This text covers the basics of the swap however it is not intended to be a complete step-by-step guide. I make no claims as to the completeness or accuracy of the data above for any cars other than my own. PROCEED AT YOUR OWN RISK.
Integra parts needed from 86-89 Acura Integra:
Caliper support plate (salvage)
Calipers (new or salvage)
Wheel Spindle studs (salvage)
Brake Disks (buy new or have turned if the donors aren't shot)
Brake Lines (best to buy new)
Integra sway bar (torsion bar)*
Integra brake proportioning valve
Recommended New Parts:
Caliper re-build kit, includes seals and dust covers
Wheel bearings (if yours are giving any sign of trouble now is the time to do it)
CRX / Integra Wheel hubs (if you don’t mind missing the screws to hold the brake disk on)
Parts that won’t fit:
Any wheel smaller than 14, possibly 15 inches on Integra disks
Integra rear shocks on CRX
Integra rear springs on CRX (unless you cut three coils – Very harsh ride!)
Integra rear trailing arms
CRX rear drum brake lines on Integra disk brakes
Now, we will assume that you have all your Integra goodies, you have broken them down, cleaned them up, used the rebuild kits, and bought all the new parts. Time to begin the swap.
1. Break all 8 rear wheel lug nuts loose and brake the spindle nuts loose if you can get to them, if not, wait until step 3. Now, jack the rear of the car up in the air as high as safely possible. Use GOOD jack stands or large wood blocks to support the axle tube.
**During the next couple of steps, you are likely to generate brake dust. This dust may contain asbestos. Avoid breathing it!!**
2. Remove the lug nuts and rear wheels and set them aside. If the brake drums are loose at this point, slide them off as well. If not go on to step three.
3. Pop the spindle nut cover off at the center of the wheel and use a 32mm socket to remove the spindle nut (this may need considerable force, so use a ½ inch ratchet if you have it) This is also where the GOOD jack stands come into play…If the car is wobbly, take the two seconds now to lower it and remove the spindle nuts!
4. The hub and brake drum should slide off now. Pull with a smooth, even pressure, it should slide right off. If the brake drum and wheel hub still haven’t separated, drop the assembly on to a piece of plywood or other relatively soft surface with the hub lugs pointed down. This should loosen the brake drum and not damage the wheel studs.
5. There are four nuts arranged around the spindle in a rectangular fashion, remove those and cut the brake line and parking brake cable. The brake shoes and support plate should all come off as a unit (gentle persuasion may be necessary). If you don't have any use for the drum brakes, chuck them and the shoes in the trash.
** If you wish to replace the sway bar, now is the time to get it out, too. I was told that the integra sway bar is thicker/stronger than the CRX bar. However, upon pulling both out, they are the same size in every measurable dimension. However, I admit that I can't directly measure the actual torsion bar inside the tube. If you are taking yours out, take the two nuts off the small connecting link, then remove the two bolts that hold the bar to the axle tube. Go to the drivers side and pop out the axle tube cap and use a long rod to hammer it out.
6. The disk brake caliper support plate is thicker than the drum brake plate…the integra spindle studs are slightly longer than the CRX studs. Punch the old studs out and install the integra studs. Getting the old studs out of the drivers side is dead easy, just hit them with a hammer. The passenger side is a bit more trouble as the studs won't clear the inner flange. You have a couple of options here. Attack the axle and lower it or attack the four bolts that hold the spindle to the axle. I went for the axle since I was changing shocks anyway. Remove the two bolts that locate the front of the trailing arms, and either remove the bolts from the bottom of the shocks (had to cut mine out because of rust) or if you aren't replacing the shocks, remove the nuts from inside the car to let the top of the shock loose. Once the axle is down, you can pivot the trailing arm so that two of the studs are on the short side of the spindle and they can be driven out. Then pivot the other way and drive out the other two.
7. Reinstall the longer Integra studs the same way, put the axle back in the car. Then bolt on the disk brake caliper support plate (forgot which one goes where? They are labeled “R” and “L”)
8. Install the wheel hubs (either use the Integra hubs, or grab the studs from them and swap to the crx hubs) Install the spindle nut and torque to spec. Don't forget to put a small dimple in it to lock it on the spindle…nothing worse than loosing a wheel!
9. Put the brake disk on the hub and lower the caliper with new pads onto the disk. Attach the caliper to the caliper plate with two bolts.
10. Attach your new flexible brake line to the CRX line on the body and to the integra caliper. If you have the Integra proportioning valve, install it now as well.
11. Bleed the brakes thoroughly
12. Install your wheels and check all clearances.
First, strip the CRX axle of all things that resemble the old drum brakes...you can even cut the old drum brake lines (2) as you won't be needing them. I also cut the parking brake line (4) (auto tranny so I'm not using them) and the brake bracket (1) needs to be cut off also, it's in the way of the new caliper. Your best bet seems to be to drop the axle completely because you will have to pound out the spindle studs (3) and replace them with the longer integra studs. You were going to replace the shocks anyway weren't you. I also decided to use the thicker integra springs...so far, I have cut three coils out to get the ride height shown on the front page. Man, they are stiff!!
Anyway, once the CRX studs (3) are out, pound in the integra studs and get everything mounted back. From there, mount the caliper plate and nuts, slide on the hub (either the CRX or integra hub will do, except with the CRX, you again have shorter studs and there is no place for the small brake disk retaining screw) I wound up using the CRX hubs (nearly new wheel bearings) and integra studs. Get the hub and brake disk bolted on, then bolt on the integra caliper. You will need brake lines to fit an 86-89 integra, they bolt up right where the old flexible lines unbolt (just to the left of the "1" button in the photo) and also have the "banjo" fitting for the caliper. From there it's just a point of bolting on new, larger wheels and bleeding the system. I also grabbed the proportioning valve from the integra and replaced it prior to the brake bleed. Tips: Gallons of WD-40 for all the rusted bolts, use all integra studs (they are longer) and a fresh bottle of propane for the really tough bolts...wound up heating the brake lines and proportioning valve, too.
Only a few problems with the swap, the most notable was that I "knew" my stock 13" steel wheels wouldn't fit over the new calipers...it just didn't dawn on me 'till I went to mount them back up. So...I started the quest for a set of alloy wheels. I didn't want anything flashy so new wheels were out...would like to have at least 15" wheels, so that cut out a lot of salvage yard finds. Didn't want anything too butt ugly, so that further restricted the field. I finally wound up stumbling across a set of wheels off a '91 Geo Storm. They are 15 x 6 with a +40 offset, so they fit really nice. I think the styling looks contemporary without being gaudy. They also hint at performance without being too flashy. As for the tire, here is where we do need some performance...I mounted a set of Pirelli P7000 195-50ZR 15's. OK, so the "Z" speed rating may be a bit optimistic, but these tires corner exceptionally well. So well in fact that I have already lured a vehicle behind me into a spinout! I had some fool in an SUV that decided he wanted to tailgate me even though I was about 8 MPH over the posted limit...we were essentially on a "entrance ramp" for a second road. The road we were on makes two gentle bends followed by a third nearly right hand turn to merge onto the second road. I gently increased my speed through the first two turns with the SUV only inches behind my bumper. Just before the third turn I started to accelerate even faster...shot through it at about 50 MPH and looked in the rear view just in time to see the SUV skid sideways, fishtail and jump over the concrete center curb Hee Hee!
Waiting 'till swap time to put on the front spindles.