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This is the start of the tech forum FAQ. This post/thread will grow as time goes on. If anyone has an addition that they would like made to this thread, or simply a better explanation than the one provided, please send me a message. Some

General Info
What is VTEC
How VTEC Works

What is I-VTEC
How I-VTEC Works

What engine is in my civic/honda?
Honda engine codes. - Honda Forum / Acura Forum -

How much does my car weigh?
Master Weight list for Honda - Honda Forum / Acura Forum -
Master Weight list for Honda - Honda Forum / Acura Forum -

Getting Started
What are "bolt-ons"?
Boltons are the most common and easily installed engine modifications which are the intake, header and exhaust (also referred to as i/h/e). These bolt-ons essentially help the engine to breath better which should result in more power being transmitted to the wheels. On average people see around 10whp with typical bolt-ons (i/h/e), so don't be fooled by many manufacturers claims of 25+hp from a single bolt-on.

What is the best intake?
There is no real answer to this question. The test methods that each companies uses to generate their hp figures is questionable. Here is some good reading on the more commonly available intakes :
Tuner Performance Reports - - Featured Article Issue 01 - the LAB : Intakes - 99 Honda Civic Si

What is the best exhaust
Again, there is no real answer to this question. What exhaust works best depends on your setup and where you want your power to be made. In many cases the only difference between the exhausts is sound and looks. Most of the common import exhausts produce similar power gains.
Tuner Performance Reports - - Featured Article - Intakes

I do not think that the magnaflow exhaust was part of their tests, but it is a quality unit and rather inexpensive. It can be found at The Official Site of MagnaFlow Performance Exhaust - Exhaust Systems For Trucks, Suv's, American Muscle, Diesel, & Sport Compact Vehicles and Magnaflow Exhaust .

What exhaust is the quietest?
The Apexi World Sport and RS*R Ex-Mag are considered to be 2 of the quietest aftermarket cat-back exhausts available for our little cars.

What is the best header?
Again, no real cut-and-dry answer here. You have to determine which header best suits your needs/goals. Many consider the DC Sports 4-2-1 to be a quality unit. It is not the best, and not the worst, but it is a good street performer. You can find more in depth review of headers here :

Engine Modifications
How do I tell what Engine I have?
The engine code (i.e. D16Y8, D15B2, etc.) are stamped right on the engine block. Simply pop the hood of your car and look where the head of the engine meets the block, just under the valve cover. Look over to the left side of the front of the block and you will see a flat spot with the engine code stamped there. If you had a D16Z6, then the "D" would indicate a D-Series engine, the "16" would indicate a 1.6L engine, and the "Z6" would indicate which engine in the D-Series family.

What are my engines specs?
Engine specs such as stroke, bore, etc are available at numerous resources on the web. You can simply type in your engine code (i.e. D16Y8) into any search such as Google . Here is an excellent resource available here on SHO :
PISTON/ROD TECH:INSIDE - Honda Forum / Acura Forum -

What is a mini-me?
A mini-me or frankenstein motor is where you swap the head from one engine onto the block of another. This is typically done using a vtec head such as that from the d16z6 (92-95 ex/si) or d16y8 (96-00 ex). The addition of the vtec head (along with other components such as ecu/vtec solenoid, etc.) adds vtec to the motor which is typically around another 20hp. The size of the combustion chamber with the d16y8 head is smaller than that of any other d16 head so swapping it onto another block can also result in raised compression of the new motor which will also help power output. It is often recommended that when doing the mini-me, you also swap in the transmission from the d16z6 or d16y8 to get the most benefit from the new setup.
D16Y7/Y8 MINI-ME WRITE UP - Honda Forum / Acura Forum -
Honda Knowledgebase - powered by phpMyFAQ
***D16 Mini Me Swap Write Up*** - JDM

What is headwork or pnp or port and polish?
As many will tell you, the secret to making big power in our little engines is in the head. The engine is essentially an air pump and the better quality air you can get flowing through the head and engine, the more power you will make. The process of porting is to remove material from the head that is obstructing airflow. This is typically done in the intake ports, exhaust ports, combustion chamber and valve seats. Keep in mind that more air does not mean more power, you have to achieve the right balance between amount of air and air velocity, so don't be fooled by flowbench numbers alone as higher cfm doesn't translate to more power. You can find more info available at some of the following resources :

Port and polishing how it works and what it does - Honda Forum / Acura Forum -
The Old One - Energy Dynamics : Articles
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Where can I get my head ported?
This is not a recommendation, but simply a list of companies that offer head porting services : (porting done in conjunction with RS machines)
Web Page Under Construction
Cylinder head porting, porting engines, import drag racing, honda, performance parts
Extrude Hone - Deburring and Surface Finishing

What is the best camshaft?
Again, there is no best camshaft. You have to choose the best one for your application. Also keep in mind that if you have plans to auto-x or road race that an upgraded camshaft may not be legal in the class that you plan to compete in. More info on camshafts is available here :
Camshaft Tech - Honda Forum / Acura Forum -

Engine Management

SHO Honda ECU Tuning Thread

What is obd1, obd2, obd2b, etc.?
OBD = On-Board Diagnostics.
92-95 Hondas are obd1
96-98 Hondas are obd2
98-00 Hondas are obd2b
Would be lovely if some would do a writeup or provide a link to a good resource. for this one.

What ecu do I have?
D16Y8 - P2P (comes in an obd2 and obd2b variety)
D16Z6 - P28
D16Y7 - P2E

Should I Chip my ecu?
If you have an obd-2 (96-00) then you can not chip your ecu. However there are a few places that will reprogram an obd2 ecu ( Welcome to Erick's Racing Engines ). Unfortunately no one can reprogram an obd2b ecu. There are plenty of places that you can find chips/programs for your obd1 ecu (jet, skunk2, etc.) I wouldn't recommend any of them as they are generic chips that do not take into account the actual modifications that you have done to your vehicle. If you want to chip your obd1 ecu, then get a custom chip with a program that was created for your vehicle. Please read the engine modification section of the faq for info in chips that raise or remove your engines redline or rev-limiter.

How can I reprogram my stock ECU?
OBD2b ecus can not be reprogrammed. This is not a recommendation, but simply a list of resources for reprogramming your ecu, or doint a custom setup: (look for uberdata)
Welcome to Erick's Racing Engines

What is hondata?
Hondata is one of the many aftermarket engine management systems such as the AEM EMS, Apexi PowerFC, Accel DFI, etc. These are complete engine management systems that can replace your ecu. The hondata is the cheapest, but the others are programmable on the fly via a laptop whereas you have to burn a new chip for the hondata. The downside of hondata is that it requires that you are obd-1, whereas the other systems are available for obd2 vehicles. It is illegal to convert an obd2 vehicle to an obd1 vehicle and depending on your area, they may actually test factory equipped obd2 vehicles by connecting to the obd2 service port, so you will fail inspection if you have converted to obd1.

How is the AFC different from hondata?
The Apexi V-AFC/S-AFC are piggybacks onto the factory ecu. They are used to make fuel adjustments and are often used in mild turbo setups. However the AFC is not able to control the spark which is where it really falls short of hondata and other engine management systems. Also if you have an obd1 vehicle, then go ahead and do it right with hondata. It is not much more expensive than the AFC.

Please visit the turbo forum for other turbo related questions.

Suspension Modification
Please visit the suspension forum for other suspension related questions.
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