Super Street Network

 |   |  1995 Honda Civic - Bump & Grind
Subscribe to the Free
Newsletter

1995 Honda Civic - Bump & Grind

Six Camshafts And One D16 Sohc Vtec: Let's Make Some Power

Evan Griffey
Jul 7, 2010

Power is not a piñata. You can't string up some effigy to performance then flail about madly swinging a stick, hoping to get lucky and bump the output of your engine. Making power is strictly science and experience. Science in that burning more fuel at the proper proportions will generate more horsepower. Experience in the enlighten-ment of knowing what parts will make a particular engine burn that extra fuel and produce those extra ponies.

Sstp_1007_01_o+1995_honda_civic+camshaft_shot Photo 2/12   |   1995 Honda Civic - Bump & Grind

Beyond basic bolt-ons, camshafts represent the next step in the modification chain. While capable of doling out dramatic gains it takes experience to select the right camshaft for the intended usage of the vehicle. It's not about peak power; it's about peak performance on the road where drivability and acceleration trump a big dyno number.

2018 Honda Civic
$18,940 Base Model (MSRP) 28/40 MPG Fuel Economy

Test Platform
The test mule for this shootout is a 1995 Honda Civic with a D16Z6 SOHC VTEC engine. This is a great combination to run. EG Civics are cheap and the D16 single-cam engine is often overlooked as a powerhouse in favor of the more glamorous GS-R swap, so stock parts are plentiful. Speed Factory, a Honda savvy tuning shop in Tacoma, Washington, set out to test a bevy of D16 turbo cams and we followed along to chart the progress. Speed Factory modified the D16 in a manner representative of most commonly built turbo D16 setups in use by D16 enthusiasts today:

Sstp_1007_02_o+1995_honda_civic+front_view Photo 3/12   |   1995 Honda Civic - Bump & Grind

Vitara 75.5mm pistons
Eagle rods
Stock sleeves
Stock-port head
Skunk2 valve springs & retainers
Skunk2 Intake Manifold
60mm throttle-body
RC Engineering 750cc injectors
Walbro 255-lph in-tank fuel pump
Mini-ram turbo manifold
57-trim T3/TO4E .63 A/R turbo
3-inch downpipe and exhaust
Chipped P28 ECU, Crome tuned

Test Parameters
Testing was performed on Speed Factory's in-house Dynapack chassis dyno. The D16 was rev-limited to 8,500 rpm because most street driven cars do not rev higher. Testing was performed at 19 psi of boost as this is a common, safe boost level for this setup and 92-octane pump gas was used throughout.

Sstp_1007_03_o+1995_honda_civic+wide_shot Photo 4/12   |   1995 Honda Civic - Bump & Grind

Speed Factory started with the stock camshaft in place, and tuned the car with the GReddy PRofec B electronic boost controller. Speed Factory's James Kempf used the low boost setting with the low boost knob maxed out. This resulted in 16 psi of boost at 4,750 rpm, climbing slightly to a peak of 19 psi of boost at redline. James then changed camshafts and retuned it at the same 19 psi of boost for all cams. The boost curve remained the same for all camshafts; run time was kept the same for all camshafts. Engine coolant temps and intake air temps were kept consistent at the start of every pull on all camshafts. All cams were at 0-degrees unless otherwise noted.

Test Subjects
Speed Factory decided to test the most commonly used, readily available camshafts on the market for this test. No one-off custom grinds, only mainstream available goods here:

Sstp_1007_04_o+1995_honda_civic+camshaft_shot Photo 5/12   |   1995 Honda Civic - Bump & Grind

Cams Tested:
(T)=turbo grind; NA=naturally aspirated

Stock
ZEX (Comp Cams) 59300 (T)
ZEX (Comp Cams) 59500 (T)
Crower 2 Turbo (T)
Blox Stage 3 (NA)
Bisimoto Engineering Level 2.4 (T)
Bisimoto Engineering Level 3.6 (T)

Stock Cam
300 whp/254 lbs-ft torque (baseline)
Comments: Great idle quality, okay power; you gotta start somewhere.

Test Conclusions
Speed Factory put the hurt on their Dynapack, logging more than 150 dyno pulls during the test, and came to an easy conclusion after pouring over the data: the Bisimoto Engineering cams absolutely dominated. They sacrificed practically nothing to the factory cam other than stock idle characteristics, and delivered mind-blowing 70 to 80-plus-whp gains on the top end. These are the ultimate cams for Turbo D16 enthusiasts.

Jason was quick to point to the Bisimoto Level 2.4 as the best overall cam in this test for most street/strip D16 turbos. Nearly identical spool to the stock cam, with massive gains from 5,000 rpm up, a solid choice. The Bisimoto Level 3.6 is his top dog for a drag-only application, delivering 20-plus hp over the competition while continuing to deliver the goods above 9,000 rpm for super-high-revving applications most likely seen on purpose-built drag engines.

Sstp_1007_09_o+1995_honda_civic+engine_shot Photo 6/12   |   1995 Honda Civic - Bump & Grind

It's also clear that when you're generating 380-plus wheel horsepower from a single-stick D16 you are doing something right. This is a real world car that's street driven on pump gas and the results illustrated here are supremely attainable for any Honda enthusiast.

ZEX 59300
335 whp/262 lbs-ft torque
(+35 whp, +8 lbs-ft torque)

Sstp_1007_05_o+1995_honda_civic+graph_one Photo 7/12   |   1995 Honda Civic - Bump & Grind

Comments: Very good idle quality, good overall power. Jason says, "The 59300 is a good overall cam for the average street car that may have some drag strip use in the cards." Identical spool to stock cam, no power loss anywhere, good gains from 5k rpm up. The 59300 comes off as a solid, well-balanced bumpstick. Note: An odd characteristic of this cam is that at 8,000 rpm there is a large drop in power. Volumetric efficiency drops significantly at this point, but it pulls through and regains efficiency at higher rpm.

Crower 2 Turbo
347 whp/250 lbs-ft torque
(+47 whp, -4 lbs-ft torque)

Sstp_1007_06_o+1995_honda_civic+graph_two Photo 8/12   |   1995 Honda Civic - Bump & Grind

Comments: Good idle quality, poor low-rpm power, good high-rpm power. Jason quipped that this cam is good for a drag application, but not recommended for a street driven car. Very comparable to ZEX 59500, but the 59500 makes more power from 6,800-8,100 rpm. Loss in power up to 5,300 rpm, equal to stock from 5,300-6,400 rpm, huge gains above 6,400 rpm. Also, this cam experiences a 350-rpm loss in spool time versus stock.

ZEX 59500
363 whp/250 lbs-ft torque
(+63 whp, -4 lbs-ft torque)

Sstp_1007_07_o+1995_honda_civic+graph_three Photo 9/12   |   1995 Honda Civic - Bump & Grind

Comments: Decent idle quality, poor low-rpm power, good high-rpm power. Jason commented that this cam is more suited to a drag application, not recommended for a street driven car because it loses power up to 6,400 rpm then delivers huge gains above 6,400. Street engines spend a lot of time below 6,400 rpm and this cam's lack of punch will be felt on the road. Also, this cam experiences a 350-rpm loss in spool time versus stock. Note: This cam required 2 degrees of retard.

Blox Stage 3
365 whp/252 lbs-ft torque
(+65 whp, -2 lbs-ft torque)

Sstp_1007_08_o+1995_honda_civic+graph_four Photo 10/12   |   1995 Honda Civic - Bump & Grind

Comments: Good idle quality, poor mid-rpm power, good high-rpm power. This cam is okay for a drag application, not recommended for a street driven car. Note: Above 8,500 rpm, power dropped like a rock. Not recommended for applications that will rev above 8,500 rpm. Gains realized above 6,600 rpm up to 8,500; this narrow 1,900-rpm powerband is indicative of drag cams. Engine experiences a 100-rpm loss in spool time versus stock.

Bisimoto Engineering Level 2.4
381 whp/264 lbs-ft torque
(+81 whp, +10 lbs-ft torque)

Sstp_1007_10_o+1995_honda_civic+graph_five Photo 11/12   |   1995 Honda Civic - Bump & Grind

Comments: This cam is designed for street/strip applications with a mildly lopey idle, and idled at 15 in/vac. Jason says that this cam is his pick of the bunch for a hot street/weekend warrior strip car, and the slightly lopey idle sounds great and hints at the power lurking beneath the hood. Spool was within 100 rpm of the stock cam, with great gains above 5,000 rpm. This cam outperformed all other cams in the test up to 8,000 rpm with massive mid-range and top-end gains.

Bisimoto Engineering Level 3.6
384 whp/261 lbs-ft torque
(+84 whp, +7 lbs-ft torque)

Sstp_1007_11_o+1995_honda_civic+graph_six Photo 12/12   |   1995 Honda Civic - Bump & Grind

Comments: This cam is designed for pro full race applications with a very lopey idle, and idled at 15 in/vac. This is Jason's cam of choice for a full race build, and is what he uses in his own race motors. Spool was within 100 rpm of the stock cam, with huge gains above 6,400 rpm. This cam performs very similarly to its slightly smaller brother, but made superior high-rpm power above 8,000 rpm.

Sources

Blox Racing
Fremont, CA 94538
510-440-1605
http://www.bloxracing.com
Zex
Memphis, TN 38118
888-817-1008
www.zex.com
Crower Cams
San Diego, CA 92154
619-661-6477
http://www.crower.com
Bisimoto
Ontario, CA 91761
888-922-6686
http://www.bisimoto.com
Speed Factory
University Place, WA 98466
253-566-4331 Main
http://www.speedfactoryracing.net
By Evan Griffey
271 Articles

BROWSE CARS BY MARKET

MORE FEATURES

The 2019 BMW Z4 will arrive next year, initially with a four-cylinder engine followed by a more potent M40i model.
Stefan OgbacSep 18, 2018
Ferrari launched a new, limited edition duo of supercar barchettas with the Monza SP1 and SP2. Get all the details here!
Jonny LiebermanSep 18, 2018
Preview the Super Street November issue, our Nissan annual! With a trio of Charles Wong’s R34 Skyline, 2 Boss Bunny S14, a baby Godzilla Pulsar GTiR, and more!!!
Bob HernandezSep 14, 2018
Who do you think deserves a trip to SEMA 2018?
RodrezSep 14, 2018
The Jaguar Project 8 lapped the legendary California race track in 1:37.54, almost a second quicker than the Cadillac CTS-V and two seconds quicker than the Giulia Quadrifoglio
Collin WoodardSep 13, 2018
Sponsored Links

SEARCH ARTICLES BY MAKE/MODEL

Search
CLOSE X
BUYER'S GUIDE
SEE THE ALL NEW
NEWS, REVIEWS & SPECS
TO TOP