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Discussion in 'General Tech Articles' started by pissedoffsol, Sep 28, 2002.

  1. pissedoffsol

    pissedoffsol RETIRED

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    Sep 28, 2002
    Retirement Home
    **Things You'll Need for the Setup***

    You will need atleast the following...

    -Head Info
    You must use a B-series DOHC VTEC head. A Prelude H-series head will NOT work.
    You can choose a head from the following list by code....

    --B16a1: this engine came in the 89-91 civic SiR and the Integra XSi in Japan. This is the easiest motor/head to use for 4th Gen civic (EF) swaps.

    --B16a2/3: this USDM motor came in in the 94-97 DelSol (a3) and is still available in the 99 Civic Si (a2). It was also available in Japan from 92 in the Civic with 170hp compared to the USDM models' 160hp. It has upgraded pistons and slightly more aggressive cams when compared to the B16a1.

    --B17a: came in the 92-93 USDM Integra GSR. This motor is kinda rare as it was only sold in 92 and 93, additionally it was only available to the US market. It is overall quite similar to the B16a engine with the exception that it is slightly stroked to achieve the 1700cc's. The B16a and B17a heads are VERY similar.

    --B18c1: thiss came in the 94 Integra GSR. A good head for raising compression due to its smaller combustion chambers(than the B16a), however it uses the dual-stage intake manifold which some people do not like and it is usually hard to find.

    --B18c5: bettter know as the Type R or ITR. This head is very similar to the B16a head with the exception of mild port work and upgraded internals(ie. cams, valve springs, valves). Overall this is a strong engine and if you were ever to come by one, you should skip going LS/VTEC altogether because of its similar power potential.

    --B16b: the Civic Type R or CTR. This engine is mainly a destroked ITR motor with further upgraded internals than the ITR(ie. high-comp pistons, more aggressive intake cam). This head most closely resembles the ITR head.

    Either way, get the head of your choosing welded and machined by a machine shop. This involves welding the vtec oil galley closed and then decking the head to assure a flat surface. You must do this because the LS block does not have this galley as it was not originally intended as a VTEC engine. Welding and machining this oil galley closed will keep oil from sitting on the headgasket which could lead to a potential leak.

    -New timing belt

    This all depends on the water pump you go with. You 'SHOULD' go with the B16a/B18C water pump as it is superior to the B18a/b pump and will provide more cooling to the now higher revving motor setup. Either way if you use the B16a/B18C pump, then you should use the GSR timing belt. Why? Because the b16/B18c water pumps have more teeth on them which will cause the LS timing belt to misalign the crank with the respect to the cam gears at TDC. Thus if you use the LS water pump, then you should use the LS timing belt as the water pump has fewer teeth. This will assure that everything lines up properly at TDC.

    So once again...

    B16/B18c Water Pump ------ B18c Timing Belt
    B18a/B18b Water Pump ----- B18a/B18b Timing Belt

    **IMPORTANT** The B16a timing belt will NOT WORK with an LS/VTEC setup. I've tried myself on my own setup and it WONT WORK. The B16 block is physically 8mm shorter than the B18a/B18b block resulting in the inability to use the B16 timing belt in an LS/VTEC setup. Dont waste your time and money with this belt for it simply wont work.

    -ECU Choiices

    This will really depend on the year of car you are swapping into, AND how you want everything to work. Here are a few ECU options.

    Option 1. For all of you 92-95 civic owners.
    -IF you are swapping into a 92-95 (aka EGs) civic then you can have your stock P28 ECU chipped to run a DOHC VTEC ECU Program. This works very well and its cheaper than getting another ECU(unless you are getting the ECU included with a swap/motor purchase). I think JDMHondaParts does this, and if not you can also try Locash Racing

    Option 2. For all of you 88-91 civic owners.
    -There are a two ways that this can be done(maybe more). You can either use a b16a1 ECU which will work okay especially since it will take care of the vtec activation for you. OR you can use 90-91 Integra ECU with a shift light or rpm activated switch to operate the vtec solenoid. I dont recommend doing this as the Integra ECU reportedly does NOT plug into the EF harness like the B16a1 ECUs do just making the swap harder but you do what you have to when you need your car running ASAP.

    Option 3. For all of you 96 civic owners
    -All I can tell you is that you need to run ECU's within your generation. 6G civics(aka EKs) will need to run 96 GSR ECUs OR 96 B16a ECUs as far as i know due to the differences between OBD 1 and OBD 2.

    For more information on ECU's, visit our reference section.

    -External Oil Line

    You will need an oil line running from the back of the block to somewhere on the head. This will substitute for the vtec oil galley which raises the oil pressure once vtec hits, to about 55psi.

    Tap the block where the oil pressure sensor is on the back of the block with a 1/8" tap. Now here is where a few options come in.

    Method 1. **Do this only to get the engine running if you dont have the funds or time to run stainless lines!**
    (1) T-fitting with ONE Female and TWO Male thread sections with 1/8" NPT threads all the way around
    (1) 90 Degree bent elbow fitting with an 1/8" NPT male thread
    (1) Straight fitting with 1/8" NPT male thread
    AND 3 feet of 3/8" fuel line for the hose which you can cut to fit.
    (all parts above can be purchased at Pep Boys)


    What you do is screw the t-fitting into the block. Use teflon tape to seal the piece at the block. Then screw the elbow fitting into the end of the T-fitting and use more teflon tape to seal. Now you can screw the Oil Pressure Sensor into the top of the T-fitting and again seal it with teflon. From hear you can run a rubber fuel line to the fitting in the head.


    You can tap the head just under the water neck. This works well but you might need to slightly modify the water neck to make room for the fitting. Again use the 1/8" NPT tap. Now screw the straight piece into the head and seal it. Here you can then run the 3/8" fuel line to the elbow piece at the block and use hose clamps to clamp it off.

    Draw Backs to Method 1

    Reason 1. Running the hose clamps on the fuel line and fittings, two times the clamps have loosened causing an oil leak on my own setup. I havent had the problem however, since re-tightening the clamps.

    Reason 2. There is a possibility that the t fitting will break due to stress. This would be a nice thing to avoid which is why I recommend stainless braided hoses and fittings.


    -Run Stainless Steel Braided hoses and fittings which can all be purchased through Summit Racing.
    But use -4AN Line with 1/8" NPT threaded fittings. Here is how they SHOULD be run.
    -Use a straight piece at the block this time and then run into the braided line. take this line to the firewall bolt it up somewhere and THEN use a T-fitting. There you can screw in the Oil Pressure Sensor and run the Stainless line to the head where another piece will sit. THIS will prevent BOTH of the above problems from happening to you.


    There are now several off-the-shelf "dril-less" bolt on vtec conversion kits. fast-turbo.com, goldeneaglemfg.com among others have marketed this kit for about 200+.

    -Head Gasket

    You need to use the B18a/B18b head gasket. Because the B18a/B18b block doesnt have the vtec oil galley like the b16a and b18c heads do, it can cause a potential oil leak if you use the vtec head gasket. Stay away from them and run the LS gasket instead.

    -DOHC VTEC Head Bolts

    GSR or B16a bolts will work, but old bolts can break after repeated use so recommend upgrading to new factory OEM bolts OR ARP bolts.

    -Upgrade the water pump to a b16/b18c uunit
    -Balance the rotating assembly(ie. crannk, crank pulley, and flywheel)
    -Replace the main and rod bearings \r\n-Replace all gaskets with new ones(ie. head gasket, valve cover gaskets, intake manifold, and oil pan)

    ***Recommended*** If you plan on going NA, then GET RID of the POS LS pistons as your CR will only be around 9.6:1(with a b16a head) and the LS pistons have hardly any valve reliefs at all meaning you cant run larger cams(Toda, JUN) like you will want to eventually because of piston to valve contact which can result. Otherwise this might be a nice build for a low boosted turbo setup.

    Piston INFO

    Here are a few Compression Ratios relating to B16a heads on LS/VTECs courtesy of some calculating done by David Newman of the Hybrid Boards in an email he sent me...

    "Well, first off, with what I've figured out in the past, compression ratios go for the following with LS/VTEC motors:
    9.6:1 - P74 LS Pistons
    10.0:1 - P72 GSR Pistons
    10.8:1 - P73 US ITR Pistons
    11.0:1 - P73 JDM ITR Pistons
    11.5:1 - PR3 Pistons
    11.7:1 - P30 Pistons
    12.4:1 - CTR Pistons

    And that is with a 'stock' B18A/B block using B18A/B rods, and any B16A head (compression ratios between the different B16A generation heads are very nominal)."

    I strongly encourage experienced engine builders to this swap only.


    Either the Ls block or the CRV block can be found at a junkyard. Call around and look. They arent that hard to find. Especially the ls blocks. Dime a dozen. Look to pay about 250-300 for the ls block.or about 800-1000 for the CRV block. If you are going to resleeve the ls block then obviously it doesnt pay to buy the crv block. Save some money and buy me something.

    The benefit of the CRV block over the LS block is the size. The cranks are IDENTICAL but the b20 (crv) has an 84 mm bore as opposed to a 81 mm bore that the ls block has. One issue i see people say alot is "Does it matter the mileage of my motor". Not really no. You are going to rip it apart, replace everything and put it back together anyway. The only thing that will really matter in this issue is the condition of the cylinder walls. Even if in bad shape however they can be bored then honed and then are ready to go. CRV block are kinda tricky though. JE only makes 84mm and 85mm pistons. This means unless the block is practically brand new (like under 15k on it) you will have to bore it 40 thousandths (spelling?) over if you intend on using these products. Ls blocks are basically always ok, unless ya spun a bearing in which case dont even bother with the thing. A bore and a Hone will fix most problems.

    The advantage of the LS block is that there is a vast array of Honda pistons you can use. CTR, JDM ITR and USDM ITR all make good canidates. These are cheap (330 or so with rings, most of the time they are cheaper) and since honda is so damn cool.....they make oversized. So get this one: buy a used ls block at the junkyard. Bore it over and then use CTR pistons along with the stock ls everything else and ya done! Thanks honda!

    But.....CRV blocks are a lil different and here is why they more money. Honda never intended on making the b20 a high performance motor. So why make pistons that are the same bore? They dont really. Just stock B20 pistons. which yield a stupid low CR. And also the valve reliefs on the stock CRV pistons are not big enough to accept the valves of VTEC heads. So if using larger cams you cant really play with the cam gears too much. or else problems will occur. So what do you do? Buy aftermarket right?!? Ok so ya just spent between 450-500 on pistons...you cant use those things on stock rods! So ya buy aftermarket again! another 350 or so. So right away thats 800-900 dollars more then the
    Ls block...But you WILL HAVE MORE POWER!

    Now as for parts you will need with either motor. These are NEEDS not WANTS. They are a part of either build and will not be listed in the motors simply because we will assume you will get them.
    1. New rod and main bearings. Please dont ask what kind ya need. they are different for every motor.
    2. New head gasket, Oil pan gasket, rear main seal, Oil return gasket, oil filter
    3. Thrust washers
    4. fittings for running the external oil line.
    5. You must have the entire rotating assembly balanced!!!!!!!
    6. New VTEC Water pump.
    7. New VTEC oil pump.
    8. New VTEC Timing belt.
    9. BE SURE TO MATCH THE WATER PUMP AND TIMING BELT. VTEC=VTEC and Non-vtec=Non-vtec. otherwise your car will
    die a very painfull death.!
    10. We both prefer ARP bolts to stock. Stock is usable but ARP is cheap insurance.

    We also assume that you have bolt-ons already. Intake, Header with a 2.5 inch collector and a good exaust.
    If you dont have these.....get them.....NOW!

    Like said above. We will assume that all the motors being built will use this stuff...hence: we will not list these parts in the total build up parts list.


    LSVTEC block MILD: (250)
    CTR/TYPE-R pistons (330) (will not fit ls rods without modification to one or the other. not recommended)
    JDM p30 b16a pistons fit ls rods, and offer more compression than ITR pistons, and /2 less than CTR's.
    LS rods

    LSVTEC block MEDIUM: (250)
    JE 11.5 pistons (Ross also make pistons for this application) (485)
    EAGLE rods (350)

    LSVTEC bock WILD: (250)
    Resleeve with Golden Eagle Sleeves 85 MM bore (1000)
    JE 12.5/13.0 pistons (Ross also will do) (485)
    CROWER connecting rods (500)

    B20VTEC block MILD: (900)
    Stock B20 pistons
    Stock rods

    B20VTEC block MEDUIM: (900)
    JE 11.5 or 12.5 pistons (485)
    EAGLE rods (350)

    B20VTEC block WILD: (900)
    Custom 12.5/13.0 Pistons (500)
    95 mm Crank (800???)
    Deck Plate (machine shop cost)


    Type-R head with skunk2 stage 1 cams, skunk2 cam gears.
    ($800-$1200 full head, $600 for cams, 200 for gears)

    SI head with skunk2 stage 1 cams OR JUN type 2, Type-R Valve Train, Skunk2 cam gears OR JUN cam gears, Type-r Inner and Outer springs w/ retainers .
    ($400-$600 for head, $600 skunk2 cams / $800 for JUN type 2, $200 for Skunk2 cam gears / JUN cam gears?, Type-R valve train $350)

    GSR head: Similar as SI head

    Type-R head with skunk2 stage 2 OR JUN type 3, Skunk2 valve train OR Port flow INNER-OUTER valve springs TI Titanium Retainers OR JUN valve train, Skunk2 valves, Skunk2 cam gears OR JUN cam gears .
    ($800-$1200 full head, $650 for Skunk2 cams / $850 for JUN 3 cams, $440 skunk2 valve train / $380 JUN valve train, $200 Skunk2 cam gears / JUN cam gears?

    SI Head: ($400-$600 for the head) Similar to Type-R setup

    GSR Head: ($400-$600 for the head) Similar to Type-R setup

    GSR head with TODA SPEC C cams, TODA cam gears, TODA springs, titanium retainers, TODA Individual throttle body / or TWM I.T.B.
    ($400-$600 for the head, $1900 for TODA Head package includes SPEC C cams-cam gears-valve train, $2500 for TODA Individual Throttle Body, $2000 for TWM Individual Throttle Body

    SI head: Similar to GSR setup

    TYPE-R head: Similar to GSR setup (add an extra 300-500 bucks for the head if purchased seperatly)

    Tranny Info for Frankenstein motors

    For the most part any GSR or Type R tranny is good for these motor's. The B16 tranny is not as strong as these. The differential is actually physically smaller then on these trannies. This could be due to the smaller motor, cost cutting....whatever the case may be. I dont trust it.
    I broke mine on street tires and have seen many others do the same. Yes it will work. Yes it will bolt up...But i wouldnt use it.....Unless you have too. That tranny with a Quaife lsd would be good. The gearing in that and the ITR are the same so it would be ok. for performance.
    But still why bother.......just get a 1.8 tranny!

    DECENT setup for the street: (500-600)
    Any GSR or Type R tranny

    NICE setup for street: (1700)
    GSR tranny
    Quaife LSD
    JDM Final Drive
    JDM ITR Tranny with 4.785 FD

    SWEET setup for the street: (2600)
    Type R tranny
    Quaife LSD
    JDM Final drive

    HOLY GOD setup for the street: (3200)
    Type R tranny
    Quaife LSD
    ATS 4.929 Final Drive
    Gsr 5th gear

    For an all out track car i would would like this setup most: (4000 )
    Type R tranny
    Quaife 5.1 Final Drive
    Spool differential
    Custom Kaaz Gearing

    ECU Setups for Frank motors

    Many people think you need Hondata or a standalone system to go fast. YOU DONT. Plenty of people have gone VERY VERY fast with a regular chipped ecu. Here is an idea of some programs you can get to help you tune your new beast. We will assume the car is 92-00 so we will base all the
    ECU's on a P-28 basis.

    GREAT setup for the street: (550)
    P28 rechipped with a JDM B16 proggy with a higher rev limit.
    Many people dount this setup because it is a "stock" program. DONT. This is a great setup, and when
    paired with the VAFC provides very good tunability and since it is a stock program it is much less prone to detonation for timing reasons. There are a few people going very fast with this setup.....some are even on this message forum. Our pro car at www.b20vtec.com is another.

    ANOTHER setup for the street: (500)
    P28 with hondata
    Many people call Hondata standalone. I dont. Neither does Naspirated. If it was, then the stock ecu wouldnt be there. Notice how i didnt say this is a better setup. I dont think it is. Maybe thats because i like to change on the fly. Maybe i dont like burning chips. Whatever the case maybe. Hondata gives a great product for what ya pay. It is a stock ecu that you have control of. Period. I dont see what else to call it.

    BEST SETUP FOR ANYTHING: (2050 with everything)
    Accel DFI 7.0
    Look at what the pro's use. The new DFI is simply amazing.
    Speedpro is also another option. Although i dont think it is as good as DFI.

    Fuel setups for Frank Motors

    Fuel systems are actually pretty easy with these motors. They arent that hard to figure out.

    BASIC setup for Ls/Vtec: (550)
    RC 270 cc injectors
    Holley 190 fuel pump
    adjustable FPR with gauge

    BIG setup for Ls/Vtec: (550-600)
    RC 310 cc injectors
    Holley 255 pump
    adjustable FPR with gauge

    BASIC setup for CRVTEC: (550-600)
    RC 310 cc injectors
    Holley 255 pump
    adjustable FPR with gauge

    BIG setup for CRVTEC: (600)
    RC 370 cc injectors
    Holley 255 pump
    adjustable FPR

    If doing ITB then the kit will come with an adjustable FPR and 440 cc Injectors.


    I would also recommend a crank brace and an Oil cooler from a GSR94-95 / or ITR.
    Also I recomend an upgrade to Oil pump ( Endyn ) , I wouldn't use JE high compression pistons unless you stay under 12-1. Endyne roller wave is the only piston I have found that I can run 12.5-1 on pump gas, without pinging!

    Regarding the Crank Girdle, I highly recommend them, BUT if you use one you MUST install dowel pins and align hone the main journals.

    Props: http://honda-tech.com/zerothread?id=174153


    Knock Sensor Info for LS VTEC:

    This is how I did it (I know it works for a B18A, and if the coolant plug for the B18B is in the same place, exhaust side of the motor behind the manifold, it will work fine).
    You will need:
    1 knock sensor
    wire to run from sensor to ECU (18 gauge I think)
    JB weld
    access to a machine shop or a drill press
    a 12mm tap (I believe that the knock sensor threads are 12mm)
    heat shielding for the wire
    I reccomend an extra coolant plug for your motor so you don't have to remove yours (so you can drive the car before you get the knock sensor in)

    Drill a hole in your coolant plug that is the correct size for tapping a 12mm thread. The hardware store where you bought the tap can tell you the size, if I remember I will post it.

    Tap the hole with 12mm thread, be sure to use lots of oil on the tap.

    Thread the knock sensor into the coolant plug tight enough that when you get it in you car it won't rattle out.

    Sand the motor side of the coolant plug then fill the motor side of the coolant plug (it is hollow) with JB Weld and let it sit until the JB Weld has completely cured (usually overnight)

    After the JB Weld has cured remove the knock sensor from the coolant plug.

    Drain the coolant out of your car and remove the coolant plug from the exhaust side of the motor. (This will probably release more coolant)

    Install your modified coolant plug in the motor and make sure it is torqued.

    Thread your knock sensor into the coolant plug, make sure you only tighten it as tight as it was last night, you don't want to pop the JB Weld out into the collant passages.

    Run the wire from the sensor to the ECU after installing the heat shielding over the wire that is close to the exhaust.

    Note: I am not in any way responsible if this does not work for you or something goes wrong during or after the install.

    EDIT: Do this iff (if and only if) you cannot tap the blank on the back of the motor. Mine is in this location because it is easier to change sensors if you get a bad one (my B16 came with a bad one).
  2. pissedoffsol

    pissedoffsol RETIRED

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    Sep 28, 2002
    Retirement Home

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