Stock Crx, New Crx owner, what should I do first?
This question "I just got a Crx, what should I do first/now?" comes up quite often. This is intended to hopefully give new owners a good place to start. This should make you think about what you want to do before jumping right in, not knowing what you're doing and hopefully keep you from wasting money, buying the wrong parts, then getting in over your head and having to sell the half done, hacked up "project".
The old saying, "Measure twice, cut once..." applies.
Then check the whole FAQ...
Then Here... for Modifications.
One thing that should be a necessity is the actual, physical hard copy of the Honda factory service manual or the Helms shop manual. It literally breaks your car down to every nut and bolt. You can get them off eBay or download it on the web, or buy a reprint directly from helminc.com, but there's nothing like good bathroom reading and flipping through the pages to fully understand the proper steps of how to work on your car.
Since you may not know much about the car, get it running as best as possible in its current stage. A basic tune-up is in order.
-Distributor cap and rotor
-Spark plugs & wires
-All filters (air, fuel, oil)
Fix anything broken, replace and maintain EVERYTHING as much as possible, spark plugs, brakes, bushings, belts, bearings, ball joints, & fluids. Replacing what needs to be maintained gives you a certain point of reference of what exactly has now been done and shouldn't have to be worried about for a while, instead of guessing or waiting for something to break unexpectedly. It also gets you to know and understand various parts of the car, knowledge that will help you for the rest of your life.
Get used to the way it drives, the way it handles, the way it performs... after you get used to it, then go for something bigger, IE; engine swap, rebuild, turbo, etc.
Be patient and start reading, searching, planning and saving for whatever project you come up with. Don't cut corners or cheap out. Most importantly, there is a lot of false information running around on the World wide web, be careful and do lots of searches to compare answers.
Your initial instinct of wanting to swap the engine is a typical young and quick response. Really, you should consider how much each swap will really cost and take into consideration your personal situation, time, know how, and funds (or lack thereof). This is something that you could hold off until later.
For the Si, there's plenty of potential in the stock d16A6 to have fun.
Come up with a realistic power goal and what you can realistically afford.
Your budget ultimately dictates what you can build.
Do not fall into the "well if I'm replacing it, i might as well 'upgrade' it" mentality. This could be a waste of money, until you figure out what you want to do EXACTLY with your car. In MOST cases there is nothing wrong with OEM/stock, so stick to stock replacement parts.
For example, don't just get an ACT performance clutch kit because you're replacing the clutch. It's unnecessary, a waste of money, and will make driving a less comfortable experience. There's no reason to just "upgrade" your brakes to DA Integra front knuckles and rear discs as the stock set up is fine for street driving.
Things recommended for upgrading while replacing worn out parts are:
-Shocks (not including springs, OE springs work fine.
-K&N drop in filter
The 'best bang for the buck upgrade' is upgrading the stock d-series exhaust manifold to some 4-2-1 type, if it hasn't already been done. The d16Z6 or d16Y8 factory headers would be just fine. Even a crappy generic header would do better, ANYTHING is better than the stock cast-iron choker. It should really liven up your engine.
Thanks to tyson and nylumiro24 for this info