Buick SkyHawk vs. Honda CRX - Fuelly Forums

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Old 01-07-2008, 12:07 PM   #1
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Lightbulb Buick SkyHawk vs. Honda CRX

Okay - this is going to be interesting, I hope. I used to own a 1977 Buick SkyHawk. Wish I had never gotten rid of it - don't even get me STARTED on my sister's Olds Starfire.

The Honda CRX is smaller than the Honda Insight - plus it's all-gas vs. the Insight - making it better all-around for me to try to tinker with. (If I can get a good one.)

However, I REALLY loved that SkyHawk. Here are the initial stock comparison numbers:

CRX:
Height -50.8 inches
Width - 63.9 inches
Length - 144.7 inches
Curb weight - 1850 pounds
Turning diameter - 29.4 feet
Ground clearance - 5.9 inches
LB/HP - 17.6
Cd - .32

SkyHawk
Height - 50.1 inches
Width - 65.4 inches
Length - 179.2 inches (with a much longer hood, btw)
Curb weight - 2817 pounds
Turning radius - unknown
Ground clearance - 5.1 inches
LB/HP - 35.3
Cd - .40
The SkyHawk's weight to power ratio puts it in the same class as the 2004 Hummer - I'm not making this up.


Basically - the SkyHawk is 3/4 of an inch shorter than the CRX, it's an inch and a half wider, 7 inch longer wheelbase but 30 inches longer overall, much of which is taken up by the nose of the vehicle. It does sit about 3/4 of an inch lower than the CRX, and does outweigh it by nearly 1000 pounds.

Okay - all that said - I'd love to supermodify a SkyHawk if possible over the CRX (which is currently my target car), although shedding half the weight of the SkyHawk would likely involve a tubed frame, carbon fiber hood, fiberglass nose, etc. I do wonder if changing the headlights from the 4-rectangle to areo modded flush lights would help lower that Cd.

Likely such a mod would involve: a front-wheel drive custom setup for better weight, chopping the nose (and possibly tail) to try to shave off - do I dare hope for 30 inches? I'd have to use an aluminum block, but I could stay GM and do this - the 4 cylinder did come standard on the Monza - the Skyhawk only came with the 231 V6. The transmission would need to be custom rebuilt I imagine, as the gears aren't tall enough for really great FE.

Anyway - wondered what you guys thought of this concept. The SkyHawk was by far the most fun car I ever owned. CRX is a nice second on fun - but I do wonder what could happen if a SkyHawk could get the Cd lowered - I'm thinking camera mirrors, ultralight rims & tires, a few aero mods on the sides, etc.

Comments? Suggestions? Ideas?
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Old 01-07-2008, 12:48 PM   #2
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Seems like you will spending a lot of $$$ to get it to a stock CRX weight...probably not economically sound thinking. Imagine what you could do to a CRX with that $$$ and time! Pretty cheap to lower a CRX and they have carbon hoods in the aftermarket already...along with many other goodies.
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Old 01-07-2008, 01:21 PM   #3
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I doubt you could get the skyhawk down the the weight & MPG of the CRX, but there is a lot you can do with it to make it lighter & more FE, and a lot of that could make it fun to drive too.

Strip out the interior & replace it with two racing seats & aluminum door panels. Replace the stock glass with lexan, lower the suspension, replace the fenders & hood with fiberglass (will Chevy Monza one work?), etc.
Swap in a 4-cyl engine & 5-6 spd transmission, do some research & I'm sure you can find one with a good gear ratio. Put a set of shallow gear in the rearend to lower highway RPMs. Hell go crazy & go with a diesel engine, and run it on biodiesel or WVO. Lightweight rims with low RR tires.

Is it a sane or economically feasible? Heck no, but it could be a lot of fun.
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Old 01-07-2008, 02:33 PM   #4
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The diesel would be sane
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Old 01-07-2008, 03:38 PM   #5
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Heck...if you are gonna go that route...why not do a corvette? Lotsa parts...has the cool factor...and is even lower.
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Old 01-07-2008, 04:01 PM   #6
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The neat thing about a SkyHawk is it's sort of like a 'vette's little brother already, including the way they designed the tail (similar to a Ferarri at the time). SkyHawks cost a lot less to start with, although if I was modding a 'Vette I'd take a '76. They have some of the biggest fenders out there - they just look SWEET.
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Old 01-07-2008, 04:06 PM   #7
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Chevy Monza parts are interchangeable.

Can only get away with about 1" of lowering - it would be a daily ride. 4 cyl engine came on the Monza - aluminum block and all! The doors are HEAVY beasts - I'd get aluminum if I could - whole door assembly.

New rear end & tranny with a 4 cyl would likely get close to 40 mpg. I'm all for replacing glass with Lexan. Is that street legal, btw?

UsBodySource.com sells a fiberglass, street legal front end, also hood - I'm sure I can find a Monza carbon fiber hood. Probably save a couple hundred pounds there.

I've been researching the rotary engine that it was originally supposed to come with, but it's not fuel efficient enough because inlet & exhaust are close to each other. Only really new rotary engines have increased FE and it's very much computerized.

I'd go with lightweight rims, about an inch of lowering (whatever fuel miser I make will probably be doing about 50,000 miles a year), but no diesel. I think gas can be done efficiently enough to make it worth the exploration.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Improbcat View Post
I doubt you could get the skyhawk down the the weight & MPG of the CRX, but there is a lot you can do with it to make it lighter & more FE, and a lot of that could make it fun to drive too.

Strip out the interior & replace it with two racing seats & aluminum door panels. Replace the stock glass with lexan, lower the suspension, replace the fenders & hood with fiberglass (will Chevy Monza one work?), etc.
Swap in a 4-cyl engine & 5-6 spd transmission, do some research & I'm sure you can find one with a good gear ratio. Put a set of shallow gear in the rearend to lower highway RPMs. Hell go crazy & go with a diesel engine, and run it on biodiesel or WVO. Lightweight rims with low RR tires.

Is it a sane or economically feasible? Heck no, but it could be a lot of fun.
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Old 01-07-2008, 10:01 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 101mpg View Post
but no diesel.
There goes my VW diesel swap suggestion. I really think that 40s are going to be hard to hit in a that rear drive config. The parts bin your digging out of is 30 years old.

My suggestion would be 2.8/3.1/3.4 v6s, coupled too a camaro 5 spd, regear the rear end for highway mileage. It would probably be the easiest most cost effective way of improving the mileage. The non lockup th350 definitely has to go. You might also consider the a late model s10 2.2l 4cyl also.
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Old 01-08-2008, 05:16 AM   #9
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I'd rather find a late model even smaller 4 cylinder if I could - FWD rather than regear the rear end, although that may be way too ambitious.

If I do FWD, then there are additional problems with the setup that way.

But I really do love the ride in the SkyHawk.

Then again - anyone out there want to trade anything (doesn't have to be a vehicle) for either a SkyHawk or similar, or a CRX??
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Old 01-08-2008, 06:14 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 101mpg View Post
Chevy Monza parts are interchangeable.

Can only get away with about 1" of lowering - it would be a daily ride. 4 cyl engine came on the Monza - aluminum block and all! The doors are HEAVY beasts - I'd get aluminum if I could - whole door assembly.
Fiberglass doors are available, though not recommended for street use.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 101mpg View Post
New rear end & tranny with a 4 cyl would likely get close to 40 mpg.
It is possible, you are definitely going to have to watch every pound, and plan every modification carefully. For instance, an aluminum driveshaft would probably gain you some FE over a steel one.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 101mpg View Post
I'm all for replacing glass with Lexan. Is that street legal, btw?
From a quick websearch it look like it isn't. Though if you did it on the glass other than the windshield you are likely not going to be hassled. But I'd check the legality and inspection requirements in your state.
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