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Old 07-28-2006, 03:48 PM   #1
Hocker
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Default My KR-X Restoration Build

I figure it is time I posted up my project here. Fleabiscuit has been working on it and this is clips from other forums about the project so that is why it will mention my name and such. Enjoy

To save a lot of hassle the entire writeup is here:
http://www.iconmedia.tv/icon_galleri...ues/index.html

Project 'Blues Clues'
K-RX With a Twist!


Project Objective: To completely reconstruct and partially restore a Honda CRX, including the installation of a fully built K24 engine with ITB's. When finished, the car will be restored with all new dash and interior parts, new clips, trim, plastic, window trim, even some new body panels. The seats will be aftermarket Corbeau seats, with a few small aftermarket touches in the interior. The suspension will be completely worked over with all new components, including a poly bushing kit installation. Nothing on this car will go untouched in one way or another. Even the hood will be custom-made for this particular project. The car is not being built for the track, or for the street particularly. It is being built as a weekend driver/fun car, and will be built more with autocross in mind rather than drag racing.

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This project should eventually wind up being one of the most extensively restored and modified CRX's in the world. Thankfully, the owner of the car (Kevin Hockersmith aka Iceycrx over on HT) is a very passionate fan of the 2nd Gen CRXs. He first introduced the idea to us at ICON of doing this work during the last FL CRX Meet at Old Town.



The original idea was to do a repaint of the car, and some motor work... namely, the new and ever-so-powerful K-Series swap. We had discussed several different options for the motor, and in the end, it was decided that it would wind up being a fully built K24 with ITB's... Well, with the extensive motor work being done, we started looking at the rest of the car. Kevin really wanted the car to stand out, and look absolutely stunning! The original color of the car is a Teal green color. It was painted over by its original owner in a basic white color. Also, the interior had been painted using a roller rather than being nicely sprayed on. This led us to the decision to strip the entire car down, and repaint it in a brand new color!

Kevin brought the car into the shop, and the games began!



In no time flat, our tech Jason had the entire car stripped down, and almost ready for the fabrication work to begin. During this time however, we started noticing some small issues with the car. Nothing major, but things that would affect portions of the build. For instance, the car had been side-swiped in a past life. The drivers fender was an aftermarket piece, the door had been reskinned (poorly), and there was some bondo work on the rear 1/4. Nothing major, but just little things. Also, the white paint job that had previously been done to the outside of the car wasn't the greatest base to begin building a nice car from.





It was becoming painfully evident that the car needed much more work to come off as clean as the owner wanted. Everywhere we turned, we started seeing more and more things that were 'scary' to us....

The mounting location of the strut tower bar was beginning to rust nicely, and also it is a poor mounting point for a strut bar anyway since it is so flimsy... so this hole will have to be filled in, and made to look like it was never there



When the original owner decided to paint the car, they pulled the trim off the windows, but instead of buying new trim and doing it right, they just used silicone goo, and reattached it.



Another point of interest, was the spare tire well, where there was a fuel cell... also, under where the battery was, there was the beginnings of a cancerous area.



Another area of interest was in the rear hatch sill area. It looks like it may have rusted out in the past or something, but it was clear that there was a lot of bondo in that area. We'll find out shortly exactly what is going on in there



This was another fun area... it was being used as the vent for the gas tank, so it apparently had never really been opened much. But apparently when they painted it, they didn't bother to go in here and do anything.



The point of showing everything here, is that each of these items sort of came up and provided us with lots and lots of 'clues' as to its past owners... therefore, it is now affectionately referred to as 'Project Blues Clues'

After sitting down with Kevin, and going over these spots, and many other little things about the car, it was decided that only the most extreme of extremes had to be done to this car.... it was decided to media blast the entire thing!

This meant that the car had to be stripped down even farther than before. Every last thing, every last nut and bolt, all clips, EVERYTHING will have to come off the car in preparation for what was about to happen.

So, we went about the task of stripping it further:







Sometime around this point, we were looking at what needed to happen before it went in for paint. Part of the items we looked at were the roll cage. Initially, the car came in with a small bolt-in roll bar. Nothing wrong with that, except that it limited the use of the doors, and the panels had to be trimmed excessively to make it fit. Also, it was built for a right-hand-drive car, not a left-hand-drive car, so the harness attachment points were wrong (safe for the passenger though! haha!). Also, the attachement points to hte rear wheel wells were looking rather weak and non-structural:



So, we contacted the guys at MazWorX, who hooked us up with their latest Roll Bar setup with removable door bars. The car had to be transported over there, which was a LOT of fun. The car had no suspension, and no way to roll around. So, we loaded it up on my car dolly to get it ready for its trip across town.





When the car returned a couple of days later, it had a cage in it that was WAY better than what it had before, with removable door bars, that would work with his interior, and allow him to have full door panels once again!





So, now that the chassis was back, with the cage in it, there was one thing left to do.... make it TWIRL!

Speaking of course, about the rotisserie! What is a rotiserie you ask? Well, it is much like the one you'd use to cook a turkey or something. In this case, it allows the media blaster to easily and efficiently get to all sides of the car while blasting... specifically, the underside of it. This way, he can roll it into his booth, and blast away! Also, this makes it infinitely easier to do things liek weld underneath the chassis if needed, do other body work, and so forth. In this case, we will be blasting the car, and undercoating the car with Rhinoliner! We may even weld up some holes underneath that aren't needed, so that future rust issues will never happen.

The rotisserie that we are using is courtesy of the shop doing the bodywork, Exotic Concepts of Longwood. Dennis (the owner of ECoL) allowed us to bring the rotisserie over to the shop, because we had to build an adapter for it. Since we already have plans to do another couple of CRXs like this in the future, we decided to make a rack specifically to hold a CRX, and make it something that will last us a wgood long while. With these care becoming more popular, and owners making more money and wanting to restore them, i'm sure we'll be doing this many more times in the future!

We began with a stout 3" square beam. Seeing as though the CRX is a unibody car, and its frame was -never- designed to hold the cars weight from the front and rear bumper points, we decided to build a rack that would mount to key suspension points. These points are mainstays of the chassis, and will definitely be able to support the weight of the car.

Once that section was built, it was time to determine the moutning points for the rack and the rotisserie. This is vitally important, because you have to work out ground clearance issues, as well as balance issues. You don't want something that is overly heavy to one side or the other, becuase then it'll be very difficult and dangerous to flip around. ALso, ground clearance is an issue, because you don't want to rotate it and have the roof hit the ground, or any other part of the car.

After making a few careful calculations, i had the fixture where i wanted it, and finished up the construction of the rack.

So... now that the rack was done, there was only one thing left to do... put the car on it, and see if all of the calculations paid off, and make sure that the rack would be able to support the weight of the car

Tada! It DOES!



And whattya know, its balanced so well, that one hand and very little stress is required to actually rotate the car.



The 1.2" or so ground clearance at its closest point is also quite breathtaking, knowing that the car is suspended in a position it has likely never been in before in its life, and it is that close to the ground.... haha!



Then, it was on to messing with the Hasport mount.

Now, one thing about this mount that bothered me on the Green CRX, this CRX, and it will bother me on my own crx, is that these brackets aren't welded more than they are... to me, it is just tacked together when you get it with a MIG... and poorly at that. I'd bet that if i did a 'Rate my welds' thread on them in the fabrication forum here without telling anyone -exactly- what it was beforehand, EVERYONE would knock them... lol.

So anyway, first order of business, is re-welding athe entire mount. So, thats where the discoloration comes from. They come from Hasport completely bead blasted, so there is no coloring when you get them. Not that the coloring matters, after all, they are being fully painted over anyway.







So... now that the mount was done, it is on to the next point of fabrication.... the shifter box.

What we do, is instead of using a aluminum kit that needs to be sealed with silicone or something, we opt for something a bit more permanant, and something thqat is 100% sealed no matter what. In this case, we cut the exhaust tunnel, and build a box. The floor of the box is a relatively thick piece of metal, and the sides and everything else is fairly thin... about the same thickness as stock. This gives the shifter a very nice floor to sit on that is plenty strong, and since it is welded shut, it'll never leak, come unsealed, or anything. niiiiiiice 8)






Also, we went around the car and the engine bay, and found every hole that we won't be needing with this swap, and marked it to fill. The engine bay in this car is getting smoothed out slightly, and of course it is getting a wire tuck at the same time. Minimal wires showing



One last shot of the car on the lift with the old color... tomorrow she heads to the body shop to have the glass removed, holes filled, some bodywork done, and then it'll be off to the media blasters, and then back to the body shop. I'll continue with updates as we go along of course







See? Doesn't look much different, does it? LoL

Well, here's what you DON'T see right off-hand... This is some smoothing that is being done over the headlight area. There were a few holes in this area that aren't going to be used, so they are filled in with weld, and ground smooth. They are trying to make it so that minimal body filler is needed with the project



Also, here is a pic showing the seam sealer being removed. The sealer will be reapplied, but a lot more 'ninja' than it was before... hehe. Making it so that it does not stand out like a sore thumb



And of course, the prime-time-pic.... the picture in the sun of the actual color being applied to the car (we had them spray a spare fender to make sure it is the color the owner wants) :



Can't really tell a lot but comparing some work done to one side vs the other was a huge differance and also the paint looks 100x better in person just with the sun on it made it look amazing and thats just a bare paint w/o really any clear or wet sanding

Over 8 pages of part numbers from American Honda, here is a picture of pretty much every clip, seal, body trim component, grommet, brake lines, etc that you'll need to bring your car back to stock-form again! (not including major interior pieces and carpet of course)



Here is the panel showing the bondo under all that paint... we're guessing that most of the 1/4 is like this, and will likely have to be replaced



Im skipping a lot of the work because well this is a lot of work grabbing from one forum copying and then doing the img work.

Another of the rear 1/4, but if you look closely at the reflection of the vehicle in the background, you can see another good-sized indention in the 1/4 that we didn't see before



Here is a list of products I bought for the project


Also, we have a Momo Steering Wheel, Momo adapter, LTB Quick Release, and some nice Momo Floormats, why I went with blue is because I had a black mugen for awhile and I wanted some off-set color. At least it is a momo and not a cheap brand.



Alright, heres some more pics of something that just came in for Kevins car...
The 100% Carbon Fiber Dash Overlay!

This is of course not a dash -replacement-, merely an overlay... however, i guess with enoug ingenuity, you could fashion some brackets to hold it by itself in a race car.

But anyway, on this project, it is overlaying the stock dash in Kevins car. The center console is being redone as well to match the dash overlay, but it is an all-carbon fiber piece, not an overlay








I understand it will have a glare but I live in Florida and stock dashes have glare and we wear sunglasses and this also isnt a daily driver.
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Old 07-28-2006, 03:52 PM   #2
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Go Florida KRX's!!! Very nice man, I'll be following along.
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Old 07-28-2006, 04:00 PM   #3
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Looks neat... but then we got closer to checking it out...

FIrst of all, all of the light tan colored patches are bondo... due to the thin sheetmetal, the media blaster was not willing to hit the car very hard, so there is a lot of evidence left of what the car has been through... the process got most of the crap off the car, but there is still some hand-work that'll need to be done. The big thing is uncovering the bondo, to expose the crap underneath...

In this case, the first thing that stood out, was the drivers door frame, towards the front.



This car has at one point been in a rather nasty accident that took out the entire left side of the car, and now we're seeing that the door sill was folded, probably due to the door being hit hard, and so there is some bondo there covering up some nastiness... this is a big concern, as it is structural, whereas the body panels aren't nearly... we'll see more of this tomorrow.


Next of course, is the left rear 1/4 panel... they actually took off a lot of bondo here at the media blaster, but they left a whole bunch more... this entire panel was repaired due to the left-side collision that this car had suffered in the past.



Something kinda funny, is that because of the bondo, and the media blaster not wanting to hit the car too hard with material, he skipped right over the stickers that were there, and left nice impressions in the bondo of kevins Rays and Takata stickers... hehe.

Now, it was on to the BIG surprise....

The entire right rear 1/4 panel of this car had, at one time, been replaced....



This sucks, but it may be fixable as long as the alignment of everything is nice and tidy... the body guys can clean up the seams real well, and fill in some holes with metal, and try to limit the future bondo usage on the car... either that, or the panel will be replaced once again, but thats not something we're wanting to do.


Evidence of one seam, up near the hatch:



The seam on the rocker:



And the seam in the door b-pillar area



And last but not least, the hatch that was chosen for this project has a bit of a dent in the top from being pushed down or something, and that was fixed at one time with bondo... yAy!



Otherwise, this project is about what we expected... i'm going to be meeting with the bodyshop tomorrow to discuss the timeline now that we know where things are, but ideally, we'll have this car back in the shop in a matter of a couple of weeks.





To fix the current chassis, and have it done right, would cost less still than buying another shell, stripping it down, and having it blasted... this is still an option in the owners hands though, as nothing TOO major mod-wise was done to the CRX, other than welding in of the mounts for the K swap.... but then again, finding another chassis for a reasonable price that is -perfect-, might be a bit tough.
The car here has had a sorted history. I don't know who owned it before Jorge from MaxBore.com did, but Kevin bought it from Jorge, who was under the impression that everything was ok with the car... afaik.

Just goes to show that you need to be VERY careful when buying a car, especially with the work these days being done by dealers, body shops, etc, who will buy three wrecked cars, and cut them up, and make one very perfect looking car out of them... and unfortunately, one of them likely would have not had much reported on the title, so even a CarFax may not bring up that sort of work... very complete inspections need to be done on cars bought these days.

When you take a car down this far, nothing can hide! Neither of the two owners i know, knew anything was wrong with it. This is damage that occurred a LONG time ago... however, there -were- clues that could have been spotted... watch out for things like aftermarket fenders, welds that don't look factory, inside the hatch sill on the sides being smoothed out, indicating a panel had been replaced, non-oem glass trim, etc... all of which were present on this car.

Like any good -restoration- though, the car will be brought back to being a nice car once again, and all this damage will be repaired. This is the nature of restorations. Thankfully, it is not an older car, like this bodyshop deals with a lot.... they'll get to this point and it'll be so bad, they have to scrap the car, and start all over again, which no chance of really fixing anything. They just did that to a car about a month ago actually... But the replacement car they got is really really purty. But this car is still in good shape, just need to do some repairs

Oh, ok... here ya go... the DTR/Six Sigma Header:





MORE UPDATES!!!
Just got back from the body shop... they are indoors ducking the crud from the Tropical Storm, but they are in the midst of removing the stock driver-side 1/4, and installing the brand new factory piece.

Here is the new piece ready for installation



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Old 07-28-2006, 04:05 PM   #4
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The weather finally cleared up enough today to pull the car out of the shop so that i could get pictures of it in its current state. There is still a lot to do, but right now its looking like all the bodywork will be done in the next week, and into paint shortly thereafter. There is just soooooo much to do with this car, its crazy.








The entire car is coated with an epoxy primer so that it won't rust, and they can still get to the sections they need to do the bodywork. I saw the list of things that they have to do, and it is nearly a page and a half long. Doesn't LOOK like there is much there to do, but its a lot of little stuff

Its coming along very nicely though. And it really isn't taking THAT long, considering that EVERY exterior metal body panel had to be replaced, except for the roof and driver door... and the right rear 1/4 basically had to be sectioned off, and reinstalled to clean up the joints from the last time it was replaced. lol! thats a lot of work getting all that stuff straightend back out and cleaned.


Also, here are a couple of pics of some other things we have...

The ACT clutch and Walbro Fuel Pump



The DEFI Gauges... Fuel Pressure and Oil Pressure, and the Link box. We may add more later, but for now, this is whats going into the car



I went by the body shop this morning, and here she sits! The undercoating is completely done, and came out GREAT! The undercoating being used here is actually a special thin-coat of RhinoLiner... It'll last forever, and Protect the underside of the car a LOT. Also, it'll help quiet down road noise, so we don't have to do any interior sound deadening... kills two birds with one tamale'.


They were also just starting the skin coat on the doors... the bondo is laid on a little thick, and then it is sanded and blocked down until there is barely any left... waste of Bondo i think, but it'll come out looking great, and of course with the entire project, we're trying to keep Bondo usage to an absolute minimum




Heres the undercoating shots... so far, everything is looking absolutely perfect... we have some trimming to do, and shaving on the undercoating, but its worth it to have this liner on the bottom of the car.













I also ordered another set of wheels, the Mugen NR mirror faced for when I goto shows. Also here is a list of other parts ordered or that is here.

Vison CF Mirrors, Mugen license plate bolts, Mugen Shift Knob, Mugen Pedals, Mugen gas cap, Mugen Hood Pins, Corbeau CR-1 seats w/ Black 3in Harness, JDM OEM Window Visors, JDM Oem Side Markers, CF gauge cluster, CF center console, CF door panels, CF edm wing, CF rear cargo cover, replica JDM bass tubes, JVC deck (the one with the 3in monitor), apline type Rs and apline type Ss
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Old 07-28-2006, 08:43 PM   #5
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dammmmmmnnnn.... how much u got into it already?
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Old 07-28-2006, 08:46 PM   #6
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Question Re: My KR-X Restoration Build

hey man....

just wondering wat size are those willawood's rotors? and wat pot calipers?
how much it cost and where from?

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Old 07-29-2006, 06:31 AM   #7
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Around 50k and that is with a LOT and I mean LOT of hookups, the bodyshop alone has given me probly 10-20k off what they normally charge. 11in or 12in kit I cant remember off top of my head just woke up but fastbrakes.com
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Old 07-29-2006, 06:40 AM   #8
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They are 11", and the caliper is a 4-piston unit
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Old 08-02-2006, 03:44 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FleaBiscuit
They are 11", and the caliper is a 4-piston unit
if they r 11" rotors why do they look so huge... wat size wheel is it compared in?

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Old 08-02-2006, 05:09 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by snoop_gee
if they r 11" rotors why do they look so huge... wat size wheel is it compared in?

15x6.5 buddy clubs i have
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Old 08-02-2006, 06:41 AM   #11
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This makes me sick to my stomach.. in a good way! Crazy amount of work in this thing!
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Old 08-02-2006, 06:46 AM   #12
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Wow! Good times! Shit is gonna be sick when finished!
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Old 08-02-2006, 09:20 AM   #13
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Thanks, I really sat down and thought which import I loved the most and could do all the things I wanted and fit all of my needs and I decided a crx was that platform. Then just decided to go all out since this will be one of those projects you take with you when you dead.
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Old 08-02-2006, 09:58 AM   #14
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Now, I can see someone motivated enough to do this on their own, but you are paying a body shop to do all this work?? Why not just buy a mint clean rex and change all the plastic and paint it?? I mean, damn, it's gonna be sweet but holy overpriced!
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Old 08-02-2006, 11:16 AM   #15
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Ok, well, i was able to swing by the shop today and snap off some pics... it is FINALLY off of the rotisserie and onto my nice stainless roll-around rack ! yAy!

They are finishing up the doors now, then its on to prepping the interior for paint, and then once thats painted, then they will get on the outside of the car.







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Old 08-02-2006, 12:41 PM   #16
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Wow that is a lot of work, and very extensive! Keep us updated!
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Old 08-02-2006, 01:05 PM   #17
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dayum you made me feel like the laziest piece of shyt...keep up the work..that is gonna be one crispy rex when its done.
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Old 08-02-2006, 02:50 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigcalidave
Now, I can see someone motivated enough to do this on their own, but you are paying a body shop to do all this work?? Why not just buy a mint clean rex and change all the plastic and paint it?? I mean, damn, it's gonna be sweet but holy overpriced!
Well for one I have never done bodywork and so welding in new quarter panels is way out of my skill range and money wise would cost me so much more to LEARN how to do it to the skill that its being done. Paint is the same, I don't have forever to learn how to paint or pay/build a place to paint at. I had an auto accident awhile back that has left me with some physical and some other complications to deal with, one of which is a steady hand and balance.

Buying a mint clean rex is still like finding a unicorn. I at the time thought I had a nice clean rex until we got under it at the paint/body place which is where we found the issues. I don't have the money nor time to go looking at every single "claimed to be mint" crx around the USA. Every crx I have came across has rust in the rear quarters/sun roof/ misc other areas. What all of this really came down to was time and money and how much my time was worth. Again I and several others were under the assumption this car was mint (look at the first picture of this thread). We did not know until we got under it which was after the media blast (which is really the only true way to know every inch of a car). Sure you can run a magnet over every single area of the car and some other tricks to find bondo.

I am not a body repair guy. I don't know everything about that aspect. Sure I could have payed an outside company to find me one or looked around for months upon months and just hope what I find wasnt hiding any demons under it all or I could stick with this project. At the moment I was already in the project some money just to find the mistakes, at that time I was asked to find another shell or replace the issues. Replacing the issues is what seemed cheaper and also very very less time consuming. Also the deal I got at the bodyshop for everything out the door isn't anywhere near what someone would pay normally. Finding another crx mint shell probly would have cost the same, MAYBE a few k less.

Overpriced is exactly what someone who doesn't care what kind of car would say. I have been told repeatedly that "oh you could have bought a used NSX" or bought this car and done this or that. One of the main issues here is I love the Crx. I love what it can do and the styling. It is for me and not anyone else. That also explains why some mods I did a lot of people do not agree with. I didn't want to just buy a JDM RHD crx and slap a K-series in it and a paint job and say WOW I did what everyone mostly likes and Im cool. Not to downgrade those who like that BUT to me I wanted this car to be to everything I liked and wanted in a car and not to be like any other crx out there. Some will like and dislike but in the end it is my car and my choice.

Overpriced I do not think as the normal person walking into any shop would certainly pay double what I have and easily drop this project. A lot of the money spent on this project which really is nothing considering the mods and changes I have done. What do you think a fully built K-series is from having no motor, plus the mods. Brand new interior and new seals, not seals that have been around for over 15yrs. It really is not that much spent here. Under 50k for a car and a complete 100% build? Try asking any old muscle car rebuilder how much they spent just to get it back to OEM. I am not offended but I just felt it was needed to explain all of this.
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Old 08-02-2006, 02:56 PM   #19
KING P-WEE 21
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Default Re: My KR-X Restoration Build

wow that is serious
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Old 08-02-2006, 06:02 PM   #20
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Default Re: My KR-X Restoration Build

I don't like EF's but that is a awsome build,and I bet that will be a dope CRX.

p.s. I hate you I want them Mugen wheels so bad.
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