General Performance Upgrade Questions - Acura TSX Forum
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post #1 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-27-2016, 07:25 PM Thread Starter
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General Performance Upgrade Questions

I've been reading some posts and I think I've picked up some good info. I'm looking to get my bone stock 04 MT TSX to roughly 250whp. I'm very interested in the UR aluminum pulleys to start. I'm looking to do some drop in cams, cat back, and high flow cat. That's about all I have so far. I was reading about intake manifolds and was getting confused with whether or not RRC or RBC is necessary for what I'm looking for. I want an exhaust that doesn't sound like your standard Honda exhaust on that a kid who just graduated high school bought off of eBay. I do a lot of highway driving so I'd like something that doesn't drone, but still has a nice note at high end. What are the most preferred high flow cats? I'd also like to still pass inspection in NJ so no CEL if possible. I started researching drag cartel DIC but kinda just found stuff about OEM 06 cams. So any discussion about that is appreciated. And finally, what is the best tune for this car? My buddy got a vit tune for his 15 si and he likes it a lot.
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post #2 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-29-2016, 04:54 AM
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Originally Posted by Poletrain View Post
I've been reading some posts and I think I've picked up some good info. I'm looking to get my bone stock 04 MT TSX to roughly 250whp.. I'm looking to do some drop in cams, cat back, and high flow cat. That's about all I have so far. I was reading about intake manifolds and was getting confused with whether or not RRC = top end power or RBC = Mid Power is necessary for what I'm looking for. I want an exhaust that doesn't sound like your standard Honda exhaust: APEXI WS2 or FUJITSOBO LEGALIS R
What are the most preferred high flow cats? Fastline performance HFC (heeltoeauto.com <-- support local business) or RT cat or MagnaflowI'd also like to still pass inspection in NJ so no CEL if possible. HFC might cause CEL
I started researching drag cartel DIC but kinda just found stuff about OEM 06 cams. 06 cams will be an upgrade. 09 TSX cams and Cam gear will be an upgrade.
So any discussion about that is appreciated. And finally, what is the best tune for this car? My buddy got a vit tune for his 15 si and he likes it a lot.
****BEFORE YOU TUNE, MOD, ECT. GET FLASHPRO or Ktuner***
if you don't plan on getting flashpro or Ktuner then don't worry about cams, RBC RRC, 50 degree Cam gear as you will not be able to use this.

1. Get a cold air intake and header. PLM or Weapon R net most power at our price range. CT-Engineering is carb legal.
2. Exhaust doesn't really net power at this point, if you want sound for cheap search eBay for SRS exhaust
3. after intake and header a nice light weight pulleys...UR aluminum set or simply an OEM RRC or PRC crank pulley will help feel quicker paired with a nice set of LIGHT weight RIMS
4. TB coolant mod + Hondata Intake manifold gasket or P2R gasket will help keep engine temps down.

theres more just gotta research
Tottenhams Guide to NA power

DannyV
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post #3 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-29-2016, 01:02 PM
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POLETRAIN
You didn't mention your budget but making 250WHP is going to be a little pricey. You're gonna have to run pretty aggressive cams to make that kind of power with a k24 head. OEM cams are not going to cut it. If you really want to make a lot of top end power swapping over to a K20a head would be a serious option you could look at. The K24 head just doesn't flow that great, which is even more obvious when you start adding cams, decent header, intake manifold, and exhaust.

Reaching your goal is doable with a k24 head, but it would be a lot easier with a k20a head.

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Originally Posted by Dannyv View Post
2. Exhaust doesn't really net power at this point, if you want sound for cheap search eBay for SRS exhaust
The stock TSX exhaust is actually very restrictive even with very few mods.
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post #4 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-30-2016, 11:00 PM
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@ Goforbroke: I mean not to criss-cross what you've stated, but the tsx head has the most potential for porting. Yes, it does not flow 'great' at lower rpms but up top, she's almost unsurpassed, and with "flow', i mean airspeeds, not mass.. at higher rpms, the speed that the cylinders "fill' is more important than the mass.. (VE - Volumetric efficency) she takes what she needs, regulates air/fuel mixtures accordingly, utilizing MAP (or MAF on other makes) and O2 sensor(s); See also comparrison RBA/RBC/RRA intake manifolds.. RBC has lesser low-mid range torque, better high end (v-tec) torque
Just so, not trying to be the wise ass here...

Greetz

ACC-Man

Try it!!! You only die once...

The best engine in the world is the Vagina;
It can be started with one finger. It's self lubricating.
It takes any size piston, and changes it's own oil every 4 weeks.
It is only a pity that the management system is so f....g temperamental.

Last edited by ACC-Man; 06-30-2016 at 11:04 PM.
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post #5 of 20 (permalink) Old 07-01-2016, 02:11 AM
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Originally Posted by ACC-Man View Post
@ Goforbroke: I mean not to criss-cross what you've stated, but the tsx head has the most potential for porting. Yes, it does not flow 'great' at lower rpms but up top, she's almost unsurpassed, and with "flow', i mean airspeeds, not mass.. at higher rpms, the speed that the cylinders "fill' is more important than the mass.. (VE - Volumetric efficency) she takes what she needs, regulates air/fuel mixtures accordingly, utilizing MAP (or MAF on other makes) and O2 sensor(s); See also comparrison RBA/RBC/RRA intake manifolds.. RBC has lesser low-mid range torque, better high end (v-tec) torque
Just so, not trying to be the wise ass here...

Greetz

ACC-Man
You're absolutely right the TSX head does have a lot of potential if you were going to get it ported, but stock for stock the k20a head is going to make more power then a stock TSX head.

A little off the beaten path but you can buy a k20a head for $500-600, opposed to getting a TSX head ported for $1000-1500.
Just a thought.....

Also I've seen far and few K24a2 engines make 250whp. It's possible with the right combination of parts, but nobody bothers because they want more power. Then you have countless dynos of k20/k24 making 250whp+.
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post #6 of 20 (permalink) Old 07-01-2016, 06:58 AM
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I agree, 100% !!

ACC-Man

Try it!!! You only die once...

The best engine in the world is the Vagina;
It can be started with one finger. It's self lubricating.
It takes any size piston, and changes it's own oil every 4 weeks.
It is only a pity that the management system is so f....g temperamental.
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post #7 of 20 (permalink) Old 07-01-2016, 02:40 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Dannyv View Post
****BEFORE YOU TUNE, MOD, ECT. GET FLASHPRO or Ktuner***
if you don't plan on getting flashpro or Ktuner then don't worry about cams, RBC RRC, 50 degree Cam gear as you will not be able to use this.

1. Get a cold air intake and header. PLM or Weapon R net most power at our price range. CT-Engineering is carb legal.
2. Exhaust doesn't really net power at this point, if you want sound for cheap search eBay for SRS exhaust
3. after intake and header a nice light weight pulleys...UR aluminum set or simply an OEM RRC or PRC crank pulley will help feel quicker paired with a nice set of LIGHT weight RIMS
4. TB coolant mod + Hondata Intake manifold gasket or P2R gasket will help keep engine temps down.

theres more just gotta research
Tottenhams Guide to NA power
I've had an ebay exhaust on my old es1 civic and it sounded great, but the fitment was kinda bad. Enkei rpf1's are probably in my future because they're popular for a reason.

Quote:
Originally Posted by goforbroke View Post
You're absolutely right the TSX head does have a lot of potential if you were going to get it ported, but stock for stock the k20a head is going to make more power then a stock TSX head.

A little off the beaten path but you can buy a k20a head for $500-600, opposed to getting a TSX head ported for $1000-1500.
Just a thought.....

Also I've seen far and few K24a2 engines make 250whp. It's possible with the right combination of parts, but nobody bothers because they want more power. Then you have countless dynos of k20/k24 making 250whp+.
If I were to want to make more power in the future, would it be better to port the k24a head instead of buying the k20a head? I'm new to performance upgrades so I'm not entirely sure what porting is. I just looked it up and it definitely looks very expensive from what I can tell. Also, if k20a is still better, which one? Are all the heads on the k20a series the same? Or should i try and find specifically a k20a2 for example.
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post #8 of 20 (permalink) Old 07-01-2016, 02:56 PM Thread Starter
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Are there any cams that are too aggressive to just drop in? A buddy told me he dropped stage 2 cams into his h22 swapped dc5 and didn't replace any valve train and did bigger injectors. Was he just lucky? Or is that possible for the k24? because I just read that drag cartel only adds about 20whp and I was expecting from cams. Also, regarding budget, I don't really have one. I'm of course trying to be economical, but I understand quality comes with extra money so I get this may end up costing 2-3k. I'm also probably going to be doing all of this over time instead of over one winter because of the cost.
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post #9 of 20 (permalink) Old 07-01-2016, 05:53 PM
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@ Poletrain: I had just written you, here a quite substantial 'essay', went to post it and the site had logged me out. DAMN!!
Here goes again, see if I can get the wording/thoughts across...
It depends on what you wish the car to do:
a) Faster off the line, better low-mid range torque, no RPM orgies - Stay with the k24, an engine that does her job well, and efficiently.
b) Topspeed, top-end torque, screaming Mimi SOB, RPM's turning to 8,5K, loud obnoxious, but fun to drive, maybe not so fuel effiecient - go with the K20
Headporting: This too, all depends on what you wish the end result to be.. it is in my eyes, the LAST resort to tickle those last few mares out of your engine. There are things you, as a 'non-pro/apprentice' can do to help the airflow, using hand tools. I will add pics/links below, after the sermon...

Cams: Now this is where the real fun begins...
There is no 'norm/standard' by which the fabricators "must' name their cams.. Nowhere stands stated "A cam with such and such a lobe duration, @ xx,xx mm Lift Shalt be called Stage "XYZ". They can do and call it what they want, and the differences are quite large. It's your problem to find the cam, and pick the (Fitting/required) parts for your set-up. Most give a recommendation though.
Stg 1 Cams, alias DIC (Drop In Cams) are developed to be used with your oem valvetrain, no worries about Valvefloat/springs breaking, etc. Power gains roughly between 20-30 hp, AI (Hondata or other) required to tune/optimize this, I/H/E not a bad Idea to go with this/these.
IF you want to keep using your oem valvetrain, on a more aggressive cam, you must be aware of a few key factors:
Valves - If the lobe of the cam is gradual, say it takes 30 rotation for the valve to go from full open to closed tight shut, or if you have a cam lobe that drops off like jumping off a cliff, slamming the valve closed, full open to full closed in say 15 rotation, which do you think would be less good for longevity of the valve?? (The 'Numbers/Degrees used here, are not actual numbers, just so, as an example)
Springs - The height or "LIFT" of the cam.. does it cause the spring to compress so much, that the windings actually touch each other, or get squeezed together, causing unnatural wear and/or fatique. The tensile (Hardness.. too hard makes metal become very brittle) strength and too elasticity of the springs/how much "Force' can they handle is very important.
Then (Oh God, am I boring you yet??) how much vtc/vtec advancement do you wish to use, and how much will the cam allow, before you have valve to valve (Intake to exhaust) or Valve to Piston contact? Hondata stated that they recommend no more than 45 advancement, what stage cams, I cannot remember.. Example: I have Drag Cartel stg 4 cams, max vtc/vtec is 35 so my engine builder told me.
What you will need, and that's as sure as an Amen in church, is: Time, Patience, a bag full of coinage. Stress, hastily built, can be no part of this! WE ALL know the feeling, that 'burning under the fingernails", wanting to dig in and get shit rolling. This internal pig, you will have to lock away, for the duration of the build, NO MATTER WHAT! Impatient, haphazard work, that may cause something to go wrong in a manner faster than you'd think, and then not being able to drive/enjoy your baby, I wish this not upon my worst enemy!! Patience is a virtue you must have, if you can;t handle it, stop right now, buy a car that is already built fast. Otherwise you are not doing your Soul/Heart and/or Wallet a favour... See it so, you have the chance to bed down with the girl of your dreams, and just as she starts rolling down her socks, you ejaculate... Tmight be embarassing, no? But was it good (enough) for you? Did you enjoy it? I think not.
So Sir, i believe i have given you one or 2 things to mull over. The info is out there, and digging through the half truths that are readily available, getting to the truth/core, could take some time. Asking questions too helps, if within reason... Take notes/compare data.

ACC-Man/Mounty/Markus

So, to head porting: A friend of mine had recently bought a 4Piston k20 Ported head, $2600!! He had it sent to me, for reasons i wish not to reveal. It arrived, I took a look and was so let down! None of the ports are the same/the amount that was milled out, ON CNC (!!!) is different inn every port! I would be ashamed to ask that much for such bad workmanship:
Here, at the top of the runner: Untouched by the Mill, I doubt the Fabrication tolerances are that bad (From Honda/Casting Company) that there are upwards of 1mm differences, from Port/runner to Port/runner in one head..:
Intake side:


Exhaust side: (Chop/Shop suey or what?? Looks like the tool broke during operation..)



Intake manifold and/or Throttle porting/polishing, can be done @ home with a Dremel. Ok, in that sense, I did not "Port/Widen" the runners, just the intake side where the Throttle sits. But I removed the Casting marks, making for a better, less turbulent airflow: (Ported to encompass a 70mm T/B, oem was 64mm)



Fitted an old Thermal Gasket, before starting, as not to overdo anything Flange I/M to Cyl. Head:



Selfmade tools, for in the hand drill machine. 3mm Copper dowel, double sided tape wrapped around till about 1 cm thick, Sandpaper wrapped onto that (Watch for direction of turning!!)



Link to a really good guy on Youtube. He explains the theory, and How-to very well.. Has a few great (and LONG, bring popcorn!!) videos:

If I can (try to) help in any other way/form, just ask!

P.S. How many miles does you car have down already?? Is it worth it, doing all this work, on an engine that has increased "tolerances/play"?? (High Mileage...)

Last thought, i promise: Building N/A horsepower is NOT cheap! Rule of thumb: 1 N/A HP costs roughly $100, so your goal of 60 HP more would be roughly $6K!

Try it!!! You only die once...

The best engine in the world is the Vagina;
It can be started with one finger. It's self lubricating.
It takes any size piston, and changes it's own oil every 4 weeks.
It is only a pity that the management system is so f....g temperamental.

Last edited by ACC-Man; 07-03-2016 at 11:09 AM.
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post #10 of 20 (permalink) Old 07-03-2016, 01:25 PM Thread Starter
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ACC-Man, you're the man. I had forgotten to mention I'm a mechanical engineering grad from Penn State so jargon doesn't bother me. I also took CFD so I understand completely why reducing turbulence by having a better surface finish is incredibly important as well as reducing fatigue on the valves and springs. I'm gonna have to read this a few times to really digest everything and do some research on cams to figure out the collision problems you were mentioning, but this gives me a great start to understanding valve train, because I previously had very little knowledge on it.
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post #11 of 20 (permalink) Old 07-03-2016, 10:57 PM
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If you have the time, or are interested in getting into the nitty-gritty, with all the Jargon one can handle, go to K20.org look for a Chap: Lotuselise. He's a good friend of mine, has a Doctor's Degree in "Maschinenbau/Enginebuilding - Engineering", holds/teaches classes @ University here/Germany, in his SPARE TIME!! Now this guy is the SHIT/SHIZZLE!!! I have had the fun of trying to understand his posts quite regularly. He explains alot of the workings of engines, k20/k24, that he is working on, as a Hobby, using/utilizing Terms/Jargon/Slang(??) I'd not heard of before, but in the end, it ALL makes sense.. does that make sense?? I have learnt a huge amount just from him in the last 8-9 months. Pluck his brain, but beware, he will also want you to use your mind, will NOT answer every question, atleast those, where he recons you should be able to answer yourself, or that he has already replied to/scratched upon. He also, like me, tends to 'overanswer' meaning: Starting at Adam/Eve and giving you the whole story, straight through to purgatory... enjoy!
Again: Bring popcorn

ACC-Man

Try it!!! You only die once...

The best engine in the world is the Vagina;
It can be started with one finger. It's self lubricating.
It takes any size piston, and changes it's own oil every 4 weeks.
It is only a pity that the management system is so f....g temperamental.

Last edited by ACC-Man; 07-03-2016 at 10:59 PM.
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post #12 of 20 (permalink) Old 07-06-2016, 02:05 AM Thread Starter
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I'm getting some possibly conflicting information and I want to make sure I get everything correct. Regarding the intake manifold... I was looking at mine and I was seeing RAA on it, and I'm reading that all (RBB, RRC, RBC, RSP) other intakes are just simply better than the RAA. There's plenty of literature on the RRC vs RBC so I think I'm okay on that. I was getting confused with all of what I was reading. RBB is better with low torque and RBC RRC will win up top by roughly 10hp it looks like and it seemed like RSP wasn't much different, but was better than the RBC and RRC in low torque, but not quite as good as the RBB. I was getting confused because I was reading a lot of comparisons and then finding out they were done on a k20 which won't help me too much. SO, question of the day is, can I get a brief summary of each mani? I'm just looking for pros cons at low mid and high rev ranges. I'll most likely end up porting, and I was reading about the 72mm skunk 2 dbw TB and was intrigued quite a lot.
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post #13 of 20 (permalink) Old 07-06-2016, 03:29 AM
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Originally Posted by Poletrain View Post
I'm getting some possibly conflicting information and I want to make sure I get everything correct. Regarding the intake manifold... I was looking at mine and I was seeing RAA on it, and I'm reading that all (RBB, RRC, RBC, RSP) other intakes are just simply better than the RAA. There's plenty of literature on the RRC vs RBC so I think I'm okay on that. I was getting confused with all of what I was reading. RBB is better with low torque and RBC RRC will win up top by roughly 10hp it looks like and it seemed like RSP wasn't much different, but was better than the RBC and RRC in low torque, but not quite as good as the RBB. I was getting confused because I was reading a lot of comparisons and then finding out they were done on a k20 which won't help me too much. SO, question of the day is, can I get a brief summary of each mani? I'm just looking for pros cons at low mid and high rev ranges. I'll most likely end up porting, and I was reading about the 72mm skunk 2 dbw TB and was intrigued quite a lot.
not trying to be an A$$ here but google search is your friend, there is definitely a lot of reading material that can be found on this subject that has been beaten to death and like is wrote before without Flashpro, k pro or ktuner you won't be able to see the benefit or use the cams or use the RRC RBC ect. to its full potential if at all.

you can get a 09 TSX intake cam with the 50* gear attached and make some good OEM power, I/H/E with a nice tune, with either RRC or RBC and you should definitely be at 250 HP add the Hondata gasket you'll be better, Also add a LSD from 06 civic Si or wherever and you'll feel faster.

DannyV
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post #14 of 20 (permalink) Old 07-06-2016, 08:33 AM
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Agreed @ Dannyv!

@ Poletrain: The RBA was put on your/our engines because it is/was the 'best' comprimize for the engine at the time it was developed. Efficient/economical. Good for the wallet, maybe not so much fun on the "Butt Dyno", but the TSX is a Luxury Vehicle, nowhere ever was the word "Sport" used to describe it, or it's performance. To make a Racehorse out of a Mule, will neither be cheap nor easy. It CAN be done, but how far do you wish to go? And will it be what you expect it to be, if it is done? Best would be if you testdrove a TSX that has been modded, see if it is what you expect...
Little math, in metric, sorry, know not my way around the Imperial Sys. : Car weighs approx 1400kg @ 200 hp = 7 kg/hp. ("SPORT" or what could be placed under the Rubric "Sport" starts @ approx 2kg/hp...(Porsche for example has these numbers, +/-) those 5kg are literally worlds apart... Ok, say you do a little tuning, get her up to say 250 hp: 1400kg @ 250 hp = approx. 5.6 kg/hp, getting closer, but still 'nowhere near', in that sense.
I just want to remind you, as you would/should know from your studies, that just by adding the 72mm S2 t/b, along with an RRC i/m, will net you a few Mares, but if not controlled properly, could to cause damage! (Leaning out the a/f mixture, though the engine management 'should' be able to control this to a certain extent.) "Larger is Better" is not always the case. Letting in more air is moot, because the engine is a 'sucker', she takes what she needs. This is where the VE sets in. How "fast' can she fill the chambers? More, slower moving air is not what you want. The faster the air flows, especially during v-tec where fresh air helps blow out the old/burnt de-energized air, is quite important, from a performance stance. And this again, raises further questions: will your exhaust allow the air to escape faster too?
Further examples: My engine was built/tested with a S2 "Pro Series" i/m and 70mm cable t/b. Because I/we have DBW t/b, I had to reinstall the RBC i/m and TSX t/b, There are no spacers available, as far as I had seen, that allow the fitting of an OEM DBW t/b to the S2 i/m. It would have meant fabrication thereof, and i just was/am not into dropping more $'s...
This is what the S2 runners look like: ALOT narrower than the RBC's, BUT it is 'supposed' to be equal to (Performance), if not slightly better than the RBC. (RBC in the pictures above/previous post)


The engine was built and tested with a "Dog Box", (a 3 spd gbx, built specifically for the dragstrip/short gearing, fast revving), where low end torque is most needed. So one can say: Narrower runners @ same amount (Volume/Mass) of air = faster airspeeds.

I hope to have again helped, in some matter/to some degree, with your questions, and that i haven't gone off on a rant, throwing up further questions and/or increasing the chaos. ???

Greetz

ACC-Man

Try it!!! You only die once...

The best engine in the world is the Vagina;
It can be started with one finger. It's self lubricating.
It takes any size piston, and changes it's own oil every 4 weeks.
It is only a pity that the management system is so f....g temperamental.

Last edited by ACC-Man; 07-06-2016 at 08:37 AM.
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post #15 of 20 (permalink) Old 07-07-2016, 04:42 PM Thread Starter
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Alright, after an incredible amount of searching, I'm still not finding an answer fit for me based on my future plans. As I've said I want to do cams, injectors, exhaust, valvetrain, and more stuff to get me 250+ whp and most likely even higher in the future after I learn more. I know I need a new manifold because I have the RAA from what I understand on the 04. A lot of what I'm seeing is for K20's, as I've mentioned, which doesn't help me too much. Based on the fact that I want to put in a lot of work to the car and do not plan on keeping it stock, simply, what is the best manifold? All of what I'm reading points people to choosing the RBB because they assume they will stay stock mostly because of the torque. I know the RBC and RRC allow more air because they are fatter allowing more volume, just slower velocity because they are fatter thus leading to less torque, but up top the engine is sucking more so it gets more power. I'm feeling that RBC or RRC are my best option because I'll be wanting more air with a higher power setup, then that leads me to which is better and why. I've seen many dynos saying rrc is better than rbc, but mainly on mildly modified engines or stock, and the ones that are modified more heavily show little difference between the two leading me to the rbc because it is considerably cheaper. Using that logic, I then start to wonder why the RRC is considered a better RBC then if it shows little difference in modified engines.

I know I just kind of vomited my thoughts onto the keyboard, but I've been in a fluster over this pretty much all week trying to figure out which is best for a more heavily modded setup.
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