Rebuilding and preparation of a B16a VTEC engine

This entry is part 28 of 41 in the series TrackDays EF7 HONDA CRX

VTEC power !

The head has been completely rebuilt and is ready to go back on the car. Not only looking for ‘upgrades’ but also for reliability and longevity I let you discover what has been done.

The only big modification you’ll see later in a dedicated article is the swap of the old OEM dampered crank pulley for a brand new ATI RACE DAMPERED pulley.

VTEC B16a engine rebuild

1998+ TYPE-R camshafts and new pulley bolts on the right.


Back again from my Honda dealership. When (like me ..) your timing belt is not old and has around 12.000 kms on the cluster you can of course keep it on the engine.

But I made a mistake and sprayed oil on it so I changed for a brand new one.

VTEC B16a engine rebuild

New ARP headstuds.

VTEC B16a engine rebuild

Honda headgasket.

The longblock rebuild

VTEC B16a engine rebuild

It took me about 2 hours to manually clean the block deck prior to reinstalling the headgasket. But it was worth it ! Follow ARP instructions step by step especially for greasing washers and nuts and tightening sequence.

VTEC B16a engine rebuild

Taaadddaaaaaaaa ! Head bolted on. Just a small anecdote about the tightening sequence …

… when removing OEM bolts I used a standard (6 sections) Hex. socket. But I did not check that ARP nuts were 12 sections nuts. Checking in my toolbox and of course, I only have 6 sections sockets of the right size !

Am I a lucky guy ? Right now, no … because I forgot we are on public holiday and everything will be closed.

I decided to ride my bicycle under the rain and finally found an opened garage in the area ! The 7th was the right one as the 6 previous were closed. The guy was nice enough to lend me the good socket and I was finally able to finish the job.

Thanks !

VTEC B16a engine rebuild

Brand new Honda water pump.

VTEC B16a engine rebuild

Not so easy to clean the area.

VTEC B16a engine rebuild

And the new pump starting its life on a race engine ^^ !

VTEC B16a engine rebuild

More importantly, I decided to replace my working oil pump by a brand new one from Honda.

This kind of engine rotates at more than 8000 rpm on track at full throttle and a 200.000 kms oil pump started to drive me crazy on the ‘reliability’ side of the project.

It was perheaps not really necessary right now but … it’s done.

VTEC B16a engine rebuild

Be very careful sliding your new pump on the crankshaft because you can have troubles twisting the seal during installation.

VTEC B16a engine rebuild

I kept the timing belt tensionner as it was replaced 12.000 kms before but decided to install a brand new spring to have a more accurate load on it.

VTEC B16a engine rebuild

Timing belt reinstalled and installing head components back on it.

VTEC B16a engine rebuild

Brand new camshaft pulleys. Again, double check everything and try to anticipate differences when installing aftermarket parts !

I received the ITR camshafts with their original pulleys. After removal, I compared them with B16a1 pulleys : they are 100% similar.

I now compared the ITR pulleys with the new ones. With the BuddyClub parts set to ‘ZERO’ I aligned both BC and ITR center hole ‘keys’ and compared tooth alignement …

And this is not aligned. If you do not degree your camshaft the professionnal way don’t take risks. I decided to set my BC pulleys as Honda pulleys are.


Intake manifold has been reinstalled with a real Hondata gasket to reduce intake air temperature.

(‘Real gasket’ as this is the kind of part directly hit by no-name copy, bad quality copy, …)

Longblock finished in the bay


This time, starting the engine for the first time will not be as easy as last time for my nerves !

Series Navigation<< ITR camshaft, valve train and B16a head rebuildInstalling an OBD1 ignition and a Hondata S300 into P28 ECU >>

Category: CarEngine and Transmission

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Article by: yogi