Topic: How to keep a Honda F-series engine running (95 accord)?

Howdy! We're running a 95 honda accord with and F22B1 (VTEC) engine in it and we overheated the living hell out of it last time at Gingerman.

Admittedly, I think the head gasket was already cracked when we got there, since our race prep involved slapping in a roll cage and doing an oil change; but I've heard overheating is a common issue on these, so I'd like to be as prepared as I can be.

I will be swapping in a junkyard engine that we have lying around, and I figure some improvements may be easier while the engine is out.

I'm planning to replace the head gaskets before I put it in just to be sure, but do any Honda whisperers have suggestions for other things I should look at doing to this SICK whip? Doesn't have to be engine specific, open to the best and worst of ideas!

List so far:
- separate oil cooler
- heavier oil (15w-40 was suggested by another team, figured I'd try to find some synthetic)

    --Thanks!

Re: How to keep a Honda F-series engine running (95 accord)?

My $0.02 worth.  We've been running a Honda (B20-no Vtec yo!) for six seasons now.

1.  Only use a OEM Honda MLS head gasket. 
2.  Install ARP studs.  Yeah they are expensive, but well worth it. 
3.  Get an oil cooler like you said.
4.  Don't run it to redline every single shift.  We leave a 500 RPM buffer in our car.

I personally don't agree with running a thicker oil (we run Rotella T-Syn 5W-40), but YMMV.

BTW, do have actual gauges for WT, OT, and OP?   If not, get some!   Stock gauges are garbage for a race car.

Captain
Team Super Westerfield Bros.
'93 Acura Integra - No VTEC Yo!

Re: How to keep a Honda F-series engine running (95 accord)?

If you're gonna pull the head might as well get it decked/rebuilt for less than $200, I've tried slapping in head gaskets but it's a bit of a hit or miss on if it'll actually fix it or not. Sometimes warps or cracks are hard to find without the proper equipment. It's a honda, as long as it's got fluids it'll keep going... it might be worth resealing, doing the head, and inspecting the cylinder walls/bearings while it's out. I'm 50/50 on oil coolers. I'd argue that more race cars have blown engines from an oil cooler failure dumping oil and spinning bearings than engine failure from overheating modern synthetic oil. Modern synthetic oil can take quite a lot of abuse. Two of my race cars have oil coolers and I don't regret it (yet?), but the ones that have coolers have a longacre oil pressure switch/warning light installed so my lizard brain will know to shut off the car when light starts blinking. I'm not saying avoid coolers, but I'd recommend putting in a dummy light and running quality components if you do.

Full Ass Racing
#455 Piñata Miata

Re: How to keep a Honda F-series engine running (95 accord)?

VKZ24 wrote:

My $0.02 worth.  We've been running a Honda (B20-no Vtec yo!) for six seasons now.

1.  Only use a OEM Honda MLS head gasket. 
2.  Install ARP studs.  Yeah they are expensive, but well worth it. 
3.  Get an oil cooler like you said.
4.  Don't run it to redline every single shift.  We leave a 500 RPM buffer in our car.

I personally don't agree with running a thicker oil (we run Rotella T-Syn 5W-40), but YMMV.

BTW, do have actual gauges for WT, OT, and OP?   If not, get some!   Stock gauges are garbage for a race car.

We are running the stock gauges, I'll admit I'm at a complete loss for aftermarket gauges and don't know much about how they work, do you know of any guides or links to good gauges I should research?

Re: How to keep a Honda F-series engine running (95 accord)?

For context we are running an automatic. I suspect running a separate tranny cooler might be a priority before an oil cooler, not to mention much simpler. Thanks for your suggestions so far!

VKZ24, since I'm a noob what's the upside to the ARP head bolts? Are they just built tougher and can tighten down more?

    --Thanks!

Re: How to keep a Honda F-series engine running (95 accord)?

BadMechanic wrote:

VKZ24, since I'm a noob what's the upside to the ARP head bolts? Are they just built tougher and can tighten down more?

    --Thanks!

Head studs are not torque to yield so resuable (actually, they just stay in there unless you need to deck the block).  Not the only adavantage but the primary one.

Re: How to keep a Honda F-series engine running (95 accord)?

OnkelUdo wrote:

Head studs are not torque to yield so resuable (actually, they just stay in there unless you need to deck the block).  Not the only advantage but the primary one.

The ARP studs also have a higher torque spec than the OEM bolts, so more clamping force to hold that head gasket in place.

Captain
Team Super Westerfield Bros.
'93 Acura Integra - No VTEC Yo!

8 (edited by VKZ24 2021-08-09 08:25 AM)

Re: How to keep a Honda F-series engine running (95 accord)?

BadMechanic wrote:

We are running the stock gauges, I'll admit I'm at a complete loss for aftermarket gauges and don't know much about how they work, do you know of any guides or links to good gauges I should research?

Short story...your choices are mechanical or electric for gauges.   I prefer mechanical because:

Cheaper
No sending unit that can fail
No wiring (except back lighting)
Many have 270 sweep making them easier to read

There are several options, but for budget gauge I'd look into Sunpro.   I'd go with oil pressure, water temp, oil temp, volts, and in your case, trans temp.

Captain
Team Super Westerfield Bros.
'93 Acura Integra - No VTEC Yo!

Re: How to keep a Honda F-series engine running (95 accord)?

FWIW while legal, HQ not excited about mechanical oil pressure gauges due to hot oil in the cockpit if they fracture/melt.

1990 RX7 "Mazdarita"  1964 Sunbeam Imp (IOE 2013 Sears Pointless) 2002 Jaguar x-type (Winner C-Class 2021 Sears Pointless)
Gone bye-bye
1994 Jaguar XJ12 (Winner C-Class 2013 Sears Pointless)  1980 Rover SD1 (I Got Screwed 2014 Return of Lemonites)

10 (edited by chaase 2021-08-09 11:13 AM)

Re: How to keep a Honda F-series engine running (95 accord)?

cheseroo wrote:

FWIW while legal, HQ not excited about mechanical oil pressure gauges due to hot oil in the cockpit if they fracture/melt.

If it isn't the OE gauge I don't think its legal. You could put a mechanical gauge but it would need to be encased in conduit. That is how I read the rule below.

"3.F.6 Fuel, Oil, and Coolant in the Cockpit. Any fuel, oil, or coolant reservoirs or lines that are exposed to, or pass through, the driving compartment must be encased by heavy-duty conduit, durable steel or aluminum pipe, or strong metal plate. OE metal lines in good condition in their original location are exempt from this rule, but encasement is still recommended."

Electric gauges are safer and easier to deal with in my opinion.

1992 Saturn SL2 (retired) - Elmo's Revenge -  Class B winner, Heroic Fix winner x2
1969 Rover P6B 3500S(sold) - Super G-Rover - I.O.E Winner, Class C Winner
1996 Saturn SW2 - Elmo's Revenge (reborn!), Saturn SL1  Dazzleship
1974 AMC Javelin - Oscar's Trash heap - IOE,”Organizer's Choice" and "I got Screwed" award winner

Re: How to keep a Honda F-series engine running (95 accord)?

You don't have to bring you mechanical oil pressure into the cabin if you really want one...just sayin'.

Re: How to keep a Honda F-series engine running (95 accord)?

OnkelUdo wrote:

You don't have to bring you mechanical oil pressure into the cabin if you really want one...just sayin'.

Truth…the problem with many aftermarket oil gauges is they have a cheap plastic hoses.

1992 Saturn SL2 (retired) - Elmo's Revenge -  Class B winner, Heroic Fix winner x2
1969 Rover P6B 3500S(sold) - Super G-Rover - I.O.E Winner, Class C Winner
1996 Saturn SW2 - Elmo's Revenge (reborn!), Saturn SL1  Dazzleship
1974 AMC Javelin - Oscar's Trash heap - IOE,”Organizer's Choice" and "I got Screwed" award winner

Re: How to keep a Honda F-series engine running (95 accord)?

chaase wrote:

Truth…the problem with many aftermarket oil gauges is they have a cheap plastic hoses.

I have a mechanical oil pressure gauge and the line runs directly into the back of the gauge.   

FWIW, some mechanical gauges have the cheap plastic line, and some have a copper tube, both of which are easy to kink.  I'm simply replaced the cheap plastic tube with a braided steel AN line.

Captain
Team Super Westerfield Bros.
'93 Acura Integra - No VTEC Yo!