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 Building A LS/VTEC FAQ

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BLOWN99CIVICSI
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PostSubject: Building A LS/VTEC FAQ   Fri Feb 08, 2008 7:57 pm

I am writing this and assuming that if you plan on going through with the steps provided below that you have an understanding of engine building, you own a Helm's (or equivalent) manual, and you have the parts and tools you need for the minimum (in my opinion) build. An engine stand would be helpful to have, it is not necessary but it is very helpful. You can get them at any major parts store.
Our LSVTEC parts list gives several options, here is the list (beyond block and head) that I would call a minimum:

Pistons from any B16 because LS pistons do not have large enough valve reliefs for VTEC intake valves. Forged pistons would be better, but if you can afford them B16 pistons will work well.
New piston rings. Honda rings work well, or you can use your preferred aftermarket.
Cam gears (brand is up to you, some folks have had trouble with AEM gears slipping.
A B series DOHC VTEC distributor. An LS one will work with some modifications.
An ECU that matches the OBD of your engine and that is setup to run a DOHC VTEC engine. A P30, P61 or a chipped P28 would work fine for an OBD1 car. Also, if you are using a GSR head, and the stock intake manifold, you are going to want a P72 from the GSR in order to control the IAB butterflies.

Water and oil pumps from a B16, GSR or ITR. I don't consider using the LS water pump an option as it is likely to cavitate at high RPM. This means you have to run the GSR timing belt.
ARP rod bolts. If you are using LS rods this is not a must, but it is a damn good idea. The stock LS bolts were not designed to handle the forces of 8000 RPM. $55 is not much to pay for peace of mind.

ARP head studs. They hold better than stock and you don't run the risk of destroying the threads in the block every time you pull the head. You will need to purchase the correct studs for the head you are running, you can find these(or the part number) for them on our site under Engine/Hardware.
First, the modifications that you will need to perform on the bottom end. You won't actually change anything in the bottom end, just the normal steps that you would take if you were rebuilding the engine.

Once the bottom end is disassembled you should take it to a machinist to have the cylinder walls honed, make sure that you keep the piston to wall clearance within spec for the pistons that you are using. It's a good idea to bring your pistons and rings to the machine shop with you so that they can perfectly spec them to match. Its also a good idea to have your crank polished, and have the rotating assembly balanced. When you are reassembling the bottom end make sure to check all the bearing clearances with plastigauge. I am not including any pictures of the bottom end rebuild because they can all be found in your Helms manual.

The Head
There are several modifications in this step; first you will need to have a machinist open the holes on the intake side of the engine to accept dowel pins, Some people dont do this, but end up kicking themselfs in the end when the head doesnt quite line up right.
Pics will be up to to depict this:

Next you will have to tap the VTEC oil passage and plug it using a set screw.(its also a good idea to have a welder full the hole) If you bought a kit for your oil line it most likely came with a set screw to plug this passage. 3/8" NPT to either a -3 or -4an line, depending on your line/kit. It HAS to go into the head far enough so that it does not affect the way you head sits on the gasket! Make sure to apply a little thread lock to this set screw.(if you dont weld the hole shut)

Next you need to decide where you want to run your oil line. There are two spots where the line can attach to the head.
Pics will be up showing this as well:

Make sure to use Teflon tape on all of these connections except the two connections to the external oil line, as they will be self sealing.
Make sure to clay your engine for proper clearances if you are running aftermarket cams and/or aftermarket pistons. When you are assembling the engine, make sure to use generous amounts of assembly lube on any metal to metal contact area except your piston rings. Use regular, non-synthetic, engine oil on them. This will protect your engine for the first few seconds that it runs before your oil starts flowing.

If you bought a VTEC conversion Sandwhich adapter, you can skip the next step.
Now you are ready to install the oil T on the block. Next to the oil filter will be your oil pressure sending unit. Remove the sending unit from the block. This is where you will be installing the oil T.
Pics here soon:

Install the T before you install the oil filter.
First, apply some Teflon tape to the adapter that will be threading into the block, make sure to apply the tape to the side that will thread into the block and the side that will thread into the T. Start the adapter threading into the T, then thread the T into the block. Make sure it is snug, but be careful not to over tighten.

Next, apply some Teflon tape to the oil pressure sending unit. Then thread the sending unit into the T. It does not matter which spot on the T that you use. I chose up because it made routing the oil line more simple. Apply some Teflon tape to the end of the fitting that will thread into the oil T and install it. Again, make sure everything is snug, but be careful not to over tighten.(these fitting will break!!)

Now install the oil line. If you are using the InlineFour or a smiliar kit, your assembled engine should look something like this:
Pics up soon:

Now install the engine and tranny. Procedure on this is out of the scope of this article, however, wiring it up is not.

Finishing Touches
If you already had a DOHC VTEC motor in your car than the engine harness will plug'n play. If you are running a GSR head and have a B16 harness you will need to follow the steps below for the IAB wires. The B18A blocks have a knock sensor thread in the back to the right of the oil filter, were the B18B blocks do not. In this case you would need to tap a hole( 1/8 NTP) in the block somewere perferably in a coolent passage on the back of the block if you want to run a knock sensor. Any factory ECU that runs knock control WILL need a knock sensor, or you will get a constant CEL (check engine light), and poor performance. Any chipped or moddified ECU can easily disable the knock sensor if you like. We can offer this service as well..

If you were running a Non VTEC harness, you will have to run 2, 3, or 4 wires through the firewall to the ECU. Two to the VTEC solenoid, one to the knock sensor (if your ECU requires one), and one to the IAB (if you are using the gsr head with the stock intake manifold for the butterflies). Where you run these wires to on the ECU depends on your OBD version and which ECU you are using. You can ground the VTEC switch to the engine or any good ground source, so there is no reason to run that wire through the firewall.

As long as you have everything hooked up properly your engine should start.
Put her on the Road

Onto the break in, there are man theories on how to properly break in an engine. Here is the method I used:

Make sure the floor beneath your engine is clean, or lay some newspaper down. On the first start up,let the engine come up to operating temp. when it reaches this, bring the revs up to about 2000RPM for about 5 minutes Make sure that you are flowing water, and that your fan(s) kick in when they should. While your engine is warming up check for any leaks; this is where the clean floor comes in handy. Now at this point I like to change the oil and filter again, you dont want any of the new breakin material finding its way into one of you new bearng faces do you? After the 2nd change If you don't have any leaks, take you car out and do a couple of 1st gear pulls at 1/2 to 3/4 throttle stopping at 5000 or 5500 RPM and letting the motor wind down by itself still in gear to around 1000 to 2000RPM. This loads the rings to help them seat to the cylinder walls. Then do a couple 2nd gear pulls the same way, then some 3rd gear pulls. Now change your oil. Drain the oil into a clean open pan. Check the oil for metal. There will be some, but make sure you don't have a lot of metal floating in the oil. If you have a lot of metal in the oil you should disassemble the bottom end and check all your bearings for excessive wear. You probably have a rod or main bearing that does not have enough clearance.

If everything is clear then drive your car for about 500 miles. Try not to exceed 6500 to 7000 RPM for the first 50 to 100 miles,There are many theories on how to break a motor in, but after the rings seat, you can proceed to drive the car normal, dont kill the motor right away, but dont baby it either, For the 1st few drives keep an eye on oil levels and water levels, as well as temps. You can use the full rev range if you feel confident after the 1st 100 miles, but use your head(assuming that you haven't developed any problems). Change the oil again at 500 miles. and again at 1000 miles. It is now safe to run synthetic oil (in fact I recommend it). I used this break in method on my car And every engine we build. I have done many teardowns after these break-ins and the motors show NO signs of damage, or premature wear...

I hope you found this guide helpful. The normal disclaimer applies: Neither Modified Racing Inc (WWW.MODIFIEDRACING.COM), sTAFF nor myself are responsible for any damage you do to your car. I have written this guide to the best of my ability and these steps are the same I used when building my engine. If you are unsure about any step or feel that this guide could be improved in any way please contact me at Sales@ModifiedRacing.Net Thanks for reading and good luck.
Any and ALL parts listed on this page can be purchased and installed by us for normal service rates..
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PostSubject: Re: Building A LS/VTEC FAQ   Thu Jul 10, 2008 4:29 am

Well to make it easy building a LS/VTEC is realy do what you want for more power, its a set up where everything go's but to get there the list below are the main parts you need to get it up and running


LS ARP rod bolts
GSR ARP head studs
OEM LS (90-01) B18a/b head gasket OEM/ACL LS bearings
Shotpeen LS rods
hastings/OEM LS piston rings
OEM valve seals
Hone cylinders
GSR/ITR water pump
GSR/ITR timing belt GSR/ITR/96+ Bseries oil pump
Magnetic oil drain plug (important for break in)
oem NGK V-power b16 spark plugs (stock compression) OR NGK V-power BKR7E spark plugs for 11.5:1+ compression.


extra parts that would help are these:
A 2.5 inch header, cat, exhaust piping, and muffler.
Passwordjdm intake manifold gasket
Adjustable cam gears (even for stock cams, because lsvtec timing will ALWAYS be slightly off)
Adjustable Fuel Pressure regulator

performance wise i got a whole list on my LS/VTEC i done so feel free to ask me any question i'll be more then happy to help .

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