Topic: Honda D Series Engines

The Honda D engine is a family of inline 4-cylinder engines used in a variety of compact Honda models, most commonly the Honda Civic, CRX, Logo, Stream, and first-generation Integra. Its displacement ranges between 1.2 and 1.7 liters and is available in SOHC and DOHC versions; with some SOHC models equipped with VTEC. Power range started from 62 hp (currently the smallest engine uses a 1.4 L 90 hp (67 kW) engine, code D14A4) to 135 hp (101 kW). The D-series was introduced in 1984 and ended production in 2005 with the introduction of the 8th generation Honda Civic.
JDM D15B VTEC Swap into USDM 1988 CRX DX (slightly modified).
JDM D15B VTEC Swap into USDM 1988 CRX DX (slightly modified).

Although the availability of used D-series engines at low prices makes it somewhat popular among those who modify it for high performance (as well as a popular item for swapping into earlier or less powerful Civics for an instant and trouble free power upgrade), the unmodified engine won't survive quite as much power enhancement by use of such external modifications as turbochargers, superchargers, or nitrous oxide as the more powerful, somewhat more robust, and more expensive B-series in the Integra.

The Achilles heel of the D-series seems to be its connecting rods, which will withstand a power increase up to a certain point but will break if that limit is exceeded. Generally, a D-series motor can handle up to about 220 bhp, as long as care is taken to avoid detonation through careful spark and fuel management. Of course, the connecting rods, pistons, and other internal parts can be replaced with more durable after market parts that can handle more power, but many choose to swap to a B-series motor to avoid the potential risks of engine building. In all practicality though, the B series is much more expensive to swap in than most D-series engine builds with forced induction or nitrous combined. The D-series also has the ability to swap some parts between different motors and among some B-series parts as well.

When employing forced induction on a D16, at a minimum the stock hypereutectic pistons should be replaced as well as the connecting rods if the commonly used "stock parts" limit of 220 hp (164 kW) is to be exceeded, although the D series crankshaft in particular has been found to reliably handle up to 600 hp (450 kW).

High compression OEM pistons are a quick way to gain horsepower in a naturally aspirated motor. All D-series motors run the same bore (75 mm), however most factory motor variations (i.e. D16A1, D15B7, D16Y7) have used a different piston compression height as well as a different dome or dish. In general, the older D motors have a higher compression height and a larger combustion chamber which create around a 9.1:1 - 9.4:1 compression ratio from the factory. The newer variants have slightly lower compression height combined with a much smaller combustion chamber to create a compression ratio of 9.4:1 - 9.9:1. Now if you combine an older D16 motor's piston with that of a newer D16 head you can end up with a compression ratio of about 10.7:1 with no other work (i.e. D16A1 piston, D16A6 head). There are a few websites that have compression ratio calculators for Honda motors.

    * D16 and D17 cranks share the same size main bearing diameters.

    * D16 and D17 rods all have the same major dimensions. The D15 rod is shorter (in general) and has a smaller bearing size, although the wrist pin bore is the same.

    * D15Z1 and D15B motors have a rod that is the same length as a D16. Other than the rod length, the rest of the bottom end is D15 spec (i.e. rod and crank bearings). D15B has D16 sized rod journals. D15B uses the same p28 rods that the D16z6 does. All other D15s have smaller rod journals.

    * The B18A/B Rod has the same bearing bore as a D16. It is 0.044" wider, so the sides of the "big end" of the rod have to be shaved down for use in a D16/17. The wrist pin bore is larger so a conventional D15/16/17 piston can only be used if the stock "small end" bushing in the rod is replaced with one of the proper size. These affordable rods are generally considered to be able to handle up to 300 hp (220 kW).

    * There is a D16 motor that runs on compressed natural gas (96-98 Civic GX). The pistons from that motor have a 12.5:1 CR. The wrist pin bore in the 98-00 D16B5 is 21 mm, like the B18B rod. D17A7 01-05 Civic GX uses 19 mm wrist pins.

    * Interestingly enough, the Suzuki Vitara has a 75 mm bore as well, so engine builders have occasionally used these pistons in the D16 motor. These pistons are commonly referred to as Vitaras, and they provide an 8.5:1 compression ratio, and thicker ring lands. Lowering the stock compression ratio lowers compression heat, which raises the detonation thresh-hold and is useful when employing forced induction. There have been reports of over 400hp to the front wheels utilizing these.

Mini-Me

One of the most popular and effective methods of achieving greater power from a D-series motor is replacing the cylinder head with one from a more powerful D-series motor. This is usually done between D16A6 and D16Z6 or D16Y7 and D16Y8 engines, however, can be performed in other combinations as well; such as a D16Z6 head on a D16Y7 or D15B2/B7 block. The Z6 and Y8 heads are VTEC (Variable Valve Timing and Lift Electronic Control) equipped, and increase horsepower significantly over stock levels. This operation is known as a "Mini Me" or partial swap. Mini Me's are popular because they offer a substantial performance upgrade by adding VTEC to the motor at a relatively low cost. Simply adding a VTEC head to a non-VTEC block will not increase horsepower alone. This is because the VTEC circuit must be activated and accompanied by a new 'high cam' fuel map from the car's ECU.

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Re: Honda D Series Engines

Hmm,Interesting..Thanks imi

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Re: Honda D Series Engines

hmmm can you put a D16 head on the d15z4 along with a managment system

just a question ?

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Re: Honda D Series Engines

Japfighter wrote:

hmmm can you put a D16 head on the d15z4 along with a managment system

just a question ?

Frank could shed some light on this....

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Re: Honda D Series Engines

Just a correction there but the DOHC heads are DOHC heads but the SOHC VTEC is the best head availible if u can find it, iv been researching it for swap on my D16A7. Type in dseries in wiki and check the OBD code on urs and on the head u want, to see if they match? Hope it helps.

Last edited by KIL390 (2008-05-29 21:02:30)

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Re: Honda D Series Engines

nice read man ....

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Re: Honda D Series Engines

Don lie u neva read dat!

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Re: Honda D Series Engines

Slow_on_takeoff wrote:

Don lie u neva read dat!

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Re: Honda D Series Engines

very cool

Re: Honda D Series Engines

top stuff man

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Re: Honda D Series Engines

can i fit a d15b sohc vtec head on my d15z4 block, will the pistons and rods and evrything work on that vtec head.

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Re: Honda D Series Engines

hi guys i 'm new here so plz excuse any stuff ups. I own a 92 ballade with the the d15b3 motor(carbed). I downloaded a service manual for a d1587, fi ,usa /canada model. Can i use the settings for the d15b7 on my d15b3. I'm trying to learn as much as i can. Geat read by the way. Lev

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Re: Honda D Series Engines

sorry i meant d15 b7  not  d15b7

Re: Honda D Series Engines

Nashied_Adams wrote:

can i fit a d15b sohc vtec head on my d15z4 block, will the pistons and rods and evrything work on that vtec head.

yes you can do dat.but its beta to put a complete d15b vtec motor

Re: Honda D Series Engines

jdm150turbo wrote:
Nashied_Adams wrote:

can i fit a d15b sohc vtec head on my d15z4 block, will the pistons and rods and evrything work on that vtec head.

yes you can do dat.but its beta to put a complete d15b vtec motor

That's true.. I've proven it... ^_^