21st May 2006, 16:37

Whoa, too much fun not to comment. Interference engines abound and are as useful as the rubber timing belts that make them go round and round. Did not know this until my experience with the Hell rubber belts cause. I gained my education with a friend’s ’94 Saturn sedan w/dualcam V6. Broken belt and instant silence. To Saturn dealer and got a “no problem” because this was a “clearance head”. Sigh of relief because we were working in a temporary garage, mid-winter in Mid-West. We found every single valve bent. So much for knowledgeable, expert, GM Saturn mechanics.

$2000 later, that’s with 2 of us doing all the work, I was convinced of 2 hard facts.

#1 Saturn’s are crap. This was a 180 degree from my brainwashed belief from looking at their Saturn mockups of engine compartments on their showroom floor.

#2 Firm re-confirmation of belief in steel timing chains. Hardest part was getting parts because guess what? All the Saturn heads were coming in damaged at the same time with no stock in supply.

I had a 1974 Nissan 4 bang I sold at 334,000 miles on original engine (that means original STEEL timing chain). This engine was untouched except for 1 mistaken valve adjust I had a farmer-kid-mechanic do at a Nissan dealership. Result-1 burnt exhaust valve. I pulled head /replaced valve and that vehicle never saw the inside of a dealership from 1977 till being sold in 1996. Sold- because the vehicle completely wore me out, but was still running strong. Today it’s like this. I have no idea why anyone with 2 brain cells to rub together would want to buy any vehicle with a rubber belt. They say their quieter, but I can’t notice much difference. I believe their just CHEAPER, and also give dealerships a great revenue generator $$$$$. I will drive a crapmobile rex as long as it has FIRST has a steel chain. As far as whether you have a clearance engine, you’ll never know till you bust your rubber belt!

19th Jun 2006, 21:38

I need to know if the dimension of the Honda CRX 1986 GAS TANK, is the same as the 1991???

20th Jun 2006, 13:37

I know of a Civic with 135,000 on its timing belt. Yes it is sad to know that my neighbor will probably kill his car, but 50,000 miles seems too extreme.

26th Jul 2006, 08:21

The Honda dealership told me that Honda did not start designing cylinder heads with "interference fit" until about 1990 or 1992. My 1987 Honda Prelude (engine = A20A3) did not have an interference design. So a broken timing belt should not bend valves unless the head was milled down too far causing the valves to hit the piston. This is not likely to happen unless it was milled more than once.

If you search the web for "Honda+interference fit" you should get some hits about which engines were designed with an interference fit.

9th May 2007, 13:37

I had a 86 Honda CRX SI and had the problem with timing belt breakage. I had the mechanic at my local garage find a rebuilt racing head for it. I didn't notice any horsepower gain or loss. I drove that car for another year before rolling it 3 times doing 120mph down a two lane country back road. Funny thing was that it landed on its wheels and after I came to about 15 minutes later, I drove it home. When I turned it off in my driveway, I knew it was done and would not start again.

9th Aug 2007, 00:04

Odd how dealers, mechanics, owners, etc. all have different info. about the specs. The Honda dealer here told me that our 1988 CRX Si has an "interference" engine. But then, the Si has the 1.6 litre engine, whereas maybe the 1.5 engines in the DX, HF etc models might not be interference engines.

Thanks for info about the web site regarding clearance info- it would be nice if there was a comprehensive info site for all of this stuff, for all years of CRX. Info seems to be spread far and wide, and takes a lot of Internet searching to find tidbits of info, not all of which is correct, it seems! Even the several owner club sites I have reviewed are not consistent. I wonder if somebody from the Honda company would be a source of foolproof and comprehensive info??

13th Sep 2007, 14:06

Reading the comments about timing belts in the Honda's I am amazed at how ignorant most of the posters are. WHY don't you just follow the recommendations in the owner's manual. I have a 1987 CRX SI, 224K miles. Wonderful car. Has had a NEW timing belt every 60K which IS what the manual specifies.

So if you don't follow the factory specs and belt breaks you asked for it, you deserve it.


19th Feb 2008, 11:28

Ya CRX cars are good I own 2 of them and am selling one. the one I'm keeping just got a new engine in it. there good cars there small, but good. exept when they blow up.

14th Mar 2008, 11:36

I have a 87 CRX Si... Owned it since it was new. Traded in a 85 Vette for it and that's the best thing I ever did (when it comes to cars) I now have 365,000 miles on it. Replaced the transmission twice, many many timing belts and one fuel pump. NO HEAD GASKET!!! That's tight... same original head gasket! Honda makes the most reliable cars... well at least they did in 1987. with gas as high as it is.. I love my REX!

1st Apr 2008, 15:13

I own an 87 CRX si 313k and going strong. Timing belt I change every 70k. I highly recommend adjusting the valves at about every 60-70k keeps HP high and fuel consumption low. You can do it yourself all you need is a feeler gauge a flat head screwdriver a 10mm box wrench and a set of specs. I do all my own mechanical work and buy the parts exclusively on line. For example I can do all four wheels drums rotors pads and shoes for under $100. Or I just did a clutch job (her third) for about $80. Everything is so small and light I love to work on it. I can carry the 5 speed transmission with one hand.

21st Jun 2008, 01:04

I had a rubber timing belt pulled out of my '94 Accord at 100K, still looked brand new. As long as you buy OEM Honda parts, you should be OK. When you start substituting them with China parts from Advance Auto or Autozone, you're asking for trouble.

As for the interference engines, my guess would be that they were only in the Si models. But they are not at all disadvantageous because they have higher compression, more power and better fuel economy. The Japanese knew what they were doing - designing an economical and affordable vehicle that was bulletproof, so long as scheduled maintenance was performed. Unfortunately, post 2000, Honda seems to have traded reliability in favor of more chintzy luxury features.

22nd Jul 2008, 19:20

Does anyone know what year they started putting the vtec in the CRX?

28th Jul 2008, 00:06

The question on vtec in a crx, first crx with vtec was in the 1989 CRX SiR, only available in Japan, if you want to call a Del Sol a CRX, then the first US model would be the Del Sol in 1993.