Author Topic: Ls/Vtec Info  (Read 9645 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Sakasaku

  • Honda junky
  • Global Moderator
  • I <3 My EF
  • *****
  • Join Date: May 2009
  • Posts: 550
  • Karma: 16
  • RealWyre Harnesses

  • Activity
    • Facebook
Ls/Vtec Info
« on: June 11, 2009, 09:05:06 am »
**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 aggressiv e 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, additiona lly 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 compressi on due to its smaller combustio n 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 altogethe r 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 aggressiv e 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 originall y intended as a VTEC engine. Welding and machining this oil galley closed will keep oil from sitting on the headgaske t 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 everythin g 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 physicall y 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 everythin g 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 JDMHondaP arts 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 especiall y since it will take care of the vtec activatio n 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 reportedl y 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 generatio n. 6G civics(aka EKs) will need to run 96 GSR ECUs OR 96 B16a ECUs as far as i know due to the differenc es between OBD 1 and OBD 2.

For more informati on 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 substitut e 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 possibili ty 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 conversio n kits., goldeneag 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 eventuall y 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 Compressi on Ratios relating to B16a heads on LS/VTECs courtesy of some calculati ng 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, compressi on 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 (compressi on ratios between the different B16A generatio n heads are very nominal)."

I strongly encourage experienc ed 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. Especiall y 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 everythin g 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 practical ly brand new (like under 15k on it) you will have to bore it 40 thousandt hs (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 everythin g else and ya done! Thanks honda!


Offline Sakasaku

  • Honda junky
  • Global Moderator
  • I <3 My EF
  • *****
  • Join Date: May 2009
  • Posts: 550
  • Karma: 16
  • RealWyre Harnesses

  • Activity
    • Facebook
Re: Ls/Vtec Info
« Reply #1 on: June 11, 2009, 09:09:16 am »
But.....C RV blocks are a lil different and here is why they more money. Honda never intended on making the b20 a high performan ce 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 aftermark et right?!? Ok so ya just spent between 450-500 on pistons.. .you cant use those things on stock rods! So ya buy aftermark et again! another 350 or so. So right away thats 800-900 dollars more then the
Ls block...B ut 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...h ence: 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 modificat ion to one or the other. not recommend ed)
JDM p30 b16a pistons fit ls rods, and offer more compressi on 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 applicati on) (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 connectin g 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 Individua l 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 Individua l Throttle Body, $2000 for TWM Individua l 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 Frankenst ein 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 different ial is actually physicall y smaller then on these trannies. This could be due to the smaller motor, cost cutting.. ..whateve r 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.....Un less 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 performan ce.
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 different ial
Custom Kaaz Gearing

ECU Setups for Frank motors

Many people think you need Hondata or a standalon e 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 tunabilit y and since it is a stock program it is much less prone to detonatio n 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.b20vt is another.

ANOTHER setup for the street: (500)
P28 with hondata
Many people call Hondata standalon e. I dont. Neither does Naspirate d. 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 everythin g)
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
adjustabl e FPR with gauge

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

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

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

If doing ITB then the kit will come with an adjustabl e 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 compressi on 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.


*********************************** ************************

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 completel y 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 installin g the heat shielding over the wire that is close to the exhaust.

Note: I am not in any way responsib le 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).


Offline Sakasaku

  • Honda junky
  • Global Moderator
  • I <3 My EF
  • *****
  • Join Date: May 2009
  • Posts: 550
  • Karma: 16
  • RealWyre Harnesses

  • Activity
    • Facebook
Re: Ls/Vtec Info
« Reply #2 on: June 11, 2009, 09:12:32 am »
Let's begin. Now, there are a few NECESSARY things to do/parts to buy when building a "reliable" lsvtec/b20vtec:

-LS/B20 (same) ARP rod bolts
-GSR/ITR (same) ARP head studs (NON-B17)
-New LS (90-01) B18a/b (for 81mm) or B20 (for 84mm) head gasket (MLS) or aftermark et for your non-OEM bore
-New ACL bearings - LS/B20 (same)
-New Hastings piston rings (or OEM)
-New OEM D/Bseries (same) valve seals
-New OEM Dohc Vtec Bseries (B16/GSR/ITR) 22T water pump
-New OEM P72 GSR/ITR timing belt (not B17)
-New OEM P72 oil pump (96+ GSR/LS/B20/ITR/B16 - all the same)
-Magnetic oil drain plug (important for break in)
-New NGK V-power BKR6E spark plugs (stock LS pistons) OR NGK V-power BKR7E spark plugs for 10.0-12.0:1 compressi on, or NGK V-power R5671A-8 plugs for 12.0:1+ compressi on
-Adjustable Fuel Pressure regulator (necessary for stock ECU/injectors)
-In addition, you should replace all remaining gaskets and filters

Note- "same" means that the listed parts use the same part #'s from HONDA/ACURA.

Additiona lly:
-Shotpeen LS rods
-Hone big end of rods when using ARP rod bolts (if necessary)
-Hone cylinders (if necessary)
-Balance the entire rotating assembly

Do the above, and your motor will reward you with reliabili ty.

Other things to consider for making power:
-A complete 2.5 inch exhaust (header, cat, exhaust piping, and muffler)
-Hondata/Passwordjdm intake manifold gasket
-Adjustable cam gears (even for stock cams, because lsvtec timing will ALWAYS be slightly off)
-OEM P30(SIR2 B16)/P73(ITR) pistons or forged 11.5:1+ pistons (forged aftermark et pistons can be run on stock rods)
-Higher lift/longer duration cams (read below for cams)
-Stiffer valve springs (read below for valve springs)
-Better intake manifold (ITR, AEBS, Skunk2, JG, Ported ITR, custom, etc.)
-Reputable Port/Polish work on the head
-Better header (SMSP, RMF, Hytech, DTR/SSR, Hytech, ANR, Rage, custom, etc.)
-310cc injectors (at a minimum)
-Sleeved to 84+mm
-extensive tuning

Also, I have included the important torque specs you should follow while assemblin g your hybrid motor:

Fuel filter bolt - 25 ft/lbs
Tensioner pulley bolt - 40 ft/lbs
Crank pulley bolt - 130 ft/lbs
Cam gear bolts - 41 ft/lbs
Exhaust manifold/Header to cylinder head nuts/bolts - 27 ft/lbs
Intake manifold to Cylinder head nuts/bolts - 18 ft/lbs
Throttle body to intake manifold nuts/bolts - 16 ft/lbs
Cylinder head bolts (OEM) - 22 ft/lbs (first), 63 ft/lbs (second) (please see below for ARP's)
Rocker arm locking nuts - 14 ft/lbs
Camshaft holder plate bolts (12mm) - 20 ft/lbs
Cam caps (10mm) - 7.2 ft/lbs

Oil pan to block nuts/bolts - 8.7 ft/lbs
Oil drain plug - 33 ft/lbs
Oil pickup tube to block/oil pump - 8 ft/lbs
Windage tray bolts - 8 ft/lbs
Flywheel to block bolts - 76 ft/lbs
Pressure plate to flywheel bolts - 19 ft/lbs
Main bearing caps - 56 ft/lbs
Rod bearing caps - 23 ft/lbs (Refer to ARP's instructi ons for ARP rod bolts)
Oil pump to block (12mm) - 17 ft/lbs
Oil pump to block (10mm) - 8 ft/lbs
Water pump to block bolts - 8.7 ft/lbs
Thermosta t to block bolts - 8.7 ft/lbs

Now, let's get started.. .First, we can't get started without the Assembly lube, RTV, and 30W ND oil (to break in the rings.), and coolant. It will be good to have handy a 10, 12, 14, 17, and 19mm box wrenches as well as shallow and deep sockets in the same sizes. It would also be good if you could have those same sockets in both 3/8 drive and 1/2 drive (but it is not necessary). Pick up a 3/8 drive, and 1/2 drive 6 inch extension, as well as the equivalen t sized socket wrenches. You will also need a ft/lbs torque wrench as well as a inch pounds torque wrench. Pick up a deep 5/8, 16mm or spark plug socket. Forgive me if i'm forgettin g any tools, but these are the main ones. The only additiona l tools required for working on any other part of the car including installin g the engine are 8mm's, 32mm's (axle nuts), and a couple flat head and phillips head screwdriv ers. You can get away with just those tools, any additiona l specialty tools is just preferenc e, like ball joint seperator s, etc. Last but not least, pick up a Helms or Chiltons for torque specs. At a bare MINIMUM, have a Haynes handy. You'll need one for a 99-00 civic, as well as a 94+ GSR/ITR. Obviously, A helms manual would be 10x better in any case.

The head. Let's first start off with your choices. There are B16 heads, ITR heads, and GSR heads. IMO, it is never worth buying an ITR head, if you plan on upgrading the springs/retainers/cams anyway. They are amazing heads from the factory, but B16/GSR heads can be had and built for far less. ITR/B16/92-93 GSR heads are built from the same exact casts (PR3), while 94+ GSR heads are built from a different cast (P72) which is why the intake manifold bolt pattern is different (from here on, 92-93 GSR heads will be referred to as B16 heads). ITR heads have a slight hand port job on the intake side from the factory. They also have stiffer dual valve springs, as well as slightly higher lift/longer duration cams and lighter valves. If you want to make more than 200whp with your lsvtec build, you are going to need better cams and springs/retainers anyway... so do you see why it's just not worth the $1000-1200 price tag on a used ITR head? The question you SHOULD ask is, should I get a GSR or B16 head? Tough question. Here's the deal...B1 6 heads share the same bolt pattern as ITR's for the intake manifold. They are easier to find aftermark et intake manifolds for than GSR heads, as well as being able to bolt on an ITR manifold. However, GSR heads have a distinct advantage over B16/ITR heads. Although having slightly smaller combustio n chambers that raise compressi on is an advantage, it is the reason why it raises compressi on, that is the REAL advantage . You see, GSR heads employ flat surfaces in the combustio n chamber called "quench" pads. They do raise compressi on, but the real advantage is this design's ability to deter the possibilt iy of detonatio n, promote better flame travel, and aid in cooling. Beware though, if you plan on running a GSR head with CTR pistons, there is not much room for mistakes. The clearance s are tight. I wouldn't personall y run that combinati on w/ stock cast pistons anyway. So keep that in mind. I personall y like the combustio n chamber design of the GSR head better. But, I also like the ability to be able to run a P73 (ITR) intake manifold on the B16 head. Now that you can see the advantage s of both heads, it's really a toss-up. It's your decision, go with the one that suits your preferenc es.

Now, if you have the money, and you want to build a powerful setup, I highly recommend sending your head out to one of the many reputable head porters out there like RLZ, portflow, DonF @ DFE, Headgames, Import Builders, or Alaniz. These are just some of the more widely known, but there are some very quality smaller head porting operation s going on in H-T. I've seen some of their work and I'm impressed . I would also go ahead and at the very minimum pick up new OEM valve seals, if not aftermark et. These are equivalen t to piston rings for the head, as they seal oil out of the combustio n chamber. Don't worry though, Honda valve seals are still fine. Valve springs and retainers are also a mandatory upgrade if you ever plan on making power passed 8k with your motor. Companies like Rocket Motorspor ts, supertech, omni, RLZ, Import Builders, JG, etc. make some great component s. I went ahead and milled the head a little just to freshen the surface. It is by no means necessary . But, keep in mind that if you do it, your cam timing may be slightly affected, as well as your piston to valve clearance and compressi on ratio. Be careful how much you take off. Here are pics of my '00 B16 head:

Vtec head preparati on. First, you must remove the allen plug on the intake passenger side of the head. Heating it up with a torch may ease in the removal of this plug, although I've never had to use heat, just muscle. Next, you must tap the head and install the 1/8 NPT pipe fitting included in your lsvtec kit you either purchased or assembled . Make sure to either teflon tape/paste it or use threadloc ker, which ever you prefer. I use teflon tape myself. For the dowel pin holes, use the two corner exhaust side head bolt holes. They fit perfect with the golden eagle lsvtec dowel pins.

Now for the block. The stock LS pistons are garbage, unless you plan on turboing this setup, get rid of them. Even in which case, I personall y wouldn't boost more than 10 psi on the stock sleeves/pistons, and that's with extensive tuning. I suggest getting aftermark et forged pistons/rods, although it is by no means necessary in an all motor build. Stock cast honda pistons are more prone to detonatio n than aftermark et forged pistons. They have been used time and time again reliably. But reliabili ty isn't anything more or less than the tuning that is performed after the initial startup. If you do decide to go with aftermark et forged units, be aware there are still many options. Your main options are high or low content silicon pistons. Low silicon pistons expand alot during warmup, causing "knocking" noises. They also tend to burn a little more oil because of this. Your other option is High content silicon pistons. They do not expand nearly as much as low silicon pistons, but the higher content of silicon makes them not as strong. It's up to you to do the research on this.
As for the rings, use whichever you prefer. I swear by Hastings piston rings myself on cast pistons and I personall y wouldn't use anything other than them or OEM honda rings. But, if you use forged pistons, use whichever rings they include or recommend . Everyone who is anyone will now agree, that it is MANDATORY that you install ARP rod bolts. LS rod bolts are the same exact rod bolts that come factory in D-series motors. This is THE single point of failure on LS blocks. It's not the rods, or anything else, it's the rivet sized rod bolts. Upgrade to ARP rod bolts! Now for the rods, if you plan on staying with the stock rods, which is perfectly fine, it would be smart to shotpeen them. This will improve the tensile strength of the rod. Just a small piece of mind when you're hanging out at 9k. Some shops charge extra for this, some include it with their rebuilds. ..but either way, it's cheap so do it. You should also have your rod's journals (big ends) resized when you install ARP rod bolts. Many will tell you it's not necessary, but ARP recommend s it. Pay the extra few bucks to have this done, again for peace of mind. ARP doesn't make any money off of this, so why do they recommend it? Because the extra torque placed on the rods using their rod bolts has the tendency to "warp" the big end of the rods. It's not a differenc e you can see with the naked eye, but it's there. As for bearings, go with whatever you prefer. Some swear by OEM honda, but if ACL's are within standards, there's nothing wrong with them. ACL is actually better if they are within clearance specs, because their's are a trimetal design much like oem GSR/ITR/CTR bearings are as opposed to the LS/B20 Bimetal design, which aids in bearing oil retention . I would also go and get the rotating assembly balanced. Again, not mandatory, but it helps in the high revs. Alot of people like to use girdles. It makes sense right? B16's and B18C's use them, and honda implement ed them for a reason right? I agree totally. But I'm a fan of "keep it simple". There are plenty of people running ungirdled blocks revving to 9k or higher. I don't use one. But, you decide. However, this might actually be something you want to consider if you plan to autocross this motor. It will definitel y help with the heavy abuse over longer periods. There are about a million other things you can do to the block. Don't buy into gimmicks, and keep it simple. Simple = less shit to go wrong. If you are unsure of all the options you have with assemblin g a block, talk to a well known engine builder. There are plently of them here on And, if you can get into a conversat ion with one of them, I'm sure they can clear alot of things up for you. Now, here are pics of my block fully assembled (P30 pistons and rings installed, cylinders honed, shotpeene d LS rods, arp rod bolts installed, rods resized, crank balanced, polished, and knife edged:


Offline Sakasaku

  • Honda junky
  • Global Moderator
  • I <3 My EF
  • *****
  • Join Date: May 2009
  • Posts: 550
  • Karma: 16
  • RealWyre Harnesses

  • Activity
    • Facebook
Re: Ls/Vtec Info
« Reply #3 on: June 11, 2009, 09:13:45 am »
Vtec solenoid housing and both coolant temp sensors installat ion. Tighten the coolant temp sensors down until they are fully threaded and tightened; easy enough. The single pin sensor is the sensor for the coolant temp in your gauge cluster, whereas the two pin sensor is used by the ecu to read engine coolant temp, and dictate air/fuel ratio. Torque the solenoid's 10mm bolts down to spec.

Coolant housing installat ion. Pretty simple; spread a thick bead of RTV where the housing bolts to the head. Torque it's 10mm bolts down to spec.

Cams and cam gears installat ion. Be careful in choosing cams. GSR cams are great for a stock compressi on LS block. ITR/CTR cams are also a great upgrade if you can get them for cheap. I believe it's necessary to run AT LEAST ITR dual valve springs with these cams, however, there are some that don't and get away with it. I would caution this though, as I've personall y seen two separate motors drop a valve at high rpms with ctr cams/stock b16 valve springs. Other than that, any set of cams you decide to go with is going to require higher compressi on to make any amount of power. I suggest AT LEAST 11.5:1 compressi on, if not higher in the 12:1-12.5:1 range (but don't forget to clay your motor for piston to valve clearance). There are plenty of great cams to choose from out there on the market. I would keep it simple and go with the proven cams like Skunk 2's, Rocket Motorspor ts', Buddy club, Toda, or Jun. They all make great power on these setups. Tuning will be the key to how much power you make. On to the installat ion. First, make sure you slide the two rubber cam seals that go on the end of the cams behind the cam gears. Then, slide the cam gears onto the cams. Make sure to properly align them with the small woodruff keys, as it is very easy to misplace. Tighten down the cam gears until they cannot be tightened any more. Now the cams. Make sure to apply a GENEROUS amount of assembly lube /cam lube to all the cam lobes and the journals on the cams. This is VERY important . Make sure the cam with the slot on the end goes on the intake side. That slot is for the distribut or. Then lay the cams in their respectiv e positions . Here, I am installin g a set of Buddy Club Spec III cams:

Cam seal. This one goes at the end of the exhaust cam shaft on the passenger side. Stick it in. Done. (nice shiny one from azracemac

Installin g the cam caps and camshaft holder plates. If your head didn't come with it's original set of caps, you may be asking for problems. When you buy a used head, make sure you ask this question. Now, make sure they are both clean and free of debri. Don't be frightene d as to which ones go into which spots. Convenien tly, they are all labeled. They have Either an "I" or an "E" on them for intake and exhaust. The caps are also labeled with numbers. Start with "1" on the timing belt side and go up to "5" on the distribut or side. On the timing belt side, make sure you place the cam seals that are behind the cam gears, underneat h the first cam caps. These are there so that oil does not leak out from under the cam caps and behind the cam gears. Next, place the camshaft holder plates on the caps. If you look at the underside of the rails, you will be able to see where they lined up with the cam caps to see which one is the intake rail and exhaust rail. Some rails also are stamped with a very faint "I" and "E", but this is not always true. You'll have to see for yourself to know what I am talking about. Now, lube up all of the bolts with oil first before you install them as per honda's guideline s. Torque them to spec. Follow honda's recommend ed sequence:

Make sure those rubber cam seals stay underneat h the first set of cam caps. Installed:

Intake manifold, injectors, and fuel rail installat ion. ITR/B16 intake manifolds use the same bolt patterns, but GSR heads use a totally different bolt pattern so you must use a GSR intake manifold with them or aftermark et equivalen t. I chose to use an ITR intake manifold and the larger ITR throttle body because they just dominate the B16 manifold past 6-7k. But, on the downside, as a general rule, the B16 manifold makes more power upto 6-7k. It just really depends on where you plan on making power. This would also be a good time to buy one of those nice cooler intake manifold gaskets that hondata and passwordj dm make. It is not necessary, but are good for a 1-2 HP increase for only $35-60 which is well worth the money. As for the injectors, contrary to popular belief, ALL Honda B and Dseries motors use the same size injectors (240cc). So, it doesn't matter if you use 92 civic dx injectors or 01 jdm integra type-r injectors, or anything in between, they're all the same size (except i think HF or CX injectors, correct me if I'm wrong).
Now, align the intake manifold gasket onto the head. Torque down the intake manifold's 12mm to spec. Install the injectors with their rubber gaskets. Then, install the fuel rail. Stick with stock on this, I've seen more problems with casting flaws in aftermark et fuel rails, than you'd care to deal with. Stock honda fuel rails are good for over 500 HP, so don't worry. Remember, keep things simple. Make sure not to overtight en the 10mm nuts holding the fuel rail on. Injectors - I would suggest AT LEAST 310cc injectors for a build reaching 180 whp or more, although it is proven to not be necessary . You will just need to run the stock injectors at an extremely high and inefficie nt fuel pressure, which would require you to own an FPR to adjust the fuel pressure. Keep in mind, higher fuel pressures are bad for fuel atomizati on so it's best to run larger injectors in the 40-50 psi range. The stock injectors below are for visual purposes only.

Now that the head is installed, we may install the oil line and timing belt. Follow the instructi ons included with your lsvtec oil line kit, as every kit is different . But, what ever you do, don't forget to teflon tape all fittings! The kit I am using is from and is a proven kit. It replaces the factory oil pressure sending unit with a "T" in which the unit and oil line are screwed into. It's simple, and that's why I like it. I like Golden Eagle's oil sandwich adapter plate and the overall completen ess of their kits, however, I do not agree with using the vtec headgaske t that they supply with their kits. I am personall y not happy with the way a vtec headgaske t sits when mated up to a non-vtec block. I much prefer the fit of the non-vtec headgaske t. You will find that from one reputable builder to the next, there's a differenc e in opinion over which one is better. In the end, it will be your decision to make to use one headgaske t over the other. Here, I recommend and use the non-vtec headgaske t for this applicati on.
There is a small problem I have found with the full-race kit though. That is that their dowel pins are a little loose. I've called them about it on a couple separate occasions and they have yet to acknowled ge that there is a problem. I'd recommend buying the dowel pins from Golden Eagle or finding a Golden Eagle vendor on here or Ebay. They're about $20. Or, you could just pick up a complete Golden Eagle kit, but as I've warned earlier, I don't recommend using the vtec headgaske t which is included.

Installin g the GSR/ITR timing belt (Or LS timing belt if using the LS 19T water pump). Re-verify that the block is still at TDC. Now, rotate your cam gears until the timing marks are aligned (consult your manual for further illustrat ions and guidance). Once the crank and cams are aligned, you can now install the timing belt. I like to start with sliding it over the cam gears, then work it down over the water pump and tensioner . Then, take the tensioner and pull down on it until it is fully loosened and tighten the 14mm bolt so the tensioner is tightened in the fully loosened position. Slide the belt over the tensioner now and then the crank pulley. Easy. Now, loosen the tensioner with the belt on. Now here's a little trick I learned. Take an old metal coat hanger and use a pair of pliars (needle nose work best) and bend the tip a bit. This little contrapti on you just made will be used to pull up on the tensioner spring to tighten the belt. You can also wedge a screwdriv er under the tensioner pulley and push down on it a bit to tighten the belt, but be careful not to damage the tensioner pulley. While you have the tensioner pulley applying tension to the belt by use of either the coat hanger or flat head screwdriv er, tighten it's 14mm bolt. Now the belt is tight. But, do not leave the belt too tight, as this can cause strain on the motor. Follow your manual to find out how much deflectio n (play) is recommend ed.

Now we can install the lower timing belt cover, crank pulley, alternato r and alternato r belt. The LS cover will need to be trimmed to fit over the newer oil pump. No biggy. The cover slips on over the crank gear. Tighten all of it's 10mm bolts down tight. Then slide over the crank pulley and make sure to install another one of those pesky woodruff keys. Tighten the crank pulley bolt down to specs. An impact gun will tighten it just fine. Slap the alternato r on it's brackets. Don't tighten it down just yet. Slide on the belt, and push out the alternato r with a pry bar or the likes. Tighten the upper and lower alternato r bolts now. Please do NOT ever use a broken/cracked/chipped crank pulley. It will throw off the balance of the crankshaf t and can be detriment al to the oil pumps operation . This would be especiall y dumb if you paid to get your crankshaf t balanced, as I always do, because it would throw off the balance again. The crank pulley installed below is for visual purposes ONLY.

Distribut or. Align the inside marks on the back of the distribut or (there are a few lines and marks, just line them up). If the motor is still at TDC, the distribut or should go on and be timed perfectly . Tighten it's 12mm bolts down. If you are using an LS disributo r, you will have to cut off the front mounting leg, as it hits the vtec solenoid housing, and only the upper bolt will line up. Be prepared for a very small oil leak if you do this (nothing to worry about though). This is not a problem because internall y, all obd1/2 distribut ors are identical (timing wise), it's just the mounting legs that are different .

Installin g the valve cover. First, make sure to replace all valve cover gaskets with new ones. Make sure the head surface where the gasket goes is completel y clean, dry, and free of oil. Now, smear a small amount of High-temp RTV on the flat pads on the under side of the valve cover gasket. You'll see what I'm talking about. Slap on the valve cover. Now, put on the grommets, then the 10mm nuts. Tighten them down until they are just past hand tight. Do not overtight en as these are easy to strip.

Last but not least, the spark plug and spark plug wires. If you are using the stock LS pistons, use stock B16 spark plugs. If you are running compressi on in the 10.8-12.0 range go with one stage colder spark plug (NGK BKR7E). If you are running over 12.0:1 compressi on as I am, run the two stages colder NGK's (#7173, pictured below). You can get away with the 1 stage colder NGK BKR7E, but that's your choice to make. If you get any detonatio n, go with the next stage colder. Going to a colder plug isn't going to cause a power loss either. First, gap them to the desired range. You want to have as large as a gap as possible until the ignition can't bridge the gap, which is why it's good to increase the gap with aftermark et ignitions, to achieve it's full spark potential . A good gap to start with is .44. At this time, you may apply a thin coat of anti-sieze to the spark plug threads. Install the spark plugs with a spark plug socket, or 16mm deep socket. Tighten them till they stop. Do NOT overtight en. As for the spark plug wires, start with the first cylinder (timing belt side) and work your way to cylinder #4. The firing order is 1,3,4,2. It always is with 4 cylinder hondas. 1 is the top right corner of the rounded side of the distribut or cap (look at the cap you'll see what I mean. There's a rounded side and a square side). Plug in the wires going clockwise from there using the correct firing order I gave you. Done.

Now, the engine is fully assembled!

ECU/Tuning. This will be different for everyone.
Now let's think, what ECU will be best for this setup? The answer is NONE. Most ecu's will run this motor, but run it pretty darn shitty. How could you even expect it to run right? This isn't a stock honda motor! You WILL need some way to tune if you want this thing to last threw the day, week, month, year.
If you're looking for an ECU, just get one that you can chip, and has vtec capabilit y. That's it. FYI, generally, GSR ecu's run this setup like poop so steer away from them unless it's already chipped and ready to be tuned.
Also, don't just buy some "skunk2" or "Mugen" chip. First of all, it's highly doubtful it's an authentic program to begin with. Second of all, you're taking someone else's word for what program is on that chip to run your new motor. You MUST be retarded.
Every LSVTEC/B20vtec motor is different and must be tuned INDIVIDUA LLY!
So, get an ecu. Have it chipped. Install a wideband O2 sensor. Hook everythin g up together. Run your software of choice, and tune. You will need to tune for 14.5-15.1 at idle, and then gradually increase that to 13:1 at WOT in vtec. This is just a general rule...bu t tends to be pretty close to a RULE in tuning.

I run OBD0 just because of it's simplicit y. Honestly, the only significa nt differenc e between OBD0 and OBD1 technolog y is the O2 sensor. Being able to tune stock honda ecu's has been around for awhile and it all started with OBD1. But, nowadays there's plenty of tuning software for OBD0 which has just as much capabilit y as tuning with OBD1. OBD0 tuning software just hasn't become as mainstrea m as OBD1 software such as hondata, uberdata, chrome, etc. have. I run software called BRE which I downloade d for free from Go there. Read. Learn.
My setup consists of my socketed B16 ecu, Ostrich emulator, BRE software w/ dataloggi ng capabilit ies, Innovate LC-1 Wideband permanent ly installed, HP laptop.

Initial startup process for new cylinders/rings:
Fill the motor up with 30W non detergent oil (quality does not matter). Just buy the cheapest you can find. Also, pick up the cheapest oil filter you can find (usually Fram). Check the dipstick periodica lly to see when the oil pan is full. Try not to fill higher than the upper most dot on the dip stick. It should be around 4 quarts (remember, you need a little extra oil for the vtec oil line).
Fill the motor with a 50/50 mixture of coolant to water. Believe it or not, the more water this mixture has, the cooler the engine will run. But, you need antifreez e in colder climates to prevent coolant freeze/expansion, as well as to prevent the water pump and sleeves from corroding . So, you would be fine to run 70/30 water/coolant ratio in the summer. Water does evaporate though, so check the level a little more often.
Make SURE you have your oil drain plug and oil filter installed, as well as your fill cap re-tightened.
Now, disconnec t the ecu and turn the motor over for roughly 30 seconds to build up oil pressure. This is the easiest way to ensure you will not be injecting fuel and spark into the cylinders . Reinstall the ecu you will be using.
Fire the motor up and check for leaks. Make sure to check around the vtec oil line, as well as around the corners of the head, and underneat h the distribut or. These are common places for motors in general to leak oil. Make sure the oil pressure light extinguis hes immediate ly. If not, turn the car off and troublesh oot. Let the car reach full operating temperatu re. Immediate ly begin to tune the car for a 14.1-15.1 AFR at idle. The closer to 14.7:1 the better. That's it. For the rest of the tuning, I'd suggest a street tune first then tune on the dyno, but every tuner has his/her own ways.

Oil changing schedule:
Startup - 30w non detergent, change after warm up
after 20 miles - your favorite non-syn
after 100 miles - your favorite non-syn
after 500 miles - your favorite non-syn
after 1000 miles - your favorite non-syn/synthetic (it is now safe to run synthetic)

You should stop seeing metal shavings in the oil after the 100 mile oil change. I strongly recommend using a magnetic oil drain plug for freshly built motors. You don't want all those shavings being pumped to the bearings, cams, or splashing on the cylinder walls...b ad. Don't worry though, they will be there, no matter how close the clearance s are.

Now for the break in. Try to vary the revs as much as possible, with alot of short blasts. It is very important that you let the engine "brake" itself by just letting off the throttle and letting the vehicle slow down on it's own, while in gear. This creates a vaccum in the cylinder and forces the rings outward, which wears down the peaks in the cylinder's fresh hone. Do this for the first 20 miles, and then proceed to beat the shit out of the motor, up to it's maximum rev range, as long as it is tuned according ly. As long as the bearings are within spec and the rod bolts were torqued correctly, there is NOTHING to worry about.

I guarantee you WILL NOT burn oil using this break in method. If you do, you probably have leaky valve seals or bad rings/cylinder hone, or maybe possibly even other major problems with alignment of the sleeves themselve s.

I also posted this on another forum, so don't complain if you saw it there. I'm just trying to spread my wealth of informati on and better educate the honda community .


Offline Thundercat

  • Duh, Winning!
  • Global Moderator
  • Steppin' it up!
  • *****
  • Join Date: May 2009
  • Posts: 2416
  • Karma: 124
  • Tuck'd & Swap'd

  • Activity
    • Your lookin at it
Re: Ls/Vtec Info
« Reply #4 on: June 11, 2009, 12:20:29 pm »
omg...... engine building  info overload

good stuff...u get this off of Evans-Tuning?

Offline Sakasaku

  • Honda junky
  • Global Moderator
  • I <3 My EF
  • *****
  • Join Date: May 2009
  • Posts: 550
  • Karma: 16
  • RealWyre Harnesses

  • Activity
    • Facebook
Re: Ls/Vtec Info
« Reply #5 on: June 11, 2009, 03:08:19 pm »
Honda-tech and Honda swap thanx


Offline bigdare23

  • Monarch
  • Administrator
  • Steppin' it up!
  • *****
  • Join Date: May 2009
  • Posts: 3965
  • Karma: 65535
  • Mr. CRX

  • Activity
    • East Coast EF Civics
Re: Ls/Vtec Info
« Reply #6 on: June 29, 2009, 05:35:10 pm »
I would give props to the author in the original post.
-1988 CRX Si v2.0 coming soon

Offline S.Brewer

  • They Call Me Cocoaman!
  • Steppin' it up!
  • ****
  • Join Date: May 2009
  • Posts: 3254
  • Karma: -65497
  • S.Brewer Is Production

  • Activity
    • S.Brewer's Myspace
Re: Ls/Vtec Info
« Reply #7 on: August 23, 2009, 08:55:44 pm »
I would give props to the author in the original post.

Dayum skippy!
Stay AT Home Crew Member/Canibeat/outperformance


Related Topics

  Subject / Started by Replies Last post
9 Replies
Last post June 17, 2009, 04:36:44 pm
by Sakasaku
4 Replies
Last post June 17, 2010, 08:08:23 pm
by Whosthisguy
0 Replies
Last post August 09, 2010, 07:32:36 am
by rbwdriven
6 Replies
Last post November 25, 2010, 06:48:29 pm
by IHeartMySTD
6 Replies
Last post December 04, 2010, 02:00:18 pm
by Bus Driver J