zc swap into 85 crx?

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Junior Member
My 14 yr old son races an 85 carbureted crx (3/8 mile dirt track), Ive picked up an 89 with zc motor to swap into his car and will eventually build him a b16 for the 89. It's my understanding the swap is simple. Can anyone tell me if there are step x step directions anywhere to be downloaded or printed? and will the trans from the 85 work ok with the zc? it appears as if the mounts are different on the 89 so i guess i'm swapping engine only.


Mad scientist
Here's a link to some useful info:


By the way- the DOHC ZC and the 86-89 Integra engine have slightly different mounts- but they can be made to interchange.

You'll have to wire up an entire EFI system including the higher pressure fuel delivery system- or you could look for a DOHC ZC carbureted head and run with that.

Good luck.


Ok... now I forgot where I got this from, but it might help you with some miscellaneous information:

1st Gen CRX FAQ

Posted: Mon Apr 01, 2002 11:47 am Post subject: 1st Gen CRX FAQ File


This is not a definitive list of answers but it will help the newbie get started by answering the most Frequently Asked Questions about the 1984-1987 CRX.

Basic Questions
Cheap Modification Questions
Body and Cosmetic Questions
Engine Questions
Brake Questions
Suspension Questions
Junkyard Parts List
Modifications made to my 1987 CRX Si

Basic Questions
Q: What is the best source of information about my CRX?
A: The FACTORY service manual is invaluable. I suggest that every CRX owner get a FACTORY manual. FACTORY manuals turn up on eBay and are well worth the price.
Q: Most web sites do not list parts for the early CRX, can I use parts from the 1988 and newer models on my car?
A: There are not a lot of interchangeable parts between the 1st Generation CRX (1984-1987) and the Second Generation CRX (1988 and later); the engine, transmission, suspension and body are different. Some brake parts and most fasteners are interchangeable.
Q: How fast can I go?
A: How much money do you have? Anything is possible if you throw enough money into the project.
Q: Can I put 16" wheels on my 1st Gen CRX?
A: You could, but it is not a good idea. Long story short: Racing CRX's are shod with wide 13 inch wheels and tires. I have a set of 205/50/15 tires on 15x7 wheels for street use and that is as large and wide as you can go. 195/50/15 is better for street use. For racing I use 205/60/13 tires on 13-inch rims.
Q: Where can I get specs for the First Gen. CRX engine?
A: www.quickhonda.net/specs.htm
Q: I am not certain I know what model (HF, DX, Si) my car is, how can I tell
A: This answer comes from Mr. Kwicko- Check the VIN. It should read something like "JHMEC13xxHS000001". The first (bold) "x" marks the digit for the model. 1 = HF, 2 = Std (or DX), 4 = Si. Now, if you're still unsure, check the engine code. On the DX and HF models, there is a plate on the front radiator support, on the driver's side of the car (under the hood, behind the headlight, facing straight up at you as you look at the motor). D15A2 is the carb'd 1500cc engine. On the Si, the plate is on the opposite, or passenger, side. It will be a D15A3 motor, which is the 1500cc Fuel Injected engine.
Q: Where else can I find parts online?
A: Used, and sometimes new, parts come up on auction sites like www.ebay.com. Check often. For new OEM parts try www.hondaautomotiveparts.com. Also, check my list of links at the end of this file.
Q: What grade of gas should I use in my CRX?
A: You can run any modern engine on any grade of gasoline. Whatever type of gas you use, reset the ECU to that type of gas. This involves removing electrical power to the ECU to "erase" its memory and then restarting the already warm engine and letting it idle for a few minutes WITHOUT touching the gas pedal. I am of the school of thought that says, put the highest octane gas you can find into your car. I own two D series 1.5 liter Hondas and I can tell you that the difference between high octane and low octane is VERY noticeable. If you are cheap and do not care how much power your engine makes, put the cheapest, lowest octane gas you can find into your car. If you really want to maximize the power potential of your engine, put the good stuff in. I add a bottle of octane booster to every tank as well.
Q: Are all 1st Gen CRX parts interchangeable?
A: The 1st Gen was first sold as 1984 model in 1983. For the 1986 model year, the CRX got a slightly different interior. Honda also changed the electrical connectors in the 1986 model, so some electrical parts from the 84-85 car will need modification to fit on the 86-87 cars. There are some subtle differences in the front fenders, front and rear bumper covers, body cladding, and header panel between years and models.
Q: Could I put the Honda 4WD system from a 1985-1987 Civic Wagon on my CRX?
A: The Honda 4WD only sends 10% of the engine power to the rear wheels, so the extra weight and hassle is not justified. But, you can bolt an Integra D16 engine directly to the 4WD Civic Wagon transmission so you could build a very strong Civic Wagon if you wanted.

Cheap Modification Questions

Q: Nobody seems to sell a Cold Air Intake (CAI) for my 1st Gen. Can I make my own?
A: A few manufacturers used to make a CAI for the '85-'87 fuel injected Si model, but they have been off the market for some time now. Occasionally a used example will show up on eBay. The DX and HF are completely out of luck, nobody ever made a CAI for them. I have made my own CAI from some pieces of plastic piping (the thick black plastic pipe that is used as waste pipe) and a K&N filter with a 3 ½ inch opening that attaches with a pipe clamp, K&N part number RX-4140.
Q: I am on a budget, how can I make cheap modifications?
A: The 1984-1987 CRX, the 1984-1987 Civic and the 1986-1988 Integra are basically the same car under the skin. Junkyard parts are cheap. See the Suspension section for more details.
Q: I would like to lighten my car.
A: The obvious things to discard are interior trim, sound deadening and the A/C system. Under the front and rear bumper covers are heavy steel beams that are the actual bumpers. If you do not plan on hitting anything, these heavy steel beams can be hack sawed out. If you are planning on having an accident, a car that weighs less than 2,000 pounds should not be your vehicle of choice. Buy a Volvo.
Q: Strut tower braces will stiffen my car and improve my suspension's response, can I make my own?
A: Yes, you can. You could buy front and rear strut tower braces from online seller www.cyberauto.com or www.greddy.com. You could make your own with imagination and some basic hand tool skills. Go to the hardware store and look for sections of "Uni-strut." This is predrilled steel that looks like the stuff the highway department uses to mount roadway signs.
Q: Can I relocate my battery?
A: I relocated my battery to behind the passenger's seat. Rather than buy an expensive kit, I used one cable from a set of jumper cables to connect the battery to the engine compartment. I bolted the ground cable to the passenger's seat bolt and I ran the positive cable under the console and through the firewall via a factory cut hole that is just above the passenger's feet. The firewall hole is plugged with a rubber "stopper" that
I drilled a hole in and passed the positive cable through.
Q: Where can I get a set of wider, lighter wheels that will not break my wallet?
A: The Junkyard. Water-cooled VW wheels are the same bolt spacing and nearly the same backspacing as Hondas. Every good junkyard has a ton of VW alloy wheels that are lighter and wider than your stock wheels.
Q: Racing tires work great but they are expensive, do you have a cheap source?
A: Every racetrack has a tire facility. The rich racers take perfectly good tires off their racecars and put on new tires. I bought a set of good, used race tires for $30 each at my local racetrack.
Q: Where can I get longer wheel studs?
A: Honda wheel studs are all the same,12mmx1.5mm, however the wheel studs from a '96-98 Acura 3.2TL are longer than a civic's studs. Not only is there more strength this way but because there is stud sticking out the end of nut, if you do a boo-boo to the end of the threads this allows you to try and repair it easier. And if you can't, in a pinch, you could cut a bit off the end of the stud and still have full thread contact.

Body and Cosmetic Questions

Q: Where can I buy a body kit for the early CRX?
A: Mugen made a body kit that is no longer being manufactured. www.housemanautosport.com makes a pretty good copy of the Mugen body kit. www.andysautosport.com/crx_ground.html sells a body kit also.
Q: The front piece between the headlights and my fenders are cracked, where can I get replacements?
A: www.certifit.com or you can get the pieces from Honda. Honda quality is better. Certifit is cheaper
Q: Who sells clear corners, taillights and turn signals for the early CRX?
A: As far as I know, no aftermarket manufacturer is selling clear or altezza-style lights for the early CRX. Honda sold the early CRX with clear corners in Europe, the JDM models have amber lights like the US model. Try contacting Honda dealers in Europe like www.crown-honda.co.uk/parts/index.htm. The only trick to installing Euro-spec clear corners: the US corners have two light bulbs in them, the Euro corners only have one. I have drilled a hole in the back of the Euro-spec corners to allow the second bulb to be mounted. Euro-spec corner lights are technically illegal in the US. The 1984-88 Toyota pickup truck turn signal lights are very, close in size to the Honda turn signal lights. A set of aftermarket clear lens for
the Toyota truck will fit nearly exactly over your Honda turn signals.
Q: What seats will bolt into the early CRX?
A: Generally speaking, seats can be swapped from model to model if you stay within the same year. For example, I used to have 1987 Prelude seats in my 1987 CRX Si. The bolts and tracks are the same width. Honda changed the seat track width on nearly all their cars in 1988, so later seats need to be modified to fit.
Some people have installed the more comfortable later model CRX seats by relocating the seat rails to fit the mounting location of the early CRX. The only draw back is that the new seats are a little taller and headroom is compromised.
Q: I want a deeper air dam for my Si or DX.
A: The HF air dam is 1/2" deeper and about 1/4" narrower than the Si/DX air dam. The difference in width is not enough to notice.

Engine Questions

Q: I want to make my car a hybrid and install a bigger, stronger engine.
A: At the top of the family tree for the D Series, DOHC 1600cc, 16-valve engine is the JDM spec ZC engine of 135 hp. Next in line was the Euro-spec D16A8 which makes about 120 hp. In the US, we got the D16A1 Black Valve Cover version in the 1988-89 Integra, with 118 hp. And at the end of the line is the D16A1 Brown Valve Cover version in the 1986-87 Integra with 113hp. Daniel ("i want an Si" from the CRX Resource) points out that there is also the SOHC ZC, which came to this country in the form of the D16A6.
Many people refer to all 1986-89 Integra engines as being a ZC, but this is not technically correct. ZC is Honda's term for the top rated version of its engine. If you can find all of the JDM parts, you could build a USDM D16 into a ZC. But those parts are rare and probably expensive.
The Brown and Black valve cover version of the DOHC D16 engine are very easy to install. Basically, cheap, used Integra parts bolt straight into a 1st Gen CRX. HAS Sport makes a kit to install the later B Series (VTEC) engines into the 1st Gen, but it is an expensive kit.
The 88-89 Integra engine (black valve cover) is slightly more powerful than the 86-87 models for two reasons: Better intake manifold & it has domed pistons. That's it, everything else besides the ECU & distributor is the same. The 86-87 Integra rods are a little thicker than the 88-89's rods. Parts are interchangeable between all versions of the D16.
The BROWN Valve cover is equipped with:
-FLAT-TOP pistons
-Thick rods
-Square styled intake manifold
-Vacuum advance ignition with external coil
The BLACK Valve cover is equipped with:
-Domed pistons
-Slightly lighter rods
-Rounded intake manifold.
-Electronic advance distributor with internal coil.
Engine Mounts (total of 3 mounts on 84-87 Civic/CRX's):
Use the stock Civic/CRX mounts on the rear cross member & front timing-belt side.
Use an 86-89 Integra tranny mount for the tranny. The Civic/CRX tranny mount will make the motor sit crooked if you use it, so don't.
Use a complete set of 86-89 Integra axles including the intermediate shaft.
Knuckle/hub assembly:
In order to use an 86-89 Teg' engine + transmission, you have to use the 86-89 Integra
knuckle/spindle assembly so that you can utilize the Integra 3-piece axles. The 86-89 Integra axles DO NOT plug into 84-87 Civic/CRX knuckle/spindle's.
Shift linkage:
Use a complete 86-89 Integra's shift linkage.
Wiring harness:
Use the 1st Gen CRX Si's wiring harness. Plugs right into the 87 Integra sensors, injectors, & distributor.
Distributor & ECU:
Make sure you use an 86-87 Integra ECU & Distributor. That's the only DOHC ECU (besides a JDM one) designed to work with a Vacuum Advance Ignition (distributor) which only came on the 86-87 Integra's.
***Do not use an 88-89 Teg' ECU or Distributor****
Simply because it has an internal coil ignition just like all the 88+ civic/CRX/Integra use, which is completely different than the 86-87 ignition components.
Q: I am thinking about an engine swap, how much does each engine weigh?
A: From the CRX Resource:
D15A3 (from the Si) 219 lbs.
EW1 (from the 1500 Std) 208 lbs.
1300 (from the HF) 195 lbs.
D16A1 (from the Integra) 248 lbs.
B16 (the VTEC) 309 lbs

Q: Can I put a fuel-injected engine into a car that currently has a carburetor?
A: Fuel injection requires a pressurized fuel system that the carburetored cars do not have. You will need to change the fuel system and a large portion of the wiring harness to put a fuel injected engine in your car.
Q: Can I put a B series engine in my 1st Gen CRX?
A: www.hasport.com makes the kit to do it. Bring a bag of money.
Q: I want a more aggressive ECU (Computer) or a chip and fuel injectors to increase performance in my Si.
A: As far as I know, no one makes a chip or a high performance ECU for the 1st Gen CRX Si. The 1986-87 Integra ECU and fuel injectors will plug right into your car. The Integra ECU will let you rev higher and the injectors will flow more fuel. I suggest that you also install a fuel pressure regulator, a fuel pressure gauge, an air/fuel ration meter and a honed throttle body for increased airflow to match the increased fuel flow.
Q: How can I make more power in my fuel-injected engine?
A: If you get more air and fuel into the engine, the engine will make more power. To supply the "more fuel" I put in a set of 86-87 Integra injectors that I had cleaned and balanced. To get the "more air" I built a better breathing throttle body out of a stock, twin choke throttle body. I opened the throat of the primary choke from 20mm to 26mm and I also smoothed the path to both chokes. Using a Dremel with a cutting wheel I cut the "lip" of the primary throat so that it was even with the "shelf" that surrounds the primary throat. I then drilled down the primary throat on a drill press and with a 61/64" drill bit. Finally, I cleaned every thing up with a grinding bit on a 3/8" drill and a wire brush on the same drill.
Q: I was thinking of installing an undersized crank pulley.
A: Don't bother. I had one on my car and it did nothing to improve performance, all they do is make your alternator and A/C compressor spin slower. The stock crank pulley is designed to work with your engine and should not be changed.
Q: My idle fluctuates up and own by a couple hundred RPM on my fuel injected engine.
A: Your Throttle Position Sensor (TPS) has gone bad. This is the portion of the throttle body that tells the ECU how far open the choke plate is. Normally, if the TPS goes bad you must replace the whole throttle body because the TPS is attached with slot-less screws. But, you can cut slots into the TPS screws with a file or a Dremel tool and unscrew the TPS. Swap in a junkyard TPS and that should fix your problem.
Q: I have a DX, can I put the better breathing Si head on my DX block (the Si and the DX share the same EW block).
A: This answer comes from the Mk1CRX discussion group on Yahoo Groups: I would definitely go for the Si head. I have done it and I was amazed. I shaved my Si head .040 to recover lost compression, but it's not necessary, you'll just have low compression. If you do shave the head, a cam gear is most beneficial, because shaving the head automatically retards cam timing and the gear will get it back to stock or preferably a bit advanced, good for mid range power. I went the dual sidedraft route, very simple manifold and no worries. Weber Carbs: they are unmatched in the world of carburetion, but very,, expensive, and a PITA to tune and sync the first time, along with being very sensitive to dramatic weather changes. Weber makes sidedrafts, in several varieties. The most common [and arguably the best carb of any configuration ever made] is the DCOE. They're a twin carburetor design, meaning that there are two distinct throats that act independently of one another, but share the same body. They can be found with 40, 45 and 52mm throats [I think there are more, but those are the most popular, esp. the DCOE 40]. The easiest way to get more power from an engine is to allow it more air with the proper amount of fuel. For my engine, I chose twin DCOE 40 Webers [that's four (count 'em, 4) air horns], with a DC sports header. Mikuni's are nice, easily tuned, but Webers blow them out of the water if they're jetted even close. You can find more models and prices of Weber carbs and carb kits at: www.carbs.net
Q: Can I put a single carburetor on my Si head?
A: Rip and Tear Auto from the CRX Resource answers: The carb is a Weber 32/36 DGAV. This is the carb that is used in the single Weber conversion kit for carborated 1st gens. We had to change every jet in the thing. Right now it's got:
150 primary main
155 secondary main
75 primary idle
60 secondary idle
55 double shot accelerator pump jet
160 primary and secondary air correctors
It still needs a bigger secondary idle jet (don't have one yet) and I am still playing with the air correctors.
The injector holes are just taped and plugged with standard brass plugs. I originally used the DX cam in the Si head so I could run my stock fuel pump, but have since switched over to a corroborated Accord pump. The Accord pump is electric, and has a built in regulator. Vacuum lines? I have vacuum lines. Well, one anyway, running from the back of the carb to my vacuum advance on my distributor. No it is not smog legal, but hey you can't have every thing. As far as the design of the adapter plate, I never drew up anything nice because I didn't need to since I was making the plate my self.
Q: Where can I get stiffer than stock motor mounts?
A: Mugen used to make a set, but they are currently unavailable. But you can cheaply make your OEM mounts stiffer than stock by filling the hollow spaces in the rubber mounts with polyurethane (3-M polyurethane adhesive works well). Clean all of the surfaces inside the OEM motor mounts carefully, apply the windshield adhesive, and let it cure for about 48 hours before reinstalling.

Brake Questions

Q: Can I put rear disk brakes on my car?
A: Yes, but you will need to graft the rear axle from an Integra onto your car to make it happen. Another alternative is to replace the iron rear drums with aluminum drums from the HF model. This saves weight and works just as well as the Integra rear disks. You will have to change the rear brake backing plate to a HF plate to make the aluminum drums fit, but that is a relatively easy job.
Q Will the Integra's larger front caliper, and rotors bolt right on to my CRX?
A: Yes, and the Integra brakes will fit under 13" wheels.
Q: Should I use slotted or cross-drilled rotors?
A: For street driving, the plain OEM style rotors are just fine. Slotted rotors allow the gas that forms between the pad and the rotors to escape. If you do a lot of hard driving in hot conditions slotted disks may be good for you. Cross-drilled also do that and are lighter. But cheap cross-drilled rotors are subject to cracking. Expensive cross-drilled rotors are cryogenically treated to prevent cracking.
Q: I am not certain my brake booster is OK, how do I check I?
A: From the Mk1CRX group on Yahoo groups: To test the brake booster, try the following procedures: 1. With the engine off, press the brake pedal several times. Then press it hard and hold that pressure for 15 seconds. If the pedal sinks, a brake line, wheel cylinder or master cylinder is faulty. 2. Start the engine with the pedal pressed. If the pedal sinks slightly, the booster is working. if the pedal height doesn't vary, the booster or check valve is faulty. 3. Press the brake pedal with the engine running. Then stop the engine. If the pedal height does not vary for 30 seconds the booster is OK. If the pedal rises, the booster is faulty. 4. With the engine off press the pedal several times with normal pressure. When the pedal is first pressed, it should be low. On consecutive applications, pedal height should gradually rise. If pedal height does not vary, check booster check valve. The check valve is the thing in the big vacuum line going to the booster, which is below the master cylinder in the engine compartment.

Transmission Questions

Q: Who makes a short shifter for the 1st Gen CRX?
A: I have had both the Pacesetter (terrible) and the DC sport (great) short shifters in my '87 Si. If you install a short shifter, the effort to change gears increases. Something to get used to. The '88 and later short shifters will not fit the '87 and earlier cars. I used nylon washers in the connecting bolt of the shifter to smooth shift action.
Q: What is the difference between the cheaper Phantom Grip Limited Slip Differential (LSD) and the more expensive LSD from OPM?
A: Shane Portnoff answers: CRE and OPM make a limited slip, $650. The only difference between theirs and phantom grip is they put clutch plates in between the differential side gears and the carrier. The spring package is sandwiched in between the two side gears putting pressure at the clutch plates, creating "limited slip". Of course the clutch material will wear out also, but that is replaceable and probably cheaper than a new differential assembly. The phantom grip is just the spring package, so the friction created is between the side gears and the differential carrier. The friction coefficient must be kind of unpredictable plus the gears and carrier assembly will eventually wear out. Also there will be ground up metal inside the trans.
Q: Any tricks to installing a Mugen Limited slip Differential?
A: Yes, the Mugen LS diff is slightly shorter than the stock unit and it will rub against a "rib" inside the transmission case. The solution is to use a pair of pliers to snap the rib off and file down the rough edges. Use 75w90 transmission oil. Break in the new diff by driving in a series of figure-eight's in a large parking lot. Drain the transmission oil and replace with new 75w90. King Motorsports recommends Redline MT90.
Q: What are the gear ratios of various 1st Gen CRX models?
A: The ratios for the 1.5 (EW5) are
1st: 2.916:1
2nd: 1.764:1
3rd: 1.192:1
4th: 0.866:1
5th: 0.718:1
Reverse: 2.916:1
Final drive: 4.250:1
1st: 3.272:1
2nd: 1.666:1
3rd: 1.037:1
4th: 0.774:1
5th: 0.647:1
Reverse: 2.916:1
Final drive: 4.250:1
Shuttle 1500 (Civic Wagon in the US)
1st: 3.181:1
2nd: 1.823:1
3rd: 1.192:1
4th: 0.866:1
5th: 0.718:1
Reverse: 2.916:1
Final drive: 4.250:1
1.6 (CG) tranny
1st: 3.18:1
2nd: 1.94:1
3rd: 1.35:1
4th: 1.03:1
5th: 0.88:1
Reverse: 2.916:1
Final drive: 3.866:1

Suspension Questions

Q: I want stiffer front torsion bars.
A: Are you sure? Unless your car is a dedicated racer, or you have put a heavier engine in, the stock torsion bars are stiff enough in the front. People who have put stiffer front torsion bars in their cars report that the ride becomes very hard and uncomfortable for daily driving. You can buy thicker, stiffer torsion bars from OPM Motorsports, they sell 22mm and 27mm torsion bars. Check the list lower in this section for torsion bar and sway bar choices.
Q: What is a good replacement for the rear springs?
A: You have two choices. The best, and more expensive choice is to buy Ground Control coil overs which come with a variety of Eibach springs. Or, you can buy a set of Integra or Civic Wagon springs from the junkyard. On my car, I have the stock torsion bars and a set of Integra springs with one coil cut off. This combination works well.
Q: From what Honda products can I source sway bars and torsion bars?
A: Ballade, from the CRX Resource, provides this handy list:

Both the Si CRX and DX CRX had the same suspension Specs
Stock 84-87 SI&DX: Front sway bar 16mm
Rear internal sway bar 15mm
Torsion bar 20mm @24.5" Long

Civic Wagon 2WD: Front sway bar 20mm
Rear internal sway bar 15.5mm (won't fit into CRX beam axle due to end link)
Torsion bar 21mm @22.5"Long (shorter then CRX bar, need wagon torque tubes)
Thicker rear springs (cut to fit)
Civic Wagon 4WD: Torsion Bars 21mm @ 24.75" Long (will work with CRX Torque tubes.)

Integra: Front sway bar 19mm
Rear sway bar 17mm
Torsion bar 22mm they are longer then CRX bars and won't fit in lower arms
Thicker rear springs

Integra SE Rear internal sway bar 19mm

Q: What is the correct way to lower my 1st Gen CRX?
A: First the basics- The early CRX has torsion bars, rather than springs in the front. Honda used T-bars to save space and allow a lower front profile. In the rear, there is a beam axle located by trailing arms and a Panhard bar with coil springs. Inside the rear axle is a torsion bar that acts as a rear sway bar. In the front, there is a conventional sway bar. To lower the car, you need shorter springs and reset torsion bars.
***Important Note*** When you lower the rear, the axle moves closer to the driver's side. To correctly reposition the rear axle to the center of the car, you will need an adjustable panhard bar. They are available from www.opmmotorsports.com. Coilovers are the best way to lower the rear. www.ground-control.com sells a couple different options for coilovers. If you are cheap (like me) you can use the rear springs from the Civic Wagon or the Integra and cut one coil off. Cutting coil springs is generally not a good idea, but the simplicity of the CRX rear suspension allows a measure of crudeness. In the front, the front torsion bars can be adjusted lower about 1/2" by loosening the adjustment nut underneath the car on each side. To get the front really low, you will need to take the torsion bars out and reposition them 1 notch lower. If your car is a 100% racecar, get the thickest torsion bars you can find (OPM Motorsports has a selection). For street and track use, the T-bars out of the 4wd Civic Wagon are thicker than the CRX and usable on the street. Lowering the car reduces suspension travel. You can increase suspension travel by filing off the brake line bracket on the front struts and positioning the struts 1-inch lower in the front knuckles. Camber plates will also give you some more suspension travel. Adjustable struts are expensive, but they allow you the opportunity to fine-tune your suspension. If you are not racing, maybe you do not need adjustable struts.
Increasing camber and caster will wear out your tires faster, but will help you on the racetrack. An alternative to camber plates is to bolt on the lower arms from an Integra to get about 1 degree of negative camber. Caster can be added by loosening the sub-frame, pulling the entire front end
forward with a winch and then re-tightening the sub-frame. Suspension Techniques sells a bolt on rear sway bar, which is a good idea to add to your car. There are many opinions about the front sway bar on the
CRX. Some people suggest removing it completely, others advocate using the thicker Civic Wagon front sway bar. Changing the front sway bar is a PITA. For street and Autocross use, I kept the stock bar with new bushings.
Q: What is the best way to increase negative camber in the front end.
A: You can buy a camber plate from OPM Motorsports (expensive) or you can bolt on the lower arms from a first gen. Integra which you can buy from a junkyard (cheap). The Integra arms are a little longer than the CRX arms so you get about 1 degree of negative camber that way, but you have no real adjustment. The camber plates give you the option to dial in as much or as little camber as you want.
Q: How can I increase caster?
A: Lightspeed used to make a camber plate that included a caster adjustment; but they are hard to find. One trick you can use is to loosen all of the bolts that hold the sub-frame to the car and then use a winch to pull the sub-frame forward a bit. Re-tighten the bolts and you have just increased the caster.
Q: I want to change the camber and toe of my rear wheels.
A: Moog makes a set of shims to make these adjustments. Between the trailing arm and the rear hub are four bolts holding everything together. A guy on the island of Malta has told me that he made the adjustments to his rear suspension with a couple of washers between the trailing arm and the top two bolts. And he got some toe out by putting an extra washer into the front two bolts.
Q: Quicker steering?
A: The HF model has a quicker steering ratio rack and pinion so you can put that into your DX or Si.
Q: Could I make my own adjustable Panhard Bar?
A: Yes, the following is from the 1st Gen Integra web sire www.g1teg.org
How To modify 84-87 Civic/CRX and 86-89 Integra Panhard bar. To make this mod simpler, I suggest picking a used panhard bar from a wrecking yard. You will also need about 3' of 3/4" diameter pipe, and a suitable sized bolt to fit inside of the above mentioned pipe snuggly. The bolt should be 3-5" in length, and you will also need two nuts to fit the bolt. I used a 9/16" bolt because it fit snug in the pipe I used, this size will vary depending on the pipe you use. This mod does require welding, if you cant weld it, any shop with a MIG welder should be able to weld this for you for a small charge, 1/2 hour of shop time max. Since you will be welding to the parts of the old panhard bar, you will need to remove the bushings, otherwise they will be burned during the welding. I strongly suggest polyurethane bushings as a replacement. Now it is very important to measure the overall length of the panhard bar and keep note of it. The easiest way to do this is to use a piece of cardboard and trace out the panhard bar. Once the panhard bar has been measured, cut a section from the middle about 1', leaving some of the channel at both ends. All excess paint needs to be removed for welding, sand down the inside of the channel to expose clean metal. Also during welding the undercoat paint will peel and burn off, to get rid off the undercoat just burn it off with a propane or acetylene torch. Let the pieces cool off. Now the bolt you will use for the adjustment should fit snug in the pipe. Cut only the head off of the bolt with a hacksaw. Spin on one of the nuts 1 or 2 turns. Measure the remaining threads left for the nut to spin onto, keep note of this measurement as well as mark the bolt. Now the smaller bushing end (the frame end) is where I put the adjustment, to make it possible to adjust it without removing the whole panhard bar. So this part of the old channel can be cut a little shorter than the bigger bushing end. Now lay the two pieces of the original panhard bar onto the cardboard you traced it on to. Measure the distance between bushing sleeves, subtract the amount of adjustment left on the bolt and this is the length of the pipe overall. Cut the pipe to length, then cut it into 2 sections one short and one long. Now assemble everything on the cardboard, sliding the pipe into the channel until it bottoms against the bushing sleeves, setting the bolt partially into the short tube at your earlier mark and resting the nut against the long tube. Make sure you allow for the adjustment to mostly shorten the panhard bar, unless you plan on lifting your Teg Now double check your overall length, and mark all the joints with a indelible marker or chalk, so you know where to line things up when welding. It is crucial to keep the pipe straight/square in the channel while welding. Use a vice to hold the channel, then place the appropriate pipe in the channel, making sure the pipe lays flat against the top part of the channel, double check the marks you made earlier then use the vice to squeeze the channel so that it clamps the pipe in place. Check your marks and begin welding. Repeat this process for the other end. Now insert the bolt into the short piece of pipe and line it up with its marks, then weld it in place. Last is the nut to be welded on the long piece, this is a little tricky to square up. Set the pipe straight up and down in the vice and place the nut on the end, Tack weld the nut to the pipe on one side only. Using a square check and adjust the nut as required and weld completely. Once it has cooled from the welding spin on the second nut all the way, this is the lock nut. Assemble the rest of the panhard bar, paint it and install your new bushings. You can now install this in your car and adjust as necessary. Don't forget to tighten that lock nut.
Q: How would I install a set of aftermarket torsion bars?
A: This answer comes from the Mullinator's web site .http://mybiz.aintnoneofyour.biz/crx/
Set the emergency brake and loosen the front lug nuts. ? Raise the car using the bump under the radiator, in the center of the front of the car. This positioning will allow more clearance for your work area. But remember; most folks do not consider working under a car supported only by a jack as safe. You should use jack stands. I warned you. * Remove the wheel. * Remove the 17mm screw that locates the strut cartridge in the steering knuckle. Jiggle the strut to make sure it's free of the knuckle. Also remove the 17mm height-adjusting nut and the dust cap on the front of the torque tube. * Hit the newly revealed front opening of the torque tube w/ PB Blaster. * Remove the 2- 12mm screws that hold the cup at the back of the torque tube to the frame rail. * Remove the cup. It is held on pretty well even after you remove the screws-- here's the best method for removal I've found, so far. Hit it with PB Blaster. Liberally. Then alternately tap the top and bottom lips of the cup (the metal part, not the rubber insert) with the edge of your large flat-blade screwdriver. I found my 3lb hammer worked much faster than my 16oz. Patience will pay large dividends. Trust me, it will come off. * Remove the circlip from the rear end of the t-bar. * HOLD SOMETHING WOODEN LIKE A BROOM HANDLE OR A DOWEL against the back of the bar and hammer it forward. Again, a 3lb short-handled hammer works wonders here. You need to move the bar just far enough forward to reveal the wire clip at the front. Do not bash the bar past this point, it will make it more difficult to remove the bar later. * Remove the front clip and tap the bar all the way out, toward the rear of the vehicle. Remember this: if you encounter much resistance when attempting to move the bar, you have done something wrong. Double-check that the strut cartridge is free and that you removed the height-adjusting nut. * Remove the torque tube. Once the bar is out, the tube slides to the rear and off of the car. * If you choose not to machine the torque tube, match your aftermarket bars to the stock ones. I got bars stamped L and R, but they were actually two left bars. This will not affect owners who modify the torque tube. Note that after they learned of my experience, OPM diligently inspected the rest of their stock for mistakes and informed the manufacturer to double-check their shipments. Evidently my set was just a fluke. * Install the circlip on the rear of the bar. The rear has the L or R stamping and is slightly larger in diameter than the front. * Set the torque tube in place. Slide it as far forward as you can. Make sure you position the hole for the height-adjustment mechanism over the bolt onto which the nut will install. Do not install the nut, yet. * Grease the splined ends and insert the bar. You will have to align the key on the front end of the bar with the appropriate keyway on the arm that bolts to the lower control arm. * Now rotate the torque tube until its adjusting arm is about halfway up the adjusting bolt. Carefully engage the rear of the bar with the splines in the torque tube. If you apply very slight forward pressure with your hand, you will feel the splines as you wiggle the torque tube. Once you have engaged the splines, USE THE WOODEN DOWEL and your hammer to slide the bar forward until the circlip hits the tube. If you encounter more than moderate resistance, you are doing something wrong. If you go gorilla on the t-bar, you are going to have to buy a whole new set. Don't even think about getting a replacement torque tube. BTDT. * Don't worry about the front clip. I don't see the need to fuss with it. And if you don't, removal will be much simpler in the future. Install the front dust cap and the height-adjusting nut. * Apply a light coating of grease to the torque tube cup and the rubber insert and reinstall. * Reinstall the screw that locates the strut cartridge in the steering knuckle. * Reinstall the wheel with the lugnuts finger-tight. * Put the wheel back on, drop the car, and set the height-adjusting nut as best you can. Don't worry about it too much, the height-adjustment procedure takes a few tries before everything is correct. * Tighten the lugnuts.

Junkyard Parts List

From the '84-'87 HF-
right side mirror delete
clock delete
radio delete
bumper supports
door panels
front air dam
rear hatch
center console
rear brake drums and plates
roller rockers ( HF engines only have 8 valves)
two ring pistons
lighter wheel bearings
steering rack
0.655 5th gear (look for the 19 and 29 tooth 5th gear set.)

From the '84-'87 DX (AKA "1500")-
A pillar grab handle

From the 1985 Si-
140mph speedo

For the 1500 or DX-
The Si exhaust manifold and downpipe

From any '85-'87 Si model if you are upgrading to fuel injection-
fuel tank/fuel pump/fuel lines
Wiring harness

From the '86-'87 Integra-
front rotors, calipers and brackets
rear brakes/rear axle/parking brake cables
rear sway bar
engine/transmission/axles/shift linkage/ECU
ECU (manual transmission only)
radius arms (creates negative camber on the CRX)
rear springs
Integra engine head/intake manifold/fuel rail/throttlebody (may bolt directly to the EW block)

From the '85-'87 Civic Wagon (Transit) 4WD-
front sway bar
torsion bars

Links: These are not the only places to find 1st Gen CRX stuff, but this a good list of places to start looking.

www.redpepperracing.com (Great 1st Gen stuff!)
www.improvedtouring.com (racers selling parts)
www.d-a-p.com (Specializing in used Honda and Acura parts)
www.g1teg.org (The 1st Gen Integra webs site)
www.housemanautosport.com (Mugen style body kits)
http://www.claysmithcams.com (performance camshafts, pistons, rods, etc.)
http://www.car-part.com (a national database of junkyards, with pix!)
http://www.aempower.com (cam gears, underdrive pulleys)
http://www.unorthodoxracing.com (more pulleys, flywheels, etc.)
http://www.purehonda.com (Honda/Acura aftermarket performance guide)
http://www.dcsports.com (GOOD quality!)
http://www.cyberauto.com (performance goodies for "mature" CRXs)
http://www.ground-control.com (good suspension stuff)
http://www.opmmotorsports.com/honda.html (lots of goodies here!)
http://www.hondaautomotiveparts.com (Majestic Honda's website)
http://www.webcom.com/wv/crx/parts (Used Honda Parts)
http://www.hparts.com (Genuine Honda parts)
http://manhonda.com (Manchester Honda's website)
http://www.thepartstrader.com/mainpage.cfm (swap parts)
http://www.raxles.com/INDEX1.htm (Axles)
http://www.hasport.com/index.html (THE site for motor swaps)
http://www.piercemanifolds.com/products.htm (Weber carbs and intake manifolds) http://www.twminduction.com (more intake solutions here)
http://hybrid.honda-perf.org/tech/westech.html (a Hybrid Honda site)
http://crx.honda-perf.org (lots of good CRX info here)
http://kumo.swcp.com/synth/crx/specs.html (More good first-gen specs here)
http://www.redshift.ca (Canadian seller of JDM parts)
http://www.addco.net (aftermarket sway bars)
http://www.shox.com (shocks)
http://www.porterfield-brakes.com (great brake pads and shoes!)
http://www.gude.com (performance camshafts and heads)
http://www.theoldone.com (Endyn's educational website)
http://www.rivergate5speed.com/honda_performance.html (race parts)
http://www.paintscratch.com (touch-up paint)
http://www.carbs.net (Weber carb info you will ever need)
www.kingmotorsports.com (US distributor for Mugen)

Current mods on my 1987 CRX Si

205/50/15 Toyo Proxes T1 tires *
15x7 InterMilano Racing Gear Wheels
Porterfield R-4 pads and shoes
HF aluminum rear drums *
HF backing plates
HF air dam #
PowerSlot '86-'87 Integra rotors
'86-'87 Integra calipers *
'86-'87 Integra fuel injectors
'86-'87 Integra ECU
Goodridge steel brake lines
Suspension Techniques rear sway bar
DEI header wrap
Energy Suspension bushings set
DC Sport short shifter *
Tokico Blue struts and shocks
Tokico rear springs *
Repositioned front struts
Lightspeed Racing panhard bar #
Greddy front strut brace
Greddy rear strut brace #
OPM camber plates *
AEM adjustable cam sprocket
ACT clutch
DC Sport 4-2-1 header *
Mugen Limited Slip Differential #
Ultraflow muffler
Custom catback
Magnecor plug wires
MSD coil
K&N air filter
Relocated gel cell battery
Relocated torsion bars
TRW Sabelt 3 point harness (2)
SCCA-style tow hooks
Summit Racing seats
ACP pedals
Euro-spec OEM corner lights *
'87 Toyota Truck clear turn lights
'96 Acura AM/FM/CD *
Rear speakers and grills *
Weight reduction in bumpers
Cold air intake **
Cold air barrier **
Turborex fuel pressure regulator
B&M fuel pressure gauge
AutoMeter air/fuel ratio meter
Large Bore throttle body **
For Racing:
Riken 13x6 wheels *
Yokohama A008 205/60/13 tires *

Purchased Used *
Never installed by seller #
Homemade **


Junior Member
Originally posted by devnjeff@Jul 10 2005, 10:13 AM
My 14 yr old son races an 85 carbureted crx (3/8 mile dirt track), Ive picked up an 89 with zc motor to swap into his car and will eventually build him a b16 for the 89. It's my understanding the swap is simple. Can anyone tell me if there are step x step directions anywhere to be downloaded or printed? and will the trans from the 85 work ok with the zc? it appears as if the mounts are different on the 89 so i guess i'm swapping engine only.
[post=523595]Quoted post[/post]​


Junior Member
Originally posted by devnjeff+Jul 10 2005, 05:54 PM-->
@Jul 10 2005, 10:13 AM
My 14 yr old son races an 85 carbureted crx (3/8 mile dirt track), Ive picked up an 89 with zc motor to swap into his car and will eventually build him a b16 for the 89. It's my understanding the swap is simple. Can anyone tell me if there are step x step directions anywhere to be downloaded or printed? and will the trans from the 85 work ok with the zc? it appears as if the mounts are different on the 89 so i guess i'm swapping engine only.
[post=523595]Quoted post[/post]​

[post=523767]Quoted post[/post]​

thanks for the help! I don't mind swapping the harness' that are necessary. Fuel will be delivered from a fuel cell so i'll have to deal with fuel pressure issues and will probably run an electric pump. I gather i need to find motor mounts from the integra, because if i'm understanding correctly i'll need to swap trannys also, and the mounts from the 89 crx will not work....Is that right?


Mad scientist
That's what I'm thinking- you'll need mounts from the 86-89 Integra to make everything work. If you're going to run the fuel from a cell with an electric pump, you should be ok. As far as swapping a harness- you won't really be swapping much... you'll just be adding a harness. I don't imagine that the carbureted engine has much in terms of wiring.