Honda Civic SiR

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B16A Engine Swap

This page contains information about the B16A engine swap that my Honda Civic had done several years ago transforming it (albeit mildly) into a Honda Civic Hybrid...

Engine Choice - Additional Modifications - Installation

To see more information about and photos of the B16A engine swap into my Honda Civic SiR, go to the B16A Engine Installation web-page.

The body shell for my EF9 Honda Civic SiR is in great condition. There is no rust anywhere and just the usual small dents down the sides due to inconsiderate drivers at shopping centers. Unfortunately the same could not be said for the engine. The original first generation B16A engine in the Honda was showing signs of weariness. It was going through oil at a rate much faster than I would have liked. Sometimes I would forget to check the oil level every now and, when I did, I would be lucky to find any oil on the end of the dipstick. Far, far from ideal!

I am pretty sure most of the oil was getting past the valve stem seals. The tell-tale sign for this was a large plume of blue smoke when getting on the go-fast pedal after some lengthy engine braking (like coasting down a hile). This probably caused some of the oil to disappear but I really don't know where the rest was going. VTEC engines are supposed to be a little thirsty on oil, but the amount of blue smoke heading out the exhaust pipe was definitely not a good sign. All of this from a car with only 90,000kms on the clock. Somehow I don't think so... I get the feeling that someone wound the clock back a hefty amount before it either arrived in New Zealand or before going on sale in Japan.

Engine Choice

Given the choices, an engine swap seemed like a nice project for the Honda Civic SiR. I've always been keen to give anything a go and have pretty good mechanical know how so I started looking for a second generation JDM (Japanese Domestic Market) B16A out of a later model Honda Civic. Although the first and second generation engines are very similar, the second generation engine produces an extra 10HP due to a slightly higher compression ratio, better cam timings, and slightly higher cam lift. A more in depth comparision between the first and second generation engines can be found on the B16A Reference web-page.

I contemplated going to a DOHC VTEC B18C out of a Honda Integra (which has an extra 200cc of displacement) but I was somewhat keen to see what performance enhancements could be done to the stock B16A with some (hopefully) smart external modifications. The B16A is a fabulous engine and puts out very good performance figures stock standard. However, I was hopeful that even more could be made with some relatively straight forward modifications to make it inhale and exhale more easily.

Additional Modifications

Also, while I was going through the trouble of taking the engine out of the car, I figured I might as well do something about the peg leg differential at the same time. I couldn't use an LSD gearbox from a second generation B16A, because they are all hydraulically operated, so I also placed an order for a rare LSD Y1 transmission (second hand of course). It took a while for the local importers to track down an LSD trannsmission in Japan, but I think that the wait was well worth it.

While the car was going to undergo such a large operation I also decided to do a bunch of other things that are much easier to do with an engine sitting on a stand in front of you, rather than cramped in the engine bay. These other things included:

Installation

To see more information about and photos of the B16A engine swap into my Honda Civic SiR, go to the B16A Engine Installation web-page.