The final touch on the swap was a custom aluminum 3-inch exhaust made by Scarangella's friend John Ward at ICON Auto Parts in Florida. Ward even fabricated a bracket to hold the muffler. Scarangella says the exhaust sounds incredible, with the fast, high-revving K sounding like a cross between a car and a bike. As a bonus, Ward gave both Scarangella and Basseri custom oil caps that would clear the hood.
Interestingly, both projects ran about the same in terms of expense, made about the same power, and both are headed to the track next. Neither owner has plans to quit just yet, and Basseri even says this is only the beginning. He's already updated his ride since our photo shoot with paint, a wire tuck, IPS cams, an S2K gauge cluster, and Mugen RNR rims, and is eyeing a race exhaust, seats, and harnesses. Scarangella wants to make his Rex lighter, install a roll bar, and build a K pushing 300 hp.
In spite of the plans, both guys are pleased having accomplished what they did. In Basseri's hatch, the interior is very much as it was from his beloved second-gen. CRX, near new, right down to the floor mats, while the exterior betrays nothing, basically asserting the car as a sleeper. While his car is currently down, Scarangella is proud for just having done the project; this was his first engine swap ever, and as he admits, "Without Ryan, I would have never been able to do it, because it's pretty complex."
You're probably asking, what happened to Scarangella's Rex? Priorities, friends, priorities; in order to afford going back to school, he had to sell the long block, trans, and axles, so the CRX is actually parked right now. He assures us, though, "When I finish school, I'll be building it up better than before." And there'll probably be more than a few fellow enthusiasts by his side making sure that he does.
Bolts & Washers
Ryan Basseri's '89 CRX DX
Chris Scarangella's '90 CRX SI
Go: Under hood, stock K20A long blocks are secured to both chassis via Hasport's mounts, and both breathe in through custom fabricated intake tubing and cone filters. To handle any fueling issues with the swaps, the duo is running Golden Eagle rails, AEM pressure regulators, and Hondata K-Pro engine management.
In terms of exhausts, each owner had a slightly different approach. Basseri routed his down a Hasport header and through GReddy plumbing equipped with a Magnaflow cat. Scarangella's is a touch more elaborate, the Canadian employing a 4-2-1 Danny Tran Racing manifold, custom aluminum 3-inch piping with a Burns Stainless muffler, 200 cell high-flow cat, and a 12-inch polished resonator. The system was designed and fabbed by John Ward at ICON Auto Parts and weighs only 17.5 lbs.
Each mill came complete with a JDM LSD-outfitted Y2M3 gearbox. Motivating the gears in both are ACT Heavy Duty clutch discs and pressure plates. Power for either is transmitted through Drive Shaft Shop axles, stage 1 in Scarangella's and stage 2 in Basseri's.
Evidence: Basseri took his K to Dyno Spot Racing, where Laurence was able to extract 222 hp and 160 lb-ft of torque at the wheels. Scarangella relates, his combo made a similar 221 and 156.