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"Built Dam Strong!"

25 March 2014

General CRX update

This is mostly just some observations and plans that I'm putting down here to help clarify the steps I need to take to get my CRX back on the road.

I was measuring a bunch of stuff on the subframe. The holes for the bolts that hold the subframe to the frame are really wonky, with no real exact sizing for the bolt holes. The reason why I am interested in this is since it is taking a while to get a new subframe, I have contemplated making a set of "rigid collars."

Basically, watch this video if you want to see what I'm talking about:


Spoon, the company marketing and selling these things, doesn't  make a specific set for the CRX. A knock off company might, but I refuse to use anything from that company since they are just a real scuzzy company to start with. So, the options are to make them myself (or coerce my friend into making a set for me) or do without. I don't mind just normally reinstalling the subframe, but, if you know me, you know I like to improve things when I can.

I'll also be taking the liberty of stitch welding the subframe as my friend Steve suggested. It wold take too long to fully weld it, and honestly, for a street driven car, I would not recommend doing that. If you make the subframe too stiff, if something like hitting a curb happens again, the frame of the car will get bent, not just the subframe as has happened in my case. Stitch welding it will make it a bit stiffer and stronger while not going completely overboard with the time that would take.

Thinking along the lines of stiffening things up without getting silly, I bought these:


Prothane's steering rack bushings for the CRX. These will likely be the only red bushings you will (n)ever see on my car. The red ones were Prime eligible, the black ones were not, much to my annoyance. They are under the car. I'm not that annoyed. For $12.50 after taxes shipped, I won't complain, either.

I AM annoyed that the kit doesn't include new metal inserts. I hate putting old inserts into things. Again, I remind myself that it isn't a big deal since no one can see it and it doesn't matter if they are mucky because that doesn't effect the functionality one single bit.


I'm also looking at possibly having my suspension pieces powder coated if I can find a place that will do it in a timely fashion for not too much money. The weather this week and weekend is NOT conducive to getting a good paint coating on anything. Powder coating is a heck of a lot more durable than just about any spray can paint you can get. This is only a remote possibility, though. I'm not stressing about this too much, as, honestly, any paint on the stuff will do nicely compared to the bare metal that the suspension normally has.

Another issue I am fixing is my shift linkage. Holy crap is it beat the heck up. The joint is so sloppy, I am surprised it shifted as well as it did. This is also a bit more complex than most jobs, too, since this is something I've deemed necessary and the priority for any fabrication getting done. (This is much more important than the rigid collars, which are only something I'd like.) I've measured up all the hard parts on the shift linkage in order to design a set of bushings to replace the plastic bits that inevitably are worn well past any serviceability. These bushings are to be made from bearing bronze. I chose ASTM B505 (also known as 954) bronze, which has very good properties that make it nearly perfect for this application, especially considering the price and availability.

Here's a crappy Google Sketchup view of the bushing set:

The two taller bushings are for the yoke at the transmission end of the shift linkage. This will be pressed in place of the plastic stuff. The shorter bushing set is for the end of the shift lever itself. The flat washer is to be pressed into the side of the yoke to reduce the one larger hole down to the 8mm that the rest of the holes are. I will bolt everything together and use nylock nuts to prevent the bolts from backing out. I might, in the future, get a little fancier with retaining tabs or safety wire, but, KISS rules this operation.

That being said, I'll also finish my shift knob and be able to finally install my custom ginormomungous (That's a Beaver Patented Word, right there!) shift lever, which I am really, really dying to try.  

I've got a new rear engine mount bracket coming soon, too, for the price of shipping. That's pretty darn awesome!

Other issues and things to take care of:
1. Install my MTX-L wideband and hardwire it to the stock O2 sensor input with a switch to switch between simulated narrowband and the full wideband signal. (Very useful, honestly. I like having the ECU checking AFR when cruising, quite frankly, and you can trick the ECU into leaning the engine out for better fuel economy if you reprogram the inflection point of the narrowband output!)
2. Fix the main ground wire that got knocked loose from the connector.
3. Possibly make a battery tray for the cute battery I am using, as I really don't like the ghetto way I have it strapped onto the stock battery tray for the moment.
4. Install the ES shifter bushings.
5. Finally get my new IAT sensor installed so I can finish 
6. If I can get the rigid collars made, prep the chassis and new subframe for installation of the rigid collars. (More on that if it happens, but I do have a plane to make things a lot easier on myself.)

Okay, I think I'm done rambling for the night. I'm beat. I didn't feel so well today and work today was a mess of "stop that, do this NOW" and I will finish my chamomile tea and go to sleep.