BUILDING A HONDA CUP B16A N1 ENGINE
Now in its 10th season, Motul Honda Cup is a super competitive championship here in New Zealand; one that never fails to provide close-quarters racing. As the years have progressed, so have the cars, and, inevitably, there’s been a corresponding bump in the investment required to be at the pointy end of the field — a fact that did not sit well with the organizers.
Sure, super-fast big-budget Hondas are great to watch, but things were getting too far from what the class had set out to achieve. This saw the inclusion of an N1-spec class this season — essentially, a production-based class like those run in Japan, with EG and EK Civics and DC2 Integras going head to head with near-stock engines.
Building one should leave you change from $10K, which is something that had us excited. While you could slap in a junkyard motor, available for a few hundred, if you’re out to win — and Jacky Tse and his crew at Jtune crew definitely are — you may want to reconsider. The crew has earmarked an old Honda Cup Civic for the class. The N1 class regulations state that the cars must run either a B16A or B16B 1600cc. But, if you do elect to go Type R B16B, you are hit with a weight penalty of 60kg. While this might not sound much to some, running this amount of ballast would greatly affect lap times. However, the rules don’t say that you can’t swap the B16B valve train into a B16A. This gives you a few benefits, such as the much larger lift/ duration cams, and double valve springs that offer better valve control at high rpm.
The engine is a true junkyard dog, beginning with a $50 long block, an old junk head, and used Type R cams scored off the net. When it’s all said and done, the total investment has been under $2K, and that includes using all-new seals, pistons, valve springs, pumps, and bearings from Honda.