1988 CRX Si

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Sadly my unmodified car won't pass inspection until it gets $2500 worth of body work done to its rocker panels; nevertheless,the car runs great!
I feel it's worth more than the $50 the guy at the body shop is offering me to unload it.
What would you do?
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On Mon, 07 Apr 2008 14:50:11 -0400, Dave Skipper

If you did $2500 worth of work to the car would the car be worth more than $2550? If yes do the work, but I don't think so. With a dealer retail of less than $1000 it does not pay to do the work.
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wrote:

the true value is what it would cost to obtain another "great running" car in similar condition,but that would pass inspection.
Why can't you pop-rivet on some new rocker panels yourself? cut away as much of the rusty metal as possible,sand and paint what's left,then rivet the new panels to the remaining sheet metal. Then paint them to match. Get underneath and spray on some undercoating.
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Jim Yanik
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If you spend the $2500, it'll either be worth $1,000 or be priceless (to you)...... And pop-riveting on new sheetmetal?? I'm assuming the rockers are structural, so that doesn't sound like a real good solution.
OTOH, there aren't any more CRX's being made, and they are cool little cars. You haven't said anything about the rest of the car's condition. If you spend the $2500 and it's not in great shape, it could be worth it to a ricer.
Dan D '07 Ody EX Central NJ USA
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I think any solution here is going to be an annoyance, so you have to be motivated.
Honda-tech.com has a fair amount of discussion of folks trying to fix these panels with riveting, various putties and epoxies, and welding. See for example: http://www.honda-tech.com/zerothread?id 1836&page=1 . OTOH, the rocker panel areas may be structurally unsound (may fail when a jack is placed underneath). Hence, as you probably know, the inspection failure. I am not so sure a cheap fix would let me sleep at night, besides.
To get more money for it, I think your best option would be Ebay. I see a lot of CRX's going for parts there, typically for a few hundred dollars. Certainly shop around there for some idea of what you might be able to make on the car.
You could also considering purchasing a "shell" for yourself (body only; no engine) and swapping your CRX's engine into it. Shells seem to go for under a thousand dollars.
Of course, finding a buyer or seller near you is always tricky. Still, the turnover seems high at Ebay.
Check your yellow pages for auto wreckers, then call and see if they have a lot of imports. See how much they would give you for your car. Or: I often run into a few CRXs (tops) at any large wrecker yard. Chances of finding a complete shell are slim-to-none. But you might be able to coordinate with the body shop to cut out parts of an old shell and use them on your CRX. Again, see honda-tech.com for examples.
For the record, how many miles are on your CRX?
Updates welcome! As others say, these are popular little cars.

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good points.I was thinking of some states that fail cars if they have rust holes in the bodywork. Even patching them with metal tape gets them past the inspection.
I know Florida and the southern states still have a lot of CRX's running around. We don't get much rust here,unless you live near the seashore. Here,the paint,plastic and cloth goes first.
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I read you about how little fixes to improve appearance are possible. Yet right now, for example, I do have concerns about the jacking points on my own 1991 Civic. It was driven in the Northern U.S. for about half its life, and the jack points are corroded/ing. I have to start getting used to jacking at the control arms or front and rear points.

I am annoyed that my Civic's sills (the equivalent to rocker panels?) cannot really be replaced properly except by welding. Tegger talked to me about it, along with some posts at Honda-tech.com . So I contemplate (dream, really) of buying a shell and switching engines or similar. (Plus I have this wild idea that I must switch at least one engine out before I die or get too old to be able to handle it physically, or my life will be incomplete. :-)) ) I think if I happen upon something at a wrecker yard or in the local used car ads, I might go for it. 'Cause I like knowing my Honda's engine, suspension, brakes, and electrical system so well. It seems a pretty easy car to keep running. Knock on wood one day the engine (rings first?) will fail.
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wrote

My very first car was built from two Triumph Heralds(4 seat 2dr sedan),one whose motor had broken a rod and went thru the block.I had to swap the motor with Dad's help and guidance,and then the driver's door,convertible top and trunk lid. 1200cc's and slower than a VW,but a fun car that I drove all the way out to Denver(from Buffalo).It really didn't have enough power for the mountains and high altitude of Denver.USAF auto hobby shops were a valued asset! I've also pulled motors on a Cadillac and an English Ford Anglia.
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Jim Yanik
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Ha, a USAF auto hobby shop is what I need. :-)
I shall continue to consider swapping engines/bodies.
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Elle wrote:

Buy a high mileage Texas car, drive it to your location and use your's as a parts car...
JT
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Grumpy AuContraire wrote:

or california - couldn't agree more! you have to go a /loooong/ way to find anything that handles as well as a crx, even for a /lot/ more money. i think it's worth a little effort.
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jim beam wrote:

The only drawback with Texas cars are usually the interior is shot including the dash. OTOH, the dash in most rust belt cars is the only component that may be still perfect!
I'll never deal with a rust belt car again... Never!
JT
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I have indeed noted a number of Civics for sale in Texas in the recent past, and it is indeed in the realm of possibility for a purchase. Perhaps my next major tool purchase will be an engine crane. Looks like Ebay has new ones, but shipping/handling is more expensive than the basic price for most.
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wrote

perhaps RENT one? A crane isn't something you would use very often....unless you're planning on doing a lot of motor swaps.;-)
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Good suggestion, though I do technical/engineering work with what I think is inordinate preparation and care, plus knowing me, I'd probably want to repeat the procedure a few times to master it (more or less). None of that "See it, do it, teach it" bullshit from medicine for me and my beloved Honda. ;-) So the rental fees might add up to the cost of purchasing one. I will look for well cared for used ones, perhaps. I should probably find myself a shell first.
No doubt I will have a long report on this if and when it happens. So far it remains only a dream. Fact is reports here show I have been contemplating replacing (one way or another) my 91 Civic for something like five years or more. Love the engine; annoyed with the body etc. rust. :-)
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snipped-for-privacy@spamnocox.net says...

Well, speaking of available CRXes in Texas, there's this one, but you probably wouldn't want to use it for a parts car:
http://www.chemikdesigns.com/crx /
;-)
My own 1990 CRX Si is, I fear, bound for retirement - as of last week, it has been supplanted by an electron blue pearl 2000 Civic Si with only 53K miles. Not sure if I can bring myself to sell the CRX after 15 years, but at this point it's almost a project car that was masquerading as a daily driver, and I don't really have the time or space for such a project.
Dave
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wrote

Ha, ya right. :-) Around half the CRX's on Ebay at any given time are highly modified--different engine, muffler, whatever. I wish the used car sites would break down cars by "riced" vs. "OEM (or maybe Autozone) parts only." My upper limit for a parts car is $1500, as well. My interest is fuel economy, not racing like a 17-year-old teenage boy. :-)

Happy "new" Civic!
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Elle wrote:

Watch Craig's list for cars in the Austin/San Antonio metro area. Avoid vehicles from Houston. Other cities could include DFW and maybe El Paso.
You probably could by a drivable shell to take back to you current location for a swap out. Might even be able to do it piecemeal so that nothing is tied up for too long.
JT
(Who will never own a new car)
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also watch out for flood-damaged cars!
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Jim Yanik wrote:

Especially from New Orleans!
OTOH, I've seen (flash) fresh water flood cars revived after sitting for ten years... As long as they weren't totally submerged.
JT
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