A PROJECT OF HIS OWN

It was five years ago when the owner of this monthís feature CRX decided to take a gamble on the advice of one of his buddies, incidentally a Honda mechanic, and buy his first CRX. Itís probably safe to venture that he had no idea that it would be merely the first phase of an impending addiction! Having been let down by one slushbox after another in his gas guzzling, earth pounding, lifted 1988 Chevy Silverado, Dub (Its me DUB) thought it high time to ditch the American iron and wound up investing in a fine example of quality Japanese engineering: a 1990 Honda CRX DX, fully equipped with dual point fuel injection and automatic transmission. The only other thing he new about the car he was about to purchase was that it sported a somewhat less-than-stock green paint job.

Phase 1: Innocence

When he drove the car for the first time, Dub felt like the CRX was a little faster than his old Silverado, and with its blinginí seventeen inch alloy rims, custom limetastic paint job, aftermarket r-spec tail light mask and high performance chrome exhaust tipÖ it was undoubtedly more furious! Soon Dub was dreaming of imported dual overhead cam ZC engine swaps and close-ratio five speed gearbox upgrades for his new car.

Phase 2: Learning The Hard Way

Even though Dub didnít have a lot of experience working on cars at that point in time he made a pivotal decision to sell the green CRX to film star Paul Walker and pick up a Blue 90 Si with a ďmini-meĒ VTEC head swap from a guy in South Carolina. After having to tow the car half of the way back to its new home in Indiana Dubís education at the school of hard knocks began. The car seemed to be a lemon, everywhere he squeezed it something else sour came out. The car had been a project for the previous owner, and Dub ended up having to repair the gremlins hiding in every one of the carís systems.

But the car responded well to Dubís repairs, and as it grew to be more highly modified so grew Dubís addiction to driving fast and for the autocross.

Phase 3: Getting It Right

It turned out one day that Dub had a date with destiny. And destiny took the form of a ninety nine percent stock, rust free, Y-49 Si just across the state line in Illinois. The previous owner was getting rid of the car as it had been left lonely in the driveway in favor of its younger sibling, the S2000. Dub ended up driving six hours to Illinois to buy the car from the assistant of the uncle (who was out of town) of the owner (who was stationed in South Carolina) of the carÖ but he swears the whole deal was legitimate! To make things even sweeter he got a smokiní deal due to a dead battery, cracked windshield and 10k more miles than advertised.

The blue CRX was sold to a friend, and Dub started to feel the withdrawal from lack of the autocross. He missed whizzing by orange cones blurred in his periphery, missed the sound of 1600 cubic centimeters of displacement pumping at over seven thousand rpm, missed the sound of rubber exceeding the limits of static friction with the asphalt, missed the smell of a hot clutch and brakes. Despite his best intentions of preserving the pristine Y-49 as completely stock he could not resist his addiction! Now that he didnít have to worry about any disrepair from a previous ownerís ill-conceived project Dub could build this car his way, the right way, from the start.

The suspension from his last car was swapped on and he raced the car in STS2 for one season, but was bored of the slow pace. So he decided to add a few personal touches to the car while still maintaining an air of the OEM. One thing lead to another, a B16A2 powerplant was purchased and the trusty old Si transmission was bartered for a B-series tranny. With the 1.6 liter B-series powertrain the Y-49 still has the OEM look that it would have had were it to have been born for a life in Japan or Europe. Dub says his engine bay still has that ďoriginalĒ feel. Itís a shame these mighty little cars didnít come equipped this way in the states.

Now a well seasoned veteran, Dub has brought this car a long way since its purchase. It is daily driven and regularly raced in SM2, but thereís no telling what the future holds for this CRX in the next phase of Dubís addiction.

411 (1989 CRX Si - Barbados Yellow):

  • Engine & Driveline:
    • B16A2 from 99 Si
    • OBD-1 Conversion
    • S1 Integra Transmission
    • Fidanza 8lb. Flywheel
    • Exedy Stage 1 Clutch
    • AEM Cold Air Intake
    • Stock CRX Si Exhaust w/ down-pipe cut and re-welded to accommodate stock manifold
    • Odyssey PC680
    • ECU currently being tuned by Downest (aka Coolboy Tuning)

  • Exterior
    • Antenna delete
    • 90-91 Tail lights

  • Suspension & Brakes
    • Tokico Illumina Struts/Springs 1.5" drop
    • Suspension Techniques Rear Sway Bar
    • HF Front Sway Bar
    • Neuspeed Front Strut Bar
    • Re-drilled '94 Legend Rotors
    • ITR Honda Brake Pads
    • DA Integra Knuckles
    • Accord Wagon Calipers
    • 15" Jax Wheels on Falken Azenis
    • DC GSR Rear Disc w/ Honda Pads
    • DC GSR Master Cylinder and Brake Booster (ABS model - re-bent hard lines)
    • 2020 Prop Valve
    • Earl's Stainless Lines all around

  • Interior
    • Momo steering wheel
    • FLP Shifter w/ Skunk2 Shift Knob
    • Pioneer Head Unit w/ MP3 player port installed
    • Polk front speakers w/ Pioneer Rear and 300W Jensen Amp
    • OEM Floor Mats
    • 9mm Springfield XD-9 Alarm