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Old 08-17-2015, 10:22 PM   #8 (permalink)
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A big thing to look for on CRXes is rust. They really rust out quickly right above the rear wheels. The sunroof panels on the Si models often rust as well, and the standard rust-prone areas are there for any car that has lived in the Rust Belt.

The B18 swap can be fun, but it will tend to be more thirsty than the stock motors. There's a good chance the transmission has very short gears in it, as many of the commonly available B-series cable-clutch transmissions are geared for "sporty" performance.

Often the swaps are done by people with a whole lot more enthusiasm than knowledge or budget. Look carefully for hacked-up wiring, in particular. At least with a B18B you shouldn't have to worry about how VTEC (yo!) is activated, so that's one positive.

The Rex with the stock motor should be lighter, there is a good chance it will have taller gearing, and of course the engine is smaller. That should result in better MPG all the way around.

But rust is one of the biggest problems with these cars. Mechanical stuff can be dealt with more easily (it's just nuts and bolts, mostly, right?) but welding and bodywork can really kill a budget.

The HF models were built for fuel economy, but since they were the lightest of the stock CRXes, a lot of them have been converted to other drivetrains so people could brag about power-to-weight. (Ignoring the fact that their new parts are a lot heavier than the HF stuff.) The HF motors, while robust, are almost impossible to get bearings for now. Plus the relatively-few unmodified ones went up in price an awful lot the last time gas was over $4/gallon.

A Civic hatchback will be pretty close to a CRX, and will give you a back seat as well. Might be something to consider.

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