D16A1 engine swap, part 5

After some lengthy setbacks, victory is in sight! Since starting the rebuild, I have read countless of horror stories about people who have had engines that wouldn't start after doing a rebuild. This has been in the back of my mind for awhile and with my car sitting for so long, I was getting increasingly nervous about it.

I decided to get the engine running with the absolute bare minimum parts required. The axles, brakes, knuckles/hubs, front bumper, front fenders, and wheels are still not installed. However, they were not needed to attempt to run the engine on the jackstands.

After checking all of my oil, fuel, and coolant lines, I was ready to try to start it. I turned the key to the start position and gave it a few quick stabs in order to get the oil pressure up a little. On the 3rd attempt, I held the key....

The engine immediately caught and fired right up! WOOOOOOHOOOOO! This was an enormous relief. I immediately shut it off because I noticed that I had no oil pressure. Yikes! Time to do some checking.

Here's a picture of the engine with a lot of stuff still unhooked or half hooked up. The timing light was hooked to the #1 spark plug wire while I was priming the oil pump. I used it to verify that I was getting a spark. Since I had converted the CRX's ignition system from over from the old style vacuum advance to the more modern electronic advance, many wires were added and moved. It was a relief to see it all work.

In the above picture, you can see that the engine is sitting too high in the right front (when viewed from the front). I'll have to add some washers to this mount in order to lower it down. I am not sure if the hood will close unless I do this first.

This a picture of the steel braided oil line that installed. It plugs into the spot originally occupied by the oil pressure idiot light. The line runs to this "tee" to feeds the oil pressure idiot light and the oil pressure sender for the Autometer gauge. My first problem was that I did not ground the tee, so the oil pressure idiot light didn't work. My second problem was that the Autometer gauge did not work. I disconnected it and have temporarily replaced it with this mechanical gauge so that I can check on the oil pressure. After I made these changes, I started the engine up again and watched closely. The idiot light went out immediately and the gauge showed 65 psi of pressure at 2000 rpm.

This is my Moroso oil catch can. The oil separator on the back of the block is routed here (inlet is on the side). The top of the catch can contains a big PCV valve that connects to the intake manifold. This setup was previously used on my old supercharged Civic and it did an excellent job.

Here is a look at my gauges. I used a .060" thick piece of aluminum plate to make the gauge panel. I'll paint it black to match, but right now, the setup is on the floor in the passenger footwell for access to the oil pressure gauge (which doesn't work...arggh).

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