E-DA8 Integra XSi
April 1989 - Honda unleased the
irresistible seduction of a race-tuned high-revving street car upon an
unsuspecting public. This is the DA-generation Honda Integra, the
first VTEC Honda. Fitted with the legendary B16A, the Integra came
as both DA6 2-door Coupe and DA8 4-door Sedan and in
two trims, the basic no-frills RSi and the high-end
XSi which comes with options of climate control,
sunroof, and a 4-channel anti-lock braking system.
The 1st generation B16A in the Integra XSi/RSi has a 16V DOHC design and uses
VTEC to enable the heavy use of racing technologies in a street engine. This
enables the little B16A to generate an incredible 160ps from only 1.6litres, and
the ability to rev to a then unheard of 8000rpm red-line ! The rest as we know
well is now history.....
Befittingly, the DA6 & DA8 became very popular and even
till today, there are still many satisfied owners happily using their Integra
XSi & RSi. Subsequent VTEC Hondas, especially the EG6, DC2 and of course the
mighty Type-Rs have hogged the limelight but the DA6 & DA8 Integra will
continue to hold a unique, very special place in Honda's history as the first
The top-end Integra XSi/RSi was produced from 1989 till 1991
before receiving the 2G 170ps B16A and a very mild body revision. As a result,
XSi/RSi with the 1G 160ps B16A are now already in their second decade of use.
How well will they hold up to age ? Of particular concern would be how the 1G
B16A itself will perform after more than 10 years of use.
In this new TOVW series, I will focus on this
great model in detail, paying special attention to the question of how well 1G
models are lasting their age. We start off this series in typical TOVW style, by
looking at a relatively stock model.
Stock New Zealand Registered Integra XSi
Tamati who lives in New Zealand is a regular visitor to TOVW
and credits me for giving him a lot of ideas for modifying his recently
purchased pre-owned 1991 DA8 4-door Honda Integra XSi. The car was
originally a used-import from Japan, re-registered in New Zealand and Tamati
bought it over from the first New Zealand owner. In his e-mail, Tamati told me he
recently dynoed his car and sent me the dyno chart. This started off a sequence
of e-mails that provides me with the perfect set of materials to examine what a
relatively stock 1991 Integra XSi, well looked after and in excellent condition,
is capable of doing.
In terms of "modifications", Tamati's added the following to
- K&N FilterCharger Air Filter
- Resonator removed, replaced with a custom underbody ram-air pipe
- Throttle body heating by-passed
- Engine timing advanced by 2 degrees (to 17 degrees)
The K&N filter is a direct replacement drop
in model - remove the original stock panel filter and put the higher flow
K&N in. The higher flow is claimed to enable more air into the engine, thus
enabling more power. But a rather more significant mod would be the removal of
the resonator as that would really help in high rpm air-flow. But even including
the K&N filter, Tamati's modifications to the engine are in actual fact very
mild so the engine itself can really be considered relatively stock.
This stock "status" carries over to the rest of the car. The
suspension - springs and shocks are standard but as with all enthusiasts, the
wheels are replaced with larger 15" x 7" Ensure Racing wheels and 195/50VR15
tyres - stock DA8 tyres are only 195/60 HR 14 so the larger rims are popular to
add an aggressive look to the car.
In the well-kept interior, MOMO items replaced
the stock steering wheel, shift knob and harness pads. The shifter itself was
changed to a Dynamik Tuning Adjustable short-throw shift. An
A'PEXi Rev SpeedMeter (RSM) is supplements the stock JDM
speedometer (which stops at 180kph) showing vehicle speed in digital format. The
RSM can also do standing start acceleration timings; 0-100kph, 0-400m, etc as
well as lap-timing. Also very apparent from the photos, Tamati's DA8 interior is
in exemplary condition - certainly not looking at all like it's gone through 10
years of use !
The Dyno-Pack Dynamometer
Tamati's car was measured on a New Zealand designed
DynoPack dyno. I first got to know about the DynoPack from Doug
(of HONDATA fame). The DynoPack works along the same principle as
the DynoJet but instead of measuring power by having the wheels turn a huge
drum, the driving wheels are removed and an electrically retarded measuring
device is mounted directly to the wheel lugs. DynoPack claims an extremely high
sensitivity - the ability to measure the apparent loss in power when the car's
headlights are switched on !
The dyno run itself was conducted with the bonnet down and a
large fan blowing air against the front of the car. A lot of enthusiasts feels
that this is more representative of the actual air-flow conditions that the car
will experience in real life. Nevertheless I personally feel this method of
dyno-ing will give a less than absolutely accurate reading because I think that
a fan will never be able to generate air-flow equivalent to that when a car is
moving at speeds of up to for e.g. ~140kph (the speed equivalent to 8000rpm at
3rd gear on an Integra XSi).
It was also raining at the time of the dyno run, which was
conducted in a workshop with the roller doors open and an outside temperature of
about 16-17 degrees Celsius. The low ambient air temperature will give a
beneficial effect to the absolute power output from the car (irregardless of the
SAE corrections), maybe as much as 3-4ps! The car was running on
RON-98 petrol for the dyno-run.
The Dyno Result
The DynoPack registered the following results :
- Peak Power = 101.2 kW ( 137.6 ps ) at 7584rpm
- Peak Torque = 133.8 Nm ( 13.6 kg/m ) at 6968rpm
As we have seen from our Civic series, a 1st generation B16A
with a manual gearbox will be expected to dyno at 160ps less 15%
power loss due to the gearbox. This of course works out to 136ps at the wheels.
Tamati's car dynoed at close to 138ps at the wheels. While the engine's power
output benefits from very low ambient air temperature, dyno-ing with the bonnet
closed will degrade power output so the two conditions will actually neutralize
each other. This means the minor mods to the engine will have a net though very
small effect in increasing power output. With some net gains expected from the
mild mods, the 138ps at the wheels dyno result correlates very
well with a relatively stock 1G B16A indeed.
Even more significant are the rpm points at which peak power
and peak torque were measured. The peak power of 138ps was measured at 7584 or
around 7600rpm. Peak torque was measured at 6968 or around 7000rpm. Honda's
specified stock figures for the 1st Gen B16A are indeed (at the
engine) 160ps at 7600rpm and 15.5kgm at 7000rpm. So, as can be seen, the peak
power and torque points were measured at exactly the stock points
as specified by Honda.
I think Tamati's dyno result is very significant; the car and
engine, is already into its 2nd decade - 10 years of age. That it can still
deliver the baseline reference power output including matching the stock spec'ed
peak power and torque rpm points speaks very well for the durability and quality
of the 1G B16A indeed.
Tamati's Integra XSi have demonstrated that a relatively stock
1G B16A if properly looked after and well kept will last extremely well, indeed
even able to deliver power levels as good as if it is a brand new engine. As can
be seen from the photos provided by Tamati, the interior of the car and the car
itself looks very new.
This is very significant news for Integra XSi & RSi owners.
As explained, 1G DA6/DA8 Integra XSi/RSi are well into their 2nd decade of use
by now. But Tamati's example tells us that irregardless of age, a well looked
after Integra XSi/RSi, properly maintained and exemplarily kept will run
just as well as when it was brand new !
© Temple of VTEC World
Tamati has his own homepage which is located at http://www.geocities.com/da8hondaintegra/.
e-mail is email@example.com.