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Behind the build: Aaron Weir’s CRX

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Aaron Weir has made one of the most insane cars we have ever posted.  I mean, it’s a Rear Wheel Drive Honda, made in the garage…

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When you think of the CRX you think of Honda’s hay-day in the market, a 1.6 liter fuel injected rocket on rails.  By far not a drag car but what a fun car to drive and own.  The lift hatch, the interior, the sounds, these were fun cars to own and became a cult favorite to many.  Aaron remembers the 1st sighting of the crx for him:

CRX Merge 1

I fell in love with the CRX when I had the opportunity to see one up close in 1994 when I was dating a girl who’s older brother had one.  It was a 1991 Tahitian green SI.  Even though I never even had the chance to sit in it, every time I saw it I always took time to admire how unique it was and how much the car was about the driver’s experience.  Looking at it, you realize it was intended to be more than just an A to B car.  It was designed to be fun to drive.  I was determined to own one and I bought a stock ’89 SI in 1996 as a gift to myself for my 23rd birthday.

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So let’s get back to this CRX, I mean, what exactly are we looking at?  This by far is much more different than what you would’ve purchased in 88-91 or used and rust filled from Craigslist.  That old 1.6 FWD has been chucked in favor for a 2.0 RWD set up.  This is like digging in the candy jar and taking all of the goodies you want.  Here is how Aaron Describes it:

I built this car to beat on it and to improve my own skill as a fabricator.  Having a unique street car that will see track duty on the weekends meant a great deal to me.  I hope to make 500rwhp or more, and to complete the Ontario1500 event or One Lap America event.  I want someone to walk away from this car and to say it is the most badass street CRX they have ever seen.  Part of the intent is for it to be a magazine cover car.

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We sat down with Aaron here at Vibrant Performance, also his daily grind, and we got to learn a bit about how he came to be a car head and a fabricator.  Let’s face it, just because you work at an automotive company doesn’t essentially make you an automatic car head.  I know that is absurd goes against the powers that be, working at a company which produces automotive products yet not being highly into cars but that is not the case for Aaron, with almost 20 years invested.

My automotive experience started somewhat later in life.  I was not influenced by a parent or mesmerized by a significant event as a child to spark my interest in cars early on in life.  I became really interested in cars when I bought my own and went to the track with a couple friends.  I met Racer Robb in 1996 at the drag strip shortly after I had purchased a 1989 Honda CRX si.  Around this time I had also started my apprenticeship as a Tool and Die Maker.  The smell of race gas exhaust combined with smoking tires, screaming engines, the intense competition and being surrounded by like minded friends is what got me interested in cars.

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How did you start to modify your CRX, Aaron?

Within the first two years of owning my stock CRX it had been significantly modified with an intake, header, exhaust and a N2O system that I had built from used parts with my friend Robb.  He taught me most of what I know about getting more performance out of my car.  We had a good partnership: my youth and limited fabricating skill combined with his automotive building, racing experience and his “do it right the first time” approach helped our friendship to develop rapidly.  We would spend many weekends wrenching on both our cars and making little custom parts and competing at local autocross events.

1999:  I swapped out the tired D16 engine for a fresh B17A1 from an Acura Integra GSR with my own custom engine mounts.  This bumped horsepower from 108 to 160 without any other modifications.  With the Nitrous I was getting an extra 50hp.  Like most other gear heads though, it was not enough.

2001:  I fabricated my first turbo setup based around a T3/T4 hybrid turbo.  The following summer the setup was revised and upgraded from a log manifold to a top mount style manifold with a larger wastegate and Vibrant silicone couplers connecting all the piping.  This setup was making 280 wheel horsepower.

2006: I started my own business, Weir Tech, building custom fabricated parts and parked my CRX in a corner of the shop.  When I had spare time, it was spent converting the car to rear wheel drive.  In the beginning I only had a vague idea of how it was going to work.  I sold the drivetrain out of the car along with the turbo setup and bought a complete drivetrain out of a wrecked S2000.  I sold the rear end in favor of a Nissan S14 subframe assembly and started cutting up my CRX.  I knew it was going to be a good opportunity for me to learn and grow as a fabricator by attempting something different.  It was also a good way to promote my business.  I had no real plan, I just wanted to make it work.

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Things seemed to work well for you building the CRX while also becoming an amazing fabricator.   Most recently, you started working at Vibrant Performance.  How did that come about and what did it mean for your other work?

Over the next 7 years I learned a lot.  Unfortunately one of these lessons is that I am a good fabricator, but not an equally good businessman.  I was able to break even in the time I had my business, but with a very patient wife and 2 children, it was time to let go of my shop and start bringing home a regular paycheque.  I went back to my trade as a tool maker.  Less than a year had passed and I received a phone call from my most important supplier: Vibrant Performance.  I had used a great deal of Vibrant products on virtually every project that came in the door, or shipped out to my online customers.  Being one of the best fabrication component suppliers within the automotive performance aftermarket, they had grown their business to the point of requiring more people with a technical background.  I jumped at the chance to become part of the Vibrant family.

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While we have shown you some of Aaron’s background and thought behind the build of his CRX S2000 Robot, we have only scratched the surface.  Tuning is coming soon, along with more specs and information on what went into the build, the rear suspension explained, and more!  Below we have added a gallery to show you some of the build.  Make sure to check back to FabricationLife.com soon.  We are going in!

 

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