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Auto Repair and Maintenance - Exhaust Notes

Questions, Comments, Props, Hate

Aug 1, 2005
0706_htup_01_z+honda_accord_39_cents_stamp Photo 1/1   |   Auto Repair and Maintenance - Exhaust Notes

EF CrusaderI was reading about the turbo RSX in your May issue. It was OK, although not my thing. But then at the end I see one of the most blasphemous things I have ever read. The owner says that a four-door EF is retarded? No way! Not only can I not believe that such a thing could be said, I can't believe that such a good magazine as HT could let that slip into the mag. I own an '89 Civic sedan and love it. I'm thinking about doing an LS swap in it. I have nothing but love for the EF. Thanks for the other good coverage. Good job.Silentpoison16

Easy there, Poisonman. First of all, those words are RSX owner Fred Chang's own-we just reported them. Read it again and you'll see Chang was not clowning on the great EF, but rather EF-driving dumbasses who rev on his turbocharged RSX with their stock 1.6-liters. Anyway, we know you're a regular reader and regular readers would know we - like you - got nothing but love for the EF. We had one of the sickest old-school EFs in our March '05 issue. Our June cover car is one of the sweetest EF hatches ever. And watch for our bro Dane Sloan's EF road race project on the road. - Dan Frio



OK ComputerYour mag is my bible. It's been very helpful in all the work I've done to my '93 Integra. I recently purchased an OBD-I B16A from Japan. It's fresh out of the machine shop and ready to get swapped into my DA. What is the best ECU to use with the swap and what is the best engagement point for VTEC? I'm stuck between the differences of the P28 and the P30.

I'm running the motor N/A. I have ITR camshafts, Skunk2 cam gears and intake manifold, AEM fuel rail, and B16B pistons. I don't want to waste money on an ECU that isn't as effective as another one could've been. Keep up the good work and I look forward to reading the mag for the rest of my life!Nick Santiago

While both ECUs will work, the P28 is the staple of the Honda tuning community. The P28 can be easily modified to accommodate almost any engine combination (check out the June '05 issue to learn how to chip an ECU). We suggest chipping a P28, loading up a CTR basemap and tuning from there. Everything you'll need to use to accomplish that is on www.pgmfi.org. One thing is sure: with mods like those on your B16A, it'd be a bad idea to run it on an untuned OEM ECU. - Dr Barrios



Sensory OverloadI own a '94 Integra LS with 140K miles and my search for power has led me to a 1998 USDM B18C1. I've purchased a gauge cluster and ECU to match the motor, but I'm concerned about the wiring. Do I need to change anything in the wiring or should I get a harness to convert from OBD-II into OBD-I? I can do the swap myself, but I'm not sure about the wiring and extra 02 sensor. Do I bolt it all in and go?Mike D.

Who knew Mike Diamond from the Beastie Boys read HT? Solid! Mike, the consensus is to use the ITR engine harness, which will plug into your stock firewall plugs without a problem. You'll have some ABS wires left over, which you can get rid of or tuck away. You'll have to run VTEC wires, which should be self-explanatory if you're ready to do the rest of the swap by yourself.

To use the OBD-II ECU, you'll have to get a jumper harness to convert from OBD-I to the OBD-II ECU. You can use the USDM ECU if you really want, but that entails wiring the secondary O2 sensor, oil pressure switch, knock sensor, etc.-which unless you're worried about it for smog reasons is more trouble than it's worth. We suggest a modified P28 ECU. The P28 will plug directly into your stock connectors and go. - DB



Lost CauseI have a '97 Civic HX with a D16Y5. I've been looking for performance parts for it but can only find parts for the Y8. Would those fit my Y5? I want to go nonturbo, port the head, get a new intake manifold, ignition system and ECU. Also, with a new cam, what else would I have to do besides get new lifters?Ryan Collins

We hate to break it to you buddy, but the Y5 is a lost cause for serious mods. The ends will never justify the means for a project like that. The Y5 is a VTEC-E motor, meaning it runs on 12 valves instead of 16 under 2500 rpm. It also has a "normal" SOHC VTEC-style crossover further in the rpm range.

On paper, the motor seems like a good choice for an SOHC street car. It even comes stock with roller rockers like the K series. But it's a green (eco-friendly) machine and the aftermarket has not supported it.

It would take a lot of work, but we'd bet that a custom system to lock the rockers into 16 valve operation at all times, a crazy custom billet camshaft (only possible due to the roller rockers), a port job and a bump in compression would make the Y5 a screamer. But for the money involved, there's very little gain.

Unless you want to fork out the dough and be a pioneer on one of the last frontiers of the D-series world, we suggest a swap to a more conventional D16Y8 and build from there. The tranny also needs to be swapped as it was designed with the same goal as the motor: economy (the "e" in VTEC-E). If you go where no man (that we know of) has gone before, let us know. We'd love to hear about it. - DB



Selling Out the D?I found a loophole in my pledge to be loyal to the D series. Lately, I've been wanting a DOHC engine, but in order to continue my loyalty, my only options are to stick with my D16 or swap in the ZC engine. I don't know much about the ZC. Will it swap right into my Civic or will I need to buy a motor mount kit or use custom mounts? Will the automatic tranny in my car bolt to the ZC or will I have to change transmissions? If I do need to change trannies, can I swap in an auto (I have really bad knees and need an auto)?

When modifying a ZC, can I use the D16 headers and intake manifold? I'm a college student and I guess you know what that means. I can only afford to do this swap once.Anthony

There's something wrong when you have to make excuses to justify your choices. Just get what you want. Getting a B-series is not selling out. Don't buy a ZC because you really want DOHC, but don't want to sell out the D. Buy a ZC because you really want a kick-ass engine. Or buy it because you can't afford a B-series. Or buy it because it's the only DOHC engine that will drop right into your Civic. Be real about your choices. It's your car.

Most D16 parts will work on a ZC. Headers and intake manifolds from any '88-'00 D15/16 will fit on the ZC. You're on your own to find aftermarket cams, cam gears, etc. The bottom end has the same geometry as the rest of the D16s, with a 75mm bore, 90mm stroke, and 137mm rods.

Aftermarket rods from a D16 will fit without a problem. Aftermarket pistons for a D will fit in a ZC, but remember the PM7 ZC pistons have a 7.2cc dome stock. Their combustion chambers are 10cc larger than a Z6 and 12cc larger then a Y8. If you're trying to raise the compression by using aftermarket pistons, you'll need to go custom.

Regarding the transmission, you can use any transmission, manual or automatic, from an '88-'00 EX or Si civic. - DB



Head GamesI have a D16Z6 in my Civic and am planning to put a D16Y8 head on it. Will everything be compatible? Are there any parts I will need from a D16Y8 engine?Ryan

We're left wondering why you want to do that. Both SOHC VTEC heads have their strong and weak points. Ironically, the pros and cons of each head mirror each other. The Y8 head has the pent roof combustion chamber design that we've all grown to love over the years. The large, flat quench pads ensure combustion happens in the center of the chamber for a quicker, more controlled burn.

The downside to the Y8 head is that the right side of the splitter is in the intake ports. The air makes a steep right turn in the head, which is intended to promote the "swirl effect." It works well-in a stock motor at 3000 rpm. In a motor modified for performance, it just gets in the way of flow. There isn't much you can do about it without "hogging out" the port, which is also counter productive.

Fortunately the D16Z6 head didn't have the swirl port design. Unfortunately, it didn't have the quench pad combustion chamber, either. The two heads, in stock form, will make nearly identical power. If you already have a Z6 head, keep it. It's good. - DB

Idiots RuleI couldn't believe my eyes as I read your April issue. In the "LX/VTEC" swap story, these idiots put a head on an engine knowing it had problems. There was no attempt to check the valve springs, valve seat seal, flatness of the cylinder side of the head, and bent or worn valves.

They only ran the head through a parts cleaner. I have never heard of having a head off without a valve job! It has also been my experience that it's wise to take a trueing cut on the cylinder side of the head, just to know that I don't have to worry about a blown head gasket. They didn't even compare the heads on a fair basis as they added aftermarket parts in the gas flow areas, intake and exhaust, to the "new" head.

Nothing was thought out as to restrictions in the gas flow of the catalytic converter and original throttle body. They just mentioned them in passing. It seems as if "they got it free, bolt it on." This is not really a fair test of the aftermarket items, either.

In the very next article, "Prelude-to-Civic Swap Pt. 6," the company doing the transmission work cleaned everything spotlessly. Then all wear was checked and appropriate action taken.

I guess I don't understand your editorial policy to be so far apart on the theory of part replacement or substitution. I believe cleanliness is next to godliness when it comes to engine and driveline work.

Another point I would care to make is that in the article under "Civic Duty" and "Cloud 9000," the cars were made to have greater performance, but in neither car was a roll bar or cage installed. I usually travel 100 miles per day to go to school and even in my stock CRX-Si, I have a roll cage installed. I realize that a roll cage or roll bar is not a requirement, but it certainly boosts the driver's confidence. Remember, you might be the best driver out there, but there is always the possibility that another driver is really bad and wrecks with you.W. Howard Baker

Dubya, I don't even know where to start. First of all, I was one of those "idiots" who put that head on that block. We thoroughly inspected that head to make sure everything was in check. It would have been very boring to look at a photo of us checking each valve and valve spring.

No, we didn't surface the head because it didn't need it. We checked it with a true straight edge and feeler gauges and it came out well within spec. We didn't get a valve job because that isn't really what the story was about.

Perhaps this will help you and any of our other readers distressed by this seeming oversight (anyone? Hello? Bueller?) sleep better at night: that motor has been running since December with no problems.

As for the throttle body, we were supposed to use a GS-R unit, but it didn't arrive in time for the install. And the cat, well, just call us dirty hippies. We're just doing our part (and not even close to making up for all the other times we ignore it).

Now, about the roll cage: we don't build our feature cars. They're done by enthusiasts like you or manufacturers. Secondly, most of the cars we feature are street cars. Roll cages in street cars are dumb. Great for the track, not so great when you're rolling to the Dairy Queen, get tailboned by some inattentive jackass and your forehead meets windshield bar with ferocious velocity.

Think hard about this, amigo: large tubular steel bars in close proximity to unprotected skull, just minding its own business on the way to the DQ.

To each his own. We'll choose not to machine our single-cam head and you can run a cage in your stock Si and we'll all agree to disagree. - DB



Road Racing ResponseIn the March 2005 issue, we asked readers if they thought road racing events like JGTC/Super GT could ever appeal to American audiences consumed with NASCAR fever. Here are some of the responses we received. And thanks for your well-thought out answers:

I have class in five hours and for some reason, two beers later, here I am responding to an outreach from Dan.

Here's my take on it all (I went to the two-day JGTC/D1GP event. One word: awesome). We have NASCAR: well-sponsored, good racers, fast cars all under regulations so that the driver or mechanic who cheats gets caught. We have JGTC: fast cars, good drivers, regulations and semi-sponsored. Basically the elements are the same.

NASCAR is like a huge oak tree. It's old, big and has some massive roots. JGTC is a little oak tree with the potential to grow big. People like me are looking for an alternative to NASCAR. It will take time, a few years, probably five or more for JGTC to become widely known. It will take even longer, if ever, to compete with NASCAR.Jonathan, Proud Integra owner

I like to see a good wreck as much as the next guy but is that what it's all about? How hard is it to drive an oval anyway? Go fast, turn left. Throw in some right turns and some off-cambers and it's just painful to watch. But those are the only NASCAR races worth watching. Most of those guys just can't turn right. Road racing shows real driver skill and it needs what Fox has done for NASCAR: drama, in-car cams, constant on-screen leader board, driver background.

There needs to be some connection other than the car. The United States is still hooked on the Big Three auto manufactures and V8 horsepower. That'll probably never change. It's our history. Road racing will have to look and feel like NASCAR to catch on here. I would love to see that happen.KJJ

Start by eliminating the $500 entrance fee to see road racing (huh? - DF) by putting it on local network instead of cable. Races should start at 1 p.m. on Sunday, when we fire up our BBQs. I have a TV in my garage so I can eat, wax and prep my car for my Sunday afternoon drive. It's a good life. But if it comes to buying new springs for the car or paying for SPEED Channel to watch road racing, I guess I'm stuck watching NASCAR.Robert



Dream GaragesI wrote about my dream garage in my column in the June issue of Honda Tuning. Here are some of yours. - DF

1. 2004 Subaru WRX Sti2. S20003. Integra Type-R4. Dodge SRT-105. Nissan Altima SE-R6. 2001 Ford F-150 SVT Lightning7. Acura TSX8. Toyota Altezza9. Toyota X-Runner10. RSX Type-SRobert Abline

1. Ford F-250 Powerstroke. Hey, I'm gonna need it to pull the boat!2. Infiniti FX35. Arctic white, black leather interior, GReddy twins underhood!3. 2006 Acura RL: my "City Place" ride4. Nissan Skyline GT-R sedan: yes, sedan. Everyone wants the coupe. I happen to like sedans5. Civic Type-R: the real deal6. Volvo V70R AWD: What, you thought Dodge invented the performance wagon?7. The Draggin' Wagon: with boost on a built Y88. Audi RS6: twin-turbo V8 and AWD. I'll take two ...9. 1971 Datsun 240Z: completely restored and retrofitted with Skyline GTS (2WD turbo) drivetrain and suspension.10. My '95 Civic sedan just the way it is! Love the prelude choice!Mike TurnerTurner Tuning, Delray Beach, Fla.

1. 1990 JDM RHD CRX with GT series ball-bearing turbo2. 2004 S2000: Vortech supercharger, 19-inch wheels (rear), 18's (front), Veilside body kit3. 2006 Acura RL: just for cruisin'4. 2004 Dodge SRT-4: ATP turbo kit, custom 3-inch exhaust, lots of fuel5. 2002 Subaru 2.5 RS coupe w/Euro STi Spec C engine6. 2003 Porshe 911 GT2: speed and prestige7. 1976 Datsun 240Z w/RB26DETT8. 2005 Porsche Cayenne turbo: just because I want it9. 1970 Shelby Mustang GT50010. 1995 Mazda Miata w/FD twin-turbo rotary from RX7Dakota Shepard



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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