Alfredo's Workshop

My personal collection of homemade car builds for street and race purposes.

Category: Honda Civic upgrades


How to chip a P28 / P30 Ecu

I know this has been exlained a lot of times over the web but I want to document my experience and the easiest way I found to do it.

OEM P28/P30 ecu internals

So basically this is what you start with. Open your P28 / P30 ECU and locate this part of the board, that’s where the magic takes place.

As you can see, there are 2 missing chips on the PCB, these chips are used when you want to address the ecu maps in an external memory, in this case the 27256 area which is a DIP28 footprint. To do so you need a latch, which is the 74HC373, 2 capacitors for noise reduction (not extremely mandatory), 1 jumper and 1 resistor.

List of components and tool needed to chip a p28 / p30 ECU

Components needed for chipping p28 / p30 ecu

So the shopping cart is:

1x DIP28 wide Socket

1x 74HC373 Latch (Also 74HCT373 can be used)

1x 1K ohm resistor

2x 100nF (0,1uF ) capacitors

1x piece of resistor leg to make a jumper

1x M27C256 eeprom (M27c512 works too but you have to flash the map from address 8000 to ffff)

Tools needed to remove Tin from pads

Also, to be able to do the work you need:

Small tip soldering iron, desoldering braid, Flux, desoldering pump, good soldering tin.

To load a base map you also need an eeprom programmer like Burn2 or similar (i use minipro tl866)

Desoldering and soldering of the new components

Locate the following footprint and start by desoldering the pads which are filled with tin:

  • J1Jumper used to enable or disable external addressing, use a resistor leg to make a good jumper;
  • R54 – 1k ohm resistor goes there;
  • C52, C51 – 100nF capacitors go there;
  • 74hc373 – the same name component goes there
  • 27256 – DIP28 Socket goes there

It will take some time to desolder all the pads, you should ensure that the hole is visible in the pad, so you can slide the component in there:

Closeup of the desoldered pads, ready to accept new components

To successfully desolder pads, wet the tip of the desoldering braid with flux, put it over the pad, press the tip of the iron over the braid which is over the pad until the tin gets transferred to the braid. Don’t overheat the PCB, you need a bit of experience to do this and a lot of patience. Cut the tip of the braid when it’s filled with tin, otherwise it will not accept more tin. When the tin is a lot you can use the manual desoldering pump.

Some people blow compressed air while the tin over the pad is melted. I used to do this to PCB i don’t care about, but an ECU… Should be done properly. Blown tin can go everywhere and create shorts, I don’t like it very much to be honest but it might work for you.

When the desoldering process is finished, start by sliding carefully new components and solder them over the pads.

Final result should be this:

P28 Chipped with socket
P28 Chipped with socket

Now the funny part.. Flash a basemap on the ecu.

Ecu is chipped, now what?

You need an EEPROM programmer. I personally use a cheap minipro tl866 but this is less user friendly compared to a Burn2 unit.

Flashing the EEPROM

Source a basemap for your engine or start from a p28 basemap and load the 32kbyte file on your EEPROM.

Burn2 should allow you to upload the file automatically in the correct address with any of the below Eeproms, but if using any other eeprom programmer use the following rule:

If using a M27c256 load to address 0000 to 7FFF

if using a M27C512 load to address 8000 to FFFF (because this chip can store 2 maps but just the 32kbyte portion from 8000 to FFFF is read by the ECU with the stock pin configuration).

Now you should put the eeprom over the socket like this:

p28 ready to be installed

Install the ecu and start the car. If the revs are limited to 4000 rpm ecu is in limp mode and there must be something wrong either with the map or chip or latch or something else went wrong. If you need to run ecu basemap contained in MCU you should remove J1 which basically restores the P28 to a non chipped status.

That’s all for today, I won’t cover remaps as it’s a whole different (and long) story.

Thanks for reading.

Electronic fuel injected Civic EG3

Civic Eg3 from carburetor to electronic fuel injection conversion

Introduction to the conversion:

Are you wondering what does it take to convert a Civic Eg3 from carburetor to electronic fuel injection?

A bit of effort is the reply, but it’s worth every minute spent on it.

Why would you swap carburetors to fuel injection? Simply because it’s better in every aspect. 
It’s more controllable, it’s more efficient and will allow you to extract more power out of your engine simply by putting a better design intake, for example a d16z6 intake manifold.

Fuel injection conversion will also allow you to run the famous P28 ecu, (or P30 that is) which is tunable, so even more power can be extracted from the stock engine.

Fuel injected eg3
Civic eg3 fuel injected

Parts needed:

So, how do we start?

First off we, to convert a Civic Eg3 from carburetor to electronic fuel injection, make sure to have the following parts:

  • Civic Eg5 (D16Z6) Engine Harness
  • Civic Eg5 (D16Z6) Cabin Harness (only the front side of the harness, the one that goes from the engine bay fuse box to the ecu and then to the other fuse box under the steering wheel. No fuse boxes are needed since they’re the same. The main relay is needed but should be attached to the harness.
  • Civic Eg5 D16z6 Intake manifold or D16y8 intake manifold with throttle body, fuel rail, fuel injectors, fuel pressure regulator, idle air control valve, Air temperature sensor, throttle position sensor, Map sensor.
  • Civic Eg5 (i think any fuel injected civic Eg) Fuel tank with fuel pump and fuel level sensor preferably with complete fuel lines.
  • Civic Eg5 d16z6 P28 Chipped Ecu or any equivalent Ecu such as p30 of course chipped or with an Hondata installed.
  • New intake manifold gasket.
  • Civic Eg5 d16z6 or EK3 D15z6 distributor (i think that virtually any obd2a or obd1 distributor that bolts right in would work). I used an ek3 one since i had it lying around.
  • Something to put an air filter on! You can also use a stock Eg5 airbox or anything you like. I suggest a 63mm 45 degrees coupler, a 63mm straight aluminium tube and a 63mm pod filter.
  • Some spare wires + soldering iron + some electrical ability.

Now the fun begins:

Your Civic Eg3 from carburetor to electronic fuel injection conversion can now begin after you collected all the materials listed above.

To start, I suggest, after removing coolant from the system, to remove in this order: Battery, intake manifold, Engine wiring harness, Steering wheel, dashboard, heater core, internal wiring harness, rear seats, fuel tank and fuel lines.

To remove fuel lines, the procedure would be long and I think it would require you to drop subframe. Since fuel injection uses at least 3 bar of pressure, you cannot use carburetor fuel lines barbed hose fitting, that’s dangerous, don’t do it (little sidenote on this: I’ve seen factory cars coming with a barbed hose fitting and a worm clamp as Fuel line, but do that at your own risk. So if you dare, you could use your existing lines.).

In our case, to avoid dropping subframe, we used AN6 braided lines with 2  12mm banjo fittings, 1 for the pump and 1 for the rail and of course 1 filter in the middle.

You should end up with a D13 with a z6 intake, Obd1 distributor, Eg5 engine and cabin harness, a new tank with a pump and fuel lines to the rail installed.. 

Now what? First of all, since rear wiring wasn’t made for fuel injection, it doesn’t have a fuel pump electrical connection. You have to add 1 wire from the Main relay pin n7, yellow/green wire to the positive wire of the fuel pump, and add a ground to the other pin of the fuel pump connector.

You should now have a priming pump on ignition on and a car that could virtually start on a D16Z6 P28 base map but would be extremely rich and wouldn’t run any good. To run your Fuel injected EG3 you will now need a good base map for the fuel injection to work any good in your Eg3.

I can provide one, tested, which has the fuelling sorted, just get in contact with me.
What I’ve basically done is to use a D14A4 base map, sort fuel, sort ignition and removed unnecessary and unavailable features.

You can now add an adjustable cam gear to your D13 and start tuning on a dyno for good power. I expect it to be close to a tuned D14A4, which has proven to reach 100 Hp+ in NA configuration with breathing mods. You could also turbo it and make at least 160 Hp out of it.. 🙂

That’s all for it, thanks for reading and if you have any question, please contact me!

Honda Civic Ej9 (Ek) – D14A4 Turbo build

Are you planning to do a D14A4 turbo build ord any other d series engine turbo? These info apply for all the SOHC D series Honda engine which can be installed into a Civic (Eg or Ek the differences are very small). To be honest, these info could also be used to convert a B series DOHC to turbo with very small differences.

If you have an EJ9 Civic and wish to go this route, i suggest before starting this lecture, to read my other article where i explain how to convert it to OBD1.

What to expect from a D14A4 Turbo:

An EJ9 turbo has proven to be faster than a b16a2 with bolt-ons. If you ask me an estimate, i would say that mine was at least 160 Wheel horse power at 0.5 bar produced by a GT2871 garrett knockoff. I never dynoed it, as dyno numbers vary a lot from dyno to dyno and are not significant to me. I prefer track times comparisons and speed reached on the straights of the tracks.

What is needed to make a D series engine turbo:

If you have an EK3 (d15z6) you just need an obd2a to obd1 converter and a p28 Ecu (Or a P30 Ecu or an Hondata).

To make a Civic go chuf chuf here’s what is needed:

  •  Tunable ecu: this can’t be skipped or else you will break the car very soon. PLEASE, DO NOT follow the advices of people who say it’s enough to use a RRFPR (Rising rate fuel pressure regulator), because this way you won’t sort the ignition timing and make big holes into the piston or melt ringlands. There are no shortcuts to make a good build, don’t cheap out on ECU!
  • Turbo exhaust manifold: there are a lot of options out there; the cheap stainless steel ones are so thin and not so robust that will crack with very low efforts. I suggest to use the cast ones, as they won’t crack and they will flow ALMOST the same as a shiny tubular manifold and they are also CHEAP.
    These must have a 38mm external wastegate port since you plan to run low pressure (max 0.7 bar of a ebay GT2871 for stock internals, less if it’s bigger but the same if it’s smaller).
  • External Wastegate: If following my advice to buy cast manifolds, these often come with a 38mm dual bolt flange. You want to buy something that has a low pressure spring installed: ideally 0,5 Bar (7 Psi). You can cheap out in these, if you buy the replica ones, I discovered that they leak boost pressure when closed, so the only downside is that they will make the turbo spool a little slower compared to the genuine units. Usually the membrane is good and these offers good reliability but hey, there are a lot of models out there, and the quality check of these china made units is non existent so you also need a bit of luck there..
  • Intercooler: 7 liters front mount would be good. Water to air is ideally better but that would increase the weight of the car and for only 0.5 bar.. Is not a good tradeoff.
  • Aluminium hoses + silicon couplers: i’ve used 63mm (2,5″ inch) tubes. I used from throttlebody to turbo: 1x 45° coupler 63mm internal, 1x straight aluminium 63mm external, 1x 90° coupler 63mm internal, 1 straight aluminium 63mm external, 1x 90° coupler 63mm internal, 1x 180° aluminium 63mm external, 1 straight coupler 63mm internal, IC with 63mm inlet and outlet, 1 straight coupler 63mm internal, 1x 180° aluminium 63mm external, 1x 90° reducer 63mm to turbo charge pipe size. Also a 90 Degree reducer 71mm to 63mm was used to use a cone filter in the intake of the turbo. This is what i used but of course depending from the turbo you have to change the path and the end diameter. You’re free tu put a blow off valve wherever you want in the charge pipe.
  • Blow off valve: I didn’t use any but I suggest you to use one. Use whatever you want just make sure it’s adjustable since using low boost you want it to be soft enough to open  fast on throttle close without too much pressure buildup.
  • Injectors: Cheapest option with good quality price is Honda RDX injectors (which are 410CC high impedance easily available). Those should be good for 250 Hp. To use them you have to buy or fabricate the adapters to the rail (Ktuned sells them) and also the wiring plugs adapter (ebay).
  • Downpipe: Turbocharger exhaust exit has to be connected to the rest of the exhaust, you have no other options: fabricate one from scratches because the ones in the ebay turbo kits needs to be modified and at the end you spend the same as doing it from scratch, so just do it.
  • Exhaust: Fabricating a stainless steel exhaust without any cat converter and at least of 2 Inch internal diameter is suggested and almost required. This would lead to good power as the stock exhaust is soo restrictive that i would never connect a turbo to it. You can put a muffler at the end of it, just make sure it’s big. The bigger exhaust line you use, the better. 3″ would be IDEAL.
  • Clutch upgrade: Stock clutch will start slipping after 2 kilometers believe me. You need a better unit. If using a d14 i suggest you to upgrade to 212 mm Flywheel from d16 (D14 is 202mm) and use the readily available aftermarket clutches for d16, rated at least for your target torque/power. I used XTC stage 3 unit with no springs, soo far it didn’t break but the chatter is real and the fitment was not straight forward. So please, just buy a good known brand.
  • Uprated radiator: This is a must, with turbo you produce a lot of heat and coolant temperature will climb very easy without a good, at least 2 core, big radiator.
  • Oil temperature sensor and gauge: After going turbo, you have to monitor oil temperature because it will climb to 150° very easy without an oil cooler and you don’t want to push it that high. So if you plan to track it, just install an oil cooler. To install the sensor the best place i found was the drain plug of the sump. Just buy an M14x1.5 adapter that has a 1/8 NPT thread in the middle of it.
  • Turbo pressure gauge: This is helpful if not using a live data tunable ecu, since this will allow you to see what’s the turbo pressure at any time.
  • Sandwich plate: this is needed to feed the turbo with oil. You should get one that has at least a 1/8 NPT female exit for the oil feed. If you plan to use oil pressure sensor, you can use another 1/8 NPT female exit. If you plan to use an oil cooler, get one that has 2x 1/8 NPT exits and 2x AN10 male exit.
  • Turbo oil feed and drain: In order for the turbo to work, it needs to have oil going through it. You want to source a line long enough to go from the sandwitch (1/8 NPT fitting) to the turbo. Depending by the turbo decisions, the fittings on the turbo differs and you should research which one to use. For the oil drain, unistall the sump, make an hole through it and weld an AN10 Male bung. I suggest using AN10 lines for the drain, or at least a 5/8″ or 15mm Hose.
  • A Turbocharger: Choosing the correct size turbo needs a bit of study and also sometimes trial and error since reality is a bit different from ideal physics laws.

From my experience, these are the turbo that i recommend for a D14A4 Turbo build:

  1.  If you like low rpm spool sacrifying top end power then the TD04L from Iveco Daily 2.8 Turbo diesel is the turbo for you. OEM Code: 49377-07000.
    Why these?
    Because in Italy it’s commonly installed in 1.4 Tjet Fiat engines and these are proved to be reliable and produce good power. These needs custom flanges to be made but are smaller than t28 or t3 which make them compact nice units. Expect them to spool at 2800 Rpm up and produce good power up to 7500 Rpm. Of course you should limit them at 0,5 bar.
  2. The one i used: GT28 family turbo. You can pick a double ball bearing from garrett and expect a fast spoolup and big power. Since for me it was a budget build, i picked up an ebay knockoff GT2871 50 trim ar 64/60 which I sent to test and balance in a specialized shop in order for it to not granade into my engine. Expect the knockoff unit to spool up at 3500 Rpm, full boost at 3800 Rpm and very good power until redline. You can feel it doesn’t choke on itself and would definitely push a lot more. I used this because i calculated its efficiency at 0.5 bar with an equivalent compressor map and it was in the good spot. Since IATs were low enough, I think i just got the right size.
  3. T3/t04e trim 55 ar 50/63 definitely too big for a 1.4 but would be more suited to a DOHC b18 or b16.. Never tested on a SOHC so i don’t really suggest it.
  4. TB03 garrett family turbo. These are the one i wanted to test. In Italy it’s easy to source TB0367 from Fiat coupè 16V, TB0385 from Lancia Delta Integrale 16V , TB0361 Ford Sierra Cosworth 2wd, TB0384 Ford Sierra Cosworth 4wd, TB0338 Delta integrale 8V. In my opinion these are very suited for 1.4 and 1.6 SOHC Honda engines but sadly i haven’t tested any of them.

After everything is sourced, take your time and install it.

Please use good bolts and make sure to use locking washers at the turbo because it happened to me to get loose. Stay away from stainless steel bolts and use an HIGH grade steel bolts. Somebody uses copper nuts or wire locked nuts.. You could just get a set of Wedge lock washers and call it done.

About ecu tuning:

Once everything is connected, you need a map for your D14A4 Turbo. Or at least a base map to start with. In >this< article I’m sharing the basemap I successfully used, ofc it needed to be tweaked accordingly. I can provide one for every D series engine and it will be very close but further tuning is required to sort the fuel map. You need an AFR wideband gauge to do so, it’s the only true way to tune the fueling. I usually tune ignition maps conservatively so you won’t get any sign of detonations but.. I suggest you to take to a tuner if you don’t have enough knowledge to write a map and understand what’s going on. I will try to make articles about tuning but usually it takes a lot of experience to be made so, at the beginning, don’t be afraid to ask for help.

Stay tuned.

Honda Civic Ej9 Obd1 Conversion (D14 Engines)

This model of Civic Ej9 features a 90 Hp, Single on head camshaft, 16 Valve Engine which is almost the same as D14A2, D14A3, D14Z1 and D14Z2.

On the stock version it features an uncommon OBD2 SFI (Semplified fuel injection) which means it has no sequential injection but 4 injectors wired in 2 batches (1+3 and 2+4).

Civic Ej9 d14 engines power expectations:

As it only produces 90 Hp (Naturally aspirated tuning would increase it’s power to the track at 140 Hp at the best, of course with a lot of cash spent on it), the engine was still at perfect compression and not burning any oil, I decided to go the turbo route.. Which could lead to over 180 Hp.
Everybody would just swap a DOHC B16A2, B18C4, B18C6, B18C or whatever and call it done, I didn’t do so and it was a wonderful decision.

Before starting I’ve read on Dodo Bizar website (THANKS A LOT for your website) how to convert to OBD1 the whole car in order to use a P28 Ecu (Which is chippable).

Civic Ej9 Obd1 Conversion: What’s needed

What i needed to convert to OBD1 was:

Civic Ek3 obd2a d15z6 engine wiring harness (Stock harness could also be repinned but using ek3 wiring is pretty straightforward and saves a lot of time),
Civic Ek3 obd2a d15z6 Distributor,
Civic Eg5 obd1 d16z6 Intake Manifold with sensors and flexible fuel line attached to rail (D16Y8 could also be used, virtually any OBD1 OR OBD2 manifold could work but d16z6 and d16y8 should be the one which would produce more power)
OBD2A to OBD1 ecu wiring converter (can be bought from several places very cheap),
– Some water hoses and worm gear hose clamps,

The problem you could run into are the following:

– Accelerator bracket must be fabbed up (very easy task, look what i’ve used)

d16z6 intake manifold

– To only convert to obd1 you can either use your stock injectors which will plug to the harness but those are only 190cc. You can also use OBD2 or OBD1 injectors from d16z6, d16y8, b16a2 etc which are 240cc but keep in mind that OBD1 injectors clip are a little bit different and needs to be modified (or you can buy obd1 to obd2 injectors clip converters).

– Small water hose from the manifold needs to be routed to iacv (Idle air control valve), its exit has to be routed back to the rear block pipe water return nipple.

– Fuel flexible line, (the one from filter to rail with double banjo) needs to be slightly modified, i cut the tabs to allow installing it at different angle just because it was shorter and didn’t reach the rail at stock angle.

– Alternator plug is different: get creative, i’ve removed some plugs pin from the old engine harness and used them to insert into the different plug of the alternator (or you can get a obd2a alternator but that’s not really needed).

– Intake air Temperature (IAT) sensor plug is different and needs to be addressed as above.

To help you with that you can find easily the civic ek workshop manual or haynes manual where there are enough info to make a civic from scratches hahah.
If you have trouble finding it just write me.

Now about ecu tuning:

After all the above has been done, you have to flash a custom map into the previously chipped p28 or p30 (or other OBD1 Ecus) eeprom sst27sf512 or sst27sf256.

If you need a D14 base map >here< you will find the one i used (which was taken from a real obd1 d14 read by Dodo Bizar and posted by him in his forum) slightly modified to achieve 14.7 Afr in idle and partial throttle and to achieve 12.5 in full throttle.

The important things are to disable checksum routine, vtec, Knock sensor, O2 Heater (if you have 1 wire O2 sensor) and then, if you start from p28 base map, resize injectors accordingly to what you have installed.

About the ignition timing, I will explain in another article what I do to street tune a car. For a stock or bolt-on d14 i suggest to use dodobizar’s extracted base map.

Stay tuned.

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