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So I have a 98 Civic Hx that I bought in 2015, I was just looking for a backup in case something were to happen to my primary vehicle. After testing out several cars without success I stumbled upon a 98 civic HX that had 136xxx miles. It was bone stock with Cold a/c and power steering, everything else was there, I test drove it and fell in love, it felt smooth and didn’t miss a beat, it was awkwardly kind of slow but i didn’t really care as fast wasn’t my interest.

Anyways, months down the road I start to investigate the motor, looking for stamps/codes etc. And I figure out the motor Has a D13B stamp on the block indicating it is a swap and not the original D16y5 it came with originally . I immediately looked it up on google and saw that it is kind of rare in America and didn’t find much info about it other than that it shares the same block as a D15B and bore at 75mm except the stroke is different at 76mm. Also the distributor is weird its a “Hitachi” type and the ecu is a rare obd1 lookingish 2 connection ecu coded “P2A”.

Since then i never drove it a whole lot but it served its purpose and I always did the oil changes and basic maintenance like plugs/wires.it’s now at 162xxx mi and pretty healthy, i once opened up the valve covers to see a pretty clean and healthy valve train, it looks like the motor couldn’t have more that 100xxx on it. It has a non VTEC head coded p2a-4 and the motor is mounted to an s40a000 tranny. Supposedly these motors are rated between 75-90hp but it feels like it’s got like 85-95 hp to me but just a guess. It has s*** torque but when it gets to 4900-5500k it starts to pull alright, I can drive it on the highway at 90mph 3900k all day no problem and can top out at 105-109mph when I need it to lol.

What would yalls thoughts be if I did a simple turbocharged induction on it?, not for a racing application but for economy and well s**** and giggles. My thoughts would be between 6-9psi. I know everyone says to d16y8 or B series swap it but I don’t want to go through all the trouble of removing the drivetrain and redo wiring etc, plus it feels kind of awkwardly weird owning a rare D series engine around here. Anybody have any ideas on what they would do with this particular motor if it was all you had? Would I need to at least go with forged pistons? I know they have those that will fit on this motor but I haven’t found any aftermarket connecting rods for this app. Or if anybody knows anything about these motors, how does the bottom end hold up?
 

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don't want to go through the troubles of removing the drivetrain and redo wiring etc,
People have boosted stock engines with interesting/impressive results, others have catastrophe. In those seemingly successful cases, tuning is essential for longevity, but even then the best tuning can only go so far. As for wiring, ECU modifications are mandatory to successfully pulling off turbocharging a non-turbocharged engine, there is very little in the way of getting around that reality. There are a few ways to approach this, you should read more on this subject to pick the one that works for you.

What area of the USA are you in? In most places, cars newer than 1996 are OBD2 and subject to emissions testing. The fact that its OBD1 swapped and you haven't seemed to have any issues getting it legal is interesting!

If it's OBD1 it is definitely on the most common electrical architecture for turbocharging a Honda where there is very good aftermarket support to support you. You speak of an interesting ECU though, I'm not familiar enough with what you are describing to say much more. Pictures might help! If it's an odd ECU for some reason, replacement of the ECU may be a reality to support the required mods.

Just know this, the cost of a "turbo kit" in the most basic of sense is only about a 1/3 to 1/5th of the total usually required to get things working reliably. I don't know enough about those bottom ends to recommend pistons/rods/rod and main bearings, etc. but I'm sure someone with experience using those engines will chime in shortly!

It's the essentials that go beyond basic engine mechanical hardware are what get you: tuning solution, getting it tuned, upgrades to fuel system like injectors/pump/regulator, increased heat output needing to beef up the cooling system, any custom fab work needed to facilitate the mods, a wideband setup, gauges, etc. the list goes on.

It's definitely possible, the end results are very rewarding and the group of guys doing these mods are like minded folk.

I will close with this: just take this from someone who had a budget of around 3-4 grand getting my build up and running, I blew through that and about tripled it. My latest build happened over the course of about 3 years, as most who do these builds are also real world people with jobs/wives/kids/other priorities (let's face it, we are working on Honda's lol the go-to A to B mobile!). Most of the higher expenses were shop equipment based, as I looked at things from one perspective: get someone else to spend XX hours at like $100-150 an hour to build/do certain things for me OR I buy all the equipment and materials needed to do things myself.

Another thing to keep in mind is that these things do take time. If you need the car in a practical sense as a backup that must be reliable, then you might want to buy another beater before modding your civic. It will be down for extended periods if you do decide to turbo, you can almost bet on it :)
 
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