This projects was intended to see to what extent of abuse an original Honda B18B motor could handle as a turbo motor, using carefully modified OEM parts.

To date the customer has done over 40 000 miles hassle free, and has now sold the car to build a CRX.

The Build-up

In all circumstances parts of an engine that we deal with everyday, hold a predetermined amount of potential. Some of these are at their ‘limits’, other still have a way to go.

In the automotive manufacturing process, in a normal mass production run, the OEM’s primary concern is cost. With this in mind, if a part passes the minimum tolerance / quality specification, then it is used. It is this mindset from the OEM manufactures that allows us ‘room’ for improvement, even on their OEM parts.

With this project we have undertaken the task of using all OEM parts, with some slight ‘massaging’ for improvement, to build a 250kW motor that would be reliable in an everyday use situation. Honda has also been very generous by providing us with a very good base to start from.


Here we start with the block. Certain precautions are being taken, and we start by modifying the block by re-enforcing it, giving it strength in the major thrust areas of the cylinder wall.

For the well trained eye, here we can see the block after it has been re-enforced.


As with all our ‘high output’ motors, they get sent in for full balancing, there b8b_2after to the machine shop, where everything else is done according to our specification. Once everything returns, it is then when the ‘real’ work begins.


This is a view of an OEM Honda connecting rod that has received some treatment to make sure that there are no flaws, and obviously to strengthen the rod to a certain degree.


As with everything attention to detail is critical, and here Claudio takes on the task to make sure everything is as clean as can be, by using an ear bud to get into the corners.




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In these series of photos, plasti-guage is being used to do a final clearance check on every bearing journal. They all measured 0.04mm clearance.

Next on the agenda were the cylinder bores, making sure of their sizes, and matching each piston to the relevant cylinder for an exact piston to wall clearance.

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Once again, detail! Here we make sure that there are no sharp edges, and the whole assembly gets de-burred.

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After making sure that the ring end gaps are all the same, and within specification they are placed on the pistons, and the pistons placed into their relevant bores.

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With the majority of the power being made by the configuration on the cylinder head, it is only obvious that most of the modifications to the engine to gain power was done in this area.

The head was then sent for a 3-way valve job, a slight cut on the surface, new seals, and assembled. Making sure that everything was in order as we went along.

b8b_16This is a final picture of the short block before the cylinder head is put on, and everything being closed up, and torqued down. OEM pistons were also used in this application, but obviously some slight alterations were done to the domes, to try and improve the combustion process.

Once closed up, the motor then received a set of Web cams, some adjustable cam gears, and a slightly modified KKK Turbo to help with the breathing of the whole combination.

This engine’s next home is now in the engine bay of a ’94 AMG Honda.


This was the end result!

The above graph is the Dyno Graph of the daily driven B18b motor. The power you see is what the owner has available to him on an everyday basis using only OEM parts supplied to us by Honda which we slightly modified.

As we previously described, with slight modifications to the original parts, this is the end result.

The 179Kw as indicated on the graph was produced at the wheels, at 0.65 Bar of boost on normal 93 octane pump fuel 5,500 feet above sea level. The other figure of 146Kw was achieved before we dialled in the cam gears.

There was only one limitation during our Dyno tests, and that was the rev. limiter. As you might notice the car was still producing power at the end of the RPM range. I don’t think that the motor would have made more than one extra kilowatt had we revved higher, but rather would have maintained a ‘flat’ power curve. The advantage would be that during gearshifts, by revving higher, you would start your next gear pull at a power output very close to maximum.

And for those that are curious and interested in knowing, the motor, using race fuel, needed 1.4 bar boost to belch out 238Kw at the wheels with this combination.



Thankfully we live in a world full of choices. Some of us choose big engines, and some small. Making ‘big’ power from big engines is easy, and for many it’s the easy and obvious choice. Some people though like to be different, be individual, and challenge the ‘norm’, so do we.

We received a request from a customer that wanted something different. A lot of the first discussions we had with the customer were on the phone, this because of the distance between us. With almost 500 Km between us, a quick visit was out of the question.
We discussed a couple of options, and gave the customer enough to think about. When he was ready, he came to visit us, so we could finalise what needed to be done.
It was simple, yet tricky. The customer wanted to extract as much power as possible from a 1600 DOHC v-tec, but wanted to be able to use the car everyday, use normal 93 octane fuel, and didn’t want to have to sit and repair the car every other weekend. Costs though had to be kept to a minimum, yet reliability to a maximum. The question though was how much power did he want from all this? The answer – 110-120 Kw at the wheels! That’s almost as much as some ‘bolt-on’ 2 litre V-tec combinations.
The reason why you are reading this, is because we accepted the challenge.
I got on to the phone to speak to my friend Larry Widmer and gather some ideas.
The following parts needed to be changed or altered for their respective reasons:
• the cylinder head – mildly ported – for extra ‘breathing’
• the cylinder combustion chambers – modified – for better ‘burning’ to use low octane
• inlet & exhaust valves – changed – for flow and reliability
• titanium retainers and springs – changed – for reliability at higher RPM
• cams – changed – ‘breathing’ and efficiency
• pistons – changed – maintain compression & efficiency
• con-rods – changed – reliability
• cam gears – changed – fine tuning
To keep costs down the work on the cylinder head was all done locally in S.Africa. To get the finish we wanted on certain parts of the head though, we had to buy some more equipment. This tough is not a set back for us, because we look at it as being better equipped for the next project, and being able to provide a better service.
The inlet and exhaust valves, retainers, springs, cams pistons and rods were all imported.

This is a comparison of the Endyn Rollerwave piston vs. the stock unit. Don’t be fooled with the height of the dome, the compression was not much higher than standard due to the amount of metal that was removed from the combustion chamber.




This is what they looked like installed in the bore. Note how deep the valve pockets are so as to accommodate the extra valve opening without any catastrophes.





The usual cleaning applies to all our work.

The foam is a reaction the chemicals we use have once they contact aluminium.





New seals were installed into the head once it was clean and dry.





And then the springs and retainers.

Note the thickness and the installed height vs. the non installed height of the valve springs.



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This is a view of the finished combustion chambers.






The cam gears.




9These are the Bumpstix installed in the cylinder head, note the width of the lobes for reliability. What you see on the lobes is not any sort of blood. It’s a lube to bed the cams in at start-up.
After some normal street driving to bed in the rings the car was taken to the dyno. Way before we even started tuning, we realised that the car needed much bigger injectors. This already told us the engine was flowing a lot more air. These were installed together with an aftermarket ECU to control the injector and the v-tec change over.
Tuning this engine was very interesting. It required different type of fuelling to what we normally use on other motors. It seemed that the higher it revved the richer it needed to run, and at lower rpm it preferred leaner mixtures.
The results at our altitude were 112 Kw / 150 Hp at the wheels. I wasn’t happy with the torque curve though, and after adjusting the cam gears we got a much ‘flatter’ torque curve, but the price for this was 110 Kw / 147Hp at the wheels.
10An interesting fact that we noticed while tuning this car, was that above 7000 RPM the engine started pulling vacuum again! It pulled almost 2.5 psi at 8800 RPM! We discovered this was due to an induction system the customer had installed that could not flow what was required. We calculated that without this restriction the car would have run about 118 Kw at the wheels! and all this at almost 6000 above sea level!
110Kw at the wheels at 5, 557 ft above sea level.