The Honda B16 vs B18 Engine Comparison. The Honda B-Series engine family, arguably one of the most popular 4-cylinder engine families of all time, is a cornerstone of the classic Honda catalog, appearing in vehicles like as the Honda/Acura Integra Type R, EK9 Civic Type R, and Acura Integra GS-R. Honda’s ability to design outstanding engines has been a corporate cornerstone for decades. Honda’s B-series propelled its 4-cylinder, low displacement, high revving, DOHC, VTEC technology to fame. During its 12-year run between 1989 and 2001, the B-series exemplified quality engineering on a budget. So much so that the B-series is still remembered and admired today.
The Honda B-series comprises six versions, each with its own set of subvariants, attributes, and vehicle applications. That is completely insane. The B-series features two separate short blocks with the identical design but differing deck heights among those versions. The deck height of the B16 block is 8.03 inches, whereas the deck height of the B18 block is 8.3 inches. The change in deck height causes a displacement differential between the B16 and B18. Because the B18’s stroke is significantly longer than the B16’s, the two have distinct performance characteristics and vehicle applications.
The similarities and differences between Honda B16 and B18 engines will be discussed in this article.
History of Honda B-Series Engines
Honda’s B-series engines are a family of four-cylinder engines meant to replace the SOHC D-series. By the time 1986 got around, single overhead cam engines had become absolutely obsolete. The Honda B-Series engine introduced not only a dual overhead cam valvetrain to the Honda 4-cylinder formula, but also Honda’s variable valve timing technology, or VTEC, to Honda’s B16 engine options.
Obviously, VTEC would go on to become a defining feature of most Honda 4-cylinders in the future. The B-Series, like the D-Series 4-cylinder before it, had a counter-clockwise engine rotation.
The Honda B18 engine series was introduced in 1990, a few years after the Honda 1.6L B16 engines. While an earlier B18A engine was released in Japan in 1986, it is not considered part of the modern Honda B18 engine series because it was dual-carburated. The majority of Honda’s 1.8L B18 engines, unlike the 1.6L B16, lacked VTEC. They also had a higher deck height and a lower compression ratio than the B16 engine. The undersquare shape of the B18 encouraged low-RPM performance, with the majority of the power and torque produced low down.
The Honda B-Series engine has established itself as one of the most adaptable Japanese 4-cylinder engines ever produced in the JDM aftermarket. One of the reasons they are so popular in the aftermarket is their dependability, with relatively few typical issues. There are B-Series engines that can produce close to 1,000 horsepower with the correct modifications.
Honda B16 Engine Dimensions
Between 1988 and 2001, the B16 (1.6L) engine family was offered in eight different variants. Honda B16 variations include the first-generation B16A, the second-generation B16A, the B16B, the B16A1, the B16A2, the B16A3, the B16A5, and the B16A6. All B16 variants have a very similar engine construction, with the same 1.6L displacement, stroke and bore, and DOHC valvetrain. All engines in the B16 family are built with aluminum heads and blocks and have strong factory internals.
Despite their basic similarities, each B16 variation was developed for a specific vehicle use and differed slightly from the next. The Honda B16 engines all use a DOHC valvetrain with some type of i-VTEC variable valve timing. In reality, the Honda B16A was the first engine to use VTEC in the world.
Differences Between Honda B16 Variants
Aside from variable valve timing, the B16 variants differ in a number of ways. The compression ratios differ significantly between variations. The highly desirable JDM B16B engine from the JDM 1997-2000 Civic Type-R, for example, has an extremely high 10.8:1 compression ratio. The B16A, B16A1, B16A2, B16A3, and B16A6 feature a much lower compression ratio of 10.2:1. This is owing, among other things, to the B16B’s higher deck height and longer rods.
The Honda B16 has the smallest displacement of any B-Series vehicle. It is outsized by the Honda B17 engine, which has a displacement of 1.7L, the Honda B18 engine, which has a displacement of 1.8L, and the Honda B20 engine, which has a displacement of, you got it, 2.0L.
Applications for the Honda B16 Engine
B16A of the First Generation
- Honda Integra XSi 1989-1993
- Honda CRX SiR (EF8) 1989-1991
- Honda Civic SiR (EF9) 1989-1991
- Honda Integra “XSi” (DA6, DA8) 1992-1993
- Honda Civic SiR/SiRII (EG6) 1992-1994
- Honda Civic Ferio SiR (EG9) 1992-1993
- Honda CR-X del Sol SiR (EG2) 1992-1995
- Honda Civic SiR/SiRII (EK4) 1996-1998
- Honda Civic Ferio SiR (EK4) 1996-2000
- 1997-2000 Civic Type R
- European market (EDM) CRX’1.6 DOHC VTEC (EE8)
- Civic’1.6 DOHC VTEC (EE9) – European (EDM) market
- Honda Civic EDM VTi (EG6/EG9 & EK4) 1992-2000
- Honda Civic del Sol EDM VTi (EG) 1992-1997
- Honda Civic del Sol VTEC USDM (EG2) 1996-1997
- Honda Civic AUDM & NZDM Vti-R (EK4) 1996-1998
- Honda Civic AUDM Vti-R (EM1) 1999-2000
- Honda Civic USDM Si (EM1) 1999-2000
- Honda Civic SiR Philippines (EK4 Sedan) 1999-2000
- Honda Civic CDM SiR (EM1) 1999-2000
- Del Sol VTEC USDM VERSION 1994-1995
- Civic Si-RII (JDM variant) (EK4) 1996-2000
- VTEC (SO3, SO4) 1996-2000 Honda Civic – Middle East & South Africa
Engine Specifications for the Honda B18
The Honda B18 engine family was available in a whopping 16 variations, with the US obtaining only six of them. The B18A1, B18A2, B18B1, B18B2, B18C1, and B18C5 are the US-Spec Honda B18 versions. In terms of organization and construction, the Honda B18 engine is similar to the B16. However, the two engine families differ in a number of significant ways. The bottom end of the B18 is completely different, with a different stroke, rod lengths, deck height, pistons, and rods.
As a result of these alterations, the B18 has a larger displacement of 1.8L. In addition to the modifications in the bottom end and higher displacement, most B18 models lack VTEC variable valve timing. Despite its lack of VTEC, the B18’s impressive torque figures are one of its main selling points. Even the smallest B18A1 produced 121 lb-ft of torque. The most powerful US B18C5 produced 130 lb-ft of torque at 7,500 RPM, making it a good racing engine.
While we did not receive the most powerful B18 variant in the US, we did receive a number of very capable B18 variants. The JDM B18C Type-R, featured in the DC2 and DB8 Honda Integra Type-Rs, is the most powerful B18 variation, producing 197 horsepower and 133 lb-ft of torque. The Honda B18C5 is the most powerful B18 version that we have received in the United States. The B18C5 engine from the 2000-2001 Acura Integra Type-R generates 195 horsepower and 130 pound-feet of torque.
Engine Applications for the B18
B18A of the First Generation
- Accord Aerodeck LXR-S/LX-S (Japan) 1986-1989
- Accord EXL-S/EX-S (Japan) 1986-1989
- Vigor MXL-S (Japan) 1986-1989
- Acura Integra USDM “RS/LS/LS Special Edition/GS” (DA9 Liftback/Hatchback, DB1 Sedan) 1990-1991
- Acura Integra USDM “GS/LS/LS Special Edition/RS” (DA9 Liftback/Hatchback, DB1 Sedan) 1992-1993
- Honda Integra LS DB1 Sedan, 1990-1993
- Integra RS/LS/SE/GS 94-01 – DB7/DC4/DC3
- Honda Integra 1994-2000 “RS/LS/GS/SE/(GSI Australia)” (DC4/DB7)
- JDM Honda Domani (MA5) 1992-1996
- JDM Honda Integra (DB7) 1993-1994
- JDM Honda Orthia (EL1) 1996-1999
- Integra RS/LS/SE/GS 94-01 – DB7/DC4/DC3
- Honda Integra “RS/LS/GS/SE/(GSI Australia)” from 1994 to 2001. (DC4/DB7)
- Honda Civic – Middle East & South Africa Ballade (SR4) 1992-1995
- Honda Civic – Middle East & South Africa Ballade (SO4) 1996-2000
B18C Type R JDM
- Honda Integra JDM Type R (DC2 & DB8) 95-00
- Honda Integra JDM SiR/SiR II (DB8, DC2) 95-98
- Honda Integra JDM SiR-G (DB8, DC2) 1998-1999
- Vemac RD180 2000
- Acura Integra USDM GS-R (DC2 & DB8) 1994-2001
- Honda Integra AUDM/NZDM VTi-R 1994-2001
- Honda Integra in the Asian market
- Civic VTi 5-door Hatch (MB6) from 1996 to 2000 in the United Kingdom
- Civic 1.8i VTi-S (Limited Edition) 5-door Hatch (MB6) 1996-2000 UK
- Civic Aerodeck 1.8i VTi 5-door Wagon (MC2) 1996-2001 UK
- EU Civic Aerodeck 1.8i VTi 5-door Wagon (MC2) 1998-1999
- EU Civic 1.8i VTi 5-door Hatch (MB6) 1998-1999
- Acura Integra USDM/CDM Type R 1997-1998, 1999 CDM, 2000-2001 Acura Integra USDM/CDM Type R
B18C6 (Model R)
- Honda Integra UKDM/EUDM Type R 1998-2001
B18C7 (Model R)
- Honda Integra AUDM/NZDM Type R 1999-2001
Performance Comparison of Honda B16 and B18 Engines
As previously stated, the Honda B18 has 0.2 liters more displacement than the B16. While this may not appear to be a significant difference, the power-per-liter of the B-Series is very high, making the small displacement difference significant. The B18 engine has distinct performance characteristics than the 1.6L B16 engine due to its differing bottom end and lack of VTEC (in most situations). Here’s how the Honda B16 and B18 engines compare in terms of factory performance.
Honda B16 Performance Stock
The over-square, or short stroke, engine geometry of the B16 – in which the stroke is smaller than the bore – has its own advantages. Over-square engines, on average, rev higher, produce more peak power, and dissipate heat better than square or undersquare engines. The B16’s over-square shape allows it to have a greater redline than the B18.
It also means that power and torque are delivered near the top of the rpm range, which is ideal for high-performance driving. Many Honda enthusiasts prefer this feature of the B16. Because VTEC starts at around 5,600-7,100 rpm on most B16 variants, the majority of the action takes place at high RPMs. That being said, one of the most prominent complaints about the Honda B16 engines is a lack of low-end torque. For this reason, some people favor the B18.
Honda B18 Performance Stock
The B18, unlike the B16, has an undersquare engine configuration, which means that the stroke length is longer than the cylinder bore. Undersquare engines create more torque than square engines, particularly at low RPMs. That is absolutely true of the B18, and it is a compelling argument for the 1.8L 4-cylinder in some circumstances. The B18’s stronger low-end torque, however, comes at the sacrifice of high-RPM power. The B18 has a lower redline than the B16, which may turn off certain enthusiasts.
The distinct properties of the B16 and B18 engines make each engine better suited to specific applications. The 1.6L 4-cylinder is a viable alternative for individuals wishing to create a naturally aspirated racing car due to the B16’s smaller displacement, higher compression, and top-end power delivery. Because the Honda B18 engine family has lower compression than the B16, running higher boost levels with the 1.8L B-Series variant is safer. Because of its low-end torque, the B18 is the superior choice for individuals seeking for a high-horsepower street build.
Honda B16 vs. B18 Engines: What’s the Difference?
The B16 and B18 engines are surprisingly close in terms of general architecture, much like a Honda K20 is to a Honda K24. Between the two engines, the same all-aluminum 4-cylinder configuration is used. In fact, the engines are so close that the cylinder heads for the B16 and B18 engines are interchangeable. In the following part, we’ll go over this in greater detail.
As we have already mentioned briefly, the most significant difference between the two engines is displacement. The extra 0.2L found in the 1.8L B18 is owing to the B18’s higher deck height and longer stroke. The B18 is, in essence, a stroked B16 with a few additional modifications.
All of the major differences between the two engines stem from Honda’s efforts to optimize both engines based on engine characteristics. Allow me to explain. Given that the B16 is an oversquare engine and the B18 is an undersquare engine, Honda optimized the internals of both engines to complement their respective strengths. B16 rods and pistons, for example, are lighter because they are built to endure high RPMs. The B18, on the other hand, has thicker rods because to its lower engine speeds and longer stroke.
Another significant difference between the two is the lack of VTEC on the majority of Honda B18 engine types. While the Honda B18 was technically released after the B16, all of which had VTEC, Honda chose not to include it on the majority of the larger 1.8L engine family. Because the B18 has more low-end power and torque, VTEC doesn’t always play to the B18’s strengths.
Some B16 cylinder heads are said to flow better than the B18-variant heads we received in the US. As a result, swapping a B16 head on a B18 lower end is usual.
Modifications to Honda B16 and B18 Engines
Honda’s B-series provides an excellent basis for customization. This contains both B16 and B18 models. The B16 and B18 are both noted for their exceptional build quality and ability to tolerate massive levels of horsepower with relative ease. While any B-series engine can produce significant horsepower, some are easier and more worthwhile to modify than others.
In general, the performance B-series variants are more adaptable than the economy-focused variants. The B16A3, B16A2, and second-generation B16A are the best B16 variations to modify. The B18B2 and B18C1 are the best B18 variations to modify.
The B16 and B18 are believed to be capable of handling 250-350 horsepower with stock internals. While there are numerous examples of stock B-series engines producing far more horsepower than that, 300 whp is about the safest figure. Both the B16 and B18 are amenable to simple bolt-on modifications.
An intake manifold upgrade, cold air intake, 4-2-1 header, updated exhaust, FD2 throttle body, and modified ECU are some of the most typical B-series changes. A full-bolt-on configuration like this will produce a horsepower output of around 220-230 hp, depending on the engine version. That’s a fairly good figure for not having to start the engine.
Obviously, with some internal upgrades, even higher horsepower figures are possible. Stronger valve springs and retainers, more aggressive cams, forged pistons, a lighter flywheel, and larger injectors are all viable alternatives for a naturally aspirated B16 or B18 engine.
Engine Honda B16/B18 Hybrid
Because the majority of the Honda B18 engines we received in the US lacked VTEC, swapping a VTEC head onto a non-VTEC bottom end is one of the most common modifications for those who have non-VTEC B18 variants. This is especially true for the B18A1, B18A2, B18B1, and B18B2 models. The performance boost from this upgrade to a non-VTEC B18 is substantial, with modest LSVTEC versions producing approximately 200 horsepower and more aggressive builds producing close to 300whp.
The DOHC VTEC head can be sourced from a variety of Honda engines. B16, Type R, and GSR heads are the most prevalent. At the end of the day, the head you use is a matter of personal preference. Some people like the P72 GSR head’s smaller combustion chamber, while others prefer the B16 head because it allows the higher-flowing ITR manifold to bolt on directly. In either case, any DOHC VTEC cylinder head will suffice.
You’ll also need several other parts in addition to the non-VTEC B18 block and DOHC VTEC head. One of the most crucial components is an LS VTEC oil supply kit, such as the Golden Eagle B-Series VTEC Conversion Kit, which will deliver oil to the new DOHC VTEC head without the need for any further machining. Rod bolts, head studs, a new oil pump, a GSR/ITR timing belt, and a reworked ECU are also required.
In general, the LS VTEC is the most significant and rewarding change you can make to a non-VTEC B18 engine. Making huge naturally aspirated power from a B18 engine that lacks VTEC is nearly a requirement.
Related : The Chevy LS2 Engine Guide
Engines: Honda B16 vs. B18 – Forced Induction
Forced induction is without a doubt one of the most popular ways to produce a high-horsepower B16 or B18. Both engines can operate at a moderate level of boost right out of the box. As previously indicated, both the B16 and B18 can safely handle 300+whp with factory internals. The same can be argued when forced induction is introduced into the equation.
There are numerous off-the-shelf FI choices for both the B16 and B18. Having said that, the B18 is undoubtedly the superior engine to turbocharge or supercharge. Because of the Honda B18’s lower overall compression ratio, it can sustain a higher amount of boost without jeopardizing the engine’s internals. While turbocharging a Honda B16 is still possible and common, it will almost certainly require purchasing lower compression pistons and switching to a lower compression head gasket.
The Honda community largely agrees that supercharging a K20 or K24 is inefficient. If you want to achieve exceptionally high horsepower figures, a turbocharger and custom internals are the way to go. A B16 head is said to be better for forced induction than a B18 head because it has higher flow figures. A B18 head, on the other hand, can be ported and polished to attain similar flow figures as a B16 head.
Honda B16 vs B18 Engine Cost
Price is an essential consideration in the B16 vs B18 engine discussion, especially for those considering an engine switch. Because both the B16 and B18 were available in so many different variants and came in so many different cars, there are a lot of both engines out there. Having said that, there are fewer domestic Honda B16 engines available, as the B16A2 and B16A3 were the only variations to arrive in the United States. As a result, because they are all imports, the good B16 variations, such as the B16B and B16A5, can be costly to obtain. If you’re searching for a quality B16, you’ll also need to pay particular attention to casting numbers, since there are a lot of high-mileage imported B16s floating about that may be worn out by this point.
Honda B18 engines might be more or less expensive to get than B16 engines, depending on the variation. Because they are factory equipped with DOHC VTEC, the B18C1 and B18C5 variants are the most sought-after in the US. They command a high price due to high demand. In comparison, B18B variants remain reasonably priced. They are both cheap and easy to find due to their lack of VTEC and broad availability. If you are considering an LSVTEC build, it is advisable to start with a B18B block because it will provide the best value for money.
Honda B16 vs B18 Engine Comparison
The Honda B-series will be remembered as one of the best inline-4 layouts ever released. They are recognized for their bulletproof dependability, solid build, VTEC (in the B16), and extensive aftermarket support.
The B16 and B18 are very similar in terms of general construction. The main difference between them is displacement. The additional 0.2 liters of displacement of the B18 results in different engine characteristics than the B16. The B18 has more low-end torque than the B16 due to its under-square configuration. However, the B16 outperforms the B18 in high-rpm performance. Based on those traits, most enthusiasts will choose one of these engines for their specific use.
The B16 and B18 are both excellent platforms for modifications and tuning. In terms of aftermarket parts, the B16 and B18 engines are possibly two of the most popular in the world. One of the most typical B-series modifications for big power is forced induction, either by supercharger or turbocharger. Because of its lower compression ratio and thicker rods, the B18 outperforms the B16 as the best engine for boost.
If money is a major factor in your decision between the Honda B16 and B18, the B18, particularly the B18B, is the more affordable option. If you want more low-end torque, a B16 VTEC head on a B18B block is a less expensive option than getting a B18C5.