Honda has developed a pretty solid reputation for building excellent cars with 10-year-old engines that are still coveted today. Honda is also one of the most customizable cars makes because they provide an excellent framework for savvy mechanics and car enthusiasts to extract the absolute limit out of each vehicle.
One of the ways this can be done is with the use of the B20VTEC. This blog post will cover what it is, why it’s so in demand, and what it’ll take to snag one for yourself.
What Is A VTEC?
The VTEC is an ingenious system developed by Honda themselves to improve the efficiency of a combustion engine. By maximizing the volumetric efficiency of the engine. maximizing power and reducing fuel consumption, they have managed to achieve higher performance at higher RPMs and massively reduced consumption at low RPMs. They really have managed to provide the best of both worlds.
Is The B20VTEC Build Worth It?
The B20 is a member of the Honda Engine B series. A line of engines that are already well-known and quite popular. In the B series, the B20 tends to be one of, if not the, most popular engines. It is extremely reliable, easily found, and reasonably priced.
Especially compared to some of its competitor engines that tend to be much more expensive for a tiny bit more power. When combined with the VTEC, the B20 is an exceptional engine that will leave pretty much everything else in its dust. Is the B20VTEC build worth it? If you enjoy faster acceleration, higher speeds, lower fuel consumption, and bragging rights. Then yeah. It’s worth it.
How Much Brake Horsepower Does A B20VTEC Have?
A B20VTEC, without any further modifications, can produce 227 brake horsepower and 167 lb-ft of torque. So, yeah. You will feel it in your gut as you pull away from the starting line. If you compare this with a standard LS engine with a VTEC you are looking at about 130-135 brake horsepower. Which has got nothing on the B20VTEC. Even a stand 1.8 liter LS will only get to about 120 BHP. The B20 VTEC combination is undeniably something to take note of.
How Much Brake Horsepower Does A Non-B20VTEC Have?
On its own, the stand B20 engine will produce about 150-160 brake horsepower and produce 150 lb-ft of torque. Which is still impressive when compared to an LS engine, even when it is as big as a 1.8-liter engine.
The B20 is a very in-demand engine and the reasoning is clear. When you can get such a high level of power and torque without having to break the bank, it is hard to keep people from raving about it.
Can You Turbo Charge A VTEC?
This question really comes down to the differences between can and should. Can you technically turbocharge a VTEC? Yes, you could. Would it be a good idea? Absolutely not. The VTEC and a turbocharger are trying to do two conflicting things. The VTEC is a high-revving engine that makes use of high levels of compression.
Conversely, a turbocharger uses extra low compression to get the most bang for your buck. And, because if they don’t lower the compression levels the engine might just blow up when the turbocharger kicks in. You could Supercharge your VTEC which works on a compression level closer to the VTEC at its upper ends. Still, you will probably be gaining minimal benefit.
What Do You Need For A B20VTEC Build?
If you are prepared to go all in on the B20VTEC build you are going to need a few bits and pieces. Well, maybe more than just a few. Here is everything you will need for a fully-fledged B20VTEC build as well as some optional extras that might nudge you over the edge from great car to incredible:
For a full B20VTEC build:
- B20 ARP rod bolts (These are the same as LS ARP rod bolts.
- GSR ARP head studs (These are the same as the ITR ARP head studs + Make sure you go for non-B17)
- B20 Head Gasket (You can use the LS 90-01 if you prefer or another aftermarket option)
- New B20 ACL bearings (The same as LS ACL bearings)
- Hastings Piston Rings
- OEM B series valve seals (You can also use D series valve seals as they are the same size)
- VTEC B series 22T Water pump
- P72 GSR timing belt (Can use an ITR timing belt, so long as it’s not the B17)
- P72 B20 Oil Pump (same as LS)
- A Magnetic Oil Drain Plug
- NGK V-Power BKR6E Spark Plugs
- Adjustable fuel pressure regulator
Extra steps you could take for more power:
- A new 2.5-inch exhaust (fully completed, header, cat, etc.)
- Hondata intake manifold gasket
- Adjustable Cam Gears
- P30 Pistons
- Longer Duration Cams
- Stiffer Valve Springs
- ITR Intake Manifold
- Polish/Machine Heads
- Hytech Header
- 310cc injectors
What Are The Installation Costs Of A B20VTEC?
Making the switch to a B20VTEC is going to cost you about 2 grand no matter what you do. Even if you are using mostly stock parts for the whole upgrade and go for minimal extra tuning you could still end up paying around $2500.
If you go for the higher quality aftermarket/forged parts then that price is going to rise to about $3000. If you include all the extra addons for power that we mentioned above, then you may even end up paying around $4000 all in.
So, what is the B20VTEC build, and is it worth it? As with any of these upgrades, it’s always going to be a matter of how you value the extra speed and performance. If spending a few grand to pull out all the bells and whistles for your ride is worth it to you, you’ll know. In terms of being worth it compared to alternatives on the market, it is certainly the go-to move. Anything else is going to be more expensive for minimal, or even null, extra performance.