Skunk2 Alpha header vs. Ebay knockoff - D-series.org

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Old 12-20-2015, 01:54 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Skunk2 Alpha header vs. Ebay knockoff

I have been using an eBay stainless DC knockoff the past few years. Its discolored to the funky brown that the cheap stainless gets but has worked better than the original cast 4 in 1 setup.
I have wanted to try the Skunk2 Alpha header, but was not willing to pay the $365 or more that it costs. I got lucky though and found one listed on Craigslist for $250, emailed and the guy replied I could have it for $160. It was missing an o2 bung plug and the ball flange gasket.

Yesterday I had some car work scheduled: replace diff oil and engine oil in my truck, and ended up replacing the battery, somehow the dealer tech didn't notice it was bulging around the tie down so badly it was about to burst and then oil change in the CRX.

I figured while there I might as well drop the crossmember and install the new header. It turned out to be more work than I wanted, but the crossmember came down, the old header eventually came out (rusty cheap hardware was hard to remove without rounding). the Skunk2 went in from the bottom, and had much more clearance between AC lines, the ac compressor and the fans on the radiator. more space for the front o2 if that is where you want it. The rear o2 was also no longer located directly under the CV joint the way the low QC Chinese headers do.

The collector looked positively huge at 2.5" compared to the less than 2" on the knockoff. That was also when I discovered the Blox test pipe in 2.25" uses a stock sized ball flange...so it was way too small to connect to the new header. I ended up redneck engineering it for two days until a walker ball flange adapter at 2.5" and a walker reducer for 2.5 to 2.25 come in. I opened the 2.25 donut gasket slowly with a pair of pliers around the edges until it could just barely slip onto the lip of the Skunk2 collector. I then squeezed the test pipe in and had to find a pair of bolts slightly shorter than the stock spring bolts (and ditch the springs) and tighten it down. it can still flex, but its a lot stiffer than stock.

Tuesday the new parts come in and I take it to get welded, I leave for work at 5am and open header with compression sounds nasty.

Driving impression is pretty good. There is more felt power on the SKunk2, while I have not yet had a chance to datalog I am watching the STrim and it is normally pulling about 9% (I run a slightly rich tune and closed loop all the time) and I am seeing a lot more of -3% to -6%. Top end its hard to tell the power diff since my butt dyno sucks, but at 4k rpm and a stab of the throttle in first i can light it up where I could not do so well before.

As soon as pics upload I will add a few. I can't argue the header is worth full retail right now, but at $160 and a drive to get it, its totally worth it.

its on an 89 crx si.
d16a6
pg6b pistons (~12:1)
crane 0012 cam
edelbrock performer x intake manifold
integra 60mm tb
cold air intake
h22a4 injectors
-6 fuel lines
aem fpr
walbro 190lph fuel pump
hondata s300
11lb flywheel
exedy clutch
mfactory lsd in stock si trans
blox 2.25 test pipe
tanabe hyper medallion exhaust

Last edited by v4lu3s; 12-20-2015 at 01:56 PM.
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Old 12-20-2015, 03:58 PM   #2 (permalink)
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That's a nice price man. Waiting for pics.
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Old 12-20-2015, 04:28 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Got one to show clearance around the fan and ac, it was before the front crossmember was back in so that the light would show how much space. No need to clearance the crossmember at all. the eBay header was close enough to the fan shroud i figured it may melt one day, and i had to bend the ac lines back they were within 1/8" of the header.

the second is just a side by side. both used, both in fairly good condition, both showing coloration from use.

When the sun is at a good angle I will try and get one under the car as well.


btw that throttle stab at 4k rpm in first. yeah i could spin the tires before, but this time i smoked them...the exhaust note is also a little different, slightly more aggressive and growly at idle, quieter at part throttle and at WOT little bit louder.
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Old 12-22-2015, 11:36 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Fuel mapping has needed to be updated since the new header. there are definitely different peaks on fuel needs compared to before...
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Old 12-22-2015, 12:35 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Ya think you have enough compression lol....

Nice sounding setup tho.
And you can see in the pic of the header that the skunk2 are bogger and has smoother bends in them.
Thats where the power is coming from.
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Old 12-22-2015, 04:17 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Can't wait to see how mine performs
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Old 12-23-2015, 09:40 AM   #7 (permalink)
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still playing with tuning, the fuel mapping before was a fairly smooth line, but there is a mid range low throttle section that needs more fuel now, and i had to make some slope changes on WOT sections as well. still playing with it, but i am seeing long trim values go from +9% to close to 0%.


my compression could be as low as 11.5:1 lol the head I am using had either .020 or .040 taken off the guy i bought it from could not recall, but since it was super clean and had machinist's blue on the valve sets and valves still i figure he had not lied about the valve job and rebuild on the head...basically though i wanted to go as high as pump gas would allow, so honestly i could probably benefit from a hotter cam now...and i really need to dyno tune.
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Old 12-24-2015, 08:38 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Looks good man. I was pretty happy with the only one I have installed so far, except that the head flange was kinda thin... but it worked and sealed up perfectly.
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Old 12-24-2015, 11:53 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Finally! A build that comes close to the one I did.

Made 165WHP 125LB and the dyno could be sketched with a ruler. Used a $45 eBay header and a ported/milled/VJ, EVGJ? <- (is that a thing to shorten that.) Z6 Head, Comp 59300. Granted almost every single joint broke and needed re-welded.

If you make less than that, you may realize you were barking up the wrong tree.

*Edit: Are you going for Max HP or Mid Range/Tq? Not really sure of your goal or point, maybe I missed it. Class racing?


Either way, you are in need of an EGT gauge, since it seems like you can understand AFR and maybe timing? and are tuning yourself. Which is Cool!! Im really happy for you. I can refer to you as a "Tuner" now, instead of a ricer.

Last edited by TheToaster; 12-25-2015 at 01:08 AM.
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Old 01-07-2016, 03:07 PM   #10 (permalink)
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LOL

I commute in the car, have had thoughts about autocross (and pressure from a friend that autocrosses), so mostly I want the car to be a lot of fun to drive, and I have succeeded with that.

With the parts I have I am aiming for 140hp/110lb to the ground with a strong torque curve from 2500 to 5500 and leveling off after that, with peak power around 6900-7500rpm.

I had completely forgotten about tuning ignition with an EGT on the street. I have had an EGT on only one of my cars, a turbo h22a hatch, and never got around to putting it on before I went a different direction. I am currently only seeing 32-33 mpg in mixed driving, which tells me I am leaving economy on the table, especially since I cruise at 15-16.5:1 afr. Right now the ignition maps are tweaked p28 small lobe maps....

I am loving the car, and how it drives overall. I am not convinced that the bang for the buck on the Skunk2 header is there, but buying it used was worth it. I have also added a PLM 2.5" test pipe and power comes on notable around 2500 rpm and is steadily increasing until the rev limiter at 7600 rpm...
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