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Old 12-05-2008, 06:27 PM   #1 (permalink)
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'89 Civic HF Engine Swap

Pending confirmation of a blown piston ring, I'll probably be doing an engine swap.

I have a lead on a cheap, mid-mileage (135k) CRX-HF motor (50mpg EPA ), which I'll be swapping into my civic hatch.

I'll probably do a mild rebuild before the swap to make sure everything is in order, but if this actually happens, it will be quite a straightforward swap, and maybe +10mpg!!

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Old 12-05-2008, 07:20 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I believe(?) this is the engine that powered the Awesome Super CRX! I could well be wrong. But that CRX still holds the title for most cost effective car in all of history(The EPA actually only rated back to 85 I believe for that study).

It's a Honda engine, what kind of. . .well you said its a hatch so is it a DX or a CRX? I don't think they introduced the DX until 93 so yours must be a CRX. Should be plug-and-play since there was a CRX equipped with that engine anyway. Sounds interesting will be very interested in results and struggle(hopefully none but if there is any will be interested).
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Old 12-05-2008, 07:27 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Don't do it! Put in the VX motor,

But yeah, straight swap. Make sure to get the tranny.
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Old 12-07-2008, 02:54 AM   #4 (permalink)
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I checked the compression out today.

Cylinder: dry measurement -- with a bit of oil
Cyl 1: 185psi -- 215psi
Cyl 2: 110psi -- 115psi!!
Cyl 3: 180psi -- 215psi
Cyl 4: 185psi -- 215psi

I also popped the valve cover off and checked the valve clearances for #2 - they look fine so I don't have a stuck-open valve. One could be slightly bent I suppose, or maybe a valve seat is F*ed? Could it still be rings, even with the oiled compression test being the way it is? My logic tends to lead me to a valve problem, but I'd have to pull the head off to investigate this further.

In any case, I think I'm going to buy the HF engine. It's too good a deal to pass up - The seller is more of a turbo dude and doesn't appear to know/care what he's got.

I've got a 4 speed currently that should mate right up. I just asked if he still has the HF 5 speed (maybe his is an auto, I dunno) He didn't say the transaxle was for sale, but maybe... If not, there's someone maybe selling one right here in town, for a decent price.

<silentrage>
I'd never buy a car with an automatic transmission. Ick ick ICK.
</silentrage>
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Old 12-07-2008, 10:07 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by millenniumtree View Post
In any case, I think I'm going to buy the HF engine. It's too good a deal to pass up - The seller is more of a turbo dude and doesn't appear to know/care what he's got.

I've got a 4 speed currently that should mate right up. I just asked if he still has the HF 5 speed (maybe his is an auto, I dunno) He didn't say the transaxle was for sale, but maybe... If not, there's someone maybe selling one right here in town, for a decent price.

</silentrage>
I would bank he wants a new trans. If he is a performance type and is willing to switch engines to get there he is probably also looking at droppin in a six speed. Since thats one of the most effective ways to gain top speed and or greater acceleration.

<edit> This is how I obtained a spare five speed manual for firt cheap. </edit>
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Old 12-08-2008, 02:07 PM   #6 (permalink)
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The HF was only available with a 5-speed manual transmission. With tall gears, and a tall final drive. The 5th gear set is somewhat prized by D-series folks, as using it is an easy way to drop freeway RPMs.

-soD
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Old 12-10-2008, 11:03 AM   #7 (permalink)
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The motor doesn't look so great. Especially concerning are the missing camshaft bolt (waiting to see what he says about that) and the black crud under the valve cover.

(He updated me and said the engine is complete, no missing parts)

100_0587.jpg - Image - Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
100_0591.jpg - Image - Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
100_0597.jpg - Image - Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

What do you think? Is this engine worth $100 and 5 hours driving to get it?
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Old 12-11-2008, 12:08 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Looks like I won't be able to get the motor. He got an offer that is way over my budget.

I might rebuild the engine I have. I've already done the head gasket on it myself - taking the bottom apart is just the next logical step, right?
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Old 12-11-2008, 04:06 PM   #9 (permalink)
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If you're near Chicago and want a cheap HF, this guy wants it gone and he might be able to give you a deal. <$150

Shoot me an email if you're interested and I'll send you his email. It was on craigslist but the posting expired.
millenniumtree gmail
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Old 04-29-2010, 10:54 AM   #10 (permalink)
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After sitting for far too long, this project may get a bit more interesting.

I found an HF motor (long block) for $25. It has a blown head gasket.

If my existing head is OK, I can drop it onto the short block with a new gasket and have a running machine in no time. If my existing bottom end is OK, I can drop the HF head on with my intake manifold and have it running again.

The motors are slightly different, but I think the blocks are identical.

Polymer has been sitting for way too long - I want to get her back on the road.

She'll also need a new exhaust, new tie rod ends (at least), and a battery.

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