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D17A2 build advice

Discussion in 'Engine Building' started by SO Street Smasher, Nov 19, 2009.

  1. SO Street Smasher

    SO Street Smasher New Member

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    Second time honda owner first time build interested. I own a 2001 Honda Civic EX with the D17A2 motor and i am looking for some build advice. I am looking to take it from the stock 127 HP rating and get it up to around 180 or 200 HP I dont want to get to invasive and would like to stay away from turbos if possible (automatic tranny) just want a little more zip for my daily driver is all really. I do know a little about Performance mods but mostly just Intake, Exaust, and Headers. However any advice is greatly appreciated.
     
  2. f22b1 coupe

    f22b1 coupe Junior Member

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    Well I have some bad news. I have read on some Civic forums that the D17's are the least tunable engine Honda has ever made- people talk like they do intake headers and exhaust and barely get a few HP- plus the auto in that is going to always make it seem slower. You could put a K20 engine in it and make significantly more HP, but I'm not sure if K/D trannies are interchangeable, to be honest I don't frequent that part of the board any. You could check into it, but you are probably looking at spending a grand on it.

    ECU tuning in addition to mods might bring you some power, but to be frank, unless you have a lot of money or you like to work on a car a lot, your best bet is to sell the car and buy a Civic Si. You'd have to go back one year if you don't want a hatchback. I would say just getting a 5 speed 2001 EX would feel faster launching, I've driven the auto and the manual, and it really is like a full second or more difference in 0-60 I would bet.
     
  3. SO Street Smasher

    SO Street Smasher New Member

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    ive been researching in the forums and a K20 swap runs about 10k and if it would cost that much i might as well sell the car and buy an RSX so a motor swap is not what id like to do, thanks for the input though, i've heard that the motor is strong and tuneable but isn't frequently done because its a style all of its own.
     
  4. phunky.buddha

    phunky.buddha Admin with a big stick Admin VIP

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    If you want 180-200 crank hp, you'll need about 145-160hp at the wheels with your automatic transmission (assuming 20% driveline loss). Not going turbo and not doing anything inside the engine limits you to external mods only- basically intake/header/exhaust and tuning. I/H/E are relatively cheap- can be had for about $1000 total- but your gains are minimal. They definitely won't take you from your current 100-105whp to 145-160whp. It's just not going to happen. You might get 10whp at best.

    Not going turbo means that you're going to want to go inside and raise your compression (new pistons/rods- $600-1k), get a more aggressive cam ($300ish), increase displacement ($800-1k), port the head ($1k+) and have one hell of a tune ($$$$). Even then, it's going to be pretty hard to get to or past the 150whp mark. A good number of people have done it, but it's not common on any D series setup meant for the street, and it's definitely not cheap.

    On the other hand, you could put together a junkyard turbo setup with a little research, spend about $1k-2k total, and have all your hardware external to your engine. 170-180whp is pretty easy when taking this route.

    Seriously though- you want a 50% power increase without doing anything significant to the engine. Think about it.
     
  5. SO Street Smasher

    SO Street Smasher New Member

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    sorry i dont mean to sound like an idiot when i say invasive what i mean is machine shop work. like port and polish, different lower end to different top end setups, you know the super complicated stuff that i would have to send out to get done. for now i'm just looking at stuff like performance injectors, fuel rails, air intake, exaust, headers, and maybe a different gear ratio auto trans i am mostly looking for, as i said before, a little more zip in my daily commuter (things i can do myself on the weekends). and the reason i dont like the idea of a turbo is because i've never owned/driven one and would have no idea how to maintain something like that hence the advice interest. however the "backyard turbo" is something i have heard of and would be open to provided i had some very experienced help. and on a side note in the next year or so i plan to pick up a new SOHC/DOHC motor (haven't decided yet which one but i lean toward the H22 so far) and start building it from the ground up so i can drop it in the car in about five years or so. that way i can take my time study up and find a decent 5 speed civic like my existing car to have for fun. so once again thanks for any feedback you've got for me:D.
     
  6. phunky.buddha

    phunky.buddha Admin with a big stick Admin VIP

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    You're welcome... but you have some conflicting views in there. If you're not sure about maintaining a turbo system, you really don't want to attempt a junkyard turbo setup.

    If you want to avoid machine shop work, then you really can't do anything inside the engine. Porting, new pistons- all of that requires machine work. Without it, all you can really do inside the engine is replace the camshaft. Everything else is external and gives minimal gains towards your 50% goal unless you want to go with boost.

    A new fuel rail and injectors won't help you at all because they're not really performance adders. They're used to extract more power from parts that increase flow through your engine. Without the extra airflow, extra fuel can't be burned. You can optimize your tune a little bit compared to the factory setup without power adders, but you'll gain a few percentage points at best.
     
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