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Engine Swaps 101

Discussion in 'Swap Articles' started by pissedoffsol, Jan 11, 2004.

  1. pissedoffsol

    pissedoffsol RETIRED

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    Basics of Engine Swaps: what fits in what

    Overview

    In order to properly cover every aspect this section will be broken down into many sections. First, its important to decide what you’re goals are. If you’re interested in running 15 second quarter miles without hassle or complication then finding a B16 is probably your best bet. Some of us are interested in running 11 and 12 second quarter miles. For this type of performance it’s important to plan every detail so that the engine is capable and reliable when asked to perform. Another part of planning that should be done before the swap begins is whether or the engine will be naturally aspirated or have forced induction. These are all questions that need to be answered before the swap so that you’re satisfied when everything is complete.

    Finding the Proper Engine:

    There are many engine choices for each vehicle so we’ll cover all of them. First it’s important to understand that On Board Diagnostics play a large role in which engines are easiest and recommended. All Honda’s 1991 and earlier are considered OBD 0. This means that the engines don’t utilize any oxygen sensors and have little in the way of emissions control. Next there are OBD 1 engines that are found in all cars from 1992-1995. These vehicles have traditionally been the best platform for the most “factory-like†hybrids. Finally, anything from 1996-1998 is OBD 2. 1999-2000 is OBD 2b. It’s also important to remember that its only legal to swap in engines of the same or newer OBD series. That is to say that an OBD2 engine can be placed into a 1988 CRX legally and without many wiring problems. Consequently its illegal in most states to use OBD 0 engines in cars that should have OBD1 or OBD2 power plants. Of course there are people who disregard these laws and regulations but its not recommended or necessarily that easy.

    4th Generation:

    1. ZC, D16A8, D16A9: Completely Bolt-In Swap.
    Transmission: Use ZC/D16A8/D16A9 Tranny
    Shift Linkage: Use stock Civic/CRX shift linkage
    Axles: Stock Civic/CRX
    Wiring: Retain stock harness
    Upper Radiator Hose: stock
    Lower Radiator Hose: stock
    Throttle Cable: stock
    *There may be clearance issues with the ZC, either a new hood, trimming of the old hood or trimming the valve cover is required.

    2. B16A: Mount kit required
    Transmission: S1, J1, A1, Y1 or YS1
    Shift Linkage: Need adjustable shift linkage from Hasport or shortened shift linkage from 90-93 Integra
    Axles: B16A Axles
    Wiring: DX, LX, and Standard (dual point injection) models the wiring needs to be modified for port injection first. To use PR3 or PW0 four wires need to be added, VTEC, VTEC oil pressure, knock sensor and second O2.
    Upper Radiator Hose: 92 GSR, trim to fit
    Lower Radiator Hose: 90 Integra, trim to fit
    Throttle Cable: 90 Integra
    Clutch Cable: Stock
    Air Conditioning: Use Hasport AC bracket with stock AC compressor.
    Chassis Prep: Make a dent on the left-hand frame rail for alternator pully clearance.
    Emissions: Purge cutoff solenoid valve needs to be Teed into the fuel pressure regulator for vacuum source.

    3. B18A: Mount kit required
    Transmission: S1, J1, A1, Y1 or YS1
    Shift Linkage: Need adjustable shift linkage from Hasport or shortened shift linkage from 90-93 Integra
    Axles: B18B Axles
    Wiring: For Si, EX, and HF (port injection) models modify the engine harness to fit. DX, LX, and Standard (dual point injection) models the wiring needs to be modified for port injection. Custom wiring harnesses are available for dual point injection applications from Hasport.
    Upper Radiator Hose: 92 GSR, trim to fit
    Lower Radiator Hose: 90 Integra, trim to fit
    Throttle Cable: 90 Integra
    Clutch Cable: Stock
    Air Conditioning: Use Hasport AC bracket with stock AC compressor.
    Chassis Prep: Make a dent on the left-hand frame rail for alternator pully clearance.

    OBD1-OBD2 Engine Swaps into 89-91 Civic/CRX

    To install an OBD1-OBD2 engine into your 4th Generation Civic/CRX the following adjustments will need to be made. First, if your car has dual point injection a conversion will need to be made to port injection. All Integra's 1994 and up and Civic's 1992 and up all use hydraulic transmissions. Therefore its not compatible with 4th Gen Civic's because these vehicles have cable transmissions. To complete the swap a B-series cable transmission will need to be used or a cable-hydro transmission conversion will need to be made. The left side bracket needs to be changed to a 1990-1993 Integra bracket.
    For the ECU, it is best to use the ECU which belongs with the engine. Several wiring adjustments will need to be made to make the engine run correctly.
    For LS-VTEC's, CRVTEC's and other Frankenstein's it is easiest to use the ECU that corresponds to the distributor and head. There are also reprogrammed ECU's which can be considered.

    4. B17A/B16A2/B16A2/B16B: Mount kit required
    Transmission: If your engine is a 92-93 B18A or B17A, the one that came with the engine, but for the other engines, any of the cable clutch operated B-series transmission including Japanese or American market S1, J1, A1, Y1 or YS1. Mounts: Hasport bolt in mount kit p/n #M88-B16-10. For 94 and up engines the timing belt side engine bracket will need to be changed for the 90-93 Acura bracket p/n #
    ECU: B16A ECU/B17A
    Axles: With a small amount of modification, the axles that come with the engines being transplanted (excluding the B20 engines) will work perfectly in most cases. The axles are from a 94 or later car, the left-hand transmission seal, the one for the intermediate shaft, should be changed for one from a 94 Integra, p/n #91205-PL3-A01.
    Shift Linkage: Hasport custom linkage p/n #l88-B16-10 or shortened 90-93 Integra linkage.
    Wiring: For these engines, you will want the injectors, ECU and distributor from the 89-91 B16A. If your car is an Si, HF, EX the stock harness can be easily modified to fit the engine. Then use Hasport conversion harness p/n #W88-Si-VTEC for the additional wires needed to run VTEC.
    Upper Radiator Hose: 92 GSR, trim to fit
    Lower Radiator Hose: 90 Integra, trim to fit
    Throttle Cable: 90 Integra
    Clutch Cable: Stock
    Air Conditioning: Use Hasport AC bracket with stock AC compressor.
    Chassis Prep: Make a dent on the left-hand frame rail for alternator pully clearance.
    B18C/B18C5: If your engine is a 92-93 B18A or B17A, the one that came with the engine, but for the other engines, any of the cable clutch operated B-series transmission including Japanese or American market S1, J1, A1, Y1 or YS1. Mounts: Hasport bolt in mount kit p/n #M88-B16-10. For 94 and up engines the timing belt side engine bracket will need to be changed for the 90-93 Acura bracket.
    Axles: With a small amount of modification, the axles that come with the engines being transplanted (excluding the B20 engines) will work perfectly in most cases. Click here to see the modification needed. If the axles are from a 94 or later car, the left-hand transmission seal, the one for the intermediate shaft, should be changed for one from a 94 Integra, p/n #91205-PL3-A01.
    Shift Linkage: Hasport custom linkage p/n #l88-B16-10 or shortened 90-93 Integra linkage.
    Wiring: For this engine, you will want the injectors and distributor from the 89-91 B16A. If your car is an Si, HF, EX the stock harness can be easily modified to fit the engine. Then the VTEC and air intake bypass can be hooked up with the addition of only two wire to the ECU and one to ignition power. For dual point injected motors, Hasport sells a conversion harness to help.
    Upper Radiator Hose: 94+ GSR, trim to fit
    Lower Radiator Hose: 90 Integra, trim to fit
    Throttle Cable: 94+ GSR or Type R
    Clutch Cable: Stock
    Air Conditioning: Use Hasport AC bracket with stock AC compressor.
    Chassis Prep: Make a dent on the left-hand frame rail for alternator pully clearance.

    5th Generation

    1. B16A2/3: Completely bolt-in Swap, VTEC needs to be wired, SIR II, Hasport shift linkage. Del Sol VTEC for the del sol
    2. B18B: Completely bolt-in swap, SIR II, Hasport shift linkage. Del Sol VTEC for the del sol
    3. B17A: Completely bolt-in swap, cable-hydro transmission kit(not recommended) or hydraulic b-series transmission, VTEC needs to be wired.
    4. B18C1: Completely bolt-in swap, VTEC needs to be wired.
    5. B18C5: Completely bolt-in swap, OBD conversion, VTEC needs to be wired.
    6. B16B: Completely bolt-in swap, OBD conversion, VTEC needs to be wired.
    7. H22A: Mount kit required, Hasport shift linkage, VTEC needs to be wired.
    8. B16A: Not recommended! Too much work, more costly compared to B16A2/3's.
    9. D16Z6: Completely bolt in, VTEC needs to be wired.
    10. D16Y8: Completely bolt in, VTEC needs to be wired.

    6th Generation

    1. B18C1: Completely bolt-in swap, VTEC needs to be wired.
    2. B16A2: Completely bolt in swap, VTEC needs to be wired.
    3. B16A3: Completely bolt-in swap, VTEC needs to be wired, OBD Conversion.
    4. B18C5: Completely bolt-in swap, VTEC needs to be wired.
    5. B18B1: Completely bolt-in swap.
    6. B16B: Completely bolt-in swap, VTEC needs to be wired.
    7. H22A: Mount kit required, Hasport shift linkage, VTEC needs to be wired.
    8. D16Z6: Completely bolt-in, OBD conversion, VTEC needs to be wired.
    9. D16Y8: Completely bolt-in, VTEC needs to be wired.

    7th Generation

    1. K20A2: Completely bolt-in swap, shift linkage needs to be modified.
    K24: Mostly bolt-in swap, found in the 2002+ CRV, shift linkage needs to be modified.

    General info on swaps and prices

    The ZC is widely regarded as the easiest engine to swap into 4th Generation Civics. The positive aspects of this engine include the price; DOHC design, availability and both engines are directly bolt in. The ZC is a Japanese Domestic Market engine and was featured in the CRX Si. And because this engine is D-series it will work with all D-series cable transmissions. The price for these motors can range from 500-750 depending on the source and condition with the transmission being optional. The Si transmission has the best gear ratio and will provide the best acceleration. Other choices include the DX and HF transmissions although the HF transmission is not well suited for high performance driving. Using the ZC transmission makes this swap slightly more complex. First, the axles and intermediate shaft need to be from the ZC or D16A1/3 setup. The computer and On Board Diagnostic's are all OBD 0 and there are several ECU's that can be used. These include the D16A6 ECU (Si), D16A1/3 (Integra), and or the ZC ECU. All have similar fuel cutoffs and with a stock drive train little power will be made above 7000rpm.

    The D16Z6 is another inexpensive option that can be installed without much trouble. This motor will bolt right in and can be found for around 600-800 dollars. The positive aspects of this engine include VTEC, availability, and price. Usually with this setup the d16 long block is mated with a cable d-series transmission. There are several options with the ECU. Either the D16Z ECU is used, or the stock ECU is retained and a VTEC controller added. *Remember, all 4th Generation Honda's use cable transmissions while 5th and 6th Generation Honda's use hydraulic transmissions.

    The B16A2/3 is the most popular swap and probably yields the best power for the cost. First generation B16's usually cost around 1200-1500 minus the cost of engine mounts. It is important to note that this engine will NOT bolt directly into a 4th generation engine bay. Aftermarket engine mounts from Hasport, Place Racing or self-fabricated mounts will need to be used. The first generation B16 also came stock with a cable transmission and for the complete swap the axles, intermediate shaft, and ECU will be needed.

    The B16B is a Japanese Domestic Motor and isn't very popular because of its smaller displacement and price tag. This engine was found in 1998 Civic Type R's and has a design similar to the B18C5. Its intake cam is slightly more aggressive and its compression is slightly higher. However, because of this engine's smaller displacement there it offers less torque. Therefore this engine offers little improvement over a B18C1 and when comparing price tags this engine is quickly dismissed. This engine comes with the same transmission as the ITR and has LSD. If the B16B can be purchased for less than 4000 it would be a great deal. Unfortunately its nearly impossible to find this engine that cheap and its recommended that a B16/B18 is purchased instead.

    The B18C1 came in USDM Acura Integra GSR's between the years of 1994-2001. This engine has 170 horsepower and 128lbs of torque, which makes for a very fast daily driven car. For this swap the shift linkage, axles, and ECU will all be needed. Another important aspect of this swap that should be considered is the year of the engine. Post 1995 engines are all OBD2 and this can make for an easier swap. However, its also important to realize that switching a car from OBD1 and OBD2 or vice versa is not as complicated as it sounds. Skunk2 and other companies even make a conversion harness that makes the wiring completely push and plug.

    The B17A is widely considered the "black sheep" of Honda B-series engines. This engine came in 1992-1993 Acura Integra GSR's and came with 160hp. However, the increased displacement compared to the B16 added 6 lbs of torque bringing its overall total to 117. To make this swap more complicated it's important to realize that this transmission is cable, not hydraulic, and its OBD is 1. Therefore, a cable to hydro transmission switch is required or the other option finding a hydraulic transmission. However, this engine is a viable option in 4th Generation Civic's and should be considered if found. All that's needed is a mount kit offered by Place Racing or Hasport. Usually these engines are rare and very few engine distributors are selling the B17 due to its unusual characteristics. Prices should range between 1800-2400 for this engine.

    The B18C5 came standard in 1997-2001 Integra Type R's. These engines are the highest performance B-series engine offered in the United States and carry the largest price tag. Compared a B18C1 these engines have higher performance camshafts, a lighter valve train and higher compression. In addition its intake manifold is designed for high-end horsepower, which does sacrifice some low-end torque. All of this amounts to 195 horsepower and 128 lbs of torque. The ITR transmission is the most highly sought after transmission coming standard with LSD and having the best final drive. Also, due to the age of these motors and their capability their price ranges between 4600 and 5200.

    The H22A is found in Prelude VTEC's and JDM Accord's. This engine comes with 190-220 horsepower and is not considered a great candidate for Civic's and Integra's because of its larger size and weight. Hasport and other companies are making a mount kit for this engine but the geometry of the car is changed dramatically. (The engine and transmission are 85lbs heavier than a GSR motor) However, with the right suspension and some weight reduction the front end can be lightened to the point where the car will be drivable. The benefit's from this engine is its increased low end torque. Unfortunately its very difficult to retain air conditioning and room in the engine bay is at a minimum. Plus, the H-series engines have a poor rod/stroke ratio which translates into less revving capability and less potential with high end horsepower. Overall, this swap is not recommended although it can be done.

    The D16Y8 is found in 96+ Civic EX's and Del Sol Si's. This engine is very similar to the D16Z6 but has 2 more horsepower and a square combustion chamber for an increase in compression due to the extra queche area. However, its OBD2 instead of OBD1.

    The "Mini-Me" is a hybrid engine that produces around 135hp. This setup is usually made from a DX(1.5liter) bottom end and D16Z6 or D16Y8 VTEC head. Because of the 1.5-liter's excellent rod-stroke ratio this little beast will make power to 8000rpm. Another interesting characteristic is the increased compression that results from this setup. Overall this engine is great for those who have some experience with engine building and can acquire the VTEC head for a good price.

    For information on LS/VTEC and CR/VTEC, view our article int he FAQ section.

    The K20A2 comes standard in the Acura RSX Type-S. This engine has 200 horsepower and 142lbs of torque and can be bolted into the new Civic Si. However, the Type-S has a 6-speed gear box while the Civic Si comes standard with a 5-speed. There are two ways to account for this change, one is to retain the Civic Si's transmission while the second is modifying the Civic Si's shift linkage so the 6 speed transmission can be used.
     
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