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Another KR-X... This time a full frame-up resto!

Discussion in 'Auto Multi-Media' started by ComposiMo, Mar 8, 2006.

  1. ComposiMo

    ComposiMo Junior Member

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    As requested by Celerity, and MugenCRX :)

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    <span style="font-size:12pt;line-height:100%">Project 'Blues Clues'</span>
    K-RX With a Twist!


    Project Objective: To completely reconstruct and partially restore a Honda CRX, including the installation of a fully built K24 engine with ITB's. When finished, the car will be restored with all new dash and interior parts, new clips, trim, plastic, window trim, even some new body panels. The seats will be aftermarket Corbeau seats, with a few small aftermarket touches in the interior. The suspension will be completely worked over with all new components, including a poly bushing kit installation. Nothing on this car will go untouched in one way or another. Even the hood will be custom-made for this particular project. The car is not being built for the track, or for the street particularly. It is being built as a weekend driver/fun car, and will be built more with autocross in mind rather than drag racing.

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    This project should eventually wind up being one of the most extensively restored and modified CRX's in the world. Thankfully, the owner of the car (Kevin Hockersmith aka Iceycrx here on HT) is a very passionate fan of the 2nd Gen CRXs. He first introduced the idea to us at ICON of doing this work during the last FL CRX Meet at Old Town.

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    The original idea was to do a repaint of the car, and some motor work... namely, the new and ever-so-powerful K-Series swap. We had discussed several different options for the motor, and in the end, it was decided that it would wind up being a fully built K24 with ITB's... Well, with the extensive motor work being done, we started looking at the rest of the car. Kevin really wanted the car to stand out, and look absolutely stunning! The original color of the car is a Teal green color. It was painted over by its original owner in a basic white color. Also, the interior had been painted using a roller rather than being nicely sprayed on. This led us to the decision to strip the entire car down, and repaint it in a brand new color!

    Kevin brought the car into the shop, and the games began!

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    In no time flat, our tech Jason had the entire car stripped down, and almost ready for the fabrication work to begin. During this time however, we started noticing some small issues with the car. Nothing major, but things that would affect portions of the build. For instance, the car had been side-swiped in a past life. The drivers fender was an aftermarket piece, the door had been reskinned (poorly), and there was some bondo work on the rear 1/4. Nothing major, but just little things. Also, the white paint job that had previously been done to the outside of the car wasn't the greatest base to begin building a nice car from.

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    It was becoming painfully evident that the car needed much more work to come off as clean as the owner wanted. Everywhere we turned, we started seeing more and more things that were 'scary' to us....

    The mounting location of the strut tower bar was beginning to rust nicely, and also it is a poor mounting point for a strut bar anyway since it is so flimsy... so this hole will have to be filled in, and made to look like it was never there

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    When the original owner decided to paint the car, they pulled the trim off the windows, but instead of buying new trim and doing it right, they just used silicone goo, and reattached it.

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    Another point of interest, was the spare tire well, where there was a fuel cell... also, under where the battery was, there was the beginnings of a cancerous area.

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    Another area of interest was in the rear hatch sill area. It looks like it may have rusted out in the past or something, but it was clear that there was a lot of bondo in that area. We'll find out shortly exactly what is going on in there [​IMG]

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    This was another fun area... it was being used as the vent for the gas tank, so it apparently had never really been opened much. But apparently when they painted it, they didn't bother to go in here and do anything.

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    The point of showing everything here, is that each of these items sort of came up and provided us with lots and lots of 'clues' as to its past owners... therefore, it is now affectionately referred to as 'Project Blues Clues' =)

    After sitting down with Kevin, and going over these spots, and many other little things about the car, it was decided that only the most extreme of extremes had to be done to this car.... it was decided to media blast the entire thing!

    This meant that the car had to be stripped down even farther than before. Every last thing, every last nut and bolt, all clips, EVERYTHING will have to come off the car in preparation for what was about to happen.

    So, we went about the task of stripping it further:

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    Sometime around this point, we were looking at what needed to happen before it went in for paint. Part of the items we looked at were the roll cage. Initially, the car came in with a small bolt-in roll bar. Nothing wrong with that, except that it limited the use of the doors, and the panels had to be trimmed excessively to make it fit. Also, it was built for a right-hand-drive car, not a left-hand-drive car, so the harness attachment points were wrong (safe for the passenger though! haha!). Also, the attachement points to hte rear wheel wells were looking rather weak and non-structural:

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    So, we contacted the guys at MazWorX, who hooked us up with their latest Roll Bar setup with removable door bars. The car had to be transported over there, which was a LOT of fun. The car had no suspension, and no way to roll around. So, we loaded it up on my car dolly to get it ready for its trip across town.

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    It got loaded on the flat bed, and was on its way!

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    When the car returned a couple of days later, it had a cage in it that was WAY better than what it had before, with removable door bars, that would work with his interior, and allow him to have full door panels once again!

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    So, now that the chassis was back, with the cage in it, there was one thing left to do.... make it TWIRL!

    Speaking of course, about the rotisserie! What is a rotiserie you ask? Well, it is much like the one you'd use to cook a turkey or something. In this case, it allows the media blaster to easily and efficiently get to all sides of the car while blasting... specifically, the underside of it. This way, he can roll it into his booth, and blast away! Also, this makes it infinitely easier to do things liek weld underneath the chassis if needed, do other body work, and so forth. In this case, we will be blasting the car, and undercoating the car with Rhinoliner! We may even weld up some holes underneath that aren't needed, so that future rust issues will never happen.

    The rotisserie that we are using is courtesy of the shop doing the bodywork, Exotic Concepts of Longwood. Dennis (the owner of ECoL) allowed us to bring the rotisserie over to the shop, because we had to build an adapter for it. Since we already have plans to do another couple of CRXs like this in the future, we decided to make a rack specifically to hold a CRX, and make it something that will last us a wgood long while. With these care becoming more popular, and owners making more money and wanting to restore them, i'm sure we'll be doing this many more times in the future!

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    We began with a stout 3" square beam. Seeing as though the CRX is a unibody car, and its frame was -never- designed to hold the cars weight from the front and rear bumper points, we decided to build a rack that would mount to key suspension points. These points are mainstays of the chassis, and will definitely be able to support the weight of the car.

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    Once that section was built, it was time to determine the moutning points for the rack and the rotisserie. This is vitally important, because you have to work out ground clearance issues, as well as balance issues. You don't want something that is overly heavy to one side or the other, becuase then it'll be very difficult and dangerous to flip around. ALso, ground clearance is an issue, because you don't want to rotate it and have the roof hit the ground, or any other part of the car.

    After making a few careful calculations, i had the fixture where i wanted it, and finished up the construction of the rack.

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    So... now that the rack was done, there was only one thing left to do... put the car on it, and see if all of the calculations paid off, and make sure that the rack would be able to support the weight of the car =)

    Tada! It DOES!

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    And whattya know, its balanced so well, that one hand and very little stress is required to actually rotate the car.

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    The 1.2" or so ground clearance at its closest point is also quite breathtaking, knowing that the car is suspended in a position it has likely never been in before in its life, and it is that close to the ground.... haha!

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    Now, since we had the car there on the rotisserie, what fun is that without a neat animation to show it twirling around? =)

    Click the following picture to open up a 3MB Flash animation of the car going round in circles!

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    And that is all for now folks! Next installment to this post will be from the body shop! It leaves here in a couple of days to go to the body shop after we get done doing a bit more fabrication.









    Here is yet another installment of what went on today in getting it prepped for the body shop to do their thang with it.

    After having the car on the rotisserie for the infamous animation of it twirling around, we brought it back over to the lift for support.

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    Then, it was on to messing with the Hasport mount.

    Now, one thing about this mount that bothered me on the Green CRX, this CRX, and it will bother me on my own crx, is that these brackets aren't welded more than they are... to me, it is just tacked together when you get it with a MIG... and poorly at that. I'd bet that if i did a 'Rate my welds' thread on them in the fabrication forum here without telling anyone -exactly- what it was beforehand, EVERYONE would knock them... lol.

    So anyway, first order of business, is re-welding athe entire mount. So, thats where the discoloration comes from. They come from Hasport completely bead blasted, so there is no coloring when you get them. Not that the coloring matters, after all, they are being fully painted over anyway.

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    Ok, so enough of that, lets weld this sucka ON!

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    And answer the phone.... :p

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    And weld some more 8)

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    OK, so now that is over with, we can sit back and admire the work... ahhh...

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    So... now that the mount was done, it is on to the next point of fabrication.... the shifter box.

    What we do, is instead of using a aluminum kit that needs to be sealed with silicone or something, we opt for something a bit more permanant, and something thqat is 100% sealed no matter what. In this case, we cut the exhaust tunnel, and build a box. The floor of the box is a relatively thick piece of metal, and the sides and everything else is fairly thin... about the same thickness as stock. This gives the shifter a very nice floor to sit on that is plenty strong, and since it is welded shut, it'll never leak, come unsealed, or anything. niiiiiiice 8)

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    Me weldingsome more:

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    Finished Product:

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    Also, we went around the car and the engine bay, and found every hole that we won't be needing with this swap, and marked it to fill. The engine bay in this car is getting smoothed out slightly, and of course it is getting a wire tuck at the same time. Minimal wires showing =)

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    One last shot of the car on the lift with the old color... tomorrow she heads to the body shop to have the glass removed, holes filled, some bodywork done, and then it'll be off to the media blasters, and then back to the body shop. I'll continue with updates as we go along of course :p

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    :thumbup:







    Since everyone wanted more pics, and i don't have any new ones of the car yet, here are the pics of the new brakes that will be chillin on the front of this car =)

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    And yes, they do fit the wheel quite nicely :thumbup:
     
  2. EGProject

    EGProject YEEEEAAHHHHH

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    You need to have your own TLC show. Now.


    Awsome work dude. Keep us updates as much as you can. A++ work! Your shop doesn't mess around.

    [​IMG] :thumbsup:
     
  3. jimboburgess

    jimboburgess Go fast, Go Cheap

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    looks good, when finished it will be a beautiful monster
     
  4. ScrapinSi

    ScrapinSi Senior Member

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    HOLY FUCKSTICK! Overhaulin watch out!!!!!!!

    Chip Foose Jr in the making!
     
  5. kaoskustoms

    kaoskustoms Senior Member

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    keep us updated man
     
  6. TurboMirage

    TurboMirage YEEAAAHHH VIP

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  7. Celerity

    Celerity Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the Update Composimo - Always look forward to your work and pictures (And really good write-ups)
     
  8. brc80

    brc80 Senior Member

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  9. pissedoffsol

    pissedoffsol RETIRED

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    :werd:
     
  10. vtecsir1

    vtecsir1 Senior Member

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    nice....i should stop by sometime. are those 15's that those brakes are on?
     
  11. cheese9988

    cheese9988 Senior Member VIP

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    What does one of resorations with the full swap cost, out of curiosity?
     
  12. Celerity

    Celerity Well-Known Member

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    Restorations come differently priced all the time. Same with K swaps now. Because there is no definate way to do one (What with pump relocation, potential A/C needs, strange wiring needs) neither is going to be easy to set a price on.

    For restoring a CRX on a rotissery, by a high end shop like Composimo's, I would have $10,000 ready in pocket and another $10k tucked away for things that might arise.
     
  13. MugenCRX

    MugenCRX Senior Member

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    OH GOD..............UNGH..............ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!


    Whew! Sorry about that, but I'm sure everyone understands.... [​IMG]

    Anywho! That is an extremely well done write up! It was like reading an epic novel where I just couldn't stop! I was soooo dissappointed when the end came. :cry2:

    Now I feel like some pre-pubesent kid waiting for the next Harry Potter to come out, so thank you!

    That is amazing how you came up with the rotissere mount for the CRX. My dad used to have a rotissere in his shop, but he only had 1960's Mustangs on it. I wish I could've thrown MY CRX on one now. [​IMG]

    But definetly keep us updated! And you get MANY points for super pictures!! :thumbsup: Where is your shop located?
     
  14. EGProject

    EGProject YEEEEAAHHHHH

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    * me imagines stripping , caging, and stitch-welding my coupe with a rotisarrie...complete with built K24 swap*


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    Can I get a towel? [​IMG]
     
  15. ComposiMo

    ComposiMo Junior Member

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    EGProject: Yea, that'd be bad-ass, but me and my Father (who also has an office in my shop for his business) don't fight at all, and i don't have a witty british accent like the build-or-bust bike guys, and i'll be damned if i'm going to put up with a guy like that bald guy on the Hot Rod show... haha!

    However, a build-off against Chip Foose on a Honda would be absolutely bad-ass. Anyone got ties with tha D-channel? lol.

    Celerity: N/P mang! Always glad to show a glimpse of the kind of work we're capable of here at the shop. It'd be nice if i was allowed to post more about the stuff i build part-time at antoehr shop in town.. hehe. All sorts of trick crap :p

    vtecsir1: Yep... they are the Buddy Club 15" wheels...

    Cheese: Celerity is thinking correctly, but with the wrong numbers... hehe. Think higher... much. The bodywork alone would be in the 15-20k range, depending on several aspects and what needs to actually be fixed.... i.e. how much previous damage there is, and then making it beautiful after that. That price tag does not include the initial stripping, nor reinstalling of anything. So yea... it can get pricey... but this ain't Maaco either [​IMG]

    MugenCRX: Yea, we initially wanted to mount it like the hot rodders do, but after trying it, i felt that it was too weak, so we went with a 'frame' setup, and bolted the car to the frame... its working out swimmingly :)

    EGProject: No, you should have brought your own towel... haha!







    This is a copy-paste from another board, so don't mind the comments about how long its been since my last update... hehe




    Ya know what time it is???







    Its PICTURE TIME!!! 8)


    Yes, i know, its about time i actually posted some progress pics, but as you'll see, progress in this stage is visually 'slower' (by far) than the previous stages... but that'll be changing soon enough i guess :)

    Here's what we saw when we went to the body shop today:

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    See? Doesn't look much different, does it? LoL

    Well, here's what you DON'T see right off-hand... This is some smoothing that is being done over the headlight area. There were a few holes in this area that aren't going to be used, so they are filled in with weld, and ground smooth. They are trying to make it so that minimal body filler is needed with the project:

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    Also, here is a pic showing the seam sealer being removed. The sealer will be reapplied, but a lot more 'ninja' than it was before... hehe. Making it so that it does not stand out like a sore thumb :)

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    And of course, the prime-time-pic.... the picture in the sun of the actual color being applied to the car (we had them spray a spare fender to make sure it is the color the owner wants) :

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    8) :thumbup: :thumbup: wOw!



    Anyhoo, thats it for now :)



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  16. Celerity

    Celerity Well-Known Member

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    See you in the Magazines, John !

    Consider this: Your typical Greenwich CT owner of a Mercedes Benz SL Gullwing will have his car freshened up yearly, or bi-yearly depending on his Concours d'elegance schedule. At the shop I worked at, this freshening up (Touching any road debris, scratches, hazing, glass flaws or seating blemishes) will cost that MB owner about $10,000. If a coat of paint is required, $16,000 for just that.

    A complete restoration on a Jaguar E-Type at my old shop will run you about $100,000 not including the price of the car originally.

    These cars, however, will be requested at Pebble Beach and will win you one of the top 2 slots.

    A MAACO paint job at $600 is one half the typical cost of transporting that Gullwing from Greenwich CT to Bridgeport CT. (I performed the sanding, priming and aligned the body parts - that alignment took 3 days and required the signing off of several people with dial calipers to certify it)(The original problem: The garage had gotten dusty while he was in Australia for 6 months, and someone wiped it down with a cloth)
     
  17. ComposiMo

    ComposiMo Junior Member

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    LoL... it'd be nice to get this featured... Actually, i'm -really- wanting to try to tie in a few certain KRX swaps into one big article... 5 KRX's... the Rywire car, Chris's car that Ryan from Rywire is currently helping him build, The Green KRA we did, this car when it is done, and my car when it is done... both of which will be done fairly soon... but bring together the best of the west coast, and east coast, into one nice photo shoot somewhere in the middle... heh.

    It'd be -really- neat to see this car at Pebble Beach.... but i know it'll be a loooooooooooooooong time before that ever happened.. heh. They only recently started allowing older Hot Rods to begin showing, and even then, it'd better be a high $$ and high profile car, or else it has no chance of an invite.

    Sounds like you had one hell of a fun job there with that old shop though [​IMG]
     
  18. Celerity

    Celerity Well-Known Member

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    No fun working on cars like that. It's all business. I did body work for the most part (We had this guy that tipped in denominations of $500. He had some REAL vintage steel. He also drove daily, his 1977 Celica. It was his good luck charm. I was the only one allowed to touch it)

    He let me drive his AM DB6.

    I was ultimately canned, really, because I took way too long to do things. It took me like 8 hours to remove the trim from a Corniche (Fun British car fact: The Cornishe's dashboard internals are all held together by a single rod that is driven through the coach work. Undo that and the dashboard plummets to the floor in a pile of a hundred pieces of wood, glass and hay)
     
  19. reckedracing

    reckedracing TTIWWOP VIP

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    is this your shop or you just work there?
    and how did you get started?

    and where the hell do you find people willing to dump 20K in a 88-91 honda...
     
  20. vtecsir1

    vtecsir1 Senior Member

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    Its his shop and his facility is like one you would see on a tv show.
     
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