Saturday, March 15, 2014

0k: Beware The Idles of March: 1991 Honda CRX HF

Beware the non-idling cars of March, celebrated today on the ides of March.  Picking up a car that doesn't run isn't simply a risk associated with the cost of the engine that you need to sort/fix/rebuild.  It also means that you can't test the transmission, brakes, suspension, steering and often a car with a busted engine will need every other wear component replaced as well.  Suddenly, your good deal becomes a money pit and you are spending all your weekends fixing stuff.  The ides of March may come, but until that engine runs, they have not yet gone.  Find this 1991 Honda CRX HF currently bidding for $600 with 1 day to go in Elizabethton, TN via ebay.

The first thing you might say based on reading the ad is - hey wait a second DT, this thing does idle.   That is sort of a technicality and the chance that it will idle in 100 miles from now are low...just read the sellers own words on the subject:

HF engine needs rebuild/swap
Still drivable & no weird engine noises other than "missing," but now runs too rough to be practical.
No weird engine noises other than missing and reference to high oil consumption and bad fuel economy could be something as simple as valve guide wear, or it could mean all piston ring seals are shot and this thing needs an entire rebuild.  Either way, Honda engines like this D15B6 are inexpensive to rebuild and would make a great father-son project for a teenager in need of wheels. 

The HF model was designed for High Fuel-economy and owners report in excess of 50mpg during highway cruising.  The 1.5 liter 4-banger puts out a meager 72 horsepower, but the CRX only tipped the scales at 1900 lbs.  The combination of light weight, low power, skinny tires and 5-speed gearbox makes a car that is not only frugal, but fun to drive at regular traffic speeds.

We agree with the owner that this car deserves one thumb...err..finger up.  Wait a minute.

Oh - there is the license plate in case you were curious.  See a better non-idling car that could crown you as dictator or stab you in the back?


  1. This is a CrapCan racer waiting to happen - Honda reliability, third pedal, and a nigh $500 price tag mean this should be picked up by anyone in (or interested in) 24 Hours of LeMons or ChumpCar.

    And really, go to all that trouble to block out your license # in one pic, but not in the very next pic? Silliness.

    1. I would second that - the bashed driver's rear quarter panel kind of dooms this car from ever being mistaken for a nice survivor although there are quite a few good parts that could be sold off.

      The 2nd-gen CRX makes a great Lemons/Chump race car. I drove one as an "arrive and drive" deal at one of the first Lemons races at Altamont Speedway. It was hecka entertaining. Just remember not to trail brake - you either brake, or turn...not both - in a stripped out CRX. The rear end tends to get really light when trail braking into tight turns.

      Altamont CRX - not my pic - but could be me driving


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