Thinking Aloud

So I’m looking way into the future here, and hoping the VHPD can keep it’s end of the bargain by sticking around for a while too.

It seems the well trodden route is for people to choose the K20 and then SC, CC etc etc. I know others may prefer the torque laiden route of Audi’s and the odd bloke chooses a Duratec.

My question is, if you wanted to keep it NA but get towards the 300 mark, what are the options?

Can a modified K20 get there? Is the K24 useable? Rather than forced induction I’m curious to see what the other options are.
I know this won’t be the first time this has been asked but cannot find any threads on this yet. If there is, please point me in the direction and I’ll get back to my hole!

Cheers guys.

I’d say speak to that guy Dan on Seloc who has just set up on his own. He seems to be leading the charge on big NA Honda power working with Clockwise etc.

I don’t think we’ve ever really discussed big NA Honda power on here that much as the charger is such a cost-effective way of getting big power. Russ did dabble a bit with ITBs etc on a Honda back in the day but that was bloody years ago.

Also take a pax lap with DaveP in his NA Honda and ask yourself if you need a 300bhp variant…

I’m sure I don’t Ben… :crazy:
I can’t even drive 200bhp!!

Already had a couple of pm’s with Dan so will see what comes of that in time.
Are Clockwise well regarded in Engine build circles?

I have pondered building a higher powered NA Honda several times… and spoken to people who know the engine pretty well… firstly, don’t get swayed by reports of US dyno numbers with Frankenstein (K24/K20 engines)… as everyone I have spoken to says these just aren’t realistic.

Whilst I’m sure it’s probably just about possible to get a 300bhp NA Honda, I have yet to see real proof of one. Even then, I think the cost and ramifications of doing so are pretty substantial… as a good example, there’s a thread on SELOC - SELOC Forums where Dan got a huge amount of work done on a Honda by PEC racing… eventually ended up with ~270bhp once he’d quietened it down enough.

Ultimately, it’s going to be a LOT more expensive and less proven than bolting on a well proven supercharger+chargecooler and this is kinda what has stopped me going down the route…

It also has the downside that once you start down that route, you are negating one of the benefits of using the Honda - in that in the event of a failure you can simply throw another (relatively easy to obtain) standard engine back in and go again… (although how easy they are to obtain these days I’m not sure).

Keeping a standard engine, adding a decent exhaust, intake manifold, JDM cams and good map and it’s very very good package.

Don’t get me wrong, I’d still LOVE an NA Honda with maybe 40bhp more - it would be a beast… but feel free to give me a shout at a trackday for a few laps to see what the ‘standard’ package can do before you go spending what I would imagine would be the best part of 10k ?? :slight_smile:

another thing to consider is that with a big power NA lump you really want ‘alpha-N’ based mapping, which the Hondata doesn’t really do (well enough to use anyway).

So then you’re into a ECU swaps too.

Similar to Dave I’ve looked at a few higher power NA Honda options. I was tempted by the extra torque of the K24/k20Frankenstein but the guys at TDi North didn’t recommend it in comparison to a well developed K20 as you loose the top end power with a lower rev limit. It’s worth asking them about K20 options, they are getting some good results with their latest cams on a standard engine, it’s about £2k fitted and dynoed. They’re also doing some ITB’s but I’m not sure about the gain and value for money vs an RBC manifold.

Thanks chaps, as ever - really helpful and informative.

One more question, if you had your blank canvas VHPD S1 again, would you do anything differently? :slight_smile:

I’d seriously consider Steve’s duratec options if you’re thinking stay NA, tons of tuning options, he uses decent vibratecnics mounts and keeps costs down using the original rover box and shafts. Down side is that really the duratec needs breathing on to match the K20, but again I think steve goes ITBs out of the box.

Something different and all that.

You know what I don’t think I would do anything different. The thing for me is to do it all incrementally. I ran it bog-standard, then NA Honda, then SC then SC+CC all interspersed with lots of other brake, suspension, aesthetic mods etc. Thinking about where to go next is quite honestly part of the fun.

I’m not like some on here that like to lead the way and break new ground, I’ve always been following along behind (often quite literally :blush: ) using the stuff that has been proven to work. Indeed my car has lots of S/H parts that won races etc as part of their original host.

Given the fun I’ve had and the fantastic talented people I’ve met along the way I can thoroughly recommend the incremental route.

It is never ever ‘finished’.

Good question… after I bought my car the first thing I did was get the all the wishbones refurbed, got the bushes replaced, got some decent suspension on it and fitted some braided hoses and pads - this was purely to ensure the car was all pointing in the right direction and was fundamentally sound. I didn’t touch the VHPD at all.

Then I drove it for a season of trackdays to get to know the car and improve my driving (getting used to no traction control/abs/servo’d brakes etc)

I think it’s very easy to get caught up in the modifying and we go headlong into it and justify the spend using man maths or by reading that someone else said the brakes were crap or that you need X amount of power etc…

I wanted to know that my driving wasn’t the limiting factor before I started looking at any increase in power…

I then did pretty much as Ben did, with gradual changes over the years - it’s now a very different car to what I started with… and at a guess is probably something like 10 seconds a lap faster around somewhere like Oulton park than it was when I started.

The latest round of changes I did were partly a preparation of the car to accept more power (bigger brakes etc) - but to be honest, now I’ve done them, the car is such a good package that I have held off going down the SC+CC route (and here I’d differ from Ben - I think if you are going SC, then you have to go CC too, just from a reliability perspective and to keep temps down).

With my car as it is now, I have all the driver involvement of an NA car, and can still manage to play with the SC+CC or 211’s/260cups - and it’s more challenging.

In a way it would have been nice to have a real solid reliable VHPD in the back… and I did look around for options at the time… there really just didn’t seem to be any evidence to support that it was possible - I’d still love to have a drive of a nicely sorted one (the Exige that’s in Oz that the guy did all the restoration work on looks lovely). But again, you are then looking at pretty much a custom ‘race’ engine rather than an off the shelf buyable commodity (same thing as a high powered Honda that we talked about already above).

I don’t think my VHPD was too healthy (it certainly wasn’t pushing out 190bhp) and the petrol fumes used to drive me mad… I wasn’t at all sad to get rid of it and put the Honda in. When I think of the strain the Honda has endured for the past several years it’s amazing really - it gets thrashed around and never misses a beat (touch wood).

In summary, I’d say that make sure your car handles and stops and that you can drive it somewhere close to its limits (not your limits) before you start looking at power increases (especially big ones!) - going from VHPD to Honda or Duratec isn’t necessarily a big power increase, and might actually make sense in order to get the car reliable depending on what your start point is.

If you go for big power increases and don’t have the skill to use it, I think you ultimately damage/limit your own driving progression - although you’ll sound fast in the pub/bar :smiley:

Sage words from Dave.

He is of course right about SC and CC together. At the time I did mine it was before CC was mainstream.

No doubt the evolution of the car has run quicker than that of my driving…to the detriment of my advancement. Plot a long-term plan and enjoy the ride.

You coming to Anglesey btw Rob?

PS. Also Agree with Ben - it’s never ‘finished’ !!

Couldn’t agree more with everything above, I am a long long way from mastering this car…any car to be honest!
I thought I’d look at this from a worst case scenario should this engine die at some point.

As for Anglesey Ben, at the moment it’s looking unlikely. I’ve recently spent too many £££’s on a road bike, that could have paid for the National and the Spa triple header.
If I come into some monies I’ll get it done…!

You don’t have to drive bud, you could just come for the craic. You could pax all the way on the Southern convoy…