When it comes to maximum efficiency, you have to tip your hat to Honda engineers. Time and time again, Honda engineers have proven why they're the kings of small displacement engines.
More than a decade ago, Honda was one of the first companies to produce a 100 hp/liter from a production engine (B16A est. 1988). Honda continues to push the performance envelope as evidenced by the soon-to-be-released stateside K20 Type-R engine (110 hp/liter), which produces even more horsepower per liter than the previous B16A. The "H" has proven there's a replacement for displacement. However, there's a flip side to the amazing little Honda engine. The drawback of a highly efficient engine is there's not much room for improvement.
Although Honda did its homework when it came to designing the B-series engine, the engineers at JG Edelbrock have found ways to improve the intake system. Although the stock intake manifolds on B-series engines work fine on everything from stock to lightly modified applications, it can become insufficient when more extensive modifications are performed.
When items like high-lift cams, ported and polished heads and high-compression pistons are installed, the engine's air flow requirements increase. The primary job of an intake manifold is to direct the air from the intake tract into the intake ports of the cylinder head. If the plenum isn't large enough or the runners are too small, the resulting lower air velocity and/or lack of air volume going into the combustion chamber can impact the performance output of the engine.
Having fabricated hundreds of intake manifolds in the past, the engineering staff at JG Edelbrock has designed an intake manifold specifically for high-output B-series Honda engines. Unlike the stock intake manifold that features a small plenum and runners, the JG Edelbrock Victor X manifold incorporates a large plenum with large runners for high-compression or forced-induction engines. The Victor X cast-aluminum intake comes with all the necessary fittings and hardware for installation. The Victor X intake also comes in the standard four injector design but casting incorporates bosses that can be drilled for additional injectors or nitrous nozzles.
For our test purposes, we found a high-output naturally aspirated vehicle and a high-output turbocharged engine. The first engine was a 1998 Acura Type-R modified with a ported-and-polished cylinder head, JG Edelbrock Pro-flo header and high-lift cams. The B18 was running a stock ECU with a raised rev-limiter. The combination netted 193.3 hp and 142.3 lb-ft of torque to the wheels on the Dynojet. With the vehicle still strapped to the dyno, we swapped the Type-R intake with the Victor X manifold. This time, the B18 generated 205.1 hp and 140.0 lb-ft of torque. Although we lost 2.0 lb-ft of peak torque, we were able to gain an impressive 11.8 hp.
The second victim was a fully built GS-R engine boosting 20 psi of turbo pressure. With the stock GS-R manifold on the engine, peak power was 438.9 hp and 309.8 lb-ft of torque. Installing the Victor X manifold, we witnessed an increase of 27.4 peak hp and 12.6 lb-ft of peak torque pushing peak power to 466.3 hp and 322.4 lb-ft of torque (fuel was increased on the motor's Motec engine management system to maintain proper air/fuel ratio). At around 7450 rpm, we were amazed to see an increase of 41.5 hp and 29.3 lb-ft of torque.
Does the intake work? The dyno graphs speak for themselves. The JG Edelbrock Victor X intake was designed to optimize power production from heavily modified naturally aspirated engines or force-induced powerplants.
To fully maximize the power production of these engines, you need an intake manifold matching the air consumption needs of the engine. The larger plenum and runner design is ideal to deliver maximum air velocity into the chambers. Installing the Victor X intake is a straightforward proposition and requires only a few hand tools. The manifold can also be used with all the factory sensors for a direct replacement of the stock system.