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Old 12-02-2009, 08:15 PM   #1
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Default Help with 87 CRX-HF restoration

Hello,

1987
Civic CRX-HF
1.5 12 valve carb
not high altitude & has AC

This car had a lot of alternator belt squeal and the brushes in the alternator
would wear out quickly. The radiator fan ran constantly when I started working on it. Purchased a new radiator fan switch and checked it with the VOM meter and got the same reading as the original one in the radiator. "0". So I purchased another new one at AutoZone and it read the opposite. After installing it the radiator fan quit running constantly and the belt squeal all but stopped. I put a new belt on hoping it would eliminate the squeal but it churps on start and if the rpm goes down to where the motor is about to die it may squeal until I accelerate the motor and it stops squealing.

Still it's much better than it used to be now that I have a rebuilt alternator & belt on it along with the radiator fan switch. I'll try to retighten the belt now that it has about 50 miles on it and see if that has any effect on this problem. Anyone have any experience with this issue ? How tight does this
belt have to be so it won't squeal ?

The next issue I have is the Oxygen Sensor. This CRX has well over 100,000 miles showing. I've checked all the dealers and they don't have a oxygen sensor like this original one. It has a 17mm base with 5 wires. I believe it's a heated sensor and it sits in the exhaust manifold in front to the oil dip stick and it is ahead of the cad converter. Anyone know if this same sensor was used on other later CRX or Civic etc ? Again, any experience or insights
with finding a new replacement ? I noticed in the sticky post there were a couple links that listed sensors but didn't detail whether they were the one wire or 5 wire types like I have. I figure this is contributing to the lower gas mileage. It claimed to get 52 city and 57 highway when it was new.

Thanks
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Old 12-03-2009, 01:45 AM   #2
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Default Re: Help with 87 CRX-HF restoration

the belt needs to be tightened. the RPM drop is because of the voltage drop while the belt is squealing..

you probably don't need a new O2 sensor unless you are throwing a code. i still have the original one in my 91 Si with 186k miles and am getting 34mpg every day all day. i also had the original one in my 86 Si when i pulled the motor at 232k miles. still got about 32mpg every day.
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Old 12-03-2009, 06:54 PM   #3
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Default Re: Help with 87 CRX-HF restoration

Thanks for the info E-AT me. I've had HONDA garage mechanics tell me it could be everything from a fan control module (located somewhere up under the dash) to a main relay on the left kick pannel. Parts guys at the big parts stores tell me HONDA's are bad for that belt squeal. I wish the Alternator had a more positive system for tightening the 3V belt like the AC has for the the compressor's belt.

I drove it today on a 100+ mile trip. I just got in and wanted to see if anyone came back on this. It squealed after dark with the head lights on but not like it used to with that bad fan switch and the fan running constantly.

I guess I could pull the Oxygen Sensor and clean it with some solvent in case it's full of carbon build up. Anyone else ever done that ?

I have another question now. I've tuned and set the timing on many American cars I've owned and disconnected the vacuum hose from the distributor's vacuum diaphragm plugging the tube while setting the timing.
But I'm not sure about setting the timing on this CRX-HF. Do you disconnect the tube from the distributor ? I ask because I haven't seen this detailed in the service manuals I've looked at. I'm about to pull the plugs to check the gap and read them.

The car is running OK but the tail pipe is black & sooted and I'm curious to inspect the plugs. Just wish it were getting gas mileage like it supposedly got originally.

All I have left to do is replace the dead hatch supports, replace the front disk pads, and the rest is body and paint. I think the former owner got one of the rear brake adjustment parts backwards as the right rear emergency brake works well but the left rear doesn't. The very last thing is the broken rear view mirror which flops about while I'm driving. The day & night tab is broken internally and I'm not sure as to how how to dismount it from the mount at the top of the windshield. Any ideas on that ?

Thanks again for any insights into this.
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Old 12-04-2009, 01:43 AM   #4
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Default Re: Help with 87 CRX-HF restoration

for the mirror, you have to pry off the little cover at the top, then it should be two phillips screws to remove. pretty easy, just cover a flat head screwdriver with a little bit of tape so you do not damage your headliner.

as for the O2 sensor, i see your problem. i checked around and could not find one either. in my past experience, it's not a good idea to try to clean them. it looks like rockauto.com has one for $218.

as for the belt, i've had good luck with wedging a pry bar of sorts into the side of the alternator and against the block to get the belt tighter.
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Old 12-04-2009, 08:01 AM   #5
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Default Re: Help with 87 CRX-HF restoration

Thanks again E-AT_me. If it will just warm up a bit more outside I'm going to try to check the plugs and rotate the tires.

Have you used a timing light to set the timing on one of these CRX's ?

Do you disconnect the vacuum hose & plug it when setting the timing ? I feel dumb asking this question but like I said, the manuals I've looked at don't mention this step. What's everyone else here do when setting the timing on theirs ? I'm sure it isn't something that has to be done as the distributor doesn't use points. I'm just suspicious that someone at some time has tampered with it and it may explain the sooted tail pipe and low mileage the car is getting.

On the alternator, a friend suggested we put the CRX on the ramps and me craw under it after it's warm from running. After loosening the adjustment
bolts I can pull on the altenator to get the belt tight while he locks down the
adjustment bolts from above. Perhaps this is why the parts guys tell me
so many guys come in complaining of the alternator belt squeal on their HONDA's and buy new belts for them.

Thanks
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Old 12-04-2009, 08:35 AM   #6
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Default Re: Help with 87 CRX-HF restoration

never had the chance to adjust the timing on mine. i'll check with my dad though, as i'm pretty sure he did. if scott would just chime in he could probably answer pretty quickly on that question.

ramp may work, but i've always had good luck with the pry-bar.
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Old 12-04-2009, 09:26 AM   #7
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Default Re: Help with 87 CRX-HF restoration

I notice your mentioning a pry bar for the alternator adjustment. Is this like one of those small crowbar's or one of those flat nail puller bars that are about a foot long ?

The other day I had a friend press on the side of the alternator with a broom handle while I tightened down the adjustment bolt, but it didn't get it tight enough. I sure don't want to break the housing of that thing, considering what they cost.

The sun is out bright but it's still cold. If it would just get into the upper 50's
I'd start working on it again.
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Old 12-04-2009, 12:32 PM   #8
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Default Re: Help with 87 CRX-HF restoration

I loosen the pivot, then the slide bolt, and then re-tighten the slide bolt enough to where it holds but not fully tight if ye get me; then I position a large screwdriver on the (ear?) of the alternator where the slide bolt goes through and whack the **** out of it. Tighten slide bolt. Tighten pivot bolt.
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Old 12-04-2009, 01:31 PM   #9
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Default Re: Help with 87 CRX-HF restoration

I just finished a 15 mile test run after regapping the plugs. They were a light beige tan although gaped at nearly .050" . So I adjusted the gap to .040"
and it still runs well but not noticeably different.

I don't think the plugs have been out of it for a few years so I cleaned them well before reinstalling them and coated the inside of the plug wire boots with
dielectric grease as they were stuck on pretty tight.

I'm noticing some oil coming into the air cleaner thru the valve cover breather. I'm wondering if the PCV is sealing and venting properly in it's location ? Anyone else ever see this ? I've noticed a build up of oil under the air cleaner on the Head etc. So when I get weather or a warm garage
that will be something to check out.

But for now I'd like to check that timing when I find out about the vacuum hose procedure.

I'm nearly frozen as it only got to about 50 degrees here today. Tomorrow it's supposed to be snowing. So, I guess I'll just wait for some replies to this thread.

Thanks guys.
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Old 12-04-2009, 04:41 PM   #10
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Default Re: Help with 87 CRX-HF restoration

sounds like you live near me! haha. we are getting snow too.

i stick the screwdriver/prybar (bigger the better) on the ear or in one of the cooling vents.. carefully..
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Old 12-07-2009, 09:40 AM   #11
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Default Re: Help with 87 CRX-HF restoration

1grex wrote:

Quote:
I loosen the pivot, then the slide bolt, and then re-tighten the slide bolt enough to where it holds but not fully tight if ye get me; then I position a large screwdriver on the (ear?) of the alternator where the slide bolt goes through and whack the **** out of it. Tighten slide bolt. Tighten pivot bolt.
Well, I did this a few minutes ago. I thought I had the belt tight but was I ever wrong. There was plenty of slop in it. I checked the play in it as soon as I opened the hood, thinking it would be cold and tight and would require warming the motor to get the belt warmed up so it would expand some.
I had an old lead mallet from an old MG-A (to remove wire wheel spinners) and a big screw driver with the end broken off blunt and it worked slicker than snot on a door **** !

I warmed the engine up with no squeal at all. In fact, I can't make it squeal now.

So, 1grex.....ya win the Cigar for that tip !
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Old 12-09-2009, 07:00 PM   #12
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Default Re: Help with 87 CRX-HF restoration

ive got an 86 and i noticed just a tad bit of oil on the top of my breather where the line comes in from the valve cover as well, and to be honest, i have no clue what it could be from. its just barely enough to notice. if you figure something out as to what it could be id like to know. its a mystery!
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Old 12-09-2009, 08:45 PM   #13
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Default Re: Help with 87 CRX-HF restoration

I was getting a bunch of oil in mine.

When I pulled the valve cover to replace the gasket and adjust the valves
I noticed a bunch of crud built up in the baffle in the top of the cover and in the tube that extends to the air cleaner. Now that that's done it doesn't
get oil in it so badly....but there is still some.

When I can get a break in the weather or a heated garage to work in I'm going to check out the PCV valve & hose to see if it isn't full of crud somewhere or if the PCV valve isn't seated in the rubber grommet properly and thus not sealing the valve so it will function properly. That's my best guess for now.

I've thought of just taking some oil proof tubing and going off the valve cover and over and behind the engine to make a breather tube like the pre 1964 cars used, and keep the oil from soaking the air filter thru that breather.

It's my guess that if the PCV isn't drawing crankcase air on deceleration, then the pressure comes up thru the head and vents into the air cleaner
pulling oil spray from inside the valve train with it. And that spray accumulates in the air cleaner and drips on the engine thru the small drip vents in the bottom of the air cleaner. It's like HONDA had anticipated this.

I find when laying under the CRX when it's on ramps that to service the PCV valve, it's easer to remove the oil filter. Having it on a service station lift
would be the best way to deal with it without question. Next time I'm under mine I'm going to fit a piece of tubing over the bottom of the PCV valve and
blow thru that to see if air will even go thru. If it seems plugged I'll pull the air cleaner off and check the hose connection at the intake manifold and replace it if necessary.
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