(Finally) scored a CX (?) - Fuelly Forums

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Old 07-26-2008, 05:29 AM   #1
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(Finally) scored a CX (?)

After a year of scoffing at burned out "tuner" cars with $500 stereos and no door panels, as well as a fair number of base model DXs with 300,000 plus miles on them, I finally managed to score a decent Civic CX that's been reasonably well cared for. The only trouble is, I've never even driven a CX before so I have no baseline to determine if everything is okay. In fact, I've never even seen a CX and I am beginning to wonder if I got a DX and the previous owner just had no idea what the difference is either. That'd be a laugh! I suppose I'd rather have a DX than spend another year not finding a CX.

At the risk of looking like a fool in my first post, I am wondering what the differences are between a CX and the DX. It's a 1993, and it was made in Canada. It is extra rare because it had air conditioning installed in California (I think the badge said Long Beach). I know there aren't many CXs with AC. It doesn't have a side view mirror on the passenger's side, which I recall is what marked the HF from the DX in the CRXs.

Now that I have it, I suspect that I may have a DX with bad rings, rather than a CX (which are all slow). That was my concern while I was buying it, but I was prepared for the worst case scenario, because it is near impossible to find a Civic hatchback of this vintage that isn't beat to pieces or "tuned" to pieces. So, if I've got a DX with bad rings, so be it. It's not blowing smoke. The oil looked good. The maintenance record was comparatively excellent.

Oh well, you all know how it is when you buy a new (used) car, I'm sure. At least for me, I keep bouncing back and forth between, "Wow! this thing is great!" and "What's that clicking sound???!!!???"
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Old 07-26-2008, 06:50 AM   #2
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I think the engine code will tell you. As you look at the engine from the front there will be a flat spot on the block to the left of the exhaust manifold. The engine code will be stamped here. If you have a CX I think the code will be D15B8.
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Old 07-26-2008, 07:12 AM   #3
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Thanks, Landon! On this score, the CX theory checks out. The engine is indeed a D15B8. I will post some pictures. I recall thinking the wheels looked right as well. What made me nervous was that there is no CX decal or badge on the car, but on the rear all of the badges have been ganked.

Wow, if I managed to score a sub 200,000 mile CX with no damage in the summer of 2008 at sub KBB blue book value, I will be really impressed with myself! And it's a Southwest car to boot. Okay, now I'm bragging. I hate this roller coaster ride of buying a used car! I have to keep telling myself that you don't really know what you have until you've driven it 1,000 miles.
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Old 07-26-2008, 08:18 AM   #4
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The VIN will also confirm it. Insurance companies do this for you or you can look up the VIN breakdown online.

The CX lacks intermittent wipers, a rear wiper, has only 8 valves, has no rear speakers, has very little sound dampening, no power steering, no dash dimmer, often lacks an antenna, no passenger side mirror, and no tachometer.

Fortunately, it's fairly easy to swap whatever you want into it. I suggest starting with swapping that gutless 60hp motor for the 92hp Z1 that gets better mileage and can actually go uphill.
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Old 07-26-2008, 10:18 AM   #5
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I believe the CX actually has 70hp, and A/C was an option and most only had a driver's side mirror. The DX has a rear wiper, but the CX doesn't. The DX has 102hp, 92hp for VX, and 125 for the Si.
Suspended Hatch hit mostly everything on the head.
How much did you get it for?
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Old 07-26-2008, 11:11 AM   #6
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First, thanks for the info, suspended hatch. You hit the nail on the head with regard to my planned upgrade path. I am going to do all the little details in the current form... things like new struts, new rear brakes, various little details of interior fit and finish. Then I will try to get the most out the engine that is in there. The engine is a D15B8, which I am pretty sure means that this is a CX despite any badging. I think almost all of the badging was scraped off to make way for the pinstriping or on a paint job. The lack of a CX makes me think it is a DX.

Evidence for CX:

- engine stamp D15B8
- no passenger side mirror
- no tachometer
- no intermittent wipers
- no rear wiper
- no rear speakers

But it DOES have:
- a dash dimmer
- antenna

NO CX Badge. But I think the badging that year was just a sticker. The trim badges are often missing on Hondas anyway.

Sam, I got it for $2k. The kids phone was ringing off the hook with texts and follow up calls while I was looking at it. And people were making offers sight unseen on the phone.

I was a little troubled by some aspects of the car, but it had a new timing belt, water pump and head gasket at 125k, and good records for other aspects of the car. The interior was in the best shape I'd ever seen for a Hatchback of that vintage, the undercarriage was perfect (Tucson!), not a spot of rust anywhere. I was thinking that if it was a DX I'd be trying to swap in the VTEC-e anyway, so... a good solid chassis is worth $2k in and of itself.

You know how Japanese cars are though. The VIN indicates this is a '94. And Japanese plants will often mix and match... you'll find '93 front brakes and '95 rear brakes... things like that. So, I got something, I am pretty sure it is either a CX or a DX with a D15B8 swap... But I can't imagine why someone would swap a CX motor into a DX and then go to the trouble of taking the side-view mirror off the passenger side and digging up the cover plate thing that goes in its place for the sideview.
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Old 07-27-2008, 10:19 AM   #7
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You have a CX. 92-95, all badging for civic and the trim model (CX,VX,DX,Si) were stickers that were easy to remove with goof off. I removed mines. lol
You got it for a good price, congrats on that. All of the models have dash dimmers and if you have a factory radio, its gonna have an antenna though some CXs did not have a factory radio. Once you have it all tuned up, you should see low 40s with your CX. I was going to get one if I didn't find a VX.
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Old 07-28-2008, 08:07 AM   #8
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Thanks for the confirm, smccall, I am well pleased with myself. I wish I had bought in 2006 when I first got the itch to do it. I also wish I had a little more self-confidence when it came to my original plan which was to buy any old DX I could find, strip it, and drop in D15Z1 (or perhaps even the HX engine from the next generation). The way Honda makes cars, I am hoping to drop a fusion/electric drive in in about twenty years! It seems like any engine can go in any car in a weekend, some of the posts I've seen around here!
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Old 07-28-2008, 09:58 AM   #9
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Good Find, I had a pain of a time finding a replacement VX/CX or any hatch around here...settled for a Del Sol, very happy I did and just swapped my D15z1 and trans into it! the physical swap is pretty easy to be done and after doing the wiring it isn't to complicated but it is the most stressful part of the swap! Grab a JDM low mileage D15b and swap that bad boy into your CX! GL with the car! Matt
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