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Old 04-07-2011, 11:21 PM   #1
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Four-Speed CRX HF???

I'm not really sure where to ask this but I figured this is a good place to start. I'm looking at a 1991 Honda Civic CR-X for sale and the guy says it's all stock, all original, etc. He says the car came with a 4-speed transmission. He said they are rare but Honda made a few with 4-speeds. I've looked and cannot find anything. The car is in perfect shape almost but this worries me. It has 200,000 miles on it. Do you think the transmission went bad, he swapped in a 4-speed from who knows what and is trying to sell the car as an original Honda CR-X HF to an unsuspecting buyer? Anyone who can help, please offer your assistance. Is there a way I could look at the transmission on the car and read a code or something to know if it's the original transmission that came with the car? Sorry for dumb questions as I'm a greenhorn to all this. I'm just trying to learn and any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!!!
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Old 04-08-2011, 05:31 AM   #2
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Re: Four-Speed CRX HF???

Honda put a few 4 speeds in the base model civics that year maybe someone just put one of those in after the HF trans died. Unless there was a 4 speed JDM CRX HF, I doubt that it is the original trans.

1. It could be that the 5th gear went out of this trans and someone is trying to cover it up and sell it as a 4 speed. Look at the shifter knob, does it look like someone scratched out/painted over the "5" of the shift diagram?

2. Drive it and look at the engine rpm at 60 mph in the highest gear. It should be turning at no more than 1900 rpms if it has a real HF trans.
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Old 04-08-2011, 06:17 AM   #3
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Re: Four-Speed CRX HF???

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Originally Posted by Erik View Post
1. It could be that the 5th gear went out of this trans and someone is trying to cover it up and sell it as a 4 speed. Look at the shifter knob, does it look like someone scratched out/painted over the "5" of the shift diagram?
I imagine that such a person would simply replace the knob with a 4 speed knob.

However, go ahead and try to shift into 5th...that'll tell you if it's got a broken 5th.
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Old 04-08-2011, 09:10 AM   #4
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Re: Four-Speed CRX HF???

You could get the code off the tranny and look that up to see what it's out of. I'll bet someone on this site would know where to find that.

I test drove a '90 Civic hatch base model with a 4-speed. I would imagine the base tranny ended up in the HF. I believe the 4-speed is geared with a taller 4th than the DX tranny's 5th, but I cannot be certain. I doubt it would be as tall as an HF's 5th gear, though.
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Old 04-08-2011, 09:37 AM   #5
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Re: Four-Speed CRX HF???

The 4spd trans only came in the 88-91 Civic STD model. All the CRX models came with 5 speed transmission. Someone swapped out a transmission and didn't inform the owner of the mess up.

Just for reference, you can see the Civic STD only has four gears and the CRX models all have 5 HERE.
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Old 04-08-2011, 09:42 AM   #6
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Re: Four-Speed CRX HF???

Thanks for the responses. Yes, I've come to find out that there were no four-speed CRX's. This car either has been swapped or the fifth gear is shot. I won't be buying it either, unfortunately. I thought I had found my HF model. Oh well.
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Old 04-08-2011, 10:02 PM   #7
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Re: Four-Speed CRX HF???

I talked to the guy at length some more. It turned out the car has had a transmission swap. He thinks it came from a Civic. He does not know what kind of swap it was for sure, though. He said the fourth gear is as tall/long as the fifth gear of a CRX HF but hasn't done any testing for the new transmission's fuel efficiency. He did say the stick shift had a 5-speed marking on the knob but it only had four speeds. Why do people do stuff like that? Why put a 4-speed in a 5-speed CRX HF???? This is very frustrating.
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Old 04-08-2011, 11:08 PM   #8
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Re: Four-Speed CRX HF???

An HF tranny may not be that hard to come by. If you can beat the guy down on the price of the car as a result of the swap, you might be better off.
According to TomO's chart, your 4 speed is the same as 4th gear in the HF MINUS the taller final drive AND 5TH GEAR. So, you'd be losing a lot of FE keeping that transmission in the car. You'd have no 5th gear and a worse final drive ratio. Still, finding an HF tranny could be easy with a little time. I know the VX engines/trannys are uber cheap when you can find them because the race community finds them useless. They are always swapping them out.

I'd strongly consider buying the car if it is "unmolested" and has little to no rust and you can get it on the cheap. That's just me though.
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Old 04-09-2011, 04:05 AM   #9
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Re: Four-Speed CRX HF???

You'd be losing highway FE. You should probably have about the same FE at lower speeds.

If that 4th was as tall as the proper 5th should be then you'd probably sacrifice some lower-speed FE. Closer ratios are good for city driving.
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Old 04-10-2011, 02:18 PM   #10
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Re: Four-Speed CRX HF???

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Originally Posted by theholycow View Post
You'd be losing highway FE. You should probably have about the same FE at lower speeds.

If that 4th was as tall as the proper 5th should be then you'd probably sacrifice some lower-speed FE. Closer ratios are good for city driving.
I have never found that to be true... The Civic EX I test drove in the City got worse fuel economy despite having vtec-e and being rated the same in fuel economy as my Civic LX. I'd attribute the worse fuel economy both in the city and highway being due to the transmission. To keep the revs low and get better fuel economy, it required a significant amount of shifting, like every 5mph and by 20mph, I was in 5th gear and wishing I had lower final drive because now all the RPMs were going to do was climb. That '05 Civic EX was very rev happy and made me appreciate the taller final drive in my Civic LX which I still think is too high for my taste.
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