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Block Sleeving: the Basics... Sticky?

Discussion in 'Engine Tech / Drivetrain' started by Exospeed*com, Sep 12, 2004.

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  1. Exospeed*com

    Exospeed*com exospeed.com 5+ Year Member 10+ Year Member

    Dec 15, 2003
    Los Angeles
    I’m noticing more and more people asking questions about Sleeved Blocks. Its good to see that more are interested in taking their setups to the next level, or at least learn more about it.
    Since I get a good amount of questions through email and a need for information regarding Block Sleeving, I hope we can make this a Sticky.

    Basic Information:

    Block sleeving is the process of replacing part of the stock cylinder walls and pressing in a new Iron Ductile Sleeve into the block.
    As you can see, the Iron Ductile sleeves are much thicker than the stock Cylinders.


    Here are the Sleeves out of the block, before installation.

    When to sleeve a block?

    There are 2 reasons why racers chose to sleeve a block.
    1. To increase displacement with a bigger bore.
    2. To Strengthen the block for high boost applications.

    Increasing the displacement on a Honda/Acura block is achieved through bigger bore size pistons or stroking the motor through different rods length and modifications on the crank. But in this case, we are focusing on Sleeving the block, so bigger bore sizes usually increase 1.8L B18 blocks all the way to 2.1L and slightly more. Since stock Acura/Honda blocks can only go .5 to 1mm overbore, we would need to SLEEVE the block to be able to do 3mm and even up to 6mm overbore on these B-series motors.

    This is a common thing to do in All Motor setups. B18 motors usually go 84mm to become a 2.0L, while a B16 with 84mm bore will be about 1.8L Max bore on All Motor Race setups are 87mm bore while reliable bore for the street maxes out at 84mm. In effect, the bigger displacement usually end up in higher torque numbers in these setups.
    For D-series, all motor streetable max bore size is 77/78mm bore and maxes out to 79mm for more aggressive setups.

    Bigger bore blocks are also done in Turbo setups. But bore size is kept usually at 84mm max to still have a thick sleeve for strength on these high boost/high pressure applications. I personally don’t feel the need for big bore on Turbo setups. Many racers have been successful in making large amounts of HP with just an 81 or 81.5mm bore.
    One racer that we sponsor is Courtney Green from Utah. His 93 Civic HB was pushing out mid 600HP on just a sleeved block bored to an 81.5mm

    At this time its best ¼ mile time is 10.21 And it’s a true daily driven car using pump gas when driving around town.
    Now the other reason to sleeve a block is to strengthen the block to be able to handle the high pressures during boost. The stock sleeves can actually handle a good amount of pressure, but in very extreme conditions, wouldn’t you want peace of mind knowing the block is prepped with a Thick Sleeve to hold these pressures. At boost, the block experiences more pressure than normal and can cause distortion and movement of the walls due to the heat and pressure. With these sleeves, it prevents that and keeps the block in tact to handle more stress than normal.

    Common question we get:

    Whats the max boost you can put on a stock sleeved block and compare to a Sleeved block?

    On a B-series motor, we have pushed the limits to the high teens. 17-18psi on a stock block and I’m sure some have done even more. It will work ok at the very best tuning conditions. But we do recommend SLEEVING the block when you are reaching 14+ psi. This will ensure you have the block ready for those extreme stress the block will go through at that much boost. A sleeved block can handle over 40psi of boost. But 99% of turbo setups, would not go past the 25-30psi range anyways, so the sleeves are adequate enough for many turbo motors out there. And Max bore we usually go with is 84mm.
    On D-series blocks, 10-12psi is usually the max we take it up to. More than 12 psi, we recommend sleeving the block already. For D-series blocks, the most we’d go on a turbo setup is a 77mm bore. We actually prefer keeping the 75 or 75.5mm bore on turbo D-series since piston choices are easier at that bore size. Anything bigger than 75.5mm bore is usually Custom pistons and causes more money. As in my previous comment on big bore turbo blocks, its not necessary to go way bigger bore on the D-series as well since the cost effectiveness of it isn’t going to be that significant. So 75 or 75.5mm bore is good enough.

    Here’s a picture of a Sleeved 78mm D-series block.

    I can go more and more on this subject later on. We can keep adding more information as you guys ask more questions about Sleeving.
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2004
  2. vandynamics

    vandynamics New Member Registered VIP 5+ Year Member 10+ Year Member

    Jun 24, 2003
    it speaks :shock:
  3. civicsi94

    civicsi94 dial up ownz me Registered VIP 5+ Year Member 10+ Year Member

    Jul 2, 2004
    nice write up.
  4. Tommy Pickles

    Tommy Pickles Unregistered User Registered VIP 5+ Year Member 10+ Year Member

    Nov 18, 2003
    Chico, Cali
    That D-series looks MEEEEAAANNN.
  5. banzai

    banzai Exit Speed Garage Registered VIP 5+ Year Member 10+ Year Member

    Dec 4, 2003
    pre-world war II Germany
    sleeve it? sleeve it alone...
  6. Esotericimage

    Esotericimage Taking an H-T break Registered VIP 5+ Year Member

    May 13, 2008
    One thing.. usually once sleeving is done you would need to align bore it..

    Benson sleeved blocks are carefully done to his specs which can handle up to 50psi of boost.

    What makes a Benson signature series sleeved block better? Several sleeve manufacturers have working designs. Each manufacturer comes about their design by different means. They all work to some degree. All sleeves are made out of the same strength and quality nodular iron as it a necessary material to seat rings. Therefore sleeve strength is determined by bore size and bore centerlines. No matter how fat the sleeve may be, the weak spot is between the cylinders. Nothing is secret about that.

    What sets Benson apart from everyone else is the precision of his machine work and his method of installation. First, Benson has no employees, so no rookie or uninterested machinist touches your block. Only Benson. His method of installation insures that a sleeve can never drop, shift or leak. You never have to align bore your block with his sleeves because of the block core shifting. This is because he takes less material from the block during installation than other sleeve designs require. That keeps the block stronger by default and does not let the main saddles move, thus causing the need for an expensive align bore.

    The important thing is his name is on every block and there are no excuses. He uses a sleeve designed by himself, manufactured by Darton to his specs and no one else can purchase it from Darton. It has been perfected over the last 10 years to work flawlessly. The real secret is in the person that does the install and the precision quality they demand of themselves. This is what sets Benson way apart from the others.

    The original sleeves done by Benson (at least 12 years ago) were closed deck. He soon discovered that within the block, the aluminum, when heating up, was expanding at a different rate than the nodular iron sleeves. This caused the sleeves to distort out of round at operating temperature, thus hurting ring seal. Another benefit of keeping the deck open (as Honda engineers designed it) is the extra cooling that is afforded to the head gasket, thus less gasket failure and more efficient head cooling.

    Certain sleeve installers seat their sleeves to the block using only a wedged fit to hold the sleeve in place. They do not butt them to a ledge cut into the block. As the aluminum block heats and expands, the crush can change and allow the sleeve to drop. Others manufacturers use an o-ring for sealing. The o-ring has a receiver groove cut into the outside of the sleeve. Unfortunately this groove weakens the sleeve to the point that high boost cannot be used safely. Benson uses a precision machined interference fit along with a proprietary sealer to insure no sleeve movement or leaks.


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