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Old 08-06-2012, 09:24 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default B18A/B LS Engine and Swap Tips

One of my favorite engines is the B18A/B. Why? Because they can be had for dirt cheap and have a lot of potential. I have some simple tips for swaps and builds that can be very helpful to some of you guys. A lot of the people reading this have, do, or will own one of these engines and will find this info useful.

Swap Tips

The swap into a 92-00 chassis can be fairly straight forward, but the 88-91 is a little more complicated. You need the typical stuff but you also need to do some modifications.

Frame Rail Dent

To clear the alternator you have to make a dent in the driver's frame rail, this is not that hard, but if you have a newer D-series alternator or just don't wanna deal with that, this is what you do.

The B18A/B alternator is very close to the D-series alternators, the bottom bracket can be used for both, so put the D alternator in and put the bolt through and hand tighten. You will then notice that the B upper bracket isn't long enough to get the belt tight (stock D belt), so you have two options go to the autoparts store and get the correct size (which I don't think they have one that small) or get some 1/2" spacers (or in my case some nuts) and then it will line up. Leave all bolts loose until you get them all in then pull the belt tight and tighten up all bolts. Sometimes you will need to ream out the upper bracket inner bolt slider hole. The D belt is 3 rip and the B is 4 so there is one rip not used, if the belt is tight you shouldn't ever have a problem. I've done this on many engines and always works flawlessly.



Radiator hose

Another issue is the B radiators/engines have a diameter close to 1 1/4", while the D's have 1 1/8" diameter. You have two options swap in an integra radiator or keep the stock radiator. Since the engine outlets are bigger you can either try to stretch the D hose onto it, but it will break over time. The thermostat housing outer water neck is actually interchangable with the DOHC ZC one. Put the DOHC ZC neck on there and it's the correct size. You can use the stock lower hose. The upper hose is different, it's a different angle then stock so you can't use the stock upper hose. So I just use the integra upper hose and since the hose is 1/8" larger than the radiator inlet, you have to add a rubber sleeve (hard to find, but they sell them) or use some large heat shrink (cheap way if you already have some lying around, has to be large enough). A couple layers of heat shrink builds it up and you can clamp it down without any leaks. The heat shrink is held in place when shrunk, and is water resistant so it works fine. I didn't try it yet, but it looks like the DOHC upper neck will also bolt to the B18A head, if it does a universal hose can be used in 1 1/8" diameter.

Shift linkage

Shift linkage should always be matched to engine mounts. If you have Hasport mounts, buy a hasport linkage. If you have innovative mounts, but a innovative linkage. Each brand of mounts will position the engine/trans in a different place so the linkage will be too short or too long if mismatched. Either shorten an OEM one and take your time or just buy the matching one. Saves alot of headaches.

Interchangable Parts

There are some parts on these engines that are the exact same between automatic and manual. On the 90-93 Integra's, the starters are actually the exact same automatic or manual. The axles are also the exact same, ABS or non-abs will both work in the ED/EF chassis. The intermediate/half shaft is automatic/manual specific though. So why know this? Because a lot of people don't know they are the same, and will charge more for manual parts and charge almost nothing for automatic parts; because they think they are worthless.

Intake manifold/Valvetrain

The B18A1 has 130hp, the B18B has 140hp. The main differences are the cams and intake manifold (besides the ecu). A lot of people claim the 92/93 B18A1 has 140hp vs the 90/91, but I have yet to see any proof. Cams can be had for cheap at any junkyard, same with the intake manifold, but there are other options. Aftermarket cams are fairly cheap for the DOHC Non-vtec engines, $200-$400. The intake manifold can be replaced with an aftermarket part, but you can make the B16 manifold work. The B16 manifold is what most aftermarket cast manifolds copy, but you can get one for under $100. Intake manifold/Cams/Milled head to bring compression up some more can make a very stout engine for under $500. Assuming you tune it.

Transmission

The LS transmissions can be found at any wrecking yard for cheap. They are great for turbo or nitrous builds, but one of the best things you can do is get a close-ratio transmission. The YS1 transmission is the best for cable transmission (JDM 92-93 integra Rsi or Xsi), the Y1 JDM Civic/CRX (B16) is okay, but comparable to the LS transmissions. The 92-93 YS1 transmissions can swap hydro parts into them for even better gearing, but all other cables are cable-to-cable. Finding B16 3rd and 4th gears for the LS transmission can be difficult, you might have to buy a full transmission which would cost the same as buying a YS1, plus it has better 1st and 2nd gears also. The LS 5th gear is always a good modification also, find a junk LS trans and shouldn't cost much at all. The cable differentials can have problems with increased power, so upgrade or have some spares to swap out. The gearing is a limitation on these engines and can make the biggest difference.

Another thing to consider is a lightweight flywheel will let the engine rev freely. The stock flywheel is pretty heavy over 16lbs IIRC, even a 10 or 12lb flywheel will help alot. Other B flywheels are lighter, but an aftermarket one isn't that much more expensive.

Nitrous/Turbo

These engines can handle 300hp when tuned correctly. A 100 shot of nitrous can be used safely for years, and up to a 150 shot. These engines can handle plenty of abuse. A good idea is to freshen up the engine before, with new gaskets and bearings. ARP rod bolts are a cheap upgrade and ARP head studs will prevent head gasket problems.

Tuning

These engines can really respond to some tuning, the maps are pretty crappy from the factory. Spending a little time with the fuel/ignition and you will feel the difference. I've seen stock PR4 ECU's run as rich as 12.5:1 at WOT! Sometimes they are just wonky and can really benefit from a tune.


That's all I can think of off the top of my head. Don't be like everyother guy and swap a vtec head on and call it a day. You can have a shout LS engine for a lot less. Anyother questions just let me know, I probably have an answer.
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Old 08-06-2012, 09:50 AM   #2 (permalink)
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very nice its what im planning for my future swap.
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Old 08-06-2012, 12:50 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Frame Rail Dent- I have not incounter having to do this with B-series alternator

Shift linkenge- Use any B-series, the integra shift linkenge will push it a little far in first gear and can be difficult to engage at times. I have change mine to a 99-00SI shift linkenge and it's all well.

Radiator Hose- A stock Dseries radiator do not need changing. Use 99-00SI lower and upper radiator hose it's a tight fit and it will not leak. D-series lower radiator hose will not work with a Bswap. Upper hose needs cutting to get shorten.

Interchangeable parts- do yourself a favor and get a bseries alternator base on your obd chassie. Difference are the plugs. You will need a bseries T-bracket preferred 99-00SI.
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Old 08-06-2012, 01:06 PM   #4 (permalink)
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99-00 Si t-bracket for a 4th gen Civic B swap?

Okay...

Here are is my short list of tips from doing a few of these:

-Use the 90-93 Integra t-bracket and the block mount. I thought this was pretty universal, but maybe not.
-Do yourself a favor and use the 90-93 Integra radiator and the proper hoses. The radiator really does fit perfectly unless the front end has been tweaked. The fans will most likely be different if using OEM ones. Pretty easy to make the Civic rad fan fit. Dunno about the condenser fan as it won't fit anyway unless you are using a stock exhaust manifold.
-Take the time to drill out the spot welds to remove the front trans mount bracket to the front crossmember. It looks so much nicer than a hacked up mess and actually takes about the same time or less.
-Note that not all YS1 transmissions are close ratio. In fact most are not. In the US (probably all of North America?) hey only came in the 92-93 GSR Integra. Don't be fooled by someone selling you a "rare" YS1 trans.



I am sure there are more, but those are the main ones that stick out. If are trying to make this a sticky, feel free to add them to your list.

Just my $0.02.
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Old 08-06-2012, 01:14 PM   #5 (permalink)
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^^^where did he say 4th gen?^^^ I saw 92-00.
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Old 08-06-2012, 02:03 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dj211855 View Post
^^^where did he say 4th gen?^^^ I saw 92-00.
Read the OP instead of skimming there hoss.
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Old 08-06-2012, 02:08 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by snm95ls View Post
Read the OP instead of skimming there hoss.
Uhh HUH!!! I have my one eye covered...lol. Now both eyes are open, I see 88-91 there. Time to hit shower.
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Old 08-06-2012, 02:38 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by snm95ls View Post
99-00 Si t-bracket for a 4th gen Civic B swap?

Okay...

Here are is my short list of tips from doing a few of these:

-Use the 90-93 Integra t-bracket and the block mount. I thought this was pretty universal, but maybe not.
-Do yourself a favor and use the 90-93 Integra radiator and the proper hoses. The radiator really does fit perfectly unless the front end has been tweaked. The fans will most likely be different if using OEM ones. Pretty easy to make the Civic rad fan fit. Dunno about the condenser fan as it won't fit anyway unless you are using a stock exhaust manifold.
-Take the time to drill out the spot welds to remove the front trans mount bracket to the front crossmember. It looks so much nicer than a hacked up mess and actually takes about the same time or less.
-Note that not all YS1 transmissions are close ratio. In fact most are not. In the US (probably all of North America?) hey only came in the 92-93 GSR Integra. Don't be fooled by someone selling you a "rare" YS1 trans.



I am sure there are more, but those are the main ones that stick out. If are trying to make this a sticky, feel free to add them to your list.

Just my $0.02.
Yeah, good info. I wasn't trying to do a swap DIY, but just some simple tips when swapping building the engine. There are plenty of How To: Swap threads, but they leave out simple little tips that save time. The Integra radiatior is better (dual core), but a lot of the time I have a perfectly good stock radiator so I use that. Doing what I said is a way to use the stock radiator without problems, clamping the bigger B hose on the D inlets will leak over time.

Good point with the front mount bracket, very easy to drill out the spot welds and looks OEM. They have spot weld drill bits that work a hell of a lot better, which saves alot of time because there is 6 or 7 spot welds on it. The YS1 transmissions are rare, JDM or USDM. There are threads all about identifying them, if you can find one it's truly the best. Importers will usually sell them for quite a bit cheaper if they have synchro problems, which if you know how to can save hundreds and you will have a rebuilt transmission.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dj211855 View Post
Uhh HUH!!! I have my one eye covered...lol. Now both eyes are open, I see 88-91 there. Time to hit shower.
Yeah, 92-00 is a lot easy to swap into.
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Old 08-06-2012, 02:49 PM   #9 (permalink)
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must spread rep around... lol i wish i knew about this before i did my old b18b swap
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