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Stroke It?I love the mag, but in the April issue you made a mistake in response to a reader's letter, entitled "No Replacement for Aluminum." There's an easy way to stroke your engine to 1.7 liters. I've done it myself. Use the crank, rods and pistons from a D17A1 (2001-and-up Civic). The bottom of the cylinders need to be notched a little bit to let the longer rods clear the cylinder wall. You also need to use the cam and cam gear if you don't want to take half a tooth off. The same can be done between the D16Z6 and D17A2 engines.Turbocharge Me
I understand it's possible, but it's not always the best means to a Honda enthusiast's ends. Honda performance motors are generally high-rev screamers, but the D series was left out of this scenario with its stock rod/stroke ratio in the 1.5 range. Stroking a D-series moves them even farther away from what we've come to expect from a Honda motor built (from the factory or by the aftermarket) with performance in mind.
In hindsight, I should have addressed this setup as a possibility in the last installment. I'd should make it very clear here that I don't think it's a good idea. - Dru Barrios
Old-School UpgradeI own an '87 CRX Si and plan to do the Mini-Me engine swap, but I've hit a snag. I'm told I can't use the stock mounts from either the EW- or D-series engines. Then I heard that I can use the D-series mounts or even those from a first-gen Integra. Can you clear this up?Jason Trueblood
As far as we know, there isn't an off-the-shelf mount kit for this swap. You'll likely have to make your own mounts for this swap. The first-gen CRX and third-gen Civic chassis can use a first-gen Integra's D16A1 using a combination of Civic and Integra mounts. The brown-top ZC from a first-gen JDM CRX or the blacktop ZC from a first-gen JDM Integra will use the same mounts as the A1. These two are probably the most common swap from your chassis.
The newer D-series engines (1988 and up), however, have different mounting locations than the EW and early D16s (A1 and ZC). We suggest going with a B and using Hasport's B-series swap kit for the '83-'87 CRX. A 200-hp B engine in a sub-2,000-pound CRX would be neck-snappingly good. - DB
Where's My Compression?I bought an H22A4 motor from a wrecked '99 Prelude, but after I installed it in my '98 Civic, I learned the number three cylinder is giving me only 80 psi. I'm getting 180 to 200 psi from the other cylinders. Someone told me it might excessively build up on the exhaust valve, so I cleaned it with a Bardhal cleaning kit, but I'm still getting 80 psi from number three. Should I ride the car a bit more to clean more of the valve seat while I am cruising? Or should I just take off the head and rebuild it?Jean-Francois (Jeff) Cyr
There are a few things that can cause low compression on only one cylinder. The best way to find out is to do a leakdown test using a tool that threads into the spark plug hole and regulates compressed air entering the motor. Put number three cylinder at top dead center (otherwise the compressed air will just push the piston down the cylinder). Hook up the leakdown tester and turn on the compressed air. While the air is flowing into the cylinder, you need to listen to different parts of your motor to locate the problem.
Remove the oil fill cap from the valve cover. If you can feel air coming from the fill hole, or hear compressed air in the valve cover, your problem might be piston rings. If air is escaping from the throttle body or from the exhaust, it's likely a valve problem. Remove the radiator cap. If you see bubbles, it's probably a head gasket problem.
You also may want to try doing a "wet" compression test. Simply add about a tablespoon of oil into the cylinder and perform another compression test. The oil will seal the rings and cylinder wall temporarily. If you still have low compression during a wet test, you can rule out bad rings as the problem. - DB
Snake CharmerI have a '97 Acura CL 2.2 and want to build it into a Cobra-eating sleeper. I haven't seen many older CLs tricked out, so I think it's a perfect sleeper candidate. I've heard an H22 swap is possible, but I've only found dead ends in my research. How similar are the CL and Accord chassis?RCMF
The H22A swap should be largely a bolt-on affair, short of some wiring differences and the addition of VTEC. You'd want to find a complete front clip from a Prelude or Accord Euro-R as a donor and you'll need to swap over most of what's in the engine bay. If you can't source a front clip, make sure you at least have the engine, tranny, mounts, ECU, wiring harness and every bolt-on peripheral piece you can find (distributor, alternator, etc). Some of the parts on the native F22 engine will swap over and some won't. And if you intend to pass smog with this swap, you'll need to get a 1997-and-up engine in most states. Finally, make sure to avoid the Prelude SH motor-that thing is a whole different story. - DB
To oil Jet or Not to Oil Jet?In the "LX/VTEC" article (HT, April 2005), I noticed a minor discrepancy about whether or not to remove the oil control orifice jet. From experience of accidentally forgetting not to remove the jet, I think it's necessary to take it out for the Mini-Me head swap. Failure to do so means no VTEC engagement.
The article states there are two different camps that argue this discrepancy. But there is none at all. If you look at the design of the VTEC system and understand its operation, you can see it very much requires removal for this particular project. I'm glad someone made the executive call and removed it for you guys, as it's not optional.Mike 4dr
Mike, you're right. In this case, there is only one way to skin a cat. Seeking some confirmation, we checked with www.sohchonda.com. Indeed, if the oil jet isn't removed from the block, there will be insufficient oil pressure in the head to lock the center rocker arms and engage VTEC. - DB
Hard DiscI'm trying to remove my brake rotors, but am having trouble with the screws on the rotors. How can I remove them without stripping them? Tom
If the retaining screws are rusted, reach for a can of WD-40. Spray the hell out of them, then try again with a Phillips screwdriver. If they're still stuck, use an impact driver (a tool that acts as a screwdriver and spins when you exert force on it). Put a Phillips bit into the impact driver, set it in the head of the retaining screw and turn it a bit to the left to exert some pre-load on it. Then give it a few good wacks with a hammer. - DB
Damn GS-RI've got a '91 Integra RS five-speed with a B18A1 engine. I was wondering if the B18C1 head would mate up with the block. If not, what's the best way to go about dropping a B18C1 into my car? Chris
With some modification, the GS-R (B18C1) head will fit nicely on your B18A1 block (a version of the popular LS/VTEC swap). There used to be a lot of machining involved in the LS/VTEC process. Now there are a few companies offering products that make it almost a bolt-on affair. Check our most recent LS/VTEC build in the June '05 issue.
If you decide you want to swap a whole GS-R motor into your DA, it wouldn't be much more of a problem. You'll still have to wire VTEC and the IABs. You'll also need to do an OBD 0/OBD-I swap. These jobs aren't too hard, but they are tedious. Put on your patience hat and get to soldering! -DB
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