'98 Civic HX engine and manual transmission swap to '95 Civic DX
Well, my '98 Honda Civic HX met a most unfortunate demise last week.
Background: I bought the car in February 2005 with 52,000 miles from a dealer in Florida, and my then-wife drove it from 2005 - 2008, getting 47 - 49 mpg during the summer, mid 40's during spring and fall, and low to mid 40s during winter: all without any hypermiling. After we got divorced, I allowed my ex-wife to continue using the car. She pays insurance and maintenance parts costs (all performed by me).
10 days ago, she parked in a mall having dinner at a restaurant (parked in the multi-level parking garage). When she returned to the car around 12:30am, she found it had been hit hard - very hard - in the left rear corner, exactly where the trunk and quarter panel meet. It was hit so hard that the car was spun around and slammed the other saide of the car into the concrete wall. It was totalled, I'm devastated at the waste of a good car, and I'm awaiting the settlement from the insurance company. Since the engine and transmission (150k miles) are in such great shape, and there are so many good parts on the car (Nokian tires on original 14" HX wheels, doors, glass, interior, etc.), I'm going to buy it back from the insurance company, and I'm exploring several options:
1) Find another '96 - '00 HX with a good body and bad engine and/or tranny and swap my engine/tranny into it. Not likely to find one with a rust-free straight body like mine had before the accident.
2) Swap the engine and possibly tranny into my '95 Civic DX hatchback for better fuel economy and better driving experience. I've never liked the power curve on my DX with the VX tranny, and I have to really work at my 53 mpg lifetime fuel economy. I think I would get 52 mpg driving 60 mph with the HX engine and VX tranny in the DX b/c it's 500 lbs lighter.
3) Sell all parts, including engine/tranny to recoup the salvage fee that I'll pay and hopefully net several hundred dollars extra.
My first question is about swapping the engine and possibly tranny into my '95 DX. Is it possible to do? I have so many questions about the logisitics: exhaust conversion, wiring harness conversion, transferring all the HX-specific lean burn items and emissions items to the DX, axle compatibility, etc. Is this worth my time and energy or should I try to find a good HX shell instead?
Second question: I've already sourced a '99 HX with a good engine and bad automatic transmission. Is it easy to convert and swap in the 5 speed manual tranny? Does the ECU need to be changed too?
Thanks for any help and suggestions.