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J. Davis to the Rescue


I finally have the muffler worked out and after giving consideration to some type of vehicle speed sensor, I have decided to see if any parts are salvageable off of an 88-up CRX.  I hit the salvage yard and quickly located a candidate car.  I popped out the instrument cluster and was able to locate the speed sensor.  All the shop manuals are pretty vague on the wiring for this part, but I need to make SOMETHING work.

Upon close examination, I find that the 88-up is using a magnet triggered reed switch right on the end of the speedo gear cluster.  I decided to go ahead and swipe the whole gear drive / odometer set-up.  I would have liked to grab the whole cluster, but I was hoping that if I could get through the door with a few little pieces, the price would be less...or better yet, they say, "Oh, just take it"  Which they did!

Back home, I disassembled my 87 CRX gauge cluster and was met with a sight that could almost make a grown man '87 CRX odometer cluster was identical in size and shape to the 88-up cluster.  It appears this is one part that made it through the generation gap unchanged!  A quick comparison revealed that even the bolt holes line up.  The only minor mod needed was to swap the 87 "trip reset" lever over to the 88 gear cluster.  Then it's just a matter of bolting the 88 mechanicals into the 87 cluster!

87 cluster is on the left, 88-up is on the right.  Only the trip reset lever needed to be swapped.

While I was inside the cluster, I couldn't resist having a little fun with the odometer.  I was always curious what it would be like to drive an 87 CRX right off the showroom floor!  Also let this be a lesson to prospective used car buyers...Going from 150,000 miles down to 0.7 miles takes about one minute of time a a simple hand tool.  Now, this mileage has been rolled back so far that it is comical and if I ever do decide to sell the car, I'll tell the buyer right up front.  But it sure doesn't take much to roll a high mileage late model back 30, 40, 50...80,000 miles and sell it as a cream-puff.  Be careful out there!!

Along with getting the speed sensor operating, it was becoming painfully obvious that the transmission wasn't shifting right.  I gave it a couple more quick tests with the volt meter and find out once again that the "A" solenoid is flaky.  I pull the pack back off the tranny and crack it open.  This time it looks like some water from the radiator overflow has seeped inside my homemade cap and corroded the solenoid!  This thing is toast!  I gave a call to all the salvage yards within 100 miles...NO LUCK!!  There is still the Acura dealer, but, dang, nearly $300 bucks!

I related my troubles on the Hybridgarage Forum and 'ol J. Davis, who I've only known through e-mail, but has been quite helpful through the entire build-up says, "Hey, I've got a couple laying in the scrap, I'll send 'em to ya for free"  A little while later, they are setting on my door step!  I can't let his good deed go without sending some cash back, but he came through for me big time!!  Thanks again J.!!


Back at the car, I bolt on the replacement solenoids, fire up the engine and give a quick look for leaks.  All is good!  Back out of the driveway and take a quick spin around the block.  Woohoo!  Shifts like a new car!  I have come to realize that building car project is like going to're either up or down.  The happiness I feel over FINALLY getting it all together just about evens out the times when I got set back trying to finish.