The best tuning modifications for the Integra.

"Maintaining your 'integraity'"

The original Integra was actually a joint project between Rover and Honda, who wanted to create a new model which would appeal to Europe.

The Rover 200 and Integra DC2 share many similarities as far as body styling goes. The engines and suspension choices are perfected in the Type R.

The lovely Honda engine was perfect in every way, high revving, lots of torque and a great wide power band, we can see why the car has picked up so many fans.

Honda took the Integra platform on through 3 generations adding many refinements and improvements along the way.

This page is only a general introduction to tuning the Integra models and only touches on the many options, for more detail, we suggest you join our friendly and active forums for specific tips.

Tuning tips and articles
 

Engine tuning Transmission tuning Care care Intake & exhaust mods Improve handling Forums

 

The Type R Integra was a perfect example of a track day car you can use as a reliable daily transport. It features a stunning engine which has been carefully balanced, flowed and set up from the factory. The chassis has also been carefully tweaked to provide driver feedback and stunning levels of grip and handling.

dc5--tuning

Internally the Type R looks a little sparse. Every effort was made to save weight so many standard gadgets were removed. There was for example, no radio or air conditioning, although many owners have added these options.

Also the sound deadening was removed which does save weight but makes the car a sheer driver's delight. The engine positively sings when the VTEC kicks in.

Engine tuning mods.

These are the uprated parts are usually fitted by our members, decide how far you want to go before you begin.

Getting the correct grade of tuning modifications for your planned usage of the car is essential. Stage 3 competition upgrades just won't work well on the road making the car difficult to drive.

Please watch our video which covers the 5 principles of tuning your car. Be sure to subscribe and support our new channel.

Best Engine Mods for your car

  1. Mapping - remapping provides the most advantage in terms of cost savings,  aftermarket ECUs, and piggyback ECUs are all alternatives.
  2. Fast road cams are one of the most significant mechanical changes, but they must be installed by someone who knows what they're doing and they are not always easy to source but you might find a local firm to regrind a stock camshaft.
  3. Intake and Exhaust - Note that on their own these mods will NOT ADD POWER in most cases, but they can help enhance power after other mods by removing the restriction.
  4. Upgrades to turbochargers and superchargers - forced induction is the most efficient approach to increase air supply, allowing you to burn more fuel and make more power. It is one of the most costly upgrades but provides the best gains.
  5. Head work - The goals of porting and flowing the head are to get air flowing into the engine while removing flow restrictions and turbulence.

Typical stage 1 mods often include: Remap, Sports exhaust, Suspension upgrade (drop 21mm - 36 mm.), Alloy wheels, Lighter flywheel, Panel air filter.

Typical stage 2 mods often include: Ported and polished head, Power/Sport clutch, Fast road cam, high flow fuel injector, fuel pump upgrades.

Typical stage 3 mods often include: Adding or upgrading forced induction (turbo/supercharger), Engine balancing, Sports gearbox, Internal engine upgrades (pistons/head/valves), Competition cam.

Your targets when tuning should be a nice flat torque curve. You don't want all the torque to be at the top end unless you are creating a competition car.

In this article we shall give a little insight into the world to the best mods for your car, but we'd encourage you to spend some time on the site looking into the details of each type of performance upgrade.A fast road camshaft usually works out as one of the best NASP power mods you can do mechanically to your engine.

The exhaust and intake valve durations play a big role in your cars power band, but be careful here, getting this wrong can upset the idle and make the car hard to drive in traffic. You'd need to follow a camshaft upgrade with other mods and finish with a remap to fully release the power gain.

You will need to ensure that the engine is not starved of fuel so will need to ramp up the fuelling.

Using high octane petrol is another option if you find you are suffering from detonation or premature ignition on your Honda project after fitting other kits. Improved injectors will enable you to supply sufficient fuel to the engine.

A fuel pump will only deliver a finite amount of fuel, so you may need to uprate this if your injectors are demanding more fuel.

The high revving nature of all of Honda's petrol engines make for some positive gains when adding tuning mods. Getting air into the engine and the exhaust gases out again are priorities.

Exhaust, intake and air filters can all give you the edge but for serious power gains you have to start looking at doing internal engine modifications such as balancing, gas flowing, porting and polishing.

Please note it is not a matter of bigger is better when it comes to airflow, if you read our articles on exhaust and induction kits you will gain further insights into the world of professional power tuning.

Stroker kits can increase the displacement of the engine and give a bigger base for a power gain.

The early DC2 was hailed as the ultimate front drive car, a testimony to the R&D boys at Honda who tweaked and set this car up to be the best driver's car around. They have avoided the modern school of tuning with superchargers and turbos and shown everyone what can be done with a highly tuned, high revving NA (naturally aspirated) engine.

The newer DC5 is a stunning car, and shows up pretty much every other contemporary FWD car around but there are many fans of the original who feel it does not match up to the DC2.

So how do you improve on perfection? It is fair to say that most of the cheaper aftermarket performance parts rarely improve on the standard Honda set up.

If you have a basic non performance Integra, then the obvious options are to look at the Type R parts bin for suitable upgrades. Brakes and suspension should rate pretty high up but engine swaps and gearbox changes make a massive difference on base models.

The DC5 is rated as the perfect front wheel drive car for fun and handling. It combines a good chassis setup with a powerful engine.

It is possible to source performance enhancing parts. One of the most popular modifications on the DC2 and DC5 are high flow exhaust headers. These allow the exhaust gases to flow out of the exhaust efficiently.

Your selection of a lighter flywheel and fast road cam is probably one of the biggest power adding mods you can do on most of the Integra engines. Our forums are a great place to discuss these options in detail so you can get the right set up for your particular engine.

Don't dismiss weight reduction either, this is something Honda did in the Type R models and this strategy improves handling and performance.

Some enthusiastic owners have started fitting superchargers. Although the engines are high compression you can get away with a low boost supercharger and it really changes the character of the engine. We have also seen a fantastic turbo conversion on an early DC2 but this required a full engine rebuild and some clever mapping but the owner was very pleased with his near 400bhp power figure.

supercharger-kit

Putting all that power down through the front wheels is just asking for trouble. But with a good limited slip differential and suspension set up it is possible to channel upwards of 250bhp through the front wheels in a usable manner.

Many owners note that the powerful Integras can struggle in wet conditions. This makes your choice of tyre of paramount importance. A good directional tread pattern on some wider alloys will make quite a difference.

As far as lowering the car goes we would recommend that you try and resist the urge. The standard suspension setup is actually superb on the type R models. Standard models will benefit from a drop of around 40 mm.

Handling/Suspension upgrades

Handling modifications are high on most peoples lists for the Integra.

If you set the toe out to degrees on the front, and add a little negative camber then cornering will usually be enhanced.

Uprated bushings can make a big difference to handling and should be considered on all older models where they have become brittle.

As the shocks get older you may suffer a little extra roll and wallow so this would be a good time to get some good quality coil overs. TorqueCars always recommend you get adjustable shocks as this allows you to keep tweaking your car's setup until you get it right.

Intake and Exhaust Tuning.

The next area for modification is the intake and exhaust. 

Induction kits can also help raise power as long as you have a cold air feed (at least in the upper RPM band). Under bonnet temperatures can rob you of significant power so you would be wasting your time adding an induction kit without the cold air feed. A bonnet vent near the filter will also help keep the intake temperature down.

Induction kits can work well on turbo engines and larger engines (if supplied with a suitable cold air feed or air box), generally though we'd just recommend for Integra engines you should settle for a high performance panel air filter preferably made from cotton.

Sports exhausts can usually air flow from the engine but do not go 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.

Getting a professionally gas flowed head with larger valves can fully maximise your power gains. In nearly all cases of Integra tuning your clutch will start to fail and this needs an upgrade - read our overview on clutches for more information. The best mods in our opinion for your Integra are a remap especially on a turbo, a fast road camshaft and sports exhaust, with a good air intake.

Remaps offer big power gains on all turbo charged cars. On NA (naturally aspirated) engines the benefits are doubtful. However a flashed ecu on a NA (naturally aspirated) engine will help unleash the potential if you have done a lot of mods.

We've also come across some owners toying with twin charging applications and making some seriously high power gains.

The most significant power gains for NA (naturally aspirated) engines usually involve the addition of forced induction. Superchargers are often easier to add than a turbo. Turbos increase power in increasing proportion to th engine speed and this can make mapping difficult.

Superchargers however will give a boost which is proportional to engine speed so is simpler. Alternatively you could perhaps install water injection to cut down knock.

Alloy wheel upgrades.

The benefits of alloy wheels include reducing your unsprung weight and more efficient brake cooling via the extra air flow they allow. Pay attention to your choice of tyres (tires) for your car, a good track legal slick tire can really enhance your cars handling. We'd like to point out although they can look cool on the Integra big alloys will actually decrease your performance. The larger you go the lower your acceleration will be - this to the change in your effective final drive ratio.

Although some people have with bigger wheels we would stick to a 18 inch rim size as the maximum.

If you would like to know more, or just get some friendly advice on Tuning your car please join us in our friendly forum where you can discuss Integra options in more detail with our Integra 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 hearing about our website visitors projects, especially the mods done and which work best for you on your car. Which helps us keep our guides and tips up to date helping others with their modified car projects. Your feedback and comments are used to keep this page up to date, and help improve the accuracy of these articles which are kept updated and constantly revised.

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5 Responses to “Integra DC2 & DC5 tuning”

  1. daryll says:

    when turbocharge a type r do u need to change the cams

  2. kyle says:

    @daryll, yeah if you want the best out of your motor, then changing the cams will increase lift & duration and you can allow more air into your cylinders and with greater fuel have a greater combustion. which means, more power 🙂

  3. david says:

    What the up grade on 2004 honda integra type s…. triptronic. ..is there much I can do .

  4. Antonio says:

    Hi, i need to know how i can have a good car with one engine b20 in integra dc2.
    can you give me some recommendation to build my car well.

  5. TorqueCars says:

    We have added a B20 Tuning guide to the site for you, sorry it took a while but I got there in the end.
    https://www.torquecars.com/honda/b20-tuning.php

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