1991 CRX Turbo B18 project/build thread - Honda-Tech


1991 CRX Turbo B18 project/build thread

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Old 02-07-2017, 10:42 AM   #1
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Default 1991 CRX Turbo B18 project/build thread

I have always wanted a CRX. My first two cars were del Sol's, one of which I turboed on the stock D16Y8 to make a fun little street car. Later on I sold it and bought a new CRZ which was fun, but was too limited performance-wise and too expensive for me to risk blowing the engine, so I mostly stuck with aesthetic mods on that one. I ended up having to sell the Z due to having kids and other expenses, and I needed a family wagon.


Ever since that time about 3 years ago, I have not had a "fun car" of my own. My wife and I decided it was finally time, the kids are getting old enough that I could have another toy. It had been eating at me for a while, not being able to run through the gears or carve through some corners in a sporty car. My budget was low ($5-6k tops) and I was undecided on what to get. For a while I thought trying RWD or even an American V8 for a change might be fun. I toyed with the idea of a C4 Corvette, Porsche 944, Nissan 240, 300zx, etc. etc. Then one day I happened across this turbo CRX for sale on Craigslist, in the middle of Minnesota of all places. It was nothing close to what I was looking for, but the feelings of driving my boosted 'Sol came rushing back and I knew it had to be mine.


So anyway, before anyone gets too excited about a long and technical build thread from the ground up..... I purchased the car with the B18 and turbo setup already installed. My hope was to get a car that "wouldn't need much work" so I could just drive it and enjoy it. I should have known better, because I can't help but to tinker when it comes to cars. But upon bringing this home I found that it does need some work, and I've already got some plans for upgrades in the future as well. If anything this thread will serve as a reference for myself to keep track of how far I've come with the car.


So without further ado, mod list is below as I purchased the car. It is a 1991 HF chassis that was brought up from Florida, never seen snow and is completely rust free. Mileage on the chassis is unknown, but it's clean and most everything in the suspension and brakes has been replaced. Engine and turbo setup has an estimated 5,000 miles on it. I paid $5,800, hoping I wouldn't need to put a ton of more money into it, but accepting the fact that I might put a little. I am sure this list is missing a few items.


Engine:
  • GSR Block
  • Wiseco Pistons
  • Eagle Rods
  • Stage 5 RPM Ported B16 Head
  • GSR Cams
  • Cable LS Trans
  • Stock Axles
  • Comp Stage 5 Sprung Clutch
  • Walbro 340, 255LPH Pump
  • FIC 1000cc Injectors
  • 6AN Fuel Lines
  • Hondata S300 V1 Tuned on e85 at 20psi
  • AEM Wideband and Gauges
  • Precision GT3255E w/Upgraded Compressor
  • Manual boost controller
  • Blox IM with 90mm TB
  • MG Fab Stainless Turbo Manifold
  • Tial Wastegate
  • 3” Downpipe and Full 3” Exhaust w/2 Magnaflow Mufflers
  • Full Race 20" x 11" x 3" FMIC
  • HKS BOV
  • Fluidyne Radiator
  • Dual Vented VC with Catch Can & Breather
Chassis:
  • Tein Springs
  • KYB Struts
  • Skunk 2 Front UCA’s
  • Skunk 2 Rear LCA’s and Upper Camber Kit
  • Legend Front BBK w/2-Piston Calipers
  • Rear Disk Conversion
  • Stainless Brake Hoses
  • Full Race Traction Bar
  • 949 Racing 6UL Wheels, 15X9
  • Hankook Tires
  • VIS CF Hood
  • Battery Relocated to Rear Hatch
Here it is the day I brought it home, after an hour drive on the highway and about 15 degrees outside with no heat. It was not a pleasant drive, and there were some concerning things about the car that arose during that time, but I'll get to those later.... Haven't taken thorough pics yet due to the cold weather.












Here are the issues I am trying to sort out currently-


Front end clacking noise under deceleration:
Upon driving the car home, I noticed it made some strange noises, most concerning being that when decelerating in gear, there was a rhythmic clacking-type noise coming from somewhere at the front of the car. The cause of this is still unknown, I am hoping it is not a major transmission or differential problem. Planning to change the trans fluid, and see if anything telling comes out in the old oil. Best case scenario, could just be noise from the brakes and slightly warped rotors not getting warmed up? Idk.


Misfiring, not starting in cold, running rough, wouldn't rev over 3000rpm:
The seller had told me not to drive it hard because it had old e85 in the tank, so I was apprehensive and did not want to push it any further to investigate at the time. It was also strange because at times it would seem to run okay, then others it was terrible. Seller also had never driven it in cold weather, so I wondered if maybe the tune had not been compensated properly for this. I downloaded the calibrations from the Hondata S300 to see if there were any settings I could play with to get it to run smoother in cold temperatures, or at least fire up quicker when cranking. I found somewhere that it takes 3 times as much e85 to get an engine started in cold weather as it does e10, so it got me thinking.

I downloaded the maps, had some people on here look them over and everything looked fine. It was when I tried uploading it to the ECU with a couple of minor changes that, not only did the upload fail, I noticed a solid red light on the ECU. I didn't know what this meant at first, but basically after a little research and help on the Hondata forum, the battery in the S300 V1 had died, so it had been running in limp mode. Apparently, at least my theory is that as the V1 was dying, it was switching in and out of limp mode, which is what caused it to run so crappy some times, and run okay other times. Try as I might, I could not get it back to a green light on the ECU. This is my first expense towards the car.

Now I have sent my ECU to be upgraded to the S300 V3 with bluetooth, and get the capacitors upgraded on the ECU. Hoping it comes back, plugs in, lets me upload the map and runs like a champ. Fingers crossed.


Transmission/clutch/differential noise:
I noticed the last couple times I started it, if I release the clutch pedal in neutral, there is a lot of noise that comes from the transmission once it starts spinning. It is somewhere between a rattle and gear noise. Also when driving, especially in first and a little in second, there is some pretty major gear noise/whining under acceleration. Sounding almost like straight cut gears. However, the transmission shifts in and out of all gears reasonably well and operates like it should. Again, hoping that the fresh trans fluid will help or at least let me know if there is a major problem.


Oil leak from turbo feed or return line:
Last night I got under the car for the first time, and noticed everything is coated in fresh oil. I traced it up the oil pan on the front, and up the return line to the turbo. Although it appears to be originating from the return line, I suspect it is actually coming from somewhere on the pressure line side. It is very hard to see anything on the top side of the turbo, so this I need to dig into.


Torn shift linkage bushing? on transmission:
While under the car I also found a piece of rubber, looks like a bushing of some sort on the end of the shift linkage hooking to the transmission. The rubber piece was broken and I just pulled it off. Will get pics later on, not sure if this is an issue.


Turbo compressor touching radiator:
I doubt there is anything that can be done about this, just concerns me a little. Previous owner mounted the front of the engine solid to the full race cross member to prevent the turbo from eating into the rad. If it has lasted this long without causing and issue, I guess it will be OK but I won't be terribly surprised if it ever springs a leak.




Here's what I have in the works so far:

- Upgrading Hondata to S300 V3, updating ECU capacitors
- Trans fluid change with Acura MTF
- Reducing boost to 17psi max until I get a feel for it
- Purchased e85 tester and "e85 only" sticker for the gas door
- Fixing oil leak on turbo feed line



Possible upgrades for the future:

- Upgrade axles
- LSD
- Boost by gear
- Considering window tint and blacking out the lights and reflectors on the car. Not sure how it would look on a white car tho might just leave the stock look.



Thanks for reading! Will update as I diagnose or fix issues, will get more pics and add any more upgrades I decide to do.

Last edited by 2x0; 03-10-2017 at 08:53 AM.
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Old 02-07-2017, 10:48 AM   #2
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Default Re: 1991 CRX Turbo B18 project/build thread

very nice looks good. and not so many big issues. cant wait for it all to be done.

sending ecu straight to hondata ? I need to upgrade mines too once I park car this week and store it to work on it
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Old 02-07-2017, 10:57 AM   #3
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Default Re: 1991 CRX Turbo B18 project/build thread

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very nice looks good. and not so many big issues. cant wait for it all to be done.

sending ecu straight to hondata ? I need to upgrade mines too once I park car this week and store it to work on it
Yep Hondata will be doing the update to the ECU and swapping the V1 for the V3. I over-nighted it today and am hoping to get it back by the weekend so I can do some tunin'

It was $430 for the update package being that my V1 was toast, but I figure the one place you don't want to skimp out is engine management.
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Old 02-07-2017, 11:14 AM   #4
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Default Re: 1991 CRX Turbo B18 project/build thread

welcome by the way. well mine is working fine so I hope only 280 for me as page says lol and very true

this is my 91 ef im working on


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Old 02-07-2017, 11:37 AM   #5
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Default Re: 1991 CRX Turbo B18 project/build thread

That looks awesome! Can't wait to get mine runnin good.

Looks like you had to raise the hood up for clearance? I was surprised that my hood closes fine, but then I noticed that there is only about 3" of clearance from my oil pan to the ground
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Old 02-07-2017, 11:39 AM   #6
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Default Re: 1991 CRX Turbo B18 project/build thread

yeah if not it hits. car will be going down for a month or so for upgrades
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Old 02-07-2017, 11:53 AM   #7
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Default Re: 1991 CRX Turbo B18 project/build thread

Its good to see Gunny's old crx getting some love from a new owner. I remember his build from MnHonda's, we turboed our crx's at the same time maybe 6-7 years ago. Looks like it hasnt changed at all from that time! I always wished he got a larger FMIC to fit the crx grill better, other then that the car looks very clean! Good luck with the build, hopefully you can make it to TopEnd to race it this upcoming season.
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Old 02-07-2017, 12:45 PM   #8
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Default Re: 1991 CRX Turbo B18 project/build thread

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Its good to see Gunny's old crx getting some love from a new owner. I remember his build from MnHonda's, we turboed our crx's at the same time maybe 6-7 years ago. Looks like it hasnt changed at all from that time! I always wished he got a larger FMIC to fit the crx grill better, other then that the car looks very clean! Good luck with the build, hopefully you can make it to TopEnd to race it this upcoming season.
Hey there, I wondered when someone who recognized this car would turn up on the forums. Yeah I tried looking for his build thread on MnHonda's when I was considering the purchase, but it looks like that site is down now. Is there another forum where more of our regional enthusiasts get together?

It's weird because for all of my past projects, I've lived in different states but always had some fellow tuners to cruise around with. In MN everyone just likes their trucks and snowmobiles...
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Old 02-08-2017, 11:22 AM   #9
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Hey there, I wondered when someone who recognized this car would turn up on the forums. Yeah I tried looking for his build thread on MnHonda's when I was considering the purchase, but it looks like that site is down now. Is there another forum where more of our regional enthusiasts get together?

It's weird because for all of my past projects, I've lived in different states but always had some fellow tuners to cruise around with. In MN everyone just likes their trucks and snowmobiles...
Yup, mnhondas and every other site similar is gone. People just use bull **** Facebook groups, so you can try to find some of those.. There are plenty of people building and racing Hondas in Minneapolis. Check out BIR if your new to the area, you will see most of the fast hondas in the area there.

People in MN/ND just garage their cars during the winter for the most part. Come spring you will see plenty of nice cars.
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Old 02-08-2017, 06:01 PM   #10
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Default Re: 1991 CRX Turbo B18 project/build thread

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There are plenty of people building and racing Hondas in Minneapolis. Check out BIR if your new to the area, you will see most of the fast hondas in the area
I figured there might be, thanks for that I will check it out. Always good to have some fellow enthusiasts nearby to share builds with.

No news yet on mine but my ecu should be getting reworked by Hondata at this very moment. I also received my Acura MTF today ordered from K series parts. Hoping on Saturday I have the time to drain the tranny and see whats up, plug in the new ecu if I have it back yet, and fix the oil leak. If all goes well, which it seldom does, I may be out on the road next week while enjoying the 40-degree weather
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Old 02-09-2017, 12:19 PM   #11
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Default Re: 1991 CRX Turbo B18 project/build thread

Received my ECU back today with the brand new Hondata S300 V3 installed! Took a total of two days from when I shipped it, pretty awesome! Also considering you get an entirely new S300 for much less than retail price, came with a new USB cable, some decals and everything.

Can't wait to get it hooked up this weekend
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Old 02-09-2017, 04:15 PM   #12
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Default Re: 1991 CRX Turbo B18 project/build thread

Tonight I changed the tranny fluid. Old fluid had some fine metal glitter in it but looked pretty normal. Also may have fixed oil leak, I was able to get about 1/4 turn on one of the return flange bolts, we'll see if that fixes it.

Pics also showing the broken shift linkage bushing. I figure I'll worry about this when I start having trouble shifting...






Now I just need to plug in the ecu and upload a tune!
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Old 02-09-2017, 05:45 PM   #13
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Default Re: 1991 CRX Turbo B18 project/build thread

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Transmission/clutch/differential noise:
I noticed the last couple times I started it, if I release the clutch pedal in neutral, there is a lot of noise that comes from the transmission once it starts spinning. It is somewhere between a rattle and gear noise. Also when driving, especially in first and a little in second, there is some pretty major gear noise/whining under acceleration. Sounding almost like straight cut gears. However, the transmission shifts in and out of all gears reasonably well and operates like it should. Again, hoping that the fresh trans fluid will help or at least let me know if there is a major problem.
Search for 'noisy throw-out bearing' and see if that is your problem, it's a pretty common problem that can be diagnosed pretty accurately by letting the car idle (noisy) pressing the clutch in (noise stops).

Keep in mind some aftermarket clutch types do make a similar noise to this though and it's normal.
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Old 02-10-2017, 04:35 AM   #14
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Default Re: 1991 CRX Turbo B18 project/build thread

I thought I read at v3 hondata is blue tooth?
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Old 02-10-2017, 05:00 AM   #15
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I thought I read at v3 hondata is blue tooth?
It is. I don't have a bluetooth laptop, so I can't use it for uploading or datalogging, still have to go with USB. However, with the Hondata app you can link up with your phone to watch all your sensor readings in real time.
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Old 02-10-2017, 05:17 AM   #16
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Default Re: 1991 CRX Turbo B18 project/build thread

badass I hope it work on an iphone too. mind sending me the info where u sent it to on a pm. I need to send mines Monday out to upgrade too
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Old 02-10-2017, 06:31 AM   #17
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badass I hope it work on an iphone too. mind sending me the info where u sent it to on a pm. I need to send mines Monday out to upgrade too
There's an upgrade form to fill out on their website, link below. And also I have an iphone and was able to use the app.

https://www.hondata.com/downloads/s3...grade_form.pdf

Last night I was able to plug it in and upload my tune, everything was good and green light was on. Car started but did not run well due to the cold temps, so I still need to make some adjustments on the tune.
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Old 02-10-2017, 06:37 AM   #18
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sweet thx man an dnice
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Old 02-10-2017, 06:39 AM   #19
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Default Re: 1991 CRX Turbo B18 project/build thread

so I already have a boost controller and boost by gear so my option needed will be the 280 one or the 330 one for this

Reliability Upgrade – Install 8 high quality replacement capacitors to help protect and extend the life of your OBD1 ECU
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Old 02-10-2017, 07:51 AM   #20
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Default Re: 1991 CRX Turbo B18 project/build thread

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so I already have a boost controller and boost by gear so my option needed will be the 280 one or the 330 one for this

Reliability Upgrade Install 8 high quality replacement capacitors to help protect and extend the life of your OBD1 ECU
Yup. I went ahead with the reliability upgrade since my ECU is from 1994, and I really don't want to deal with any more issues in that department...
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Old 02-10-2017, 07:54 AM   #21
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true lol
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Old 02-10-2017, 09:22 AM   #22
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Default Re: 1991 CRX Turbo B18 project/build thread

Just for fun, some pics of my last car.... I like the body style of the CRX better. I think the CRZ was a little over-done.





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Old 02-10-2017, 09:31 AM   #23
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dang nice!
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Old 02-10-2017, 11:48 AM   #24
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Default Re: 1991 CRX Turbo B18 project/build thread

CR-Z ftw. Good job on the fingernail trimming all the way down, thats the way to do it. People who don't cut their nails are gross females excluded to a certain length. The end.
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Old 02-10-2017, 12:27 PM   #25
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CR-Z ftw. Good job on the fingernail trimming all the way down, thats the way to do it. People who don't cut their nails are gross females excluded to a certain length. The end.
Haha, ha, I don't trim tho, I bite and it's a terrible habit. Especially when there's grease and crap in there from workin on leaky Hondas.
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