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Updated on November 24, 2010


The Honda has become very popular to the sport compact group,here is some info that will help someone to get started if they like into Honda engines.


The SOHC 2.0L engine is found in the '87-'89 Accords. There is only limited core availability,and not many aftermarket parts available.


The '86-'01 DOHC B engines have been built in 1.6, 1.7, 1.8, 2.0, and 2.1L sizes. The larger engines are generally found in Acura Integras and Honda Preludes, and the B16s came in Civic variants. The 1.6L B16A is the most plentiful and popular swap engine,and a typical engine/trans/wriring harness/computer "clip" goes for about $1,800. There is also a weird Japan-only B16 crank,but with the B18c's longer rods (138mm/5.43-inch compared to 134mm/5.28-inch) and 0.300-inch higher deck height. If you subscribe to long-rod theory,this could be the hot setup for a sustained high-rpm engine.

The 1.7L B17A1 was the first twin-cam U.S. VTEC motor, used in the '92-'93 Integra GS-R. A 1.8L B18C VTEC from a '94-up GS-R delivers the best displacement and performance for the buck,with a complete clip costing about $2,600. The B20 and B21 are the big "big Blocks" of traditional Hondas. Used in U.S. Preludes in '88-'91,they are more readily available in Japan. Cores typically cost around $1,200. Unfortunately,there is no VTEC option for the big motors,although a VTEC head from the smaller motors can be installed with modifications.

Special Type R variants offered for certain B-series motors typically have hotter cams, plus lightweight, back-cut, swirl-polished valves. Heads used on GS-R engines had closed chambers (for better quench and higher compression), combined with bigger ports.


As Generation Xers grow up, start having families, and makin' the bucks,they naturally are gravitating to larger vehicles-hence the increasing popularity of engines. Variants include the C27A4, 2.7L non-VTEC ('93-'97 Acura NSX),and the 3.2L VTEC ('98-and up Acura NSX). Type S versions have a hotter cam.


The pedestrain counterpart to the hi-po B-series is the high-volume-production SOHC Civic D-series, the workhouse of traditional Honda engines. Although often overlooked in favor of sexier B motors,the D-series make more torque than equivalent B-engines thanks to a slightly longe stroke and smaller ports. The lighter-weight 170hp D-engine runs about the same as a heavier 200hp B-series.

 Series D engines were produced in 1.5, 1.6, and 1.7L displacements from the mid '80s through 2001. The D16A6 Del Sol and Civic DX have good availability and performance potential when it comes to a complete motor(although they're non-VTEC). D-series VTEC variants include the open-chamber D16Z and the closed-chamber D16Y. Non-VTEC-head engines can be converted to VTEC engines using an external oil line.


 The successor SOHC engine to the D motors, Series F engine were first introduced in the '90 Accord and have also been use in the '92-'96 Prelude. They are still in production today and 2.2 and 2.3L version have made.(rear-drive 2.0L F20 engines are not part of this series) F22 cranks interchange with H22 cranks. These enginess have moderate performance potential and good availability. VTEC and non-VTEC heads are a direct interchage with no other mods required.


 Series H engines are the second-generation DOHC Honda enginee design and serve as the performance counterpart to SOHC Series F motors. Available in 2.2 and 2.3L  displacements,H engines were made from '92-'01 and used in Preludes. The 2.2L (H22A10 verions are VTEC; 2.3L verions are non-VTEC. VTEC and non-VTEC heads directly interchange by also including the VTEC timing belt,water pump,and bottom timing gear. VTEC H engines clips run around 3,100. Honda performance enthusiasts are gravitating to the bigger H engines,but be aware that the H series deck is taller than any B-series engine,which may cause packing constraints in earlier retrofit applications.


 The SOHC counterpart of the C-series, the J30A1 #.)l VTEC SOHC Accord V-6 has not been th subject for serious performance modifications to date. It is used in '98-and late Accords.


 A completely new-generation design, the DOHC Series K engine were introduced in 200-if you include the unique F20C1 RWD(rear-wheel-drive) longitudinally mounted variant used in the S200 sports car(obviously an exception to Honda's normal engine designation system). Mainstream transverse-mount FWD(front-wheel-drive) K20 2.0L. engines debuted in'02,and are found in the Civic Si and Acura RSX. There is also a K24 2.4L,"fat-block" in the the CRV sport-untility vechicle. The 2.0L version have better heads,but you can put the 2.4L bottom-end in a K20,or K20 heads on the 2.4. K-ENGINE HAVE REALLY STOUT BOTTOM-ENDS,AND ALL VERSIONS ARE Vtec(SOME ARE i-Vtec). K'S HAVE THE MOST PERFORMANCE POTENTIAL OF ANY HONDA ENGINE,BUT MANY HOP-UP PARTS ARE STILL UNDER DEVELOPMENT. CORES REMAIN SCARCE,WITH A COMPLETE GOING FOR ABOUT $6,500. So there you have it .


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      James p 2 years ago

      I have a 94 prelude, with the f23a1 block, I'm guessing someone has changed the head because it's now dohc vtec ... I need to know what's part to look for, vaccume lines, wiring ..ect..

    • honda-stream profile image

      honda-stream 4 years ago from Canada

      Good information! A good little tip if your trying to identify the motor in a junkyard is to take some break clean. Quite ofter the casting codes are so jammed up with road grime and gunk, the break clean will make the unreadable, readable!