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1988 Honda CRX HF - From Ashy To Classy

Budget Building The 075 Way

Rodrez
Jun 24, 2010
Photographer: Chris Sullivan

Adam Jabaay, Luke Wilcox, And The 075's '88 CRX HF
075. Three numbers that might not mean much to the average person, but to Adam Jabaay and Luke Wilcox, this trio of digits means everything. The two friends, along with their close knit troop of 075'ers give new meaning the term "budget minded." Their long-term CRX build "Gutty" has been plastered upon countless websites and forums and left many scratching their heads as they read about the incredible lengths this group went to in order to cut costs at every possible turn. The result is a very capable and competitive vehicle that took less than $2,000 to build. Scrappy? Yes. Ghetto? Debatable. Clever? No question.

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On October 25th, 2005, a mere $400 was traded for the keys to this '88 CRX HF. The car had bounced around amongst Adam and Luke's group of friends for about seven years before finally finding its current home. The car had no interior, no engine, and was considered a rolling shell only because it sat on four rickety spare tires at the time. The goal was simple; build the CRX for the Grassroots Motorsports Challenge. A competition that requires the vehicle and its upgrades not surpass a dollar amount equivalent to the year of the event. For example: no more than $2,007 for the year 2007.

As new parts were purchased to upgrade the CRX, old parts were in turn sold to make back as much money as possible and continue the progression-something that is in fact allowed in this competition.

The first purchase was a stagnant '90 Integra that hadn't been turned over in quite some time. Luke explains "we picked it up for $250. The timing belt had snapped, and the car hadn't moved for over a year. We literally dragged it for a block to get the rust off the rotors, and then towed it back to the garage. We pulled the motor and everything we could possibly use for Gutty." Unnecessary parts like the automatic transmission, fenders, and front bumper were sold immediately to make back some of their money.

Htup_1008_02_z+1988_honda_CRX_HF+passenger_side_front_view Photo 3/10   |   1988 Honda CRX HF - From Ashy To Classy

The second purchase, an '89 CRX parts car, proved to be well worth the effort. The previous owner only asked for $600 to part with a car that held vital pieces to Gutty's build, including a close-ratio YS1 transmission, B16 flywheel, B series motor mounts, Tokico Illuminas, and ITR rear LCAs. The B16 ECU, remaining short-block, and shell were put on the market and the 075 boys not only regained the money spent on the parts car, but they managed to profit a few extra bucks in the process.

With the basics purchased, it was time to see if the Integra's failed timing belt would require serious surgery. After dealing with the wiring nightmare left in place by the previous owner, Gutty was eventually fired up. A compression test confirmed that the healthy sound of the engine was in fact legitimate, and somehow the 1.8L had narrowly escaped any valve damage.

Now ready to roll under its own power, Gutty was due for some forced induction motivation. Utilizing the top half of the factory Integra exhaust manifold, a bottom portion was fabricated and a small turbo attached. Using an OBD-O ECU and xenocron.com chip kit, the crew contacted turboedit.com for their free software, and the boosted setup was then street tuned with a wideband O2 sensor.

Htup_1008_03_z+1988_honda_CRX_HF+engine Photo 4/10   |   Pulled from the garbage, this once crushed and dented Mugen header was rescued, chopped up, and re-welded into a turbo exhaust manifold work of art.

Before heading out to compete in the Grassroots Challenge, Adam and Luke decided to give Gutty a quick test run to make sure it would hold up to some real-world abuse, and a local auto-x event would be the perfect proving grounds. In a field of 30 cars, the CRX muscled its way to a second place finish-just behind a five-time national champion piloting a Porsche Cayman. Little Gutty was ready for battle. At the 2007 Grassroots Motorsports Challenge , the 075 HF took fifth place in the auto-x, eleventh place in the concours (car show), and a seventh place finish overall. "We were thrilled with the results! Though we were pretty bummed that the drag racing portion was rained out since we were confident Gutty would have placed well in that competition. We learned a lot that year" Luke says.

For 2008, a crème colored paint scheme and freshly powdercoated wheels updated the CRX's look. A new exhaust manifold found on eBay, combined with a few other go-fast parts, inched Gutty into the eleven-second quarter mile club during competition, and they improved in both the Auto-X and show portions as well, squeaking out a respectable fourth place finish. The 20-hour drive home granted plenty of discussion time between the 075 members. They agreed that one last year in the Grassroots competition was in order, but this time they vowed to give it no less than110 percent.

Htup_1008_04_z+1988_honda_CRX_HF+steering_wheel Photo 5/10   |   1988 Honda CRX HF - From Ashy To Classy

In an attempt to drop weight, and make more power, the hunt for used parts was never more crucial. Craigslist turned out to be a gold mine as a set of used fiberglass doors were picked up for just $150, while a guy at xceedspeed.com agreed to trade his carbon fiber hood for cash, plus Gutty's stock piece. The dieting continued throughout the entire car in an obsessive manner, as even the transmission bolt heads were shaved down significantly and the centers drilled to drop every possible ounce. The end result was a corner balance scale-confirmed1,698!

In search of a new turbo, an old Thunderbird at the local pick and pull granted Gutty a useable T3 for under $60. Supporting the new snail is the showpiece under the hood; a sidewinder-style exhaust manifold. It's been stated that one man's trash is another man's treasure, and the crashed and badly dented Mugen header pulled from the trash at Road America was painstakingly transformed into an under-hood treasure. Twenty-two hours of fabrication and countless hours of polishing, grinding, and perfecting the metallic octopus resulted in a breathtaking piece that acts as a magnet once the hood is popped-drawing eyes directly to its brilliant finish. In search of more power and "wow" factor, the plenum was chopped off the stock intake manifold, and scrap metal was used to create a new manifold that placed the throttle body on the driver's side. This simplified the routing of the intercooler piping for the new turbo kit.

Htup_1008_05_z+1988_honda_CRX_HF+wheel Photo 6/10   |   1988 Honda CRX HF - From Ashy To Classy

Not wanting to rely on the previous year's look to carry them through the show portion of the competition, the crew created a makeshift paint booth in their garage (complete with a standard box fan) and smothered the car in a custom "Hospital Scrubs Green" hue. This is the same green that covers each and every valve cover of the cars that wear the 075 insignia. To represent the 2009 competition, Gutty received exactly 2,009 "H" logo stickers throughout the engine bay and interior.

With so much emphasis on the minute details and power-to-weight improvements, the 075 group once again made their way to the Grassroots Motorsports Challenge for a final performance. With improvements in quarter mile, Auto-x, and show competitions, the end result proved to be more than anyone could have imagined. Not only did they win the overall competition, but the points earned left a massive gap between them and the closest runner up. In ten years of competition, this is the largest lead any champion has ever finished with.

Htup_1008_06_z+1988_honda_CRX_HF+hood_intake Photo 7/10   |   1988 Honda CRX HF - From Ashy To Classy

In the end, this $400 CRX probably caused more busted knuckles and headaches than we could ever imagine, but you won't hear the 075 guys talk about that. Instead they remind us that this car was the key to bringing a tight knit group of enthusiasts back together after college, and gave them something to strive for every year. However, don't think that this is the end of little Gutty. Adam adds "Building a car on this tight of a budget is astoundingly hard, yet very easy on the wallet. You have to be creative, shrewd, and patient. Luke and I collected parts for about two years before it even fired up. It's been taken apart and reassembled almost as many times as it's been driven. It will have a future of endless racing; nine-second boosted quarter miles along with NA powered lap times are both in its future. It'll be around forever, and no, we're not repainting it again, haha!" Long live Gutty.....

Bolts & Washers

Htup_1008_07_z+1988_honda_CRX_HF+driver_side_view Photo 8/10   |   1988 Honda CRX HF - From Ashy To Classy

Propulsion
B18a1
T3/T4 - T04b cold-side from an industrial turbo, .63 OEM Thunderbird HaSport early mounts with new poly Custom intake manifold plenum with velocity stack plate
D16z6 throttle body
Precision 350hp intercooler
DSM blow-off valve - crushed spring to hold over 15psi
Turbo manifold built from damaged Mugen header
Custom 3 inch downpipe
Turbonetics Deltagate waste gate
'93 GS-R transmission case and final drive, '93 LS gears
JDM LSD (unknown origin)
Differential shimmed with D16 oil-control rings
Energy Suspension poly-bushing shifter kit
ACT clutch
VW Scirocco style radiator (tucked forward for more space)
Hoses - found on the floor of the shop an junkyard cars, Armor All treated for mad bling
Walbro 255lph fuel pump
RC 550cc injectors
'91 Nissan Maxima fuel filter
B&M fuel pressure regular

Stance
eBay coilovers (ummm, the blue ones)
KSport drag springs for the drag strip
Tokico Illumina shocks
'88 CRX HF front anti-roll bar
eBay upper and lower tie bars

Htup_1008_08_z+1988_honda_CRX_HF+driver_side_rear_view Photo 9/10   |   1988 Honda CRX HF - From Ashy To Classy

Resistance
'86 CRX Si front brakes
'91 Integra rear disc brakes
Calipers re-built
Semi-metallic pads

Wheels & Tires
'89 BMW E30 wheels, powdercoated black and pinstriped
Hoosier A6 tires (cast offs from Joe Moser)

Exterior
Hospital scubs green paint by 075 and friends
Fiberglass doors
Fiber Images hood
Lexan/reinforced plexi-glass windows

Interior
Recaro Design 2000 seat
Window net
Lapbelt for auto-X
Grant steering wheel

Props
Friends, family, shops, etc. The 075, our families, and everyone that enjoyed the car. It's been a long and fun journey

Owner Specs

Htup_1008_09_z+1988_honda_CRX_HF+engine_pipe Photo 10/10   |   1988 Honda CRX HF - From Ashy To Classy

Favorite website
ef-honda.com

Screen name or nickname redzcstandardhatch

Building Hondas for how long
nearly 10 years

Your dream car
my '90 hatchback

Build inspiration Luke Wilcox

Whats playing in your iPod/CD MP3 player right now
Ron and Fez, noon to 3

Greatest movie of all time American Graffiti

SOLD
From Gutty OBD0-OBD1 wiring harness $40
EX front knuckles/brakes $110
From DA Integra Auto transmission $100
Master Cylinder $25
Fenders/bumper $75
Midshaft/axles $50
From CRX Si Shell $410
B16 shortblock $150
PR3 ECU (sold for $111.36) $40
TOTAL RECOUPED: $1,000

PURCHASES 2007 2008 2009
Gutty Shell $400 $400 $400
CRX Si Parts Car $600 $600 $600
Integra Parts Car $250 $250 $250
Used Turbo/oil lines $300 $300 REMOVED
Used Integra Type R LSD $280 REMOVED REMOVED
Fuel Pump $35 $35 $35
Used DSM 450 Injectors $24.37 $22.99 REMOVED
Used BM FPR $20 $20 $20
Intercooler $75 $75 $75
Used ACT clutch $55 $55 $55
4.4 FD ring gear $75 REMOVED REMOVED
Used slicks with 4X100 wheels $100 $100 $100
Used BMW bottlecap wheels $45 $45 $45
Intercooler piping/exhaust/manifold/steel $130 $80 $50
eBay coilovers $30 $30 $30
Used DSM BOV $10 $10 $10
Used wastegate $25 $25 $25
Used "Design 2000" seat $10 $10 $10
5 cans Chalkboard Green spray paint $21.10 REMOVED REMOVED
Used b18 timing belt $5 $5 $5
Rustoleum Flat Black Paint (quart) $17.12 REMOVED REMOVED
Radius rod bushings $8.47 $8.47 $8.47
Used air filter $10 $10 REMOVED
Used couplers/clamps $15 $15 $15
Fuel Filter $11.73 $11.73 $11.73
eBay strut/tie bars $46.30 $46.30 $23.15
Heater hose $2.52 $2.52 REMOVED
Miscellaneous hardware $2.44 $2.44 $2.44
Radiator (with hole in it) $0 $0 REMOVED

JB Weld (to fix radiator) $1 $1 REMOVED
Road race slicks (out of garbage) $0 $0 $0
Wheel paint $10 REMOVED REMOVED
88 CRX seat bracket $9.26 $9.26 $9.26
Battery box $12.88 $12.88 REMOVED
Hyundai slim fan $18.65 $17.59 $17.59
Tachometer and boost gauge $40 REMOVED REMOVED
New ghetto boost gauge $14.00 $14.00
Xenocron chip $19.50 $19.50 $19.50
GSR LSD + ring gear $180.00 $180.00
Turbo Manifold $99.00 REMOVED
MAP Sensor $14.94 $14.94
Almond exterior Paint $219.65 REMOVED
Black wheel paint $9.98 REMOVED
Krylon light paint $5.99 REMOVED
Pinstripe $3.99 REMOVED
Red vinyl $25.00 REMOVED

Mugen turbo manifold (dumpster dive) FREE
Fiberglass doors $150.00
Carbon fiber hood (stock hood + cash) $70.00
Ford turbo $59.99
Used oil lines (fair market value) $10.00
Scirocco radiator $35.00
Radiator cap $25.99
Scrubs green paint $154.80
Vinyl $101.75
Intake manifold materials $25.00
Brake pads $16.51
Rear rotors $29.54
Heater hose block off and clamps $5.28
Rear caliper rebuild $22.80
Black spray paint $2.94
Silver spray paint $5.69
Powdercoat $10.15
Battery $10.00
RC 550 injectors $75.00
Plexiglass $3.50
Radiator fan mounting kit $3.99
Vacuum hoses $4.99
Used drag rear springs $20.00
Boost controller $10.00
Civic VX drag wheels $20.00
TOTAL PURCHASED: $2,739.34 $2,792.23 $2,899.00

By Rodrez
654 Articles

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