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Thread: Should I rebuild the engine in my CRX?

  1. #21
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    I only skimmed through this, but if it's burning oil, have them do a leakdown test. A lot of Hondas burn it through their valve seals which definitely don't cost $5k to replace. If this has already been covered then carry on.

  2. #22
    Stupid Newbie DaraSue's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by arrow_runner View Post
    I only skimmed through this, but if it's burning oil, have them do a leakdown test. A lot of Hondas burn it through their valve seals which definitely don't cost $5k to replace. If this has already been covered then carry on.
    Not sure if they did a leakdown test or not but a compression check showed that one cylinder wasn't making any compression and the other three weren't that great either. Would something like bad valve seals cause that? I've had two places look at it and they both thought it was pretty much done for.

    It still does run and once it gets going, performance isn't noticeably worse than it has been for years, but it's been taking an average of 3 tries to start.

    I gave up and bought an '02 Accord last week, which I'm already regretting. I've still got the CRX and I'm on the lookout for a replacement engine, or maybe I'll just get the existing one overhauled, depending how much overtime I get this summer...
    Last edited by DaraSue; 07-02-2017 at 01:12 PM.

  3. #23
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    If you get some stickers and a body kit, maybe some green wheels and the accord wont be so bad...you'd be like them cool street racers
    Rob Depew
    Tacoma, Wa
    '81 DeLorean 4877 Grey, Auto, 4 wheels
    The Ressurection of 4877......
    Now Accepting Donations to get her back on the road

  4. #24
    Senior Member mr_maxime's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DaraSue View Post
    I gave up and bought an '02 Accord last week, which I'm already regretting. I've still got the CRX and I'm on the lookout for a replacement engine, or maybe I'll just get the existing one overhauled, depending how much overtime I get this summer...
    If its a four cylinder auto, check the transmission fluid. Thats eventually what killed mine at 195k miles.

  5. #25
    Stupid Newbie DaraSue's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mr_maxime View Post
    If its a four cylinder auto, check the transmission fluid. Thats eventually what killed mine at 195k miles.
    I checked it today, the level looked OK, but the color was a little dingy, should I get it replaced?

    IMG_20170704_151243.jpg

  6. #26
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    Transmission fluid otta be a nice reddish color...changing it would depend if youre gonna keep the car, I think...how much work you want to put into the beastie..hehe.
    Rob Depew
    Tacoma, Wa
    '81 DeLorean 4877 Grey, Auto, 4 wheels
    The Ressurection of 4877......
    Now Accepting Donations to get her back on the road

  7. #27
    Stupid Newbie DaraSue's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lwanmtr View Post
    Transmission fluid otta be a nice reddish color...changing it would depend if youre gonna keep the car, I think...how much work you want to put into the beastie..hehe.
    I called the shop that sold it to me and they thought it had been changed last year, and they didn't think the color was an issue as long as it didn't smell burnt (which I don't remember it doing but I'll check it again tomorrow night after I get home from work.) I'll feel like I got my money's worth out of it if it lasts another three years without any major issues, heh...

    On the CRX front, the classic car shop checked and the salvage motor tested good when it was brought in, but that was in 1991. They said there would be a 30 day warranty on the motor and a year on the labor. He said he'd installed about 100 salvage motors over the years and the only one that had gone bad was due to low oil (operator error) but typically they have about a 10-15% failure rate. It would be around $2000-$2500 for the motor, shipping and installation, which is a couple grand less than having the existing one rebuilt. IDK, I'm thinking about just going for it? For the condition the rest of the car is in, it seems like a happy medium.

  8. #28
    Stupid Newbie DaraSue's Avatar
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    The saga continues...

    I had resigned myself to just doing a real rebuild, but I took the CRX back to the shop b/c it was smoking from the engine compartment when I got home from work the other week. He wasn't able to replicate that issue (he thought it may have been some coolant blowing out of the overflow tube) but he checked the vacuum and pressure again, and it turned out there wasn't actually a dead cylinder, it's just that all 4 of them are only putting out 75 psi. They held pressure and didn't leak. He said he'd never seen anything quite like it in two decades. A couple other car guys I've told this to have suggested replacing the piston rings. So maybe I'll look into that and the valve seals. It needs some clutch work too (the throwout bearing is what he thought was making the noise).

    The good news is, I think the cold start issue isn't actually related to this other stuff. I tried adding Heet last time I got gas and it's actually starting on the first or 2nd try now even after sitting so maybe that issue was actually condensation in the fuel lines or something otherwise unrelated to the compression problem. (I used to use Heet in the winter to deal with warm start problems, stopped for a while when I figured out that the warm start issue went away when I stopped pumping the gas on start after the first start of the day.) So if it starts reliably again, I'll probably just keep limping along until there actually is a definable issue that would justify a full rebuild, unless I can either do the piston rings/valve seals myself or get them done for less than $3000.

  9. #29
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    Ive never heard of an engine having the same numbers of low compression on all cylinders...but i guess it's possible..hehe.
    Rob Depew
    Tacoma, Wa
    '81 DeLorean 4877 Grey, Auto, 4 wheels
    The Ressurection of 4877......
    Now Accepting Donations to get her back on the road

  10. #30
    Not a DeLorean Guru
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lwanmtr View Post
    Ive never heard of an engine having the same numbers of low compression on all cylinders...but i guess it's possible..hehe.
    It can happen pretty easily. If the test is done cold, compression will measure much lower. If the throttle isn't held open during testing, compression will measure much lower.

    Since all four cylinders read basically the same low number, one of those two conditions is likely.

    Replacing piston rings is a hell of a job, and NOT advised for the inexperienced. If something is actually wrong enough with the engine to require rebuild, on a common car like this it is cheaper to just put a replacement used engine in. A rebuild takes a long time, so the labor costs skyrocket pretty quickly.

    Taking a quick look at eBay, used motors for your car are not expensive at all.
    -Mike
    1981 DeLorean, heads/cams/exhaust, EFI
    1999 Corvette, heads/cam/exhaust, 440 BHP
    2005 Elise, stock
    2016 Chevy Cruze

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