Project Honda Civic EJ: Building the B18C1 Part V
By Chuck Johnson
Photos By Joe Lu
In our last installment of Project Honda Civic EJ, we thoroughly explored the Harlem Shake phenomenon and also partially completed the assembly of our B18C1’s valve train.  Now equipped with Skunk2 valve springs and titanium retainers; the cylinder head of our B18C1 engine is ready for completion.  Next on this list? A set of Pro1+ camshafts, Skunk2 adjustable cam gears, and an ARP stud kit. 
The B18C1 rocker shaft is hollow in the center allowing pressurized oil to be channeled down to each set of rocker arms, a critical component in making that V-TEC magic happen.
While installing the rocker assembly, it helps to use a rubber band to keep the primary, mid and secondary rocker arms together as an assembly.  This  also helps ensure that the locking pin used for V-TEC engagement doesn’t fall out.  We didn’t have enough rubber bands, so we found Annie Sam’s secret stash of new hair bands and used those instead.  Sorry Annie.
Once the rocker shaft was completely installed, we removed the band around each rocker arm and shifted our attention towards preparing for the installation of the cylinder head.
Since our factory head bolts, had seen hundreds of thousands of miles of service, we opted to replace them with an ARP stud kit.  (Regardless of mileage, it is recommended to replace the head bolts.)  Before installing the ARP studs, each hole was chased and cleaned out to be certain that any debris that could cause false torque readings or improper thread engagement was removed.  With our ARP head studs being installed into a blind hole, we could not measure their stretch, which is the ideal method to measuring the preload of a fastener.  Instead, we used a common torque wrench.  In doing so, we made sure to use the fastener lube supplied by ARP to ensure proper torque readings. 
Installing the studs and nuts without the ARP fastener lube can falsely manipulate the torque reading due to the increase in friction.  This could result in the stretch and preload of the stud being lower than specified.
The ARP stud, washer, and nut configuration promotes the fastener to stretch in a vertical axis instead of both stretching and twisting from torsional forces like an OEM bolt would.  This results in more accurate torque readings and insures that optimal clamping forces have been achieved.  In addition, the fatigue strength of the ARP studs is improved by rolling the threads after the heat treating process. Doing so deforms the material of the stud and introduces compressive stresses into the threads, improving the fatigue strength of the ARP studs.
The washers are precision ground to produce a high level of parallelism between the mating faces.  This parallelism helps ensure that the studs can be accurately torqued and that the clamping force does not degrade over time.


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Thursday, May 09, 2013 7:10 AM

When do we get to hear the mAd vtEc sounds on the dyno, y0?
Nyborg Garage
Nyborg Garagelink
Thursday, May 09, 2013 11:09 PM
Very cool project. The skunk2 pro-series cams work very well.

You should do a test of the new Skunk2 Ultra Street manifold on this engine. It seems like a very good manifold for its price.
Friday, May 10, 2013 10:18 AM
I'd seriously reconsider those cam gears. I had a set of them crack at each of the bolts as have other people. Skunk tried to claim it was from overtightening but I found that they were improperly machined and that the two halves sit on an angle rather than flat. When tightened down the pieces are stressed leading to cracks.
Friday, May 10, 2013 11:16 AM
How will debris in the head threads cause poor tq. readings when installing studs? These are not torqued by spinning the bolt/stud but by spinning the nut on top.
Friday, May 10, 2013 12:05 PM
@ bc: don't you torque the studs in the head?
Chuck Johnson
Chuck Johnsonlink
Saturday, May 11, 2013 9:53 AM
Hi BC, it's a good point that you make. I think that chasing and cleaning the threads is just a matter of best practice. It does help insure proper thread engagement but after some thought, may not have a large impact on torque readings. However, I think I recall the stud rotating a little bit during the tightening sequence. How big of an impact a gummed up thread would have though, I'm honestly not sure. If anything, I think it would be more of a consideration for maintaining the same torque and/or stretch over time.
Sunday, June 16, 2013 1:17 PM
This has been talked about in other parts of the build but i will bring it up in this thread as it is newer. First off if I am correct you are basically mating B16b rods with USDM B16a pistions in a b18c block and crank. Any one that needs proof check this link http://www.zealautowerks.com/bseries.html and put the parts in and you will see.
To me this points out two things 1 their is not as much difference in rod ratio from what you are using and using honda ones other than being able to slightly increase rod bearing size and making it just slightly longer rods. Plus side of this you slightly strengthened the bottom end. 2 at your target compression ratio and what your clearance is after decking both block and head, not including new cams you had to cut the crap out of the piston size even after moving the wrist pin (22.95:1 vs your 11.5:1) as well as possibly shorting the valve stems. I would love to see the pictures of the custom pistons vs the stock b16 ones for a compression. On top of that mad props of keeping the oil jets you will need more cooling/lucubration at the wrist pin. About the ARP studs cleaning the threads is still required if I rember correctly you pre torque the studs going in to the head then tightening the bult will drive them farther in so yes any trash in threads will still throw your torque readings off.

Last question what is your target RPM I may have missed that B16b was 9k rev limit. I would guess with everything you have done including lower rotating mass of the pistons after a good blue print and balance 10.5 to 11k limit is not to far out of the question as long as hp and tq hold out and the head still flows ;). Also as this is supposed to be a budget build what did the custom pistons run you vs a stock or aftermarket clone forge price. IF i rember correctly its been about 5 years my P30's were about $90 a piece with rings
Chuck Johnson
Chuck Johnsonlink
Sunday, June 16, 2013 2:01 PM
Hi, just to clarify we are using a forged version of Nissan QR25DE connecting rods along with a piston with a shorter compression height. You can find the article of how we did that here:


The article above should help clarify things a bit better. Other than that, we are planning on turning a modest 9K for reliability. This really depends on where the power begins to drop off though.
Sunday, June 16, 2013 2:17 PM
I read all the previous articles and see what you are saying and think its a grate unique project. I was just point out what you did vs using the factory parts available to achieve a similar goal with less fabrications. This would eliminate the uniqueness of the project though. All I was hoping for was a picture comparison between factory pr3 (same compression pistons) vs the ones you are using; to see a size difference same with the valves. That was the only point apparently that point was missed. Looking forward to the dyno results though should be interesting.
Chuck Johnson
Chuck Johnsonlink
Sunday, June 16, 2013 4:05 PM
Sorry, I missed the point. Damn the internet! :) Unfortunately I dont have a comparison photo. What I can tell you though is our piston is shorter in compression height (center of pin to the piston deck) than a stock honda piston. .209" shorter to be exact. The dome is just a bit taller due to the slight bump in compression ratio also. Hope that helps visualize things a bit. Thanks for the compliments on the project:)
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