Honda N22B 2.2 i-DTEC Tuning Upgrades

"All you need to know about tuning and performance parts on the Honda N22B engine!"

We were emailed us for more information on tuning and building a modified N22B and particularly which turbo upgrades work best, so we've created this guide which covers our go to mods and upgrades for this engine and what we feel are the optimum value modifications you can do.

The Honda N22B are popular tuning projects and with the right sports upgrades like remaps, turbo upgrades and camshafts you will improve your driving fun.

The N22B is different from the N22A in that while the intake ports of the N22A are on the front side of the engine, the N22B is more advanced because it has a front intake and rear exhaust configuration.

Another major difference between the two engines is that the stroke of the N22B is reduced in size than the N22A. The bore and stroke dimensions of N22A are 85 mm × 97.1 mm whereas that for N22B are 85 mm × 96.9 mm.

Our aim here is to examine the options for your N22B tuning and highlight the optimum modifications.

Please Watch my Video on "beginners' guide to TDi Tuning".

Guides to other N series engines, N16, N22A, N22B 

History of the N22B Engine

Honda's entry into the diesel industry was made possible in part by this engine. The aluminium block used in the common rail system was both sturdy and light.

The B revision on the N22 saw the intake on the front and exhaust on the rear, a higher stroke was also used and power output was around 150hp and 260hp of torque.

N22B2 revision

Power was raised to 180hp and 306lbft of torque.

Most had a DPF filter and a single turbo with variable geometry; some have Stop Start and an EGR to help them warm up more quickly.

Accord VIII; Civic IX; CR-V VI; CR-V III

Tuning the Honda N22B and best N22B performance parts.

Best N22B tuning mods

Despite the fact that specific upgrades are popular with N22B owners it doesn't mean you should fit it, we will concentrate on the best upgrades that will give your N22B the best value for money to power increase.

Tuning tips and articles

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

Please watch our video which covers the 5 principles of tuning your N22B. Be sure to subscribe and support our new channel.

Best mods for your N22B

  • Remaps - A Remapped N22B ECU provides the most power in terms of your investment, aftermarket ECUs, and piggyback ECUs are all alternatives.
  • Head work - The goals of porting and flowing the head are to get air flowing into the engine while removing flow restrictions and turbulence.
  • Air Induction Mods and Sports Exhausts - Please be warned on their own these mods won't ADD POWER in most applications, but they permit you to release power after other mods by minimizing the restriction.
  • Fast road Camshafts are significant power adders, but they must be setup by someone who can fine tune the cam timing and it is often hard to find a suitable cam near you but you might find a local firm to regrind a stock camshaft .
  • Lightened Flywheels - a lighter flywheel will noticeably improve the engines free revving nature. Not suitable for all N22B engines.
  • Forced induction upgrades - Adding a turbocharger is the most significant way to raise the intake air supply, allowing you to burn more fuel and make more power. Typically one of the most expensive modifications you'll see massive gains.

N22B Tuning Stages

Typical stage 1 mods often include: New Bushes, Remaps/piggy back ECU, Performance Brake Pads, Sports exhaust manifold, Intake manifolds,

Typical stage 2 mods often include: Ported and polished head, Suspension (Sports), high flow fuel injectors, Brake Discs (drilled/slotted or grooved, Sports catalyst & performance exhaust, Fast road cam.

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

The ecu map and fuelling and fuel pump also have a large bearing on the power gains you'll make.

The N22B power trains are fantastic to work on and we're pleased to see that there are quite a few choices of parts and tuning parts about.

Check out our video introduction to Honda Tuning, all you need to know about mods and upgrades on your Honda.

ECU Mapping Improvements for the N22B

Remaps helps fully realize the full potential of all the parts you've fitted to your N22B.

(Sometimes flashing the ECU is not an option, so an aftermarket ECU is the route to take, and many of these will outperform factory ECU's but ensure it has knock protection and that you get it installed right.) It will usually give around 30% more power on turbocharged vehicles and you can expect to see around 15% on NA (naturally aspirated) engines, but your mileage often vary depending on the parts you've carried out and the condition of your engine.

Celtic tuning offers tuning services for the N22B. It offers two different stages which are as follows:

Economy which increases the engine’s power by 44 hp and 24 lb-ft whereas the Stage 1 tuning increases the power by 74 hp and 41 lb-ft.

These are impressive figures which make the tuning process attractive for those looking for performance gains.

Tuning Boxes

An alternative way of increasing the performance of your vehicle, having the Honda N22B engine, is to use a tuning box.

Beware that some are pretty poor quality overpriced tuning box units that just dump more fuel, and others are quality units which are microprocessor controlled and act like a proper piggyback ECU.

Speedhawk Diesel Tuning Box

The Speedhawk Diesel tuning box for the N22B promises impressive results such as a power increase of 20 hp and torque increment of around 40 lb-ft.

You can also go for the various options from a company called Tuning Box which offers the following different options for tuning your vehicle that has the N22B engine. They are:

  • Classic;
  • Evolution;
  • Pedal;
  • Fusion.

Pricing varies from $420 to $800 for these boxes depending upon the performance boost provided by them.

Air Flow improvements on the N22B

It is the goal to any engine performance tuning project to feed more fuel and air into the N22B engine

Air Intake manifolds flow the air during the suck phase from the intake filter and allow it to be drawn into the engine cylinders with fuel for the squish phase.

Structure and flow rate of the Intake can make a substantial change to fuel mixing and power on the N22B.

Most intake manifolds are improved through aftermarket tuning parts, although a few car makers provide fairly well optimized intake manifolds.

Larger N22B valves, doing some port matching and head flowing will also raise bhp, and more importantly will give you raising the bhp increase on other tuning parts.

N22B Turbo upgrades

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

There are practical limits for every engine, with some being very over engineered and some just sufficiently able to handle stock power. It is important to find these limits and upgrade to better pistons and crank to cope with the power.

We see many guys spending a lot of money on turbo upgrades on the N22B only to have the whole thing throw a rod soon after it's used on the roads.

If you want to install a turbo on your vehicle having the N22B engine, you have the option of going for the BorgWarner Airwerks S400SX Super Core Turbocharger.

This is a remarkable part which has been built from durable material and is thus here to last.

It can be had for around $1100 but the high price is justified by the impressive performance of the turbocharger.

Another option for turbocharging your N22B is the Pulsar Turbo Systems GTX3076R Gen 2 turbo which costs around $1000.

Larger turbos often suffer a bottom end lag, and low capacity turbos spool up quickly but don't have the peak end engines power gains.

Thanks to progress the market of turbochargers is always evolving and we commonly find variable vane turbochargers, where the vane profile is altered according to speed to lower lag and increase top end power.

Twin scroll turbochargers divert the exhaust flow into 2 channels and flow these at differently profiled vanes in the turbocharger. They also increase the scavenging effect of the engine.

It is common that there is a limit in the air flow sensor (AFM/MAF/MAP) on the N22B when considerably more air is being pulled into the engine.

You'll see that 4 bar air sensors coping with quite large power gains, whereas the OEM air sensor limited power at a much lower level.

Intercooler Upgrades

Before it enters the engine, an intercooler serves as a radiator for the intake air charge.

You should place an intercooler in front of the radiator so that it can benefit from the cold air. It would be installed after the air intake filter and after the turbo or supercharger, which is where the majority of the heat is generated.

As a consequence, front-mounted intercoolers tend to provide better air conditioning than top-mounted intercoolers, which are often used in high-performance sports vehicles. You should be aware that the amount of air reaching the radiator is decreased, therefore you may need to upgrade your car's radiator in order to maintain low on-track temperatures.

An intercooler boosts performance. An intercooler is a mod that liberates power, not one that increases output.

It will address the engine's capacity to draw air in and provide cooling for as long as feasible. Five to ten percent greater power and longer heat soak resistance may be obtained with an effective intercooler design.

As a general rule of thumb, you would normally utilise 3 litres of intercooler capacity for every 100 horsepower.

Only a crude guide, but it appears to work well for most vehicles with 150–400bhp! In practise, utilising an intercooler that is too big will impede airflow, thus it's critical to choose the right size for the application (this is something which can be discussed in more detail in our forum.) The bigger the better!

For a boost level of 15psi, we at TorqueCars would expect to lose between.5 and.9psi with certain applications losing 1.3psi. Reduced air temperature causes a decrease in pressure; thus, do not place the full responsibility on the intercooler design for the loss of pressure.)

Many aftermarket intercoolers are both lighter and give much higher performance increases than their original counterparts.

Generally speaking, a larger intercooler will provide greater cooling, but it will also produce more drag. This additional drag must be carefully evaluated against the benefits of the cooling provided. The more time the air spends in the intercooler, the stronger the cooling effect.

N22B Fuelling Upgrades

You will need to ensure that the engine is not starved of fuel so must pay attention to the fuelling when you start going beyond 20% of a performance increase. Boosting the fuel pressure can provide a better the acceleration responsiveness.Most tuners we speak with say to over specify your injectors flow rate.

A high-performance setup requires several fueling modifications as well. One such option is the RIDEX REMAN High-Pressure Fuel Pump. It has part number 3918H0034R and costs around $550.

You can also use the AEM Fuel Pump 340 for this purpose which costs just $140.

Fuel Injectors

Fuel injectors are vital for delivering an ample amount of fuel to the modified engines. You can use the following fuel injectors for the Honda N22B engine.

  • Edelbrock Injector Pico Style having 185cc capacity;
  • Edelbrock Injector Pico Style having 281cc capacity;
  • Edelbrock Injector Pico Style having 427cc capacity.

Radiator Upgrade
Once your car with the N22B is fit with a turbo, it generates more heat and thus needs a radiator upgrade.

The Mishimoto Race Radiator made up of Aluminum is a great option for such needs and it costs around $500.

The accepted safe increase is to add 20% when buying an injector, this allows for injector deterioration and allows a little spare capacity should the engine need more fuel.

We think this one is common sense, but you'll need to match your fuel injector to the type of fuel your car uses as well.

N22B Performance Exhausts

You may need to replace your exhaust if your current exhaust is actually causing a restriction.

On most factory exhausts you'll find your flow rate is still good 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 increase the flow of air through the engine.

But if the exhaust is too large, ie: over 2.5 inches bore, you will lose much of the flow rate and end up losing power and torque.

For road going cars mods such as a sports catalyst pretty much remove this restriction, mainly due to it's larger size and surface area, and will effectively raise the performance to levels you would expect without having a catalyst installed This keeps the car road legal and will allow the full exhaust flow due to it's higher internal surface area and design. The alternative decat or catalyst removal should be considered an off road only mod, as removing a catalyst is illegal in most territories and regions for road registered cars (and in some you can't even replace a working catalyst).

Weak spots, Issues & problem areas on the N22B

The N22B engines are generally reliable and solid as long as they are looked after and serviced.

Carbon build up in the head, particularly around the valves which will reduce power and smooth running, this is a very common problem on direct injection engines but should be looked out for on all engines. We have tips on carbon removal guide Avoid short journeys and use a good quality fuel.

CLogged EGR valve

Injector problems (Piezoelectric) failures

Low pressure fuel pump failures but this is avoided if you replace the fuel filter.

Cold Start problems

Frequent oil changes are vital on the N22B, and more so when the car is modified and will help prolong the life of the engine.

If you want to know more, or just get tips on Tuning your N22B engine please join us in our friendly forum where you can discuss N22B tuning options in more detail with our N22B owners. It would also be worth reading our unbiased Honda tuning articles to get insights into each modification and how effective they will be.

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

We appreciate people taking the time to tell us what our users have got up to and which parts work best for them on each model of car. We use your comments and feedback to improve the accuracy of these N22B tuning guides which get regular updates and revisions.

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