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General Information

Is there an Integra Web page?

The original VTEC.net Integra page has been combined with this new VTEC.net page, which incorporates all the Honda/Acura vehicles into one location.


Where can I get the service manual?

HELM Incorporated (800-782-4356) has the service manual along with the owner's manual and electrical manual. The service manual is a pricey $60 including shipping, but worth it.


What is the Acura customer service phone number?

1-800-4A-ACURA


What type of mods, if any, will not void my car's warranty?

Only those parts which

    directly
affect or are replaced by your modification will void only the warranty on that specific part. For example, if you change your springs and shocks, your engine warranty will not be affected. Only the springs and shocks warranty will be voided of course, because the originals are no longer on the car. In addition the dealer must
    prove
that your modification directly caused another part to fail. If you are unable to work something out with your dealer, look at the SEMA web page for information about your rights. The best policy is to maintain a good relationship with the service manager.

Can I install an Alpine CD Changer to the stock radio? What modifications to the adapter need to be done?

All of the information necessary to perform this task can be found at the Integra car audio & security web site. Specifically, click here for the CD changer information.


What's that clunking sound coming from the rear of the car?

From: gszabo@primenet.com
When my gas tank is full stepping on the brake (especially going in reverse) will cause a loud banging noise to come from the gas tank area. Acura acknowledges this problem, and acknowledges the fact that it seems to happen in all 1994 Acuras, but says I'm the only one that seems to notice it. It is very loud and can be mistaken for something tumbling in the trunk or something hitting your car in the back. You can also feel something hitting the back of your seat. Acura says that it is gas sloshing that is causing this sensation. Has anyone else had this problem?

Acura does not believe it could be detrimental to the car, although no one seems to be all that interested in really investigating the problem thoroughly. They will not investigate the problem because people are not complaining about it (except for me). I have asked them to send me a letter which says that the car is 100% safe to drive, and that they acknowledge the problem (in case of any future problems). I have been trying to resolve this problem for 1 year and 2 months. I still have not received the letter I am looking for.

After admitting to me that they hear the noise, they claim in their letter to me that they do not know what I am talking about...that the noise doesn't exist and that 'the noise I claim to hear' must be gas sloshing. What is the purpose of baffles (spelling?) if they don't keep the gas from sloshing? As far as the '95 Integras go, I don't know. I asked someone from work about their brand new Integra, and they say that they've never experienced this problem.

From: Scott Dickey (dickey@dfw.net)
Several have written about rear end noises in second-generation Integras. In the case of my '90 GS hatchback, I had a loud 'clunk' noise every time I hit a bump. The culprit was indeed the hatch latching mechanism (which, as Steve discovered, cannot be adjusted).

The metal "loop" that is attached to the hatch itself was rattling around inside the hook mechanism when the car was driven over bumpy roads. This problem nearly drove me nuts, and I'd like to say that I have a good solution... but alas, I do not. What I did was crank the little rubber feet, located on each corner of the hatch, out as far as they would go (two or three full turns. The first time I adjusted these I only went out about a half turn or so and got no improvement). This made the hatch difficult to close (I have to slam it pretty good) but it

    has
stopped the clunking sounds.

I'm pretty sure that those little feet are going to compress in time and my problem will return. Therefore, if anyone has come across what they consider to be a permanent solution, I'm sure that there are several of us out here that are all ears. I appeal to you to help maintain my sanity. I am still overall very happy with my Integra, plan to keep it for several more years, and would hate to have to take a baseball bat to the rear hatch.

From: Stephane Bismuth (bismuth@soquelec.com)
I find the same thing. The gas sloshing around is something else though. You hear that when your backing up or stopping suddenly.
This is how I see the sound:
I have a feeling that the engineers at Acura added a type of air "exhaust" (in the form of a flap) that opens when there is excessive air pressure in the car. I hear it open when I slam my trunk down hard (and it closes). If this "exhaust" wasn't there, the trunk would fly back in my face. I hear the same noise when I go over large bumps. I think the flap opening and closing (from gravity and the motion of the car over bumps) could be the source of the knocking.


Did my Integra get recalled for faulty seatbelts?

From: Erwin T. Grunwald (erwin@scooter.lexis-nexis.com)
More than 8.4 million passenger cars and other vehicles are being recalled because the seat belts supplied by the Takata Corp. may be rendered defective by exposure to ultraviolet light. The affected Takata belt buckles were built from 1986-1991 and installed in primarily Japanese-made cars, vans, sport utility vehicles, a pickup trucks. The buckles have a red release button made of plastic that can degrade over time due to exposure to UV light.

Also I read that the problem with the seat belt is that the buckle can be rendered inoperative after being subjected to heat/cold extremes. In a statement, Takata charged that most of the problems come from owners spilling soft drinks on the buckles. According to NHTSA, there have been 931 complaints concerning the Takata belts, including 90 reports of injuries. No deaths, however, have been associated with buckle failures.

Under the terms of the recall, the auto makers said they will conduct a safety recall beginning in four months by notifying owners that the buckles will be replaced free-of-charge. A lifetime warranty on all front seat belt components will also be extended. According to the complaint information filed by customers who had repairs done, replacement of a belt assembly has ranged from less than $ 100 to hundreds of dollars.

From: Honda's Letter to Owners
"... Honda has determined that front seat belt buckle release buttons have broken, and others may break in the future, in some 1986-91 Acura cars equipped with seat belts made by the Takata Corporation. These seat belt buckle release buttons are made of red plastic, and are marked 'Press.' If a button breaks, pieces may fall into the buckle assembly. If this occurs, the buckle may not operate properly, thereby creating a safety risk." It goes on to say,"...Acura will replace all broken front seat belt buckles free of charge, and will modify all unbroken buckles manufactured by Takata to prevent future button breakage."

 HONDA cars recalled:  +3.5 million vehicles

   1986-1991 Civic

   1986-1987 and 1989-1991 Civic CRX

   1986-1990 Acura Legend

   1986-1991 Acura Integra

   1991 Acura NSX Coupe

   1986-1991 Accord

   1986-1991 Prelude

What are some high performance brake pads Integras?

Please visit the Integra Brakes section for more information about this topic. Also, performing a search on this site for the requested information would also be of help.


What does VTEC stand for and how is it related to my engine?

From: Daryl Krzewinski (daryl.krzewinski@ab.com)
VTEC is Honda's trademarked acronym for Variable valve Timing and Electronic lift Control. Put simply, it's a method of directly altering the cam profile that valves "see", so that the optimum grind can be utilized at either high or low rpm. Honda currently has three different VTEC systems for sale in the U.S., but the primary differences are: level of complexity and design purpose. Since the high performance version is the most oft discussed, I'll describe it:

The high performance VTEC system, which made it's debut in the Acura NSX, is also available on the Integra GS-R, Prelude VTEC and del Sol VTEC. Using radical cam grinds to improve engine horsepower is certainly nothing new, but the problem lies in driveability. The very aspects of a cam grind that work so well for horsepower (high lift, long overlap, etc.) do so by creating an ideal situation for a high air flow at high engine speeds. Unfortunately, what works well for that situation has the inverse affect on low speed torque and driveability. Perhaps at one time or another we've all heard the V-8 hot rod that has a cam grind so radical that it can't even maintain an idle, and the driver must constantly goose the accelerator to keep the engine running.

What to do? How about two different cam grinds, each optimized for a different half of the rpm range. Honda achieves this with a rather simple method.

Picture, if you will, one cylinder of a DOHC, 4-valve per cylinder engine. There are 4 cam lobes, each directly operating a valve (two intake, two exhaust). The VTEC system has two more cam lobes, in between each pair of the other respective sets. These two can then be our high-rpm lobes, while the other four are the low-rpm lobes.

The low-rpm lobes in this case then actuate the valves through a set of rocker arms, so that the mechanical connection can be broken if desired. The third, high-rpm lobe also has it's own follower, but it is in a freewheeling state, flopping around and not contributing anything. As our engine accelerates through it's rev range, it passes through the power peak of the low-rpm lobes. Then, at the engine speed and throttle position programmed into the computer's memory map a signal is sent which electronically opens a spool valve, which then directs oil pressure to a mechanical sliding pin. This pin locks the rocker arms actuating the valves to the follower on the high-rpm cam lobe. As this grind is steeper and higher then the other four cams it will supersede them. In a few milliseconds you have completely altered the valve timing and the engine's power band begins anew.

The obvious benefits to this are the high-rpm power associated with a radical cam grind, but with little or no negative affects on low speed idle, driveability or torque. Just changing a fixed timing engine to a cam grind equal to the high-rpm one used in the VTEC would produce an engine which is utterly gutless below 5000rpm.

Clearly, this system is intended to improve performance first, with little effect elsewhere. But such a system can be used differently, as that in the Civic VX. In this instance, the low-rpm lobes give a staggered timing, where one valve opens fully but the second cracks just a bit. This is to induce a high swirl rate into the chamber to promote better combustion, which, when combined with a computer-actuated lean burn helps to achieve high mileage. The high-rpm lobes in this engine are a more conventional grind associated with a sixteen valve 4-cylinder, to provide extra power in cases of passing or merging. The VTEC system used in most Civics (EX, Si and the del Sol Si but NOT del Sol VTEC) is a little closer to that in the NSX, etc. The difference being that this system is vastly simplified and operates on the intake valves ONLY. The exhaust valves are actuated conventionally, which reduces the effect somewhat from the full VTEC system. This is partly to reduce costs, and partly because this engine is a SOHC, and the complex system of rocker arms to actuate sixteen valves is prohibitive to the full VTEC system. The VTEC on the Accord is close in design to that on the Civics as well, optimized more for a smooth power delivery then high horsepower.

The negative effects? Very few, really. Obviously it's very expensive, with many complex parts involved. The biggest drawback is the limitation to only two "modes" of valve timing. Most engineers are still seeking ways to obtain unlimited variance of the valve timing, so that it can be optimized to any engine speed, not just high or low rpm. BMW's system approaches this method with a completely different method of varying the valve timing. It is almost infinitely adjustable *within it's range*, but alas it has a much smaller envelope between the two extremes of it's variability than is possible with the Honda system.


What tire should I get and what size should I get?

It is recommended that you visit the Integra Wheels/Tires section of this web page for more information on this topic.


How do I reset the "Maintenance Required" light?

This is described in the owners manual. Turn the key to the "on" position. Then press and hold the indented button under the dash (steering column) for over five seconds or until the light turns off.


What should I do if the reverse gear is hard to get into reverse?

Shift into any forward gear and then into reverse.


Since I lowered my car, do I really need new shocks or will the stock ones do fine?

Well, if the springs don't match well with the damping rate of the stock shocks, then the car may "bounce" as it goes over the road. For example, say the spring rate is very high (it can hold a lot of energy and then release all that energy). The job of a shock or more correctly called damper (that's what the British call it I think), is to dampen out or absorb the energy of the spring. If the damper is not strong enough to control the motions of the spring, then the spring will be bouncing up and down uncontrollably.


Are there any computer chips made for my car?

There are many "chip" manufacturers that produce ECU upgrades for most Honda/Acura products. It is recommended that you search this site, including message forums, for additional information and opinions related to this topic.

Dinan chips for the third generation ('94+) Integras are reported to not work very well. Someone did several runs comparing stock and the Dinan chip and did not see any difference in times. However, Dinan chips did work well with the previous generation Integras.

From: oanglade@caribe.net
The Dinan chip supplies an optimized ignition timing and fuel delivery data to the computer and increases the factory rev limit. I have taken it to 7500 rpm's without cut-offs or problems, but I haven't dared to take it any higher. ;) This is on a '94 LS.

Dinan stated an 11 hp gain with the chip and, although I don't have a dyno, I can say that the mid range increase can be felt. I have street raced against Civic Si's and had their owners asking what did I do to my car because they are always kicking their friends butts.

Oh, almost forgot, the chip is only available soldered on a complete ECU so you have to send yours after you get the Dinan one. All of this costs $300. + $500 core charge which you get back after they receive your stock unit.


Where can I place my floor jack to raise up either the front end or the rear end?

From: Mark Porter (mpor@gwl.com)
There's actually a special place on '94-'95 Integras that was designed for floor jacks. It's centered between the front wheels beneath the radiator where you'll find an arrow molded in the "plastic skid-plate looking thing". Position your floor jack to the area immediately adjacent to the tip of the arrow and you can raise the entire front end and then place the jack stands in the normal jack locations. By the way, if you want to raise the rear of the car, the rear tow hook is the place to position your floor jack. Both these locations are shown in the Integra factory service manual.

I did have a concern about using my floor jack on the front of my Integra. My floor jack (as do most) has a steel cup shaped affair where it touches the support point of the vehicle. I wasn't sure how well the Integra's plastic at this point would react to having the steel cup pressed against it (sandwiching the plastic between the floor jack and the steel support point on the car) supporting the weight of the car. I thought there was a chance it might crack or break. So, I ordered a special flat rubber floor jack support device that replaces the steel cup. I got it from the Griot's Garage catalog (1-800-345-5789). It works great. I may be overly cautious about whether I even needed such a device, but it worked for me.

I've used this jacking point on my '95 GS-R on three separate occasions to do oil changes and it's worked just fine. One very important rule to remember when doing this sort of thing is to never, EVER, even CONSIDER crawling under a vehicle supported only by a floor jack (for the very reason you mentioned above). ALWAYS support the vehicle with jack stands BEFORE going underneath.

I can only speculate as to why you had a problem. The car should always be on a level surface. Also, the parking brake should be firmly applied to help keep the car from moving while its front end is being lifted. The floor jack needs to be precisely centered on the small square jacking point area before you begin lifting the car.


What is that buzzing sound coming from the transmission clutch?

From: Michael Y. Chiang (myc@atlantic2.sbi.com)
Don't know if this is the same problem, but the clutch cable on my '90 Integra vibrated at 3500 rpm producing a buzzing noise. I dampened it by attaching a clothes pin to the cable.

From: Shawn Church
Heat shield noise - Neither dealer could get me in till next Saturday, so instead of driving around with that noise, I tried to fix it myself. Got underneath the car, removed the bottom part of the heat shield (very simple) and voila, the problem appears to be fixed. I really need to drive the car around from cold start to warm up with the windows down for about 20 minutes to make sure.

I don't think removing the heat shield should have much effect. I think it has 2 functions. 1) Protect any flammables under the car from igniting. 2) Retain heat to help quicker light-off of the converter. Since I don't park on grass :-) and I have the ceramic coated headers which pass more heat to the converter than stock, I don't think I'll have a problem.

Finally found the source of that buzzing noise. Turns out the heat shield on the B pipe is cracked almost clean through. As soon as it heats up and expands, it starts making noise. Talking with the guys at Bell Acura, it seems that they've had to replace A-pipes, B-pipes and lots of heat shields on the GS-Rs. Apparently, the exhaust system just isn't set up to handle the extra RPMs.



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