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ClassicHondaGuy New Reader
8/2/16 12:35 p.m.

Hey Keith, just found this thread. The car looks fantastic! Those Turbo wheels... Drool.

srnfoto New Reader
8/2/16 8:27 p.m.

I've wanted one of those for so long. I love it.

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
1/19/17 2:20 p.m.

Update time! I've got a new battery in the critter and it's pretty happy. Just drivin' around, doing Honda things. We're at 34.2 mpg lifetime average so far

Not sure if I mentioned this, but I had some scuffing with those new wheels and tires. In the rears, a light roll did the trick. I picked up a set of camber plates so I could 1. get a little more front camber and 2. give myself the 2 mm of space I needed. No pictures at the moment, but it worked. I had to modify it so that it didn't put the top of the shock shaft into the hood - they were designed to maximize travel. I'm not lowered, so that's not as critical to me. No pics at the moment, I've got some at home.

But then this happened yesterday. Back in the 80's, I worked at a sports store. Selling and servicing skis, snowboards, bikes, etc. I was also The Thule Guy. I could put a rack on almost anything.

Which is why this makes me so ridiculously happy. I've been dragging around a set of Thule cross bars with a Short Roofline Adapter for years - they came off a Civic named "Jelly" that was sold in 1999. But you never know, right? I've also got a box of accessories such as windsurfer adapters and old school ski racks. Somewhere there are some bike racks too.

I figured it should be possible to use all this to put a rack on the CRX, but I couldn't dig up the information needed for a long time. It seemed that Thule had never done this application...but it turns out they had. I finally dug up a copy of the installation sheet for Fit Kit 009. It's usually listed for Buick Centuries and Fieros, but on page 2 it lists "Honda Civic CRX/Ballade CRX 84-".

Kit 009 has been out of production for a couple of decades now, but I managed to find a dusty unopened box that has probably been the bane of some inventory manager for his entire career. $20 later, it landed on my doorstop.

Thus armed, I dug out the old Thule parts. They're just as much as a pain to work with as ever - no plastic, it's all vinyl-coated rubber and relies on some odd jamming/clamping to lock certain parts down - but I was able to get it all mounted. I'll probably shorten the cross bars, they're a bit excessive.

Woo! Racks! Time to load up the mountain bike and get all sporty.

I have another cool thing to install, but I need to make a few brackets first.

ClassicHondaGuy New Reader
4/5/17 9:40 a.m.

That roof rack is awesome!! Such a cool period piece. Pretty ballsy to admit you're a Thule... (Sorry, couldn't resist).

Petrolburner Dork
4/7/17 9:23 a.m.

What a goofy old rack design. I think they've improved a bit in the past decade or two.

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
4/7/17 9:52 a.m.

It's goofy because the car is goofy. There's almost nothing to attach a rack to, so you need that Short Roofline Adapter.

Find me an alternative that fits a 1985 CRX

docwyte Dork
4/7/17 2:26 p.m.

I had one of those adapters on my old Mitsu Cordia Turbo. Got rid of it with the car. That car was a serious POS!

I have a box full of old Thule parts in my garage, mostly German car adapter kits and some aero feet kits, rain gutter stuff etc...

sethmeister4 SuperDork
9/26/17 7:35 p.m.

Anything new with this lately, Keith?  Do you still have it?

Petrolburner Dork
9/28/17 5:15 p.m.
Keith Tanner said:

It's goofy because the car is goofy. There's almost nothing to attach a rack to, so you need that Short Roofline Adapter.

Find me an alternative that fits a 1985 CRX

Yeah I briefly looked at putting a roof rack on my new to me 1G Insight.  Basically you cut the roof and install tracks nowadays.  

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
9/28/17 5:44 p.m.
sethmeister4 said:

Anything new with this lately, Keith?  Do you still have it?

Yup. I have a set of rear window louvers that I need to fabricate brackets for, but otherwise I'm just driving it. I have to admit, I'll often choose it for my commute over the turbo Miata. We're getting along really well.

Needs wax pretty badly, though.

Nitroracer UltraDork
5/5/18 9:43 p.m.

Bump!  Any news on the old CRX?  I saw one up on BAT recently and it reminded me of this great thread you've been running.

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
5/6/18 3:40 p.m.

I was surprised by the result of that auction. I did not expect a $12k selling price, especially on a base model ‘87. 


Currently, it is trapped in my new shop by chaos. I’ve moved and the CRX is both in the way and unable to move. I’m just about ready to get it out again, which I’m looking forward to. 

I still haven’t built the brackets for the louvers- that should be soon. And I’m going to turn one of my coworkers on the AC because, well, it’s hot outside. But otherwise, it’s just keeping on being a fun little commuter without using any real fuel to speak of. 

I’ll get some good pictures of it and use it for a blatantly transparent reason for an update soon laugh

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
10/31/18 11:06 a.m.


The car sat all summer. This was mostly because I've been working on the house and I've been driving the NDs. Because I'm building a new kitchen at the house, the garage is taken up with boxes and two of the cars got kicked outside. So the poor CRX was out in the sun and the heat for six months.

The other day, when walking past, I noticed that the passenger fender wasn't sitting right. Uhoh. You may or may not know that this generation CRX has plastic front fenders, and they're prone to cracking and eventually having chunks fall off. Replacements are not readily available, there's basically only one source for fiberglass and that would involve paint. My car is actually on a second set of fenders, the ones on the car were originally red and they don't carry an excellent paint job. Someday, I'll get some fiberglass ones and redo the front end of the car, paint and all. But not today.

Here's the end game - not my car, but it's what I saw in my head.

There were no cracks visible on the outside, but popping the hood showed that most of the mounting points were damaged along with one at the rocker. I decided to try some DIY work, starting with carefully, carefully removing the fender. I marked out the worst spots with chalk.


The fenders are made of ABS plastic, so I proceeded to make some ABS goo. I took a chunk of pipe and used a rotary rasp on a drill to convert it to powder. Once I had a decent amount, I splashed in a bit of acetone and mixed it together. Voila, spreadable ABS. This is the leftovers, I didn't take a picture of the fresh pot.

This section had broken into four pieces. Luckily I had all of the chunks so I glued it together to keep them in place. I laid down some goo, then pressed in some fibreglass tape intended for fixing drywall, then slathered more goo over top. The goo dries relatively quickly so this went well. I did have the goo a little thin at this point as you can see from the drips.

For sections where I did not have the missing pieces, I recreated them out of 3/16" ABS sheet. $3 at my local plastics shop for a 2.5'x2.5' off cut.

Here's a reconstructed mounting point or two. I found the easiest way to deal with the mesh was to let the goo dry, then cut off the extra with a razor blade.

Most of these repairs are on the bottom side of the flange so they're invisible. I did add a layer of goo in a couple of spots along the upper edge that is visible with the hood open, but nothing from outside the car. There's still one mounting point halfway up the door that's broken, but it looks like accessing it requires prying out a little red trim strip and I'm not eager to try it. I'll keep an eye on the parts and if it starts to crack again, I'll consider getting more aggressive with repairs.

The next day, I bolted the fender back on the car - still carefully - and it fits well. Success! The CRX got a fresh tank of gas and made a happy drive to work today. I've missed the little booger. Outside pics to come.

jharry3 GRM+ Memberand Reader
10/31/18 11:20 a.m.

Damn, I miss my '86 CRX Si.  If only it had 150 hp...    smiley

Billy_Bottle_Caps Dork
10/31/18 11:41 a.m.


Thanks for posting that repair. That is very creative 

tedroach Reader
10/31/18 11:46 a.m.

After the ABS goo cured, how strong was it? Looks like a good repair just in time. I was waiting for an update to this thread.

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
10/31/18 11:56 a.m.

I can't take credit for the repair, the ABS goo recipe was posted to redpepperracing.com a few years back.

I didn't try stress testing it too hard, although I may have accidentally put more load on one of the new brackets than I originally intended while installing the fender surprise No problem. It certainly felt solid enough. I don't expect it to be invulnerable, but if it holds the fender together for another few years I'll call that good. The problems all seem to start at the mounting points, which are luckily fairly easy to monitor.


tedroach Reader
10/31/18 12:11 p.m.

Maybe use a small metal plate at the mounting holes to spread the load? That way the bolt is tightened on the metal instead of just the plastic mounting with a small washer. Either way, you are dealing with plastic that has gotten brittle with age. Hope it holds up!

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
10/31/18 12:14 p.m.

The bolts actually have a larger diameter shoulder on them and a rubber washer. This limits the clamping force on the plastic itself as the shoulder bottoms out and the rubber allows for a little bit of vertical movement. The hole in the fender is oversize as well.

10/31/18 12:48 p.m.

Any more details on that ABS goo? I need to do that for my AW11 MR2- it's interior and most of it's plastic bolt holes are shot.

This whole thread is awesome BTW. I probably would have gone for a CRX if the AW11 wasn't more available around in the Midwest- for some reason- and seeing you daily this one makes me hopeful I can do the same with mine again. Who needs A/C when you GOT DEM T-TOPS BOIIIIIIII

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
10/31/18 1:17 p.m.

It's really that simple - use (something) to chew up some ABS, then melt it with acetone until it's about as thick as honey. It's workable for about 15 minutes, and total drying time depends on how thick you slather it on. I used a $4 rotary rasp mounted up in a drill to eat into a chunk of black ABS pipe, holding a yogurt container underneath/behind to catch the powder. I had maybe 1-2 cubic inches of the stuff. The mesh is the normal drywall repair tape, which is a bit sticky on one side so it's easy to work. I probably could have used actual fibreglass cloth, but it's more of a PITA. I think the mesh mostly just gives the ABS something to hang on instead of directly providing strength.

As promised, sunshine pic!

Also, I have added stickers. Old-timers might appreciate the lower one. Don't mind the spots from a bit of 303 overspray, I'll be addressing the paint in the next couple of days.


MrJoshua UltimaDork
10/31/18 9:28 p.m.

The recipe I heard involve MEK and buyin ABS pellets from the 3d printing shops. I bought the supplies for my CitiCar projects and never got to the repair the body phase so I don't know how well it works.

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
10/31/18 10:06 p.m.

Same recipe, really. Get ABS in some sort of meltable form (buy pellets or make your own) and some sort of killer solvent that will melt it and then go away.

Woody GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
11/1/18 11:15 a.m.

Nice job!

Ottawa GRM+ Memberand New Reader
11/2/18 5:38 p.m.

Damn those Ronal R10's look great on the CRX!

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