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September 2008 - Tech Support

Where We Cure All Your Tech Problems

Charles Trieu
Sep 1, 2008
Photographer: Day Photography
130_0809_01_z+tech_support_september_2008+import_model Photo 1/1   |   September 2008 - Tech Support

Stumped with a tech inquiry? We're here to help. Email us at: or by writing in: Super Street, c/o Tech Support, 6420 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90048.

Question Of The Month
QDownforce: I want it. How do I get it without looking like an idiot driving around with a giant aluminum or carbon-fiber spoiler on my everyday car? I drive an S13 hatchback. I was considering either a Wangan-type wing or the OEM Type X spoiler that came on the late model 180SXs in Japan. Will either of these wings help provide me stability at high speed? Or could a rear diffuser be a better investment? All help will be appreciated. Keep putting out the best import car magazine on the market.
Jeff Ratliff
Belleview, FL

AThe Wangan-style wing would probably work better at high speeds. There are alternatives to gaining downforce without using a wing. Other options include a front spoiler, splitter, canards, rear diffuser or underbody panels. These products put downforce on different parts of the car. So the first thing to do is to find out where you need it.

Q I have a 2000 Honda Civic with the 1.6-liter single overhead cam engine in it. I would like to do an engine swap. The engine I would like to swap in is a Honda B16B Civic Type R engine. What would I need to do to make this swap happen? I would be getting the engine, transmission, axles, computer and wiring. Would I need to modify anything in the engine compartment to make this swap work?
Patrick Hascall
Pilot Rock, OR

A No, you do not have to modify the engine compartment to fit the engine. The only things missing from your list are the mounts and shift linkage. You won't be able to use the mounts and shift linkage that came with your car; you'll need the ones that came with the B16B or some from a '99-'00 Civic Si.

Q I was wondering which engine would be the easiest to prep for moderate boost (aiming 250-300 hp) among the B series engines (B16A, B18B, B18C, B20, etc.). I will be using a DC2 chassis. I understand this topic has been beaten to death on the forums and I have not really gotten a straight answer. Hope you guys can point me in the right direction.
Via the Internet

A Since you have a DC2, you probably have either the B18B or B18C. Either of those would be fine for boost. The turbo would prefer the lower compression of the B18B, but you could just change the pistons in a B18C. If you don't have an engine, you can go with a B18B or B20 for their low compression and cheaper cost. The VTEC engines generally sell for more than the non-VTEC, but if you do go with a B20, the cylinder walls have been known to be weak.

Q My car recently took a crap on me and I'm now in the market for a new car. This time around I want something for mild mods and year-round driving. Living in Minnesota, the land of potholes and ice, is there anything I should know about tuning an all-season daily driver? For example, can intercoolers and high flow exhausts keep the head too cold? Can high profile cams making cold starts impossible? Can BOVs somehow become clogged with ice?
Minneapolis, MN

A Intercoolers are mainly used for turbo applications. Turbo generates a lot of heat, so intercoolers are essential. Even in cold weather, you would not want a turbo car without an intercooler. High-flow exhaust shouldn't affect the engine temperature. High profile cams, in extreme cases, can make for an unstable idle, but it will not make starting impossible in the cold. Cold starts are usually handled by coolant thermo valves in the intake manifold or throttle body. People tend to block those lines to keep intake temperatures down. In cold weather it would be better to leave that stuff alone. No, BOVs freezing up is not a common problem. If you do plan to have a turbo car in cold weather, a turbo timer would help ease the turbo into cooler temperatures.

Q Do blow-off valves work only on turbo cars with manual transmissions? Or can they be put on cars with automatic transmissions, with or without turbos?
Bryan Matott
Via the Internet

A Blow-off valves will only work on cars with turbos and centrifugal superchargers. The transmission has nothing to do with it; it can be manual or auto.

Q I have a '98 Civic DX. I recently installed an Edelbrock header with an Omni Power exhaust. Well, my check engine light came on so I went to get it checked. The codes that came up were the two oxygen sensors and P1298 electric load detector (ELD). I've searched on just about every Honda forum that I know of and everybody has had this problem but no solution. I was wondering if you guys have ever heard of this and if you know of any solution for the P1298 code. The symptoms are: interior lights dimming in and out, engine decelerating and accelerating by itself and the speedometer needle jump around like crazy. Any light on this would be great appreciated.
Casselberry, FL

A Take your car to the local auto store and have them do an under-the-hood test on your alternator to see if it is still good. When the alternator goes bad, or when the belt is not tight enough, it can cause an ELD code. But if that turns out fine, then it could be a short in your oxygen sensor wiring, which can cause both codes. Take a look at the wiring underneath the intake manifold and behind the block.

By Charles Trieu
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