Archive for the ‘Medieval-Pro CRX Si’ Category

Medieval-Pro CR-X Update…Um, this is going to be a can of worms.

Sunday, November 7th, 2010

On this last beautiful sunny California Fall Saturday, I had already ridden my Ducati to Cars-n-Coffee, swapped the shocks in the Heeltoe Odyssey, installed an Ingalls rear camber kit in a customer’s TSX, cleaned up the garage a bit, sorted our first black chrome emblem shipment, and watched F1 qualifying. What else to do?

I know! Let’s work on the CR-X a bit. I have scarcely touched it since getting it back in September.

I took it to get it smogged and my buddy at the smog place unknowingly dislodged the gerry-rigged USDM hood release cable, precluding anyone from popping the hood. On these old CRXs and Civics, the hood latch sits BEHIND the radiator, and with so much A/C and Tubocharger plumbing sitting between the radiator and the engine, reaching up from the bottom is basically impossible. Luckily, some more fiddling with the cable proved to be successful in getting the hood open…an achievement I later found better left undone.

But I am getting ahead of myself. I wanted to make some level of visual accomplishment with the car today so, so driving it would get me a little better sense of coolness. One thing that has bugged me since day one is the aftermarket foglights. I’ve seen foglights visually work on these cars, and even though they always look sort of tacked on, I can’t get with the Tenzo Ion lens units the car currently has. time to uninstall them.

Since taking the bumper off is involved, I thought I would re-evaluate the charge-piping routing to see if I can get rid of more evidence of questionable engineering.

Of couse the best possible mounting methods were used when these fogs were installed. a half-dozen or so self-tapping screws can’t be the wrong way to do this…

Getting the fogs off the bumper was a piece of cake, and was really satisfying. Now I just needed to take out the wiring and that job is done. I had a chance to inspect the intercooler mounting and charge piping at this time…

All in all the routing is clean. These pipes are much more securely mounted than the ones in my previous CRX. There are a bit too many silicone connectors and clamps and such though. I am thinking if I simply have a new pipe made that goes from the top of the intercooler all the way under the headlight it will eliminate that connector and clamp going under the headlight bezel.

I can do the same with the lower pipe and take out some of the excess connections. Would be a lot cleaner looking over-all. Maybe get some brackets fabbed up to eliminate some zip ties.

Oh man, wish I didn’t see this. WTF happend here man?

Ug. Well there isn’t much that can be done about it now. Stuff like this makes me want to tear down the whole car and do a frame-up restoration. But no, I told myself I was not going to do that. I am going to evolve this car. There is no sense in starting over. These blems are scars that legitimize the car’s past and I only really want to change things that are problematic or flat-out rigged up.

OMG, some of these worm-drive clamps and t-bolt clamps have GOT to go!

So for the wiring of the foglights…Tracing the wire from the fogs to the firewall was pretty simple. And surprising non-riggy. But I did see this nice little piece of work on my way through the engine bad.

I actually started laughing. Brace is coming off. I’m thinking a nice Cusco brace would be a good replacement. I wanted to get the charge piping refinished so maybe I can refinish such a brace to match.

But then I got under the dash…

Holy crap! The whole underdash harnss has been like…deconstructed and redone with what seems to be very little sense of respect to how the car came out of the factory. It’s like the guy who had this car last was only concerned about the stuff in the car functioning without regard to the cleanliness of work.

Check out this piece of work…

I mean, come on man, not even any electrical tape? That’s a hot wire! I had to put the blinders on because frankly I didn’t have time to get into this. I just pulled the fog lamp button wiring out and called it a day. The front end does look a lot better now!

That’s it for now. We’ll be getting into is more as time goes on. Thanks for reading!

Medieval-Pro got a new car…some might say “unicorn.” We say “HOLY GRAIL.”

Sunday, September 26th, 2010

Many first generation CRX enthusiasts will know this CRX Si, AS1002578, as “CRXTSY.” A mythical beast with questionable history. I know it as one of the 3 genuine right hand drive CRX Si’s Honda brought over from Japan back in 1985. Oscar Jackson federalized the car and was given free reign over modifications on these cars. This one in particular was outfitted with a complete turbocharger package and suspension kit, and was later featured in the historical “Baby Boomers” road test in Road & Track in 1986. AS1002578 was sold to a David White late in 1986, who drove it until 1997 when John Killeen bought it from him. John had owned and driven it until September 26th 2010 when I took possession of it.

After many years of driving, both on the street and track (the car has been driven at Willow Springs NUMEROUS times and competed in the Silver State Classic at least twice), the car has found a good home in my stable where I will do my best to visually restore and mechanically preserve this TRUE CLASSIC HONDA in all its glory! I won’t be too die-hard though and will modify it in ways that will truly improve the car and make it more drivable and reliable. The first on my to do list is to try and locate some replacement parts for the pop up lamps, and plan an ECU change to something more tunable than the piggy-back F-Con in place now (getting into the 21st century with the electronics was the best thing I ever did to my previous SOHC turbo CRX). This car has a history of cracking pistons at as low as 8 psi which I am sure could be mitigated with tuning.

Without further ado, here are the pics and captions.

Here she is!

The front panel is supposed to be metal but broke and was replaced with a fabricated plastic USDM panel. Some attention is needed.

The operation of the eyelids is intact but too much creative fabrication was done to repair the lids and mechanism over time. I will either fix them or break it while trying! The corners are USDM as part of the federalization process back in 1986.

The infamous cracking fenders have been repaired too many times but I don't plan to replace them as they are original and fit well. I will just need to refinish them.

The body is completely intact and in excellent shape aside from a few dings which I am assuming can be pulled by a professional.

Rear bumper sag. Other oddities are the center panel, which I am assuming was replaced with a USDM part, and the Si badge. I need to see if this car was supposed to have a 1.6i-16 badge, but according to John it always had an Si badge (which I have, it just fell off).

Still got this very important badge though!

Angle shot.

More federalization with the rear reflectors. I am planning to get back to a JDM spec on this car with the lighting, etc. But this is a pretty low priority.

There are some rust bubbles on the roof panel. Luckily I know just where to get a perfect fiberglass replacement! And yes, the roof works PERFECTLY.

The seats are in remarkable shape given the 25 year old age and usage of the car. Only one tear in the bolster, color is still charcoal instead of faded-to-blue, and there are only a few imperfections in the red areas.

John tossed in a Prelude steering column for the tilt function. I will be putting a CRX column back in.

All seems normal here, but I am nervous as to what I will find under the dash in terms op custom wiring.

All important EPA tag.

Weights and tire info, JDM and English translation.

First clue as to what is under the hood.

NOT the original 1.6 liter engine. John threw a rod racing it one time and had to replace it. Also, at some point, John eliminated the vacuum box and re-hosed everything in blue hose. I plan to get the engine bay back to the way Jackson Racing had it as much as possible, but this will be a daunting task.

Still turbocharged, but the wastegate is propped open to prevent boost. John just got tired of replacing pistons. He even put Arias ones in and still had trouble. Didn't he know about ODB 1 conversions and Hondata S300s?

He had also refinished and braced all the turbo piping. He felt like it could have been made more securely from Jackson (I have to mildly agree given my experience with the SOHC kit in my previous CRX). He braced the pipes to the transmission an put flex in the system near the intercooler. I will have to go an audit the work, and may end up re-doing most of it.

One cool part I never had on my car, an ORIGINAL Twin Power Ignition Box!

Requisite VIN tag shot.

John's fabrication skills might come from questionable origins, but he is a stellar mechanic on these old Hondas. I expect this car to be tip top mechanically, and the bone-dry oil pan speaks in favor of this notion.

The sway bars are part of the suspension package Jackson installed back in the day. Also included were torsion bars (as of now unknown size), Tokico Illumina shocks, and progressive springs in the rear.

An idea of the rear sway bar arrangement.

I am anxious to get out and tinker, but not only is it 100+ degrees today, I am really afraid of getting into something I can’t finish. The car is going to sit and be tweaked on slowly a little at a time. I expect it to be many years before I get to a point where it will be exceptional. For now I am happy the CRX has a safe home and a mildly insane yet loving owner. I told myself I would not buy another CRX unless I could get a 1985 CRX Si in black in original condition. I think my stipulations have been met 1000-fold.

The car will be a bit of a marketing tool for Medieval-Pro parts, so you’ll likely see it again soon. If anyone wants to see the car in person, just set up an appointment with me through the contact link. I am happy to share it with any and all who are interested!