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Updated by John Huh on Mar 15, 2016
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John Huh John Huh
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Common LS VTEC Myths

LS VTEC - What is it?

The hybrid Honda engine known as the LS/VTEC is combining a low cost non-VTEC engine and bolting a VTEC head onto it. There's also a 2.0 liter variation, commonly called CRVTEC that takes the displacement of a 2.0 liter B20 engine and combines the DOHC VTEC head from a GSR or B16.

This unique combination has been around for quite some time, as the LS/VTEC build is nothing new. Looking to build your own LS VTEC Honda engine swap? Check out the guide here for how to build a reliable LS VTEC.

There's a lot of misinformation out there on the LS VTEC setup, so here's some common LS VTEC myths that we'll be disproving one at a time, FAQ style.

1

LS VTEC needs a standalone

LS VTEC needs a standalone

Lots of would be Honda engine swappers hear the word standalone and the cost of additional tuning and components, and instantly get turned off.

But this myth is most definitely not true, because you can use a chipped Honda ECU like a Acura Integra LS (P75) or GSR (P72) ECU, or even the Civic VTEC (P28) can be used. Learn how to chip your Honda ECU with Uberdata, Chrome or Neptune using this handy How To Guide.

2

LS VTEC needs a GSR timing belt

LS VTEC needs a GSR timing belt

If you are building your LS VTEC on a budget, you might hear that you NEED a new GSR timing belt to match your new build.

However you don't require a new timing belt if you have an existing non VTEC timing belt. There's 19 teeth on your non-VTEC belt, vs the 21 on the VTEC one. This is dictated by your water pump, so if you are going to be changing or replacing your water pump and timing belt, make sure they both match.

3

LS VTEC is difficult or expensive

LS VTEC is difficult or expensive

If you know how to change your B18 timing belt, you are halfway to building your own LS VTEC or CRVTEC cheaply. Most builds should check in under 1000 dollars total when done right.

Here's a few things on your checklist :
• VTEC Cylinder Head Assembly (B16, GSR, ITR)
• B20/LS Head Gasket (match what you have)
• VTEC conversion kit which should include VTEC oil lines, cylinder head dowel pins, and oil feed conversion fittings.
• ARP Head studs - p/n 208-4306

4

LS VTEC requires a main girdle

LS VTEC requires a main girdle

This one can definitely concern you if you hear this from a Honda forum or the local tuner shop. To some degree this myth has some merit, but not if you are building a street car. For horsepower levels under 500 a main girdle is not required if you want to have some fun.

However if you are building something that's going to push three times the limit of the stock LS bottom end, look into aftermarket girdles

5

LS VTEC needs a new set of ARP head bolts

LS VTEC needs a new set of ARP head bolts

If you have an existing LS engine with the ARP head bolts in it, you probably aren't enjoying the fact that you need another 140 dollar set of cylinder head bolts.

Except you don't. Instead call your local speed shop or head over to Pro Street and order the two ARP bolts you will need to swap to build a reliable LS VTEC Honda engine swap.

The part numbers for these bolts are atp8.000-1LUB and ATP6.000-1LUBA. These part numbers are for two of the 11mm hex bolts from ARP

6

LS VTEC needs an expensive oil feed kit

LS VTEC needs an expensive oil feed kit

Yet another LS VTEC myth that's simply not true. While you can purchase a nice oil feed kit with a shiny anodized oil sandwich adapter and fancy fittings, it's just cheaper to buy your own.

The fitting size for the head is a 3/8 BSP and you'll need a conversion if you want to use typical oil fittings. Converting this to a NPT 3.8th or stepping it down to a -6AN is very simple and cheap.

The fitting in the block is a 1/8 BSP and you'll need to convert this to NPT as well or the similar 3/8th pipe to -6 AN male..

You can finish this off with a pair of swivel -6 AN female ends mated to a 3 foot long oil rated pressure line. This can all be accomplished for under 30 dollars.

7

LS VTEC doesn't need dowel pins

LS VTEC doesn't need dowel pins

There are many misconceptions about LS VTEC dowel pins out there, and there's several people that use cheap shims to get away with their build. Fact is however with the cost factor of LS VTEC dowel pins so low, there's no reason to not buy a good set of LS VTEC dowel pins for your DOHC B series engine.