Project Honda EJ Civic:  Building the B18C1 Part IV
By Chuck Johnson
Photos by Joe Lu
Admittedly, Project Honda Civic EJ has taken the proverbial backseat to our project land speed racer 240SX in the last year.  With Speed Week over, the crew and I have been playing catch up on our Project Honda Civic EJ.  In particular, with the long rod, high compression engine build.
We selected a combination of OEM Honda and Skunk2 hardware for our B18C1 valvetrain.  
In our last installment of Project Honda Civic EJ, we had just begun the assembly of the bottom end of our B18C1 engine.   With the bottom end complete, we could now shift our attention towards the assembly of our B18C1’s cylinder head and the completion of Project Honda Civic EJ’s engine build.
When it comes to cylinder heads Tom Fujita of Port Flow Designs is truly a master at work.  
What now seems like eons ago, we had Tom Fujita of Port Flow Design rebuild and port our cylinder head.  Read up here for more details on Port Flow Design’s head work
The valves inside of Project Civic EJ's B18C1 were recut to keep the cost down.   
Since our valves were in relatively good shape still, Tom Fujita was able to regrind each of the valves which thankfully prevented us from sliding down the costly slope of purchasing new valves.  I say "costly" because we surely would not have been able to resist the temptation of purchasing a set of stainless steel and or Inconel oversized valves albeit given a reasonable excuse.  
Knowing that we were going to turn some serious RPM on our B18C1 in an attempt to reap the rewards of our long rod combination, we ditched any last temptations of oversize valves and instead, invested into insuring adequate valvetrain stability.  A set of valve springs properly designed for the camshafts profile and intended RPM is a critical component in insuring proper valve motion as well as timely opening and closing events at high RPM.  Or put simply, a valve spring’s job is to ensure that a valve’s motion follows that which is intended by the camshaft's lobe profiles.
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Tuesday, March 19, 2013 5:51 AM
Side boob!

What's your take on the wear of titanium retainers? All the research I've done says 6 of one, half dozen the other. Some say they wear out quickly and must be replaced every month, and others claim to have DD'd on them for 10 years and they're still pristine.
Tuesday, March 19, 2013 6:44 AM
Titanium is harder and stronger than steel as well as lighter. Whoever is saying they wear out is probably not setting their valve lash correctly.
Tuesday, March 19, 2013 4:39 PM
So just help me out here, i can appreciate the fact that power is power BUT why use the skunk 2 header with the "wrong" cylinder pairing?

Most 4-2-1 B series headers is see out there are constructed with ground clearance being the primary focus, cylinder pairing be damned. The only headers i have come across that appear to pair the "right" cylinders are DC sports, Toda and Toda replica's (i know replica is a bad word here lol)

Are you able to say why the Skunk 2 headers were chosen over say a DC sports or Bisimoto?

I suppose I do know the underlying reason and granted if I got subsidized/discounted/free parts hell yes I would rock them.

For reference this is what I am referring to:
Tuesday, March 19, 2013 5:20 PM
@Nikko, an interesting thing is that all the 4-cylinder sport bike engines also pair up 1-2 and 3-4. I've always wondered about that... And I checked their firing order: 1-2-4-3. So you would think ideally,, 1-4 and 2-3 would be the pairs. But I looked up CBR, GSX-R, and R1 headers and firing orders and they are all 1-2 and 3-4 on the cylinder pairing in the headers.
Mike Kojima
Mike Kojimalink
Tuesday, March 19, 2013 8:50 PM
The Skunk headers were chosen because I wanted to try them and see how much power they could make. We were originally going to test all the parts one at a time but Annie sorta hurt the motor at Buttonwillow and,well that went out the window.
Tuesday, March 19, 2013 9:38 PM
Titanium is neither harder nor stronger than steel. A simple google search will prove that out. It does have a greater strength to weight ratio than steel, which likely makes it a decent material for a retainer.
Wednesday, March 20, 2013 10:18 AM
Looking forward to this rebuild since my supercharged B18C1 with 201,900 miles on it, 100,000 of those boosted, will give me an excuse to rebuild it eventually. Plus I have always liked seeing what works and what doesn't work.

Is there any way that you could include a cost analysis associated with what you have done with this rebuild? I think that would be helpful in some respects in what to expect to spend for a high end rebuild.
OMG Its Weasel
OMG Its Weasellink
Wednesday, March 20, 2013 11:06 AM
I miss my B-series Honda. This project doesn't help either.
Must. Resist. Urges.

:opens up craigslist autos for sale, begins searching:

This website is unhealthy for my wallet, thanks Mike!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013 1:58 PM
I have seen those funky headers on bikes but they also come with different length velocity stacks unlike the B series.

I figured it would be something along those lines of sponsorship, just making sure it wasn't a case of do as I say not as I do lol.

Will you guys be using their new Ultra series intake manifold on it?

I am interested to see the outcome for sure.
Wednesday, March 20, 2013 11:03 PM
@Nikko, I looked at more motorcycle headers and this one; I think it really just comes down to packaging. A 4-1 collector is tough to fit under vehicles with minimal ground clearance. So you merge pairs of cylinders resulting in one more merge you have to make a little bit further down.

Notice that the primaries are much longer than the secondaries on the sportbike headers and this Skunk2 header. On more typical tri-Y headers, the primaries and secondaries tend to be closer to equal length (makes sense to give a wider powerband; short primary tuned for max rpm, total length (primary + secondary) is double the primary which should tune for about half of max rpm giving a wide powerband.

Anyway, I think it's more for packaging reasons than anything.
Wednesday, March 20, 2013 11:06 PM
In case my point wasn't clear, it's ideally trying to be a 4-into-1 header, but has to do the non-optimal cylinder pairing for packaging reasons.
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