The Future of First Gen CRX HF

Let me introduce you to Shawn, and the continuing story of his 1987 first generation CRX HF.

Starting out in 1999, Shawn was in need of a good dependable car after owning an ‘84 Honda Civic and ‘85 Toyota Corolla SR5, which was good up until an accident. He located a 1989 Acura Integra in NY for his new transportation. It was at this point Shawn was bitten by the Honda enthusiast’s addiction. I guess owning a reliable Honda can do that to anybody, eh? Anyway, as Shawn tells me, he broke into his new found addiction reading up on everything he could on his 89 Integra, while at the same time reading up on Hondas altogether. After breaking into autocross and getting involved with the SCCA he decided he wanted to eventually build a first gen CRX HF so he could use A LOT of the parts from his ‘89 Integra. He was shooting for a Solo1 car for the local NY hillclimbs...

It was after owning the integra for 2 more years and putting it though two more New York winters that he noticed some engine smoke and now rust, however like a Honda, it was still reliable. It even took him all the way from New York to Florida in October 2001. It was in February of '02 that he saw his 1st Gen ‘87 HF on eBay. The car was not located too far from him, and he made an offer to the seller after the auction had ended. He got it. Although the car was rust free, it was not without the issues of a 15-year-old car. Shawn reports that on the way home the car had a bad shimmy and was extremely hard to start. At this point that the car was parked until further notice...

Fast forward to November 2003 and the 185k-mile Integra is showing its age now, and Shawn quickly decided to bring out the CRX again. His first plan of action was to overhaul the suspension of his future autocrosser. Stability first and power second, right? He installed most of the Integra’s suspension and brake parts onto the CRX. After upgrading a lot of the stock parts, he had a machine ready to attack the autocross courses. Now, onto the daunting task of getting the carbuerated HF converted over to fuel injection. To do this, he spent time studying both the Integra and CRX wiring schematics and then modified the Integra’s harness to work in the little HF. The CRX at this point now has a full Integra chassis, dash, and engine harness forward of the B-pillar. The conversion came with some perks in the process, he soon found that he could swap in factory ‘89 Integra LS cruise control! While not fully yet implemented, its all there with the Integra combination switch and steering wheel. Any CRX with cruise has to be fun, I’m sure he was wishing for it while traveling between Florida and Canada for N13… where he won an award for longest distance traveled.

Finally the moment of truth came for Shawn in July of 2004, after purchasing a D16A1 in better condition and getting it installed with a new headgasket and new fuel system preparations (guess where the fuel pump came from, like most of the other parts....the Integra!). The excitement from Shawn in his information easily noticed! He turned the key, and it fired right up! All his work on the wiring worked out perfect he tells me. Can you imagine the feeling of cranking your highly modified 15-year-old Honda over for the first time with such dramatic changes?

As with any first engine swap, you always have those little quirks and things that you get with any engine swap not done by Panducky. Shawn had his too, but the little CRX came to life even more ashe drove it more. He was well rewarded when he rolled his baby onto a dyno in Brandon, Florida when it put down 103wtq @ 4950RPM and 109whp @ 5850RPM. He was very well surprised and impressed with his baby. Later that very same night, he took the car to a drag strip to turn out a nice time of 15.259 @ 87mph. Tough little bugger huh?

The story goes on further, and Shawn’s itching for the chance to break the CRX’s autocross virginity. Let’s all wish him luck, all hard work deserves it! I believe next on his list is the exterior of his beast.

411 (87 CRX HF):

  • Engine
    • 1988-89 D16A1
    • OBX 4-2-1 Stainless steel header for 88-89 integras
    • 84-87 JDM CRX Si ZC camshafts

  • Transaxle
    • Stock CG transaxle from an 89 Integra
    • Clutch: Clutchmasters Stage I

  • Brakes
    • 86-89 Integra rotors, front and rear
    • 86-89 Integra master cylinder, modified to fit the CRX booster
    • 86-89 Integra proportioning valve

  • Suspension
    • 86-89 Integra front steering knuckles
    • Mugen 25.2mm torsion bars.
    • Ground Control rear coilovers w/Eibach Racing Springs @ 325lbs/in.
    • Koni Yellow shocks (rear) and struts (front)
    • Redpepperracing adjustable panhard bar with Aurora rod ends.
    • Energy Suspension polyurethane bushings all around (except for the upper -shock/strut hardware).
    • Knockoff of a lightspeed strut tower bar.
    • Jackson Racing rear sway bar.
    • Cheap 5-spoke cast aluminum wheels, 14x6, manufactured by Mille Miglia
    • Falken Ziex ZE-512 tires, 195/60HR14.

  • Exterior
    • All 89 integra wiring from the b-pillar forward, modified to work with the CRX instrument cluster and dash--Since the donor teg was an LS, this means this CRX is wired for cruise control
    • 89 Integra combination switch (for the cruise set/decel buttons).
    • 89 Integra pedal cluster (for the second throttle cable from the cruise actuator. I have not yet installed the cruise actuator because I have not yet drilled the second throttle cable hole in the firewall.
    • Missing interior trim panels (floor of the trunk, rear interior trim, etc).
    • 88-89 Prelude 3-spoke steering wheel---right now this is not a cruise steering wheel, but I will be switching to a cruise-equipped prelude wheel once I get the cruise working.
    • OEM 88-89 Integra shift knob, stock shifter.

  • Interior
    • Faded paint
    • Flat black front fenders
    • Flat black header panel
    • Big dent in the hood (to be fixed some day)
    • Dings in the driver's door
    • Leaky Si hatch
    • Chip in the passenger side rocker panel