Honda HR-V engine

Published by Carl Wilson on

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About Honda HR-V engine

The Honda HR-V is a mini SUV produced by the Japanese engine automaker Honda from 1999 until 2006. The abbreviation HRV officially stands for High Rider Vehicle although sometimes referred to as Hybrid Recreation Vehicle.

The HR-V was shipped to Europe with either a 1.6L SOHC or a four-wheel drive SOHC VTEC engine. The main criticism of the HR-V was the lack of a diesel engine option.

SOHC engine for the HR-V

Overhead camshaft, commonly abbreviated to OHC, valve train configurations place the engine camshaft within the cylinder heads, above the combustion chambers, and drive the valves or lifters in a more direct manner compared to overhead valves (OHV) and pushrods.

Compared to OHV pushrod (or I-Head) systems with the same number of valves the reciprocating components of the OHC system are fewer and have a lower total mass. Though the system that drives the cams may become more complex, most engine manufacturers easily accept that added complexity in trade for better engine performance and greater design flexibility. Another performance advantage is gained as a result of the better optimized port configurations made possible with overhead camshaft designs. With no intrusive pushrods the overhead camshaft cylinder head design can use straighter ports of more advantageous cross section and length.

The OHC system can be driven using the same methods as an OHV system, which include using a rubber/kevlar toothed timing chain, or in less common cases, gears.

In conjunction with multiple (3, 4 or 5) valves per cylinder, many OHC engines today employ variable valve timing to improve efficiency and power. OHC also inherently allows for greater engine speeds over comparable cam-in-block designs, as a result of having lower valve train mass.

There are two overhead camshaft layouts: single overhead camshaft (or SOHC), and double overhead camshaft (or DOHC).

Single overhead camshaft (SOHC) is a design in which one camshaft is placed within the cylinder head. In an inline engine this means there is one camshaft in the head, while in a V engine or a horizontally-opposed engine (boxer; flat engine) there are two camshafts: one per cylinder head.

The SOHC design has less reciprocating mass than a comparable pushrod design. This allows for higher engine speeds, which in turn will increase power output for a given torque. The cam operates the valves directly or through a rocker arm, as opposed to overhead valve pushrod engines which have tappets, long pushrods, and rocker arms to transfer the movement of the lobes on the camshaft in the engine block to the valves in the cylinder head.

In the early era of the liquid-cooled aircraft engine field, single overhead cam format engines were in existence during the First World War, for both the Allies and the Central Powers. SOHC designs offer reduced complexity compared to pushrod designs when used for multi-valve heads in which each cylinder has more than 2 valves.

Vtec engine for the HR-V

VTEC (Variable Valve Timing and Lift Electronic Control) is a valve train system developed by Honda to improve the volumetric efficiency of a 4 stroke internal combustion engine. This system uses 2 camshaft profiles and electronically selects between the profiles. It was invented by Honda. It can be said that VTEC, the original Honda variable valve control system, originated from REV (Revolution-modulated valve control) introduced on the CBR400 in 1983 known as HYPER VT EC. VTEC was the first system of its kind, though other variable valve timing and lift control systems have been produced by other manufacturers.

SOHC VTEC for the HR-V

As popularity and marketing value of the VTEC system grew, Honda applied the system to SOHC engines, which share a common camshaft for both intake and exhaust valves. The trade off was that Honda’s SOHC engines only benefitted from the VTEC mechanism on the intake valves. This is because VTEC requires a third centre rocker arm and cam lobe (for each intake and exhaust side), and in the SOHC engine, the spark plugs are situated between the two exhaust rocker arms, leaving no room for the VTEC rocker arm. Additionally, the centre lobe on the camshaft can only be utilized by either the intake or the exhaust, limiting the VTEC feature to one side.

SOHC VTEC was incorporated for use with intake and exhaust valves. The intake and exhaust rocker shafts contain primary and secondary intake and exhaust rocker arms, respectively. The primary rocker arm contains the VTEC switching piston, while the secondary rocker arm contains the return spring. The term “primary” does not refer to which rocker arm forces the valve down during low-RPM engine operation. Rather, it refers to the rocker arm which contains the VTEC switching piston and receives oil from the rocker shaft.

The primary exhaust rocker arm contacts a low profile camshaft lobe during low RPM engine operation. Once VTEC engagement occurs the oil pressure flowing from the exhaust rocker shaft into the primary exhaust rocker arm forces the VTEC switching piston into the secondary exhaust rocker arm, thus locking both exhaust rocker arms together. The high profile camshaft lobe which normally contacts the secondary exhaust rocker arm alone during low-RPM engine operation is able to move both exhaust rocker arms together which are locked as a unit.

The secondary intake rocker arm contacts a low profile camshaft lobe during low RPM engine operation. Once VTEC engagement occurs the oil pressure flowing from the intake rocker shaft into the primary intake rocker arm forces the VTEC switching piston into the secondary intake rocker arm, thus locking both intake rocker arms together. The high profile camshaft lobe which normally contacts the primary intake rocker alone during low RPM engine operation is able to move both intake rocker arms together which are locked as a unit.

The difficulty of incorporating VTEC for both the intake and exhaust valves in a SOHC engine has been removed on the J37A4 by a novel design of the intake rocker arm. Each exhaust valve on the J37A4 corresponds to one primary and 1 secondary exhaust rocker arm. Therefore, there are a total of twelve primary exhaust rocker arms and 12 secondary exhaust rocker arms.

However, each secondary intake rocker arm is shaped similar to a “Y” which allows it to contact two intake valves at once. One primary intake rocker arm corresponds to each secondary intake rocker arm. As a result of this design, there are only six primary intake rocker arms and 6 secondary intake rocker arms.

What next?

Now that you’ve decided you need an Honda HR-V car engine, fill in your car ‘engine details on with our ‘Quick Find’ this will walk you through our car part check list for the correct engine or any other car part that you require.

The Honda HR-V engines are obtainable at enginesandgearboxes.co.uk as new, used, and reconditioned or second hand and are 100% guaranteed. Find Bargain prices on quality low mileage engines or call *0905 232 0099 and get free shipping today.

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Carl Wilson

You won't believe it, I'm native Scotsman. Enthusiast. Car lovers. Almost finished rebuilding my Reliant Saber 🔥

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