How to identify the Honda B16A engine

92-95 Honda Civic Si-R B16A DOHC VTEC 2nd Gen Engine

With all the misinformation that has been passed around by word-of-mouth and the internet, quite a few individuals have made the mistake of buying the wrong B16A engine (often not realizing it).

What this article tries to achieve is to clarify some of the doubts when it comes to which B16A is which and hopefully stop retailers passing off first generation B16A’s as later generation (92 and up) B16A’s.

Comparing only the JDM motors, the first generation B16A has a lower compression ratio (10.2:1 versus 10.4:1) and makes 160ps instead of 170ps of output power. In addition there was a revision of the cam profile and oiling improvements  in the second (and later) generation B16A engines.

What to look for

Japanese market (JDM)  B16A motors are  labelled with a “B16A” stamp. There is NO suffix (e,g, B16A2 or B16A3) like the US, Asian or European counterparts. Hence it isnt easy to tell just by looking at the block stamp.

Below is a picture of a B16A from a 92 JDM EG6 (SIR-II).


From the picture, you’ll notice the following.

  • Absence of a PGM-F1 label on the intake manifold.
  • The Intake manifold has no bulge on the back side (side facing the firewall).
  • Connector plugs on the engine harnesses are grey instead of milky white.
  • Absence of vacuum dashpots on the intake manifold and throttle body.
  • MAP sensor is an integral part of the throttle body, not an external one with a tube.

Externally (not seen in this picture) you will also see:

  • Single 4-wire O2 sensor instead of 2 single wire O2 sensors

Look at the images below. Both serial numbers start with ‘5’ but the 2nd one is a later generation B16A and the first one is a first generation B16A (click on the images to magnify them).

92-95 2nd Gen B16A


  • Grey connectors
  • One 4-wire O2 sensor
  • Hydraulc transmission

88-91 1st Gen B16A


  • Milky white connectors
  • Twin single wire O2 sensors
  • Cable transmission

Things to ignore:

  • Valve covers. It’s too easy to change valve covers.

This next picture is from a 94 JDM CRX SiR (EG2)

92-95 Honda Civic Si-R B16A DOHC VTEC 2nd Gen Engine

You will notice the same features that tell it apart from a first generation B16A.

The differences do not end there. If you open the oil cap, you should be able to see the oil spray bars. The first generation has cast aluminium oil spray bars while the later generation ones are made of extruded aluminium.

Price issues

The going price of a first generation B16A varies at around $400-$800. Sometimes this price includes a cable clutch  transmission(Y1/S1/J1). The later generation B16A price is obviously higher, raging from $1500 to $3000. For $3000, expect a hydraulic clutch transmission (YS21) to be included.

It has come to our attention that some retailers have tried to pass off the first generation B16A as a late model B16A and hence selling them for much more than they are worth. Please be very aware when buying these motors.

Source: Hybrid Garage

Posted by Hans Desjarlais

After accidentally locking himself in a scrapped '85 Renault for several hours at the age of 5 years old, Hans developed a love/hate relationship with cars which eventually became an obsession. Right out of high school Hans started his first business importing and selling Japanese engines. After selling the business in 2008, he launched Import Insider to obsessively cover the auto industry and offer advice and tips to import car enthusiasts.


  1. I own Honda Accord.
    The engine N# is:F20B53500120
    Body # : JHMCF9650YC200005

    PLease help me to define the date of manufacturing of my car.
    And what type of Honda Accord

    Agus S

  2. the b16a continues to be a very popular engine even though the swap crazy started in the early 90’s.. maybe next time you can list a few places to pick up a b16 series engine at.

  3. i have just put the b16 a on my honda civic 93 si and now its with the SIR and i want to know how much can i take care of the engine …Please HELP…!!!

  4. I have a B16A2 #1202556 HM motor block, I was told that this motor came out of a 2000-2001 Civic SI. Are there any identifying marks, numbers, etc. to verify this?

  5. Sweet! This helped me calculate the worth of the 89 CRX Si I just bought! With the swap and all the bolt ons it totaled out to $5,650

  6. i bought a 91 CRX Si for 1500. it has a 2nd gen B16a in it and its kitted out and lowered. the engine has roughly 150,000 miles on it. it had 130,000 when he bought it. (documents were provided). I GOT A STEAL!!!! lol

  7. i have a b16a 1007470…..i dont know which gen it is or what replacement parts to get …cap rotor etc…sorry if this thread is old

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