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96 civic HX K24a
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Stock K20a2 (EK)


Motor: K20a2 (Full stock)
Header: Megan racing (Rcrew rep)
Cams: Stock
Intake/Fuel: RBC bored 70mm (NOT ported),70 TB Ktuned, 3" tube + Velocity stack filter , 550cc injectors
Exhaust: 2.5" Simons catback
Tranny: EP3 EDM, Dc5 flywheel
Misc Mods: K100
Others: Tegiwa crank pulley

232.24hp/214.3nm
E85 (96.8°F this day!)


I'm awaiting a 3" catback ;)
Damn that’s really good power for 2.5” exhaust !
 

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View attachment 102127

Motor: k24 block /w k20 head Stock port, decked/trued 87.5mm Bore with wiseco 11.1:1 pistons, balanced crank, manley rods. k20a2 oil pump.
Ktuned Header-Ktuned 3"oval exhaust.
DC 3.2 Street Cams /w upgrade valvetrain.
FIC 525CC injectors.
RBC intake on stock TB with custom 4" short ram
Stock a2 trans with the stock 4.3 final.

Might be a bit low, but it was about 101 degrees F in the dyno bay, we also tuned it more for street driving than pushing WOT hp. Vtec seemed happy coming on at 4k. First post, figured I'd try to contribute something half useful as I don't see a whole lot of dyno charts for these cams out there. Tuned by MRD in Portsmouth, VA. Curious what we can pick up with a bigger TB and porting on the RBC.
View attachment 102127

Motor: k24 block /w k20 head Stock port, decked/trued 87.5mm Bore with wiseco 11.1:1 pistons, balanced crank, manley rods. k20a2 oil pump.
Ktuned Header-Ktuned 3"oval exhaust.
DC 3.2 Street Cams /w upgrade valvetrain.
FIC 525CC injectors.
RBC intake on stock TB with custom 4" short ram
Stock a2 trans with the stock 4.3 final.

Might be a bit low, but it was about 101 degrees F in the dyno bay, we also tuned it more for street driving than pushing WOT hp. Vtec seemed happy coming on at 4k. First post, figured I'd try to contribute something half useful as I don't see a whole lot of dyno charts for these cams out there. Tuned by MRD in Portsmouth, VA. Curious what we can pick up with a bigger TB and porting on the RBC.
i think the numbers sound about right for 11:1 and stock ports. Im sure with the changes you mentioned there’s considerable gains to be had 👍
 

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I will say the powerband is much, MUCH improved over when that head was on a stock k24a2 block making ~254whp. Don't have a dyno graph of it unfortunately but it was absolutely gutless until you hit 5k and vtec came on like a hammer. This setup is a lot smoother feeling
Do you think that’s from the lacking compression on the oem tsx block paired with the 3.2 cams ? Even with a 6 speed trans it felt slow down low ? I had a 24/20 that was a stock crv 9.6:1 block and z1 head making around 230/180 and even on the 5 speed trans it felt like it took off very well down low
 

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I wish the shop that did that original tune gave me a dyno print out (which probably tells us something right there), but ya it just felt gutless down low, I was doing my everyday shifting at like 4500ish just to get down the road. I did read way back in the stock k24 block thread someone had the same issue with it just feeling very lacking down low on those cams. But from what I've been able to find on the 3.2's as far as other people's results with them and now my experience, they really do seem to come alive with more compression. I'd have gone a tad higher comp if I could source E85 near me, but 11:1 is what the shop I went to advised for pump 93 safety.
4500 is pretty high for driving around town. I would assume the dyno graph has a story to tell but nonetheless it sounds like everything is good and proper now. I’m starting my swap build with a good oem z1 head/cams and a blown up z1 block lol so I’m probably going the stock block route for awhile and debating if I can afford/which ones I’ll put in if I decide to do cams
 

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The shop better advised you to keep the stock or some DIC cams with that compression. You easily can operate your engine safe on 12.5:1 CR if tuned right. Ignition timing retard will be around 1°-4° (depending on VE, engine speed and IAT) compared to 11.0:1. I am not sure if they even mounted the cams, the torque graph tells me this is something stock near. Either they kept the stock cams in the engine or they didn't tune VTC to optimum. Would you like to share your engines calibration via email?

For the record, is that dyno measurement wheel or flywheel based?
Almost positive it’s whp
 

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I've got the calibration. I skimmed it and these are my results:
  1. safety design:
    • deactivated Honda knock control - dangerous
    • deactivated knock sensor - what a nonsense
    • protection action isn't defined beside MIL for overheating - I miss the action on engine speed and lambda to be clear to driver there is an issue which should be handled
    • lean protection disabled - dangerous
    • fan activation at early 88 °C - why?
    • revving limit at 8500 rpm - I would limit it to 8200 rpm as peak power is at 7800 rpm
  2. correction tables:
    • lambda - no high temperature (IAT, ECT, ...) correction
    • wrong dead times below 14 V - this leads to, as they are to small, to a lean situation at lower battery voltages
    • ign. timing stock Hondata values - ok
    • 35 % fuel trim - looks like the basis was a 86x86 tune
  3. tuning
    • ign. timing low speed cam is a joke, 24° for all engine speeds above 2250 and above 70 kPa
    • fuel tables not tuned for each VTC, just tuned for one single overall map. This is the cause many tuners miss to do a good work, because first the fuel has to dialed in before the cam phasing can be compared from 50° down to 0° VTC
    • VTEC at 4000 rpm is way to early for a DC 3.2 cam, especially for your setup, which isn't that inhailer type
    • low speed VTC is a joke, WOT is only 50° VTC for all engine speeds. This makes no sense...
    • high speed VTC looks like the one from a stock cam, borders are: 50°@5500 rpm, then retard to 20° at 8000 rpm. For a DC 3.2 cam this would be surprising when VTEC is optimal at 4000 rpm as setup'd. Power wise your setup looks like to be restricted on the exhaust side, but VTEC speech is different. This doesn't look to me as either not well tuned or not having DC cams on board. Beside that low and mid load at high speed cam wasn't tuned to optimum just set over all below 87 kPa to 34° or 32°
    • low speed fuel goes up even after VTEC switch engine speed, this makes no sense, if it goes up torque goes up
My verdict, the tune is not safe, especially not regarding knock and leaning. Beside that VTC wasn't tuned in many areas. VTEC mis-placement is highly depended on that nonsens VTC tune in the low speed cam. VTEC isn't optimal there when low speed cam would be optimized it would come to lay around 5000 rpm. Regarding the DC 3.2 cams, I strongly recommend you to lift of the valve cover and make a photo to post here. I hope the cost of that tune wasn't huge, for me it has some huge quality and safety lacks. Sorry to write that.

Markus
Very thorough diagnosis I may have to send you my tune after it’s done to get a double check 💀😂
 

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I've got the calibration. I skimmed it and these are my results:
  1. safety design:
    • deactivated Honda knock control - dangerous
    • deactivated knock sensor - what a nonsense
    • protection action isn't defined beside MIL for overheating - I miss the action on engine speed and lambda to be clear to driver there is an issue which should be handled
    • lean protection disabled - dangerous
    • fan activation at early 88 °C - why?
    • revving limit at 8500 rpm - I would limit it to 8200 rpm as peak power is at 7800 rpm
  2. correction tables:
    • lambda - no high temperature (IAT, ECT, ...) correction
    • wrong dead times below 14 V - this leads to, as they are to small, to a lean situation at lower battery voltages
    • ign. timing stock Hondata values - ok
    • 35 % fuel trim - looks like the basis was a 86x86 tune
  3. tuning
    • ign. timing low speed cam is a joke, 24° for all engine speeds above 2250 and above 70 kPa
    • fuel tables not tuned for each VTC, just tuned for one single overall map. This is the cause many tuners miss to do a good work, because first the fuel has to dialed in before the cam phasing can be compared from 50° down to 0° VTC
    • VTEC at 4000 rpm is way to early for a DC 3.2 cam, especially for your setup, which isn't that inhailer type
    • low speed VTC is a joke, WOT is only 50° VTC for all engine speeds. This makes no sense...
    • high speed VTC looks like the one from a stock cam, borders are: 50°@5500 rpm, then retard to 20° at 8000 rpm. For a DC 3.2 cam this would be surprising when VTEC is optimal at 4000 rpm as setup'd. Power wise your setup looks like to be restricted on the exhaust side, but VTEC speech is different. This doesn't look to me as either not well tuned or not having DC cams on board. Beside that low and mid load at high speed cam wasn't tuned to optimum just set over all below 87 kPa to 34° or 32°
    • low speed fuel goes up even after VTEC switch engine speed, this makes no sense, if it goes up torque goes up
My verdict, the tune is not safe, especially not regarding knock and leaning. Beside that VTC wasn't tuned in many areas. VTEC mis-placement is highly depended on that nonsens VTC tune in the low speed cam. VTEC isn't optimal there when low speed cam would be optimized it would come to lay around 5000 rpm. Regarding the DC 3.2 cams, I strongly recommend you to lift of the valve cover and make a photo to post here. I hope the cost of that tune wasn't huge, for me it has some huge quality and safety lacks. Sorry to write that.

Markus
Wow.. Thanks so much for looking it over. Not going to lie makes me feel a bit sick though haha. I seriously can't win with this car. Guess I'll need to figure out exactly what cams are in there, then find a different tuner..
i think I’m going to have markus tune mine remotely when it’s finished it seems he is quite knowledgeable about the vtc , timing etc. that’s a bum rap about finding out your tune is bad but on the plus side you’re finding out before it goes bang right lol..
 

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Popped the valve cover today. Good news is they are indeed DC 3.2 cams as confirmed by the manufacturer mark "Drag cartel 0032“. Guess the bad news is this tune is really wonky.
Well at least you’re not out the thousand bucks for those ! Sounds like you’re in for some gains as well. Usually 3.2 cams I would think would get you more in the 280 range if your intake and exhaust are adequate
 

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That'd be nice. Just got done emailing Jeff from Evans Tuning, his assessment was much the same. Garbage tune. I'm going to see if he won't hook me up with an etune for it. Shame too the shop I took it to did great machine work and fabricated a really nice 4" short ram with v-stack and heat shield for me. Just not really the best at turning (to put it mildly) I guess. Live and learn.. Guess I'll take the $500 L and move on.
Well it sounds like you got a game plan at least and are on the path to getting it all squared away that’s lucky the tune didn’t blow your sh”! Up
 

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Thanks for the cooooool update da_sherminator!

Much more realistic numbers for E85 and that engine setup. But there are still questions for me. The most pressing question is, why does the dyno measured power and torque curve stop at 7850 rpm. The torque still holds strong (which is not common for a RBC IM) so power would still climb. It doesn't look like a stock longblock setup with an RBC. It looks more like a stage 2 cam setup with an different IM. VTEC is pretty late for a 3" exhaust piping, but that could also be caused by the RCrew header copy. But most wondering point is why the heck the torque stands that long that high with just an stock setup and bolts on and why the curves stops when it still climbs. We still talk about a 86x86 engine, which easily revvs to 8500 rpm in a DD application.
Aren’t the hp and tq supposed to cross at 5250rpm or is that only on a wheel based dyno? The hp looks very linear on his graph am I reading correctly it’s making almost 200ft lbs on a 86x86 ?
 

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Follow up to previous post...

Just finished retuning with @LotusElise etune servicea few days ago. Here's my plug / review after we fixed a rather long list of issues the tune I got locally from MRD had, (see earlier post from @LotusElise) including that tune running incredibly rich..like 18-19 mpg rich...like Jeff Bezos rich. We did some adjusting and testing based off street logs, then I opted to rent a dyno for a few hours and have him finish the WOT high end tuning there. Dyno picture below of the last two pulls, same engine/set up but dyno we rented was a dyno jet where the previous pic I posted was off a higher reading Mustang Dyno.

Lost a bit of power in the mid-range due to limiting max VTC to 40 degrees per Drag Cartel recommendations (where before it was an unsafe 50 degree max/no limit) which bumped the vtec engagement to 4500 from 4000. The drive is night and day though, even if little or no power was picked up at the top end. The power band and drive quality is amazingly smooth as is the vtec transition now. Markus was a pleasure to work with, was extremely thorough in setting up the tune and going into great detail of the reasoning behind aspects of the tune, I actually learned quiet a lot through this process. Would recommend if you're looking for an etuner that really knows their stuff.



Motor: k24 block /w k20 head Stock port, decked/trued 87.5mm Bore with wiseco 11.1:1 pistons, balanced crank, manley rods. k20a2 oil pump.
Ktuned Header-Ktuned 3"oval exhaust.
DC 3.2 Street Cams /w upgrade valvetrain.
FIC 525CC injectors.
RBC intake on stock TB with custom 4" short ram
Stock a2 trans with the stock 4.3 final.
View attachment 102567
Nice ! Wonder what it would do with a big manifold and tb combo. I bet it feels great now that everything is cleaned up !
 

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Like I said, night and day compared to the last tune much more smooth. The engine definitely likes air though, had great scavenging effect. I'm sure a bigger Tb, port job maybe some head work would make good gains. Maybe down the road, next upgrades are suspension and transmission really needs an lsd and some better gearing.
I have the same trans type s with 4.3. But have yet to drive it. My last k swap had a base 5 speed as well. Ive seen a few saying the 4.7 trans are way too short without the tsx 6th.do you find it’s not accelerating quick enough with the 4.3?
 

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Thanks for the kind feedback and very good team work Brosome. For me it was a pleasure to work with you :). I really appreciate it.

The dyno time window was really challenging, as 24 different maps had to be optimized and overlaid optimally for final tune: WOT VTC, WOT fuel, WOT ignition timing. Finally we made 32 runs and there is still fine tune work of fuel and ign. timing left open. Beside that I had no access to the dyno result screen, only th written chat information of the driver, which had no headset. Sometimes I was asking the same question in the chat 7-8 times before the driver saw it on the screen and reacted, but hey, we made it :).

A made a comparison of both dyno results to see what have changed in the torque/power curve (s. below).

View attachment 102568

As the results were made on different dynos, I've tried to do a bit more fair comparison to show Brosome what was the outcome for him. At around 6500 rpm there was a calibration point were both, VTC and ign. timing of both calibrations was exact the same, just fuel was +20 % more rich at the MRD tune. Normally at lambda around 0.92 you find the optimal flame speed with the 87x99 combustion chamber, the 86x86 tend to like it a bit richer. Here with the MRD tune we talk about a lambda of 0.68, which is far from fastest flame speed, so torque can be assumed to be lower. But anyway let us assume to have the same torque at 6500 rpm and use offset to correct the complete curves. The offset of torque at 6500 rpm of the MR to MRD tune is 6.8 wftlb's. Using the offset for the complete curve MR +6.8 wftlb, gives us following result.

View attachment 102571

For me this picture makes much more sense regarding it is the same engine and fuel, just a different tune with a 40° VTC limitation instead of a 50° VTC bandwidth.

Low speed cam:
The low speed cam in the MRD tune was set to 50° VTC. This is far from optimum, as too much exhaust gas stay in the comb. chamber, lowering both, VE and combustion velocity. The result is less torque almost everywhere below VTEC compared to the MR tune.

VTEC and High speed cam:
With the capability of 50° VTC an earlier VTEC is possible as high speed cam loves scavenging with this setup. With the 40° limitation only 4500 rpm VTEC was possible. Further on the 50° VTC is really missed in the MR tune, less torque everywhere up to the point where both VTC are the same, which is around 6450 rpm. The 40° limitation comes from the DC 3.2 cams and the Wiseco 11.1:1 piston, which were not clayed, so we had to follow the recommendation of DC. Better safe then sorry, even if it cost finest ponies! Beyond 6450 rpm VTC is below 40°, so both tuners are free to choose the optimum. MRD did steeply decrease VTC, while the engine loves to have more. I followed the engine and let it down only to 30°@8500 rpm, which tells us this particular engine has an amazing scavenging efficiency! Interesting, the engine didn't like more ign. advance at high speed cam, which was finally around at 25-26°. I am still thinking about that fact. Anyway, I love this setup and I learned alot about the K-series engines again. Thanks for that chance Brosome!

Observations and interesting hints:
  • we had a massive low load false knock issue, about 500 knock counts in 20 min commute. We've investigated this, reduced IAT by 15 °C, retarded timing by 5° in the knock areas and saw no single change in that. Beside that we checked for vibrating parts on the engine (none), we checked for piston slapping (none), we changed the knock sensor (no effect beside better signal quality), we checked leakdown test (fine), compression test (fine), we changed oil to lower knock likeability (no effect), we checked spark plugs and changed them (no effect), we clumped the low pressure blowby hose (no effect). So almost every knock cause was checked, maybe we missed something? What I observed was every time VTC rotates over 10°-30° there where 3-12 knock counts, also under higher load conditions from 1800-4000 rpm we saw massive counts added. I assume some of the noise came from the timing chain under relaxing and tensioning transition conditions on the intake side caused by the camshafts. The other one, which is bounded to engine speed and load and which can't be affected by ign. timing, maybe from valvetrain or pistons slapping. I am not sure about it, the video didn't make it clear to me. Maybe someone out there know some causes?
  • I've made an eco tune for low speed cam, which saved about 20 % fuel from 1700-4000 rpm and idle to below WOT conditions. We agreed on to keep the tune as did come from the dyno. But the fact that about 20 % less fuel would be possible to the MRD tune of the low speed cam and low to higher load conditions was really surprising to me. This engine would definitive earn the greenhouse gas saving AWARD from the EPA with the MR tune in total...LOL :D!
The only thing I would still change, we worked on that point in some iterations, is the intake routing. Here there is some potential left beside some further bolt's on changes. The first would give a cooler and bigger distance to the knock margin, the later is definitely on intake side as this engine likes to breath more. She is hungry, not only for FUEL, also for AIR 😄!

Edit: the best compliment was made by Brosome's wife, which commented according him during driving, it would feel to be different, much better... . If a female remarks this, it must be really a significant and positve change. Wife's are the honest and most neutral tuning rating instances, as they see the money flow, going into the car, more critical then the husband does it 😉!
Sounds like you did some very nice work 👍 I do have a question though, when you say “knock count “ was being recorded, is that actually a knock inside the engine with metal parts touching (crank, bearings, rods) or is it from the spark plugs firing improperly according to the fuel and air coming in ? I’ve heard of “spark knock” but don’t fully understand or know if that term is proper.
 

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Good question. The meaning of "knock count" here is KPro Manager SW counts the events, which are rated by ECU as an Knock Event. The parameter in KPro Manager is called "Knock Count".

Background:
The Honda Anti-Knock-System is very simple. It consists out of a "ear" the knock sensor, the wiring to the hardware listening to the knock sensor signal and the SW which compares the signal to a engine speed and load related map of maximum signal amplitude. If the SW see an specific for engine speed and load exceeding amplitude it interprets it as knock. So the only thing preventing this system from listening a false knock is the specification of the knock sensor. If this part has not the specified frequency sensitivity (resonance tuned), then wrong interpretation is most likely. So use only OEM sensors or the exact copy of it. Otherwise when the knock source get changed with turbo, header, higher VE, different timings and so on the signal amplitude get changed while the thresholds get not. In that case you get a mismatch of both and wrong interpretation is the consequence. Anyway, any change of HW or SW on the engine affects the reliability of that system.

The knock events we saw were independent from the thermal knock, which is a pressure oscillation in the chamber with supersonic speed and huge pressure amplitudes of up to 1000+ bar peak. It get caused by self ignition of the mixture which is not below the flame front but in front of it. In a rough simplification, think of two waves running to each other and heat each other with some massive reflection, super-positioning and a lot of fun to combust much more faster. If such a 100-1000+ bar peak pressure hits the wall and lose some of it's energy at the wall during reflection it makes a noise like you hear when you collapse these air chamber containing foils which are used for sheltering products during shipping. I mean the small (around 8-10 mm ID) circular air chamber foils. If you press them the foils get stretched until it breaks and make that little hard explosion noise. This sounds a bit like knocking.

With the above mentioned Background now you can imagine false knock is a signal of the knock sensor, which let it exceed the threshold, but is not caused by combustion, it is maybe caused by an oscillating plate, a loose timing chain, a hard cam lobe or what so ever. False knock can have any source which in amplitude and frequency looks similar to the knock amplitude and frequency. The frequency we speak about has 6.7-6.5 kHz with the 86-90 mm bore size. A rattling timing chain is a good candidate to have such frequency and high enough amplitude in its noise spectra.

I am not sure about the English term "spark knock". If it means thermal knock or knock caused within the combustion, then I would be ok with that. But it is not very likely to have a knock event at the spark plug, almost impossible. Knock happens always in the so called end gas, the mixture in beyond the flame front, never within the flame front. This does not mean spark plugs don't get affected by knock events, they do, the pressure waves running in all directions up and down destroy everything on there way and where the peak touches the wall it increases highly the heat transfer by factors. So melting, pitting is all included. But this has nothing to do with the knock source, only the consequences.

I saw many data about knock, pre-ignition, running knock, glowing knock and all that kind of in engine damages, papers and measurements during my career. These are the most dangerous and best investigated but less understood combustion events when it comes to IC engines. Some of them like thermal knock can be handled easily with some know how and with an good detection system. The issue is, no single detection system of any OEM is safe enough to interpret knock right after the source system was changed. There is no general rule, it is always an adapted listening with simple up to complex mathematical analyse systems which say yes or no to a signal. So, never expect an modified system with the stock knock detection system to be safe. You need always to hear yourself if knock signal is a yes or no and tune the knock interpreation yourself. My issue as tuner is, none of the customers pays for this as this takes a longer road down and need onsite work with special equipment, from simple DIY DET cans, which work very good if you know what to listen to, up to 10-100k detection systems, which measure the in-cylinder conditions (via pressure, light reflection, frequency spectra analysis and so on).

I worked 9 years for an OEM engine development on test bench from single cylinder up to full sized engine, field applications and in the pre-development process of the combustion process design. No single detection system makes an engine safe, because all of them are reacting systems, none of them are predictive. Honda tried to do so with there K.Control (KPro parameter) calculation, which uses ign. timings for longer period of times when detecting knock, its a sort of fuel sensing system. But it works very conservatively. Nothing good for racing or weekend worriers. It can calm the engine down so that you mean you drive a half size engine when maximum conditions are reached.

If you run an engine like Brosome does it with stock knock logic activated, you cut the power output by up to 25 %, reduce the mpg massively and get a weird and less cross sounding engine finally. Therefore we investigated the if those knock events will get a yes or no. Our strategy after the analysis is frequent observation of spark plugs, retarded ign. timing map, aggressiv IAT bounded ign. timing retard and some other stuff and with stock knock logic off. Unfortunately the driver at the dyno wasn't able to differentiate knock and noise with the DÈT can. As I said, you need to know what to listen too. Honda engines makes a lot of noise, it need will and experience to differentiate knock from noise. That guy wasn't willing to listen, he was more on his phone as on the DET can. Some noise I was able to hear via driver laptop and Skype, at least his many phone calls (not with me) :cool:. So no data from that side, therefore the conservative ign. timing tuning.
Very thorough answer thanks for clarifying 👍
 

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Thanks for all the response guys!

@Bjorn Do you think the rrc or skunk2 ultra ported paired with a bigger than 80mm tb would make a significant different over the RBC with 72?

@LotusElise Thanks. Once I get a copy of my tune I'll see if I can share the vtc and ign

@Them Witches the RBC was professionally ported to match opening of the manifold with the throttle body and the manifold runners were also ported going to the cylinder head. The cylinder intake ports itself were not touched. Also I definitely agree that a 3.5 inch Cai will benefit this setup a lot more, but I will first have to relocate my battery.

@KBuilt We did not do any runs open header.

Is this yours ? lol I noticed the setup is the same , so are power numbers.
 

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What do you guys think of running drag cartel 3.2 cams with supporting valvetrain on a stock k20 bottom end? I hear some people say the 3.2 are too aggressive for the K20 but hear others saying they are perfect for it.

Also since I don't want to have to relocate/modify/delete the belt tensioner or ac and ps to run the skunk2 ultra race manifold, I was thinking of upgrading to a ported rrc manifold for my 72mm throttle body and relocating my battery to construct a 3.5 inch intake. Hopefully the rrc will net enough gains over the RBC to get my closer to that 250 whp mark.
If your rbc is already ported, I honestly don’t think a stock RRC will outperform it by much if at all. The 2.2 should be enough to get you to 250 whp.
 
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