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H23 VTEC reviews from those who have it.

 
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Old 06-04-2014, 05:08 PM
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H23 VTEC reviews from those who have it.

I have a couple of questions for the H23A VTEC guys out there.


I have a 1996 SR (si to the Americans), and I have been leaning towards the H23 VTEC as a replacement for the H23A1 that is in there right now. I was impressed by the ballsy torque of the H23 over the H22 which I have in my '99, but disappointed in the top end power. I have looked into the swap, how to run it OBD2, and everything that is required to get it running well, and conform with the cash-cow emissions tests. I was ready to pull the trigger on this motor when I talked to someone who really took the wind out of my sails.

The other day, I went to a local shop that came highly recommended. I was pricing out a swap (I am up to my neck in the '99 restoration, so I am going to delegate the swap to someone else). I told him I was looking at the H23 VTEC, he shook his head and said "they're crap". "Garbage engine, garbage computer, garbage transmission. They're built for a wagon, not performance". I was taken aback by this as I've read nothing but good reviews about them. Naturally I wouldn't be using the stock ECU with one, as I have a manual, and I wouldn't buy one that even came with the transmission included, but he was adamant that it wasn't a good idea.

I probed for alternatives. I told him I have the H23A1 right now, "OMG that's even worse!" Then he suggested the H22, which for me was a bit of a let down, as I already have one, and I was excited for something different. I am ruled by my head, and not my heart which is why I'm making this thread today.

Here's where things get weirder. He doubled back and said I should just stick with the H23A1 and run thicker oil to stop any burning. So, he talked me out of an H23 VTEC, talked me into an H22, and then talked me into keeping my current engine. I don't know what to think of this. I don't know if he is just a lazy tech, or unbelievably honest. He has had in his Prelude an H23A1, H22A, H23a VTEC, F20B, and now K24, so I would say he knows from experience racing his car what these engines can do. However, here is where you guys come in;

1) As daily drivers how does the H23 VTEC stack up against the H22?

2) If you could go back, would you choose an H22 over the H23V?

3) Is the difference between the H22 and H23V as noticeable and worth the effort, in a daily driven car?

I would love to hear from guys who went from an H23A1 to the H23V. How much of an improvement did you see? Also, impressions from guys who have driven both the H22, and the H23V would be greatly appreciated.

As I said before, I have read nothing but good reviews in the past, but then again, who is going to say "I did this swap and it sucks..." in front of a group of people? If you'd rather not air disappointing results in front of the group, feel free to PM me.

Thanks guys!
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1997 Prelude base [wrecked]
1999 Prelude base, ["frame off" restoration + SiR S-Spec build]
1996 Prelude SR(Si), daily driver --> H23A VTEC (+ 4ws) [SOLD]
1990 Nissan 300ZX [Summer fun]
1994 Subaru SVX LSi [sold]
2009 Audi S5 4.2 V8 [daily]
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Old 06-04-2014, 06:37 PM
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Re: H23 VTEC reviews from those who have it.

The h23vtec is a boat anchor from the factory. That part is correct.
The potential with the 23 is a smoother boost in horsies across the rpm range vs the 22, which does it's thing at the upper end. Just be sure to search what works n what don't.
Wings8806 has one. He could tell you the difference from experience.

The H23vtec has more 'thump' potential. That was an 80's term for blast off.
My son is doing a project where his car will get an H23vtec, which will over time recieve goodies to make it go zoom better than the H22. He bought an H23 while they are still cheap.
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Old 06-04-2014, 08:46 PM
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Re: H23 VTEC reviews from those who have it.

the h23 blue top has the same top end and more power and tq throughout the entire power band . i have owned multiple ones and other members on here have my blue tops now . im about to aquire another 5th gen and the first thing shes getting is a blue top . there are a lot of bs myths about the blue top . i can tell you from personal exp that most of them are bs .

ask wing how that blue top is working for him .
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Old 06-05-2014, 08:00 AM
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Re: H23 VTEC reviews from those who have it.

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Originally Posted by bykfixer View Post
The h23vtec is a boat anchor from the factory. That part is correct.
No it isn't. It's exactly the same as an H22, but it shouldn't be revved quite as high. The redline is something like 200 RPM lower than an H22, but that can easily be made up with mods, and the much better torque curve is more than a trade-off.
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Old 06-05-2014, 10:01 AM
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Re: H23 VTEC reviews from those who have it.

When I bought my lude it had the 22 in it which I drove for about 20k miles. When the engine dumped on me I had to find a replacement for it and went with the 23 blue top.

It has felt like, to me, that there is slightly less power at the top end, but I think that it is a better engine to run for daily driving because of the power off the line.

This is just based on my experience, granted the 22 had 180k on it when I got the engine and it wasn't taken care of (imo) so that could also be the difference. I am also getting much better mileage with the 23 although that (I believe) falls back on the wear of the engine. I am getting about 50+ more miles per tank with the 23.

I think that the 23 is going to be much better for mods that I plan on throwing at it in the future.
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Old 06-05-2014, 12:38 PM
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Re: H23 VTEC reviews from those who have it.

I will be keeping an eye on this, as I am currently going though almost the exact same scenario as OP
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Old 06-05-2014, 06:00 PM
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Re: H23 VTEC reviews from those who have it.

if you guys dont buy them that leaves more for me at better price . stick with the 22 ..
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Old 06-19-2014, 09:56 AM
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Re: H23 VTEC reviews from those who have it.

Thanks for the feedback guys. It pretty much mirrors exactly the research I did before choosing the engine. I am almost never wrong in my research. :P

I figured the guy was on crack when he told me not to go with it, but I just wanted to double check.

I will be going with the H23A VTEC soon.
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Normal service has been resumed as soon as possible.

1997 Prelude base [wrecked]
1999 Prelude base, ["frame off" restoration + SiR S-Spec build]
1996 Prelude SR(Si), daily driver --> H23A VTEC (+ 4ws) [SOLD]
1990 Nissan 300ZX [Summer fun]
1994 Subaru SVX LSi [sold]
2009 Audi S5 4.2 V8 [daily]
Project "C" [coming soon]
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