Putting a Vtec in a non Vtec

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Hey I was just wondering how you'd go about installing a vtec in a non vtec motor. I've heard different stories from all sorts of people. I've got a 00 integra with a B18B1. I've heard there's kits for my motor and head but they're pricey. I've also heard I need GSR head, which new or redone is pricey but they are out there. Also I heard something about needing to modify the block, which sounds a little far fetched, but honestly I haven't a clue. Now what would be the best way to go about it? I'm looking for a little more performance and fuel economy without breaking the bank.

posted by  DBain

I know of a few who did it on the old b series like the b20.

The common overview was it was very pricey and the gains werent worth it.

But this is on a family of motors that never came with vtec so not many OEM honda parts could be used without modification to do it. I think they ended up swapping to a newer b series head.

May be easier on your motor though.

posted by  Enthusiast

Yea you can look into an LS vtec kit, but honestly, its not worth it.

You are better off boosting the LS (cast iron sleeves take boost well) and youll still have lower compression than a VTEC motor so you can run a bolt-on kit without touching any of the internals, although headgasket and head studs are usually recomended.

For around 1000 you can put together a frankenstein kit using parts from different cars and youll have worthy gains, and youll have more torque as well.

Thats the route I would go if I were you. I dont know what you mean by "breaking the bank". Tell us your budget so we can try to give you advice that isnt out of your reach.

posted by  newyorker

I've looked into it, and am considering it. I have a '90 LS. You need to obtain a vtec head and stick it on your non vtec block. You can get a b16 head or a gsr head, there's a few options out there. And yes you do have to modify the block. You also need a few other items, which you can buy in a kit.

I think whether its worth it depends on whether you can do the work yourself, and how cheaply you can obtain parts. Your fuel economy won't go up, and you'll have to use more expensive, higher octane gas.

posted by  Mathew

Well as it is I've got over 1000 in the bank but with a newborn (the pic under my name is my 2mo old son) money comes and goes like the weather. I can tell you it wont be a quick job. Usually I'll get one part at a time and when I gather all the peices I'll put it together.
As far as doing the work myself, that's the route I'd be taking. I know enough to get by and do all my own maint. My job is a post-press mechanic, so I turn wrenches daily, but I cannot rightfully call myself an auto mechanic. Cars and trucks are just a hobby. Modifying the block sounds a little over my head so I'll have to look into it a little more before I rush into anything.
Now when you say 'boost' I assume you're talking turbo??? I've been told putting a turbo into something that didn't come with one was real project, but maybe what I heard including having the cylinders sleeved which would be something I'd bring to the local machine shop.
I think I need a little more detailed info before I decide on what to do. I do appreciate all the advice though.

posted by  DBain

You wouldnt need to resleeve your block, it already has Iron Sleeves.

posted by  newyorker

What modifications do I need for the block then? Is it a machine shop job? Anything I'd do myself would be done in my driveway, I don't even have a garage where I'm living now, but do have access to one. Also I'd want it to be a one day job on account for a 30mi ride to work 6 days a week and my truck isn't too good on gas. Also I have access to a lathe and a bunch of other toys where I work but as far as removing the block, well I just don't have the time.
I guess what I'm really asking is how difficult and time consuming is this project. I've done a lot of work to this car, it's been my daily driver for years and whatever I do I want done right. With a newborn and all the OT I work, lately it seems there just isn't enough time in the day
Thank you very much for the help though. This has been something I've been considering for a while but never researched until now.

posted by  DBain

First and foremost, do a compression test on the cylinders, and see what readings you get, this is key before doing any kind of FI work. You can get away without having to touch internals, but what is usually recomended is a thicker or stacked headgasket (helps lower compression, cheap and effective) and ARP headstuds (prevent headlift). These 2 preventive mods should cost you somewhere around 200-300 total if you are doing yourself, and the great thing is when you are doing one you can do the other, they are in the same exact place.

Do a compression test (cylinder leakdown test) and report back, you are mainly looking for even readings across the cylinders, with an IIRC 5% margin of difference.

Remember that in a turbo setup, tuning is the key to saving the motor. A good tune will go a long way.

posted by  newyorker

Here is what I recomend. Look on the following sites and get some ideas. Dont buy parts yet.

Its exactly what it sounds like

Great Honda resource, tons of info there.

Here are some parts you will need for the kit, you can start pricing around now, all of this stuff can be had used since lots of parts are universal, and you have a B18 which is a very popular motor lots of people tune and detune it.

Manifold can be had used, keep in mind flange has to be for the turbo you are using
Turbo can be had used (miata buddy is running an older Mercedes Diesel T3 turbo)
Injectors can be had used from almost any car, but DSM 455(ithink)cc are popular
BOV, dont get an ebay knockoff this is an important piece
Wastegate, but youll only need this if you use a turbo with an EWG, if you use a t25 it comes with one built in
Oil lines and other misc tidbits, these are best to buy new since they arent that expensive anyway
Intercooler can be had on eBay, any cheap one or expensive one works and you wont tell a difference. Ebay does sell piping kits but they are a "one size fits all" so its best to get it custom made, probbably cheaper too"
Exhaust will have to be bigger, 2.5 inch is usually popular diameter for small turbo setups.
Clutch is a recomended upgrade as well, a stage 1 will do just fine.
Tuning, this you have to hunt for.

There is more I am sure, I just cant think straight cause I have to leave the house in like 5 minutes and im still having breakfast. Look around online, go to a tuning shop and get a quote.

First things first however, do that leakdown test and if its good then consider this idea. If done on a budget, you can get away with it for 1000-1500 but it will take time to wait and hunt for deals for these parts.

posted by  newyorker

Unfortuneately I'd have to borrow a compressor. The leakdown test is where you fill the cyl with air to see how much compression you get before it leaks right? Some sort of fitting through the spark plug hole? I've heard of it but never done one. Maybe I'll just have my buddy do it one of these days when the both of us are free. I've been busy at my shop and he just picked up another rental/courtesy car account. I'm headed down there soon anyway, need the check the balance on my trucks new tires(little shakey around 60mph).
Thanks for the advice everyone. I'm a little curious as the where to put the intercooler. There isn't much room under my hood. I'll figure something out, maybe without the cold air intake there'll be enough space.

posted by  DBain

Intercoolers are usually mounted in the front lower grille opening of the car, just dont get one that is too big because you dont want to block airflow to the radiator behind it.

posted by  newyorker

It also depends on how much boost he wants to run. He could get a supra sidemount intercooler for his car if he wanted.

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posted by  Spanky2324

Yea but it could be a bigger hassle to fit though. One thing he could also use from the supra is the recirc BOV

posted by  newyorker

naw lol wat he needs is a 1G BOV lol hehe

posted by  DARKtEAGLE

recirculating blow off valve? I know what it sounds like but how's that replace an intercooler?

posted by  DBain

It doesnt....and recirculating valves dont make any noise lol

posted by  newyorker

(LS/B20)/Vtec is worth it imo, you get the increased displacement from the LS as well as the high flowing head from the Vtec. All this is done for less than a type-R engine which is why this conversion is popular in the first place. And most people will replace parts such as the pistons/rods whilst the engine is being built so you should end up with a stronger motor(as long as the engine is built well).

You will hear about people criticising about this as the engine will not retain a perfect rod/stroke ratio but for a street motor you won't be revving it plus the increased torque will make driving it much more pleasant. In fact a similar conversion with Honda's newer 4 bangers is getting popular with the K20/(F20c/K24) but obviously cost more.

posted by  fudge

Thats an s2000 motor...youd be hard pressed to fit it into a FWD integra.

Hes on a limited budget and I just suggest he keep it simple. Low budget, low boost, and can still provide loads of fun. Hell, my Mazdaspeed Miata is only running 7psi and only gives out 36 more horsepower than a standard MX5 but it changes the whole driving experience.

posted by  newyorker

Thats the newer conversion which isn't widely used yet but are being showcased by some tuning companies. Not really intended for older cars due to its height but some people have managed to squeeze one in their CRX albeit with a hole in the bonnet.

With all that being said I would agree with you to keep it simple and just turbo the ls motor until time and funds increases.

posted by  fudge

The only things ive seen of that nature were a CRX with a CRV B20 and trans and an AWD setup which was cool and one guy took the rear seats and trunk out of his Integra and made a custom frame of sorts and fit a prelude H22 engine to make an MR drivetrain, which was also neat. Havent seen too many swaps with the F20c

posted by  newyorker

What the hells the point in that? Why have a turbo if you can't hear it wind up and queef out.

posted by  DBain

I have only seen 1 F20C swap into a Civic which was converted to RWD also using the S2000 transmission. If you watch a newer clip of Hot Version! you will see Spoon showing off their new Civic with the K20/F20C hybrid motor which revs without hesitation to over 10,000rpm. The CRX I mentioned was featured in this months issue of Banzai(british import magazine) and I even found a store in New York which had it which was cool. The newer generation of Frankenstein motors can put out alot of horsepower with relatively low boost. And that the K-series motor spins the normal way round unlike the B-series there will be plenty of people putting this in rear wheel drive cars as well.

As for the recirculating valve its far more useful to re-route it around to than to vent it to the atmosphere. But if you like your car to queef out everytime you shift or release the throttle then do that instead. I'm not a big fan of the "whoooshshs tiiisscchh" noise.

posted by  fudge

Actually you will still be able to hear your blow off valve it just wont be as profound as a normal one or one that has been vented to the atmosphere. If you want loudness out of it then research venting your BOV to the atmosphere.

posted by  Spanky2324

I had an atmosphetic BOV on my miata for a exactly a week before it got annoying.

a. the car ran like shit
b. there was no surprise when people lost
c. the car felt slower

I put the stock one back on today and its 100 times better.

posted by  newyorker

You have a lot to learn about turbos buddy:wink2:

posted by  Spanky2324

Put K24 in..........that engine is a bit costy but will work very good on your car......

posted by  fireExotic

I don't think I want to go as far as replacing the engine. Eventually I'm gonna sell it, I need a bigger car(car seat wont fit). Thinkin about a subaru. Right now though, I don't have the money and I wont get what the acuras worth if I sell it(dents in the body and the interior needs a good shampooing mechanically very good).
For now it's a great little car... but could be better. 30+MPG is a definate bonus these days.

posted by  DBain

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