I purchased a completely stock '88 CRX HF recently with a blown engine, but also very straight body for $800. I'm in the process of having the engine completely rebuilt and I'm going to end up with a $4500 car with a rebuilt engine new paint, new tires, new seats.
Tires, planning on Sumitomo SC 628 155/80/13. I have these tires on my Corrolla and the pushed the MPG up about 2 overall. Anybody have any better recommendations?
Exhaust: Will I save more gas by oversizing the catalytic converter and exhaust system behind it? I really don't care too much about performance will this just up my HP and not the MPG?
Oil: Should I go synthetic or just 10/30?
Body: I don't want to mod it permanantly because 10 years from now it might be collectable. Is there some kind of air dam I could mount on the existing bumper without ruining it?
Any other suggestions? New chip? Will a chip ruin my california smog rating?
If you are in CA, keep in mind that anything but the stock cat will not pass smog. You of course could put all the stock exhaust back on every two years, but what a PIA.
When you say you will have a $4500 car, I hope you aren't inferring you are paying close to $4000 to have the engine rebuilt, to me that would be way to steep. (buy the way, how much are they charging you to rebuild the engine?)
You really cannot chip the P07 (I think the HF is a P07) ECU, it does not have an external EPROM chip. There is some drastic mod where you can modify the ECU motherboard to accept an external EPROM, but don't think it is worth the effort. And if you did, like the exhaust, you'd probably have to set it back to the original, (or buy a 2nd ECU) to pass smog.
If the engine is relatively stock, I'd leave the ECU alone. If I ever get the extra $, I'm going to put a Megasquirt in my CRX to lean the car out for better mileage. It can be done as a plug and play that you can put the stock one back in to sell the car or pass emissions.
Thanks for the help guys. I am in CA and so I guess I'm leaving the exhaust stock for smog and since you guys recommended not changing it.
As for the price of the rebuilt engine the bid is $2300 with new head, all new bearings, gaskets, water pump, new pistons, etc.. in other words a complete rebuild. This is a little high compared to other bids I got but it's a honda only specialty shop with a really good rep that is local.
Anyone want to chime in on what synthetic oil they recommend?
Here's what my budget looks like so far
$800 the car
$2300 engine rebuild
$200 new rear wheel bearings
$220 for some immaculate used del sol seats
$600 paint job
They're AB tires (Traction A, Temperature B) and have a 75,000 mile treadwear warranty versus the SC628 BB rating and 40,000 mile treadwear warranty, which means the potential money you save on improved FE versus the HTR T4 will be spent on the second set of tires at 40,000 miles. The HTR T4 lasts almost 90% longer. Additionally, the HTR T4 is available in the correct HF original tire size 165/70/13, and they're only 1 lb heavier than the SC628 size 155/80/13. Personally, I'd rather have a sliightly wider tire for better handling and braking.
Finally, although the HTR T4 is not described as a LRR tire in the Sumitomo description, it has an Excellent rating for LRR in a Consumer Reports test (not available anymore to view).
I have the HTR T4 on my '95 Civic DX hatchback, and they're great.