The April 1998 issue of Hot Rod magazine featured 2 engine buildup stories: one a "high tech" turbo Honda engine built by JG Engine Dynamics, and an "old tech" Buick 455 V8. Hot Rod, unlike most "sport compact car" magazines, gets into the details of the engines in featured cars and the costs to build. Both made 500 horsepower, but the Honda cost almost 3 times what the Buick cost . Basically, they threw away the bottom end of the Honda, since in stock form the Honda cannot withstand the pressures of making 500 HP. They basically rebuilt the block with ductile iron cylinder sleeves and closed the open block deck by welding in a deck plate.The pistons and rods were replaced with expensive aftermarket pieces.
The "low tech" Buick used nearly all stock parts with the exception of ported stock heads, an aftermarket cam, aluminum intake manifold and headers. The Buick's short block uses a stock rods,crank, and block. It will make 500 HP using ordinary premium pump gas, while the Honda needs expensive racing gas to make the full 500 hp.
The Buick engine was installed in a large 3950 lb. Buick GS and ran the quarter mile in 11.59 secs. It would be much quicker if the engine was put in a lighter car, like a Nova, Skylark, or Ventura. According to JG Engine Dynamics, their Honda engines usually run low 11sec. - quarter-miles in a 2500 lb.Civic.
Keep in mind that the Buick 455 is not even a popular engine to modify; parts for Buick engines are more expensive than more common Chevys. But for the same price as ONE high-strung, grenade-waiting- to-detonate Honda engine, TWO mild, more durable "old tech" Buick V8s could be built with money left over. In fact, you could build the Buick engine and pick up a fairly nice car to put the Buick engine in for less than the cost of the Honda engine alone!
So unless you have a rich mommy and daddy, or don't mind maxing out your credit cards or taking out a 2nd mortgage, Hondas engines are not great to modify for drag racing if you want to go fast for a reasonable amount of money
|Honda 1.8 VTEC
JG Engine Dynamics
|Output||500 HP||500 HP (33 lbs boost)|
|Fuel Required||92 octane pump gas||118 octane racing gas|
cleaned;new core plugs
|Highly modified Honda: welded in aluminum top block deck
to prevent stock floating cylinder sleeves from breaking;
ductile iron cylinder sleeves replace stock aluminum
|Pistons||Cast Aluminum JE .38 over||Forged Arias|
|Connecting Rods||stock Buick||HD Crower aftermarket|
|Head(s)||Greg Gesler Level 2 ported Buick||Honda w/1.35" intake valves
replacing stock 1.29
|Crankshaft||Stock Buick, .010 under||N/S|
|Camshaft(s)||Lunati 241-241 "Hemi Killer"||Radical JG Engine Dynamics Custom Grind|
Edelbrock Performer Aluminium manifold;
Stock GM Quadrajet 4bbl
XS Engineering turbocharger;
air to air intercooler; 92 lb/hr injectors; Aftermarket ACCEL DFI system with General Motors MAP sensor
|Ignition||Stock Buick HEI ignition||controlled by Aftermarket ACCEL DFI system|
|Exhaust||1 7/8" TA Performance Headers||N/S|