[thanks to ricey mcricerton on honda-tech]
Some intro swap information
Switching OBD motors
Many people think that swapping in a pre OBDI motor into their 92+ Civic is a good idea. I disagree. First, you'll have to swap the car from OBDI to OBD0 ot try and change the motor to OBDI. If you get a swap older than a 1991, you have to deal with the cable to hydro tranny conversion. The 1992-1993 Integra is the oddball swap of the bunch, being OBD1 and cable tranny. Your stock Civic has a hydraulic transmission.
Swapping from OBDII to OBDI is a common thing more and more now. Although the idea is quite good, it has flaws. If you use a jumper harness, it is very difficult to get the ECM to fit back in it's original location. Also, unless you feel like changing things back at inspection time, it's going to be impossible to pass in some areas. Now places are implementing OBDII testing that will have the tester plug a computer into your OBDII port to check for legality (no pulling the check engine light bulbs anymore to pass).
General swap info and tips
This could be better covered by someone with more swap experience, but I'll put in my $.02. Do it from the top. Just because more people have access to the tools and locations where putting in a swap from the top is easier. Also, make sure you have some way to crack the axle nuts loose. Air tools are a lifesaver when you have to turn bolts in a job like this, as is a torque wrench and a GOOD set of sockets.
If you can follow directions on here and unbolt things and rebolt them with a little wiring, you can do a swap.
Honestly, unless these come from a friend in Japan, you're taking a gamble every time. You have no real way to know how many miles are on the engine, nor how it was treated. Just keep that in mind. It has not been proven (no matter how many claims) that these JDM motors make any more HP.
Where to find them
First of all, if you are looking for a USDM motor, I'll suggest local junkyards. They are probally your best bet, as you can look at what you're getting instead of having to order it.
Now before someone jumps on me and says anything is possible with enough time and money, I know. These are going to be fairly straightforward options with the pros/cons.
D series swaps
These are fairly inexpensive and come in a variety of Civics. IMHO, these are the easiest swaps to drop in. I also don't want to hear a bunch of whining about the opinions on power levels. Of course there are going to be some exceptions to the rule.
Decent potential (200 whp or so on stock internals)
OEM parts are cheap
More than enough for most people
The best D series come with ~130 hp tops
Optional factory LSD in the JDM D15B
Not as much potential as some other motors
Transmission not geared for accelleration
Don't respond to bolt ons well
Only way to get real power out of them is FI
These can be found in the JDM SIR and SIRII (among other JDM cars, which I don't claim to know all of which it came in) as well as the USDM 99-00 SI (EM1) and the 99-00 Canadian SIR.
160 hp stock
High RPM power
113ft/lbs torque (very little more than a D16z6 stock)
Without knowing what you're looking for you can end up with a high mileage JDM model
Under 4k or so it feels just like a D16
This is the motor in the non Type-R and non GSR Integra.
Good torque for a 1.8L (127 ft/lbs)
Inexpensive (even cheaper than a B16)
142 hp (more than any stock D series)
Boost heads love them
Longest B series transmission
B18C1 (or JDM B18C)
These come out of an Integra GSR.
Good Hp and TQ numbers (170, 121 ft/lbs respectively)
Tons of potential
Becoming moreso as people keep scooping them up
Slighty longer tranny than the ITR and B16
B18C5 (or JDM B18C)
This is found in the Integra Type-R. IMHO this is the best swap for a Civic.
GREAT HP and TQ numbers (195 and 134 ft/lbs)
Hand built motor from Honda
Optional factory LSD
Best transmission for a B series from the factory
Red valve cover
If JDM ITR is used, the 36mm axle 32mm hub problems occur
This is the motor found in the Civic Type R found all over the world.
185 hp 117 ft/lbs
Good top end power
Red valve cover
Expensive- almost as much as an ITR for lower performance
Very little torque still, have to rev the motor to make power
This motor is found in the Honda CRV.
Great torque (133 ft/lbs)
good boost motors
Thin cylinder walls
Have to peice together a swap for a Civic (can't drop it in with a B20 tranny)
Won't pass BAR (light truck motor in a car)
Low hp in the B20b(126 hp)
The H22 is found in Honda Preludes
H22=156 ft/lbs torque
F20B=145 ft/lbs torque
DONT WEIGH THAT MUCH MORE THAN A B SWAP!!
Harder to install than a B/D motor
transmission feel is vague IMHO
Less info out there for the swap (aka, less experience as they are less common)
Price of swap is comperable to a B18C5 after everything is said and done (mounts, etc)
This can be found in the new EP3, the RSX (base and Type S) as well as other cars across the world (RSX R, etc). This is the future of the swap IMHO. There is a writeup on installing one of these in one issue of Sport Compact Car magazine (June 2004 I *think*)
200 hp 158 ft/lbs torque (RSX R)
Respond VERY well to bolt ons
6 speed transmission
Most have very low miles
Still super expensive
More difficult swap than a B or D
Well, there you have it people. I've outlined some of the pros cons on some of the most popular swaps.
Most of these HP/TQ numbers were taken from Hmotors online if I didn't know them. Don't bite my head off if they aern't correct. I don't claim to be a walking encyclopedia, so I have had some help.
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