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Petrolburner Reader
2/11/15 1:18 p.m.

Awesome. I had an 84 CRX 1.5 (that was the big motor compared to the 1.3 that was also available) it was carbureted and unstoppable in the snow with Green Diamond snow tires.

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
4/12/15 10:06 p.m.

When I picked up the car, I asked the seller if the sunroof worked. He said "well, not really. Don't open it". I tried it and it did work...up to a point. At about halfway, the motor would start to skip and it sometimes needed a push to get it closed. It was a bit asymmetric, too. I figured it was finally time to do something about it.

So I pulled out the sunroof mechanism. This is not a trivial matter. Pretty much the entire interior has to come out, and it's all 30 year old plastic. Quite a challenge to do without breaking things, and I can't say that all the little tabs survived. Everything from the rear view mirror to the plastic around the latch for the hatch had to come out.

With the mechanism out, it was time to start investigating. This is another spot where the cars can rust, and my sunroof tray looks brand new.

The roof is what I've discovered is standard Honda, a pair of flexible cables that are pushed/pulled around by an electric motor. There's a little mechanism at one end that pops the roof up before anything else happens. The most obvious thing is that the cables could use some new grease.

This is where the motor drives the cables - there's a gear that sits between these two and moves the cables in opposing directions. Pretty clever overall. I discovered that the cable at one point was worn down so that the gear no longer meshed and it would stop moving that side. Naturally, these cables have not been available for a long time. Sadness ensues.

Luckily, I was able to come across some used parts. I took my new-to-me cables and partially assembled the mechanism so I could test. Much better - until one of the little arms for the lifter unit caught on another section. 30 year old plastic snapped and a part went ricocheting across the garage. These lifters are part of the cables. Of course, it was the side that had been worn on the originals so I had just wrecked the part I needed for my initial repair. Much sadness ensued.

I built a little reinforcement bracket out of steel and JB Welded the whole thing together. I think it'll work. I'm not the first person to have this part break, nor to use this particular fix. I'll let the epoxy cure for 24 hours before I reassemble (more fully this time) and do a number of test runs with the battery.

This is one of the sliders that attaches to the front of the sunroof and runs back and forth. It's aluminum in an aluminum channel, and is obviously wearing with age. With copious amounts of fresh moly grease, I'm hoping it's good for another quarter century or so.

Of course, I had to stop in the middle of the job to find new cables and get them here. Let's hope I can remember how the interior came apart...

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
4/15/15 4:37 p.m.

Success! The car is back on the streets with a fully functioning sunroof and no squeaks in the interior. That's the thing about simple cars, you get all excited about something as basic as a sunroof that opens on demand, and you don't get stressed out because your phone won't sync with the bluetooth so you can't listen to your personalized streaming radio over LTE...

Vigo PowerDork
4/15/15 7:43 p.m.

Well, im glad mine doesnt have a sunroof now.

My favorite sunroof out of the ones i've owned was operated by a hand crank.

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
4/15/15 9:29 p.m.

I like the sunroof, personally. Sunshine on demand! This problem would have happened with a hand crank roof too.

Vigo PowerDork
4/16/15 7:43 a.m.

The good thing about hand-operated anything is when it starts to feel like crap you have the opportunity to stop before making the problem worse and parts go flying off.

Although, somehow you found replacement parts anyway. I'm surprised about that. Who has 30 year old honda sunroof cables?

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
4/16/15 10:44 a.m.

30 year old Hondas in junkyards have them.

BanzaiBeast New Reader
5/11/15 1:00 p.m.

Hey Keith, Sweet car...my 85 1/5 was red. The car would break the laws of physics on an autocross course. The Yokohama A001R tires would stand the thing on it's nose using the tiny little brakes. The rubber was $50/corner.
Keep us up on the progress, Greg

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
7/9/16 4:08 p.m.

So, there hasn't been an update for some time on this car.

The fix on the lifter for the sunroof failed, and the sunroof wouldn't go down. So the car got parked for the winter for obvious reasons. Then, in the spring, I figured out how to get it closed. Sheesh. I picked up another sunroof and cables at the Mitty so it'll be teardown time again.

Drove it to work and it got hot. Investigation showed an inoperative cooling fan. The fan tested out fine, but the thermoswitch on the rad was bad. I wired the fan to come on with the ignition for a temporary fix while waiting for the new switch.

And it still overheated. When the radiator cap opened, there was some fluid leaking around the joint...or so I thought. I pulled the rad to have a closer look and discovered this. Oops. It was right underneath the cap which is why I misidentified it.

New radiator showed up and went back in today along with the new switch. Success! A pressure test shows a sealed system and when the car idles long enough, the fan comes on. So now we're good to drive again.

And what will we be driving on? Only the best CRX wheels ever. Ronal Turbos, baby. I'll get better pictures later, but here's a sneak peek. Interestingly, taking off the light stock 13s and putting these beefy boys on improved the ride. I'm going to chalk that up to better tires.

wheelsmithy GRM+ Memberand Dork
7/9/16 7:09 p.m.


Vigo PowerDork
7/10/16 12:53 a.m.

That picture looks good enough that it deserves another attempt after you wash the car. Just don't, uhh, scrub too hard on any of the plastic bits. #1gcrxproblems

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
7/10/16 4:18 p.m.

I'll try to wash it and get sexy pics later this week. I've been promised a set of rear window louvers from a friend in Michigan, we just have to figure out how to get them here. Janel will probably never ride in the car again. And yes, I treat the plastic stuff with great respect.

Here are the old and new radiators. The old one was literally falling apart, the upper brackets had come off the end tanks and the side brackets were also coming unmoored. The new one was obviously intended for a variety of uses - note the alternate drain plug, automatic trans fittings and some mounting points for a second fan. It fit pretty well, other than one fan mounting point being in the wrong place. Well, it did once I returned to square instead of being a rhombus. The box wasn't damaged, but the whole thing was a little skewed.

Then we work on fixing the AC. It's got a partial 134 conversion but apparently won't hold a charge. I'll probably get all the rubber hoses remade and see what happens.

ssswitch HalfDork
7/15/16 6:06 p.m.

Ronal Turbos look great on any car but they especially look great here.

I've fallen in love with little Hondas for most of the same reason you have with this one. The $700 '92 hatch I bought earlier this year to serve as a runabout has turned into a driver in search of a project for hardly any money.

crankwalk GRM+ Memberand Dork
7/15/16 6:29 p.m.

I'm not sure I've ever seen Ronal's on a CRX. They look fantastic! I went from 13in basketweaves to a 14x7 Ronals on my 2002 and they looked friggin huge. They still fit that car very well.

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
7/15/16 7:20 p.m.

It's pretty hard to find pics of this combination. I can't say I came up with it, the wheels came from a local CRX owner whose car has graduated to ratty lawn ornament. But man, the more time I spend with it the better I like it.

jimbob_racing Dork
7/15/16 7:31 p.m.

I had an 85 Si in that exact color. It was a terrific car and I'd love to find a rust free survivor to add to my garage.

beans Dork
7/16/16 10:58 a.m.

Those are awesome! Are they a true veined wheel?

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
7/16/16 2:19 p.m.

There are no vanes on the backside, IIRC. I'll shoot a picture of the back next time I have one off.

JamesMcD Dork
7/16/16 8:49 p.m.

Keith, Webasto makes other sunroof mechanisms with those spiraled drive cables. I dunno if they made the CRX assembly, but perhaps there's some dimensional standard for those cables, and perhaps, if you contacted Webasto directly, they would sell you some number of feet of that stuff...

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
7/17/16 8:22 a.m.

The cable has the two lifter mechanisms permanently attached - the ends were put on the cable after the lifter was installed. And they are the most serious cable ends I've ever seen. Not crimped, not soft metal, but steel. I've tried removing one on a test part and I don't see how it can be done non-destructively.

At the moment, the car has good cables but a broken lifter. I have the parts I need to install them, but most of the car above the belt line needs to be removed to access the parts.

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
8/2/16 12:08 p.m.

Pictures with cleaner car. But not super sexy pictures. I really need to wax the poor thing.

It looks like I may have lost the battery. Sigh.

ssswitch HalfDork
8/2/16 12:12 p.m.

Time for an AGM lawnmower battery, cut some of that not-weight.

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
8/2/16 12:17 p.m.

I do have a spare PC860 sitting on the bench. But today is not the day to try to work out the bracketry. I'm just going to stuff the battery full of electrons and drive it home for now.

Slippery GRM+ Memberand Dork
8/2/16 12:20 p.m.

The car looks great, I love the wheels but in some of the pictures they look huge for the car.

Never knew Opel GTs were available as a convertible.

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
8/2/16 12:25 p.m.

They are when a tree falls on them and you have a sawzall.

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