By on July 25, 2016

1986 Honda CRX in Colorado Junkyard, LH front view - ©2016 Murilee Martin - The Truth About Cars

The Honda CRX is one of my all-time favorite cars, especially the first-generation 1984-87 models. I have owned quite a few of them and found that the CRX’s combination of reliability (if you didn’t overheat and blow the head gasket), driving enjoyment, fuel economy, and cheap purchase price was impossible to beat for a daily driver in the 1990s. CRXs are rare in self-service junkyards now, most of them having been used up and discarded decades ago, and the few that I see get stripped to nothingness within days of hitting the yard.

Here’s an unusually complete ’86 that I found in a Denver yard last week.

1986 Honda CRX in Colorado Junkyard, speedometer - ©2016 Murilee Martin - The Truth About Cars

Just 151,903.8 miles on the clock; no rust that I could find.

1986 Honda CRX in Colorado Junkyard, interior - ©2016 Murilee Martin - The Truth About Cars

The interior is a bit worn, but this is mint condition by the standards of 30-year-old cars in U-Wrench-It junkyards.

1986 Honda CRX in Colorado Junkyard, bottle of urine - ©2016 Murilee Martin - The Truth About Cars

Of course, the Powerade bottle full of what I fear is crank piss reminds us that this is the wrecking yard.

1986 Honda CRX in Colorado Junkyard, engine - ©2016 Murilee Martin - The Truth About Cars

Just 76 factory horsepower lay in wait under the CRX’s hood — but this was a fun 76 horsepower!

1986 Honda CRX in Colorado Junkyard, Vacuum Hose Routing Diagram - ©2016 Murilee Martin - The Truth About Cars

The “map of the universe” Vacuum Hose Routing Diagram, shows why 1984-1987 Civics and CRXs fell out of favor in states with strict emissions testing by the early 2000s. In California, where I owned all my CRXs, if any one of those hundreds of hoses, solenoids, sensors, switches, or relays failed, you’d probably fail the tailpipe test. Attempting to chase down the flaw was a certain one-way ticket to Crazy Town (though I managed the feat a couple of times, thanks to endless hours of work and love of my CRXs).

1986 Honda CRX in Colorado Junkyard, rear view - ©2016 Murilee Martin - The Truth About Cars

I managed 50 highway miles per gallon in my (non-HF) CRXs without even trying very hard. The cargo area was surprisingly capacious and you could haul 8-foot 2x4s inside (left rear to right front, between the seats) with nothing sticking out of a window. The driver’s seat offered plenty of leg and headroom. Yes, it was noisy and bouncy and slow by 21st-century standards, but I still consider the early CRX to be one of the greatest cars ever sold in the United States. And this one is getting crushed before its time.

It was known as the “Ballade Sports CR-X” in its homeland.

Kawaii!

In the United States, advertising for the first-year CRX focused on the nutso gas mileage.

The Prius is an Earth-destroying pig compared to the CRX HF!

[Images: © 2016 Murilee Martin/The Truth About Cars]

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85 Comments on “Junkyard Find: 1986 Honda CRX...”


  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    “I still consider the early CRX to be one of the greatest cars ever sold in the United States”

    Agreed – timeless looks, great proportions, nice performance, and affordable. Certainly one of the best cars Honda ever made.

    Today’s CR-Z is a poor replacement, despite Honda claiming it wasn’t intended to be one.

  • avatar
    gtemnykh

    Sad that rust free examples are deemed worthy of crushing, back up North this thing would fetch quite a pretty penny on CL, even in need of motor/suspension/etc work. As long as the body is sound, nothing on these cars is that expensive or difficult to replace. I wonder if it was finicky vacuum/carb issues combined with a non-DIYer owner that did this poor thing in.

    • 0 avatar
      CoreyDL

      I think probably meth usage has an inverse relationship with level of car care. :D

    • 0 avatar
      MBella

      I was thinking the same thing. These are getting quite expensive. The body appears in good shape and should have been saved.

      • 0 avatar
        CoreyDL

        Look at dis tidy high miles wagon!

        https://cincinnati.craigslist.org/cto/5667568054.html

        He’s asking too much I think though.

        • 0 avatar
          gtemnykh

          Hmm, mismatched rim up front, rear quarters are just starting to bubble a tad. Interesting that the ’88s had vinyl upholstery, my family’s ’90 had a very pleasant and high quality grey/brown tweed material.

          A clean car overall and I suppose justifiable to someone smitten with nostalgia, but I will pass!

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            Since you’re here, what’re your thoughts on the Subaru Tribeca as a hit em where they ain’t used SUV? It just came to mind a few minutes ago. Along with the Veracruz.

          • 0 avatar
            gtemnykh

            I think both could be pretty solid choices, although as unloved as the Tribeca seems, my understanding is that the Subaru badge still yields fairly strong resale. Veracruz is a good option IMO. Only potential downside to both choices is that their limited sales when new may yield poor supply and high prices for parts down the road. I’m sure both use a ton of parts bin type engineering, but still.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            The Tribeca seems a bit harder to come by for sale, but I like that -all- of them were very well-equipped. I question the H6, because I know the first couple years were down on HP figures, and it likes to GULP fuel.

            I think the Veracruz just should have like 90% Santa Fe parts (?), and it has that standard 3.8 from the Genesis in there. I don’t mind the styling that much, even though the front end is a bit derpy. Used, it seems slightly less expensive than the gen 1 MDX, and all are a bit newer.

            I honestly think they have a pretty good engine in the 3.8. Been around for a decade now, and you never hear of problems with it. And all are chain-driven.

          • 0 avatar
            SSJeep

            I will pass as well – the 80s CRX models were certainly a blast to drive (especially with a manual trans), but they were a rolling death cage in an accident. Especially if you were the teenager stuffed in the back and laying down sideways.

    • 0 avatar
      JohnTaurus_3.0_AX4N

      I bet this one would’ve brought $800 on craigslist all day (even out west, FAR more back east), and possibly ended up in the hands of someone who would appreciate it and keep it on the road for years to come.

      Like me.

  • avatar
    Zackman

    I always liked these, and if I was single at the time – I WAS young once – I may have owned one. The styling was attractive, especially in that red & silver per the example above – my color choice.

  • avatar
    ToddAtlasF1

    The import tuner hobby must finally be over if this car wasn’t saved.

    • 0 avatar
      gtemnykh

      These were popular cars for a “ZC” swap, a DOHC pre-VTEC 1.6L motor that could be sourced from a JDM importer in 130-ish HP guise, or from a gen 1 Integra in 120ish HP guise. With the JDM variant, you could even get a twin-carb version if you were swapping a non-Si CRX and didn’t want the headache of doing a fuel injection setup. That’s the circle of life in Honda swaps: gen 1 Integra guy goes for a hot 160hp VTEC B16, his discarded motor goes to hop up a gen 1 CRX/Civic hatch.

      • 0 avatar
        CoreyDL

        Crap I saw a very glean gen 2 Integra coupe on the way to work, and it reminded me how long it had been since I had even seen one.

        The quad headlamps still look odd.

        • 0 avatar
          bumpy ii

          Bugeye Integras were gens 3 and 4. 1 had flip-up lights. 2 looked like a cross between a ’88 Civic and a ’90 Accord.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            Well, I thought there were only like two gens. The first one, then the bugeye one. Now I’m thinking the Integra was here for longer than I had previously thought, before turning into the RSX.

            Edit: I consider gen 2 “the Vigor one” with that front.

          • 0 avatar
            bumpy ii

            Acura started in 1985 with the Integra and Legend.

            Old-school:
            http://www.superstreetonline.com/features/1306-1986-honda-quint-integra-gsi/
            http://www.automobilemag.com/news/collectible-classic-1986-1989-acura-integra/

          • 0 avatar
            JohnTaurus_3.0_AX4N

            I hate those goofy quad headlights! I really like the JDM second version of that body style, its so much cleaner.

            I’m not into “import tuning” I just want one stock as a rock with a manual and the JDM front end. No intake or fart-can exhaust required. And if its been hacked up for fender vents, the guy responsible should be caned.

            I’m astonished to find Corey lacking on his Japanese import history knowledge here! Lol ☺

    • 0 avatar
      LS1Fan

      The Fast and the Furious released *fifteen* years ago.

      Yeah , I had to look it up too.

      The kids who hopped up Mom’s Civic with “Overnight Parts from Japan” back then can be found today in CUVs at the nearby Initech cubicle farm. They’d love to mod this CRX, but kids and wife mix poorly with “Race Wars”.

      Maturity- it’s what’s for dinner.

      • 0 avatar
        Luke42

        Exactly.

        This was the car I wanted rral bad in high school.

        I’m going to be 40 in a couple of years, and I could afford one now. I’m not about to forgo a career’s worth of safety improvements, so the original is out. Also, the cars that look like this car just haven’t measured up. There was nothing chuckable about the rental Velostar I drove (and the asymmetric B-pillar made my wife mad), and I doubt I could find a CR-Z to drive if I tried. Maybe a BR-Z or Miata shooting brake conversion would fit the bill, but I won’t have the extra cycles for that kind of project for a while.

        But this will all be moot when/if we get the Tesla Model 3 we have reserved.

  • avatar
    dividebytube

    This brings back the memories – my best friend in high school got one of these in silver – a MY84 I believe – to replace a very troublesome Plymouth TC3. At the time the CRX seemed like a car from the future. We often took this little Honda to Ann Arbor, or Chicago to visit friends who were in college. Gas mileage was phenomenal: didn’t have to fill up going there and back, unlike my MY84 Nissan truck.

    Worst part of the car was if a third person wanted to tag along – riding in the back was not comfortable, but still doable with flexible teenage bones.

  • avatar
    maxxcool7421

    All you need to do is ship that body over here to Eugene, Salem, Portland Oregon and just the shell would sell for 1200$. And in 3 weeks it would have a donor b20-something with full boltons, a tune and 1200 watts rms pounding out the back..

    Or someone one would strip it further, CF all the external bits, thin glass it and turbo it up to 300WHP then drag it all week long.

    • 0 avatar
      olddavid

      The two door squarebacks sell for $1000 to the tuner crowd in this neighborhood. But even with the burgeoning tuner “boyz” at PIR, shipping would eat up any profit potential. It is a clean example, though, and I cannot believe some enterprising local hasn’t grabbed this car. It would be a great starter autocrosser and learner wheels.

  • avatar
    Kenmore

    Mid-80s J-car interiors. *sigh*

    If there’s an afterlife I want my ’82 Civic wagon to toodle around blocking left lanes in heaven.

    • 0 avatar
      CoreyDL

      Always loved that old Honda steering wheel. Much better than the equivalent Toyota one.

      http://momentcar.com/images/toyota-camry-1986-14.jpg

      Which looked like it was off of a bumper car, for poor people. (And I know you’ll enjoy in this photo how the nap of the velour has been altered by the swing-round of the window winder.)

    • 0 avatar
      gtemnykh

      My family’s first car in the US when we immigrated in 1992 was a rusty, brown, ’82 Civic Wagon with the “5 speed” badge on the back. Bought by my father for $750 from a coworker at his new place of work. After a 40hp air cooled Zaporozhets the Civic felt like a sportscar mixed with a space ship. FWD, a smooth shifting transmission, a motor that didn’t overheat and that could haul the whole family at previously unknown to us speeds and with unheard of smoothness. I’m sure driving a ’82 Civic Wagon now I’d laugh at how tinny, loud, and slow it would feel. It’s all relative! Our ’85 Civic had a nicer interior (and less rust) and the ’90 Civic Wagon that followed was yet another step up in refinement and power. Finally the ’07 Fit that replaced the ’90 Civic in 2007 felt sooo refined in terms of suspension smoothness and fresh motor mounts that didn’t cause a shake at idle when in ‘Park’ was a revelation to us.

    • 0 avatar
      Kenmore

      Those were just the most touch-happy interiors. After a life of nothing but Big-3 sloppy sliders, wobbly knobs and chrome-dusted plastic with a TTL of 9 months…. tactile joy.

      • 0 avatar
        CoreyDL

        I remember my first general experience with a Japanese car. Circa 1991 my uncle drove his family from Terre Haute to SE Indiana to visit, in his ’86 Camry. And I remember thinking about how much more serious it felt than the ’88 Dynasty (ew) my parents had.

        The heavy resistance when you pulled that metal door handle, and the PONK sound the door made when you shut it, was was superior to the CLACK the Dynasty made.

        And those big clear gauges with the long needles on them, and that blue (or maybe green?) big A/C button.

        I can still smell the interior of that car, and I was five years old.

        • 0 avatar
          Kenmore

          Yep, it was the dozens of ephemeral little things that you knew were nonetheless given deliberate attention that made J-cars clearly and immediately a whole new species.

          The big things… comfort, power, styling… domestics still had those in spades. But after experiencing Japanese those big things suddenly acquired a tenuous, slapped-together feeling because they were betrayed by every little cheaped-out detail.

  • avatar
    JimZ

    and people think the EPA mpg figures *today* are unrealistic.

    it’s funny to me how desperately Honda clung to carburetors, to the point of wrapping it in that ungodly mess of hoses.

    • 0 avatar
      CoreyDL

      Still common at the time though, in ’86. Chrysler and GM still had a line full of carbs, I think Ford was the only one who had stepped away.

      (And of course was killing it with the Taurus/Sable presently.)

      Light bar!

      • 0 avatar
        ToddAtlasF1

        Some ’80s Chrysler and GM cars that weren’t carbureted were throttle-body-fuel-injected, which had few of the benefits of either carburetion or fuel injection. My 1988 Ford Festiva had a carburetor, but it was a KIA with a Mazda engine.

        • 0 avatar
          CoreyDL

          There were many old Kia Prides still driving about in Korea when I was there in 08/09. Couldn’t believe it. They were the only old car I saw with any regularity. They had that Kia logo they didn’t use here (or if they did, not for very long), with the little wavy part at the top.

          http://www.curbsideclassic.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/Kia-Besta.jpg

          • 0 avatar
            NoGoYo

            That sure does look like a Toyota MasterAce, but I thought Kia used Mazda vans.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            That’s correct, they did use Mazda vans. I think this is just another case of “All ’80s Asian vans are box.”

        • 0 avatar
          Truckducken

          Hey, let’s not be too hard on TBFI. At least in GM V8 guise, it delivered a 20% boost in power and MPG, and was way more bulletproof than the carbs and their early multiport attempts.

          • 0 avatar
            indi500fan

            Agree the early TBIs were a good setup.
            Nice performance and driveability boost and reliable. Way better than that mess of vacuum tubing.

        • 0 avatar
          SSJeep

          Or Crossfire injected…

          My apologies for mentioning that in advance.

      • 0 avatar
        JimZ

        never mind me, somehow I had the idea they used it for longer than they apparently did. for some reason I thought it lasted until 1990/91.

  • avatar
    FormerFF

    If a similar car were available today, what are the odds that the automotive press would be damning it for not having enough power?

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      The CRX had 0-60 times between 9 and 10 seconds and a curb weight of about 1800 lbs. That was pretty brisk acceleration for 1984.

      A similar car today would have 2-3x the power, weigh 800 lbs more, and go 0-60 in 7 seconds. The Hyundai Veloster Turbo is a good example. It’s not a car I like, but I’m not sure anyone is complaining about its power.

      To your point, my 12 Leaf did 0-60 in 10 seconds, and journalists called it ‘leisurely’.

      • 0 avatar

        A mid-1970s base VW Scirocco had about this much horsepower, weighed about 1700 pounds, and cornered like a rat in sneakers. Honda’s rollerskate couldn’t do much better than that with an additional 8 years’ development?
        The CRX was neat in a niche market, but only the Si got any attention among enthusiast drivers in those days…a time in the USA when even Ford (Escort GT) was trying desperately to provide competition for the Mk II GTI in the so-called ‘hot hatch’ segment.
        Pardon me, while I don some Nomex for the anti-VW flamethrowing.

        • 0 avatar
          Kenmore

          Well, VW is dying of syphilis in prison while Honda is only getting richer and stronger. So ’70s kudos mean no more today than a fat Boomer jock’s high school trophies.

        • 0 avatar
          thornmark

          Ask the guy who owned both.

          The first car I bought myself was a 1977 Scirocco – the experience made me swear off German cars forever, it was that terrible.

          The first car I bought new was a 1984 CR-X. I ordered it October 1983 and during the many months I waited for the Honda that VW cost me thousands to keep going.

          I kept the CR-X for 14 years and it was everything the VW wasn’t – in a good way – and especially reliable. The antipodes of the regrettable Scirocco w/ VW’s Cobalt blue paint that turned white in blotches.

          • 0 avatar
            burnbomber

            Interesting. My first new car was a 77 Rabbit, with similar results. The last German car I’ve owned.

          • 0 avatar
            SilverCoupe

            Huh, the first car that I purchased was a ’75 Scirocco, and it turned me on to German cars – it was such a fun toy, compared to our ’64 Buick Riviera. It rusted a bit, but so did the Buick. Granted, it was pretty low on power, so I ended up getting a car with a turbo 4 the next time around. I did not look at VWs again per se, but I did stop at the Audi dealer each decade, until I was finally able to afford one, a 2001 TT. After a decade, I purchased another Audi, and I am still happy with it.

            My wife, on the other hand, prefers small and cheap. She bought a black ’86 CRX with 105,000 miles on it, against my recommendations, but it met her needs, and she was happy with it. Her next car was a black Turbo Saab in the ’90’s, then a black WRX in the ’00’s, and now a black Mini Copper S. She actually wanted a Fiat 500 Abarth, which is probably even closer to her original CRX. Country of origin is obviously of no importance to her!

          • 0 avatar
            Shawnski

            My first car was of German origin an ’80 Fiesta built in Cologne “Koln” West Germany, and a very positive experience. Fortunately it had the tried and true English built cast iron “Kent” 1.6 motor. it survived our family of mostly first time manual shift HS, College kids and young adults as it was essentially bomb proof save for frequent warped rotors. It had European flare and dependability.

            For its time the Fiesta (late seventies) was a sporty and fun car at least as quick as the VW Rabbit if not the Sirocco, but trounced the Toyo Tercel and Civic. By ’84 the Civic and CRX were quicker, handled better and were more refined however.

            This CRX would make a terrific AutoX project car.

      • 0 avatar
        Johnster

        I had one of these and it was closer to 1,950 lbs. The standard CRX put out 75 horsepower, but 0-60 times of between 9 and 10 seconds were typical.

        Back in the day, this was about the same as a regular RX-7 or 300-ZX.

  • avatar
    threeer

    While my sister bought a brand-new 1989 Si that she let me borrow numerous times (I was a college kid in TN, she lived in DC and we’d swap cars for a month or two at a time, always to my advantage!), it’s the first gen that captures my heart. When I was a scrawny kid of 15, I came to the US to visit my family and my cousin, who I thought was just about the coolest person on earth, picked me up in his 1985 CRX. Two seats, hatch and a stick, be still my heart! He traded that one in for a new 1987 CRX Si, all black. When we arrived in the States permanently from Germany in 1988, our cars hadn’t made it across the pond yet, so my cousin would drive over every morning to let my dad have the Si. I was driven to my first day of school (as a junior, no less) hunkered down in the hatch of that car!

    I know that by today’s standards, they are a tad, um, basic…but between both generations of CRX, I long lusted after a Si for years. I still send pictures of clean ones (if you can find them) to my sister and we pine over the CRX. Light weight, rev-happy engine, a transmission that was almost mental in its telepathy with the sunroof back on a warm summer’s evening as I blasted the back roads to the Cheatham County Dam in TN…perhaps the best memories of driving ever.

    • 0 avatar
      sgeffe

      Even the plebeian Civic Sedan, in the new EX trim for 1990, which was the Si mechanicals and suspension with a sedan body, was a roller skate! It just seemed impossible for an inexpensive car to feel as good as it did!

      Prolly why I’m still a Honda fanboi to this day!

  • avatar
    JMII

    I had the Civic hatchback version of this car, same color combo too, mine was a 3 door S 1500. My brother had the next generation CRX which had a much better interior and was down right “fast” compared to other vehicles. And yes my car (and my brothers) had more invested in the audio system then the car itself. I did some upgrades to the interior by adding power windows and swapping the rims for CRX-Si versions to update the exterior a bit. In standard 80s fashion mine was also covered with vinyl graphics while my brother went for the mono-chrome look in which the whole car (wipers, mirrors, bumpers, etc) were painted red to match.

    It was a great car, got awesome gas mileage and was very responsive with that fantastic double wishbone handling. The no non-sense interior makes modern Hondas seem way over done. While underpowered it was still fun to drive and felt very connected to the road. The hatchback had tons of room with seats folded down. My Civic had well over 160K miles on it at trade-in and the ONLY things to go wrong were: a leaky value cover gasket, a bad fan switch for the A/C and the CV boots seem to tear up too easily (maybe my fault for taking corners too quick?). Trust me I beat the crap out of this car by using it as a delivery van of sorts and it came back for more.

    Shame Honda can’t recapture the magic of those late 80s/early 90s vehicles. The CRZ was such a disappointment.

  • avatar
    tomLU86

    The CRX was a great car!

    Too bad it’s been legislated out of existence.

    I drove a friend’s gen-2 CRX Si in 1990 and it was a blast!

    As far as the Scirocco vs CRX argument, my sense is the original US-spec Scirocco with the 1471 cc engine was not as zippy as the base CRX. The 1588 cc engine, maybe.

    That said, my first new car was an 86 GTI. Best car I ever owned, and generally reliable over 13 yrs and 146k miles.

    My brother’s first car was a used ’89 Prelude bought in 1992. Several issues–needed new CV joints at 40k and ran temperamentally. Last Honda he ever owned.

    I thought then, and still think, Hondas are more reliable than VWs. However, to paraphrase the EPA disclaimer, “your actual experience may vary”

  • avatar
    indi500fan

    I realize I’m old school, but these are two orders of magnitude better looking than the current CR-Z.

  • avatar
    -Nate

    I lusted after a first gen . CRX-Si too , I couldn’t find blue one that hadn’t been wrecked to save my life at the time (late 1980’s) so dream left unfulfilled =8-( .
    .
    A few years later my Son bought one for peanuts that had been wrecked and so poorly repaired , it would crack the right plastic front fender nearly every time he raced it .
    .
    As far as Family life precluding fun cars , My Son courted then married a racer , they have kids and she’s still racing , they have hot cars only , no boring Sedans .
    .
    Truly a shame this decent old car was scrapped , they’d have easily sold it even no running for $1,995.00 , the standard base price for P-A-P cars in So. Cal. .
    .
    -Nate

  • avatar
    runs_on_h8raide

    Shame this car is in the junkyard. Seems straight. It’d make the perfect el cheapo track car….source a K-series from a wrecked Si or RSX-S and do a K-Swap, roll cage and suspension work. Probably can be done by the mechanically inclined all in for less than 7-8k easy.

    • 0 avatar
      gtemnykh

      Kswap is needlessly complex and expensive in this application IMO. Even a fairly mild D-series motor (like the ZC I mentioned above) with some bolt ons would make this thing a screamer!

  • avatar
    rocketrodeo

    During this era I owned an ’83 Civic S, an ’84 CRX HF, an ’86 CRX Si, and an ’87 Integra RS. Before that was a ’79 Rabbit. It’s hard to overstate just how much better the Hondas were than just about everything else on the road at the time in terms of reliability, sportiness, and economy. Previously I don’t think it was even possible to have all three, and it took a long time for the competition to close the gap. Notihng but fond memories for these cars.

  • avatar
    tonyola

    I bought a new CRX 1.5 5-speed in the autumn of ’83 and kept it for 10 years. The car was endless fun, economical, and dead reliable all that time. When people say that it’s better to drive a slow car fast than a fast car slow, to me the CRX comes to mind as a perfect example of that statement.

  • avatar
    baggins

    In the mid-90s, i used to ride around a fair amount in one of these. Sounded like a clothes dryer full of marbles when you hit any type of rough road.

    My friend used to down shift thru every gear when rolling up to a stoplight or stop sign. I asked her why, and she said “saves the brakes”.

    SHe later revealed that her HF version had a new lower geared transmission, so she didnt get HF mileage any longer.

    She denied any connection between her need to downshift like a maniac and her entirely new manual transmission.

    • 0 avatar
      Kenmore

      “i used to ride around a fair amount in one of these”

      No license yet or suspended?

      “saves the brakes”

      Well..YAH-uh. Best thing about an MT after the added slow-down from engine compression.

      • 0 avatar
        golden2husky

        Brake replacement: Cheap and easy
        Clutch replacement: Expensive and hard

        Never understood the save the brake thing. Now, downshifting for fun, well that’s a different ball game!

      • 0 avatar
        baggins

        Kenmore

        I had a car and license, but when I was visiting her, we used her car.

        She saved the brakes and bought a new transmission for the the trouble.

  • avatar
    JohnTaurus_3.0_AX4N

    Should have grabbed those front end plastics, if they weren’t cracked or too brittle for removal. Very highly desirable as they tend to crumble worse than early-mid 90s/late 80s Ford bumpers lol.

    (Just today I put a “new” [junkyard unit I reconditioned] front bumper on my 1995 Taurus. Hehe.)

    I’ve always thought someone should manufacturer replacement panels for those CRXs out of aluminum. It would still be ultra-lightweight and rust proof. If I were restoring one, the cost would be worth it, especially since there are no alternative reproduction units available and the uncracked originals are disappearing fast.

    I swear someone needs to save that car. Go crush a Cornova (Corolla-Nova) or an automatic Omni, or hell, a Cobalt. Leave the good cars to those of us who want to enjoy them again.

    I know some of the cars I tend put into that category aren’t the most popular with this crowd, but sometimes I’m in the conventional majority lol.

    • 0 avatar
      golden2husky

      Good thing you were able to get a junkyard unit to recondition. I ripped the front bumper wraparound off my 92 Sable when backing out of my driveway – the snow pile had turned to concrete. I could not readily locate a good used bumper assembly so I ordered aftermarket. Being that the car was twenty years old at the time I figured it was on borrow time anyway. Not a good idea. The difference in the quality and strength was staggering. Still, I had it so I installed it and left it black. Almost five years later it is still running. A/C just failed yesterday. Hoping not too complex a fix!

      • 0 avatar
        JohnTaurus_3.0_AX4N

        Well mine was damaged before I got it, and very poorly repaired by the previous owner. Then, he spray painted black.

        A month or so ago, I barely touched a parking pole and that part of it crumbled. The guy used puddy, wood, wood screws and more puddy to repair it. It was a disaster. I guess he couldn’t find or afford a used one, but man, carpentry materials on a car?

        There were four Taurus of this generation in the yard, this one was on a white-sprayed-over-with-maroon former taxi cab. The other three were damaged or already removed. I sanded it down and put primer on it.

        I decided to leave it primer grey because finding a match to 21 year old deep-south sun-baked Indigo Blue paint is a task not worth pursuing at this point. If it was a white, black or silver car, I might’ve Krylon’d it lol. The very-light primer grey blends surprisingly well and it looks normal at a glance- very much unlike before.

        I plan to fully restore the car one day, but it’s reliable transportation right now and its a good driving car that’s easy on someone with a very bad back, like me, and is a big reason why I am not in a CRX like our topic car, lol. I would love one, or a Prelude 5 speed, something fun like that but only as a second car, something to drive once in a while when I’m not in too much pain.

        Oh, and if your compressor isn’t kicking on when A/C is selected, try replacing the pressure switch on the firewall on the passenger side.

        http://www.partsgeek.com/catalog/1995/ford/taurus/climate_control/a-fs-c_pressure_switch.html

        If the compressor kicks on and off quickly, repeatedly, its low on refrigerant. Its designed to do that rather than keep running and ruining itself without it.

  • avatar
    Johnster

    This doesn’t have many miles on it. My ’86 CRX had 205,000 miles on it when I traded it for a new Civic and it was still running pretty well.

  • avatar
    Johnster

    The other thing that is weird is that it appears to have seats from some other car put in it. These look like seats from a Civic Si hatchback. The backs of the standard CRX seats had comparatively large side bolsters. They sort of looked like butterflies.

    The fabric on the outside side of the side bolsters wore out after about 50,000 miles from people rubbing against them as the got in and out of the car. Then the foam cushions below the upolstery were exposed and started to disintegrate.

    Smart owners bought seat covers right away. Others bought seat covers to cover up the worn-out bolsters or got replacement seats.

    • 0 avatar
      davew833

      They’re 86-89 Accord seats and will bolt right in.

    • 0 avatar
      JohnTaurus_3.0_AX4N

      Yep, all the (80s-90s) Honda seats rip that way. Very rare to find them in good shape on the outer (door side) area.

      • 0 avatar
        gtemnykh

        We had seat covers from our old ’77 Corolla that got transferred to the ’90 Civic when we bought it in ’96. When we sold it in ’07, it had absolutely immaculate front seats!

        Sadly my Maxima has some pretty nasty looking, sweat(?) stained cloth front seats. Not sure if I can try bringing it back with a bit of soap and water, a pair of decent fitting seat covers might be in order.

        • 0 avatar
          JohnTaurus_3.0_AX4N

          Or find a junkyard set of nice seats for it. I’ve had good luck with that in the past, like upgrading my raggedy Aerostar XL seats with pristine XLT ones, they had much better fabric and really took a lot of years off the interior of the van (which had otherwise held up well for 239k lol).

          My friend found a set of matching-color like-new leather seats for this old Buick Century T-Type he had stumbled upon (3800 Series I. Same bodystyle as Celebrity/6000 etc) out of a newer Buick Regal. It made a big difference in that car as well.

          Its fun (for me anyway) to upgrade and play around with what’s out there. Its one of the fun things about having an older car. Make it the best possible version of what it was/is.

  • avatar
    davew833

    Those aren’t CRX seats, they’re from an 86-89 Accord. The seats on all ’80s Hondas were interchangeable. I had Prelude seats in my ’84 CRX.

  • avatar
    Arthur Dailey

    So many of the posters repeat the same truth, J-Cars and in particular Hondas of that era provided a value combination that was unbeatable.

    Reliable, well bolted together, well thought out interior and just plain fun to drive.

    Totally unlike anything that the domestics offered.

    A far better value proposition than the Europeans. Some mentioned the Scirocco, which while fun was so overpriced and unreliable to drive VW out of that market in North America. VW’s Scirocco/Dasher/Fox experiment destroyed the 30 plus years’ reputation for dependability that VW had built with its air cooled vehicles.

  • avatar
    AJ

    Back at the time I heard that the CRX had a higher fatality rate then average, for one due to safety issues and that it attracted young guys. I don’t know if that was true, but a friend in high school did roll his. At one time I wanted one, and probably would have rolled one as well.

    • 0 avatar
      Johnster

      This is probably true. Anything with only 2 doors is not going to attract more supposedly cautious drivers (people with children) who might drive more conservatively, and a car with no back seat (a sports car) will attract even fewer of those kind of people.

      My current Civic 4-door is about 10% cheaper to insure than an otherwise identical 2-door model. Supposedly in any number of cars, they have small (practically unusable) back seats in order to make the cost of insuring the vehicle lower. (The Scion FSR/Subaru BRZ for example, or the now departed Lexus SC430.)

      OTOH, even the Si version didn’t really have all that much power and the cars were fairly-well balanced and did handle quite predictably (benign understeer), so that certainly helped.

  • avatar
    emanistan

    Piss no doubt, but why crank piss? You spend an hour in a hot junkyard contorting into small spaces to get at hard to reach stuff, you maybe keep yourself hydrated with the drinks you bring along, and then you have to pee. do you wrench yourself off the floor and trudge through the hot gravel to the nearest fetid oven-like plastic potty several rows away, leaving your tools unattended, or do you grab one of your handy discarded bottles and….? …The junkyard I frequent is usually littered with the bottles of yellow liquid left by folks who went with plan B.

  • avatar
    aajax

    I came close to buying one when new, but ended up with a Z28 for not a lot more money. I think today my choice would have been reversed.

  • avatar
    Lynchenstein

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eJfYikAEARk

    I like this model year better.


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