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H22A CRX - Is it really THAT bad?

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H22A CRX - Is it really THAT bad?

Postby StorminMatt » Thu Jan 09, 2020 5:37 pm

I currently have a 1988 DX with a JDM Type R swap. It’s certainly not a bad setup by any means. But I am getting fed up with my inability to have a smog legal car in California. That car just sits and sits and sits as people I know with ‘smog hookups’ have more important matters to deal with than getting my car smogged. I could perhaps try my luck at the ref to see if a JDM motor would pass. But this would require hunting down that unicorn commonly known as the 1997 USDM ITR ECU. Even if I could find one, it would probably cost close to the same as a K20A2 longblock. And in the end, the ref could just turn around and fail me for having a JDM block. More and more, I have been thinking of dumping the whole thing and swapping in something I can actually smog.

This brings me to the H22A. If I swap in an H22A, I can get a 1993-1995 USDM H22A1, use the stock OBDI P13 ECU, hook up all the smog stuff (which isn’t much for OBDI), and be done with it. I could just smog every couple of years like a person with a normal car. And unlike a GSR or LS, the H22A would not be a downgrade from what I already have. Let’s face it. All that torque in a CRX sounds REALLY nice. At least performance-wise, the H22A is an ideal swap for someone who doesn’t live life a quarter mile at a time, yet wants a quick car. To top it off, they are cheap. They have even been showing up at the local Pick and Pulls, which would leave me with lots of cash after selling the Type R swap to do other things (can you say ‘89mm H22A’?). So I decided to give Hasport a call and ask them about their kit.

Simply put, the guy I spoke with talked with me for about half an hour about how BAD of an idea it is to swap an H22A in a CRX. I know about welding the passenger side mount. But he went on about hacking stuff up and about how H-series motors are just plain garbage. He seemed to be on a mission to say and do anything and everything he could to dissuade me from going H-series. And this is despite the fact that he would be the one selling me the mount kit.

His solution was to go K-series. This sounds nice. I even have a K24A4 in my wrecked Accord that I could swap in there. Perhaps it’s not the best K. But 2.4l of torque wouldn’t be shabby. It would also get my foot in the door for upgrades such as a K20A2 or K24A4. BUT, I don’t want to trade one unsmoggable setup for another. I have heard of people doing crazy stuff to try to BAR a K-series in a CRX (like gas tank swaps), and even then having problems.

So is an H-series CRX THAT bad? Or is it just the guy’s own negative bias. Also, if I wanted to go K, has there been any progress in terms of doing BAR legal swaps?
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Re: H22A CRX - Is it really THAT bad?

Postby Baker » Fri Jan 10, 2020 11:12 am

StorminMatt wrote:I currently have a 1988 DX with a JDM Type R swap. It’s certainly not a bad setup by any means. But I am getting fed up with my inability to have a smog legal car in California.


Can't you also use a GSR ECU when you get it inspected? That will run the car and be good enough to get it around town to get it through smog.
Do you have a catalytic converter on the exhaust?




StorminMatt wrote:So is an H-series CRX THAT bad? Or is it just the guy’s own negative bias.?


There are plenty of H series cars running around, especially over the last 20 yrs, to prove him wrong.
It's not 1999 anymore, back then, yes, I can see how it would be a pain, but things have come a long way over 20 years.
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Re: H22A CRX - Is it really THAT bad?

Postby StorminMatt » Fri Jan 10, 2020 4:41 pm

Baker wrote:Can't you also use a GSR ECU when you get it inspected? That will run the car and be good enough to get it around town to get it through smog.
Do you have a catalytic converter on the exhaust?


If it was just a matter of a cat, I would throw on a new one and be done with it. Anyway, after I upgraded my previous CRX from a B16A3 to the Type R, I used to smog it with the JDM P73 that I am running now. It did fine for many, many years. But that was back with my previous CRX, which had a ref sticker for a USDM B16A. I could just take my car to a regular smog shop. And since the Type R looks like a B16A, they wouldn’t question the presence of the Type R. But my latest CRX has no ref sticker. I would need to take it to the referee to get one. And this would require that I get my Type R to the point that it would visually pass at the ref as a USDM Type R. This means getting the 1997 USDM P73 ECU. Yes, they DO check. And then, as I said, there is the issue as to whether it would pass with a JDM block. The only other option would be to buy a USDM B16A with P30 ECU again, and get a ref sticker for that. But the cost would probably exceed that of an H22A and transmission - especially from Pick and Pull. So that’s where I’m at. The issue isn’t emissions. It’s visual.

Baker wrote:There are plenty of H series cars running around, especially over the last 20 yrs, to prove him wrong.
It's not 1999 anymore, back then, yes, I can see how it would be a pain, but things have come a long way over 20 years.


This was my thought. But it just seemed so odd that someone at Hasport would try so hard to talk me out of it. He even told me to just stay B-series rather than going H. It seems like he was trying REALLY hard to talk me out of it, despite the fact he could have made a sale. I honestly would go K if I could. But I don’t want the same problems all over again.
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Re: H22A CRX - Is it really THAT bad?

Postby AttackCRX » Mon Jan 13, 2020 7:39 am

I have a buddy that went from a high comp B20 to an H23A, he loves it and would never go back. There's a couple things you have to do to make it work, K-series IM, curved driver-side radius rod (forget the name), H/B trans bracket, raised hood (in the rear), alternator relocation kit and the balance shaft delete. Mostly just normal swap BS. That being said, there was NO WELDING anything and not to mention the H-series is only 60lbs heavier than a B-series so all that "it's too heavy" crap is exactly that.


Now, sell me that Type-R swap. :mrgreen:
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Re: H22A CRX - Is it really THAT bad?

Postby 2point2 » Wed Feb 12, 2020 12:33 am

I have a lot of respect for Brian G, but I dont like the hasport h22/crx kit.

My hood closes and my axles are very close to straight with custom mounts, custom radius rods, axles, and some trimming of the rear rack. This is not a marketable approach for a company like hasport.

To me, the H22 swap is a very rewarding fabrication project. Wiring will be the same as a GSR engine plus a couple more do-dads for the EGR valve.

It will be a lot of work if you dont want to raise your hood. I'm not an expert on the h2b setup, but that's where i would start my research if the smog folks will allow it.

And NO its not that bad as far as wiring and drivability goes. I think the weight difference is more like 30lbs if you don't count the transmission. If fabrication is not your thing, I'd hunt for a crooked guy to get your current setup "road legal"
10.73 @ 137mph - H22A Powered CRX with an air pump.
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Re: H22A CRX - Is it really THAT bad?

Postby haitian-REX » Thu Feb 20, 2020 4:16 pm

H22 is where its at man.. had a jdm h22a in my ef hatch and absolutely loved every second of it not to mention it will fly.. I smoked my stepdads b18c swapped teggy (as well as much faster cars) a bunch of times and nothing like being able to burnout all the way thru 3rd gear haha..

and really like others have said, with the many options you have to complete the swap nowadays there really isn't an argument against it if you aren't rolling in dough for a k-swap (or have smog worries as in your case)
there are mount options that dont require weldsign or a popped hood (hell if you have a full type r swap then you could easily just go h2b, though I personally hate the super short gearing of b16 and b18 trans)

If I were in your boat I'd sell that type r swap and use it to fund the h22 swap... people really sleep on this setup in the ef chasis.. it'll hang all day with stock k-swaps but for a 1/4 of the price

just my .02 (P.S. sounds like the guy on the phone from hasport was just a k-seris fanboy or sumn haha) :-)b
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Re: H22A CRX - Is it really THAT bad?

Postby Baker » Fri Feb 21, 2020 12:56 pm

I think ESP still sells a H series kit.
http://www.explicitspeedperformance.net/ESPEFDAH22.html
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Re: H22A CRX - Is it really THAT bad?

Postby MexiChriS » Thu Mar 05, 2020 9:42 pm

I think any swap you’re going to run into issues. If you can legally ref / bar a B series. You just need to follow the same procedure with an H series.

I think you should attempt K if you have the parts readily available to you; as stated, if not then go all out an attempt H series.

I’m attempting that route in H2B format due to not really wanting a B20V despite it being readily available and affordable. Doesn’t seem fun in the end.
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Re: H22A CRX - Is it really THAT bad?

Postby StorminMatt » Sun Oct 18, 2020 12:39 am

H2B sounds appealing. But there is one thing about it that SERIOUSLY bothers me. Specifically, I have NEVER seem an H2B swap with a timing belt cover. I’m guessing it is impossible to use a timing belt cover due to clearance issues at the driver’s side frame rail. Regardless, this is NOT a good thing. Just a small pebble in the wrong place is enough to destroy your engine and leave you walking.
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Re: H22A CRX - Is it really THAT bad?

Postby 91torinoredcrx » Sun Oct 18, 2020 10:02 am

Sorry to hear about your smog problems. Here in Illinois I’ve never even been to one of those places and I’m 7 cars in...


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