Guide to tuning the D16 engine from Honda

"Thanks for reading our Honda D16 Tuning tips"

Tuning the Honda D16 and best D16 performance parts.

A good solid engine used in quite a few Civic and Integra models over the years, it makes a good project basis to work from.

With lower compression adding forced induction makes a big difference.

Sadly most other bolt on mods fail to make that much difference but it is still possible to increase power by another 20% or so, relatively cheaply.

We provide a guide to D16 tuning and report on the ultimate upgrades. Honda D16's have loads of potential and with a few sensible parts you can greatly increase your driving opportunities.

History, Power & Specs of the D16 Engine

D16A

  • 86–89 1.6 L D16A1 (Integra) DOHC
  • 86–89 1.6 L D16A3 (Integra) DOHC (Australia)
  • 88–91 1.6 L D16A6 (Civic) Si, (CRX) Si, (Civic) EX (South Africa)
  • 88–89 1.6 L D16A8 (Integra) DOHC
  • 88–89 1.6 L D16A9 (Integra) (CRX in Europe) DOHC (South Africa)

D16B

  • 98–01 D16B2 Honda Civic Aerodeck MC1 1.6i LS/ES/SR
  • 97–00 D16B2 Rover 416 Si Automatic
  • 98–00 D16B5 Honda Civic GX
  • 99- D16B6 1.6L Honda Accord (CG7/CH5, Europe)

D16Y

  • 92–95 1.6 L D16Y1 (Civic) Vti SOHC (Australia)
  • 96–00 1.6 L D16Y4 (Civic) İES NON VTEC(TURKEY)
  • 96–00 1.6 L D16Y5 (Civic) HX VTEC-E
  • 97–00 1.6 L D16Y7 (Civic) DX/LX/CX
  • 96–00 1.6 L D16Y8 (Civic) EX/(Canada)Si VTEC

D16Z

  • 90–92 1.6 L D16Z5 (Civic) (CRX in Europe) DOHC
  • 92–95 1.6 L D16Z6 (Civic) EX/Si, Del Sol Si VTEC
  • 98–06 1.6 L D16A (HR-V) J/J4
  • 98–06 1.6 L D16A (HR-V) JS/JS4 VTEC
  • 96–00 1.6 L D16Y8 (Civic) EX/(Canada)Si VTEC

Best D16A D16B D16Y D16Z parts

Just because a upgrades is popular with D16 owners it doesn't mean you should fit it, instead we will highlight only those upgrades that we reckon are the best and that will give your D16 the biggest power gain return for your cash.

Significant gains can be made from cam upgrades. Altering the cam profile alters the intake and exhaust durations on the engine and can dramatically change the power band and power output.

Fast road cams commonly boost the power through the rpm band, you could drop a little bottom end bhp but the high end rpm power will be lifted.

Competition cams, boost the high end rpm power band but as a result the car will not idle smoothly and low end power nearly always suffers.

If you have VTEC it is possible to get the VTEC to cut in at lower RPM ranges effectively giving you the sportier cam profile across more of the engines power band.

For a car driven daily you need to optimize your engines power to your driving style.

I'd be amazed if you have found a Motorsport and race camshaft is a pleasure to live with when on the daily commute, because the lumpy idle will make the car prone to stall and smooth driving at low rpm becomes impossible. If you are developing a track car this doesn't matter as you are in the high end of your RPM range anyway and that is where you want the power to be.

Each engine responds better to more aggressive cam durations than others.

The engine timing and fuel pump and injectors also have a large bearing on the power gains you'll get.

Extending exhaust or intake durations can alter the power band and on most engines the exhaust and intake durations do not need to match, although most cams and tuners use matched pairs there are some advantages to extending the intake or exhaust durations.

Typical stage 1 mods often include: Panel air filters, Sports exhaust manifold, Fast road camshaft, Intake headers, drilled & smoothed airbox, Remaps/piggy back ECU.

Typical stage 2 mods often include: induction kit, Fast road cam, fuel pump upgrades, high flow fuel injectors, Ported and polished head, Sports catalyst & performance exhaust.

Typical stage 3 mods often include: Competition cam, Engine balancing & blueprinting, Crank and Piston upgrades to alter compression, Internal engine upgrades (head flowing porting/bigger valves), Adding or Upgrading forced induction (turbo/supercharger), Twin charging conversions.

The D16 engines are fantastic to work on and we're happy to report there are increasing numbers of modifications and performance parts about.

Remaps helps unlock the full potential of all the upgrades you've fitted to your D16 this is generally achieved with a piggy back ECU, Hondata is one of the most popular but it is quite expensive and there are other very good systems on the market..

(In some cases, as the factory ECU is locked flashing is not an option, so an aftermarket ECU is the route to take, and many of these will outperform factory ECU's but make sure it has knock protection and that you get it setup properly.)

It will usually give you around 15% on NASP engines with a few other mods, but you mileage will vary depending on the upgrades you've done and the condition of your engine.

Forcing more air into your D16 is the main goal to any engine modification job.

Headers carry the air from the air filter and allow it to be pulled into the engine and mixed with fuel.

The shape and flow characteristics of the Headers can make a large difference to to fuel engine efficiency on the D16.

I usually find intake headers are in dire need of a performance upgrade, although some car makers provide well optimised intake headers.

Big valve conversions on the D16, getting port work and head flowing will also increase torque, and significantly will allow you to get increasing the torque increase on other mods.

D16A D16B D16Y D16Z Turbo upgrades

The more air to get into an engine, the more fuel it can burn and uprating the induction with a turbocharger upgrade makes massive power gains.

NASP engines need quite a lot of work when you add a turbo, so we have a separate guide to help you take into account the pros and cons of going this route on your D16

It's not unheard of tuners spending a loads of money on turbocharger upgrades on the D16 only to watch the engine catastrophically fail when it's first rolling road session.

Bigger turbo chargers will usually experience no power at low rpm, and small turbo chargers spool up quickly but won't have the peak rpm power band gains.

the range of turbos is always moving on and we now see variable vane turbos, where the vane profile is altered according to speed to lower lag and increase top end bhp.

Twin scroll turbos divert the exhaust flow into two channels and flow these at differently designed vanes in the turbocharger. They also boost the scavenging effect of the engine.

You'll commonly see there's a restriction in the air flow sensor AFM/MAP on these engines when considerably more air is being drawn into the engine.

Going up you'll find 4 bar air sensors coping with quite large power gains, whereas the OEM air sensor was restricting power at a much lower level.

Adding a supercharger or additional turbo will make large bhp gains, although more difficult to get working.

Fuelling

You will need to ensure that the engine is not starved of fuel so will have to pay attention to the fuelling when you start extending past 20% of a power increase.We strongly recommend you to be generous with your injector capacity.

The accepted safe increase is to add another 20% when fitting an injector, this allows for injector deterioration and provides a bit of spare capacity should the engine require more fuel.

D16 Exhaust

You only need to to improve your exhaust if the existing exhaust is actually causing a restriction in flow.

On most factory exhausts you should find that the exhaust flow rate quite well even on modest power gains, but when you start pushing up the power levels you will need to get a better flowing exhaust.

Sports exhausts will certainly help air flow through the engine but avoid an exhaust that is too big or you might just stuff your flow rate and make things worse. So generally speaking, keep to a size of 1.5 to 2.5 inches for best results.

Typically exhaust restrictions can be located the catalyst installed, so adding a freer flowing sports alternative is the answer. This keeps the car road legal and will flow much better due to it's higher internal surface area and design, so has the added benefit of keeping your car road legal. The alternative decat should be considered an off road only mod, as removing a catalyst is illegal in most territories and regions for road registered cars..

Weakspots and problem areas on the D16

The D16 engines are generally reliable and solid units, as long as you follow the manufacturers service schedules, and use a good quality oilthey are regularly serviced and maintained.

Carbon build up in the head, particularly around the valves which will sap power or create flat spots, this is a larger issue on direct injection engines but should be looked out for on all engines. We have tips on removing carbon build up.

Some of our members have had issues with flat spots or glitches after applying mods and upgrades or tuning, this is not usually related to this engines design, so instead see our article on diagnosing flat spots and problems after tuning which should help you get the bottom of this issue.

Regular oil changes are vital on the D16, especially when tuned and will help extend the life and reliability of the engine.

If you would like to know more, or just get some friendly advice on Tuning your Honda engine please join us in our friendly forum where you can discuss D16 tuning options in more detail with our D16 owners. It would also be worth reading our unbiased Honda tuning articles to get a full grasp of the benefits and drawbacks of each modification.

Please help us improve these tips by sending us your feedback in the comments box below.

We love to hear what our visitors have got up to and which upgrades work best for them on each model of car. Your feedback and comments are used to keep this page up to date, and help improve the accuracy of these articles which are continually updated.

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2 Responses to “D16 Tuning”

  1. Mike says:

    Hi there thank you for sharing alot for the d16.

    I’m running a d16a8 at the moment.
    And I’m struggling with sputtering. It sputters when I’m pulling off and sputters when I drive hard at 5.5k rpm. I have changed to the ignition system to brand new. Went away and came back I checked all vacuum pipes they seem good. Even the earth cables by the engine seems OK. But I haven’t changed fuel pump yet.
    But I also I saw you mentioned carbon building up in the head. Maybe that also could be the cause.

    • TorqueCars says:

      Run some decent fuel cleaner like BG through it and see if that improves it, these faults are hard to diagnose and sometimes it’s an injector dirty o2 sensor or soiled air flow sensor that throws problems at higher rpm ranges. Try super unleaded fuel and see if that improves things, the higher octane sometimes halps with lumpy running. Carbon build up in the head is most likely to sap power through the whole rev band and will not usually cause spluttering, but it is not unheard of. Pull the fault codes from the ECU and see if any point to sensors or unusual readings.

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