Modding and performance tuning parts for the Honda B17 engine!

All you need to know about "B17 Modifications"

B17 Modifications Guide

How to modify and upgrade the Honda B17

"Comprehensive guide to tuning the Honda B17 engine!"

TorqueCars are regularly getting messages asking about how to improve the B17 from people wanting to know what are the best tips for B17 upgrades. So let us look into Honda B17 upgrades and outline the best mods that work on this great engine and point out some problems along the way.

Car Tuning Tips will review B17 tuning and provide tips on the ultimate modifications. Honda B17 offer good returns when tuned and with the right sports mods like remapping, turbo kits and camshafts you will definitely increase your driving fun.

When talking about the optimum parts for your B17 engine, we are going to concentrate on the mods that give the best value for money.

B17 induction kits

Improving air intake on the B17

You need air matched to fuel for an engine to work. If there is too little fuel then it will run lean, if there is too little air it runs rich resulting in lost power . We'll pick up on fuelling later in this article but for now we shall look at air supply.

So Forcing more air into each cylinder is the aim to any tuning project.

It is common that there's a limitation in the air flow sensor AFM/MAF on the B17 when considerably more air is being fed into the engine.

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

Air Intake manifolds flow the air during the suck phase from the air cleaner and allow it to be sucked into the engine cylinders with fuel for the squish phase.

The shape and flow rate of the Intake headers can make a big improvement to fuel atomisation and engine efficiency on the B17.

It's not uncommon that intake are begging for an upgrade, although a few makers provide fairly well optimized intake.

Big valve conversions on the B17, doing some port matching and head flowing will also increase power, and importantly will raise potential for raising the power increase on other modifications.

B17 performance cam tips.

Each engine responds better to less aggressive camshaft durations than others.

The engine timing and fuel pump and injectors also will say much on the power gains you'll hit.

A longer valve duration 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.

The cam profile plays a big part in the engines power output so cam upgrades make quite a large difference. The intake & exhaust durations will alter depending on the chosen cam profile, so large torque gains are on offer for cam upgrades.

NB: Fast road camshafts tend to push up the bhp and torque throughout the rev range, you could sacrifice a little bottom end torque but high end rpm power will be higher.

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

For a car driven daily you should ideally to match your power band to your driving style.

I'd be shocked if you have ever thought a B17 Competition cam is a pleasure to live with when driving around busy urban areas.

Stage 1, 2 and 3 mods for the B17

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 B17 parts:

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

Stage 2 B17 parts:

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

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

Stage 3 B17 parts:

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

The B17 power trains are fantastic to work on and thanks to their popularity there is a lot of upgrades and performance parts out there.

Remaps helps unlock the full potential of all the tuning mods you've done to your B17.

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 results often depend much on the tuning mods you've applied and the condition of your engine.

Turbo modifications on the B17

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 B17.

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

If a car is fitted with a turbo modifications are relatively easy and you will discover turbo charged engines use stronger components.

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

Discover these restrictions and install better pistons and crank to survive the power.

We see many drivers spending a fortune on turbo charger upgrades on the B17 only to experience the whole thing throw a rod soon after it's first rolling road session.

Bigger upgraded turbo units commonly experience a bottom end lag, and smaller turbo units spool up quickly but won't have the peak rpm power band gains.

We are pleased that the market of turbo chargers is always developing and we are seeing variable vane turbo chargers, permitting the vane profile is altered according to speed to lower lag and increase top end bhp.

Twin scroll turbo chargers divert the exhaust flow into a couple of channels and feed these at differently profiled vanes in the turbocharger. 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 torque gains, although more complex to configure. We have this article covering twinchargers if you want to read more.

Tips about fuel supply on the B17

When you raise the torque you will need to ramp up to the fuel delivery.

More torque needs more fuel. Don't forget to be generous with your injector capacity.

The rule of thumb is to add 20% capacity when buying an injector, this accounts for injector deterioration and provides a little 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 B17 performance exhaust upgrades

You only need to to boost your exhaust system with an upgraded one is if the existing exhaust is actually causing a restriction in flow.

On most factory exhausts you should find that the exhaust flow rate is still 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 balance the flow of gases through the engine.

But if the exhaust is too large, ie: it's over two and a half inches diameter, you will lose a lot of the flow rate and end up lacking power and torque.

Usual exhaust restrictions are traced to the emissions filters installed, so adding a higher flowing sports alternative will help avoid this restriction.

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

Faults issues and things to look out for on the B17

Like most engines an B17, 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 B17, failure to do this will exacerbate engine wear, on a tuned B17 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 B17 why not pop over to the forums at TorqueCars where you can chat about B17 tuning options and read about others projects who may be planning to do similar modifications on their B17.

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 tuning mods on your B17, 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