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LS/VTEC? New pistons required?

Discussion in 'Engine Building' started by Mighty, Apr 13, 2004.

  1. Mighty

    Mighty Member

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    I read in the LS/VTEC build up article that B16 pistons are recommended. I dont really want to rebuild the engine. I want to bolt the head on and go.

    Are the B16 pistons recommended or are they required?

    Im only going to rev to 7000 rpm. I am willing to put in a thicker head gasket if it will help. Im gonna go turbo so low compression is ok with me.

    Are the valves gonna hit the pistons if I dont have the B16 reliefs.

    BTW, '98 B18b and 00 B16 head.

    Thanks.
     
  2. RSBAD454

    RSBAD454 Member

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    why go through the trouble.....short lived motor, especially if boost is added. Why even use a N/A B16 head if you want to run boost? just use the B18 head and boost the B18.
     
  3. B16

    B16 Super Moderator VIP

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    :werd:
    what he said
     
  4. cws13

    cws13 Senior Member

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  5. brian11to1

    brian11to1 Senior Member

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    I believe they are reccommended... if you use the B16 pistons it will raise compression to like 10's or something. I say buy a low compression forged piston from www.ImportBuilders.com forged rods, becuase if you go boost w/a vtec head you'll want to do more so why not why everything is apart stuff some forged shit in there? I say go for it.
     
  6. phunky.buddha

    phunky.buddha Admin with a big stick Admin VIP

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    It'll last just fine if you don't put it together like a retard.


    Use the stock pistons if you want to save some cash.
     
  7. RSBAD454

    RSBAD454 Member

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    we are talking about a stock bottom end......miles? who knows......why spend the money on used parts(retarded like you said) and use low compression pistons that make no power? Then on top of that, think about adding above atmospheric pressure.....that would be retarded. Im just thinking about this logically cause it will cost more in the long run. No such thing as cheap HP....
     
  8. phunky.buddha

    phunky.buddha Admin with a big stick Admin VIP

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    Of course- I'm all about spending the time and money to do things right... but you can still have a pretty reliable LS/VTEC setup using all stock parts. Sure, you won't have as much power as you would if you rebuilt the whole engine from the ground up, but there are still quite a few people out there with OEM reliability on an LS/VTEC that they just swapped the head on. Pulling the block, match boring, honing, then installing new pistons and rings will cost a good bit of cash and time. I'd estimate around $500-1000, depending on your choice of machine shops and parts- more if you want to do it "right".

    I would recommend just boosting on the stock head and putting in some better cams, but that's just me. Swapping the head to get the dual cam profiles for better flow is also a good alternative- just not one that I would personally follow on a limited budget.
     
  9. RSBAD454

    RSBAD454 Member

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    well of course, i suggested staying with stock head for boost rather than use a N/A high RPM head for that. I like to do things right. B)
     
  10. phunky.buddha

    phunky.buddha Admin with a big stick Admin VIP

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    The VTEC head is still better for boost- good flow is good flow, and the stock port configuration isn't some crazy NA setup from the factory.

    With a limited budget though, the stock head is easier and definitely more reliable, and can still make a really good amount of power.
     
  11. Mighty

    Mighty Member

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    Thanks for the helpful responses.

    About LS/VTEC reliability:

    My opinion from extended reading not personal experience, is that people try to rev to 9k RPM on the stock LS bottom end and this is what causes the reliability problems. I am going to limit revs to 7k RPM. With a turbo I dont really need to hit high RPM.

    Also, lets say I want to tune for 220hp. With the VTEC head I can actually run less boost to get 220hp, this should be more reliable.

    I wanted to do LS/VTEC because it is cheaper. If I have to rebuild the motor then its not cheaper anymore and I shouldve just bought a B18c. Plus I have a lot of time and money wrapped up in this car and I want to get it on the road for personal reasons. Im worried if I have to rebuild the motor for the VTEC Ill lose motivation and never get it done. Im 35 years old and have a wife and two houses. Im selling one house and doing an addition on another and I work a ton of overtime to pay for the Hondas and houses and so like everyone Im busy, busy, busy.

    Just for info this what I currently have for cars and parts:
    97 Civic EX auto with Greddy 15g turbo kit
    98 LS B18b swap
    2000 SI B16 head and IM
    Greddy B18 turbo manifold
    Geddy 18g turbo

    So the general consensus is that it will work without new pistions?

    Also I got screwed on the B16 head a little. It has an OBD 1 dizzy and OBD 1 GSR throttle body is this a problem?
     
  12. H22AdelSol

    H22AdelSol Senior Member

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    because he wants VTEC. why do you have to question him, if you dont know the answer then go post somewhere else
     
  13. phunky.buddha

    phunky.buddha Admin with a big stick Admin VIP

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    I honestly think that the most reliable way around this would be to just get a set of turbo grind cams and drop them into your B18 head with the supporting valvetrain- you don't have to open up the engine (well, valve cover), and you'll still get a significant improvement in air flow through the head.

    Since you've already bought the B16 head, just go that route. No, you don't have to replace your pistons. You'll be fine boosting on those just the same as if you were boosting with the stock B18 head. You'll actually have higher compression than a straight B18 because of the smaller combustion chambers in the B16 head, so you'll spool faster, have better flow, and have to boost less for the same amount of power as a straight B18.

    Just take your time putting it together, and you'll still have a reliable setup.
     
  14. MikeBergy

    MikeBergy Blah blah blah....

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    I don't understant why you want vtec if you are gonna stay with a 7000 rpm redline, but it is YOUR powerband. As to answer your question, the b16 pistons aren't any better quality than the b18 pistons, they just have a higher compression. Most people build the ls vtec for NA so higher compression is good to have, and the higher compression works better with the b16 cams. Sounds like you're having fun, just make sure you put everything back together right, and you should be okay with ls pistons.
     
  15. MikeBergy

    MikeBergy Blah blah blah....

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    oh yeah, and I'll buy those obd1 parts of you if you don't want them :D
     
  16. Mighty

    Mighty Member

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    Thanks again for replies.

    I understand that the B18 and B16 pistons are equally capable of handling boost. I probably wont run more than 10# anyway.

    The question was whether the VTEC valves would clear the B18 piston valve reliefs?

    It appears that they will but to be safe Im going to limit to 7000 rpm.

    I understand that Im limiting the power increase by only revving to 7k. But I will see some power increase from 5k to 7k with the VTEC head. I also plan on getting on the dyno and see if I can lower the VTEC crossover point.

    At the beginning of May, Im going to swap in the B18b. Im gonna run it for a few weeks and make sure that there arent any problems with the swap. The first week of June Im going to put the turbo on it and tune with either E manage or Uberdata. Then in late summer or early fall, Im going to put on the VTEC head.

    This winter, Ill pick up a LS or GSR shortblock and build it for higher RPM and boost. Also, I have to determine if I like the LS tranny or whether I want a GSR tranny. I definitely plan on getting an LSD.
     
  17. phunky.buddha

    phunky.buddha Admin with a big stick Admin VIP

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    VTEC valves clearing- I think so, but clay everything just to make sure. You can't be too safe when building an engine. Claying for clearances isn't all that hard or expensive anyway.

    Yes, you will see power increases from 5000 on up from the bigger lobes and the better flowing head. Dyno time is key- it's a good thing you're planning on it.

    Swap, then boost, then VTEC? I would put the head on first, then boost afterwards. That's just me though- I like to start from the inside out. It just seems easier. I still think a cam change would be simpler for you than swapping to VTEC, still make as much power under boost as a straight VTEC head swap, and be cheaper and more reliable.

    Transmission- go with the GSR. Shorter gears = faster acceleration... always.
     
  18. Mighty

    Mighty Member

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    I want to turbo first then VTEC mostly because Im prepared to turbo now. The turbo I understand pretty well and Im sure I can have it running good without much trouble. If I wait to til Fall to put on the VTEC head then that gives me a little more time to do some research.

    The GSR does have steeper gears so the acceleration is better but I already have the LS tranny. Then again the LSD for the LS tranny is about $950. Im hoping if I look around maybe I can find a GSR or ITR tranny with an LSD already installed for not much more than a $1000.

    Ill have to look into claying the engine. Im assuming you just put a small amount of clay on the pistons in the area of the valve reliefs and turn the motor over.
     
  19. phunky.buddha

    phunky.buddha Admin with a big stick Admin VIP

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    Turn it by hand- that way if something hits, you don't damage the engine. Do it while the engine is out of the car and you can still pull the head.
     
  20. Mighty

    Mighty Member

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    Thanks again Calesta for all your help.

    Heres is what I spent on the car up until recently:

    $ 350 Apexi WS cat back
    $ 850 crappy wheels and tires
    $ 550 Rotas and tires I shoulda gotten the first time
    $1500 Greddy turbo kit
    $ 200 2.5" Downpipe and rehang exhasut
    $1500 98 B18b swap w/ B17a longblock with bad head thrown in
    $ 100 Greddy B18 turbo manifold
    $ 325 Greddy 18g turbo

    Thats about $5500. All the major parts you need for a car right? Probably only a few hundred dollars more to finish it up. Here's what Ive spent in the last few weeks.

    $ 600 B16 head that might not have the right dizzy and TB
    $ 339 GE LS/VTEC conversion kit
    $ 270 RC 440s
    $ 150 P28 from junkyard for chipping
    $ 100 Chip burner and chipping supplies
    $ 250 TechEdge wideband O2 for tuning
    $ 120 E manage Support Tool in case I cant get the chipping to work
    $ 225 97 Del Sol rear disk brakes gotta have brakes with all that power
    $ 200 Brakes lines and E brake cable that you need to finish the Del Sol brakes
    $ 180 ITR sway bar with Beaks kit and SI end links
    $ 159 polyurethane motor mounts and suspension mounts
    $ 110 Del Sol AC bracket to finish swap
    $ 60 Integra clutch line to finish auto manual conversion

    Plus Im gonna pay some guys $750 to do the swap and auto to manual conversion.

    Thats just about $10,000 altogether for a Civic that doesnt even have a built motor. :(

    And thats why Im leery of building up the engine. Before you know it the engine build up will turn into another 6 month, $2000 fiasco.

    And yes I know I can sell some of this stuff, but generally I dont like selling stuff and usually unload my stuff cheap. Also, I start thinking that as long as I have an extra D16 motor and turbo maybe I should pick up a CRX and throw it in there.

    Anyway, ya'll know how it goes. :)
     
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