opinions on next step.

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So I need your guys opinion. Latest on the X19 b16 is we have a warped/cracked head or a blown head gasket.I am going to leak down test it to verify, but it is really pointing to that being a big cause of not being able to keep the engine cool.

If this is true, I have a few options. Wondering your thoughts. From most expensive to cheapest.

  1. Build a b20 vtec turbo charged engine. where i eventually want to end up
  2. Build a NA b20 vtec
  3. Buy a jdm b16 longblock (startup warranty)
  4. Full rebuild of either current b16s
  5. Bottom end only rebuild on 1st b16 the one with spun bearings.
  6. Put 1st b16 head on 2nd b16 engine. Does NOT have to come out of car. use ARP studs OEM gasket
  7. IF lucky and block and crank are not destroyed on 1st b16. Swap bearings only

Myself, I am leaning towards #6. We know the head is straight as we drove the honda about 45 miles before we took it out for the swap.

All of this can be voided if we find there isn’t a leak. But running out of what else it can be. Water pump cannot be replaced without pulling the engine so I am hesitant on doing that simple one. Plus here is the reasoning I have that it isn’t pump related. Bad pumps don’t usually work intermittently. Last weekends results were as follows. New high performance aluminum radiator, new hoses. Filled it up, burped it a couple times. Went inside for a bit to let things cool after burping. H2o was hitting 200 then I would shut it down, burp it, and restart it. when it restarted it would be high 180s. it would go to 200, stop, burp and do it again. When I didn’t get a burp. Is when I stopped. Went out started out at 120. I let it idle only. It climbed to 196 at stayed. 15 minutes of 196, the radiator was HOT telling me there is circulation. Bliped the throttle up to about 3500 5-6 times and the temp started to climb shut it down at 205. Noticed my fans didn’t kick in. ok. So I need to drive it to get airflow. So I started it back up about 195, drove down the road and it whent right back up shut it down in the driveway at 210 and coasted up the drive. Got out, and the radiator was warm, not hot, warm. Telling me no circulation. When to burp it, and sure enough there was air. So my thought would be the leak isn’t noticeable at idle but revving it up pushes exhaust into the coolant system, air pocket. No circulation. Also would account for the quick warm up to hot, (about 5-7 minutes from 78 to 200. While running it faster than idle.


before get any ideas or anything throw a head gasket on it and keep trucking, also generally speaking the heads dont crack/warp because they are both aluminum and heat/shrink/flex together you normally only see problems like that in iron block/aluminum heads or bis versa etc
Good to know. Hoping the leakdown bleeds to the cooling system showing the thought is right. Then will take the head off and see what I can. My thought on using the head from the other b16 is I know it is good. And it is just sitting there on the other block. With good gaskets being 70+ bucks I don't want to do it twice.

But good to know at least one person thinKS just swapping the head gasket is the way to go. Now to convince my mechanic friend ;)

For track or autox, the B20 is not a good choice in my opinion. The B16 may be the bastard of B-series with it's baby torque but it is a square set up (rod stroke and piston size) which is optimal for constant high reving. In that respect, the B20 bottom end is the opposite. Plus, it doesn't really want to hang out in the revs needed to make power on a VTEC head. People do it....but they don't last.
I would try a thermostat test suite first. sounds like its not opening to let the coolant in to the radiator....