View Full Version : Building the ITA CRX Si from the ground up...need input on p

03-30-2002, 04:10 AM
Okay, for those of you who have helped me get this far, thanks again. I have considered all of the advice that I've received, and I have decided to follow some of it, and ignore some of it. In the end, I'm looking at building an ITA CRX Si from stock, and I would like some feed back from those of you who roadrace older cars like this to make sure I'm not missing anything right off the bat. Keep in mind, my schedule will not allow me to make this car competitive. I simply can't get to enough events in the next couple of years to worry about anything other than learning how to compete and how to drive. If, after I graduate and money is much less tight, I will likely buy a completely prepared car rather than continue to build this one. And who knows, after a couple of years when my options open up, I might not want to commit to ITA, so investing in a prepared car right now just isn't for me. Plus, everyone who knows me (including my own intuition) says that I would be unhappy if I didn't build the car myself, even if it falls way short of what I could buy for the same money. So, that being said, here are my plans for Phase I, which is intended just to get me on the track safely. I'm also including a rough budget:
1) 88-91 CRX Si (going rate locally is $1500-2500, stock and running strong).
2) Strip the interior, remove AC, etc. ($0)
3) Install 6pt cage ($700 shipped new, if I can't find one used).
4) Sparco Corsa race seat (already have it)
5) OMP steering wheel/hub (already have it)
6) Remote filter/Oil cooler (already have it)
7) Fire bottle (already have it)
8) Oil pressure, Oil temp., Water temp gauges (already have everything)
9) OPM Phase 2 IT Road Race Suspension (includes springs, coil over kit, 5-way adjustables, rear sway bar $1,128)
10) Replace all bushings with PU bushings ($160 from OPM)
11) Sabelt 6pt harness (already have it)
12) ATE brake fluid (already have it)
13) Rad flush, add water and water wetter (already have it)
14) Brake pads (front, rear depends on disk or drum, ~$100)
15) New brake rotors ($?)
16) SS brake lines (~$100)
17) OMP bolt-on pedals (already have them)
18) Kumho Victoracers ($500 shipped)

That adds up to roughly $2688 + rotors and car. Figure $500 to fix this and that on a 12 year old car, and I'm right at $5000-$6000

What I'm interested in right now is things that I might have left off of the list for Phase I. Like I said, my number one goal at the end of the first phase is to have a safe and reliable car to learn on. Things like power and additional performance mods can wait for now, and I likely won't go too far in that direction before I would just buy a prepared car.

Input? Laughter? Questions? Thanks for any help!

03-30-2002, 05:35 AM
My thoughts and I bought instead of building (after a expensive lesson in just getting a 944-S ready for driver's schools). FWIW

3.) Add padding (preferably the BSR-type dense stuff - $12/3' I think).
3.) Add welding the backing plates and I don't think the autopower bolt-ins have the dash bar (I may be wrong) so you might have to pay someone to weld one in for you (again, I am not positive on that) - honestly, I would feel more comfortable with the bars going up to the firewall opposed to ending at the footwell before your feet (so that your feet aren't exposed). - then again, I am not remotely an expert or even that educated on the subject.

4.) do you have the seat mount? If not, again, might have to pay someone to weld one in for you (<refrain>).

11.) mountpoints for the lap and sub belts? <refrain>

14.) I think I paid somewhere around $120 for the Panther XPs for the front and $50 or so for the rear shoes (that might be low but that's my memory).

15.) around 90 to 110 bucks for the front axle (I am sure there's cheaper), $30 to $40 for drums from NAPA ($80 is what Honda wanted, yikes!)

18.) this brings up a question - do you have a tow vehicle? If not, are you going to be driving this to and from the track? If so, I'd think that you'd need a spare set of rims (that can be real cheap, like $150 off ebay - just thought I'd mention as it changes your tire cost) for the tires you'd commute on. If you are towing, I'd still think you'd want at least 6 rims total (just my opinion of-course).

Then there's other stuff (not needed for Car Guys schools and the like):

* Multi-layer Drivers Suit (or single layer and nomex undies) = real real cheap is under 300 bucks

* Nomex Shoes (guess you can drive in wingtips so no cost there). Nomex socks - like $11/pair.

* Nomex Gloves, cheap out would be under $50

* Car Decals (SCCA/Regional), GCR, Patches - probably under $100 total (probably well under actually - can't remember how much the GCR cost, the rest was probably 20 bucks total)

When I bought my car, the first thing we had to do was replace the 3 hubs, all four wheel bearings, right side half shaft and a few other items.

You'll also *need* a window net ($100?), transponder ($279), kill switch ($??),

You'll probably *want* a tow hook (benan or brenan ? makes a bolt on that is pretty inexpensive), corner balance after the suspension swap (#9).

That's just my thoughts on it (and take that with a grain of salt - been an SCCA member for all of 3 months). I guess if I were in a similar situation, I'd do drivers schools (Car Guys type stuff) as it wouldn't require the initial cost and get you a ton of seat-time. Then again, I am probably saying that cause that's the route I took over the past two years.

Best of luck.

Adam in Charlotte
#42 CRX Si

03-30-2002, 11:25 AM
A Transponder;

Shop manuals.

03-30-2002, 02:53 PM
i run a crx my reply is just about the car new hubs and bearings all 4 corners you will have to check front upper and lower ball joints and front tie rod ends we don't use the pu bushings except the upper and lower shock mounts,rear control arm use stock bushes make sure not broken, front lower control arm progress monoball or stock,pu binds up,rear trailing arm bushes will probably be broken use energy or mugen.front radius rod opm monoball

03-31-2002, 02:13 PM

944-S, eh? That CAN'T be cheap.

3) I neglected to mention padding since that just goes with any cage install. Fortunately, I already have most of it. I just want to pick up some of the high density stuff for my head area. As for welding, I am lucky enough to have a couple of friends who can weld very well (I wish they had a pipe bender). I intend to have them increase the size of the foot plates to ITA rules and weld the feet down. I also would like to add a second door bar to the driver's side. The dash bar will have to wait until I get the dash out, or at least more "removed." I know it's not the best cage ever, but that's why it's called Phase I, and if I ever feel the desire for a full custom cage, I'll buy a car with one (still not sure I won't do that).

4) Yes, I have everything to mount the seat. I think I'm going to weld a pair of small steel beams to the floor and bolt the seat mount to that, rather than bolt the seat to the floor. That floor is pretty thin, even with a back-up plate. Either way, the expense is beer for labor http://Forums.ImprovedTouring.com/it/smile.gif

11) I already have two complete sets of clips, eye-bolts, hardware, backup plates, etc. Good point, though. That stuff was a "hidden" expense.

14) What kind of rear shoes do you run? Did you find a big benefit moving from OEM shoes in the rear?

15) This is why I love this car. Everything is so cheap? That's the single biggest reason I decided not to continue to prepare the ITR.

18)As for the tow vehicle...I'm working on it. I do not intend to drive this car to/from events at all, unless it's a local autocross. I will likely register/insure this car for a short time while it's being prepared just so I can get more seat time in it to make sure things are running properly (can't prepare a car if you can only drive it once a month). However, the tow vehicle will be a daily driver also, and it falls under a completely separate budget. I just need to get my act together and buy something. As for spare wheels, I will likely end up with a few as time goes on. I'll want hard towing/storge tires, dry tires, and wet tires. Still, for now I just need one good set of race tires until I start to compete.

All of the driver's safety stuff is also separate, and I have most of it. I had forgotten the window net and kill switch, however. Thanks for the reminder. Also, at what point is a tow hook required? Would it be a good idea for "open" days, or just competition?

Both Phat-S and joeg mentioned the transponder. I can get one on a "rent-to-own" basis from a local NASA group. That's around $50/day, so figure about 3 months. I think I'll do that.


SHOP MANUAL!! Yea, that should be my second purchase after gas! I can't believe I didn't list that. My shop manual for the ITR is worth its weight in gold. I should just go ahead and order one now so that it's here when I need it. Thanks for the reminder.


My plan with the PU bushings was to remove any old and cracked OEM bushings. So you actually had some problems with the PU bushings in places? Overall, what bushings do you guys replace, and with what? That's an area I haven't had to deal with yet.

Thanks for all the help!!

03-31-2002, 03:30 PM
itr: i'm assuming you have an 88'89' since you mentioned rear shoes we run stock rear shoes,as far as pu bushings go in the lower front control arm they tend to bind up the front end they don't allow the control arm to move forward freely stock is better or progress's new monoballs.The rest as i posted earlier,front hubs and bearings are a must! you should do the rears too,but they will howl first and give you a little warning.what state are you in

03-31-2002, 06:08 PM

Actually, I don't even own the car yet. That's why I stated that the need for pads would depend on the year. I have heard a lot of people running stock shoes/pads in the rear. Thanks for the advice on the bushings.

I'm in AZ.

04-02-2002, 05:03 PM
for cage options try looking at Art Morrison Enterprises. They can bend to your specs or have CAD/CNC layouts for crxs on hand and can ship you prebent tubes pretty cheap. all you do is notch and weld them. even come with pads. I think I paid under $200 plus $100 shipping for the last one I bought from them.


far better than any bolt-in kit out there...

and don't forget the freshen the motor and tranny.

dave w

04-03-2002, 09:40 AM
The only other thing I can think of is make sure you consider front disk warping in your racing budget.

Either run duct work and/or have a few spares around. I invested in cryogenically treated rotors and haven't had a problem with them, but I'm only doing track days and am not racing IT.

I'm in a similar situation as you are with building up a CRX. Thanks for posting this question.


04-06-2002, 11:08 PM

Yea, I will certainly check out that link for a cage. That sounds REALLY reasonable for the service they provide if they have the layout for a CRX. I assume that only basic pipe welding skills would be required to put it together, yes?


I intend to run brake ducts as one of the first things, but the materials are so cheap that I forgot to mention it. Anything to cool the brakes is good in my book. I'll still keep some rotors on hand, though.

Good luck with your build http://Forums.ImprovedTouring.com/it/smile.gif

04-10-2002, 06:08 PM
Things I suggest right away, considering this is a 14 year old car.

Wheel bearings
brake rebuild kits
New coolant hoses

Things to budget for (again, considering this is a 14 year old car)
New clutch.
New brake master cylinder, slave cylinder (if applicable)
Big interior mirror

my .02$, good luck.

88 RX-7 ITS/PS1

04-11-2002, 04:19 AM

Yes, people keep bringing up the caliper rebuild. What is a good source for a rebuild kit? Is it something that a normally skilled person can do with the usual mechanic's tools?

Greg Gauper
04-11-2002, 11:14 AM
On my '84 civic, a caliper rebuild consists of a new seal (large o-ring shaped thingy) new dust boots, new pistons if the old ones are scored or rusty, and new pins. Possibly a new bleeder screw. A rebuild is not terribly difficult. The key is keep the parts clean, use the proper brake grease for the seals, and take your time. The shop manual is usually pretty clear on the disassembly and reassembly. You might want to strip the parts of and take them to a shop that can dunk them in cleaner/rust remover, like a place that preps engine blocks, etc. I usually bead blast the outside and then paint them with high temperature paint to make them look pretty before I put everything back together. Mask off the critical areas with tape before painting.

Greg Gauper
04-11-2002, 11:17 AM
I forgot to add, I use standard tools. I can't say for your particular model car, but look in the shop manual. Honda manuals are pretty good about indicating when to use special tools.

04-12-2002, 01:54 AM
Thanks for the rebild info. After the caliper has been rebuild, is it "as good as new," or would I be better off replacing the caliper every so often?

Greg Gauper
04-12-2002, 09:03 AM
They are usually pretty good for a couple of seasons. The rebuild kits are much cheaper than new calipers. What does seem to wear out over time are the pin bushings that recieve the pins that slide in and out. You can get new pins but it seems like the bushings can wear out over time and get a little sloppy. This leads to excessive caliper flex which results in a soft or low brake pedal, which will feel worse with partially worn out pads. I don't think there are replacement bushings available. After 2 or 3 years throw them out, or rebuild them and keep them handy as emergency spares in case you loose a seal during a race weekend.