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article details
Author Shawn Church
Categories Automotive Technology, All Honda/Acura
Create Date June 01, 2002 19:52
Last Update September 03, 2002 11:12
Introduction
I first met Mike Kojima in 1996, when I first began to immerse myself in the eclectic and rapidly growing import car culture in Southern California. Mike was a fun guy to talk to. A true enthusiast who not only liked to make his cars faster, but actually put them to good use, spending a fair amount of time on the race track. Of course, he was a Nissan fan - working for the company and owning several hot Nissans. But I still liked him in spite of that. :-)

So imagine my surprise when a couple years ago I learned that Mike was working on a Honda/Acura performance book for HPBooks! To be honest, after some thought, I realized that there probably aren't many guys out there with the technical knowledge, real world experience and writing skills that Mike possesses. Fewer still with that skill set and Honda specific knowledge. Well, the book, Honda/Acura Engine Performance has finally been released, and Mike has put together a useful engine theory and technology primer for followers of the big 'H'.


Mike's approach to writing the book is to educate the enthusiast with some theory so that they can make informed judgements and decisions on upgrading their engines, regardless of who claims to have the latest and hottest modification. As expected, he starts out with a short chapter on basic engine theory, discussing the standard components of an internal combustion engine and their significance in building power. While the "theory" chapter is only 8 pages long, Mike continues to share useful rules of thumb on engine operation and construction throughout the book. And this approach is what makes this book useful, especially for the beginner.

Once Kojima gets us through the basics, he proceeds to step us through bolt-on modifications, cylinder heads, and bottom-end modifications. These chapters are probably the least interesting in the book. If you've read any of the other Honda engine books out there, you've probably already learned much of what is said in these chapters There are a few areas I found a bit wanting as well.

In particular, Kojima's discussion of cam characteristics seemed inconsistent. For example, he talks about how Honda engines need less overlap and duration than an old school V8, and in fact will not tolerate as much (but doesn't really tell us just how much less). He next talks about how VTEC gets rid of many of the compromises of big cams, and mentions how an Integra Type-R cam runs a huge amount of duration on the VTEC lobe (but gets the number wrong). However, he finishes off with a cam recommendation list that seems tailored to non-VTEC engines - recommending that a 290 degree, 11.5mm lift cam as a really wild street cam or mild race cam with poor emissions and lopy idle....which is true for a non-VTEC engine. These cam specs just happen to match those of Toda's A-spec cams for the B-series, which still idle at 800 rpm and pass emissions with no issues - thanks to VTEC. For the beginner, I feel this section will be more confusing than necessary and may lead to some poor decisions.

Thankfully, things get better from there. The next chapter covers hybrid engine swaps and does an excellent job of providing a quick reference chart for every possible hybrid swap. Key considerations such as which parts are needed are covered in some detail and in some cases a wiring guide is provided. It's a good starting point for anyone considering an engine swap.

Going further, the book segues into a discussion of hot street combos utilizing OEM Honda parts to maximize your engine. Covering "Frankenstein" B-series conversions, rods, pistons, cams and more, Kojima tells you exactly what parts will work in your engine. In fact, he even goes so far as to provide part numbers in some cases! That's useful information and its all in one handy reference source. And the best is yet to come.

If this book interests you, click this link to buy it.
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