JDM meets American muscle: Honda CRX gets 500-hp Chevy V8 and rear-wheel drive | Taza Khabre

Key findings

  • Changing a car’s engine can completely change its dynamics, as seen in the project of YouTuber Casey, who converted his 1990 Honda CRX into a rear-wheel drive machine with more than 500 hp.
  • The CRX is an interesting car that has evolved over two generations, with the third generation being an all-new car. Casey chose the CRX because of its smaller dimensions and the desire to fit a powerful engine into a small car.
  • Casey has made significant progress in building his CRX, customizing the interior and successfully installing the V8 engine. The problem of installing the engine in a tight engine compartment required him to modify the engine mounts.

Changing the engine is one way we can change the entire dynamics of the car. They can go from reserved, quiet daily drivers to powerful, fiery machines with lots of noise. YouTuber Caseys Customs worked on a project in this direction, transforming his 1990 Honda CRX. Old four-row JDM the engine is replaced by a Chevrolet V8 to give the little CRX over 500 hp.

The CRX is an interesting car in itself. The model was originally introduced in Japan as the Honda Ballade Sports CR-X and was a compact, sportier version of the regular Civic. The CRX has evolved over two generations, with the third being called the CR-X de sol.

In fact, the third-generation CRX was a completely new vehicle, bearing little resemblance to the previous two generations. With his V8 reworked, Casey uploaded a video of the engine, finally in the car, and detailed his first time sitting in the car. The video also shows that this little Honda is now a rear-wheel drive machine that should be a lot of fun.


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Casey describes the CRX project to date

Casey gives us a sneak peek of the project at the start of the video, confirming that he’s building the CRX’s 500-horsepower V8 and adding rear-wheel drive. The motor is a Chevy stroker from an old pickup and this is the first time it has been inside a Honda. Casey custom made the engine mounts and shimmed the engine so it could fit in the CRX’s tight engine bay.

The YouTuber put a lot of effort into creating this design, even creating a custom seat for the interior. Casey started this project a few months ago, and in a previous video he explained why he chose the CRX.

In the early 1990s, he had a Honda Accord that was his second car that he drove to school every day. Although he loved the Accord, Casey always wanted to get his hands on the CRX, which is about 18 inches shorter than the Accord. This led to an interest in putting a huge engine in a small car. He didn’t want to spend good money on a nice specimen only to have its guts ripped out.

Instead, he bought a used CRX for $400 and started working on it. A bonus is that the donor car has a clean title, although an inspection of the interior reveals that this car was just a shell. The cabin was filled with junk and parts and was in poor condition, but that makes the CRX the perfect starting point for a car project. Casey believes that of all the cars he’s built, this one might be the craziest. Flash forward to January 2024 and the CRX’s progress is impressive.


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Casey creates a custom interior for the CRX

Why Casey is building a Honda CRX with a V8

  • Casey’s dream car is a CRX and has been since the 1990s
  • This one was on sale for just $400
  • Casey puts a Chevy 383 ci V8 engine into a JDM classic
  • The YouTuber believes this will be his craziest compilation yet

Casey has completely gutted the interior of his CRX, which will feature a fully customized cockpit and include a racing seat. However, trying to install the mount on the engine reveals the extent of the YouTuber’s challenge. There’s not much room in the engine bay because the frame is so close to the engine that it can’t mount the engine mount. This will result in some adjustments to his engine mounts as Casey now needs to shorten the mounts to accommodate them.

Casey continues to trim the mounts to trim them and after a little work they fit nicely. To his apparent relief. Casey has also aligned the engine and the next step is to weld the transmission cross member and then insert the drive shaft. Casey also decides to test the seat to see how it feels, and he sits in a Honda with a V8 for the first time. Casey has made a lot of progress with his build so far, but there is still work to be done for his CRX project.


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Honda revolutionized the small car market with the CRX

1990-1992 Honda CRX II 1.6i VTEC engine specifications



Years of production

1990-1992 years


Naturally aspirated four-row engine


1.6 liter


148 hp

A turning point

106 lb-ft



Known applications

1988–1991 Honda Civic Si, 1989–1996 Rover 216/416 GSi/Tourer

(Received from The highest characteristics)

A few years ago, the famous journalist and landfill scanner Steve Magnante talked about the CRX. Magnante went on to tell us how it revolutionized the small car market. Honda did something similar with the original Civic, but the CRX allowed it to add more. The CRX was the Civic’s smaller, sportier cousin, and the name stood for Civic Renaissance Experimental. The CRX was a pure two-seater in the US, although in Europe and Japan they were 2+2-seaters. But Backspace in these versions was severely limited.


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The CRX was a surprisingly fast car

1990 Honda CRX V8 Swap Front View
via the Caseys Customs YouTube channel

Honda CRX 1984-1991 Sales Figures

The lowest sales figure

2700 USD

The highest sales figure

40,000 USD

Average sales figure

14,429 USD

Last sale at time of writing

11,500 USD

(Source from Classic.com)

As Magnante said, the CRX was a pretty powerful car, and it turned out to be a great JDM car. The little Honda could rev up to 6,500 rpm, and some models of the car could accelerate to 120 miles per hour. Honda was able to keep costs down by sharing a powertrain with the Civic, but created custom styling and interior trim to set them apart.

Three versions were available; HF, Sport and Sport Injection, so the consumer had plenty to choose from. As a rule, the CRX has about 150 hp. So the interesting question is how Casey’s will handle the 500hp when it’s finished. But one that will definitely have an exciting response.

Sources: Caseys Customs YouTube Channel, Ultimate Specs, Classic.com

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