SOHC VTEC ENGINE INFORMATION


D16 SOHC VTEC ENGINE

SOHC VTEC ENGINE

As popularity and marketing value of the VTEC system grew, Honda applied the system to SOHC (Single Over Head Cam) 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 center 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 center lobe on the camshaft can only be utilized by either the intake or the exhaust, limiting the VTEC feature to one side. Te most popular SOHC VTEC engines are the D15B, D16Z6, D16Y8.

However, beginning with the J37A4 3.7L SOHC V6 engine introduced on all 2009 Acura TL SH-AWD models, 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 one secondary exhaust rocker arm. Therefore, there are a total of twelve primary exhaust rocker arms and twelve 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 six secondary intake rocker arms.

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