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blacksheep
blacksheep New Reader
4/4/22 10:58 p.m.

My car is tons of fun, but needs more power to keep up with modern cars on track.

Does anyone have experience tracking a Honda B-series with an aftermarket turbo kit? I'm not looking for huge power, my biggest requirement is that I need something dead reliable. It seems like every Honda or Miata I've seen with aftermarket turbos spends half its time down with blown hoses / loose manifold bolts / fuel or electronics issues, etc. I don't have time to work on the car at the track.

Chassis is EG, motor is a completely stock JDM B18C1 w/10.6:1 CR ... oh and I daily the car all summer so I'd like to keep my A/C if possible.

TIA!

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
4/4/22 11:10 p.m.

I do hear ya that a non-turbo B-series isn't as fast as it used to be, but FWIW I totally dug my B16A-powered CRX HF. And it was dead reliable, too. 

blacksheep
blacksheep New Reader
4/4/22 11:19 p.m.
David S. Wallens said:

I do hear ya that a non-turbo B-series isn't as fast as it used to be, but FWIW I totally dug my B16A-powered CRX HF. And it was dead reliable, too. 

Don't get me wrong, I love my car! Owned it almost 30 years, I've been tracking it for over 15 years and it's been dead reliable ... but when I started I could keep up with current M3s (E46) and base 911s. It's a whole different world now, and being the slowest car around gets boring sometimes laugh

wearymicrobe
wearymicrobe PowerDork
4/4/22 11:35 p.m.

K swap and skip the turbo if you really want and need reliable. Most of the b series turbo stuff is all cheap overseas quality now new. Can you do it sure but with the cost to do it correctly the swap is better option. 

Cactus
Cactus HalfDork
4/5/22 1:29 a.m.

Not saying you can't turbo a 10.6:1 engine, but stone reliable turbo engines usually don't have that kind of compression. The modern direct injection ones do, but a B series isn't that. I also vote k swap.

SKJSS (formerly Klayfish)
SKJSS (formerly Klayfish) PowerDork
4/5/22 6:59 a.m.

Ping GRM member Sonic.  He's a Honda guru and has tons of experience tracking Honda stuff.  Been racing Civics in LeMons for at least 10 years now.

kevinatfms
kevinatfms HalfDork
4/5/22 7:48 a.m.

A 170+hp swapped Civic is slow on track?

79rex
79rex HalfDork
4/5/22 8:27 a.m.

the most reliable turbo B is an NA K swap

dean1484
dean1484 MegaDork
4/5/22 8:32 a.m.

My experience is that a 5-7lb system that is reliable will quickly become an 18-22lb.  Boost is addictive.  

frenchyd
frenchyd MegaDork
4/5/22 8:45 a.m.
Cactus said:

Not saying you can't turbo a 10.6:1 engine, but stone reliable turbo engines usually don't have that kind of compression. The modern direct injection ones do, but a B series isn't that. I also vote k swap.

Gasoline. ?   Wanna be buying $10-15 a gallon  race gas all of the time?  Or do you have cheap access to E85 ? 
   Do the swap.  It will be cheaper and more reliable.  

Paul_VR6 (Forum Supporter)
Paul_VR6 (Forum Supporter) SuperDork
4/5/22 11:07 a.m.
79rex said:

the most reliable turbo B is an NA K swap

I don't know how to use the like button, so this.

aw614
aw614 Reader
4/5/22 11:51 a.m.

Im curious how it would hold up with AC still in it with how tight it is up front. I am guessing you'd run a full size rad too for heat management? 

LanEvo
LanEvo Dork
4/5/22 12:18 p.m.

blacksheep?

Is this who I think it is?

blacksheep
blacksheep New Reader
4/5/22 12:52 p.m.

Damn, these are all good points, but they aren't the answers I wanted to hear at all! Y'all were supposed to say "Hey, that's a great idea! Here's how you do it" laugh

I've thought of a K swap, but I really don't want to cut up the car and AFAIK there's no way to do it strictly bolt-on.

Also, I'm in doubt whether a stock K swap would give me more power than a low-boost, quality turbo kit. Aren't all VTEC K20/K24s about 200hp stock? Doesn't seem like a big power boost for all the complexity the swap involves ...

DirtyBird222
DirtyBird222 PowerDork
4/5/22 1:14 p.m.
blacksheep said:

Damn, these are all good points, but they aren't the answers I wanted to hear at all! Y'all were supposed to say "Hey, that's a great idea! Here's how you do it" laugh

I've thought of a K swap, but I really don't want to cut up the car and AFAIK there's no way to do it strictly bolt-on.

Also, I'm in doubt whether a stock K swap would give me more power than a low-boost, quality turbo kit. Aren't all VTEC K20/K24s about 200hp stock? Doesn't seem like a big power boost for all the complexity the swap involves ...

You are correct, most of them are around 200hp. The K24 will give you more torque as well. I'm pretty sure there are some pretty straight forward swap kits for the K-series into a EK chassis as well. The K-series also responds really well to bolt-ons that will give you the power you want. 

If I was looking at doing track days with boost, I'd go supercharger. Kraftwerks makes a pretty clean kit that will give you low end torque for coming out of the corners, while VTEC takes you through the space time continuum that it rips through when engaged. https://kraftwerksusa.com/supercharger-systems/kraftwerks-b-series-black.html

Tom1200
Tom1200 UltraDork
4/5/22 1:22 p.m.

I'll chime in as I'm running a 50yr old Datsun with 80whp at track days (yes I said 80). 

First: You are in a 30+ year old car it's going to get outclassed more and more with each passing year. An NA Miata will get crushed by a new Miata. Staving off the ravages of time is near impossible.

I've seen this on my end as well; the current 1200cc motor in my car is the backup engine. Even with my so called 1500cc race engine (99whp) and my car on fresh Hoosiers fully half the intermediate group is faster. It's not uncommon for me to be 4 wheel drifting the car everywhere and have someone in car behind me who's car is at 75%. Hard to beat technology.

With that said I would ask do you enjoy the car now?

If so just maximize what you have. My advice would be add things that make it faster without sacrificing the streetability.  Better shocks/dampers if you don't already have them, sticky tires and optimizing the motor that's in there. 

Even if you added 30-40hp via a turbo you're going to go from mid-pack to slightly less mid-pack at best.

My .02

 

rustomatic
rustomatic Reader
4/5/22 1:40 p.m.

Reliable is relatively low-boost for most people, if only to avoid cooking things too dramatically when doing laps.  That said, nearly everything modern has a turbo, on track or otherwise:  AMG, Audi, BMW, VW, every diesel there is.  Start by studying what works, then aim to not be cheap/lazy (this is where most of the horror stories come from), and over-cool everything.  Fuel management is also massive, of course . . .

z31maniac
z31maniac MegaDork
4/5/22 2:19 p.m.

I suspect you don't want to spend the kind of money necessary for a "dead reliable" turbo setup for a track car. 

If you can find a quality turbo kit for your car, not some eBay knockoff stuff, triple the cost to maybe make it reliable. 

Sonic
Sonic UberDork
4/5/22 2:32 p.m.

For several years I tried to make a dead reliable turbo d16 in our EF endurance racer.  I did all the right things.   It was excellent for 2.5 races each time, then it would blow up.   This was running 8-9psi.  Eventually I gave that up and did a K24a2 swap.  205whp with a stock motor with only homemade intake/header/exhaust.  Faster all around, great torque, 2 years of racing later it burns zero oil between races and got us an overall win.   I just am finishing swapping the same driveline into an EG now, the only permanent changes are removing the pass side engine mount bracket and potentially a hole in the floor for a shifter.   There are bolt on and plug in solutions for everything.   
 

tl:dr we swapped a turbo D with plenty of development for a K24 and gained performance and reliability and reduced complexity.  

Byrneon27
Byrneon27 Reader
4/5/22 2:50 p.m.

Turbo B is a great idea here is how you do it: 

Thick wall manifold if 300hp is your goal a cast log (Treadstone is my pick) is great. For more you're looking at a fabricated manifold. 

Whatever flavor of roughly GTX3071R turbo you can find, the Chinese copies are surprisingly okay largely that said if we're talking ultimate reliability go for a real one. 

Downpipe: Build it yourself just about everything you can buy is very thin. Vibrant U-J bends are relatively thick and my choice for this type of work. 3" is mandatory 

Divorced wastegate is ideal but generally not legal. If you have to merge it do so as far back as possible. 

You want at least one flexible joint in the downpipe. 

Wastegate itself is important I'm partial to Turbosmart Compgates. Water cooling is helpful .

Get yourself a reasonable to big air to air intercooler again partial to Spearco or their cores. 2.5" pipes are fine. Big diaphragm style BOV of your choice (Turbosmart, Tial, Turbonetics, etc) 

Everything needs to be braced no component can hold itself up

Use an S300 ecu, at least 1000cc injectors, wideband o2, at least an AEM 340lph fuel pump 

If you keep a stock B18C reasonably cool and detonation free it should last for a good long while like this.

 

Yes I know a guy who sells all this stuff, yes he's me, I sell it because it's proven and works. 

 

 

aw614
aw614 Reader
4/5/22 4:26 p.m.
blacksheep said:

Damn, these are all good points, but they aren't the answers I wanted to hear at all! Y'all were supposed to say "Hey, that's a great idea! Here's how you do it" laugh

I've thought of a K swap, but I really don't want to cut up the car and AFAIK there's no way to do it strictly bolt-on.

Also, I'm in doubt whether a stock K swap would give me more power than a low-boost, quality turbo kit. Aren't all VTEC K20/K24s about 200hp stock? Doesn't seem like a big power boost for all the complexity the swap involves ...

I was offered to drive a K swap Integra, stock internal K24 (not sure if it had cams) and e85 and it was putting around 240whp+. It drove the very similar to my B18c Integra, felt similar, just faster with power all through the rev range. It was enough to seriously consider going K eventually in another Honda because it kept that na high revving Honda feel I love. (I have too much money put in to keep my Integra mostly period correct lol)

Tyler H (Forum Supporter)
Tyler H (Forum Supporter) UberDork
4/5/22 4:35 p.m.

K Swap is probably the "best" option, but an slightly worse idea would be a J Swap.  They make fun noises.

It's still going to be hard to be up to speed with all of the modern HPDE hardware that's out there these days, and a fast EG street car isn't the safest thing around.  If you want to be on-par with everyone else on track, another option might be to find a decent race car and take it to Lemons or Champ.  Then you get some parity of performance, a helluva lot more safety, and a street car that's guaranteed to get you to work on Monday.  

 

blacksheep
blacksheep New Reader
4/5/22 10:11 p.m.

Thanks everyone for the great insights, even those that are giving me reality checks! 

So I've got 3 options:

1) K swap which seems like a no-brainer, but I really don't want to cut into the car. It's mint and we have a lot of history

2) Carefully selected, low boost turbo kit (which could still cause reliability headaches). That supercharger is intriguing, but forces me to give up A/C and I'm not sure I have the skill to fabricate everything it's missing

3) Make peace with being slow. The car is great fun, but there's nobody for me to run with sad ... I don't mind going slow if there's other cars running similar lap times that I can dice with! But there usually aren't, and giving point-bys all session is getting old. This whole debate springs from a friend lending me a stock Civic Type R for an event; it wasn't massively quicker than my car, but enough to keep up and have fun playing cat and mouse with others.

Someone outside the forum suggested another option: Intake - porting - cams - valves and an ECU tune on my B-series might get me into the 200whp range, which is pretty much my target at this point frown

I appreciate your help and I'll be giving this a lot of thought over the summer

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
4/5/22 10:46 p.m.

What about a K20 instead of a K24? A little less power, but a little more clearance.

Tom1200
Tom1200 UltraDork
4/5/22 10:49 p.m.
blacksheep said:

Someone outside the forum suggested another option: Intake - porting - cams - valves and an ECU tune on my B-series might get me into the 200whp range, which is pretty much my target at this point frown

I appreciate your help and I'll be giving this a lot of thought over the summer

Ironic you mentioned this option as I was thinking it when I said optimize the car. 

Clean up the ports on the head, get some mildly upgraded cams and ECU. Perhaps even go to a larger bore.

The extra 20hp in the Datsun and things like better dampers/shocks and bushings netted 12 seconds a lap on a 3.4 mile circuit. Granted in my car it was a 23% increase in power. 

I'd bet with some minor tweaks you could get it another 4-6 seconds a lap.

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