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Thread: Should I rebuild the engine in my CRX?

  1. #1
    Stupid Newbie DaraSue's Avatar
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    Should I rebuild the engine in my CRX?

    So my daily driver didn't pass inspection. My mechanic says it's burning oil and I might be able to get it through with a heavier oil and/or registering it in a county with no emissions testing, but at most I'd be buying another year or two. It's got 280, 000 miles on it. To get the engine rebuilt would be around $5000. I guess numerically it doesn't make sense since the plastic panels are cracked and the metal panels are rusting and it probably needs some suspension work too, plus it's getting increasingly hard to find parts for.

    But I kind of want to do it anyway just because I've literally had this car for almost my entire adult life and it's been more reliable than my immediate family. And I just don't like any other kind of car (aside from the obvious).

    I guess I could try and do it myself but I don't have a lot of mechanical experience.

    I wish I were the kind of person who could let go of things easily...

  2. #2
    Senior Member
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    Tough choice....you'd never get back what you put into it..those are worth about $2000 or so.

    Can understand the sentimental value though...and who knows, in 20 years it might be worth something

    Of course $5000 would get you a pretty nice daily runner like a Mustang or something...or you could put that into the D and make that your daily
    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

  3. #3
    User title. Soundkillr's Avatar
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    Find a compatable jdm engine. Most engines imported from japan have less than 40k on them. I got a swap done on my integra back in the day, paid 600 for a 37k mile engine, and 500 to install. Sold the car years later, and it's still on the road today.
    Soundkillr was here.

  4. #4
    Delorean Guru
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    Probably cheaper to go to a junkyard (auto recycler) and get another motor. Try to get another from the same model and year and with the same options so you don't have to modify anything. If possible you want to see it run before they remove it.
    David Teitelbaum

  5. #5
    Senior Member
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    IMO if you replace the engine, its better to get a crate motor thats got a warranty than something from a junkyard..cost a little more but worth it.
    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

  6. #6
    TGTF (Too Greek to Function) AugustneverEnds's Avatar
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    Since you like it you should keep it! There must be a salvage yard near you with a CRX engine or a similar Honda mill for less than $1000. If not near you then someone, somewhere has an engine they are dying to sell. Off to craigslist!!
    Nick A.
    Νικος Αυγουστινατου

    1988 BMW 325iS
    1982 DeLorean DMC-12

  7. #7
    Senior Member DMCVegas's Avatar
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    Here are your best bets for resources thus far.

    http://www.crxcommunity.com/

    http://www.car-part.com/

    Personally, I'd just swap the engine. It's about $400-$500 for a junkyard one.

  8. #8
    Stupid Newbie DaraSue's Avatar
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    Thanks, everybody. I'm looking around at what my options are as far as just replacing the engine. JDM only seems to have the gen 2 engines but this site might actually have one for my year: http://www.rebuiltcrateengines.com/auto/honda.html Has anybody used them?

    I'm taking mine back to the shop tomorrow to see if there's anything we can tweak to at least get me some more time to look at other possibilities. IDK if my mechanic considered that I didn't necessarily have to keep the original engine.

    Just checked my local classifieds and there's a guy selling another 87 (but an SI - fuel injected instead of carb) so maybe I'll give that a look. It's only got 100k and change so if the engine is in decent shape it might be a good donor. Or if it runs as good as mine did I guess I could accept just keeping mine for parts, since this one looked to be in decent shape body-wise and mine... is not.

    Arrgh, I had the chance to get another one exactly like mine (same color and everything) earlier last year but never could sync up with the seller so I let it go. Maybe it wouldn't have been all that b/c it didn't have a current inspection so there might've been a reason why. Still kicking myself now though...

    If I lived someplace where it didn't snow 8 months a year I really would just use the D as my daily, heh. It's actually running good now!

    (Edit: just checked the FAQ on CRXcommunity and I'd have to get the fuel system replaced too plus some rewiring if I wanted to swap in the SI engine. Not necessarily a dealbreaker, but another factor to consider. Hmmm...)
    Last edited by DaraSue; 06-13-2017 at 02:31 AM.

  9. #9
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by DaraSue View Post

    If I lived someplace where it didn't snow 8 months a year I really would just use the D as my daily, heh. It's actually running good now!
    Guess its time to move....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. #10
    Senior Member DMCVegas's Avatar
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    I know nothing about Hondas, let alone the CRX. Which as you can see with that FAQ about the FI vs. Carb engines, that's precisely why you'd want to go to that group to ask such questions.

    Personally, and this is just me applying general car knowledge here, you options are either swapping in a used engine, or going with a sourced rebuilt one. Salvage engines are cheaper, but that is because you're taking a chance. Both in terms of the vehicle's previous maintenance, as well as potential problems with that particular engine, if there are any (again, Honda, I've no idea).

    On the other hand, you have the rebuilt engine. If you went that route, absolutely I would opt for someplace that rebuilds engines professionally instead of relying upon your mechanic. Nothing against your mechanic, but it's not his/her main business. The engine rebuilders do this stuff every day, and tend to be less error-prone. Plus, if there are any commonly known issues with the engine, they'll know to address them during the build process. A general mechanic might miss those items.

    Granted there are certain considerations involved here with either engine type you purchase, such as if it's a short block (without cylinder head), or a long block (includes cylinder head). Even with a long block, it's not 100% drop-in considering that the ancillary components still need to be unbolted from the old block and installed into the new (fuel system, alternator, water pump, hoses, etc.). That costs time/money. The additional consideration with the remanufactured engine is that you have to not only have a core charge, but you must pay for shipping on the replacement engine, as well as the core that you send back. Unless you are driving to pick it up yourself. The good news is that some auto recyclers also sell fully remanufactured engines as well. Check around, and call to see about the shipping costs as well.

    Granted as well there is the consideration of the structural integrity of the vehicle. If it has significant rust damage, you may just opt for the cheap, used engine. If it's fine, and it especially is something you want to keep and fix up, then it's worth it to opt for the remanufactured engine if you have the means.


    Quote Originally Posted by DaraSue View Post
    Just checked my local classifieds and there's a guy selling another 87 (but an SI - fuel injected instead of carb) so maybe I'll give that a look. It's only got 100k and change so if the engine is in decent shape it might be a good donor. Or if it runs as good as mine did I guess I could accept just keeping mine for parts, since this one looked to be in decent shape body-wise and mine... is not.
    Assuming that this vehicle isn't somehow wrecked or undrivable, and is in good shape, I'd just buy it to make my primary car, and then pull your existing CRX into the garage to wrench on and learn how to repair yourself. Hell, here's a guy that's got a nice two-for available. Probably the one you're talking about, and I'd be worried about the misaligned panels and respray:

    http://www.ksl.com/auto/listing/3761879?ad_cid=3

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