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Power Pages: 1994 Integra LS

The Engine In our last installment of Integra LS Power Pages (Nov. '02, Issue #44), we got our Integra back in the ring, so to speak, and in the contention for the lightweight championship belt. With the new pistons, header and upgraded ignition in place, the non-VTEC B-Series brawler turned a respectable 126.9 peak hp, with peak torque coming in at 116.9 lb-ft. Power curves were clean and the car pulled much better in the lower rpm regions. Now we're on to the last step in our Power Pages transformation.

Performance Components As far as brute-force methods of power extraction go, the swapping of our factory bumpsticks for a pair of Crane camshafts sums up the equation. These camshafts are designed by a computer with the utmost precision to exactly open and close your valves for optimum power. Cast from chilled-iron billet cores, you can be sure these cams won't wear away or, worse yet, eat away at your rocker arms and other valvetrain components. The cams are designed for use with factory valve springs, although you can use a set of Crane's titanium valve springs for higher-rpm levels without worrying about valve spring bind or float. With midrange- and upper-rpm horsepower in mind, these cams are ground with an advertised duration of 232/250, which adds power without adding that annoying non-streetable idle.

Fine tuning the camshafts even further is the job of TODA's adjustable cam gears. In the hands of a competent tuner, these cam gears can be adjusted to maximize the power potential of the camshafts for the most reliable and consistent power. The gears are also constructed from billet material to optimize strength and durability, and come with the appropriate installation instructions and hard parts, including a precision degreeing key and super-industrial strength fasteners. TODA has been building a name for itself by producing high-quality products and actually supporting them in competition use. Many of today's top drag and track competitors rely on TODA, so we knew that we could, too.

Letting more air into the engine without supplying it with extra fuel to burn is foolhardy and a complete waste of time. On that note, we included AEM's high-flow fuel rail and adjustable fuel pressure regulator to ensure the appropriate levels of fuel would be consumed by the free-breathing motor. Both the fuel rail and the fuel pressure regulator are made from a billet material and then coated or anodized for show-quality looks and race-quality performance. The fuel-rail path is sized up to 1/2 in. in diameter to ensure an adequate supply of fuel at all times. The rail also includes an additional port for quick and clean nitrous oxide installations, or it can alternatively be used for a fuel pressure gauge. The fuel pressure regulator can be mounted on both the stock and AEM fuel rails and can support up to 1,000 hp. In addition, the range of adjustment starts at 20 psi and is infinitely adjustable up to the pressure of the supported fuel pump. The ability to fine-tune these parts is just what the doctor ordered, considering the additional intake air we've added (and will add) with the intake and the camshafts.

Dyno Testing Since some time had passed since we last had the Integra on the dyno and as the temperatures in Southern California had drastically changed, we opted for a new baseline dyno as opposed to using our last known reading. A few averaging pulls on the XS Engineering Dynojet later and we had a new graph sporting 126.1 peak hp and 116.7 lb-ft peak torque. The numbers were a little off, but reflected the duration of time that had passed (with high-revs and hard shifts, to boot) between our last installment and the current one.

Changing camshafts is a time consuming event, and unless one knows exactly what one is doing, shouldn't be attempted by a beginning installer who isn't meticulous and extremely comfortable with the labor involved. If this is you or someone you know, it's best to leave this install up to a competent and experienced installer. With our Girl Friday Gary turning the wrenches, the camshafts were swapped without a hitch and within a fair amount of time. For those of you keeping tabs, the valve lashes were set at 0.006 in. and 0.008 in. Once the valvetrain was back on line and the engine was warmed to normal operating temperatures, we pulled the car back on the dyno. The engine idle, as promised by Crane Cams, was nothing less then silky smooth, and even an experienced installer wouldn't know there were a pair of aftermarket rollers underneath the valvecover.

After a few pulls, we recorded a monstrous increase in usable low- to mid-range power and torque, often showing gains as large as 9 to 10 hp and 13 to 15 lb-ft of torque. Clearly, these cams were designed with the all-around street enthusiast in mind; the "off-the-line" horsepower and torque numbers were simply remarkable. While there was a small sacrifice of peak horsepower at the peak point (- 2.6 hp), the increase in bottom end seemed more than enough to compensate. These cams would be well suited in all-around street cars and, especially, engines used for road racing; basically, anywhere a broad powerband is needed to help jettison the car in areas other than top-end.

The TODA adjustable cam pulleys, as you might have guessed, were installed at the same time as the new cams to maximize installation efficiency. Both intake and exhaust pulleys were left unadjusted (at 0 degrees) for an accurate horsepower measurement of the camshafts themselves. With that done, Gary's tuning experience came into play. With each adjustment of the cam pulleys, an opposite and equal amount had to be adjusted at the distributor, ensuring accurate ignition timing with the physical change of camshaft timing. After a few pulls, the tuning of the cam sprockets was able to extract an additional 2 to 3 hp throughout the entire powerband, effectively shifting the graph upwards. The degree settings, used in conjunction with a pair of Crane cams, would be 0 degrees adjustment on the intake side with plus 0.5 degrees advanced on the exhaust side. This brings the lobe separation closer together and puts our B18 engine at 125.2 peak hp and 122.0 lb-ft peak torque.

Finally, with all the changes made in the timing and volume of incoming air, an adequate supply of fuel, provided by the AEM fuel rail and adjustable fuel pressure regulator, was in order. Both the rail and regulator are easy to install; however, don't expect to get much tuning done without supplying your own fuel pressure gauge. By increasing the fuel pressure, a singular injector pulse duration is able to feed more fuel into the combustion chamber, resulting in efficient and complete combustion. Our Integra liked the sound of 40 psi, and, subsequently, bumped peak power output to 128.2 hp. Peak torque dropped off slightly to 121.1 lb-ft, but the maximum gains realized throughout the powerband (3 to 4 lb-ft of additional torque almost exclusively across the graph) were worth the price.

Conclusion The further along we get on our Power Pages, the more we realize it isn't just about peak horsepower gains. Often a part will have little or no effect on the peak numbers but have a drastic effect on shifting the power curve upwards in other regions. Our Integra seems to have been fitted with parts just like this. Starting with an original baseline of 105.5 hp and 99.1 lb-ft of torque, it's obvious that a few bolt-on parts (and a date with the engine refresher) allowed it to come a long way. While peak horsepower and torque changes are evident (22.7 more hp and 22.0 lb-ft of torque), it's the scope of change within the first and last dyno graphs that are the most revealing. Power and torque gains are easily identifiable in the charts and in seat-of-the-pants driving. To that effect, be on the lookout for a new and improved version of Power Pages that emphasizes maximum power and torque gains rather than peak readings of the same. We're sure this information will be more useful to everyone aspiring to higher levels of tuning.

THE FACTS
Engine Tested: B18B
Application: '94-95 Integra LS
Common Swaps: B-Series and H-Series Honda motors
Replacements: '90-99 Integra LS/RS
The Parts
crane cams$400
toda Cam sprockets (pair)$300
aem fuel rail$125
aem pressure regulator $165
MSRP PACKAGE PRICE$990
Performance Chart
 HP LevelHP +TQ LevelTQ +
B.Baseline126.1 *116.7*
1.Cams123.5-2.6119.52.8
2.Sprocket Tune125.21.7122.02.5
3.Rail/Regulator Tune128.23.0121.1-0.9
F.Final128.22.1121.14.4

AEM
(310) 484-2322
www.aempower.com

Crane Cams and Equipment
(386) 258-6174
www.cranecams.com

TODA Racing
AKH Trading (North American TODA Distributor)
(949) 450-1056
www.todaracing.com

XS Engineering (Dyno Facility)
Phone: (714) 698-8300
www.xs-engineering.com

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