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97 honda coupe
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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
So as most of you know, im building my rex. And one of the many problems i encountered (and many others) was that i simply could not run the stock radiator, or the stock 92-00 radiator, since it sits far too high and you end up having to do a "gangsta" lean. Or you have to buy a special made radiator just for the crx (about 300$ last time i priced it). Or get a traction bar that gives you enough space to lower the radiator, however that now puts it at risk of being hit when you bottom out. This also causes another problem, i dont have much space inside the engine compartment. Especially where the downpipe goes, i was having problems melting my radiator fan (a slim fan even) since it was so close to the downpipe.


So i had two choices, buy an expensive 1 off radiator. Or... find another radiator that fits. I searched around and found that the 85 vw sirocco radiator is 12.5 by 24.5 x 1.5 Thats perrrrfect! The stock radiator is 14 x 14 and thats far too tall. However, this new radiator is only 1.5 inches shorter, but its allmost double the size in length and its 1.5 wide, instead of just 1 inch.

(in this pic it looks like its hitting the turbo, its actually just not bolted down so its leaning on the turbo.)


For the mounts, it has just like the stock civic, small little "tits" that protrude from the bottom that you can drill holes into two peices of plate and then tack weld them on to the crossmember to align it where you want it.


It took very little trimming in order to get it to fit All i actually trimmed was about 1 inch worth of sheetmetal that the condenser bolted to on the sides , most of it had holes in it allready.However i did have to cut the lower front radiator support completely off, there is no possible way i would be able to fit this in without removing it. This isnt a big deal to me since i reinforced my front end twice over allready, however if your turbo and you dont have a whole lot of room and want to keep your car stock as possible, this may be something you will have to think about. You could actually fit in there without any trimming if you were all motor but i have the turbo sticking out in the way, so i had to push it as far forward as i possibly could. I bought an ebay traction bar and put two peices of angle on to it and welded it together since i did not trust the cheesy china grade steel they used. Now i can lift the car up by the front traction bar without worries and i know its strong enough to take shock loading from launches.


However, this does come with disadvantages. You have no filler neck now, so you either need to get an inline filler neck for the top radiator hose (no big deal). Or fill the system from the expansion tank (takes forever to fill since its only a 1/4 nipple). Also the nipple coming off of the radiator is straight, and it goes right next to a flat part of the body. Not a big deal, however it is something to consider and remember if your installing it into the car. Also, there is an extra "bung" that is for the water temp sensor that needs to be blocked off. The hose size that comes out of the radiator are 1 1/4 not 1 1/8 like on our civics, so if you have a b-series in your ef/ed this is great news!, however if you have a d-series this is slightly annoying, since this means the hoses are going to be a bitch to put on. Remember, lube lube lube! This can also be remedied with an inline filler neck that necks down from 1 1/4 to 1 1/8, however this only works on the upper hose.
 

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97 honda coupe
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7,611 Posts
Discussion Starter #2 (Edited)
Some pics with the front bumper reinforcement installed.






So in the end overall cost and gain in cooling capacity?

Stock radiator has 196ci of cooling capacity, the new radiator has 367 CI of cooling cap. Allmost double that of the stock one, and its a stock replacment radiator from autozone, no hard to find one off whittled out of a piece of wheat part.

Total cost for build:
radiator 97$ from autozone, lifetime warranty. (saw one for 60$ online but im impatient)
10$ random metal for fabbing up mounts/parts.

About 3 hours worth of work to install it, probibally alot more with a completely assembled civic.
 

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Ferio inspired
90' Civic sedan
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2,441 Posts
man, it's easier than you think putting in a 92-95 radiator.

sits far enough forward it should clear the stock cross member, i didn't take any pics though. i notched the core support and then used a long piece of flat metal to rebrace what i had cut out.





finished work.

 

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1991 Honda CRX
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3,716 Posts
Great DIY OP, I heard about the vw sirocco radiator, but never saw anyone actually install one in a ED chassis. What are the radiator inlet/outlet tubes, same as stock? I love those sirocco's, first they have the same brake rotor for a 11" upgrade on the cheap, now a radiator.
 

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97 honda coupe
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7,611 Posts
Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
Thats actually one of the posts i found during my search and was was basing this project off of, i saw it in his hatch but he has either cut out alot of his front support, or the hatch front end just has alot of open empty space? I dont agree with the way he just capped off the "nipple", there should be an expansion tank.

man, it's easier than you think putting in a 92-95 radiator.

sits far enough forward it should clear the stock cross member, i didn't take any pics though. i notched the core support and then used a long piece of flat metal to rebrace what i had cut out.





finished work.
I actually had the 92-95 radiator in my crx before i did the swap, its cumbersome and as i said before i had fitment issues since my downpipe would hit the slimfan and melt it. Plus this is twice the size of the stock radiator, it cant get much better than that. I really cant emphasize enough how much i like the fitment of this radiator, it really does fit in there like a glove.

If i was all motor i would not hesitate a second to do this since there is just alot more room to work with (not to mention i wouldnt have to cut anything). However i can see why you would put the 92-95 radiator in since it fits fine without a turbo.
 

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Classic Man
Civic
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97 honda coupe
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Discussion Starter #16 (Edited)
good call brother i thought of that right away. shit i even posted in that thread. hah






as for capping off the nipple, thats now you have to do it. the VW system is way different than the honda coolant system

you need to add an inline filler cap, that has a pressure relief, and run that to the overflow.
i was thinking more of a pressurized expansion tank instead of the inline filler neck, my only problem will be that the hose going into the radiator is pretty damn small, i think its 5/16 hose, so it will take a long time to fill up. However, this will be the cleanest and easiest solution, not to mention best overall.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/NEW-MEYLE-171-121-407-F-EXPANSION-COOLANT-WATER-TANK-VOLKSWAGEN-JETTA-/290637545090?pt=Motors_Car_Truck_Parts_Accessories&vxp=mtr&hash=item43ab58fe82

This is a pressurized remote reservoir, it actually fits the sirrocco so its supposed to have a remote expansion tank. (Since there is no inline filler neck on the sirrocos obviously.)
 

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formerly allnaturalrex
1989 honda crx si
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4,639 Posts
nice one this should work good for me i don't plan to ever put ac back on my car. now to find a welding buddy .
 
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