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Please Help! 1986 CRX HF & O2 Sensor


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I have acquired a 1986 CRX HF that’s in great shape and runs really well. It has no rust, the frame is straight, all of the vacuum hoses (lots and lots of them) are in great shape, and it is all original as far as I can tell. It has the federal emissions (KA) carbureted setup. I’m trying to restore this vehicle to use as a gas saving commuter and it needs to pass California smog (enter your sympathy noises here). I took it in for an initial smog test to see where it stood. Well, it failed miserably with high NOX (as in gross polluter). I’ve started troubleshooting and find that I need an oxygen sensor; the 5 wire, impossible to find one, with a Honda part number of 36531-PE1-A02. Apparently this is a wideband sensor. I’m not seeing any voltage change when I connect to the white wire and disconnect vacuum lines to cause the engine to change its air ratio.


I have read a bunch of on line forums regarding this part and the difficulty of finding it. Most of these threads seem to date back around 2008 – 2010. I am hoping that there has been some new information or some folks have found a way around this dilemma. If someone knows where I can get one of these babies I would really appreciate it.


Otherwise, can anyone offer a workaround or substitute to enable this to pass California smog? I see a lot of information regarding the later VX model, and the L1H1 O2 sensor. Has anyone tried using this, or another O2 sensor in the 5 wire 1986 CRX HF and gotten it to work correctly, and more importantly, to pass CA smog? Can one of the wideband controller kits be used to get around this issue? If so, how is this set up? I have found where some owners have swapped out the ECU from the CA to federal model with the intention of getting the lean burn feature. Would it be plug and play to go the opposite route and use the CA ECU and a four wire O2 sensor?


I really want to get this car running and would appreciate any ideas on this.


Thanx, Biff

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