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Discussion Starter #1
First post, LOOOOONG-time lurker; been in this "Honda Game" since '99. Built many mediocre set-ups, but it has come time to show-off a little bit... I'm a machinist by trade, and currently work in the QC/QA department of an aerospace machine shop where I run a Carl Zeiss Contura G2 CMM (coordinate measuring machine).

I'm attempting to build an all-out monster. Let’s say: an EVO/STi-eater; out of my 1991 Civic Wagon RT4WD; custom helical LSD's in the front and rear (Tried to post link to my build thread on civicwagon.com, but DSO's spam filter isn’t having it at the moment), PTE6262E, Web/Bisi3.6, Ferrea Inconel Valves, PTE600FMIC, yadda yadda yadda, all the goodies necessary.

My main goal for this thread is to discuss reasonable/viable D-series engine build geometries. What I mean by that is: My project is by no means being funded via an open checkbook, so simply purchasing a custom rotating assembly (custom crank, custom rods, custom pistons, custom block, etc.) is out of the question and negates the purpose of the proposed discussion.

Here’s what I’m thinking as of right now:

- GE or Darton sleeved D16Z6 block @ 78mm

- D15B VTEC crank

- D15B VTEC main cap girdle -- which I am *hoping* will bolt up... If it does, only qty(5) custom 5mm bearing spacers (instead of 10) will need to be machined. Something would need to be done to keep the bearing spacers from moving axially, as the girdle would keep them from spinning around. Maybe some aerospace aluminum epoxy in choice areas? Staking? Weld?... something to think about. Plus, since it is good practice to align-hone the main journals after sleeving anyway; it would be the perfect opportunity to open them up to accept oversize bearings too. This would also alleviate some of the criticality while machining the spacers themselves, since any slight concentricity, out-of-round conditions or mismatches between the spacers and girdle would be cut away during the align-hone process.

-Custom rods -- the length of which would be determined by the shortest ‘safe’ compression height of the pistons. The typical “off-the-shelf” D-series pistons from CP have a compression height of 30mm. Maybe 28 or 27mm would be attainable? See calculations below...

- Custom pistons -- See calculations below...

Playing around on the Zeal compression calculator, I’ve come up with the following... (since I can’t post images yet, here are the #s)
> 78mm Bore (Custom)
> 84.50mm Stroke (D15B VTEC)
> 212.00mm Deck (Stock Z6)
> 34.60cc Chamber Vol. (Stock Z6)
> -6cc Dome (Custom)
> 28mm Comp. Hgt. (Custom)
> 141.25mm Rod Length (Custom)
> .037 H.G. Thickness (MLS 3-Layer) & 3mm Bore Difference (78mm-75mm=3mm)
> .020” total material removed from head & block. I’m figuring on ~.010” each to ensure flatness

These numbers yield the following D-series engine:
- Displacement_ 1615.09cc
- R/S Ratio_ 1.67:1
-CR_ 9.89:1

Not too shabby. Any input?
 

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You do know about using a d17 crank to get more stroke and a better R/S ratio?

I like the build so far, should net some good dyno numbers, the spam filter will lift after a trial period or whatever.
 

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Looking forward to more data on this build; sounds sick!

Since you're mentioning being part of the civicwagon site, I assume you know the limitations of the stock 4WD systems. How will you be addressing those concerns on your beast of a build here?
 

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Discussion Starter #4
BeerDrinkin said:
You do know about using a d17 crank to get more stroke and a better R/S ratio?

I like the build so far, should net some good dyno numbers, the spam filter will lift after a trial period or whatever.
I was toying with the D17 crank build idea, but the R/S ratio is marginally better with such a build, I'd rather put the extra work/time/money into something a bit more "rev happy"; seeing that my cam makes power to 9000+rpm... and when you're up in those higher RPM ranges from gear-to-gear, torque really means less and less...

BLK92_D16 said:
Looking forward to more data on this build; sounds sick!

Since you're mentioning being part of the civicwagon site, I assume you know the limitations of the stock 4WD systems. How will you be addressing those concerns on your beast of a build here?
As it turns out, the physical size of the gearing components are identical to B-series components of the same generational timeframe -- I would assume to handle the extra drivetrain load of the 4wd system. A simplistic description would be: it’s a D-series housing with B-series-size internals. Therefore, if you have a RT tranny that you want to rebuild, you are going to need a synchro kit for a ‘89-‘91 A1/J1/Y2 cable B-series transmission. This has been 100% confirmed, as I actually sent my stock synchro rings to Synchrotech/MFactory R&D to have them physically find a match. **Thanks David Ruiz @ ST/MF R&D for working with me on that...** I ended up going with carbon synchros due to the high-rpm shifting that I'll likely be doing. So i'm gonna say the transmission itself can handle the power.

Like I mentioned, I'm done the CAD design of my front helical LSD, just need to get some lathe time to get the housings made. I bought JUST the internals from a B16A helical LSD, also from ST/MF R&D. Wish I could post pics of screenshots of the CAD model... I will soon enough...

I've got Avid racing traction bar setup ready to go on, and I've got some measurements for some bracing/bracketing in the rear. Probably going to have my viscous coupler rebuilt, possibly with a bit more "bite". Custom propeller shafts are a must.
 

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R/S ratio is a bench racer's dream . . . doesn't matter much in the real world.

Biggest bore, largest easily attainable stroke, shortest compression height to make the rings work and then you have your rod length number.

For a given HP value, I'd take the larger displacement and less required RPM to get there anyday
 

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if you are going to build with a d15 main girdle, you can have a machinist carve/gauge the edges out so you basically use an enclosed thrust bearing on each.

would prevent crank walk, would prevent mains from flexing sideways too much, and whatnot.

but I wonder why you want a 1.5 stroke. it will not matter in the long run.

would be more optimal for durability to use a d15 block and have a deck plate welded on and properly setup for the oil and coolant stuff
 

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the artist formerly known as drexelstudent11
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I was toying with the D17 crank build idea, but the R/S ratio is marginally better with such a build, I'd rather put the extra work/time/money into something a bit more "rev happy"; seeing that my cam makes power to 9000+rpm... and when you're up in those higher RPM ranges from gear-to-gear, torque really means less and less...



As it turns out, the physical size of the gearing components are identical to B-series components of the same generational timeframe -- I would assume to handle the extra drivetrain load of the 4wd system. A simplistic description would be: it’s a D-series housing with B-series-size internals. Therefore, if you have a RT tranny that you want to rebuild, you are going to need a synchro kit for a ‘89-‘91 A1/J1/Y2 cable B-series transmission. This has been 100% confirmed, as I actually sent my stock synchro rings to Synchrotech/MFactory R&D to have them physically find a match. **Thanks David Ruiz @ ST/MF R&D for working with me on that...** I ended up going with carbon synchros due to the high-rpm shifting that I'll likely be doing. So i'm gonna say the transmission itself can handle the power.

Like I mentioned, I'm done the CAD design of my front helical LSD, just need to get some lathe time to get the housings made. I bought JUST the internals from a B16A helical LSD, also from ST/MF R&D. Wish I could post pics of screenshots of the CAD model... I will soon enough...

I've got Avid racing traction bar setup ready to go on, and I've got some measurements for some bracing/bracketing in the rear. Probably going to have my viscous coupler rebuilt, possibly with a bit more "bite". Custom propeller shafts are a must.
this is a super interesting build and I'm a huge fan of new ideas, not just another cookie cutter vitara build, but I've always heard (and it makes sense to me) that the weak part of the RT4WD drivetrain isn't the FWD shared parts (the MS, CS, gearsets) but the added on bevel gear/driveshaft/rear diff.
if the RT4WD in the wagovans is the same as the CRVs, the mechanical engagement aspects in the rear diff unit could probably be modified to be constantly engaged, but the rear CVs are like 10mm thick and the rear diff is like a 5" diameter crown gear? not sure it's up to the stress of full time engagement and turbo launches
 

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R/S ratio is a bench racer's dream . . . doesn't matter much in the real world.

Biggest bore, largest easily attainable stroke, shortest compression height to make the rings work and then you have your rod length number.

For a given HP value, I'd take the larger displacement and less required RPM to get there anyday
Amen to this. If you have the option, ALWAYS choose displacement over a larger R/S.

R/S is actually theorized to make power slightly "peakier". High R/S is used in displacement-limited racing when they start with an RPM number then work backwards (design the head ports/cam/pistons/etc around it). There is a reason B16B's aren't on the podium at SFWD events. I actually know a race team that built a tall-deck (Dart) 2.0L B-series for a larger R/S - they ended up going back to a standard block because the extra rod weight more than offset any R/S gains.

If they didn't have displacement taxes in Japan, Honda probably would have slapped B20's in most Civics. Instead they chose small-displacement undersquare motors, which is typically backwards thinking. That's the different between MODDING an engine around a number and DESIGNING an engine around a number.



That said, I would actually recommend going with a D17 crank since you're already going for custom rods. You should actually check out the two ~800whp D's that recently popped up & see what they all did, not to mention SpeedFactory.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
R/S ratio is a bench racer's dream . . . doesn't matter much in the real world.

Biggest bore, largest easily attainable stroke, shortest compression height to make the rings work and then you have your rod length number.

For a given HP value, I'd take the larger displacement and less required RPM to get there anyday
I don't know that I'd specifically use the term "dream" to describe R/S ratio and the role it plays in governing the physics of a given engine's geometry. By no means is it the Holy Bible of engine building, but it absolutely has enough relevance to at least keep it in mind when at the beginning/planning stages of an engine build.

Also, considering the displacement limits of the d-series motor in general, we don't really have much of a choice but to obtain our desired HP numbers by relying on engine speed. Though with another series of engine, I would absolutely agree.

if you are going to build with a d15 main girdle, you can have a machinist carve/gauge the edges out so you basically use an enclosed thrust bearing on each.

would prevent crank walk, would prevent mains from flexing sideways too much, and whatnot.

but I wonder why you want a 1.5 stroke. it will not matter in the long run.

would be more optimal for durability to use a d15 block and have a deck plate welded on and properly setup for the oil and coolant stuff
VERY interesting thoughts about modifying the D15 girdle for those reasons. That is very-much what I was thinking myself. Given my capabilities at my shop, I believe machining bearing spacers will be my preferred route, although you definitely have me considering the deck plate idea...

As for my reasoning for wanting to run a 1.5 stroke, you've essentially answered your own question; seeing that it will not make a big difference either way, why not run a setup with less sidewall load and a more "rev-happy" geometry, right?

this is a super interesting build and I'm a huge fan of new ideas, not just another cookie cutter vitara build, but I've always heard (and it makes sense to me) that the weak part of the RT4WD drivetrain isn't the FWD shared parts (the MS, CS, gearsets) but the added on bevel gear/driveshaft/rear diff.
if the RT4WD in the wagovans is the same as the CRVs, the mechanical engagement aspects in the rear diff unit could probably be modified to be constantly engaged, but the rear CVs are like 10mm thick and the rear diff is like a 5" diameter crown gear? not sure it's up to the stress of full time engagement and turbo launches
I've always pondered the idea of direct engagement and why it's not feasible... Is it merely a matter of the drive ratios between the front and rear being slightly different?... thereby creating a binding situation between the two? IDK... What I DO know is that things often break when there is a failure of a simple component, such as worn mounts, bushings that may let things flex more than they should. I plan to brace/reinforce the entire rear differential to keep things from moving/flexing during a dig. The bottom line is, this will be a trial and error thing. If and when issues arise, I will assess, address and retry. I would never tackle such a project if I didn't have the desire or means to deal with associated issues. I'm open to any ideas that people may have...
 

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I have to say. a properly stroked d16 with a 1.7 crank spinning to 8k rpm with all variables matched (magic fairy land) will spank the shit out of a 1.5 revving to 11k rpm and all variables matched in another fairy world.

power under the curve is MUCH more important than people realize in racing.

i would never put a cbr motor modified to make 150whp and somehow attached to our fwd transmissions (magic fairy land moment) in place of say a d15 making 100whp and 100wtq.

I bet with proper gearing I would own that ass in any autocross. on a drag strip, that cbr setup would toast it and probably run more than a 2 second time difference faster

for what it is worth, the l15a7 that came in my fit had a 73mm bore, 1.5 liter displacement, and was rated for 117hp and 106tq I think. out of the box, they dyno'd around 85-90whp and 80wtq about. I also managed to run a 16second quarter mile in a hatch that weighted 2700 pounds, plus me the driver and some equipment in the back. b16 trannies were a close match in gearing, and that car was stupid fun to drive
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I have to say. a properly stroked d16 with a 1.7 crank spinning to 8k rpm with all variables matched (magic fairy land) will spank the shit out of a 1.5 revving to 11k rpm and all variables matched in another fairy world.

power under the curve is MUCH more important than people realize in racing.

i would never put a cbr motor modified to make 150whp and somehow attached to our fwd transmissions (magic fairy land moment) in place of say a d15 making 100whp and 100wtq.

I bet with proper gearing I would own that ass in any autocross. on a drag strip, that cbr setup would toast it and probably run more than a 2 second time difference faster

for what it is worth, the l15a7 that came in my fit had a 73mm bore, 1.5 liter displacement, and was rated for 117hp and 106tq I think. out of the box, they dyno'd around 85-90whp and 80wtq about. I also managed to run a 16second quarter mile in a hatch that weighted 2700 pounds, plus me the driver and some equipment in the back. b16 trannies were a close match in gearing, and that car was stupid fun to drive
You've touched on a very important part of this whole discussion that I've left out thus far. This is where it all comes down to being honest with myself and being realistic about my desired goals for the vehicle. It is something that I try to 'drive home' during discussions that I have with locals about their projects, and it is (or should be) the driving factor when planning a build: what do you want out of the build?

I remember reading an article on the ImportBuilders website close to a decade ago, some of you that have been around for a while might remember when they came on the scene. It was a good write up that touched on precisely what I just mentioned and I have reason to suspect the article was actually written by Larry from ENDYN. The gist of it was this: there are two types of people in this game; type A and type B. Type A people want that instant throttle response, low end torque and power on demand, regardless of RPM. The sacrifice in this case is top end power. 99% of the time, AutoX'ers are type A (much in the same way that 99% of the time, VW owners are vegans and vote Democrat). Type B people are (you guessed it) quite the opposite. They want that massive top end thrust, and are willing to wait for it. They are the "lets go from a 40mph roll"-type. The ones who peg their speedo and boil their brake fluid somewhat habitually. Type B people are willing to sacrifice "driveability" to get their satisfaction.

Like most things in life, there are pro's & con's to each type and there's nothing wrong with either. I, personally am type B.
 

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I like top think I am in the middle gray area somewhere. I dont want something that revs only a couple grand but makes a metric butt ton of torque

But I dont want something that needs to see over 5k rpms before making decent power and hammering all the way to 9 or 10k+


my true goal is a total mixup. I want a 1.6 liter that has 11:1 compression, has a T25 bolted on for a ton of response, and ITB's mounted up so I get that crisp high rpm response we all know we love.

but at its core, its only GOOD and low, mid, and high rpm power. it is not strong in any one area. its decent. it has solid linear delivery. but it does not show a lack of low end, and does not avoid high rpm.


you seem to want something. I think you simply need to define it a bit more.

gain some more knowledge. learn how things come together. find a junkyard motor, and put the knife on it and experiment a lot.
 

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Things are not black and white, so you are right to feel a bit gray.

I agree with most of what has been said in this thread, but I can never except when the word "always" is used without qualification. Yes, when it comes to putting together a Honda engines using cranks that fit easily in the block, going for displacement is going to be the best recipe for power, always.

Thats ignoring longevity as well. For a drag engine, who cares as long as it holds together. But what if you want to put 50k miles of street and track use on it? No matter how well it is put together youre going to heavily wear the cylinders reving a B20 to 8k+ rpm over that kind of time. Or, what about a road race engine, where it is going to have to run at very high rpm for extended periods of time. This may be hard for some of you to believe but Ive seen B16s modified with deck plates for this purpose. Because theyre class limited them to 1.6L and they needed to run at 10-11k rpm for extended periods. Think more Rally or Targa Newfoundland, not autocross.
 

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I really wish honda had come out with our blocks with just a miserable 30mm extra to the deck, but kept same bore and strokes for the available engines.

I think it would have changed the game quite a bit lol.


at one time I was really looking into doing a deck plate, and last I had checked, it would have cost just under $3,000 for the custom deck plate about an inch thick, the custom lengthened sleeves to freshen up the cylinders, and custom rods.

boom. extreme amount of reliability added under daily drives, extended high rpm lifespan, but at the severe sacrifice of rotating weight being much harder to control and balance. with longer rods, now it isnt just good enough to be sure they weigh equally, now it would have been important that each "section" of them weighed the same.

that is the biggest potential failure of running longer rods
 

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Ooooo. This looks like fun. Definitely going to have to follow this.

I went from a d15 to a d17 and the d17 was plenty rev happy.

How much top end would you really be sacrificing using the D17 crank vs the D15? I don't know the answer to this, just something to think about.

I'm pretty sure you could get a D17 based rotating assembly to rev freely and reliably to 9k and make use of your cam.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
With all this talk about the insurmountable benefits of having increased deck height, I am now sincerely considering it. Seeing that I run a CMM on a daily basis, It would be relatively easy to obtain all required dimensions from the D-series block to fabricate a deck plate. I have several acquaintances who are very skilled aluminum welders and my shop also has ovens with programmable heat and time settings.

This thread has absolutely had my "gears-a-turning" upstairs. You have all made VERY informative additions in here and I truly appreciate it. I guess it's time to play with some numbers to try and figure out the optimal deck plate thickness. The required machining of a D17 crank to make it work in a D16 block is very much do-able for me, so I'm gonna focus on using one of those.

Since I still cannot post links or images, here is a copy & paste from the ENDYN archives regarding deck plates:

T.O.O. said:
The addition of the plate is primarily to allow us to achieve a 1.75-1 L/R ratio, which I, and numerous others, have found to be universally optimum. The reason the factories don't use it is due to engine "package height".
Performing the process properly for the intended application is time consuming and, therefore, expensive. As we've been building components from welding rods for twenty some years now, we use some rather complex procedures.
First the block is etched slightly for cleanliness. The upper portions of the iron cylinder are bored out. The head plate (which is already profiled on the jacket side) is placed on top of the block. All surfaces to be welded are relieved so the weld will achieve maximum penetration. The two pieces are then heated to 400 degrees, and the welding begins while temperatures are held as constant as possible. The welding includes the exterior perimeter, and inside the OE bore size cylinder "holes" in the plate. So the bores of the plate are welded to the Honda parent aluminum cylinder exterior. The block is then placed in the oven to "normalize" the aluminum (both factory and the plate/ weld). Once this is complete we re-heat treat the block assembly to our specs. This process is an absolute necessity if future "movement" and strength is desired. The process is also very tramatic, and the amount of warpage is considerable, so we use four "master" location points, and remachine the entire block. The main bearing housing is one of the first areas, since we use this to bore on center each cylinder, removing slight amounts of material from both the plate and the original aluminum bores. The block is then gradually warmed to 200 degrees, and the "frozen" composite cylinders are shrunk into place. Composite doesn't necessarily mean what you may think. In this application it's a multi alloy / ceramic imbedded sleeve that gives the cylinder / piston some adeabatic and low friction qualities. All surfaces are remachined, all bolt holes are remachined and all threaded holes are either sleeved with steel threads or machined to a size we feel would be benificial to block integrety. The crank bore is finished honed, and the cylinders are diamond honed to spec. Typical piston to wall clearance for a blown Honda is 0.0018" using our multialloy pistons. The pistons are designed to provide the optimum combustion space with the combustion chamber in the head of choice. Although we rarely measure CR, it'll usually run from 11.5 to 16.5 for the Honda's, as the bores are so small, we don't need to make the final "space" as tiny as many other engines. Point is that the shape of the combustion space needs not be different regardless of application.
The rods are currently some of our own manufacture, and are machined from forgings we used for small block Chevy's. We have a vendor who is currently working on a mass produced selection of rods for the Honda's, and we're anxiously awaiting some pieces for testing. Before I forget, I no longer offset rist pins, and when we did, it wasn't to the same direction everyone else moved theirs. Our pins are tool steel and very light.
The cams we run are produced here. If you're in the business of building engines for competition or OE programs, it's absolutely necessary that you have your own cam manufacturing capabilities.
The "wildest" Honda grind we did some years back for a n/a engine had actual valve lift of .527/ .502, with actual durations of 234/ 232 degrees int. and exh. respectively. All valves are titanium or "lighter" materials. Our springs are made to spec. by Associated Spring, with the exception of the titanium units.
Our cams differ considerably from conventional units inorder to allow the combustion space to be proper, ie., elimination of valve reliefs,etc. All our cams stagger the intake valve opening, however, the lift is the same, and both close at the same time. Typical stagger is 10 degrees on innitial opening, so the acceleration rates are considerably different for each intake valve, and thus the differing weight materials. Spring pressures are determined by spin fixtures, and are the absolute minimum necessary to precent valve separation and seat bounce.
The cams for the blower engines have "lots" of lobe separation and little or no "conventional " overlap. Typical duration for a 1000 hp engine are in the 245 range for intake and 215 for exhaust. Lift never exceeds .500", it's simply not necessary, and the additional spring pressure required to control the valve would negate any potential power gain.
I might mention that the n/a cam specs were based on 116 degree lobe centers, and in an engine with 1175 cc. displacement (and correspondingly smaller valves) produced over 275 hp. with a usable rev range from 8500 to 14,500rpm.
Another subject quickly. If I don't provide an answer to a question, it's either because I've not sufficient time (like now) , the question is so far back that I don't catch it, or in many cases other board members have provided accurate answers.
Time to sleep...highest power...Tinker Bell is currently at 1100 and change now that the fuel curve is getting close. We're moving slowly as there are precious few block castings remaining, and the billet crank cost a lot in time. We will see more, rest assured.
....................................T.O.O. ............................................
 

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I would love to see it. It would be a hell of a cool project.

You could probably add something like 15mm in there (rod length and deck height) and get a pretty decent rod ratio without making everything too wildly different or making the rods super heavy. Then rev the piss out of it.
 

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High R/S is used in displacement-limited racing when they start with an RPM number then work backwards (design the head ports/cam/pistons/etc around it)
I always have to roll my eyes at the guys that bring F1 into the discussion and think they designed the motor around some magic ratio. :)
 

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I always have to roll my eyes at the guys that bring F1 into the discussion and think they designed the motor around some magic ratio. :)
I didn't say they work around a magic ratio, but I will elaborate all the same. Their engineering staff does the math on what will work with the current regs, and then takes a HIGHLY educated guess on the engine specs. Several decades building motors tends to help a bit. Unfortunately the same thing that helps an F1 motor spin won't help us much at all.


As for my reasoning for wanting to run a 1.5 stroke, you've essentially answered your own question; seeing that it will not make a big difference either way, why not run a setup with less sidewall load and a more "rev-happy" geometry, right?

I had a large wall of text mentioning LS vs GSR, F20B vs H23A, and 2.0L vs 2.4L stroker Evo motors. But i think the most effective will be a true story. It comes from Tony Palo, a man that knows fast Honda's. He had 2 Civics come in nearly the same time both using the same turbo kit, both made the same peak power. The difference was one was a stock LS & the other a stock B16A. They both ran at the same drag strip and the LS was consistently faster - both ET and trap speed. Tony said it was also more fun.



It's great that you're looking further than just "what turbo, how much boost", but you must look to see if their tangible benefits are truly better than "conventional".
 
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