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blacksheep
blacksheep New Reader
4/6/22 7:15 a.m.
David S. Wallens said:

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

Swapping a K series into an EG requires cutting, no matter which version it is.

The car is just flawless and rust-free (no big deal to ppl in the South, but extremely rare here), I don't think I could convince myself to cut into it

 

dean1484
dean1484 MegaDork
4/6/22 8:19 a.m.

You have reached that crossroads that many of us have. I think the answer is get another car. It can be the same car (or not) just one you don't have as much history with.  Keep you pride and joy the way it is and enjoy it for what it is. Having a second car that you can cut up and do anything to is liberating.  I was at this stage with one of my Porsches. I had owned it for 20 years. The correct answer was get another one. I could cut things and rip things out. I could add any part from any manufacturer I wanted. I could add more safety gear to the interior. Put better seats in. (A quality race seat like a Kirkey is a great mod for the track but not so much for a DD). 
 

Yes it is a big step but I think it really is the next step you should be considering.  Your current car is an old friend. It is part of the family.  It is time to give it the respect it is due and accept it for what it is and keep it that way and enjoy it for what it is.   Get a track rat that you can flog till it cry's uncle and then flog it some more. It also opens up the ability to stuff it in a ditch and you just walk away with no remorse. If you stuffed your current car I imagine you would be devastated.   

aw614
aw614 Reader
4/6/22 8:41 a.m.

Damn one of the few stock looking swaps with all the accessories retained, something that is rarely done.

Couldn't you keep all the accessories with a Jackson Racing supercharger provided you can get all the parts for it? They do show up for sale every so often and I think LHT has started providing updates again to those with the older kit.

Paul_VR6 (Forum Supporter)
Paul_VR6 (Forum Supporter) SuperDork
4/6/22 9:31 a.m.

The biggest issue with the "low boost" turbo kit *rarely* ends up as such and is an all encompassing black hole of "turning up." I have seen it often enough that it seems as inevitable as entropy.

I like the idea of a bit more of a na B upgrade to hit 200, should be do-able.

Cactus
Cactus HalfDork
4/6/22 11:13 a.m.

In reply to dean1484 :

That crossroads was a slippery slope for me. My main factor was the desire to have a safer car. At first I made a fairly major downgrade in speed when I bought my V8 swapped Merkur (knowing I could mod a Ford 302 to a higher level of performance than I left behind) in order to get full harnesses, a fiberglass bucket and a roll bar. Then a couple years later I just went whole hog and bought a tube frame car with plumbed in fire system. I gained greatly in both performance and safety, but it's been a bit of a wake up call that I'm not as good a driver as I thought. The street tire envelope is a lot easier to learn than it is for slicks.

I appreciate that learning the car has pumped new life into track events for me, but it's become all rather serious. You can't really run slicks at half-pace. If you're not pushing to keep heat in them, you might as well be running all-seasons rubber. Add to that the cost of leaded race gas, and any time you're not at least mostly bringing it, you're wasting money. The added stress of tire/fuel management and climbing in through a window on top of the full instructing schedule is a lot. I might run half the sessions in a given weekend depending on the instructing load. Sure the track time is free, but at this point, paying full price is trivial compared to the fuel and consumables. What's a guy to do?

 

Sorry to ramble, I guess my point is maybe find a group with more Miatas to play with and just accept that all the high dollar cars are gonna need a point by. You can play the upgrade game till you've made things unenjoyably expensive.

 

Wanna buy my V8 swapped Merkur? It's probably not faster as it sits, but a set of aluminum heads will change that.

blacksheep
blacksheep New Reader
4/6/22 11:25 a.m.

@Dean1484 & @Cactus: 

Both of you bring up great points, maybe another car would be the solution *eventually*. A few friends already have GR Corollas on order, that would be a fun group to run with ... I've always loved small, nimble cars

I've been doing this long enough to know that there'll be NO caged or track-only cars for me, ever. I've no desire to run anything stickier than 200TW, trailering and even just swapping tires at the track are definitely no-go

"You can play the upgrade game till you've made things unenjoyably expensive." yeah that's what I want to avoid, hence this thread

Tom1200
Tom1200 UltraDork
4/6/22 11:39 a.m.

12 years ago I went down the rabbit hole of trying to make the Datsun much faster; I did indeed make the car faster but the usual teething problems set in. For me the faster lap times weren't worth the hassle. I've since found the happy medium of only doing things that don't effect the reliability. 

What I found along the way is people really appreciated the car for what it was regardless of lap time and I also really enjoyed driving the car even though it's one of the slowest cars in the intermediate group at track days.  The situation is slightly better at vintage races but it's still not a front runner.

I'm doing 12-20 point bys in any given session and I don't care because it's a track day; the point is to enjoy a car you enjoy. 

I'm still saying optimize the car; buy some fancy shocks, get the ECU done etc or whatever makes it faster without making it less enjoyable.

 

gearheadE30
gearheadE30 Dork
4/6/22 1:34 p.m.

Completely different platform, but I did a 7 psi low boost "done right" reliable turbo to go from 130 hp slowest car in the intermediate or advanced groups to midpack with maybe 200 hp. I don't mind giving point bys, but the extra power really did improve the enjoyment factor for me because I didn't need to live in the rear view mirrors all the time. However, like others said, more power highlighted other weak points, and not just in the engine. I started having issues with cooking the brakes, even with the best OEM-sized stuff I could get. Controlling engine oil temperature on warmer days became a problem. Every turbo manifold I tried (granted, nothing available off the shelf) eventually cracked. I burned the paint off the bottom of the hood. I repeatedly cooked AC compressors, so I eventually removed AC. The car is currently sitting, engineless, because I was running right on the edge of detonation where I couldn't tell it was happening, and it melted the piston crowns and pinched the rings. It was fine for probably 10k miles on various tracks, and that problem only showed up at an indy motor speedway track day where you're WOT for much longer than most tracks, and it was pretty warm out.

It is/was fun and I don't regret it, but turbos drive a lot more heat into pretty much every system on the car, and 50+% power and torque bumps that usually come with them will usually highlight some other weak point that was never a problem before. If you don't want to be fiddling with it or spending more time developing it to make it really solid, I'd be looking for some other solution for more NA power or otherwise optimizing the car.

blacksheep
blacksheep New Reader
4/6/22 7:53 p.m.
gearheadE30 said:

... Every turbo manifold I tried (granted, nothing available off the shelf) eventually cracked. I burned the paint off the bottom of the hood. I repeatedly cooked AC compressors, so I eventually removed AC. The car is currently sitting, engineless, because I was running right on the edge of detonation where I couldn't tell it was happening, and it melted the piston crowns and pinched the rings. It was fine for probably 10k miles on various tracks, and that problem only showed up at an indy motor speedway track day where you're WOT for much longer than most tracks, and it was pretty warm out.

Ughhhh, this feels like the exact outcome that I'm trying to avoid. Yours and Sonic's experiences are definitely eye-openers.

@Tom1200: my car's pretty dialed in, Koni SPSS + Ground Controls, good brakes, Recaros, etc. Maybe an engine tune is the way to go, but my club's instructor group is full of recent M cars, Corvettes, Porsches, AMGs, etc ... pretty fast company, dunno if a tune would be enough. 

1SlowVW
1SlowVW HalfDork
4/6/22 8:29 p.m.

In reply to blacksheep :

I think the slippery slope argument has been pointed out here already. You're not sure it's enough. It's never enough. 
 

I'm going to agree with some others, your car looks clean. Don't mess it up.

K swap it this year and then in 5 years there will be a new Honda series of engines that are even better. 

AAZCD-Jon (Forum Supporter)
AAZCD-Jon (Forum Supporter) SuperDork
4/6/22 9:03 p.m.

I thought about a turbo-VTEC-JDM-B20 about a decade ago. Never did it and just enjoyed the B20 pretty much stock in my Del Sol (then started buying Boxsters).  At the time, I mostly just looked at Honda-Tech.com and it looks like all the info is there still with more added: Honda-Tech Forced Induction Forum FAQ

LanEvo
LanEvo Dork
4/8/22 4:13 p.m.

Few thoughts,

(1) I agree that trailering is a hassle and working on cars during events is a pain in the butt, especially in an HPDE setting. I had the most fun driving my E30 to events, running all weekend, and then driving home.

(2) having said that, it's REALLY nice having a cage around you, winged racing seats, 6-point harnesses, fire suppression system, HANS device, etc. etc. on the track. It's hard to go back to a street-prepped car after getting used to all that.

(3) Isn't there a Jackson Racing supercharger kit for the Honda B-series? I'd imagine that would be the easiest and most reliable choice, right?

codrus (Forum Supporter)
codrus (Forum Supporter) PowerDork
4/8/22 4:28 p.m.
LanEvo said:

Few thoughts,

(1) I agree that trailering is a hassle and working on cars during events is a pain in the butt, especially in an HPDE setting. I had the most fun driving my E30 to events, running all weekend, and then driving home.

(2) having said that, it's REALLY nice having a cage around you, winged racing seats, 6-point harnesses, fire suppression system, HANS device, etc. etc. on the track. It's hard to go back to a street-prepped car after getting used to all that.

(3) Isn't there a Jackson Racing supercharger kit for the Honda B-series? I'd imagine that would be the easiest and most reliable choice, right?

Personally I'm no longer comfortable driving on track without a cage and HANS.  Those push the car far enough of the streetable realm that it's much more relaxing to trailer it.

Do they still make JR kits any more?  I haven't looked at them in a decade, but back then they were all using relatively small roots blowers that really aren't designed for track abuse.

Tom1200
Tom1200 UltraDork
4/8/22 5:07 p.m.
blacksheep said:

@Tom1200: my car's pretty dialed in, Koni SPSS + Ground Controls, good brakes, Recaros, etc. Maybe an engine tune is the way to go, but my club's instructor group is full of recent M cars, Corvettes, Porsches, AMGs, etc ... pretty fast company, dunno if a tune would be enough. 

Your in that no man's land where the car will soon be considered vintage but isn't quite there yet. If it were vintage than the expectations would be a bit less.

Given everything but the motor has been done; I do some minor tuning of the engine , it would likely net you 20hp or so. That would allow you to enjoy the car a little bit more.

Unlike the in past the current crop of cars do everything so much better; they have more power, pull more G's and stop way better than any cars that are only 10 years old. 

After reading all of this I think the solution maybe a 4-5 year old car or come to terms with you're driving an old car.

I love how my old car drives; even if there were no other cars on track I'd still love driving it. Would it be better not to have to do point buys, sure but I don't care because I love driving the car.

If you're happy driving the car keep driving it and ignore the faster cars. 

Pete. (l33t FS)
Pete. (l33t FS) MegaDork
4/8/22 5:41 p.m.

I thought there was a compression/cams/head combo that could get 250-300 reliableish horsepower from a VTEC headed B20, naturally aspirated.

Non OE engineered forced induction for track days gives me pause.

blacksheep
blacksheep New Reader
4/9/22 8:20 a.m.

A friend has an EG like mine with a B20 + VTEC head conversion and a Jackson Racing supercharger. It's super quick compared to my Civic (not really quick compared to his other car, a modified Audi RS7) but the JRSC is a non-intercooled roots-type blower, I don't think it would be suitable for 20-minute WOT track sessions?

A 200-220whp NA build is starting to sound pretty good. I really enjoyed the Civic Type R which is 300hp / 3000lbs; my car is about 2200lbs so the power to weight ratio would be just about the same smiley

Safety is a whole other debate, I'll be using a Simpson Hybrid S neck restraint but I don't plan on caging the car.

ShinnyGroove (Forum Supporter)
ShinnyGroove (Forum Supporter) HalfDork
4/9/22 10:22 a.m.

I'm coming from the Miata world, but-

- did the Jackson Racing supercharger. Made tons of heat and not much power, heat soaked in less than 20 minutes. Went through several belts on track, killing sessions. 

- went the turbo route. Made good power and still lots of heat, still couldn't get through 20 minute sessions, constantly breaking stuff (notably manifolds). 

I think if you're trying to keep it a street car, it's better to find time other ways. Get a set of wheels that can take Hoosier SM7 takeoffs and haul them to the track. Lose as much weight as possible, it really does make a difference.  Focus on unsprung and especially rotating mass. Optimize the engine you have; get an aftermarket ECU and a tune with intake/header/exhaust.  Grab any easy aerodynamic improvements that are available.   That stuff can probably get you 4-5 seconds a lap.  Let's face it, if you want to hang with Vettes and Porsches you should get a Vette or Porsche.

It's apples and oranges but as a reference point my Spec Racer Ford puts down GT4 lap times with 135whp and no real downforce. You'll never get a production car to drive like a purpose built race car but you can get pretty far in that direction. 

spacecadet (Forum Supporter)
spacecadet (Forum Supporter) UltraDork
4/10/22 12:48 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

The issue is.. you're still getting all of that up high.

a K24 swap is still the best way to go because the area under the curve will be your ally in the current market.

The L15B7 is an up and coming swap and could be fun.. but it's still indevelopment.

codrus (Forum Supporter)
codrus (Forum Supporter) PowerDork
4/10/22 1:32 p.m.
spacecadet (Forum Supporter) said:

The issue is.. you're still getting all of that up high.

a K24 swap is still the best way to go because the area under the curve will be your ally in the current market.

Isn't this about performance on big race tracks?  Low end/midrange torque is much less important there than, say, autox.

 

Pete. (l33t FS)
Pete. (l33t FS) MegaDork
4/10/22 1:40 p.m.

The B20/VTEC builds I had seen made crazy midrange power.

Run_Away
Run_Away Dork
4/10/22 3:49 p.m.

LHT Performance will add an intercooler to a Jackson Racing manifold

 

I did a K swap on my '99 Civic (went stock B16 -> GSR -> K20A -> have a K24 getting ready to go in) and the other benefit besides power was getting the front corner weights even because the engine is no longer on the drivers side.

The only cutting that's required on an EG IIRC is removal of an engine mount bracket which is just a few spot welds. The car is already swapped, so not like it's all original still. That being said B-series stuff has really skyrocketed in price lately. My car I got all bolt-in bits (drop in radiator, no cut shifter, plug and play everything) and honestly I'll never go back to a B series.

 

When I still had the B-series, my plan was to do the LHT intercooled jackson blower. If you're wanting to keep it B-series, I think that's still the way to go but it'll be expensive, lots of stuff will require fab, and ultimately will make less power than a turbo setup. I think I saw a few B series cars with Rotrex setups too, but they were bolted in the AC compressor location. The hard part for a supercharger is finding all the brackets and pulleys required as the kits now are all used.

Shaun
Shaun Dork
4/10/22 4:15 p.m.

I'm with the folks suggesting a NA B20 VTEC build, particularly with  retaining AC  & dead reliable as requirements. 

Tom1200
Tom1200 UltraDork
4/10/22 5:35 p.m.

If one cleaned up the ports and modified the ECU how much of an increase are we talking about 20-25hp? Adding a set of very mild but streetable cams adds 7-8?S So a 30ish hp increase while still keeping it streetable?

I would think 30 more hp would be good for a 2.5 - 3 seconds per lap. 

 

 

blacksheep
blacksheep New Reader
4/10/22 10:00 p.m.

Damn, the LHT intercooled manifold for JRSC is awesome! I probably won't go that way, but I'll forward the link to my friend who has the S/C B20 VTEC .

Right now I'm leaning to combine a few suggestions from this thread:

1) sensible NA build, maybe stepping up to a 2.0 block?

2) embrace slowness laugh; a friend is finishing up a mild 60s Mustang restomod. I'll step down to his group and hope we'll be running similar lap times. Would be great fun!

3) if 1&2 don't work, maybe move to a different car or a more radical setup ... eventually

@Run_away your car looks like an awesome setup, must be a blast to drive! 

spacecadet (Forum Supporter)
spacecadet (Forum Supporter) UltraDork
4/10/22 10:46 p.m.
codrus (Forum Supporter) said:
spacecadet (Forum Supporter) said:

The issue is.. you're still getting all of that up high.

a K24 swap is still the best way to go because the area under the curve will be your ally in the current market.

Isn't this about performance on big race tracks?  Low end/midrange torque is much less important there than, say, autox.

Area under the curve matters everywhere.

I'll still pick a K20 or K24 with upgraded oiling, but otherwise untouched, over building a B20 as others are suggesting. I'm looking at what successful racers are building who run with GLTC at Gridlife, and the time attack classes like Club TR.

One GLTC driver is working with Hasport to develop the L15B7 swap for an EG and I was literally at Hasport the other day and spoke with them and they like what the future possibilities might be of the L15B7 swaps.. but right now the K series is still the king of the Honda swaps.

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