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Ok so my '97 Civic 150i is running a little to slow for my liking. I want it to be able to hang with a 2.0.

The first thing that comes to mind is swapping the mechanics out to make it the same as a VTEC under the hood.

What I want to know is, do I need to get the entire engine, motor. . .I'm really clueless?

Update; I've converted to a SOHC D16A right now and the mechanic (dad's cousin, so I know I can trust him) said I just need some suspension and brake upgrades/fixes and I can slap a DOHC vtec on there :D

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Btw, the four cylinder vtecs, at least not all of them, don't use dual cams. – user9198 Jan 24 '15 at 1:14
up vote 8 down vote accepted

Your most expensive problem is that a V-tec motor is designed to operate at higher RPM's than your motor can handle. This would mean that you'd have to get stronger pistons and connecting rods (or conrods as they're referred to). You'd also need to upgrade your valve springs to cope with the higher RPM. All in all, you're probably going to be spending about $2000 just on that. This by itself won't actually make your car perform any better, but without these upgrades, your engine won't last.

Another problem with your particular car is that you have a single camshaft doing the work, but a V-tec will need to have a double-camshaft setup, meaning you'll need to have a new cylinder head, including camshafts installed.

I'll stop now. The short answer is that if you want V-tec, it's going to be cheaper to just buy a secondhand V-tec.

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got it. . .thanks – pythonian29033 Feb 7 '14 at 12:54
Sorry man, but I learned the costs the hard way. – Juann Strauss Feb 7 '14 at 14:32
a lot of guys here in South africa have done such conversions though. . . – pythonian29033 Feb 7 '14 at 14:35
Imagine two Capetonians chatting on StackExchange. BUt I'd rather have a whole engine installed than having to modify the current one. Plus you could sell the old engine to recover some of the costs. – Juann Strauss Feb 7 '14 at 14:42
Don't do it to an old Ballade though. For the money you're going to spend, it's better to just go ahead and buy something faster. Like a Superboss or something. Turbo + suspension, wheels, etc will easily work out to more than R50k, which is how much you'll pay for a Superboss in good condition. – Juann Strauss Feb 7 '14 at 14:48

From what I understand, the accepted answer is not completely true. You do not need a dual cam setup to run vtec. I believe your civic has a stock d series engine which is a single cam most, likely a d16 (if you have a d15 it is more complicated).

The difference is with SOHC there is a common camshaft for both intake and exhaust valves. where as with DOHC there are separate cams.

VTEC is a variable valve timing system which is engaged at higher RMPs so you get better performance when you need it and don't burn extra gas and risk wear on your engine riding around at lower RPMs.

Civics are probably the most commonly modified hondas this question has been asked a million times, luckily that means there is a good amount of information on it. The first google search I found returned this. but there are many more some write ups even have detailed step by step picture tutorials.

At a minimum you will need a d series vtec head, a new ecu, and the wiring harness. (and probably need to replace a few more things like gaskets while doing the swap)

While it is a good idea to upgrade many of the parts in your engine to help cope with the higher RPMs theoretically that isn't necessary, but you run a higher risk.

Your mechanic friend is probably just saying cool things you could do. I believe the civics from that year have the same suspension and braking setups with or without vtec, although there are tons of aftermarket options if you are ambitious and have deep pockets. Similarly with the DOHC vtec, he was probably saying you should swap a B series motor into the car which is a very popular swap done to civics look (B16, b18, b20, etc).

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Thanks, I had a d15z4 actually, but I killed it (with some help from the bullshit fraud mechanic in question), so now I've got a d16A (vtec), but the engine is from europe and this engine never came to South Africa, so I've never got a boost and I can't find the matching ECU for the aforementioned reason :-( – pythonian29033 Mar 1 at 8:50
I saw your update about the d16A and noticed your comment about the kick in performance at 4K+ RPMs and was wondering about that. Check online there are a ton in the US that should still be available. – John Dream Mar 1 at 14:32
Never knew they were called Ballades! – John Dream Mar 1 at 14:32
the sedan is sold as Ballade in South Africa, possibly in other Southern African Countries as well – pythonian29033 Mar 2 at 9:33

I also have a Ballade 150i Vti motor and also want to do something about the motor I did some research and found out that the quick way of gaining power is to add a turbo to the motor. I question was that will my motor be damaged easily. I discovered that I Make 67 kw on the wheel at the moment but if I put a T3/T4 turbo on the motor and Software, I will turn the boost max to 0.6 and the vti Motor will do about 176kw and 290NM on the wheel

The turbo and intercooler might cost you about 8K at the end and then just put everything together.

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can you tell me where I would find those parts for 8k and maybe a honda mechanic that has done such mods successfully before? Thanks – pythonian29033 Aug 13 '15 at 12:11
8K what? USD? Yen? Euro? Please use full units, as this is an international site... – Nick C Aug 13 '15 at 12:22
his surname sounds South African, so that's ZAR I assume – pythonian29033 Oct 6 '15 at 15:49

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