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Old 12-17-2010, 02:16 PM   #4 (permalink)
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It looks like all of the Civic models sold in the US (except for the Si) in 96-00 used D-series engines. They probably had hydraulic-actuated clutches, rather than the older cable-operated style. So any hydro trans from a Civic with a D-series engine should work. Also, any gear sets from one of those Civics should work. So the rare and elusive 88-91 CRX HF 5th gear will fit and will work. But I am told that the later transmissions have a 5th gear that is almost as tall, so it may not help much?

Changing the final drive may be more cost than you might want. I'm not sure how precise the tolerances are in the Honda transmissions, but I know that in some other older ones you keep the ring and pinion with the transmission case because the tolerances get out of whack if you don't.

I would be tempted to look into taller wheels and tires to drop the RPM on the freeway. Unfortunately, the speedometer will read lower than your actual speed after you do that, but it is a lot easier than a transmission swap or re-gearing your existing trans.

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