Learning how to swap a B series into anything isn’t as hard as you might think, and our guide to DIY Honda engine swapping can assist you. Today we’ll be discussing how to swap a B series into another Honda chassis. For the purpose of this writeup, we’ll be lumping the 1992-1995 Honda Civic, the 1994-2001 Acura Integra and the 1994-1997 Del Sol into our DIY Guide.
This is because these engine bays and the dimensions of the axles, mounts and linkage needed are all very similar between these cars. The job of swapping a B series into any of these cars is fairly simple, and with some careful planning can be done in one day.
B Series Engines
There’s a reason why the B series is so widely swapped, and a lot of that has to do with how easy it is. Because it’s so common, the cheapest DOHC B series is typically the most swapped one, the B16A.
Like it’s other DOHC brothers, there’s many variants of the B16 and years of production. It can be difficult to track down exactly what B16 you own, and finding just the right B16 can be confusing at best. We’ll begin with some of the most common B16 swaps, and what you’ll need to get the job done.
Use the rest of our How To Swap a B Series DIY guide to pick out the engine you want, to swap into your EG, DC or Del Sol.
B16A3 – 1994-1997 Honda Del Sol
As stated previously the Del Sol shares many dimensions and similarities to the Acura Integra, so this swap is as easy as it gets. Swapping in a JDM B16A is as easy and straightforward as removing your old B16.
Much like the B16A3 the JDM B16A can be found in the 1992-1997 JDM CRX Del Sol SiR as well as the JDM Civic SiR and SiRII. Most of these JDM powerplants will be similar in power and delivery as the USDM Del Sol engine.
Other options include the B16A2 found in the 1999-2000 Honda Civic Si and the JDM B16A found in the 1996-2000 Honda Civic SiRII. There’s also a super rare option that isn’t known to everyone, the B16B Type R engine in the JDM Civic Type R.
B18 – 1994-2001 Acura Integra
Like it’s other DOHC brothers, the B18 comes in many different vehicles and covers several production years. Everyone should be aware of the B18B the non VTEC version of the DOHC B18 found in the Acura Integra GS and LS from 1994-2001. The VTEC version of this engine is of course the B18C1, or the GSR variant, which includes Honda’s variable timing technology VTEC.
Because this engine is naturally found in the 1994-2001 Acura Integra, there isn’t much reason to perform this swap if you already own a Integra. If you happen to have a non VTEC version and want to know how to build a reliable LS VTEC, or what parts go into a reliable LS VTEC, check our guide here.
For those choosing a JDM VTEC DOHC engine, the B18C is a readily found powerplant that’s from a 1995-1997 Acura Integra SiR-G. Sticking to USDM for BAR or legal swap purposes? Check out the B18C1 and the B18C5, found in the Acura Integra GSR and Type R respectively.
For a complete guide on what mounts you require, what transmission will mount to the B18 or what you are swapping it into, check our Honda Swap Guides – what fits what article.
B20 – Honda CR-V and S-MX
Deviating a bit from it’s cousins, the B20 is a very capable all around engine that is quite popular with the LS VTEC crowd. With a larger displacement of 2.0 liters, the B20 VTEC conversion is known affectionately as the CR-VTEC. Possible donor engines are the B20B in the 1997-2000 Honda CR-V as well as the B20Z in the 1999-2000 JDM S-MX.
Like the B18, both engines are very similar in outward appearance, size and shape. Whether your goals are all-motor dominance or a purpose built turbocharged demon, the B20 is a great base to start your Honda swap. There’s one caveat to the B20, and it’s an important one to know if you want to learn How To Swap a B Series.
The B20 variants found in the 1988-1991 Honda Preludes share the name and moniker of the B20, but are no where near as useful or interchangeable. You are best served by leaving these B20’s behind, and discarding them from your pool of selectable engines. This includes but is not limited to the B20A3, the B20A5 as well as the B21A1 engines.
Sadly the B20 is also classified as a light truck engine, meaning it can never pass an emissions test in your Honda. If you plan on swapping or building a 2.0 liter Honda swap, and want 50 state legality, you may have to use a bit of imagination to get this accomplished.
Building a LS VTEC and having it stroked to 2.0 liters is definitely a great way to go about this legal issue.
Q: What transmission will fit my B series?
A : You are best served by sticking to the generation of transmission to fit your vehicle. Buying an adapter to go from cable to hydro and hydro to cable can be expensive and needlessly complicate your engine swap.
Q: How do I know which hydro transmission I have?
A: Great question, and sadly one that doesn’t have a very good answer. The very same interchangeability and flexible fitment we enjoy when it comes to swapping a Honda engine, is one that prevents us from identifying transmissions. Honda uses a sticker to identify what is what, and sadly a lot of people get suckered into buying something that isn’t what it truly is.
Because these transmissions all look alike and have many of the same markings, it can be almost impossible to tell a plain Jane USDM Integra GS gearbox from a Honda Civic Type R limited slip gearbox without the sticker. Try to stick to a trusted source for your Honda hydro transmission, so that you can be sure of what you are receiving.
That does it for our How To Swap a B Series DIY guide, if you have any questions or comments regarding this article, leave them for us below.