Modding uprating the Honda B16 engine!

Modifying and improving: "B16 Modifications"

How to modify and upgrade the Honda B16

"Comprehensive guide to performance parts and tuning the Honda B16 engine!"

Forums like the one at TorqueCars often are seeing threads asking how to improve the B16 from people wanting to know what are the ultimate B16 power upgrades. So let us look into Honda B16 tuning mods and outline the best upgrades on this great engine and point out some problems along the way.

Our aim here is to outline options for your B16 tuning and show the ultimate mods that work. Honda B16 make a good tuning project and with the right modifications like a remap, turbo improvements and camshafts you will maximize your driving experience.

When talking about the best parts for your B16 engine, we are going to focus on the parts that give the best power gain for you money.

B16 induction kits

Improving air intake on the B16

You need air and fuel for an engine to work. If there is not enough fuel then it will run lean, if there is a lack of air it runs rich losing power . We'll pick up on fuelling later in this article but for now we shall look at air supply.

So it's important to any engine performance tuning project to force more air and fuel into each cylinder but this has a knock on effect with the air flow sensor.

It is not unusual that there is a restriction in the air flow sensor MAF/MAP on the B16 when loads more air is being drawn into the engine.

You'll see that 4 bar air sensors coping with quite large power gains, whereas the OEM air sensor was restricting bhp at a much lower level.

The intake plenum flow the air during the suck phase from the filter and allow it to be fed into the engine cylinders with fuel for the squish phase.

Structure and rate of flow of the air Intake manifold can make a noticeable improvement to fuel atomisation on the B16.

It's not uncommon that intake manifold are needing an upgrade, although some OEM provide decently flowing intake manifold.

Increasing the B16 valve size, getting port matching and head flowing will also boost bhp and torque, and as an added benefit will make space for raising the bhp and torque increase on other upgrades.

B16 performance cam tips.

Each engine responds better to more or less aggressive camshaft durations so set your engine up on a rolling road.

The map and fuel pump and injectors also have an effect on the power gains you'll get.

Longer valve durations can alter the power band and on most engines the exhaust and intake durations do not need to match, although most cams and tuners use matched pairs there are some advantages to extending the intake or exhaust durations.

Significant air intake, and exhaust improvements on the B16 can be made from camshaft upgrades. Changing the camshaft profile alters the intake and exhaust durations on the engine and can dramatically change the bhp and power output.

NB: Fast road camshafts commonly bump the torque across the rpm range, you could drop a little bottom end torque but the higher rpm power will improve.

Motorsport and race camshafts, bump the higher rpm power band but as a result the car will not idle smoothly and low end power nearly always suffers.

A Race camshaft will just annoy you whilst driving around busy urban areas.

You should ideally optimize your torque band to your preferences so for a car used daily stick with a shorter duration B16 camshaft

Stage 1, 2 and 3 mods for the B16

Before we break the best tuning upgrades down into stages of tune, let's list the most effective tuning upgrades for you.

  1. Suspension Upgrades - always improve your cars handling
  2. Brake Upgrades - Even before adding power improve those brakes
  3. Intake - make sure the intake is not restricted, use filters and intake upgrades to improve this
  4. Exhaust - as with 3 ensure there is not restriction in the exhaust, cats are the usual bottleneck
  5. Tunes - remapping, piggyback ECU's and aftermarket ECU's can all make decent gains
  6. Fuelling - when you've increased power you'll need to match this with more fuel
  7. Turbo upgrades - Improving the intake with a large turbo and better flowing intercooler will be the biggest power gain you'll see (but one of the most complex).

This video guide to tuning cars is a great starting point to work from in your project.

Stage 1 B16 parts:

Panel air filters, Drilled & smoothed airbox, Remaps/piggy back ECU, Fast road camshaft, Intake headers, Sports exhaust manifold.

Stage 2 B16 parts:

induction kit, high flow fuel injectors, Sports catalyst & performance exhaust, Ported and polished head, fuel pump upgrades, Fast road cam.

Tuning tips and articles Engine tuning Transmission tuning Care care Intake & exhaust mods Improve handling Forums

Stage 3 B16 parts:

Competition cam, Adding or Upgrading forced induction (turbo/supercharger), Crank and Piston upgrades to alter compression, Twin charging conversions, Engine balancing & blueprinting, Internal engine upgrades (head flowing porting/bigger valves).

Review your options and then acquire your parts and set yourself a power target to avoid disappointment.

ECU mapping will help to establish the full potential of all the upgrades you've done to your B16.

You will typically expect to see gains of approximately 20-30% more power on turbocharged vehicles and you can expect to see around 15% on NASP engines, but your mileage usually differs on the upgrades you've done and the condition of your engine.

Turbo modifications on the B16

To get a turbo working on a NASP engine there is a lot involved, from lowering compression ratio to improved fuel supply and mapping, so we have found a great guide to helpavoid the common pitfalls or end up with an unfinished project because you were not told what you were getting into by doing this on the B16.

The more air you can get into an engine, the more fuel it can burn and uprating the induction with a turbocharger upgrade makes major power gains.

When your car has forced induction parts are relatively easy and most turbo engines are made with many forged and stronger components.

There are reliable limits for every engine, with some being incredibly solid and some just sufficiently able to handle stock power

See where you'll find these restrictions and upgrade to higher quality components to survive the power.

We see many tuners spending a fortune on turbocharger upgrades on the B16 only to suffer the humiliation of seeing the engine block go up in smoke soon after it's used in anger.

Big upgraded turbochargers commonly suffer a bottom end lag, and little turbochargers spool up much more quickly but do not have the peak end bhp gains.

We are pleased that the world of turbos is always improving and we are seeing variable vane turbos, where the vane angle is altered according to speed to lower lag and increase top end bhp and torque.

Twin scroll turbos divert the exhaust flow into 2 channels and feed these at differently angled vanes in the turbo charger. They also increase the scavenging effect of the engine.

Beefing up the air intake by adding a supercharger or additional turbo will help you achieve very large bhp and torque gains, although harder to configure. We have this article on twincharging if you want to read more.

Tips about fuel supply on the B16

Don't omit to boost the fuel delivery when you are increasing the bhp and torque - it makes the car more thirsty. Experienced mechanics will tell you to be generous with your flow rate on the injectors.

The accepted safe increase is to add 20% to the flow rate when fitting an injector, this takes into account injector deterioration and gives a bit of spare capacity should the engine need more fuel.

Don't forget that different fuel grades will usually require different settings, a high octane fuel will burn more efficiently than lower octane fuel for example. A car will trim fuel supply to keep within the ideal air fuel mix but at the extreme ends you may need to adjust your injector capacity, or the mapping or you'll get flat spots and potential lean or rich fuel issues..

Recommended B16 performance exhaust upgrades

You may need to uprate your exhaust system with an upgraded one is if the existing exhaust is creating a restriction.

On most factory exhausts you'll find the flow rate is good even on modest power gains, but on a serious tuning project with a big boost in power you will certainly need to get a better flowing exhaust.

Sports exhausts generally help improve air flow through the engine but avoid an exhaust that is too wide or you could will reduce the flow rate. Stick to one and a half to two and half inches for best results.

The usual suspects causing problems in your exhaust flow rate can be located the catalyst installed, so adding a higher flowing race alternative will help avoid this restriction.

Decat pipes (NB:catalysts reduce harmful engine emissions) is illegal in most countries and regions.

Faults issues and things to look out for on the B16

Like most engines an B16, should have few issues if it gets properly serviced and looked after.

We cannot stress enough the need for oil changes with the correct grade of oil on the B16, failure to do this will exacerbate engine wear, on a tuned B16 this is more important than ever and close attention should be paid to your maintenance schedule.

If you are interested in learning more or getting impartial tuning advice for your B16 why not pop over to the forums at TorqueCars where you can chat about B16 tuning options and read about others projects who may be planning to do similar modifications on their B16.

We need your help to complete and improve this page, so do give us your feedback in the comments box below.

We want to know your experiences with upgrades on your B16, it helps us improve our tips and keeps us current so please use the comments box to drop a tip.

If you liked this page please share it with your friends, drop a link to it in your favourite forum or use the bookmarking options to save it to your social media profile.

Check out TorqueCars new YouTube channel, and see their awesome new content...


Please use our forums if you wish to ask a tuning question, and please note we do not sell parts or services, we are just an online magazine.

Help us improve, leave a suggestion or tip

Your Constructive comments on this article