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1990 Honda CRX Si - Life Lessons

A project that taught much more than automotive skills

Jonathan “JT” Thompson
Mar 6, 2014
Photographer: Ginash George

A completed project of this caliber is usually the summation of the knowledge and resources an owner acquires over many years, sometimes even decades. The simple act of purchasing and installing parts can be challenging, especially for 20-plus year-old cars. Bodywork, paint, engine wiring, and other tasks significantly increase the number of skills required to successfully finish a build.

Jordan McCord out of Anderson, Indiana, is an exception. He started the 1990 Honda CRX Si project only knowing how to change oil and with little to no cash. But alas, the beauty you see pictured is indeed something special and Jordan admits he learned some valuable life lessons along the way.

The first lesson learned was the repercussions of unpopular opinion. Jordan's dad agreed to give each of his siblings $1,000 toward their first car. Jordan found this CRX Si and explained his plans to his domestic automotive enthusiast father. Dad's response was a resounding "Hell no!" He forged on, determined to see his vision through despite the financial setback. "My dad is very positive toward the CRX now. His mind was blown when I told him there was only one pair of the seats I wanted in the U.S. at the time. He also loves VTEC now."

1990 honda CRX si mugen MF7 wheels 02 Photo 2/11   |   1990 Honda CRX Si - Life Lessons

Another concept Jordan learned was the joy of owning a money pit. He'd purchased the ED9 for $600 and drove it to his father's house to install some axles—one of many necessary repairs needed to restore it to working order. In the driveway sat a severely neglected hunk of metal and plastic. Smoke billowed from underneath the hood and Jordan thought he'd blown the engine on the drive over. Dad walks over and assesses the situation before speaking. After a few brief moments the father says, "Hey son, do you know what a money pit is?"

This project definitely taught Jordan how to be patient. He found employment as a shop helper at a family friend's automotive garage, using downtime to make progress on the Honda CRX. Even waiting for the delivery of parts contributed to understanding patience. "It took me six to eight months to find my front seats and about a year to find a complete EF8 rear interior." He also waited weeks and months, saving up paycheck after paycheck to purchase the parts he needed.

1990 honda CRX si B16A engine 04 Photo 3/11   |   1990 Honda CRX Si - Life Lessons

On the practical side, Jordan acquired some valuable automotive skills. "This car was a learning experience for me. I had never done bodywork, pulled an engine, done a swap, nothing major like that." Doing most of the work himself, he stripped the car down to its bare shell, prepped the body, painted it, shaved the engine bay using as little filler as possible, tucked the brake lines, bending the steel lines by hand. He also installed the B16A engine, overcame wiring issues, installed his RyWire engine harness, and replaced countless OEM components. He literally went from only knowing how to change the oil to being able to replace his own engine. He can weld, sand, apply primer, and paint. The list of automotive abilities he now possesses is impressive to say the least.

Jordan is also familiar with the life lesson of sacrifice. He is currently stationed in Texas and for mainly practical reasons; the Honda CRX Si remains garaged in Indiana while on deployment. He returns home twice a year and gets some bonding time with his immaculate build. "When I first get home and open the garage, when I see it for the first time, all I do is smile." The opposite is true upon leaving. "It is a really shitty feeling. I didn't think being away from home, family, friends, my car, would be so [difficult]," he quietly admits.

1990 honda CRX si spoon sports steering wheel 06 Photo 4/11   |   1990 Honda CRX Si - Life Lessons

Hard work pays off. "The first time I fired my car after the B16A was in there is something I will never forget." This moment marked a milestone being that he'd never performed an engine swap before. "Everyone was standing around with their phones recording videos. A couple days later I went out for the first test drive, again, everyone at the shop was following me around and taking videos." Jordan hopes to keep the CRX for as long as he can. "My plans are to enjoy it. The thought to sell it has never crossed my mind. I think I am going to have it when I am old with a worn-out back and it will be under a tarp collecting dust."

Lastly, and most importantly, the Honda CRX Si build taught Jordan the power of dreams—a mantra dear to the heart of Honda's founder, Soichiro Honda. In closing, Jordan extends a few words of encouragement. "If you set your mind to it, you can do anything. Don't let the Internet or local people influence you in a negative way. If I can do it, anyone can!" The learning curve continues.

1990 honda CRX si EF8 rear bumper 10 Photo 5/11   |   1990 Honda CRX Si - Life Lessons

Bolts & Washers - Jordan McCord's 1990 Honda CRX Si

B16A engine
Hasport engine mounts
Thermal exhaust system
Walbro 255-lph fuel pump
AEM inline fuel filter
AEM fuel rail
B&M short shifter
Advanced Clutch
Hasport shift linkage
Rywire engine harness
Hondata S300 plug in module
Bolt Boys engine kit
Bolt Boys transmission kit
All In Fabrication radiator
Shaved engine bay

1990 honda CRX si B16A engine 05 Photo 6/11   |  
A B16A, and little else, resides under the hood of Jordan’s Si

Ground Control coilovers
Ground Control extended coilover hats
Koni Yellow dampers
Energy Suspension bushing kit

Wilwood brake master cylinder
Bolt Boys brake booster delete plate
Brake tuck

1990 honda CRX si FEELs oil cap 07 Photo 7/11   |   1990 Honda CRX Si - Life Lessons

Wheels And Tires
Mugen M7 15x6.5 +45
205/50-15 Falken Ziex

EF8 front bumper
EF8 front bumper lights
EF8 front lip
EF8 corner lights
EF8 moon roof
EF8 side skirts
EF8 side moldings
EF8 rear bumper
EF8 tail lights
EDM center section
EDM rear fog light
Shaved antenna

1990 honda CRX si EF8 rear bumper 08 Photo 8/11   |   1990 Honda CRX Si - Life Lessons

EF6 1.5X seats
Spoon Sports steering wheel
Spoon Sports shift knob
ITR shift boot
EF8 arm rest
EF8 personal box
EF8 block off tray
EF8 rear interior
EF8 climate control
EF8 instrument gauge cluster
Alpine audio system

Family, Dad, Mom, Sister, Matt Lines, Jay Randolph, Matt Wheatley, Joe Newby Joe Givens, Travis Bittle, Ray Yarberry, Aaron Anderson, Justin Graham, Dave Lines, Connie Lines

1990 honda CRX si driver seat 03 Photo 9/11   |   1990 Honda CRX Si - Life Lessons

Owner Specs

Daily Grind
United States Army

Favorite Site

Screen Name

Building Hondas
Seven years

Dream Car
Mercedes SLS AMG

Inspiration For This Build
TeamRice.Org YouTube videos

Future Build

1990 honda CRX si EF8 mugen m7 wheels 11 Photo 10/11   |   1990 Honda CRX Si EF8 Mugen M7 Wheels 11

Not the next generation CRX

Many hoped that the CR-Z would be a CRX 2.0. Honda had and has different plans. The global automotive manufacturer states their focus is on areas of social concern such as the environment. Pressure from the market to produce highly efficient cars tends to justify the allocation of financial resources to these areas within the organization.

What about Honda's race history? What about Soichiro Honda's business strategy to dominate in worldwide race series by advancing the company's racing technology and transfer those learnings to the consumer market? In reality, consumer preference is a significant influence on product offerings regardless of Honda's race history and early founders.

The global automotive market is quite complex; however, like the CR-Z, things change. In late 2013 Honda announced that Honda Performance Development, their U.S. race engineering company, would begin selling CR-Z high-performance parts and accessories including a supercharger. Perhaps the legacy of the CR-Z will not be that it did not live up to the CRX but that it acted as a catalyst in bringing Honda-approved superchargers to the U.S. market.

1990 honda CRX si mugen M7 wheel 09 Photo 11/11   |   1990 Honda CRX Si - Life Lessons


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