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Saturday, November 14, 2009

Team Integra


Well we finally got Gabby to swap an intake manifold from a D16Y8 SOHC VTEC Civic EX onto his D16Y7 non-VTEC engine. Why the swap? Simple, if you ever noticed the shape and design of the Y7 manifold, it's clear that power was NOT Honda's intention. The plenum is very small, and the runners long and skinny. Great for low end acceleration, terrible for high rpm operation. The Y8 manifold on the hand is a completely different design. A horizontally mounted TB, much larger plenum, and shorter, fatter runners make for a manifold far more efficient at producing high rpm hp. Granted, we're not talking about massive 20+hp gains here, but the difference between the Y7 and Y8 manifolds are truly staggering, and the more we compared the two, the more we were amazed at how well Gabby's Civic actually performed when being forced to breathe with such a handy-cap as that Y7 manifold is. Here are some comparison pics, note the size of the runners and even more astonishing, the size of (or lack thereof on the Y7) the plenum.

Here's a list of what was needed:
D16Y8 intake manifold
D16Y8 intake manifold gasket
D16Y8 intake manifold throttle cable bracket
D16Y8 intake manifold brace
1 tube of RTV sealant
1 can of liquid gasket remover
5' rubber fuel hose
Plastic vacuum line connectors
Basic hand tools including 10, 12, 14, 17mm sockets and wrenches, flat-head screwdriver, Phillips-head screwdriver, needle nose pliers, gasket remover/scrapper.

This isn't really going to be a step-by-step walkthrough of the entire process, rather a general guide as to how we did it. Removal of the D16Y7 intake manifold was very easy. All the vacuum and fluid (coolant and fuel) lines attached to the manifold must be removed. All electrical connectors to the TB and manifold must also be removed. On the cabin fuse panel under the steering column, remove the fuel pump fuse. Crank the car over 2-3 times to discharge the pressure from the fuel lines. Remove the fuel line attached to the fuel rail from the fuel filter. Disassemble the fuel rail components such as the fuel pressure regulator and bracket, and detach the fuel rail from the intake manifold via the 2 12mm bolts under the rail. Gently pull back the rail and pull all 4 rubber injector cushion rings out of their seats on the manifold (injectors should come out with the rail). Remove throttle cable bracket and throttle cable from the throttle plate. Unbolt the TB from the manifold via the 4 12 or 14mm bolts. By this time, pretty much everything should be disconnected from the intake manifold, if anything remains, detach it now. Try to remember where every electrical connector was on the Y7 mani. and correlate it to it's equivalent position on the Y8 manifold. From under the car, unbolt the 12mm nuts holding the intake mani. brace to the block, detach the brake from the block. You can now unbolt the 7 12mm nuts holding the intake mani to the head and slide the intake mani right off.

Now prep the Y8 mani. Because of the wiring differences between the IAC's (Idle Air Controller) on the Y7 (3 wire) and the Y8 (2 wire), you're going to use your Y7 TB on the Y8 manifold. Simply bolt the TB onto the manifold using the same nuts and bolts you removed from the Y7 TB. The TB's are nearly identical outside, and are the same diameter, so don't worry about this hurting your performance any. After attaching the Y7 TB to the Y8 mani., you'll now want to unbolt the 10 or 12mm nut holding the throttle cable plate onto the Y8 TB, and swap it onto the Y7 TB you're going to be using. Don't worry about the spring on the plate, it won't come unwound, just unbolt it, slip the plate off with the spring and swap in onto the Y7 TB. Now here's where things get a little tricky. You have the choice of doing one of two things. On the D16Y8, the IAC valve is bolted onto the back of the manifold itself (horizontally placed cylindrical black/silver piece), on the D16Y7 however, the IAC valve is incorporated into the TB. You can either:
A- Leave the Y8 IAC valve on the manifold itself... or
B- Remove the Y8 IAC valve and plug the remaining holes with RTV as such

The blue stuff you see on the upper right hand of the mani. here is the RTV plugging the two holes where the IAC valve once sat. We later wound out replacing the valve on the mani because the RTV took too long to cure, but it's up to you whether or not to have it there. If you do leave the IAC valve on, make sure to run a small piece of rubber hose as a "U" between the two coolant nozzle's sticking out of the bottom of the valve itself to prevent any vacuum leaks. Make sure to bolt on the Y8 intake manifold brace (black piece at bottom of manifold) to the mani with two 12mm bolts. Back on the car now, you'll notice a short length of rubber hose (spilling lots of coolant when you removed it) attached to a long silverish metal coolant pipe on the back of the engine. You'll need to use a piece of rubber fuel hose here (make sure you buy the same inner diameter as the hole you're replacing) to extend this line to reach around the side of the manifold and attach to the small nipple sticking out of the coolant pipe attached to the lower passenger side corner of the manifold.

You're going to notice a second length of rubber hose, this going to a black box sitting just in front of the large coolant pipe along the back of the engine, this is the PCV valve. GENTLY remove the hose from the valve sticking out of the black box, and place a new piece of hose at least 2' in length, this will attach to the upper most vacuum nozzle on the front of the Y8 intake manifold. Make sure the throttle cable bracket is attached to the intake manifold as well. Lastly, on the lower drivers side corner of the Y8 manifold, you're going to see a very small little vacuum nozzle stocking out of the corner. This was intended as a vacuum source for the cruise control units found only on Civic EX's (D16Y8). Because the Civics with the D16Y7 (CX, DX, LX) did not carry cruise control as an option, this vacuum port is useless, therefore you need to plug it up anyway you can to ensure it is sealed. We used a small piece of rubber vacuum line and jammed a screw in the end of it to seal it.

Ok, by now the intake manifold is about ready to go on. Remove the old intake manifold gasket from the cylinder head. If it's stuck on there, use liquid gasket remover to soften the gasket and a metal scrapper to remove the gasket. Be very cautious not to get particles into the intake ports on the head. We just stuffed them with rags while we worked, and upon completion of the gasket removal, I wiped the insides of the port and top of the valves with a thin cloth. Also when scrapping the old gasket off, be careful not to gash the surface of the head. It's aluminum, so it's soft! Place the new gasket on, position the manifold carefully (make sure to clear the manifold brace running down to the block), use two of the nuts to hold the mani in place while somebody goes under the car to #1- bolt the intake manifold brace to the block, and #2- and perhaps the single hardest part of the entire swap, tighten the center manifold nut. You'll want to remove the oil filter to get to it, you could try to do it from the top with a wrench, but the distance between the #2 and #3 runners are VERY close and it will take an eternity if you do it this way! Lastly, while under the car, push the vacuum line from the PCV valve up through the opening in the center of the manifold (where you tightened the middle nut) and attach to uppermost vacuum nozzle on the front of the manifold as earlier indicated.

Things go quickly from here, but you have to make sure to check everything thoroughly!!!! Ensure that all 7 manifold bolts are on tight (I'm not sure what the factory specs are off hand, but I'd suggest working with a Helms or at least a $10 Haynes shop manual to give you the correct torque specifications. After bolting the mani on, you can replace the fuel rail onto the manifold. Coat the cushion rings with a light coat of clean motor oil and push them into the manifold injector holes, then gently slide the rail and 4 injectors into the manifold. There's not going to be a lot of space between the rail and the bolts that hold it on, so you'll need to gently thread the nuts for the rail on while pushing down on the rail, BE GENTLE!! Attach the fuel line to the rail. Reassemble the fuel pressure regulator bracket and bolt onto rail. Run throttle cable onto the throttle plate through throttle cable bracket. Re attach main (large) coolant line from manifold as well as the smaller hose you extended earlier onto the nozzle next to main line. Finish attaching all vacuum hoses to the manifold as they were removed from the Y7 manifold (brake booster line at the back of the manifold, EVAC/Purge solenoid vacuum line directly under the PCV valve line). When attaching the MAP and TPS sensor clips, be careful not to cross the two. For some odd reason, Honda decided to use the same exact plug for the MAP and TPS, so it's very easy to cross the two. Just note, the IAT (intake air temp sensor, looks like a black probe) should be in the same mini-harness as the MAP sensor, so if you confuse the two, just see which one is tapped together with the IAT sensor. We had to cut some of the tape and wire loom from the harness to give us enough slack to run the injector wires to the drivers side of the car, so make sure you're ready to cut some loom and tape, but be careful not to cut the wires! Chances are, you're going to want to go ahead and extend the wires for the EVAC/Purge unit and #4 injector as Gabby did, but this is up to you. Remember to cover up your wires completely when you're done. Ensure all coolant hoses are properly connected and clamped. Reassemble your intake piping for the new manifold, check the manifold bolts over one more time and ensure they are tight. Reinsert the fuel pump fuse into the fuse panel inside the car, turn the key to the "on" position but DON'T START THE CAR. As you turn the key to on, have somebody inspect and ensure that the fuel lines have been properly reconnected and there are no leaks from either the fuel line to the rail, or the regulator. After triple checking all connections and hoses, disconnect the negative terminal of the battery for about 20 seconds to clear the ECUs memory. Don't forget to fill your radiator up to the appropriate level.

Reattach negative terminal, fire up the car! The idle may be a bit odd at first, but that's to be expected. What you want to look out for is jumping idle (up and down in large increments) indicating a vacuum leak, and/or extremely high idle indicating a crossed MAP/TPS sensor. Assuming all is well, allow the car to idle for about 10 mins with the heater on full to bleed the coolant of air. At first the car may have a higher than usual idle, possible accompanied by a small jump (2-300rpm), this is because you have bypassed the coolant line to the IAT. The ECU uses this to determine how cold the engine is and adjust idle until the fluid warms, this happens until the thermostat opens and radiator fan kicks on, at which point the ECU now assumes the car is sufficiently warm and ignores the IAT reading. If you deiced to, you can run the coolant bypass into one of the openings on the bottom of the Y7 TB, and the other opening to the coolant line to prevent such erratic cold idle, this is your choice. Make sure ALL vacuum lines are attached, and that the intake manifold itself is bolted down tight, this will save you the 2 hour headache we spent trying t figure out why Gabby's car would either idle at 6000rpm or jump from 1.5-3krpm. If all is done correctly, once warmed up, shut down the car, check for any fluid leaks, restart the car and adjust idle via the idle adjustment screw on the face of the TB. Turns CCW reduce idle speed, CW increase idle speed. Congrats, you now have a Y8 intake mani on your D16Y7! Because it was raining the day we carried out the swap, we couldn't do a lot of hard road testing, but from the limited testing we did, it was a GREAT improvement fro 4k rpm to the redline, especially in 3rd gear where the DX would fall flat on it's face with the older manifold.

**Took us 2 hrs to realize we left a vacuum line open and the manifold was too loose... took Sergio all of 10 mins to figure it out. No wonder he's a tech and we're not!!**

Best 1/4 mile time before the manifold swap was a 16.10 @ 84mph, March 15th we'll see just how much the manifold has benefited Gabby's Civic when Makuragi hit's Moroso for the first time in 2002! For more information regarding the swap or Gabby's Civic, E-Mail him at, or E-Mail Makuragi at MaKuRaGi

Team Integra Performance Articles (148 Articles Listed)
• Ideas: Flow Velocity, Flow Capacity, Flow Quality [7 Pages] by [ MichaelDelaney ]
• Intake Information by [ SurferX ]
• ECU (Chip) Basics by [ MichaelDelaney ]
• Why Should I Use Platinum Spark Plugs in My Teg? by [ MichaelDelaney ]
• Intake Manifold Tech: Runner Size Calculations [2 Pages] by [ MichaelDelaney ]
• Individual Throttle Body Dimensions by [ MichaelDelaney ]
• DRAG Generation 3 install on 3rd gen Integra [20 Pages] by [ dasher ]
• Engine Package : Swapping Parts For Power [5 Pages] by [ MichaelDelaney ]
• VTEC Cams Specs Comparison for Bseries Engines [4 Pages] by [ MichaelDelaney ]
• Piston Tech by [ MichaelDelaney ]
• Compression Ratio (Static & Dynamic) Explained by [ MichaelDelaney ]
• Advance Ignition Timing: What Happens ? by [ MichaelDelaney ]
• Valve Seat Angles:Should I do a 3 angle Valve Job? [3 Pages] by [ MichaelDelaney ]
• New Engine Break-In Procedure by [ MichaelDelaney ]
• Honda Main & Rod Bearing Color Codes [2 Pages] by [ MichaelDelaney ]
• Static CR & Intake Cam Duration Relationship [2 Pages] by [ MichaelDelaney ]
• Basic Camshaft Calculations by [ MichaelDelaney ]
• Supercharger Basics and FAQ by [ Gvtec ]
• Turbo 101 [3 Pages] by [ BoostControl ]
• Nitrous Basics by [ ski_rebel_3 ]
• Compression vs Boost Table by [ BoostControl ]
• Turbo FAQ Updated 07-22-03 by [ BoostControl ]
• Nitrous FAQ by [ ski_rebel_3 ]
• Intercooling 101 [3 Pages] by [ johnisenglish ]
• Turbo Manifold Design [3 Pages] by [ johnisenglish ]
• Strut/Tie Bars by [ SurferX ]
• Sway Bars [2 Pages] by [ SurferX ]
• Wheel hop: Eliminate it and launch like a pro by [ SurferX ]
• Spring/Coilover Specifications by [ SurferX ]
• Double Wishbone vs. MacPherson Strut II: Compared by [ MichaelDelaney ]
• Double Wishbone vs. MacPherson Strut3: 2nd Opinion by [ MichaelDelaney ]
• Slip Angle and the Circle of Traction by [ Greg ]
• Suspension for Beginners by [ Greg ]
• Alignment: Camber [6 Pages] by [ StyleTEG ]
• Tweaking tire pressure for maximum handling [6 Pages] by [ StyleTEG ]
• Choosing the Right Performance Wheel by [ Donnie4p ]
• Brakes: Brake Pads by [ StyleTEG ]
• Brakes: Rotors [5 Pages] by [ StyleTEG ]
• Dyno Tuning Basics by [ MichaelDelaney ]
• Using Chassis Dynanometers For Tuning [4 Pages] by [ MichaelDelaney ]
• Why Peak WHP Can Lie: Transient Response Concept by [ MichaelDelaney ]
• Air Fuel Ratio Fuel Tuning Basics by [ MichaelDelaney ]
• HP and Torque. Analyzing power curves. [4 Pages] by [ SurferX ]
• Header-Exhaust Design Effects on Engine Power [5 Pages] by [ MichaelDelaney ]
• Aftermarket Cats by [ MichaelDelaney ]
• O2 sensor Simulator: Eliminate the Testpipe CEL [2 Pages] by [ MichaelDelaney ]
• Exhaust Basics by [ SurferX ]
• Advanced Exhaust Tech I [2 Pages] by [ MichaelDelaney ]
• Advanced Header Design Tech Information by [ MichaelDelaney ]
• Correcting Exhaust B-Pipe Cat Flange Bottleneck by [ MichaelDelaney ]
• Exhaust design effects on noise [3 Pages] by [ SurferX ]
• Advanced Exhaust Tech II : Backpressure and Area by [ MichaelDelaney ]
• Exhaust purchasing guide by [ SurferX ]
• Header Purchasing Guide [7 Pages] by [ BlueTeg ]

• Gearing I: Torque multiplication and Final Drives [2 Pages] by [ SurferX ]

Ideas: Flow Velocity, Flow Capacity, Flow Quality by [ MichaelDelaney ] (Article ID: 4)
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A lot of people wonder why an STR or Zex Intake manifold isn't good for an all motor integra. Similarly, many people wonder why I cringe when they say they want a 70 mm overbore TB on their all motor, street integra. Have you ever heard about the guy criticising that the headwork done on a teg as being crappy because the ports are too large?

These are examples of learning the difference between flow velocity, flow capacity or flow volume, and flow quality.

I. Definitions

Let's define these first:

1. flow velocity in ft/sec. is the speed at which the air flows through a tube (fancy term in aerodynamics is conduit flow velocity). simple enough but people often confuse flow capacity for flow velocity .Flow velocity is how fast bulk flow is travelling. Flow capacity is how much bulk flow is travelling. The Pittsburg Steelers running back Jerome Bettis is known as the bus because he is huge (flow capacity) and can run fast (flow velocity).

2. flow capacity is the bulk volume or how much air is delivered. The units of measurement are usually cubic feet per minute or cfm. When some head porting shops quote how good their work is, they quote flowbench numbers in cfm. If you took an AEM intake and measured it's flow capacity on the flowbench and then take a big ass sewer pipe and measured it on the flow bench, which would have more cfm? The bigger diameter sewer pipe of course! More volume of air is delivered. Does that mean you should put a sewer pipe on your engine?

3. flow quality needs a little explaining. When we talk flow, we usually mean dry air flow. However, in engines we are dealing with "wet" flow after a certain point. When fuel is injected into the oncoming air flow, we have to deal with wet flow. Why the distinction? If the flow quality is good, the fuel remains suspended in the air as a mist. People say that the fuel is "atomised". If the flow quality is poor, the fuel is no longer kept suspended and clumps into bigger droplets or rains out along the walls of the tubes.

Why is keeping the fuel atomised important? smaller droplets in a mist have greater contact area or surface area than clumped bigger drops. Smaller droplets burn easier, more completely, and faster when ignited. So when we ignite the wet air fuel mix, we get a bigger explosion because more of the air fuel mix is burned. A bigger explosion due to complete fast burn makes more power and has better emissions and fuel efficiency.

Ia. Rule of Flow Quality

The single biggest factor affecting flow quality (keeping the fuel in the form of a suspended mist) is flow velocity. Higher flow velocities keep the fuel atomised better than slower flow velocities.

Posted 02/14/2002 07:16:14 PM

Intake Information by [ SurferX ] (Article ID: 46)
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NOTE: This article is very basic intake info for beginners. For more advanced intake tech, please check out Michael Delaney's intake article at Hondavision.
The most basic bolt-on, replacement of the restrictive stock intake system will give great power gains for their comparatively low price.

The stock system includes an opening inside the engine bay which leads down a passageway through a sound deadening resonator. After it passes through the resonator, the airflow comes up another passageway into a sealed airbox where the airflow finally meets the filter and is sucked in through the intake hose to find it's way into the engine.
Short Ram Intakes
Easily the most affordable intake you can buy, short ram intakes incorporate the most efficient design. Having a short pipe allows the engine to more easily access the air it needs to breathe. The issue with this intake however is that it takes in hot air from the engine bay, air which can reach into the hundreds of degrees. Hot air is less dense, and will have a lower number of oxygen molecules per cubic foot than cold air. The explosions in the combustion chamber depend on oxygen. If there is less oxygen, the explosion will be weaker and create less power.
An arguement made for short rams is that underhood air temperatures will be generally the same as the outside air when the car is moving. There have been tests that have shown both sides, but one thing is for certain, starting from a standstill you will definitely be drawing in very hot air for the first few seconds of your run.
-Short pipe length with minimal number of bends allows for quick and efficient airflow entry into the engine.
-Risk of sucking water into the engine is no greater than with the stock intake.
-Brings in hot air from inside the engine bay especially when starting from a standstill

Cold Air Intakes (traditional long tube style)

The infamous cold air intake (CAI), thousands of import fans swear on cold air intakes to help their cars run at peak performance. Brands like AEM and Injen have made a big name for themselves just from this part alone. These cold air intakes are designed to suck in air from behind the turn signal, inside the fender, or in some cases from the front of the car. The air is much cooler in these places than inside the engine bay which allows a higher density of oxygen to be sucked in, resulting in a larger explosion inside the combustion chamber.
-Brings in cooler air from the outside allowing a higher density of oxygen molecules to enter the combustion chamber giving a more powerful explosion on ignition.
-High risk of sucking water into engine in partially flooded areas.
-Longer pipe and more bends will cause slight hesitation of airflow and may restrict power in bigger cammed engines.
Hybrid Cold Air Short Ram Intake

Mugen pioneered the hybrid short ram/cold air intake system for the Integra. Comptech made a general copy of the Mugen CAI with their Icebox however you get to keep your air conditioning unlike with the Mugen CAI (heh, how nice of them).
The hybrid intakes utilize the efficiency of a short ram intake while putting cold air into it. The air filter is sealed in a larger unrestrictive airbox which is directed downward to suck air in from near the turn signal, allowing cold air to come through it's short ram intake. This design is arguably the most desirable as it provides the best of both worlds and is used by many competition race cars. The box design also gives somewhat of a pressurized intake charge so there is almost no hesitation in getting air to your engine and low to midrange gains will be improved because of it.
-High efficiency, cold air intake design gives good power gains throughout the RPM spectrum.
-Decreased risk of water ingestion.
-Absolute peak HP may not be as high as with regular cold air intakes on otherwise stock motors.
-Might not be as loud as you like your intakes to be.
Purchasing Guide
For normal short ram and long tube intakes, you can pretty much get anything and they will perform the same. These days everyone has copied one another so the diameter and bend radius that AEM originally used years ago to be the "best" has now been copied by every Joe Blow Performance shop out there. Go for the eBay special with these intakes.
The only exception really in that category is the Knights Engineering Iceman Intake. This intake consists of a two-piece plastic tube which decreases in diameter as it reaches the throttle body. This multi-diameter design was meant to increase the speed of airflow as it travels up the tube. Also being plastic, it doesn't have the inherent heatsink properties that most aluminum/chrome intakes do.
For hybrid intakes, you have basically two choices, the Mugen intake or the Comptech Icebox. Both are insulated plastic airboxs which draw air in from a tube that extends downward to pick up cold air via a velocity stack type opening. You can use the Comptech Icebox with the stock intake hose and filter if you choose. You can also get Comptech's drop-in filter to add to the Icebox on your stock hose which is the recommended setup as it fits better. Or you can get the full setup which includes the Comptech short ram pipe, which will all run you a little over $300. The Mugen box is made to fit with the stock rubber hose and comes with it's own filter. But if you thought the full Comptech setup was expensive, you'll pay even more for the JDM bling Mugen intake which retails for $650.
Of special mention is the Arospeed FMIS (Front Mount Intake System). This interesting design places a large flat air filter in front of your radiator. Aerospeed claims tha air will be forced into the intake when you are traveling at speed, creating more power. I claim they are full of it, and that's not the only problem I have with this intake.
For one, the intake pipe is too long. Shorter pipes are more efficient, the engine does not like to have to work to get its air. Second, the "ram air" that they claim the FMIS gives you is impossible given the design of the pipe mounted sideways to the direction of airflow. Third, this thing is just plain dangerous. All the airborne crap like bugs, rocks, goo, and whatever that you see murder your front bumper is now in direct position to murder your engine. Traveling at speed, there's definitely a possibility of some of that crap busting through the air filter. Fourth, to counteract reason 3, there is a safety device they offer for the FMIS called the Lexan Window. This blocks all that airborne debris however it then takes away the entire advantage that they advertised you would have by having the air filter mounted in the front of your car. And lastly, with the intake now in front (especially using the Lexan Window), airflow to your radiator is now blocked and coolant ventilation is kept at a minimum. I'm sure I don't have to tell anyone that this is a bad thing.
So hopefully with this everyone can understand the basics of selecting an intake. Again this article is very basic and does not cover the other more "extreme" setups out there so check the Hondavision article for that. And remember, it's only an intake, in the grand scheme of things this will be the least important mod on your car so just get what meets your needs and budget the best.

Posted 02/16/2002 06:24:42 PM

Why Should I Use Platinum Spark Plugs in My Teg? by [ MichaelDelaney ] (Article ID: 419)
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This is the major concept behind your aftermarket spark plug choice.

from Cycle Magazine

Platinum and gold-palladium alloys can survive the combustion chamber environment as very small wires, and in that rests their great advantage.

Electrons leap away from the tip of a small-diameter, sharp-edged wire far more willingly than from one that's fatter and rounded. So the fine-wire plug requires less voltage to form a spark than one with conventional electrodes, and the difference becomes increasingly biased in the former's favor as hours in service accumulate and erosion blunts the iron-alloy electrodes.

There are, of course, drawbacks with precious-metal plugs: they are more expensive, and they are very sensitive to excessive ignition advance. The overheating you get with too much spark lead effects plugs' center electrodes before it can be detected elsewhere in an engine, and when subjected to this kind of mistreatment fine-wire electrodes simply melt. In one sense this is a disadvantage, as it means the ruination of expensive spark plugs. Seen in another way it's a bonus feature: it is better to melt a plug electrode than an engine.

Originally posted at

What makes good ignition?

Ignition occurs in a modern automobile when an arc is struck and current flows between the electrodes of a spark plug, or when current migrates across the conductive medium in a surface gap plug. While that may sound simple at first, the process becomes progressively more complicated as engineers try to optimize the type of spark plug with the ignition system generating the required voltage.

The amount of voltage necessary to arc the electrode gap is set by the following characteristics:

* The size of the gap... arc-over voltage is roughly proportional to the gap size

* The air/fuel ratio within the gap... the richer the air/fuel ratio (more gasoline vs. Air), the lower the required arc-over voltage

* The compression at the moment arc-over is to occur... the higher the compression, the higher the required arc-over voltage

* The composition of the electrode... certain metals for all the same conditions stated above will require less arc-over voltage than other metals. For example, platinum requires less arc-over voltage, all other things equal, than does steel

* The shape of the electrode... the sharper and more jagged the shape, the easier it is for voltage to jump

* The amount of fouling deposits trying to remove the electron flow from the arc... more fouling deposits and lower resistance to ground pulls more energy out of the spark gap.

While it may therefore seem desirable to lower the required arc-over voltage, since without arc-over there is a total misfire and no ignition, low arc-over voltage produces low spark power because spark power is directly proportional to arc-over voltage. That is, by doubling the required arc-over voltage, you double the instantaneous peak spark power, and the higher the spark power, the better the ignition.

All ignition is, therefore, a balance between the requirement to have sufficient arc-over voltage and increasing peak spark power for better, quicker ignition.

What benefits to specialty plugs bring to this mix?

One popular specialty type is platinum plugs. The primary advantage of these plugs, especially when used in an OEM ignition system (especially an older system, which may not be producing as much voltage as when it was new), is that platinum will require less arc-over voltage and therefore, particularly in a weak ignition, allows the gap to be jumped a higher percentage of the time.

For example, if at factory gap and with steel electrode plugs, it requires as much as 18,000 volts five percent of the time to jump the arc... due to the changing engine environment and running conditions... and if the OEM only produces 17,000 volts, then it follows that five percent of the time there would be a misfire.

Now, if one installs platinum plugs, which may only require, say, 13,000 volts to arc, the five percent misfiring with steel plugs would be eliminated. Since the ignition output on OEM ignition rolls off as rpm increases, platinum plugs in this case would allow the motor to reliably turn to higher rpm, thereby giving and increase in performance and possibly gas mileage.

The disadvantage of this method of reducing misfires is that the higher arc-over voltage, the better the spark when it does fire.

Therefore, platinum plugs will show a performance improvement with a weak ignition because the benefit from reducing the percentage of misfires more than outweighs the loss from reduced spark power.

Originally posted at

The average plug consists of steel shell which threads into the cylinder head, a ceramic insulator, an iron or copper core leading to a nickel or platinum center electrode and a ground electrode of similar material. The spark jumps between the center and ground electrode. Certain special application plugs may have multiple ground electrodes.

Different heat ranges are available depending on application. For constant high power applications, a colder than stock plug is usually selected to keep internal temperatures within limits.

Again, many "MAGIC" plugs come onto the market from time to time expounding the virtues of their incredible new design, usually offering more hp of course. Split electrode plugs are a waste of money because the spark will only jump to one of the electrodes at a time in any case.

You will find that most reputable engine builders in the higher forms of racing use pretty standard NGK, Bosch or Champion plugs with pretty standard electrode setups. A properly selected, standard plug will easily last 25,000 miles of hard use in most engines. A platinum tipped plug will easily last twice as long on most engines. There just isn't any rocket science here. Modern spark plugs coupled to modern ignition systems in a modern engine are extremely cheap and reliable. In most cases, on street performance and even race engines, a $2, off the shelf, NGK plug will work just fine.



Spark plugs have two jobs.

1) To produce a very high temperature spark to ignite the air/fuel mixture as quickly as possible.

2) To fine tune the temperature of the combustion chamber. Number 2 is the "heat range" of the plug, an explanation better than my own (and other good stuff) can be found on this site:

Most plugs do this just fine, with each manufacturer being a little different in their specifications (i.e. a heat range of "5" in an NGK is not the same as a "5" in a Bosch). There are equivalency tables, but don't expect them to be too accurate.

So I'll just concern myself with topic Number 1).

To create a spark, we must produce so much voltage across the air gap that the air becomes ionized (the molecules split apart and the electrons fly willy-nilly). This creates very intense heat, hopefully plenty to ignite the compressed air/fuel mixture, and the plug has done it's job (#1).

The shape of the plug electrode is important. The sharper the electrodes (both of them!) become, the easier it is to ionize the air between them. If I take two smooth brass balls of 3" diameter and put 10,000 Volts across them, I can get a spark to jump when I push them to within about 0.125" of each other. If I take two long, sharp needles pointed at each other, that same 10,000 Volts will still spark when they are 1.5" apart! (For the technically minded: this can easily be seen from Gauss' law if you compare E between the extremes of either two point charges or two equally spaced infinite parallel planes).

There is also another good reason for sharp points:

"unshrouding" the spark.

Imagine that we put a big flat plate over the tip of the ground electrode, thus shrouding the spark from the combustion chamber. The spark would still happen, and the mixture would probably still ignite, but the burn would have to go out, around the plate, and back in to the center of the combustion chamber, resulting in piston rock and detonation. We'd much prefer that the burn happen in a very smooth, ideally hemispherical manner to produce a smooth pressure curve inside that chamber. By keeping the electrodes sharp, we unshroud the spark as much as possible, allowing the maximum contact between the spark and the air/fuel mixture, making it ignite more easily and the burn spread more smoothly.

So it would seem that the sharper the electrodes, the better.

This would be true except for two caveats having to do with heat.:

Caveat 1: Too sharp a tip will melt the electrode.

If the temperature of the (spark plug electrode) tip reaches the melting point of the metal that it's made of - you can kiss it goodbye.

Here are the melting points of some commonly used metals (Celsius):

Zinc == 420
Aluminum == 660
Copper == 1083
Steel == 1400-1500
Platinum == 1772
Iridium == 2410

This problem is mainly concerned with the volume of metal at the spark tip - if the temperature even instantaneously reaches the melting point, some of that metal will disappear. You can see that Platinum and Iridium coated plugs can withstand significantly higher temperatures, and thus can have sharper tips than their steel or copper counterparts. To add insult to injury, if some of the metal does disappear from a very sharp tip, then you've actually opened up the spark gap some. To prevent that from happening, we have to start with a wider tip, such that any small amount that is eroded will not change the size or geometry of the tip by too much.

Caveat 2: Too sharp an electrode tip will create a "hot spot" in the combustion chamber.

Even if you don't reach the melting point of the metal, you can still get it glowing hot. If that tip is still glowing red hot when the next compression stroke comes about (two full engine revolutions since the last spark) that residual heat can actually ignite the air/fuel mixture before the spark is supposed to occur. This is pre-ignition. It generally creates even more heat - leaving the spark plug even hotter than the last time thus repeating the cycle until you melt a piston. Ouch!

To avoid this, we want a wide area near the tip to conduct as much heat away from the tip as possible.

Here are some of the thermal conductivities of some commonly used metals (Watts / centimeter*Kelvin) :

Zinc == 1.16
Aluminum == 2.37
Copper == 4.01
Steel == 0.70 - 0.82
Platinum == 0.716
Iridium == 1.47

You can easily see why Copper is the metal of choice for the core of the spark plug. It's just about the best thermal conductor on earth. Occasionally, you still find plugs with an aluminum core - stay away!

So, what we want is the sharpest tip possible such that it does not melt the electrode nor does it stay so hot as to cause pre-ignition. Let's break it down:

Bare Copper

They have a low melting temperature and the tips will vaporize away - they have a very wide tip so each little bit that disappears will not change the gap size greatly, but they still must be inspected often to make sure there is sufficient electrode material left. They are great for very hot running engines which must avoid pre-ignition at all costs, since the wide tip will not stay hot(high boost forced induction and nitrous engines come to mind).


Platinum plugs are usually constructed similar to copper plugs except that they have a thin coating of Platinum sputtered onto the electrode tips, about 0.010" thick (a human hair is about 0.005" thick). Because of the high melting point of Platinum, the tips can be made significantly sharper without fear of the gap changing shape. But the copper core is still sufficient to whisk the heat away fairly quickly. These are great all-around plugs, particularly for use on NA engines, and they should last a very long time. Very high heat engines should probably not use them because the sharper tips may not conduct enough heat away to prevent pre-ignition under adverse conditions.


This is the new guy on the block. They are much like platinum plugs just with iridium in place of the platinum. Because of the extremely high melting point of iridium, they can have very sharp tips without risk of melting and they should last a very long time. These would be best for high-rpm NA engines where the sharpest tip is needed for the best spark, but there is little danger of pre-ignition....

** Disregard any BS about the electrical difference of the metals - the micro-ohm difference in 0.010" thickness of Copper vs. Iridium means exactly squat when there is a huge air gap equivalent to tens of mega-ohms of resistance right there in series with it.

So, platinum provides a smaller sharper electrode to allow a larger arc-over-voltage and will burn off before allowing an engine to detonate. Yes it is more expensive but it lasts longer.

Basically the smaller the electrode (has less Capacitance for those into electrical stuff) then less voltage it needs to fire. The bigger the electrode the more current it can flow (good in cars with heaps of power available, huge sparks).

Now what about "special racing plugs"? Well here is what the site says:

Originally posted from

Be cautious! In reality, most "racing" spark plugs are just colder heat ranges of the street versions of the spark plug. They don't provide any more voltage to the spark plug tip! Their internal construction is no different (in NGK's case, as all of our spark plugs must conform to the same level of quality controls) than most standard spark plugs.

There are some exceptions, though:

Extremely high compression cars or those running exotic fuels will have different spark plug requirements and hence NGK makes spark plugs that are well-suited for these requirements. They are classified as "specialized spark plugs for racing applications".

Some are [B] built with precious metal alloy tips for greater durability and the ability to fire in denser or leaner air/fuel mixtures .

However, installing the same spark plugs Kenny Bernstein uses in his 300+ mph Top Fuel car (running Nitromethane at a 2:1 air/fuel ratio and over 20:1 dynamic compression) in your basically stock Honda Civic (running 15:1 a/f ratios with roughly 9.5:1 compression) will do nothing for you! In fact, since Kenny's plugs are fully 4 heat ranges colder, they'd foul out in your Honda in just a few minutes.

NGK as a company tries to stay clear of saying that a racing spark plug (or ANY spark plug) will give you large gains in horsepower. While certain spark plugs are better suited to certain applications (and we're happy to counsel you in the right direction) we try to tell people that are looking to "screw in" some cheap horsepower that, in most cases, spark plugs are not the answer.

[B]To be blunt, when experienced tuners build race motors, they select their spark plugs for different reasons:

* to remove heat more efficiently,

* provide sufficient spark to completely light all the air/fuel mixture,

* to survive the added stresses placed upon a high performance engine's spark plugs,

* to achieve optimum piston-to-plug clearance.

Some of these "specialized racing plugs" are made with precious metal alloy center/ground electrodes or fine wire tips or retracted-nose insulators. Again, these features do not necessarily mean that the spark plug will allow the engine to make more power, but these features are what allow the spark plug to survive in these tortuous conditions. Most racers know screwing in a new set of spark plugs will not magically "unlock" hidden horsepower.

Simply put, in high performance N/A engines there is no need for iridium (temp.) and platinum does afford some benefits over copper in a stressed engine. In FI engines, iridium may offer some advantages but using platinum does not hurt performance. You can use platinum coated copper electrode plugs which give you the heat advantage of copper and the arc-voltage advantage of platinum...just to throw more confusion into the mix. cheers

ECU (Chip) Basics by [ MichaelDelaney ] (Article ID: 181)
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1. Should I get a "one size-fits all" or "off the shelf" Mugen, Jet, Spoon, Skunk2, Comptech, Neuspeed, FF Squad, Power XS, Bayou Performance, or Dinan ECU which are "best guess" chips? How about getting one of those chips I see for sale on ebay all the time?

1A. First, Don't Chip Too Early

There is no point in getting a new ECU program early in your engine build up and then later upgrading to bigger lift and duration cams, or larger injectors, bigger fuel pump, or an aftermarket IM/bigger bore TB , etc. , since these parts just render your "new" ECU program obsolete and useless (ie. any power gains from the chip are eliminated).

So please do not get your chip reprogrammed just after i/h/c/e , if you later plan on going for bigger & better things in the future. It's supposed to be one of your last modifications and not one of your first, to prevent the need for multiple chip reprogrammings after each addition of a new modification.

The reason you see so many chips for resale on ebay?:

Other enthusiasts made the mistake of buying a chip too early that was not programmed correctly for the unique way their engine package breathes. It made very little power for them , or likely made their engine run too rich, or both. They are now trying to recover the money lost from an obsolete or incompatible chip.

Then there are the programmers who take advantage of import enthusiasts who do not understand the performance difference between a pre-programmed, mail-order chip versus a chip tuned and programmed on your car at a dyno. They are selling them based on the attractiveness of convenience for unsuspecting people who don't have a local programmer and dyno, the hyped hp gains from the magazine articles or ads, and a lower cost compared to other significant hp gain modifications, like cams or an intake manifold (IM).

1B. Second, What does an ECU do and what am I doing when I get a new chip ?

The ECU controls:

- the fuel map (ie. program commands for how much fuel to add at each rpm) and sequential firing of the injectors

- ignition map (program commands for how much spark timing to advance or retard from the baseline ignition timing you set at the distibutor cap at each rpm)

- VTEC switchover

- Redline

- Speed limiter (JDM and European models)

- Knock sensor warning

- Second O2 sensor CEL warning in OBD 2 and OBD 2b cars for testpipes and high flow cats and closed loop operations

- Activates the opening of the secondary runners' valves based on the IAB vacuum input, if you have a dual stage IM (eg. 3rd gen. GSR)

The ECU also activates your other CEL error codes and controls A/C & Idle/EVAP inputs/outputs.

When you get a new chip, the programmer has changed the program's commands of the ignition map and fuel map in response to a change in air flow and rpm (ie. both are indicators of "engine load"). The amount of ignition timing and fuel delivery is changed for a given air flow and rpm compared to the stock program. The programmer can also remove or inactivate the sensor CEL warning codes and move the VTEC point, redline, and speed limiter points to anywhere you like.

What do these ECU program's commands look like?

Example of a 3 dimensional ignition table of program commands (or "ignition map"):

Manifold Absolute Pressure or MAP which monitors air flow (Y axis), RPM (X-axis), and Ignition Advance/Retard from Baseline Timing (Z-axis).

There is also a 3-D fuel table (or "fuel map") which has Intake Manifold Pressure (Y-axis), RPM (X-axis), and Fuel Values instead of spark Advance (Z-axis).

The program commands can be entered on 2 dimenional tables.

Example of a 2-Dimensional fuel table's commands during a GSR's VTEC cam lobe operation . :

RPM down the Y axis to far left, MAP (mBar) across the top row, and fuel values for the injector duty cycle in the table cells.


Originally posted on the Hondata Website

Most (but not all) plug in chip replacements claim to be a 'Mugen' program. Typically these chips disable error reporting for most sensors and give about 40 % worse fuel economy. The chips are popular with engine swaps because they eliminate most error codes caused by poor wiring....The stock knock sensor is designed to compensate for different qualities of fuel, and has a limited scope of adjustment. It is not designed to compensate for detonation under boost and may be fooled by forged pistons rattling into retarding the ignition when knock is not present. Mugen recognizes this and does not have a knock sensor (input on their ECU).

1C. Third, "Best Guess" programs are not as good.

An "off the shelf" or mail order ECU is a programmer's best guess at trying to make a program that will fit as many different engine combination of mods as possible...that's why I call these "one-size-fits-all". These usually get you in the no gain or 5% disappointment gain ballpark. You will not get major gains with these "best guess" chips. Save your money.

So you want to make major power gains (ie. 13-15% or at least 7 whp from midrange up) with an ECU reprogram?

Please get a true custom chip instead, programmed on YOUR unique car with its own combination of mods, on a dyno using a wideband exhaust O2 sensor/Air:Fuel Ratio meter. This is the only way to go, if you are serious about getting the most out of a computer program upgrade for a street/race setup. If you got your chip by mail then, please understand that you did not get the most out of it...even the custom pre-programmed, mail-order kind of chips. The only correct way is to do the reprogramming on the dyno. And this leads us to who do you go to?

If you are lucky like me and have a couple of local programmers with Honda experience near your town, then your local programmer will go with you to the dyno and work his experience in tuning on the laptop and EPROM or EEPROM burner.

If you do not have a local programmer or race shop that does programming, then I strongly recommend getting together with some friends and investing in a Hondata Stage 4 or P200 system. It allows YOU to tune YOUR car on the dyno or at the track using elapsed times between known rpm points.

It comes with a chip burner, chips ($25/each), emulation laptop capability, instructions, and tech support. Investing in a wide band O2 sensor like the MOTEC they sell is also a good idea. This takes the guess and disappointment out of ECU upgrading.

If you want to go at this alone, then an AEM EMS is worth looking into, since it has base programs and laptop emulation. This is a serious investment for serious people.

If neither of these appeal to you and you insist on getting a mail order chip knowing that it won't be the best program, then stick to the known programmers (PM me if you want recommendations from people I've known who do a decent "best guess" chip). Most people who buy a mail order chip usually have a piggyback tuning box, like an Apex fuel controller (SAFC or VAFC) or Field SFC VTEC/fuel controller, and use those to further tune the fuel delivery on the dyno with a wideband O2 sensor.

Chip reprogramming at the dyno requires a wideband universal exhaust gas oxygen sensors (called an UEGO that you can get from dyno shop or race shop) to measure air:fuel ratio at each rpm. Expect at least 3-4 hr dyno time minimum to tune these even if you are experienced at partial and wide open throttle fuel tuning.

Other systems to consider are the Motec M4, Apex Power FC, Accel DFI, SDS EF3, and Electromotive Tec3. Compare processor speed (16 bit, 16 MHz versus 32 bit, 33MHz ), available baseline programs to get you going without starting from scratch, sensor compatibility, emulators availability, and a good track record for tech support/customer service (not just whether they have one or not).


2. Why will an "off the shelf" mail order ECU Disappoint?


From FAQ/Tech

...on most naturally aspirated engines operating on pump fuel, the only way to achieve tangible power gains is by increasing airflow through the engine. Chips cannot do this. Therefore they cannot make much difference in power output. Chip reprogrammers can richen the mixture slightly at full throttle and advance the ignition timing slightly perhaps but this would be at the expense of lowering the factory safety factors for detonation and emissions. The absolute maximum gain in this instance would be on the order of 5% and could be as little as 0%. Most independent tests that I have seen on performance chips for naturally aspirated engines have indeed shown minimal or no gains in acceleration.

Some were slower than the factory chip.

Chips for use in factory stock turbocharged applications can increase power substantially in some cases by raising the boost pressure. This again reduces the factory detonation limits and you risk engine damage. Without increasing fuel octane, you are asking for trouble especially if your engine does not have a knock sensor.

Finally, we have chip companies doing "custom" chips for modified engines. What does this involve? This is a technically sound modification only if your engine has the same mechanical mods as the motor on their dyno that the chip is being developed for. If your cams, heads, turbo, exhaust, intercooler, injectors, throttle body or fuel are different, the chip will not be correct for your engine. A chip made for an engine slightly different from yours will be slightly wrong under some conditions. In some cases, poor driveability and performance are the result.

SDS and Hondata agrees with me that the best way to rechip your computer is to program your ECU instead on the dyno on your car rather than buying a previously programmed "best guess" chip made to fit as many different engine packages as possible.


The only way to get good results on a modified engine with different mods from the base engine is to take your vehicle to the tuners facility and get a true custom chip burnt for YOUR engine. This must be done on a chassis dyno then tested on the road also for driveabilty faults which often don't show up on the dyno. This will cost more.

Here is some very good advice when buying a pre-programmed , "mail order" performance chip from SDS' website that I have found to be true:


Before buying, do acceleration testing with a stopwatch, Vericom (or a GTech Pro) or at the strip. Have an objective measure of performance as your baseline before programming so that you have something unbiased and not subjective (like a butt dyno impression) to compare to afterwards.

Get the chip maker to guarantee the performance gain IN WRITING and make him understand that you will return the chip to him if the chip does not work as claimed. If emission compliance is a concern, ask if their chip will pass the test and get it IN WRITING.

Follow all of the instructions provided by the chip maker when installing it.

Stick to reputable companies. Some people in the chip industry really don't know what they are doing. Talk to some people first who have used a certain chip and see if they are satisfied.

Test your car to be sure that you got what you paid for. This is all good advice when buying any aftermarket devices such as ignition wires, ignition products, oil or fuel additives etc. which advertise a performance gain.

If it doesn't do what it is advertised to do, you just got hosed and with some chips costing $300-500. This is something that you should not put up with.

Be careful. Some unscrupulous programmers will promise to sell you a "Mugen" like chip but in reality, all they have done is moved the redline higher and removed the CEL warnings. The advice to stick to known reputable programmers is wise, if you plan on mail orders.

What about standalone computers like a Hondata instead of a redone chip ?


If all of this doesn't sound too good to you (in terms of chips), the alternative is a (standalone) programmable engine management system . These allow you to tune your engine yourself. This can be good and bad. The same things apply as above for the mail order chips.

If you don't have a fairly thorough understanding of the system, engines and tuning plus a dose of patience, DON'T buy one of these.

Understand that you will have to program all of the values to make the engine start, warm up, cruise, accelerate and run at full power. This can entail entering hundreds of points in most cases and you will require either a dyno or a long deserted road plus some indication of mixture strength to properly tune such a system. These systems are great for the knowledgeable person and a nightmare for the lay person.

Remember, both the chip that you buy or the chip in your (standalone) programmable ECU must have the proper values entered for your engine to run properly.

The main advantage of user programmable (standalone) systems is that they can be quickly changed, if a new mod is done or if not quite right whereas the factory type (mail order) chip must be changed or sent back to be redone, sometimes, several times at great cost.

If you are contemplating a strictly race situation, don't bother with the factory ECU or chips at all. These were not designed for performance use and you will usually not get the kind of power required with factory hardware. This is when a programmable system is a must.

When considering buying a programmable system, here are a few tips:

Discuss your goals and needs with the tech people selling the system.

Make sure that the system will do what you require it to do. Don't expect the impossible - you can't expect a 400hp, 4 cylinder street car to have factory driveability, fuel economy, emission compliance, a smooth idle or long life on pump fuel. If you do, you are a nut and no one will talk to you. There is a reason why there are no factory cars like this driving around your neighborhood.

Removing the factory system and installing a stand alone system can be a lot of work. What hardware, skill and tools will you require to install the system? Can you handle it or do you know someone who can?

What factory options will you lose when removing the factory ECU?

If emission legality is a concern, find out if their system is legal and if it will likely pass in your area when properly programmed. Many systems are not legal for street use and many manufacturers will not guarantee emission compliance because they cannot control the programming.

Find out how easy the unit is to program and if you can handle it. If it is difficult to use, either don't buy it or find a place where you can go to have it properly tuned.

Make sure that the company has good, accessible tech support, you may need it.

You are responsible, if you program the system too lean and melt your engine, don't blame the system maker. If the engine runs like crap, you are probably asking the system to do something that it was not designed for or have not programmed it correctly. This is your problem now.

Read, understand and follow the manufacturers instructions. LISTEN. It will save you a lot of time. Remember, that the people who design and build this stuff likely know a hell of a lot more than you do about it.

If all of this discourages you, sell the present car and simply buy a
faster one, you will probably be happier in the end.


3. Some Basic ECU Info for OEM Honda ECUs


Originally posted by

Most ECUs up to 1996 hold their program information and data in small chips called ROMs. These are 28pin chips 1.5 inches by 0.6 inches. If we want to change either the program information (how the ECU behaves) or the data (usually the fuel and ignition tables), we need to replace the factory ROMs with our own. There are several different types of chip which can be used to replace the factory ROM.

3A. Terms To Know


ROMs are read only memory, which cannot be re-used once programmed(e.g. Atmel AT27C256 ROMs). ROMs are most suitable for the final tune for an engine, which is not going to be altered.


EPROMs are like ROMs except they have a quartz window which allows the EPROM to be erased and reused. Like ROMs, EPROMs are suitable for the final tune.


EEPROMs can be electrically erased and re-programmed, usually much quicker than EPROMs (e.g. Atmel AT29C256). The advantage of EEPROM is that it is can be programmed in 20 seconds without erasing it first. EEPROMs are most suitable for use when tuning a car, but can be used as the final tune as well.

EPROM emulation

An EPROM emulator is a device which emulates (acts like) an EPROM. It is a box of electronics which plugs into the ROM socket on the ECU, and a laptop or PC. The advantage of using an EPROM emulator is that the tuning information in the ECU can be changed quickly without unplugging or swapping ROMs.

There are two types of EPROM emulators: normal and real-time.

Normal EPROM emulators will shut the ECU down while the information in the ROM is updated.

Real-time EPROM emulators allow you to changetuning information while the engine is running.

All Honda ECUs have a part number which is located on the side of the
ECU and inside the ECU on the connector. e.g. 37820-P72-A01

The part number consists of three components:

Honda's part number for ECU, which is always 37820

Three characters (which are loosely related to the model of car/engine). e.g P72

Three characters (which are the revision of the ECU) e.g. A01

The middle three characters are the most useful to identify what the ECU is. Different generation ECUs may use the same characters. e.g. a P72 OBD I ECU is different from a P72 OBD II ECU. Here is a list of common ECUs (and the car model they come from):

PG6 : 88-89 Integra (all makes)

PM5 : 88-91 Civic/CRX DX

PM6 : 88-91 Civic/CRX SOHC Si

PM7 : 89-91 DOHC ZC (JDM 'EF' ECU)

PM8 : 88-91 CRX HF

PR2 : 89-91 ZC (Euro)

PR3 : 89-91 JDM B16A EF8/9

PR3 -J00 or J51 : 92 JDM Integra B16A EF8/9

PW0 : 89-91 JDM B16A EF8/9 DA6-XSi

PR4 : 90-91 Integra LS/GS

PS9 : 88-91 4 door Civic EX Auto

P05 : 92-95 OBD-1 Civic CX

P06 : 92-95 OBD-1 Civic DX

P07 : 92-95 OBD-1 Civic VX

P08 : 92-95 OBD-1 Civic D15 JDM

P0A : 94-95 OBD-1 Accord EX

P13 : 93-95 OBD-1 Prelude Vtec

P14 : 93-95 OBD-1 Prelude Si (non Vtec)

P27 : 92-95 OBD-1 EG JDM Civic 1600 sohc

P28 : 92-95 OBD-1 Civic Si/Ex

P30 : 92-95 OBD-1 DelSol DOHC Vtec Si/EG SiR

P54-G31 : 1997 Honda Accord 1.8 LS

P61 : 92-93 OBD-1 Integra GSR

P72 : 94-95 OBD-1 Integra GSR

P72 : 96-00 OBD-2 Integra GSR

P73 : 96-00 OBD-2 Integra Type-R (JDM & USDM)

P74/75: 92-95 OBD-1 Integra LS/GS

P75 : 96-00 OBD-2 Integra LS/GS

P2N : 96+ OBD-2 Civic HX Coupe

P2P : 96+ OBD-2 Civic EX Coupe

P2E : 96+ OBD-2 Civic DX Coupe

P2M : 96+ OBD-2 NZ Civic SOHC VTEC

P2T : 99+ OBD-? Civic Si Coupe

P5P : 97-00 OBD-2 Prelude Type-S (JDM ECU)

PBA : 97+ US Acura 1.6EL


PCX : 99+ OBD-? S2000

ECU ROM Numbers

As further identification Honda ECUs have a software revision number inside the ECU. This is usually a two or three digit number stamped on the 28 pin ROM, or main processor. Accord and Prelude ECUs can use a letter and number code.

3B. Injector Size Limit For Stock ECU

What are the biggest injectors I can run with a stock ECU?

The ECU can be re-calibrated to suit any sized injector (make sure you match injector impedance if you are replacing you injectors). However, injectors take a finite amount of time to open and close, so the bigger injectors tend to be less accurate with their fueling at low durations, such as idle.

Much depends on the mechanics of the injector, and how quickly it can open and close. With disk type injectors (such as RC 440cc injectors) you cannot tell the difference between stock injectors and injectors which flow twice as much as stock injectors, once the ECU has been reprogrammed for the larger injectors (and there is no difference on the dyno either). With race engines we have run injectors up to 4 times the size of the stock injectors.

How come people say that the biggest injector I can run is 310
cc/min. ?

This assumes that you are not re-calibrating the ECU to the new injector size. If you don't, the bigger injector will over-fuel. If this happens then the ECU will compensate to some degree using closed loopo peration to reduce the injector duration. The limit of the long term closed loop adjustment is about 40%, which is close to the increase in size from stock to 310cc injectors.

3C. Disadvantages of Running High Fuel Pressure

Some people, instead of buying a proper size injector to get more peak hp opt to push the limits of the current injector they have by cranking up the FP and running at near or over 80% duty cycle. Once you exceed a 20% increase from the maximum FP spec, you wear out the injectors faster and the ECU fuel map calibrations for the program are no longer applicable. Other disadvantages of extra high FP.

Fuel injectors require more current to open meaning they run hotter and are less reliable as a result.

Fuel injectors can take longer to open.

There is a greater tendency for the fuel to leak past the injector

There is a greater chance of rupturing the diaphram of the FPR (usually rated to 100 psi) dumping fuel into the intake.

So you need to upgrade the injector and possibly the fuel pump (if you push FP or run high CR or boost) and if you exceed 310 cc/min then you will need an ECU re-program.

Intake Manifold Tech: Runner Size Calculations by [ MichaelDelaney ] (Article ID: 466)
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Intake Manifold Design for Single TB IM's with a Plenum

B18B IM (left and closest to you in side view pic) and ITR IM (right): Notice the ITR IM has shorter runners with larger diameters compared to the longer tunnel ram runners of the B18B.

Skunk2 IM for the GSR with it's shorter than ITR stock runners.

When race engine builders talk about fuel injected engine "parts integration", one topic of the discussion is planning out where you want your powerband to be located along the rpm range .

The induction system can be "tuned" to have features which can improve
the way the cylinder fills and determine where PEAK TORQUE will be located along the rpm range.

The three features of an intake manifold with a plenum that
determine peak torque location are it's:

- plenum volume

- runner length

- runner area

But before we proceed with how these 3 features affect cylinder filling, we should first understand how air flows in an intake manifold.


Dry air is thought to behave like a compressible elastic fluid. In the "Ideas: Flow capacity, flow velocity, and flow quality" article, we discussed the differences between laminar versus turbulent fluid flow. However, instead of looking at fluid dynamics, mass air flow can also be looked at in terms of it's acoustic behaviour or behaviour as a sound wave and it's frequencies.

Sound waves travel as undulating pulsations up and down an IM runner. These pulses have a frequency or resonance and carry energy. You'll be surprised to discover that air isn't just sucked into the engine but also can be forced through the engine's intake valves even in naturally aspirated setups.

Figure 1. Air flow down an intake runner as a sound wave (acoustic

In a naturally aspirated engine, on the intake stroke, the piston
drops creating an area of low pressure in the combustion chamber that is less than atmospheric pressure and as the intake valve opens, the air from the outside is set in motion down the IM runner.

Once air (as a sound wave) has been set into motion down an IM runner, it does NOT simply stop when the intake valve is closed shut and wait for the intake valve to re-open.

Instead, when the intake valve closes shut, this air sound wave bounces off the backface of the valve and travels at the speed of sound back up towards the IM plenum (rarefaction wave). This reflected wave has a frequency, amplitude, and negative pressure associated with it.

Once the wave reaches the plenum, the resonance wave is isolated and the plenum chamber behaves like a resonance chamber. What is a resonance chamber?

The analogy used by most mechanical engineers to explain how a resonance chamber works is that it acts like an oscillating spring (i.e. imagine the plenum acts like the spring) with a block attached on the end of the spring (imagine the air wave in the IM runner to behave like the block) . As the block compresses the spring, the spring builds or stores up energy and when the spring uncoils, the block is given a push or energy as it travels away from the spring's compressed position.

Like our block and spring, the air resonates ( or compresses the spring) at a certain frequency (spring bouncing back and forth) inside the plenum and gains energy (pressure) . The air wave is then bounced back at the speed of sound down the IM runner towards the intake valve again. But this time it has been given an extra "push" from the resonance chamber. The new sound wave going to the intake valve has a positive pressure and is travelling at a higher tone or energy (higher sound frequency).

The bouncing back and forth of sound waves from the closed intake valve to the plenum and then back down again occurs over several intake valve openings continuously. Why does this happen?

These reflected resonance waves don't reach the intake valve when it re-opens and therefore continue to reflect. This continues until several reflected air sound waves (or columns) stack up (amplified) at the closed intake valve. The energy (or pressure) of these amplified ( or stacked up ) reflected waves build up until they reach a maximum energy (and pressure).

The trick to resonance (or sound) tuning of the IM is to have these maximally amplified waves arrive at the intake valve just as it opens . The basic mechanism of intake manifold "tuning" or design is to provide high pressure at the intake valve so that the mass flow rate into the cylinder is boosted at a given engine speed or rpm. We do this "tuning" by changing the IM runner length and diameter (area).

By building up pressure from stacked resonating (or reflected) air sound waves (or columns) and releasing this "boost" at a specific rpm, you can get higher cylinder filling [ i.e. achieve a volumetric efficiency (VE) greater than the cylinder swept volume. The engine breathes at a VE > 100% ] . The reflected positive pressure waves from the plenum, when it arrives at the right time, actually pushes in more air into the cylinder beyond the effects of the piston sucking in air. Not only do you control the location of where peak torque occurs by varying runner length and diameter, you get a gain in power by using the plenum's resonance effect. This is what we call " acoustic supercharging".

Since Mopar was one of the first to use ram theory in a street car, check out:

it has a nice calculation to show how many times an air sound wave bounces back and forth before it finally reaches an intake valve that is open at your desired rpm.

Plenum volumes will vary in size depending upon the application but the general rule is that FI setups require larger plenum volumes than N/A setups. So an STR or Venom IM with a huge plenum is too big for a N/A motor. Some experts suggest that the plenum volume for a peak torque somewhere from 5000-6000 rpm should be equal to 50-60% of the "equivalent" displacement in a 4 banger. On an N/A setup the equivalent displacement = actual displacement. On FI setups, the equivalent displacement = how much volume of air is blown into the motor.

Peak volumetric efficiency occurs at peak torque. So when we "release" these built up amplified waves just at the right time into an opening intake valve, we get peak torque at that rpm.

Therefore, by designing the IM with a certain plenum volume and runner
size, you can control at what rpm the engine will achieve peak torque and more importantly, you will have more power gain at that peak torque rpm from acoustic supercharging.

Here's a nice summary of resonance tuning using ram theory for an IM :

Originally posted by Jim McFarland

Every physical system has one or more "natural vibration" frequencies that are characteristic of that system .

An organ pipe is a common example of how a resonant condition is displayed. Based upon the physical dimensions of an organ pipe, a flow of inlet air may produce a resonant tone or pitch.

Changing the pipe's dimension, given the same amount of input air, could produce another resonant point or tone.

With regard to an engine's intake {or exhaust} system, it is possible to dimension a passage to accommodate specific cylinder displacements and engine speed so that a "resonant" condition helps produce an increase in total air flow {intake or exhaust}. In it's simplest form, this amounts to "tuning" an inlet {or exhaust} passage. Physical dimensions of the passage are constructed to provide a resonant tuning point {particularly relative to rpm and valve timing} at which a "boost" in flow is produced. This results in an increase in cylinder filling {volumetric efficiency} and potential gains in torque.

Notice that with invididual throttle bodies (ITB's) you lose this resonance effect because the reflected wave escapes out into the engine bay (or the atmosphere) and is not stored and returned by a plenum/acoustic chamber. ITB's do NOT use ram theory to get that extra kick at peak torque because they usually in race form do not have a plenum. In some street ITB's, a plenum is attached for practical reasons (sound deadening and filtering). They rely on very very large amounts of passive cylinder filling based on the piston's effects and use tuned air horn height and tapered diameter (with an S-shaped velocity stack opening) to get the N/A pressure boost effect

Jun IM Cutaway showing the velocity stack opening for the runner inside the plenum.


How do we calculate and design the IM dimensions so that the stacked columns of air waves arrive at a certain rpm ?

There are 2 ways to calculate the dimensions for an IM. Using:

1. Variable length runners formulas


2. A Helmholtz resonator method

II A.) Variable Length Runners Formulas

From the header tech article you have learned that longer tubes create peak torque at an earlier rpm. This is true whether you are looking at air flow in terms of a fluid or in terms of a sound wave.



By choosing the length and diameter of the runners, an intake manifold can be "tuned" for optimum performance at a certain RPM range.

Longer, narrower runners favor lower RPM's because they have a lower resonant frequency, and the smaller diameter helps increase the air velocity.

Shorter, wider runners favor higher RPM's because they have a higher resonant frequency, and the larger diameter is less restrictive to air flow.

...Choosing the right length and diameter of the intake runners is a trade off between high and low RPM performance.

[Moderator's Note: we can use 2 sets of runners with different lengths in one IM in order to have 2 different peak torques and overcome this tradeoff. However, the penalty for using 2 sets of runners is an increase in surface area which diminishes flow quality at higher rpm and therefore limit upper rpm power (eg. Integra GSR's 2 stage IM with dual variable length runners ). The problem of added area is neatly solved in the new 4th generation Integra RSX Type S 2 stage IM by using a roller valve. ]

1. / One Formula: David Vizard's Rule for IM Runner Length

The general rule is that you should begin with a runner length of 17.8 cm for a 10,000 rpm peak torque location, from the intake opening to the plenum chamber. You add 4.3 cm to the runner length for every 1000 rpm that you want the peak torque to occur before the 10,000 rpm.

So, for instance, if peak torque should occur at 4,000 rpm the total runner length should be 17.8 cm + (6 x 4.3 cm) = 43.6 cm.

Vizard also suggests that you can calculate the ideal runner diameter in inches by:

SQRT [ (target rpm for peak torque x Displacement x VE)/ 3330 ]

SQRT = square root

VE = Volumetric Efficiency in %

Displacement in Liters

So if we want peak torque at 5800 rpm at 95% VE in a teg,

SQRT [ (5800x 1.8 x 95)/3330]

= 17.26 in. is the ideal runner diameter.

2./ Another Formula to Calculate Runner Length for a Specific Peak Torque RPM: from Steve Magnante at Hot Rod magazine

N x L = 84,000

where N represents the desired engine rpm for peak torque and L is the length in inches from the opening of the runner tube to the valve head.

3./ Website Calculator

Or you can forget the formulas and just plug in the numbers and this calculator will crunch out the numbers for you:

II B.) Helmholtz Resonator Calculations

Remember at the start of the article I mentioned that the dimensions of 3 parts of an IM can affect where peak torque can occur? Well here is another way we can calculate estimates for our IM dimensions for the peak torque location we want.

A Helmholtz resonator is an acoustic resonance chamber (as described by our plenum above) that modifies the acoustic frequency of a sound wave like a spring oscillating with a mass attached on the end.

where f = the rpm at which you get peak torque ( the natural frequency of pressure oscillations in the acoustic chamber ) , c = the speed of sound (= 340 m/sec.) , S = runner area, L = runner length, V = displacement per cylinder

A simplified version of this is using the Englemann formula for the above which also takes into account static CR of the engine:

RPM for peak torque =

642 x c x [ SQRT (S/[L x V] ) ] x [ SQRT { (CR-1)/ (CR+1) } ]

= 218,280 x [ SQRT (S/[L x V] ) ] x [ SQRT { (CR-1)/ (CR+1) } ]

For a more detailed explanation on the application of Hermann Ludwig Ferdinand von Helmholtz's acoustic resonator theory applied to intake systems, please check out:

A Helmholtz resonator is used not only in an automotive induction sytem but also in the designing of exhausts to suppress sound and many other non-automotive designing that involves amplifying sound like in the music industry.


What are the best intake tube dimensions for the IM that we have just designed for a particular peak torque rpm?


First Method:

D in inches = SQRT [ ( Displacement x VE x Redline) / (V x 18.5) ]

Displacement = Total Displacement in Liters, VE = Volumetric Efficiency in %, V is the velocity of the air flow in the IM plenum for resonance (usually estimated at 180 ft/sec max.)

eg. SQRT [ (1.8 x 85 x 8500) / (180 x 18.5) ]

= SQRT [ (1,300,500)/ (3330) ]

= SQRT (391)

= 1.98 in.

Second Method:

Throttle Body Size is Determined by IM Plenum Size.


from the Dave Thompson of Thompson Engineering and Endyn:

The plenum volume is critical on N/A engines, and a basic rule of thumb is: The smaller the plenum, the lower the rpm range, and bigger means higher rpm. The throttle body size and flow rate also affect the plenum size: Bigger TB, smaller plenum, small TB, larger plenum.

The best way to find out if your TB is too small for your IM plenum is to determine what the intake manifold absolute pressure (MAP) sensor is reading (in the plenum) when you are at full throttle ( or wide open throttle (WOT) ) while the car is accelerating using a datalogger. The MAP should be equal to, or close to, atmospheric pressure. If it isn't or there is a MAP drop at WOT, then your TB is still too small.

A 70mm (at the intake side or TB opening) to 65mm bore (at the plate side) ITR taper bore TB: More than enough for most big N/A Teg engines.

Once we have determined the optimal TB size for our IM, we can then determine the best intake inner diameter.

The ideal diameter for an intake is when the intake has 25% more cross-sectional area than the TB's bore cross-sectional area . Your TB diameter (overbored or not) dictates your intake diameter.

Remember that the area of a circle (your TB bore) is pi x radius squared and the diameter = 2 x radius. If you calculate your TB's area and then multiply it by 1.33, you will determine the intake's area. Then, use the area of the circle equation to determine the intake's radius.

Therefore, for example, with a 64mm (plate side bore) TB, the calculated "best" intake diameter is 2.8 in. ID.


A suggested starting point for the length of a tube with peak torque at 6000 rpm is 13 in.

You add 1.7 in. for every 1000 rpm that you want to move the peak torque below 6000.

Or subtract 1.7 in. for every 1000 rpm you want to move the peak torque above 6000.

For more info on specific intakes (short rams versus CAI's etc.) please refer to my intake tech article over at :


Please remember that formulas only serve as starting points. To get the actual best IM runner dimensions and intake dimensions for your particular engine package takes a cut and try approach to zero in on the best dimensions for you.

For more info on Integra Specific IM designs (Single Stage versus Dual Stage) please check out my IM Tech Article over at :

for those B18A/B and B18C1 owners looking for more top end and want to retro-fit an ITR IM onto their head, remember that the coolant & oil passages and flange bolt holes don't align and you will need machine shop work to make them fit without coolant and vacuum leaks.

Notice the flange holes and coolant passages (arrows) don't line up when you compare an ITR IM to a B18B IM:

There's a nice article on retro-fitting an ITR IM onto a B18B here:

B18B IM (affectionately known as "the Giraffe" for it's long narrow tunnel ram runners: no wonder the B18B powerband is midrange oriented.)


DRAG Generation 3 install on 3rd gen Integra by [ dasher ] (Article ID: 877)
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Turbo charging your Integra is an excellent method of increasing torque which our smaller displacement engines lack. The newfound power can turn your Integra into a sports car which will provide you years of enjoinment or become a constant source of headache and an endless drain upon your wallet. The path you take is dictated by use of the knowledge you will gain of the components and the ways they interact with each other. This is why I recommend you to research and install either an off the shelf or custom kit. It's a good idea to have a competent friend help during this process.

Before deciding to turbo charge your car you should be willing to invest a tremendous amount of time learning everything about turbo components and how they work together. You should be mechanically proficient and have both the tools and a factory Helms manual (about $ 62.00). Substituting Haynes or Chiltons manuals are unacceptable because they either have missing, incomplete, or wrong information. If you are not willing to spend the time learning and working on your car and still need to have a turbocharged car then may I suggest you sell your Integra and purchase a factory turbocharged vehicle from another manufacturer. Or at least have a reliable backup vehicle. The author or moderators of this website take no responsibility if you do something stupid and grenade your engine.

The reliability of your car will always be somewhat degraded when you place more stress by increasing power output on the stock components if you choose to turbo charge, supercharge, or stay naturally aspirated. At minimum you will need to replace, repair, or change these components more often: Oil, brake pads, rotors, clutch, tires, and spark plugs.

If you are new to the concepts in a turbocharged car then I suggest you read these articles first.
• How Turbochargers work by
• Turbo FAQ by Boostcontrol

Lastly if you finally decide turbo charging is the right solution, be prepared for 3 things: To learn a tremendous wealth of knowledge, spend much more money then you originally anticipated, and become completely addicted to your car and driving in it.
Parts List:
- Turbonetics T04/T3 Turbocharger
- 4 into 1 Cast Iron Turbo Exhaust Manifold
- Turbonetics Deltagate Mark II Wastegate
- High Pressure/High Volume Inline Fuel Pump
- Vortech 12:1 Boost Dependent FMU
- Intake Air Filter Assembly
- Front Mount Intercooler
- Mandrel-Bent Chrome-Plated Piping
- HKS Super Sequential Blow-Off Valve
- 2.5" Exhaust Down Pipe
- Wastegate Dump Tube
- Map Sensor Bypass Valves
- Stainless Steel Braided Oil Feed Line w/ Fittings
- Blue Silicone Couplers and Clamps
- Oil Return Line Assembly
- All Hardware and Fittings
- All Gaskets
- All Hoses and Hose Clamps

I. Inline Fuel Pump and FMU Installation
1) Preliminary
a) Disconnect negative battery terminal.
b) Remove front strut bar.
c) Remove factory air box assembly.

2) Inline Fuel Pump Install
a) In-tank or Inline Fuel Pump? Drag uses an Inline fuel pump which can provide the high pressure fuel delivery well suited for a FMU setup such as this. A high volume in-tank fuel pump such as a Walbro 255 In-tank fuel pump works better with larger injectors and a standalone. A 12:1 FMU will add 12 psi fuel pressure for every 1 psi of boost. If you had a static fuel pressure is set at 42 psi then at 7 psi the FMU will raise your fuel pressure to 126 psi! The Walbro Fuel pump was meant to provide high volume but cannot provide pressures this high.

b) Cut the rubber fuel Line about 1.5 inches away from the fuel filter. Since you have to relief the fuel pressure it is a good time to replace your fuel filter as well and install a fuel pressure gauge or fuel pressure sender unit(If you decide on an electronic gauge). You're going to want to get the pressure recording after the inline fuel pump if installing a gauge so you can get an accurate reading.

c) Connect brass fittings as shown to the inline fuel pump.

d) Connect the Fuel Pump inlet to the rubber hose coming off the fuel filter. Connect the Outlet to the Rubber hose going to your fuel rail. Make sure to use gator clamps to secure the hoses. Remember the outlet make a 90 degree turn and is on the side with the power terminals.

e) Secure the fuel pump to the air conditioning hard lines with supplied hose clamp.

3) Electrical connections for Inline Fuel Pump
a) Run at least 14 gauge wire from the negative terminal a ground to the chassis. Make sure to ground to exposed metal; sand away a small location if necessary.

b) Run at least 14 gauge wire from the positive terminal through the firewall hole located behind the lower right hand corner of your battery.

c) Run wire under dash towards the driver side. Locate the PGMFI main relay which can be found connected to the driver side dash frame near the hood release.

d) Disconnect the brown connector from the grey relay box, locate pin # 4.

e) Pin # 4 should connect to a yellow wire with a green stripe. Tap this wire with a T-Tap or splice and solder the 14 gauge wire here to provide power to the fuel pump.

f) A better way to do this is to run a relay inline so one does not leach the current on the existing wire. This can be accomplished by purchasing a relay as shown an connecting the wires as described:

Pin 86- Pin # 4 wire on Main relay
Pin 85- chassis ground inside the car
Pin 87- Positive terminal on inline fuel pump
Pin 30- Positive on your cars battery

4) Testing the Fuel Pump
a) Reconnect negative terminal on battery
b) Turn key to position # 2 – allows use of power but does not crank the engine over.
c) Check for any fuel leak
d) Repeat process 3 times
e) When the key is turned to position two the inline fuel pump should turn on for a second and turn off. If it continues to run then you tapped the wrong wire on the main relay.

5) FMU "boost dependent regulator" installation
a) Disconnect the negative terminal on battery.
b) Secure FMU to strut tower or rear firewall
c) Remove Fuel Return Hose from fuel pressure regulator with is located on the fuel rail.

d) Connect Fuel hose return hose to Fuel exit on the bottom of the FMU.

e) Connect a Fuel Line from the Fuel In connection on the side of the FMU to the open fitting on the Fuel pressure regulator where the fuel exit used to be.
f) Cut the Vacuum hose connected to the top of the fuel pressure regulator 2-3 inches away and plumb in a vacuum hose T and run a vacuum line to the Vacuum source on the FMU.
g) Reconnect battery, start car, check for fuel leaks.

Remove ground again after completed.

II. Exhaust Manifold Removal
1) Radiator removal (also can check out this article)
a) Drain the radiator fluid. Remove coolant overflow hose and upper and lower radiator hoses.

b) Disconnect all connections for both fans.

c) Remove Fans and radiator.

2) Exhaust Manifold Removal
a) Jack the car up and rest on 2 Jack stands. Remove the stock heat shield and proceed to remove 9 nuts connecting your manifold to the head. Shown here is the removal of a DC 4-1 Header.

b) Remove the bolts from the catalytic converter and the support bracket.

c) Remove the exhaust manifold and drop from below.

3) Cutting Clearance on the Block
a) Cut or File the webbing on the block approximately ½ inch to make room for the turbo compressor housing.

III. Oil Return and Feed Lines
1) Oil Pan Removal
a) Drain Oil. Remove front and rear engine stiffners.

b) Remove clutch cover(to expose all oil pan nuts + bolts).

c) Remove all oil pan nuts and bolts.

2) Drilling and Welding the Oil Pan.
a) With the removed oil pan drill an appropriate size hole in the location shown. Note: the position must be high enough so the returned oil is above the oil sitting in the oil pan when car is running.

b) Completely clean the oil pan to remove any metal shavings and oil.
c) The drag kit comes with 1/2" female NPT flange and also a 1/2" NPT male brass barb. Weld the supplied L-shaped pipe included for the oil drain in the hole drilled. This can be done either with JB weld or professionally welded (highly recommended).
d) Re-install Oil Pan, new oil filter, and screw in oil pan bolt.

3) Oil feed fitting
a) Remove the stock oil pressure sender located between the alternator and the oil filter on the back of the block.
b) Place some Teflon tape on one side of the brass t-fitting and screw into the block where the OEM sender unit was located.

c) Attach the OEM oil pressure sender.
d) Connect the supplied brass AN fitting to the remaining hole using Teflon tape.
e) Attach the steel braided line included to this AN fitting (Do not use Teflon Tape).
f) Route the Braided line across the top of the transmission housing towards the front of the car.

IV. Turbo
1) Turbonetics T3-T04 Turbo
a) The compressor housing on left and Turbine housing on right. Notice this turbo used has an older ford style 5 bolt exhaust housing. The 5 Bolt exhaust housings aren't as efficient as Garrets newer 4 bolt exhaust housings which have a more efficient tangential flow path. Most turbo manifolds for sport compacts work better with a 5 bolt turbine housing because the housings have less of an offset and fit better in tight locations.

Here is the list of the Turbo specs for each engine provided by Drag:
- B18: T04E/T3 54 STAGE 3 .63 AR
- B16: T04B/T3 SUPER V-72 .63 AR
- D16: T04B/T3 SUPER V-72 .63 AR
- D15: T04B/T3 SUPER V-72 .63 AR
- H22: T04B/T3 SUPER V STAGE 3 .63 AR
- H23: T04B/T3 SUPER V STAGE 3 .63 AR
- F22: T04B/T3 SUPER V STAGE 3 .63 AR
- F23: T04B/T3 SUPER V STAGE 3 .63 AR

2) Attaching the oil feed and return fittings
a) Install the oil return line flange and connect the rubber hose as provided.

b) Install the copper oil feed fitting.

3) Clocking the Turbo and attaching fittings
a) Turn or "clock" the compressor housing so that the compressor outlet faces down. And clock the Turbine housing so the oil drain line will face downward and the oil feed line faces upward. This can be done by loosening the 6 bolts on either the compressor housing shown with the yellow arrow or the 6 bolts on the turbine side shown with the red arrow. You may need a bench vice and rubber mallet/pry bar to turn the turbine side once the bolts are loosened.

b) Tighten the bolts snugly.

4) Connect the turbine flange to the Turbo manifold

5) Attach the now constructed turbo and manifold onto the head from underneath the car and lightly tighten 2 nuts to hold the manifold in place.

6) Down pipe
a) The Drag 3 kit comes with both a 2.5" down pipe and a wastegate dump tube. For this application we elected to weld the dump tube into the down pipe for noise reduction and emission purposes. If you choose to do this make sure you weld the dump tube gradually into the down pipe at least 18 inches downstream. This welding location shown here is not perfect and could have been done better.

b) Install the down pipe to the 5 bolt exhaust housing. Note: You are going to have to drive your car to a local welder with an open down pipe and have him weld a flange to connect to your catalytic converter. Have fun scaring your neighbors and avoiding the police ;-). It's a good time to have him install a high flow cat and install a larger diameter exhaust.

c) Finish bolting the manifold to the Head.

7) Connecting Oil feed and return Lines
a) Connect the oil feed line to the turbo. Notice it is facing upwards.

b) This kit comes with shiny insulating wrap which Should wrap around the oil return line to keep it from melting near the down pipe. Attach the Oil return line to the welded fitting in the oil pan.

c) Make sure the line does not touch the down pipe and has a short direct route to the oil pan free from any kinks. This is extremely important because the oil return line is gravity fed

V. Wastegate
1) Turbonetics Deltagate Mark II Wastegate
a) These wastegates tend to cause boost creep(spikes and fluctuations in regulating the PSI) and I highly recommend upgrading to a Tial 35 mm or 38 mm down the road to prevent this.

b) Install the Wategate. Note: As you can see the wastegate is mounted on cylinder 1 runner alone. When looking for a good turbo manifold a better placement of the wastegate would be located where all the runners converge in the manifolds collector. These manifolds tend to cause boost creep, especially if you free up a lot of back pressure in your exhaust.

c) Connect the Brass Fittings on the wastegate.

2) Connect the Vacuum lines to the waste gate.
a) The top port(red arrow) connects to an electronic boost controller, if you don't have one then leave it open. The side port (yellow arrow) connects to a vacuum source.
You have 2 options:

b) Connect the vacuum line to the port on the compressor housing. Pro - This will allow the wastegate to more consistently control the response and ability to control boost pressure. In turn this will help deter boost spikes or quick heat soak problems with your intercooler. Con - Since there is a 1-3 PSI pressure drop through the intercooler piping and intercooler the wastegate will start to crack earlier and your torque curve will suffer because you will never reach basic boost setting on the wastegate.
c) Connect the vacuum line to the intake manifold or a line connected to the intake manifold. Pro - This will allow slightly better turbo response because it will allow the turbo to boost all it wants until the pressure reaches the intake manifold. Con – It will allow for more brief spikes in boost which will cause the intercooler to be hit with a blast of higher temperature.
d) If connecting to the Intake manifold it is best to tap the brake booster line to connect the wastegate. Make sure you tap the brake booster line(red arrow) before the check valve(yellow arrow) as shown.

e) Another solution is to use a Vacuum box connected to the brake booster so you can connect a wastegate, blowoff valve, boost gauge, Fuel pressure Regulator, Map Sensor, ect. Mcmaster Carr makes an inexpensive one and Golden Eagle sells a more expensive one.

VI. Intercooler and Piping
1)Intercooler mounting

a) Remove the front bumper. (also might want to reference the bumper removal article)

b) Align the intercooler on the Bumper support make sure it as close to the radiator as possible so the backside is flush with the back of the bumper support. Mark the holes proceed to drill.

c) Screw the Intercooler to the bumper support.

2) Intercooler Pipe Connections
a) Connect the 90 degree elbow #1 to the CompressorExit using silicon hose connectors and clamps. Use a silicone based lubricant or some soap to lubricate the inside of rubber couplers if needed to aid in squeezing onto the intercooler pipe. A petroleum based lubricant could dry and crack the rubber later on.
b) Connect the driver side 180 degree bend #2 to pipe #1 and intercooler. A hole must be cut in the driver side splash guard to feed the intercooler pipe through.

c) Connect the passenger side 180 degree bend # 3 to the exit of the intercooler.

d) Connect a 90 degree rubber coupling to pipe # 3 to upper charge pipe # 4.

e) Connect the Upper Charge Pipe # 4 to the throttle body.

f) Reinstall the bumper and splash guards.
g) Newer versions of this kit should come with a 2 more pipes. Connect the Turbo inlet adapter pipe to the turbo inlet and the Intake pipe to the adapter pipe using silicone hose. Attach the provided K+N Filter to the end of the intake pipe.

VII. Blow off Valve
1) The blow off valve is attached to the upper charge pipe with a snap ring tool provided to install the HKS Sequential blow off valve.

a) Use the supplied vacuum hose to connect the Blow off valve with a vacuum source after the throttle body. Either the Intake Manifold, Brake Booster line, or a Vacuum box are all fine. If the Blow off valve fails to open or you hear compressor surge then it is possible that the vacuum source isn't strong enough to open the blow off valve. Try using a vacuum source which isn't taped with too many other connections.

b) You can see from the above picture there is an adjustment screw so you can adjust the valve. If you are loosing boost under hard acceleration then tighten it because it is leaking. You can loosen it if the valve is too tight and is causing compressor surge.

c) Install the supplied little filter inline between the Blow off valve and vacuum source. This will keep contaminants from entering the blow off valve.

VIII. Check Valves
1) Check valves are used to trick the factory ecu into not seeing any boost pressure. Honda never intended you to turbo your Integra and if the MAP sensor detects any boost it will throw a CEL code. A Map bypass uses check valves(one way valves) to bleed off boost before it reaches the stock map sensor. Check valves allow for boost pressure to be released when your intake manifold is pressurized and still keep any contaminants from being inhaled when your intake manifold is out of boost and is in vacuum like normal.

2)Map Sensor
a) Remove the factory map sensor which is located on top of the throttle body by removing 2 screws.

b) Replace OEM MAP Sensor with 90 degree fitting from included check valve assembly. Connect OEM Map Sensor to other end of assembly and secure harness down with zip ties.

c) Here is the Basic Layout of a Check Valve. Its simply vacuum line tee'd with check valves inline. If you were to build a MAP bypass yourself you can purchase check valves (or one way valves) from NAPA - Echlin part # 2-970.

d) Another option to use instead of check valves is a product called "Missing Link." It can be purchased for approximately 70 dollars and will make clean up your engine bay and simplify your setup. A Missing Link check valve has a built in check valve and sits between the MAP sensor and throttle body. They need to be cleaned every so often because they sometimes get dirty and clog.

IX. Preparing to start the engine
1) Connect the negative ground wire.
2) Fill car with coolant and oil.
3) Make sure gas tank is at least filled with 92 octane.
4) Gap Spark Plugs to .030- NGK part # BCPR7ES-11 are preferred.
5) Remove the coil wire or PGMFI fuse to prevent the engine from cranking.
6) Place oil feed line in a bucket (end which is normally connected to turbo) while other end remains connected to the engine. Crank the engine 10 times with 10 second pauses in between each attempt to fill about a quart of oil in the bucket. Now that the Oil feed line has been purged connect it to the turbo. Once connected crank the engine over 5 times to prime the turbo.
7) Reconnect coil wire or fuse.
8) Recheck all vacuum, fuel, coolant, wire connections.
X. Testing
1) Start car and let Idle.
2) Let Car Idle till warmed up to normal operating temperature.
3) Recheck for any leaking fluids and vacuum leaks.
4) Set ignition timing to factory and make sure no aftermarket chips which advance the timing are used.
5) Slowly drive the car with part throttle and pay close attention to any unusual sounds besides the fuel pump buzz and the blow off valve during shifting.
6) Shift into third and slowly rev up to redline listening carefully for any pinging or detonation. Immediately pull over if heard and check the Fuel system is functioning properly and the ignition timing is correct. If pinging persists then use colder spark plugs(# BCPR7ES-11) or retard the timing up to 5 degrees. If all is fine then shift into 4th gear and repeat.
7) If check engine light comes on then bypass service connector with paper clip and check engine code in factory service manual to troubleshoot.
8) If check engine light comes on when in boost only then check Map sensor bypass.
9) If engine misfires at high RPM check spark plug gaps.
10) If your car can't build any boost pressure then check for leaks in the Intercooler piping, Intake manifold, exhaust leaks on wastegate, turbo manifold, and downpipe.
11) Never exceed 10 psi boost pressure. If this occurs check vacuum lines on wastegate.
12) Before turning off ignition let car idle for 20 seconds.

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