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29 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I have a 94 Integra Ls 5 speed. It has 243K miles on it and still runs really strong. It is a daily driver so I won't be taking it to the track at any point, but it definitely needs some upgrades to keep up with the newer cars that can use the power they have much more efficiently.

I am planning on replacing the header and exhaust all the way back here in about 4 months, but I'm not exactly sure what else to do with it. Should I go with ram air, or cold air intake? Can I start upgrading the other intake and ignition stuff before I do the exhaust stuff? When should I get a tuneable ECU for it?

I'm not looking for much, but if I can get it up to 200hp at the wheels I'll be plenty happy. Anyone that can help me figure all this out will be greatly appreciated.

689 Posts
It doesn't matter which order you do the upgrades you listed. The amount of power you will be gaining is not critical. In fact, it will be minimal. W/o some type of forced induction, nitrous or internal engine upgrades your goal of meeting 200 hp will be hard to achieve. If I were you, I would install 11.5:1 compression ratio pistons. Possibly even higher, depending on the highest level of octane available at your local gas station. With minimal research you should be able to determine a "not to exceed" compression ratio on a stock B18A1/B1 engine. BTW, at 250K miles your car would also benefit from new piston rings. After that, upgrade the headers and intake. Get a base map, or for best results dyno the car using chipped ECU.

29 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Thank you for that. I knew I wouldn't get much out of it before doing the internals, but I also didn't want to blow it up before I got to that point.

I planned on just changing the intake and ignition stuff first just to try to make what I already have more efficiently used. Is that safe?

Is any time a good time to go ahead and get a better ECU?

689 Posts
Your ECU will work after installation ofaftermarket intake and exhaust. As I mentioned earlier, the power gain will beminimal and will not damage the engine. You don’t need to do anything to theignition, as that’s not where you gain the power. The simplest way to increaseacceleration is to remove non-critical metal parts off the car to make itlighter. Remember, its all about power to weight ratio. In this case, the lighter the car, the less the drag, the faster the acceleration.

I recognize your desire to increase thehorsepower. There are many ways to do it. But as another member mentioned inthe post above, you may need to learn few things first. With that being said, Iwould like to help you by suggesting the following:

1. Purchase a failed, but complete B18B1 or B18A1 long block (engine) off craigslist. Do not spend more than $100 on it. Try to get one with a timing belt and harmonic balancer (main pulley). Stop by a car wash and pressure wash it best you can, before taking it home. You may want to purchasean engine stand ($50), but that is not necessary as long as you can secure the engine using 2x4s.

2. Get the following tools from Harbor Freight Store, if money is an issue. I suggest you avoid buying precision tools from there. Precision tools that have "Made in USA" stamp are among the best in the world.
a) Set of metric 3/8” sockets sizes: 10mm, 12,14,17 and 19mm
b) 3/8" wrench
c) Universal piston ring compressor tool (under$10). Not ideal, but would work for practicing) .
d) Torque wrench with a range between 8 ft-lband132 ft-lb. You will need two of them, one 3/8" and other1/2" as eachwill cover only a certain torque range.
e) Zip lock bags and a sharpie (to separate andidentify bolts, nuts and small parts that you remove).
f) 18” breaker bar
g) 8”-long, 3/8” socket extension
h) Piston ring expander (under $10)
i) Print a "Do It Yourself" B18A1orB18B1 engine rebuild guide from Google. Also print engine specs (clearancesand bolt torques).
j) Engine assembly lube, black or grey liquidgasket (oil and heat resistant), and 90% rubbing alcohol.
k) Hone (grit between 240 and 400) - around $35

Now, remove all the parts off that engine, and then put it back together. You may need to take pictures and some notes as you go (to remember where parts go). The first tear-down will be difficult and slow. Putting it back together will be even harder. But remember, this is a badengine so mistakes are not critical. I suggest you go through this process afew times by gradually increasing the level of difficulty. Here are the things you shall start focusing on (not in order):

a) torque specs
b) piston ring positions and gap locations
c) hone each cylinder using a drill at low speed.Slow up and down movement to achieve hatch marks at 45 degrees. (Don't forget to clean cylinders after honing.)
d) practice lowering crankshaft w/o accidentalmetal on metal contact ("ding" sound).
e) scrape old gaskets off the oil pump, rear mainplate, oil pan, head to valve cover. Wipe these surfaces with rubbing alcohol and apply new liquid gasket.
f) remove remnants of old intakemanifold gasket on both the cylinder head and intake manifold.
g) apply assembly lube to rod and main bearings,thrust washers, rocker arms, cams seats and caps.
h) properly set the timing
i) use oil on certain bolts threads such asharmonic balancer bolt, main cap bolts, cam bolts.

Once you are comfortable with the above process, I suggest that you purchase the following (additional) tools. Note, you may get away without some of these, but remember, the more measurements you take - the better. Performing your own blue printing of the engine so you can verify that the part fitment either meets or exceeds the manufacturer specs is going to yield successful results:

a) Set of filler gauges (around $15)
b) Green plastigauges (under $10)
c) Straight edge (around $35)
d) Valve spring compressor ($25)
e) Valve lapping tool (under $10)
f) Valve lapping paste (under $10)
g) Set of micrometers( 1"-2",2"-3" and 3"-4", w/.0001 accuracy each). Starrett is a good brand. Each micrometer (if purchased used) shall cost you around $30.
h) Telescoping gauge (3"-4").
i) Valve stem seal pliers $10
j) Honda cranks pulley removal tool $15
k) 10mm 7-1/2-inch jam nut valve adjustment tool $10
l) Cam gear lock $15
m) Valve seal pusher $30
n) Crankshaft endplay measuring tool

With the above tools you will be able to rebuild any engine. Some engines may require machine work. An example would be an engine that has deep scratches, and/or ridges just above the top compression ring (when the piston is a at TDC). Following the machine work (cylinder rebore) you would need larger pistons (81.25mm or larger), instead of the original 81.00mm.

Remember, this is not a rocket science. Just don't be afraid - you have nothing to lose. Watch Youtube videos. Read TI posts. Ask questions. Goodluck!


23 Posts
For what it is worth, a manual 1994 integra (Already being obd1) would be incredibly simple to tune.
Hondata/neptune/ etc and custom dyno tuning may be out of the scope of this build, but a simple chipped p28 would probably do the trick.
I would suggest OP, completing all maintenance, then sticking to simple quality bolts ons, I/H/E and then finally installing an ECU chipped for his modifications.
That would be a decent bang for the buck, make it a little more peppy and teach him some basics in the process...

As far as the original questions go:

Should I go with ram air, or cold air intake?
Ram air? Do you mean a short ram intake? Beacuase I don't see a practical way to create ram air on a daily driver (removing a headlight/filter and replacing it with a velocity stack is a poor idea for a daily). If you encounter a lot of standing water on your day to day, I would stick with a short ram. If the car never sees deep puddles, a full length cold air intake would be a nice upgrade.

Ignition stuff
Unless you are replacing failing ignition components with new oem components, don't touch your ignition.
New oem NGK wires, new oem (Properly gapped) NGK V-power plugs and new OEM Cap/rotor and then properly setting your ignition timing, should be the extent of your ignition work.

When should I get a tuneable ECU for it?
You getting a tuneable ECU sounds like youd be opening a can of worms. Just get a refurbished/chipped p28, matched to your car/mods, after you finish your bolt ons and call it a day...
I got a chipped ecu from these guys to replace an incorrect ecu in my civic and it has worked great for years.

I'm not looking for much, but if I can get it up to 200hp at the wheels I'll be plenty happy.
You need to be realistic here. That isn't even close to happening. Do some research.

7 Posts
If you're trying to go for a more efficient version of what you currently have a good ignition system is critical. A higher rated ignition coil is going to build more voltage causing an increase in spark temperature which will help to more efficiently burn the Air Fuel Mixture. A coil on plug system would be a great step in this direction. Most manufacturers currently use that ignition setup.

A cold air intake doesn't really increase anything. If anything it actually will increase the amount of hot engine bay temperature air that you take in. Also. Dont be fooled. K&N is a great air filter simply because its cost effective. It doesn't have any noticable increase with horsepower. I use the drop in OEM style filters simply because they are reusable.

A programmable ECU will only be beneficial if you plan on tuning the car. Getting to 200 hp is going to take a bit more. Air/Fuel mixture, compression, displacement. Those are power. Dont forget too that you have an entire suspension system that needs updating, and can completely change how a car feels.

Hope this helps.
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