Technically there wasn't an 84 crx hf. It was just called the CRX 1300. The official CRX HF badge didn't get added until 1985. If this car has a strip on the back that shows "HF" be very wary and check the stuff numbered below.
If it is a true 84 crx 1300 (the one that was EPA rated at 57 mpg) there are a few things to check:
1. The stamped engine code will be "EV". This can be found on the engine block, right near where the starter bolts on to the transmission. If the code is "EW", someone swapped in the more common (and less efficient) 1.5 liter engine.
2. The engine rpm at 70 mph in 5th gear will be around 2500 (so that would be about 1250 at 35mph). If it is 2700 or higher, it definitely has the wrong transmission.
3. There will be no oxygen sensor sticking up out of the middle of the exhaust manifold
4. There will be tons of vacuum lines and 1 large black box on the firewall with about 15-20 lines running into it.
I have 2 cars of this vintage (an 87 Civic and an 87 CRX HF). The only drawback to these engines is that they will blow the head gasket if they are overheated. Then they will overheat easily once the gasket is bad. Usually antifreeze will not end up in the oil when the gasket blows- it will just overheat easily. A head gasket set is about $100 + having a machine shop mill it flat may be $75-$100.
Due to the design, if the timing belt breaks, you will bend valves and if a worn lower ball joint lets loose, you will lose control and bend up some suspension components (they are replaceable).
If it runs good without overheating and you can verify that it does have the correct engine and transmission, and the unibody isn't very rusty (check the floor pans), I think it would be worth at least $1500. The plastic fenders and front header panel commonly develop cracks- this is normal. Unfortunately, these parts are getting hard to find.
I have my 87 CRX HF set up just like the 84 CRX 1300 (see my gas log for stingray). It has a 1300 cc engine and a transmission from an 84 crx 1300. It was doing about 48mpg on long 70 mph trips on the interstate and I still didn't have the correct low rpm camshaft for it (which should help even more). I stopped driving the CRX because it needs a couple of new tires and I only drove it on long interstate trips. It was pretty miserable making the 3 hour trip in the summer (without working AC) and so I have it parked for now and drive my 94 accord (with AC and towing capability) on this trip (only once every 3-4 weeks). To make a long story short, the gas that CRX saves wouldn't make up for the insurance and tire expense.
thanks for the info. I called the guy, and he didn't know which engine. I will look at it later today. he claims it has never been overheated. I would really prefer the 1300 cc engine. thanks again for the info.
I looked at the car, it is the 1300cc engine. no rust issues that I could see. he just did a complete tuneup, and new exhaust system, and did a smog check. I offered him $1700, and he accepted,though rather reluctantly. he wants to wait a few days till he gets his other vehicle. Even has air conditioning, though I don't plan on using it much. I like the idea of manual steering and brakes, much easier to oec. if gas prices go as high as they are saying, this car should pay for iself in 20,000 miles. gas prices here are already $4.20 a gallon
just got my car today. it has a small spoiler on the back, were these stock, and will it hurt or help mpg ? the guy I got it from said he was getting 40 mpg. I checked the air pressure, and they were down to 25 psi. the max recommended pressure on the tire was 36 psi, so I aired them up to 36. it was just smogged and I believe they retard the timing for that. I will probably want to play with the timing.
I nearly bought one of these back in '85. They didn't come with a spoiler standard. I know that for sure. I would wager this has been added on and is simply a new modification. I doubt it does much for helping fuel efficiency, but probably doesn't hurt it either. With your tires at max 36 psi, you should see significant increase in mpg. Let us know how your first couple of tanks go!!!
first fillup since initial fillup. 262.1 miles, 5.594 gal. = 46.85 mpg, combined city/ highway. this is also with175 70 13 tires. replacing them with stock size 165 70 13 tires monday. weather has been cold and wet.