Lemons CRX - Honda-Tech - Honda Forum Discussion

Lemons CRX

Old 01-12-2019, 07:42 PM
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Default Lemons CRX

Was out of the Honda scene for a good while, almost 10 years. About a year ago my brother brought up the idea of competing in the 24 Hours of Lemons. After not really committing for about 6 months, we finally decided to do it and here it is as follows. All work was done by myself, my brother, and our other members of the race team.

We started with an 88 HF that had a b20 swap. Swap looked like **** and we were keen on keeping the car d series anyways so that went by the way of the dodo. Got rid of the engine and transmission and then began stripping the car of............well everything.

This is when we first picked it up.








Picked up a Y8 out of a junkyard...........




Pulled out the B20




Gutted the interior and dry iced the sound deadening.




Started collecting parts at random that we needed to have / replace...........don't have pictures of everything but we did master cylinder, inner and outer tie rods, ball joints, all new seals and gaskets for the entire engine, pretty much anything that could have been "worn out" we replaced plus bought a bunch of **** that we needed (racing seat, harness, steering wheel, ect.)














After the car was gutted it was time for the cage. We also welded in a permanent rear strut tower bar.












Next we sprayed the interior with Lizard Skin.








Had to weld in brackets for the gauge cluster and clock.




Worked on getting the engine bay cleaned up.






Tune up on the engine, replaced all gaskets, seals, etc.




Suspension, no pictures because I suck but replaced every rubber bushing with poly.




Brakes, using 90-91 EX knuckles, 96 prelude v-tec rotors drilled to 4x100 with legend 2 piston calipers. Rears, we did a disc conversion. I think we used a 90-91 EX master cylinder but it could have been a DA, not 100% sure. Brake booster was from a DA thought.










Got the engine in the car. Then came the fun job of wiring. Removed every bit of wiring that wasn't essential for the running of the car. Converted the car to OBD1 while using an OBD2 distributor. Ran the engine off a P28. Only part that fucked us down on the wiring was we used for reference an eBay obd0-obd1 sub harness. 2 of the wires were in the wrong location on the sub harness so when we went for startup, well lets just saw it took us a minute to diagnose why it wasn't starting.












All in all from when we first picked up the car until we finished it, it was about a 3 month project. I don't think there was a single nut or bolt we didn't touch. We literally got the engine running about 12 hours before we had to drive down. At the end, we had to find out our wiring issues we had to replace the fuel tank because of all the **** that was in it and replace the fuel pump. Wish we had a few days for testing prior but it was what it was. When we got down there, within the first 30 minutes, the oil pressure switch blew out the back of the engine and oil went everywhere. We fixed that but then had to deal with cooling issues all weekend. Ended up the engine was a dud and had a blown head gasket to start so the head was warped.

Regardless, the car made it to the checkered flag 24 hours later, engine still running and no bumps or scrapes along the way, even with 117 cars on the track. It was a good learning experience and I have no doubts we’ll do even better next race.


There was plenty of info I'm sure I left out but whatever. Now we are already starting on the next stage of the car. We bought a rebuilt Y8 engine, using ARP head studs, but we are replacing the stock pistons with D16A1 pistons and using a .060" cometic head gasket. Should get us around 11.5-1 compression. Replaced the stock radiator with a dual core aluminum and we're installing a mishimoto oil cooler. Also the stock cable transmission we used was garbage so we opted to use a 96-00 EX transmission with the HASport hydro to cable conversion.












More to come........










Last edited by 75euRFE; 01-12-2019 at 08:00 PM.
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Old 01-13-2019, 09:38 AM
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Default Re: Lemons CRX

Very nice!!

What did you do once the car started overheating to keep it going through the race? did you end up shifting at 5.5k and keeping revs low?


From what i've read, in order to get a D series to last, you have to do extensive cooling/oiling mods. Good job on the radiator and oil cooler, but you'll also have to weld in some baffles in the oil pan to keep the pickup well fed, and shim the oil pump to get higher pressure. If you have the block apart again, grind down any roughness and skin tags in the oil/coolant passages. These add turbulence that can create cavitation in the oil when its super hot and frothy. Fine for street & short stints, but bad for endurance as you beat the **** out of your oil. I also recommend getting a tunable or re-writable ecu. Hook up a wideband and make sure your AFR's stay in the 12.2-12.6 range at WOT. Any higher than that and you risk detonation. Even if its minor, it'll add HEAT to your combustion chamber which is bad in an endurance race. You can probably even sacrifice a tiny bit of top end power and get in the mid-high 11's for a cooler charge. If you continue to have heat issues, it is definitely worth the experimentation. If you have the head off again, smooth out your exhaust ports, you want to make sure you reduce turbulence on your exhaust to maximize emptying of the cylinder of those hot gasses. The better exhaust scavenging you have, the cooler the engine will run.

Also, run rotella t6. Don't bother with any other oil.

Keep us updated!!! I too want to convert my CRX to a lemons/chump racer. I'm on the lookout for a deal on a d15b, d15z8, or a dohc zc. I'm also on the lookout for a deal on someone who can make me a safe roll cage cause i'm crap with a welder!
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Old 01-13-2019, 01:16 PM
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When we started overheating on the track, we pulled off and luckily where we were camping, it was right next to one of the only water hoses at the track. So we pulled up next to it, popped the hood, used the water hose to cool down the radiator, opened the cap then basically with the engine running, flushed cold water through the engine for a minute. We weren't concerned with the engine after the race at that point. We just wanted it to last the race and it did.


We are replacing the Y8 oil pan with an A6 oil pan. It has internal baffling already. Also, I work right down the street from Endyn so I dropped off an oil pump to them so they can modify it for their race applications. We've also ordered a crank scraper and windage tray.




As far as everything else goes, we'll address it as it becomes an issue. Also forgot to mention that we're switching to a Z6 cam gear. Running a Y8 on a p28, we had to advance the distributor all the way for it to run decent. I had remembered reading awhile back about that and had just forgot about it over the years. Went back and looked and saw that running the Z6 cam gear advances timing on a Y8 5 degrees I believe so it should help with our timing issue.
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Old 01-13-2019, 01:19 PM
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Originally Posted by hispanic panic View Post
I'm also on the lookout for a deal on someone who can make me a safe roll cage cause i'm crap with a welder!

Might be too far out from where you are but depending on pricing at any place in your neck of the woods, there is a guy up here around the Fort Worth area that does great work at a very decent price. Place is called Destroyer Chassis.
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Old 01-13-2019, 02:41 PM
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Default Re: Lemons CRX

Good read. Also wouldn't mind some pics of that mx73 chilling in the background, looks nice.
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Old 01-13-2019, 03:28 PM
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Originally Posted by 75euRFE View Post
Might be too far out from where you are but depending on pricing at any place in your neck of the woods, there is a guy up here around the Fort Worth area that does great work at a very decent price. Place is called Destroyer Chassis.
Thank you so much for that tip!! When i get there, it would definately be worth the drive to Ft. Worth to have a good cage done for a reasonable price. Judging from the website, seems like he has the expertise too!



Originally Posted by 75euRFE View Post
When we started overheating on the track, we pulled off and luckily where we were camping, it was right next to one of the only water hoses at the track. So we pulled up next to it, popped the hood, used the water hose to cool down the radiator, opened the cap then basically with the engine running, flushed cold water through the engine for a minute. We weren't concerned with the engine after the race at that point. We just wanted it to last the race and it did.


We are replacing the Y8 oil pan with an A6 oil pan. It has internal baffling already. Also, I work right down the street from Endyn so I dropped off an oil pump to them so they can modify it for their race applications. We've also ordered a crank scraper and windage tray.




As far as everything else goes, we'll address it as it becomes an issue. Also forgot to mention that we're switching to a Z6 cam gear. Running a Y8 on a p28, we had to advance the distributor all the way for it to run decent. I had remembered reading awhile back about that and had just forgot about it over the years. Went back and looked and saw that running the Z6 cam gear advances timing on a Y8 5 degrees I believe so it should help with our timing issue.
What brought about the timing issues? That's odd that it was happening, Is it because of a mismatch ecu? Also, i'm not sure those baffles will be sufficient. The people i know of that have gotten their d-series reliable for lemons welded in trap doors around the pickup. I haven't heard anything about windage/scraping trays or anything, but im sure it can't hurt.


About how often would the car overheat? Was it about every fuel fill up? Also, were you taking it to redline? I had heard some people stay 1-2k below redline but that just sounds boring!
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Old 01-14-2019, 10:27 AM
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Originally Posted by ~sp33~ View Post
Good read. Also wouldn't mind some pics of that mx73 chilling in the background, looks nice.

Thatís my brotherís daily. The most recent picture I have of it is probably a year old. Heís done more to it since. Regardless, hereís his MX73 Cressida and my MX83 Chaser.





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Old 01-14-2019, 12:32 PM
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Originally Posted by hispanic panic View Post
What brought about the timing issues? That's odd that it was happening, Is it because of a mismatch ecu? Also, i'm not sure those baffles will be sufficient. The people i know of that have gotten their d-series reliable for lemons welded in trap doors around the pickup. I haven't heard anything about windage/scraping trays or anything, but im sure it can't hurt.


About how often would the car overheat? Was it about every fuel fill up? Also, were you taking it to redline? I had heard some people stay 1-2k below redline but that just sounds boring!
Timing issue is because of the mismatched ECU yes. When the ECU tells the distributor to fire, itís not timed correctly with where the camshaft, so you have to advance the distributor all the way to make it ďbetterĒ. So using the Z6 cam gear advances the camshaft mechanically to time it correctly with the ecu.





As far as the baffles go, depends on what engine the people you are referring to were running or more specifically, what oil pan they had. If they were running one without any baffling whatsoever only to modify that one, then yes that would be an improvement. But did they try using an OEM one that was already baffled to confirm that it works or doesnít? They may have......Iíll find out regardless here in two months when we do our next race.

With the overheating, it was about every 30 minutes. But as I said before, we were dealing with an engine that already had a blown head gasket so trying to determine what we could or should do differently is irrelevant because it was a **** engine to begin with. We tried running it at a lower RPM for a little bit but that made no discernible difference as far as how long we were out on the track. So at that point we ran it as quickly as we could, got it back to the paddock, cooled it off as quickly as we could, then went back to making laps.
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Old 01-14-2019, 02:42 PM
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Looks sick, thanks for the pics.
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Old 01-15-2019, 09:18 AM
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75euRFE,

Looks like a lot of work!
Great job in getting started in racing.
Maybe I missed it in thread, but I did not see mention of brake pads you are using.
I would suggest: Hawk for a quick strong bite and Carbotech for a more gradual bite.
Both have great stopping power!
Also, I did not see any brake ducts.
My experience says you need at least one set of 3 in ducts directly on the caliper.
You can by aluminum adapter or just zip tie in place.
John of Johnnysspeedlab.com
SCCA Racer for many years.
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Old 01-15-2019, 09:23 AM
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75euRFE,

More thoughts in looking at your pictures.
I realize most people enjoy the engine side, but driving a racecar fast is about suspension.
I would seriously look at spring rates.
SPRINGS: For my 1988/9 CRX's I ran 500 to 550 lb/in in front and 700 to 800 lb/in in the rear.
SWAY BARS: I played with stock only front bar and 3/4 in to 1 1/16 in bar in the rear.
CAMBER: Depending on track at least 2 deg and up to 3 depending on how hard braking zones are.
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SCCA Racer for many years.
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Old 01-15-2019, 09:31 AM
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75euRFE,

TOE: Due to driving a low HP car you want to be about even to 1/16 in out.
Easy way to measure is with 'toe plates' with two tape measures.
You can actually do this by yourself.
RIDE HEIGHT: As low a rules allow, this helps aero and center of gravity (CG)
John of Johnnysspeedlab.com
SCCA Racer for many years.

Have fun!
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