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Auto Repair and Maintenance - Exhaust Notes

Questions, comments, props, hate

Mar 13, 2007
0506_ht_01_z+honda_civic_EF+side_view Photo 1/2   |   Auto Repair and Maintenance - Exhaust Notes

Giving the EF the Shaft

I have a 1990 Civic EX four-door and I want to swap in a B16A engine with a five-speed S1 transmission. Which axles will I need for this swap? Do you have any other recommendations?

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

shaggyman4yu@aol.com
Via the Internet

Your four-door will be the same as any other EF chassis Civic. If you aren't planning on using forced induction (which could necessitate much stronger aftermarket axles), then the intermediate shaft and axles from a '90-to-'93 Integra will work. If you can find them, '90-to-'91 DA Integra non-ABS axles will make the swap a bit easier, but we've seen it done with any second-gen. Integra combination. There are also a few companies that make axles specifically for your application, such as Hasport and Raxles, if you can't get your hands on some OEM ones. - Dr Barrios

R Slugs OK?

I know [the aftermarket] makes superchargers for U.S.-spec Integra Type R's, so I was wondering if my motor could take the boost. I have a '92 Civic with a JDM B18C5. Are the JDM pistons reliable with 5 to 6 psi?

I only put about 300 miles a month on my car. If I can [run a blower] without [installing stronger pistons] in my block, what type of fuel will I need? Would octane booster help to keep from blowing up? Also, do I need a kit or will I have to build a turbo setup myself?

Adam D.
Modesto, Calif.

There are several supercharger and turbocharger kits available for ITR motors. You're right to be wary of using these kits on such a high-compression motor, though.

At low boost pressures with the right tuning, most would be fine with stock pistons. We would steer clear of using a rising rate fuel pressure regulator in this application. Larger injectors and something to control them is definitely the way to go.

As for an octane booster, there isn't any regulation on fuel additives of that sort, so you never know what the end result is going to be. We recommend tuning the car on 91/92-octane (premium pump) gas first. If pump gas doesn't do the job, step it up to a 100-plus octane unleaded fuel. - DB

Demon Spawn

I have a '98 Civic DX with the original D16Y7 engine. I have a few upgrades: short shifter, ram cold-air intake, aftermarket cam gear and a new manifold. I've been researching turbos and encountered some surprises. I know I can get a turbo kit from Edelbrock that fits the EX, but [it looks like] I'll have to do some hard-core modifications that I don't have time for. And I have recently come across a turbo that fits my car but doesn't come in a complete kit.

What else I will need to complete the task? I already have some Nology wires on the way with some new high-performance spark plugs. I'm not looking to have the fastest Civic, but I'd be greatly satisfied if the "Blue Demon" could show people it has a little something-something under the hood.

P.S. Nitrous is not an option.

Brando Special
Via the Internet

Most turbo kits for D-series applications are tailored to suit SOHC VTEC motors. While it may seem as if modifying an off-the-shelf turbo kit to fit your D16Y7 would be "hard-core," it's easier than it sounds.

The major difference in a turbo setup for a SOHC VTEC motor vs. one for a non-VTEC motor, such as your Y7, is the upper charge pipe. The D16Y8's intake manifold is a conventional design, with the throttle body entering from the number one port side of the plenum. Your Y7 intake manifold's throttle body flange is centered on the manifold and faces upward toward the hood.

There are two fixes for this problem. The first is to modify the charge pipe to accommodate your throttle body position. You could find a local welding shop to help you with this, or for an easier approach use the upper pipe from an aftermarket D16Y7 tubular intake.

The second approach, which I would prefer to do if it were my car, is to use an SOHC VTEC intake manifold. The intake manifold from a D16Y8 or a D16Z6 will bolt right on. The only major modification needed is the IACV wiring. Check out the March '05 issue of Honda Tuning for information on how to wire the IACV fix. May you and the "Blue Demon" have a lasting, boosted relationship. - DB

The Pressure Builds

I've got a '99 Civic Si with a B16A2 that I've been working on for about five years. So far, I've invested close to $10,000 on aftermarket parts, mainly for show.

The last step is to boost my Civic. I'm not looking for crazy horsepower gains, just to add some more performance to my car. I've installed an AEM intake, DC Sports header, AEM pulleys, Weapon R adjustable cam gears and a B&M adjustable fuel pressure regulator.

I've been debating back and forth between using a supercharger or a turbo. My questions are: What are my best options for forced induction with my engine and my current modifications that aren't going to lead to problems with my engine? What other modifications will I need to make along with the forced induction to keep my car a daily driver?

Andrew
Via the Internet

Andrew, the turbo vs. supercharger debate is as old as time itself and one we would rather avoid. Essentially, it all comes down to personal preference. Each system has its ups and downs.

If you decide to go turbo, there are a host of great kits to choose from. With a bit of mechanical knowledge, you could even build yourself a custom kit. As for a supercharger, there is really no custom way to go about it within reason. There are, however, a few great roots- and centrifugal-style blowers offered for you to choose from.

When it comes to building a forced induction car for daily driving, the engine management needs to be addressed first and foremost. The key to a reliable car is good tuning. Find a shop near you that can dyno tune your car using a wideband O2 sensor.

If possible, you'll also want them to do some street tuning to better prepare the car for the loads and stresses put on your car while driving it on the street.

Another element to be addressed is the cooling system. Forced induction motors are far more prone to overheating than their normally aspirated counterparts. An upgraded radiator, lower temperature thermostat and fan switch, and reinforced hoses are something to think about. While the cooling modifications are not absolutely necessary, they are good insurance against engine damage caused by the stop-and-go nature of daily driving. - DB

One Stick, Many Ratios

I'm building a single-stick naturally aspirated Civic. I recently read your LX/VTEC swap story (March '05) and was interested in the ZC/Y8 combo with 12.6:1 compression. I have the ZC block and the Y8 head, but I need to know what kind of tuning you were talking about to make it run well. The motor will be in a daily-driven '93 [Civic] EX. I would also like to know a good chip-and-cam combo, but my resources are limited.

Does anybody have faith in the single cam? What about sleeving the ZC? Is knocking it out to 1.8 too drastic? I have the resources and the know-how [to raise displacement], so all I need is a little guidance.

Josh Clark
Via the Internet

How did we know this question would come up? The labeling of the sidebar chart in the Mini Me story (March 2005, p. 65) is somewhat misleading. Instead of calling them engine block and head combinations, we should have said they were piston and head combinations.

Unless it's a single-cam ZC motor (which is basically the JDM version of a D16A6), a single-cam VTEC head will not fit on a ZC. The coolant passages and dowel pin locations aren't located correctly for the head swap to work. If you have a DOHC ZC bottom end with the 7.2cc domed pistons, throw the rods/slugs in a D16 and you'll have a high-comp screamer on the cheap.

When it comes to tuning a motor like that, you are going to need some sort of engine management system that allows for modification of fuel and ignition tables. You'll also want to get your car wideband tuned on a dyno by a competent tuner. A setup such as this is going to need a bit more than general knowledge.

To make it run well, you'll want a cam that will put the dynamic compression in an acceptable range without making the valves hit the pistons or each other. As for sleeving the ZC and going to 1.8, read April's Exhaust Notes to see our sentiments on the matter. We think you'll get a better idea of the repercussions of trying to add that much displacement to a strokey little D. - DB

All the Colors of the Rainbow

I recently had the engine head of my 2000 Civic Si ported and rebuilt with Skunk2 stage 2 cams, sprockets, and valvetrain. I am now looking into raising the compression of my engine with Civic Type-R pistons but have had some trouble purchasing new factory main bearings.

The Honda dealership says the bearings are color-coded and the engine has to be taken apart to find out which ones to order. However, a local shop told me there is a five-digit code that can be accessed by taking off the oil pan. I'm not sure which [method] is correct and I'd hate to spend the day stripping down my engine only to reach a dead end.

Joseph
Via the Internet

We know it may sound lame, but it's worth repeating: Before you do any work like this on your motor, get yourself a service manual for your car. The manual will usually explain where to look for the markings on the crank, main journals and rods that will tell you what size/color bearings you need.

If you are planning to go with OEM bearings, you're going to have to tear the motor down to find the markings necessary to tell you what you need. The other, more popular, option is to use ACL bearings, which are basically all coded green, right in the middle of the sizes. Buy a set of ACLs, Plastigauge them, and if there are any that are outside of tolerance, get the Honda bearings that correspond to what you need. - DB

Vulgar Display of Power (Steering)

Can a non-power steering rack from a '99- to-'00 Civic be installed on a '96 GS-R? And if so, do I need to modify anything? I want to lose the power steering, but I don't want the same rack because I believe the non-power one would be much lighter and work better.

Do any DC2 Integras come without power steering? I didn't think they did. That's why I turned to the EK Civic. I know the first years of the Type-R didn't have it, but I think getting a hold of one might be impossible.

Kelsey
Via the Internet

Kelsey, parts are more readily interchangeable between the EG Civic and DC2 Integra than the EK and DC2. If you are looking for a manual steering rack, you'll need to turn to a non-power steering EG rack or a DC Integra RS rack. Both are bolt-on options for your GS-R.

The other option is to consider using your stock rack with a few modifications. The power rack is lubricated by power steering fluid. If you ditch the power steering system altogether and leave the lines going to the rack open, you'll find that the steering wheel will get progressively harder to turn as the lubrication fades away.

The fix is to loop the power steering lines together with a T fitting in the middle connected to a reservoir filled with power steering fluid. This setup will maintain the lubrication needed to keep the steering smooth and usable and you'll be able to keep your stock rack, as well as lose the 20 pounds of dead weight from pulling out the power steering system. Watch for a tech story on a setup like this in a future HT. - DB

0506_ht_02_z+hasport_acura_integra+k20_swap Photo 2/2   |   Auto Repair and Maintenance - Exhaust Notes

Not Us

I recently read in the March issue about someone putting a K20 into a '97 Civic. I have a 2000 Integra GS-R and have been trying to figure out how to do the same thing. I know the process for the two should be the same, but I don't know where to start. Can you tell me what I need for the engine swap and if I am going to need any custom parts for the engine mounts? Also, is this going to be worth doing as far as horsepower?

TimKinch

We don't know which magazine you're reading, but we didn't swap a K20 into a '97 Civic in March. You may be thinking about the K20 swap I wish I was doing to my '96 Civic. We did cover a K-series transplant into a DC chassis Integra. You may recall reading about Hasport's white four-door, which received a K20A swap in the July '04 issue.

There are a few engine mount kits out there for the DC/EG chassis using a K-series motor. The mounts will have to be custom or aftermarket, though, because there are no OEM options like there are for B-series swaps.

In addition to the mounts, you will need the motor, ECU, wiring harness, shifter assembly and cables, axles and transmission from the K-series donor. Your radiator will also need to be modified to work with the K-series configuration.

K-series motors seem to have endless tuning potential that's not even matched by the B-series powerplants we've all grown to know and love. It will cost you a pretty penny to do, but if you can fund it, do it. You could even sell your GS-R motor to make up a good chunk of the money spent on the K. - DB

Tuner? We ThoughtYou Said Tuna

I'm currently a senior in high school and am in the process of writing a 5- to 7-page research paper entitled "The Definition of a Tuner." I chose the subject because I feel many people don't fully understand what it means to be a tuner, and what exactly a tuner does.

The problem is I'm having a hard time finding information I can use that is not an opinion. Can someone direct me to an article describing who or what a tuner is?

Jeremy
Lancaster, Ohio

When I use the word tuner, I'm talking about the guy who sits next to your car while it is on the dyno, plugging away at his laptop to squeeze out a few more horsepower, or trying to get that air/fuel ratio just perfect. Tuning, by my definition, is what you do after all the parts are bolted on. Making the car safe, reliable and fast by optimizing the engine management system is the tuner's job. There are many people involved in building a proper car-engine builders, chassis builders, tuners, stylists, etc. -but by no means should a tuner's job be confused with anyone else's. - DB

The marketing and advertising industries have grossly abused the word tuner, using it to define everyone from the hard-core engine builder to the guy who threw on some clear corner taillights himself. I've always defined a tuner as someone who actively wrenches on the different mechanical systems of their car-engine, transmission, suspension, electronics-in the pursuit of better performance. Guys who specialize in body kits or interiors are not tuners. Sorry. They're designers or stylists, but not tuners. Furthermore, a tuner is always working to get his or her car in a state of perfect tune, the sweet spot where all the systems come together to produce the desired effect. That effect can be a mash-it-to-the-floor, straight-line machine, a killer canyon carver or just a quick and civilized daily driver/sleeper. - DF

What Frio and Dr said. - BH

Got Questions, Comments, Love or Hate? Send your letters to:

editorial@hondatuningmagazine.com
Snail mail: 2400 E. Katella Ave, Ste. 1100, Anaheim, CA 92806

Remember: If you don't have anything nice to say, be sure you say it in a grammatically correct manner. Also, be sure to provide us with some information-your name, address (most importantly the city, state and country you reside in), and an e-mail address or phone number that we can reach you at.

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