5k: Capacious Racing Vehicle: 1998 Honda CR-V, GS-R swap

Honda’s first-generation CR-V was a unibody cute ‘ute loosely sharing a chassis with the Civic, which is essentially an Integra, resulting in part-swapping shenanigans. The similarities aren’t close enough to flood Craigslist with AWD-converted Civics, but enterprising tuners frequently use the 2.0L B20 block to fatten the torque curve of the revvy B16 in the Civic Si. Rarely do the parts flow the other way, because who wants a 5-speed, 8200-rpm, AWD crossover? Actually, that doesn’t sound too bad. Find this 1998 Honda CR-V with GS-R swap for $5,995 in Oklahoma City, OK via Craigslist.

This OG CR-V was originally powered by a B20 that’s probably buzzing happily away in a EF hatch by now. It’s since been replaced by a GS-R‘s B18 shipped from Japan (presumably overnight), making this one of the few engine swaps where the outgoing power plant displaces more than the incoming one. The scratched valve cover is there to distract you from the assortment of three – count ’em, three – cone filters under the hood: air intake, valve cover breather, and, uh, another one on the air intake.  

A smoother Euro front bumper incorporates very JDM yellow fog lights. That, plus the painted trim and “all-in-the-family” TSX wheels, gives this freak box a pleasantly OEM look — like a mini Ford Edge that’s watched too much anime. Low-profile tires and adjustable coilovers will keep the buyer from achieving typical CR-V aspirations of navigating campus parking rock crawling.

Actually, the wheel and suspension upgrades should tighten the driving experience of this 3,200-pound crossover with independent suspension. Acceleration from the 170-horsepower B18 won’t be blistering, but it will be dramatic and loud thanks to breather mods amplifying its VTEC crossover (yo). Plus, the seller’s photos show a child’s seat in the back, like an internet fist-bump to all the other parents out there desperately trying to convince their respective significant other that an engine-swapped 16-year-old car is a sensible purchase.

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PhiLOL still drives a slow car and is still terrified of structural rust.