 2.5 hours away from each other, which makes logistics tough
  • Any/all advice is welcome!

Next up-Getting Crusty mobile, selling off some parts, and searching for power.

Stampie
Stampie UberDork
8/20/18 2:19 p.m.

Bring the stickiest tires you can get. That'll do more to make it competitive than anything. 

Kyngfish
Kyngfish
8/20/18 2:32 p.m.

In reply to Stampie : it came with some Falken Azenis 615k tires which are reasonably sticky,  we will make the call once it’s all up and running  

Pictures of block and piston work this weekend. 

Kyngfish
Kyngfish New Reader
8/20/18 2:34 p.m.

Stampie
Stampie UberDork
8/20/18 3:04 p.m.

If you're having to build an engine why not just junkyard swap it?

Kyngfish
Kyngfish New Reader
8/20/18 3:54 p.m.

Define "build". We're cleaning up, re-ringing and resealing. So the total investment even if don't sell the other engine is pretty low, but if I'm misunderstanding and you have a cool idea, I'm all ears.

TED_fiestaHP
TED_fiestaHP Reader
8/20/18 5:38 p.m.

  I think the idea is a complete engine that works might be cheaper than some new parts to build a engine.  But if you don't need to many new parts to make this one work, then at least you will know the condition of it.   Doing a build on the cheap is tricky...

Stampie
Stampie UberDork
8/20/18 5:47 p.m.

In reply to Kyngfish :

RWD LS swap cool enough?  JK. I assumed you'd be putting money into a rebuild that might be better junkyard swap. 

Kyngfish
Kyngfish New Reader
8/20/18 7:11 p.m.

fair point on a cheap build going wrong, we are about to find out, but all the tolerances seem to be within spec and overall the engine wasn't in bad shape. Total investment on the engine so far is pretty low. Even lower if we sell the existing engine/tranny.

I guess we are going to find out fairly soon what our skill level is :)

Stampie
Stampie UberDork
8/20/18 8:42 p.m.

In reply to Kyngfish :

Looking forward to seeing this in 8 weeks. I'm hoping you'll convert Lil Stampie into a CRX lover. It's about the only car we disagree on. 

CrustyRedXpress
CrustyRedXpress New Reader
8/24/18 4:53 a.m.
Stampie said:

If you're having to build an engine why not just junkyard swap it?

This would have been the easiest/most straightforward. We ended up refreshing it because we thought we could source stronger rods (no luck) and always wanted to rebuild an engine. This will be our first.

Next post-progress Feb-July.

759NRNG
759NRNG SuperDork
8/24/18 6:39 a.m.

Crusty, when your baby is up and running....a length of chain and a tree trunk might persuade the right rear quarter panel  to play pretty with a few strategic 'pulls' wink 

CrustyRedXpress
CrustyRedXpress New Reader
8/24/18 7:48 a.m.

February-July

Pics of the rear quarter. I dunno about a tree, but i suspect some bondo and bracing of the bumper will do wonders. Hope we have time to make it "pretty."

Wrenching-

After we got the CRX to Miami we drained the old gas, shook some pebbles in the tank to knock the rust loose,replaced the fuel pump and it started right up. The steering wheel was tweaked pretty badly to the right, so we did a string alignment to set the toe. It tracks straight now but we did it with the car on jacks instead the ground, so we might give it another shot.

We're currently dealing with a starting issue. After troubleshooting using the factory service manual, it looks like there is a broken wire between the ignition switch and the starter, possibly some place in the dash.

Buying-

The CRX is an HF model, which means the engine/trans combo is optimized for effeciency-think restricted intake, 8 valve head, meager crankshaft and rods, and tall gearing. We need a turbo setup to hit our power goals so the hunt was on for a engine/trans combo with a better flowing head and shorter gears. We would have loved to go B-series but they are up to 2x the price of the D, require more fabrication, and are just much less common. In the end we ended up with a d16a6 and an Si transmission. This should be a drop in replacement that gives us 115 ponies instead of 62 in stock form, and lessens the chance of putting a rod through the block after we get the turbo on it. 

Other miscellaneous purchases include a front motor mount, battery, a rebuild kit (Seals and rings mostly) for the d16a6, a used ECU, a kit to chip it, as well as some hardware to connect it to a computer for street tuning. We'll probably end up using crome to tune (free, but old as hell and no longer supported!)

We also broke the piggy bank and spent money on a new turbo setup. This is an area that is completely new to us, and there didn't seem to be much of a premium on a new setup vs. a used one. 

Selling-

We also started stripping the interior of everything that could be sold. Speakers, head unit, rear panels from the trunk, HVAC controls, shift knob, spare tire. All of it went on local FB Honda groups, along with the spare tires and wheels that we got in the sale.

Next post-engine rebuild and budget thus far.

untchabl
untchabl Reader
8/24/18 11:57 a.m.

Glad to see a GRM'er got this car, I was wanting it badly but it was too far away for me to make it work. I'll be following the build.

ErikTheSwede
ErikTheSwede New Reader
8/26/18 4:17 p.m.

I would have recommended finding a complete 90-93 Integra and just swapping everything. Then you could swap the bigger brakes and recoup money with the body and interior parts. The good thing about the early nonvtec D16 is the rods are fairly strong. We had one running 10 psi through an eBay T28 turbo and a starion intercooler with a modified HF exhaust manifold on an 89 crx HF manifold and that little thing ran 13.2 with radials. My only recommendation at this point would be to ditch the current engine management equipment you have and just run a microsquirt. You can use the distributor for the sensors and run some GM LS coils for coil-on-plug  and run them in wasted spark and your tuning options will be endless

CrustyRedXpress
CrustyRedXpress New Reader
8/26/18 6:05 p.m.
ErikTheSwede said:

I would have recommended finding a complete 90-93 Integra and just swapping everything.

We would have loved to do this, but it came down to logistics and price. All of this is being done in a suburban garage (no room to store a car while we're stripping it), and only one of us have a tow rig. We looked for about 3 months but the prices that we saw never really justified the extra costs associated with the b-series. Essentially, if we were going to turbo it anyhow, the D series was more cost effective. 

Two things that we don't have are extra space and deep ties to a local racing community. Both would be really helpful, but we're muddling along.

ErikTheSwede
ErikTheSwede New Reader
8/28/18 7:06 p.m.

I know they can take some time to find and that can be a problem in a time crunch. The D will be fun as long as you didn't go too big with the turbo. After this year's challenge I would recommend just watching clipart and buying an Integra when it pops up and swapping the turbo over to the B series next year. You definitely have a great chassis as far as weight is concerned. You really need to try to find a DX 5 speed trans. The HX trans isn't going to do you any favors. An SI trans has a shorter final drive and you will have severe traction troubles in boost

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