Your Questions Answered
F series motor on the hunt for more power
I'm trying to modify my `94 accord but I'm having trouble finding performance parts for my single cam f22b2. Everyone tells me to go with the h22 but I don't want to be like everyone else. Do y'all have some tips where I can find a stage 2 cam, valves, springs, etc? Or am I wasting my time? Thanks.
--Scott Kyzer, Columbia, SC
You know what they say Scott, when in Rome, do as the Romans do and drop in a fully built H22 swap. Actually, that's an outright lie. We've never even seen a Roman motor swap. Regardless, I've got some good news for you. Bisi of www.bisimoto.com is an F series guru, and he offers all types of performance goodies for your motor. Hit him up and tell him HT sent you!
Looking for the best of both worlds
First of all, thanks for reading my email. I've got a '97 Integra with a B20 swap. What I want help with from you guys is to point me in the right direction for a good daily driver that will perform when needed. The b20 and GSR tranny is nice but not quite enough. I was thinking if the head is still good then to do crower cams, cam gears and a header, butthen I thought why not just use a VTEC head. I don't know what to do. I've done research but its hard when you have to ride your bike downtown to the library to use the computer ha-ha.
--Shaun, via the internet
There's nothing wrong with riding your bike down to the library........as long as no girls see you. Listen Shaun, this is really a personal preference thing. On one hand, the B20 motor with a proper cam and fuel setup could be just what the Doctor ordered for you. On the other hand, a B20 VTEC motor can be tons of torque-filled fun. If you have the ability to do the VTEC head swap yourself (I have faith in you Shaun!), then I think you'd find a bit more potential in future upgrades. A VTEC head these days is very affordable and can be found online just about anywhere. There's more work involved with the Frankenstein setup, so keep that in mind.
More bounce to the ounce
I have an `01 Honda Civic with suspension problems.It seems to bounce like if I had a ball in one of the tires.I changed the two front struts and the problems still came back after a day or so. I also changed the two lower ball joints, the driver's side lower A-arm bushing, and still the bounce comes back. It also wears my tires a lot faster; I already changed the tires two times last year and got new rims and tires this year hoping the bounce would stop, but no luck.I have read that the `01 Honda Civic has a bad suspension and that there are no recalls on the car, so what can I do or how can I fix the problem?Please help; I like my HONDA and I don't want to buy a Toyota!
--David, via the internet
Whoa Dave, let's not get crazy! The only problems we've heard concerning the '01 Civic suspension is some major creaking after 35k miles. Now you didn't specify what suspension you're running in your letter, so this is tough to diagnose. Assuming your car is lowered, it could be the quality of your suspension choice, or a defective aftermarket part. If you can change out all of the stuff you listed in your letter, I'm confident you could swap in a set of stock shocks and springs for comparison. If you're stock now, you might try an aftermarket set as the stockers might be worn out. And finally, if you threw away your old suspension like so many others, check sites like Craigslist for some stock goodies. Most people are practically giving them away. If you do end up buying a Toyota, can you at least run a set of GSR wheels and an "I Love My Honda" sticker on it?
V6 looking to bulk up
Hello. I was wondering if anyone had done any articles or has written to you about modifications for an `03 Accord V-6 EX Coupe. I have changed my intake and exhaust but have not found any other modifications that can be fit to my year make and model Honda. I have done some research but have not been able to find much. If you know of any links or have any up coming articles in your magazine it would be a great help to me. I am a subscriber to your magazine and enjoy reading and trying to modify my automobile, but would, as everyone else, love to make mine go faster and perform better. Thank you for your time and any advice or suggestions you may have for me.
--Christopher, Westtown NY
Well Christopher, the good news is you've got a big V6 under the hood. Bad news is there isn't much in the way of aftermarket support. The fact that Civic owners, with the help of HASport, have managed to shoehorn a V6 into the little economy car means that there might just be some help on the way. If this trend really catches on, aftermarket support will undoubtedly grow. Until then, there's always the custom turbo kit, custom head work, custom......well, you get the idea. In the old days, Honda builders had to look toward customization in order to make any sort of progress. It seems like it might be the same way for the V6 army at this point.
Fit for a king
Yo, it's nice to see you working with the Fit. I sold my `05 STi and bought an `09 fit, if that tells you anything about my belief in the car as a great real-world ripper. Drive the STi aggressively and you're breaking all kinds of laws. But run the little Fit through a few gears and you're still doing the speed limit. It's maybe the perfect "slow" sports car. Anyway as far as suggestions; please, please, don't engine swap. All of us poor working stiffs with Fits can't really justify it and it'll make the whole project seem not as interesting. It's not that I won't spend my hard-earned cash for a little better performance, I just need to keep it realistic. The stock suspension is clearly the weakest part of the car's performance. Cheap ways to make the Fit corner more like the STi? The best ways to make the little engine a more efficient air pump? Best small and light wheel packages? Yes, small wheels rock. I just want stuff I can do in my driveway on the weekend. The Fit has already proven itself as a tuning platform in endurance racing and it would be nice to know what tuning tricks are actually effective. Thanks for asking.
--Eric, via the internet
I never really looked at the Fit as a slow sports car, but rather a peppy little chick magnet. An engine swap is not in the future for our sporty Fit. Wheel and minor suspension changes have already taken place, along with a slight increase in exhaust flow, but what our Fit really needs is a few pieces of flair to spice it up. Maybe a little touch of carbon Kevlar, a smidgen of OEM optional goodness, and we'll see what we come up with. The goal is to mildly modify the Fit in such a way that the average consumer would feel completely comfortable doing it themselves. Tell me this, when you leave your Fit parked while you're in the grocery store, do you find 6-8 scantily clad women fighting for shotgun upon your return? No? Maybe it's just ours.
My question to you is in regards to my CRX being built for SCCA solo competition. In the Street Touring class, I have learned from several of the successful drivers that they do not recommend the bars that go between the shock towers to stiffen up the chassis. The common opinion is that in our solo competition, the Honda is already stiff enough and does not need this additional bracing. In fact, these have been said to add unnecessary additional weight! I see in most of the prepared cars in Honda Tuning everyone has the braces, and many have an X bracing in the rear of the car. Could you talk about the philosophy behind these, or direct me to an article that discusses the benefits and hopefully has some measurable engineering basis for the bracing.
Ahhh, the good old shock tower bar debate. They've been around for many years, but do they actually make a difference? Whether they're X bars, straight bars, or 3pt bars, many seem to swear by them. As with all things automotive, trends come and go, opinions vary, and tall tales are created. The theory is, with these magical bars, your car will take on a more race-ready form by bracing the two sides of your car, and avoiding any loss of rigidity under harsh driving conditions. The X bars you see online and in magazines take it one step further by tying the C pillar to the shock towers for "enhanced strength." Larry, if you feel that your car handles the way it should, and your confidence is high, why mess with a good thing? On the other hand, if you're like me, and you like to tinker with your Honda and try out a new setup every once in awhile, why not give it a shot? See if your driving is affected by the addition of the monkey bars. I'm sure one of your fellow racers would let you take a lap with a bar or two. Is it all mental, or do they actually make a difference? Only you know the answer to that one, big guy.
Ain't no half steppin'
Love the magazine. Ok, my question is in regards to the September `08 OBD-0 GSR "how to do it" question. I want to know if I can do the same with a Poor Man style motor. I had a B16Ahead redone with a mild port/polish job, KMS valve package, and Skunk2 stage 1 cams and gears. I have a B18C bottom end that has been re-honed for 82mm 11:1 Wiseco pistons, stock rods and crank, all new bearings and bushings, and a Spoon head gasket. I have a BDL 68mm throttle body and fuel rail with port matched B16A manifold, and B&M fuel pressure regulator and gaugefor the intake side. I have a DC header and custom cat-back exhaust on the exhaust side. I know I won't get the full potential out of the engine setup, but can I get away with running it on the PR3 ECU without a Hondata or some other management system? I'm not looking to get in the magazine or anything. I'm just hoping to get some sound information, and any help is appreciated.
--CJ James, North Carolina
CJ, why would you want to do all of this work to your motor and leave out the most important piece of the puzzle? Engine management will make or break a motor, especially when you're introducing a number of aftermarket and performance parts to the mix. I would suggest you save up a little more cash and give Hondata a call, followed by a trip to the local dyno for some fine tuning, my friend. Don't short change yourself after investing so much energy into the build.
First of all, let me start by saying that you guys have a great magazine going on. Keep up the good work, and keep showing those EFs and EEs! To get to the point, I have a `91 Civic Si. My build plans include putting on the `96 ITR wheel. What would be the best route for me to take in order to get the ITR wheels installed? I already have '93 Integra brakes front and rear. Thanks for your support and keep up the good work!
--JD Solis, Santa Ana, CA
Well JD, the fact that you installed Integra brakes on your Civic is a good sign. It means you're probably comfortable getting your own two hands dirty on your Si. The thing is, that's a 4x100 lug pattern that you have installed, and what you're looking for is a 4x114.3. You could probably find everything you need in the classifieds section of your favorite Honda forum. I'm talking about a package deal with brakes, wheels, everything. It seems that someone is always selling 4 and 5 lug ITR conversions online, and they're very affordable. Good luck!
Guess my numbers
Hey, guys I've been reading your mag for sometime now and I was wondering if you could help me out. I'm looking at building my H23A1 on an ALL MOTOR setup and was wondering about how much horsepower and torque I would be making. I'm wanting to do something different than the F SERIES and H22. Those are good motors, but my prelude is all original and only has 130,000 miles on it! I want more power out of it, but don't want to go turbo because it's my daily. Thanks!
-- Brandon Head, Georgia
Brandon, I'm looking into a crystal ball as I type this and it looks as though you will make 201.7 horsepower, with 131.9 ft-lbs. Alright, I'm lying again. You see Brandon, no two motors are the same, and just about every dreamer's idea of a "built" motor is different. Realistically, I can't even give you an estimate because you didn't mention what changes you'd be making. Compression ratio? Cams? Tuning?! It all factors into your final number. Don't be hung up on hitting a specific horsepower number, but instead, turn your attention toward making good useable power that you can enjoy for whatever type of driving you do.
The fuzz doesn't like Frankenstein
Hello there Honda Tuning, I'm a big fan of your magazine. My question is, I'm about to start a project with my `91 Honda CRX Si, and I just bought an LS motor from a friend. I can't figure out if an LS/VTEC is Referee Legal and Smog Legal? Thanks
--David V, via the internet
Sorry David, an LS/VTEC combination is not street or smog legal, and the CA State Referee won't like it one bit. A straight LS motor is fine, as long as the motor is the same year of the chassis or newer, and all of the proper emissions equipment is installed and in working order. You'll have to make an appointment with the Referee, where they'll strap your car down to a dyno and let the sniffer determine if you'll pass. You might decide to slap the VTEC head on after getting your certification, but it will void your legal swap.