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(5th Gen Prelude) - H22A4 Turbo Build Question

(5th Gen Prelude) - H22A4 Turbo Build Question

Old 09-24-2018, 06:36 PM
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Default (5th Gen Prelude) - H22A4 Turbo Build Question

Wisdom of the crowd

I've read a mix of pros/cons for a boosted H22A4. I've gathered it's not the ideal engine to turbo, but I'm curious what would need to go into it to achieve reliability at fairly low boost (8-10 LBS).

Goals:
  • Fun to drive around, no dragging, no tracking.. though tracking would be more likely than dragging.
  • Do not want to run E85 or race gas.
  • Maintain reliability.
  • 300+ whp would be nice.
  • Low gear acceleration, wanting to tune to have earlier power via v-tec or turbo. Turbo preferred, but not sure this is attainable.
  • Not looking to dump money into this. Just something for fun. Supercharging an S2000 for the money dump
I'm curious of two scenarios.

First off: How important is engine life/wear? Is this something that can be ascertained by mileage alone?

1. No engine tweaking, just adding turbo setup.
  • Is the unmodded engine good to hold 8-10 pounds of boost?
  • How does brand/type of turbo play into the equation?
  • Recommended turbo size?
2. Engine tweaking - valves, piston rings, etc. for peace of mind running boost.
  • Which engine mods/cost (tiers if necessary (i.e. minimum, recommended, maximum))? I can't fab or build myself, no tools or experience.
  • Boost 'ceiling' with mods and still maintain reliability?
  • Recommended turbo size(s)?

Thanks all

Last edited by waytoosnoozed; 09-24-2018 at 07:53 PM.
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Old 09-24-2018, 07:31 PM
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Default Re: (5th Gen Prelude) - H22A4 Turbo Build Question

If you have good compression and the engine doesn't burn a ton of oil you should be fine. Do a compression and leak down test before you buy the first turbo part so you know what you're working with before you even begin.

1.)
-Learn now that boost pressure is largely but not totally irrelevant when it comes to "what a block is good for". Power is what matters. Stock blocks are plenty strong for most people assuming the tune is done by a competent tuner. Bad tunes blow up more engines than anything else. Bone stock H series platforms have done 400-600whp but those are mostly drag cars. For a daily on a stock engine you want to keep it around 350whp or less if you want to maintain some degree of stockish reliability.
-Brand doesn't really matter but size does. A smallish turbo that makes a ton of torque early will stress the engine out more than a bigger turbo that moves the power past peak torque. For a stock engine if you want decent numbers you need to move the torque/power into the higher rpm range to keep the bottom end happy.
-Depends on your goals.

2.)
-Again you need to figure out your power goals and expected usage of the car before I can recommend a build. There are a number of different ways to do it. Some are less expensive than others. Can be a simple build such as just replacing pistons with a better alloy cast piston, opening ring gaps, and headstuds or a full blown sleeved/aluminum rod/etc build. Along with everything in between.
-Ceiling is as high as your pockets are deep.
-See above.

Keep in mind that 350whp is A LOT of power in a street driven Honda. I'm making 391whp on my high boost(16.5-17psi) setting with my current F20B that's bone stock from oil pan to valve cover. That is way more than enough to get anyone in serious trouble so I daily it on a more modest setting. For most people just a bump to 250-300whp is a huge difference in the driving experience. My best advice is to start low with room to grow as you get more experience.
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Old 09-24-2018, 07:53 PM
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Default Re: (5th Gen Prelude) - H22A4 Turbo Build Question

Originally Posted by Aradin View Post
1.)
-Depends on your goals.

2.)
-Again you need to figure out your power goals and expected usage of the car before I can recommend a build. There are a number of different ways to do it. Some are less expensive than others. Can be a simple build such as just replacing pistons with a better alloy cast piston, opening ring gaps, and headstuds or a full blown sleeved/aluminum rod/etc build. Along with everything in between.
What am I missing from the goals above?

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Old 09-24-2018, 08:09 PM
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Default Re: (5th Gen Prelude) - H22A4 Turbo Build Question

Oh, sorry. I missed that bit entirely LOL. You can do 300whp easily on a bone stock block on pump gas with a legitimate tune. ~11-12psi on a T3/T4 or similar will get you there easily. No need for anything super fancy. If the car is otherwise stock I would look at some brake/suspension/tire upgrades to help put the power down safely as well.

Last edited by Aradin; 09-24-2018 at 08:58 PM.
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Old 09-24-2018, 09:24 PM
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Default Re: (5th Gen Prelude) - H22A4 Turbo Build Question

No problem

Appreciate the advice

Furthermore,
  1. Do you think mileage should be a factor when looking to buy? (pre-existing wear and tear on the engine)
  2. What's a good source to find tuners that actually know what they're doing? I don't know how 'hard' it is to tune a car, so I'll need to do quite a bit of research here yet.
  3. Are used turbos bad news? Is Garrett a no-brainer or are they overpriced?
  4. What size should I be looking at given the constraints? You say bigger is 'safer'/easier on the engine, but what's too big? Don't want anything ridiculously hard to spool up.
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Old 09-24-2018, 10:02 PM
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Default Re: (5th Gen Prelude) - H22A4 Turbo Build Question

Mileage is only one factor really. How the engine was treated and maintained will play bigger parts in how it holds up. I would take a high mileage, properly maintained engine than a low mileage one that never had the oil changed and was run WOT all the time. That said, if you can find an engine out of an automatic car it's probably had an easier life than a manual one.

There is a sticky right at the top of this subforum with tuners listed. You would be best to do some searching online or asking around about tuners in your area. You definitely want one that has experience tuning Honda setups. Ideally they would be familiar with an H series. Tuning is very difficult and requires a lot of expensive equipment and acquired knowledge. Literally one wrong value out of hundreds in the ECU and kaboom, there goes your whole engine and setup. It's the most important thing that needs to be done on a heavily modified engine. Once you find a tuner call them and start asking questions about their experience, etc.

I would never personally buy a used turbo unless it was a certified remanufactured unit. Garrett makes a good product and they have a lot of options available. There's a lot of people out there that swear by them. They also make a lot of OEM turbos.

I would say anything advertised in the 350-450hp range would be fine for you. Something like a Precision 5431E or similar would give you a little room to grow and still have good response. There's a ton of options out there. Ball bearing, journal bearing, etc etc. You will want a turbo with at least a .63 AR turbine housing considering the size of the engine and nature of the cams. I'm sure somebody will chime in with more specific turbo recommendations. I haven't had to buy one in a long time so I'm not up to date with all the current models.
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Old 09-24-2018, 10:12 PM
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Default Re: (5th Gen Prelude) - H22A4 Turbo Build Question

Good stuff man.

Thank you very much.
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