Another thing i want to add is this.. Make sure
you get the correct o2 sensor for the type of motor you get. Yes the o2 sensor
from the k20a3 and the k20a2 is different. I have proven this by buying both and
trying it. The k20a2 and k20a use the same/similar o2 sensor and will work.
Another thing you might want to consider is
getting K-pro before doing the swap. K-pro allows you to disable the immobolizer
which saves you time and money on getting the car towed to the dealer to get the
ecu reflashed. One thing i learned in my area is that the acura dealer near my
house doesnt do reflash on the ecu but the one clear across town does. And in no
way was i going to tow my car that far plus they were charging an arm and a leg
not only for the tow but for the reflash itself. The k-pro also allows you to
disable the secondary o2 sensor which isnt wired into the harness. If you are
wiring the harness yourself then i recommend getting this.
If you are not planning on getting the k-pro
then i recommend you get one of the plug-n-play harnesses from either hasport or
hybrid-racing. Make sure you tell them to wire in the secondary o2 sensor in for
you. You will need the secondary 02sensor wired in if you want to run the stock
ecu. Not required if you run k-pro
Again if your not planning on getting the k-pro
your car will have to be towed to acura to get the ecu and immobolizer and key
reflashed to make it work. Unless you get a k20a JDM motor with the JDM ecu.
Then there is a way for you to bypass the immobolizer.
Just to prove a point. A K20 Motor with a dual
intake runner WILL.. and i repeat WILL fit in a 2001 civic.. but its a pain in
the ass to put in
My 2 friends helping me out with the swap
Also the RBC Manifold will fit into the car BUT
requires trimming of the front radiator support as you can see in the picture
However you will need to trim away at the upper
radiator support area to make it fit. You have to trim about 3/4 an inch away
just to make it clear.
Also note that you will need a karcepts adaptor to succesfully mount the k20
throttle body to the RBC manifold
SHIFTER BOX COMPARISON
Left to Right: Revo, RSX-S, Base RSX, 01+ Civic
The Revo, RSX-S, Base RSX, and 01+ Civic (Non-Si) can all shift the 6 speed
tranny, including reverse. The TSX shifter may be
a different design but still bolts up to the same place as the other shifters
and functions just as same. It can even use the same short
shifter adapters as the other shifters.
The only differences in the Base RSX and 01+ Civic (Non-Si) vs. the RSX-S are in
the bends in the shifter shaft itself!
If you look at the picture below. The left is the rsx-s and the right one is the
base. The shifter itself is TOTALLY identical to
all the other models. But notice the bend in the upper portion is different.
Thats the only differnece between all the shifters. Is the BEND. has nothing to
do with 5 or 6 speed. and has nothing to do with the short
Here is a side by side comparison of the rsx-s (left) and the 01-05 civic
And another comparison of the rsx-s (left) and the revo (right)
The shaft height on both the Revo and 01+ Civic (Non-Si) is .75" shorter vs. the
RSX shifters. The main point to all of this is that the choice is yours, since
the Revo, RSX-S, Base RSX, and 01+ Civic (Non-Si) will all work with the short
shifter adpaters and they all can shift the 6
speed tranny (if so equipped).Tthe type of tranny
regardless if its 5 or 6 speed is irrelevant to the shifter box. the shifter box
itself. and i do mean the shifter box ONLY is the same casting for all the
shifter boxes i have mentioned earlier along with the pics.
The ONLY REAL difference is the bend of the fork. All it comes down to when
using the oem shifters is the height and the bend. Nothing to do with the 5 or 6
speed. Thats the part i am trying to stress out. Even with pictures and
explanations people will still not believe.
If you pull your center console out and look at you shifter with a 5 speed
tranny you will see it never goes all the way to the right. Put in a 6-speed
tranny and put it into reverse and it will still not hit the right side. I know
this for a fact cause i am using the same shifter that came in my 01 civic when
i was 5-speed..... and i am stil using the same shifter in my car with the
6-speed tranny. Putting on a short shifter adapter will shorten the travel
length even more and you use less travel of the shifter box entirely.
pictures courtesy of karcepts.com
REMOVING THE ENGINE
First thing you might want to do is pull out the
your D17 motor out of your car. (alot of rags and brake/carb cleaner will help
out alot at this point. The brake/carb cleaner comes in handy on cleaning up oil
spills and cleaning the engine bay and parts etc.)
Jack up the front end of the car and take off
Drain you tranny fluid by removing the bolt on
the side that looks like you have to use a square tool to fit in there.
Basically a 3/8 ratchet will fit in there. After that pull out your axles very
carefully as to not pull the shaft from the cup. You might need to use a really
big screw driver to help leverage it out.
If you want to you can drain the oil at this
time to help lighten the motor but not neseccary. Also while your at it be
careful on pulling out the power steering resevoir cause you dont want to get
the fluid all over the place. Then drain the radiator using the small white
looking valve thing at the bottom of the radiator
Disconnect all hoses, lines, cables, battery,
and wires from you motor. Take out the battery. Then take out the radiator by
removing the brackets from the top of it.
Somehow your going to have to find a way to
discharge you a/c system. It is illegal to discharge the freon into the air. But
if you do then just stick something into the charging ports to release the air
from the a/c. (PLEASE NOTE that this is illegal and you take
responsibility for your own action. Do not breathe the discharge and make sure
you are out in a well ventilated area.) Disconnect the a/c lines and
move off any excess line to the side.
HERE IS A MOTOR DETAILED EXPLANTION OF HOW TO
PULL THE MOTOR. If you already know how to pull the motor out then skip this
Heres a more detailed explanation of how to remove your engine.
If you already know how to do so then just skip these STEPS and
-Use fender covers to avoid damaging painted surfaces.
-To avoid damage, unplug the wirning connectors carefully while
holding the connector portion.
-Mark all wiring and hoses to avoid disconnection. Also, be sure
that they do not contact other wiring or hoses, or interfere with
1. Secure the hood in the wide open position (support rod in the
2. Make sure you have the anti-theift code for the radio, then
write down the frequencies for the radio's preset buttons.
3. Disconnect the negative cable from the battery first, the
dissconnect the positive cable.
4. Remove the intake resonator.
5. Remove the battery and battery base.
6. Remove the battery cables from the fuse box, and remove the
7. Remove the intake air duct and ground cable.
8. Remove the clutch slave cylinder and clutch line bracket
mounting bolt (M/T).
9. Remove the shift cable (CVT).
11. Relieve fuel pressure.
12. Remove the evaporative emission (EVAP) canister hose.
13. Remove the brake booster vacuum hose.
14. Remove the glove box stops, then open the glove box.
15. Disconnect the engine control module (ECM)/power control
module (PCM) connectors.
16. Remove the harness clamps and grommet, then pull the engine
wire harness through the bulk head.
17. Remove the throttle cable and cruise control cable by
loosening the lock nuts, then slipping the cable ends out of the
accelerator linkage. Take care not to bend the cable when removing
them. Always replace any kinked cable with a new one.
18. Remove the adjusting plate mounting bolt, locknut and mounting
bolt, then remove the power steering (P/S) pump belt and pump
w/out disconnecting the P/S hoses.
19. Remove alternator.
20. Remove the A/C hose bracket and P/S hose bracket.
21. Remove the alternator lower bracket, then remove the A/C
compressor with out dissconnecting the A/C hoses.
22. Remove the radiator cap.
23. Raise the hoist to full height.
24. Remove the front tires/wheels.
25. Remove the splash shield.
26. Loosen the drain plug in the radiator, drain the engine
27. Drain the transmission fluid:
28. Drain the engine oil. Reinstall the drain bolt using a new
29. Disconnect the primary heated oxygen sensor (primary HO2S)
connector and secondary heated oxygen sensor (secondary HO2S)
connector, then remove the exshaust pipe and three way catalytic
converter (TWC)(D17A2 engine).
30. Dissconnect the third heated oxygen sensor (third HO2S)
connector, remove the exhaust pipe and TWC assembly (D17A6
31. Remove the exhaust pipe/muffler assembly (D17A1 engine).
32. Remove the shift cable covers, then remove the shift control
33. Disconnect the suspension lower are ball joints and stabilizer
34. REmove the driveshafts. Coat all precision finished surfaces
with clean engine oil. Tie plastic bags over the driveshaft ends.
35. Lower the hoist.
36. Remove the ground cable, upper radiator hose, lower radiator
hose and heater hose.
37. Remove the automatic transmission fluid (ATF) cooler hoses,
then plug the ATF cooler hoses and lines (A/T, CVT).
38. Attach the chain hoist to the engine as shown.
39. Remove the front mount mounting bolt.
40. Remove the side engine hount bracket mounting nuts.
41. Remove the transmission mount bracket mounting bolt/nuts.
42. Make sure the hoist brackets are positioned properly. Raise
the hoist to full height. (If your not using a car hoist and using
only an engine hoist then make sure the engine hoist is properly
attached to motor and car is on jack stands on both sides)
43. Remove the rear mount mounting bolts.
44. Use a marker to make alignment marks on the reference lines
that align w. the centers of the rear subframe mounting bolts.
45. Remove the front subframe.
46. Check that the engine/transmission is completely free of
vacuum hoses, fuel and coolant hoses, and electrical wiring.
47. Slowly lower the engine about 150 mm (6 inch). Check once
again that all the hoses and wires are disconnected from the
engine/transmision. (If using and engine hoist and the car is on
jack stands, then you raise the motor a few inches and check for
48. Lower the engine all the way. Remove the chain hoist from the
engine. (If car is on jack stands then rasie the engine hoist all
the way up till it clears over the front end of the car. Then
slowly move the hoist till the motor clears the car and slowly
lower the car.
Now take off the lower control arms from the
subframe and not from the hub. This helps alleviate on step from taking it on
and off the hub down the line.
Go into the glove compartment area and open it
up by removing the 2 clips found inside of the glove box. This should expose the
inner areas of the car. Inside there you will see you ecu and and wire harness.
Remove the clips from ecu and you will need a long ratchet extension to get to
the back bolts to pull out the ecu. Once the ecu is out yank out the wire
harness from the engine bay area. Pull out the complete harness and put it off
to the side.
Before continuing make sure there is NOTHING
left connected to the motor except the mounts cause you dont want anything to be
yanked out while pulling the motor out. Also i forgot to mention that make sure
you have taken out you intake, headers, and part of your exhaust till its not in
the way of the subframe
IF PULLING MOTOR FROM THE TOP:
Remove the front and rear motor mounts. Attach the lift to the motor with the
chains with one point to the far left of the tranny as close to the mount as
possible and the other to the far right as possible. ( i do suggest you have
someone with you that has had experience using one of these, if not theres
always a first time for everything.) Jack up the lift a little till you have
some support from the lift. Then go ahead and remove the driver and passenger
mounts. Then slowly lift the motor out while continously checking to make sure
IF YOU HAVE A CAR LIFT DROPPING MOTOR
Remove the driver and passenger mounts and leave the front and rear mounts Using
the engine lift connect the chain to the same points as described above and give
the motor some support. Now take off the 4 bolts holding the subframe from under
the car. Lower the engine lift to the ground. The whole motor along with the
subframe should go straight to the ground. Disconnect the engine lift and then
Lift the entire car up on the car lift and preston... Theres your motor out
plain and simple
Here is a pic of my car when everything was
finally pulled out
Now if you pulled the motor from the top. Jack
the car back up so you have enough space to pull out the subframe. There are 4
bolts holding up your subframe. Take those 4 bolts out and the whole thing will
After your motor is out. take the coolant sensor
from the D17 and switch it with the K20 sensor. The sensor on the k20 can be
found here on the right hand side of the head (tranny side of the motor) right
behind this black piece of plastic
Lift up this plastic and it will reveal the
radiator coolant temp sensor
WIRING THE ENGINE HARNESS
Next lets do the wireharness. If you bought a
wireharness from hasport or hybrid-racing then perform there operations on
prepping and install of there harness and skip this step and go onto the next
section. If not read on.
First off lets start with the C101 Clip. Here is
a picture courtesy of Dark2K1 from 7thgencivic.com. If you dont know what the
C101 clip looks like its the really big clip that goes along with the rest of
the clips that connect to the ecu. There is also a picture of it on the top-left
of the image below. If you can follow the diagram below then you know what to
do. If not let me try to guide you through it.
Okay here we go. I'll try to explain this as
easy as possible. Especially for the newbies. I have learned from looking at my
different harnesses that not all the colors may be the same. In my rsx harness
it did look the same but in my jdm harnes the colors where different BUT.. and a
big BUT.. even though the colors may be different it still had the same
function. This works for all k20 harnesses (si, rsx, jdm) and HAS NOT been
proven with the k24 harnesses yet. Or at least i havent checked it yet.
To the left of the image above is what the K20
harness clip looks like. To the right of you is how the civic one is wired up.
Basically we have to make the k20 harness look like the civic one with 1
exception. The primary o2 will not be wired in..YET... Sounds simple so far?
So take the rsx clip and look at it from behind
where the wires come out. Starting from the top left is pin 1. Refer to the
diagram above to help you along. You can move it or cut it. Some of the pins may
be smaller and/or bigger so you just have to cut and wire ONE AT A TIME each one
individually. You dont wanna forget what wire came from where. Soooo
-move clip 1 into 4
-move clip 2 into 5
-move clip 3 into 6
-leave clip 7 as is
-leave clip 8 as is
-move clip 9 into 17
-take clip 10 - cut this wire off and label wire coming from harness with a
piece of tape saying #10
-leave clip 11 and 12 as is
-take clip 13 - cut this wire off and label wire coming from harness with a
piece of tape saying #13
-move clip 14 into 19
-take clip 15 - cut this wire off and label wire coming from harness with a
piece of tape saying #15
-leave clip16 as is
-move clip 17 into 9
-leave clip 18 as is
-take clip 19 - cut this wire off and label wire coming from harness with a
piece of tape saying #19
-leave clip 20 as is
The ones that you did cut (10, 13, 15, 19) Just
pull the pins out from the clip cause we will no longer use it.
WIRING IN THE O2 SENSOR
Okay now the fun part of wiring the primary o2
sensor. You will need a relay to make this completely work or else you will
throw a code saying sensor malfunction. If not there is a way around it but you
might burn out the o2 sensor.
If you look on your o2 sensor there are 4 wires.
2 black, 1 white and 1 green.(if not you got the wrong o2 sensor. I did notice
however that some o2 sensors will have a blue wire instead of a green) Take the o2
clip and hold it in front of you so it looks like this. If you want to do what i
did and take a black permanent pen and mark on the side of the clip the numbers
so you dont get confused. Make sure you dont get the 2 blacks mixed up cause
when i tried reversing it, it didnt work anymore.
So now that you know about the o2 sensor
wiring...Lets continue shall we .. On the left hand side of the diagram below is
the color of the wires and clip #'s that we originally worked on from clip C101.
On the right hand side is the wires and pin # from the o2 sensor. So just gotta
match it up.
Clip 10 (black/white) -------------> Pin 4
(black) of the o2 sensor
Clip 19 (red) ------------------------> Pin 1
(white) of the o2 sensor
Clip 13 (red/yellow) --------------> Pin 2
(green or blue) of the o2 sensor
Clip 15 (white) ---------------------> Pin 3
(black) of the o2 sensor
***12v relay-----> Pin 3 (black) of the o2 sensor
****Basically you take the 12v relay
wire and combine it with clip 15 (white) and it goes into Pin 3 of the o2 sensor
I FINALLY ADDED THE RELAY WIRING AS
OF 3/5/06. So here is it how it goes
Well first lets get you a relay. It can be the
same relay used found under the hood of you car in the fuse box. Or if you want
call hybrid and see if they will sell you one.. if not just go to a junkyard or
dealer and see if you can get one. It should look something like this.
Here is a better look of it up close
The one on the left was from hybrid and the one
on the right is from the fuse box in the car. They both have worked for i have
tried both so no troubles there.
So lets get started. First of all lets take this
diagram i made here to follow off of. Some relays especially the one from the
engine bay fuse box will not have Pin 4 so dont worry about it cause its not
If you have aftermarket relays and wondering
what each pin is numbered. Heres is what each number stands for:
1 - 30
2 - 87
3 - 86
4 - 87a
5 - 85
Soooooo.... almost done
Pin 1 from the relay combines with Pin 15(white)
of the C101 as stated earlier during the wiring of the C101 clip
Pin 2 goes to a constant 12+ volt source. (This
is a source of power that is always on even when the key is off)
Pin 3 goes to connector E on the ecu which is
the far right clip of the ecu. Let me explain. Look at Pin 8 on the connector E
on the ecu. there should be an orange wire. Cut the wire and take the end of the
wire that comes out from the ecu and connect this to the relay Pin 3. If there
is no wire in the E connector Pin 8 then you need to find a pin to stick in
there from another clip. If you did cut the orange wire. Just take the side that
is coming from the harness and tape it off.
Pin 4 is not used
Pin 5 goes to a switched 12+ volt source. (This
is a source that comes on when you turn the key. A good place for this is
possibly the cigarette lighter if you cant find one.)
PREPPING THE ENGINE BAY
Okay now lets get the engine bay prepped a
little. Some of you that want a nice looking engine bay now is the time to go to
the store and pick u p some black glossy paint and paint the engine bay. If not
then lets get moving.
After the wire harness is done. Take the ecu
side of the harness and feed it through the hole in the firewall where the old
wire harness went. Now if you look at the ecu. See the tabs that stick out on
the left and right side of the ecu. I had to cut mines off with a dremel to make
them fit in the slot where my original ecu is. Dont know if anyone else did that
but thats what i came across. Dont connect the ecu to the harness yet.
Take your power steering line. It should look
like half of it is a rubber hose and the other half of it is a metal line. The
metal end of the hose screws right in to the stock location of where the
original one was. You might have to bend the hose a little bit to get it to fit.
Even the wire that connects to it will reach with a little effort. Just cut the
plastic wire loom to help extend it.
Now look for the fuel line and purge line that
is sticking out of the firewall area. It should look something like this
(picture taken from hasport manual) This is the lines that hasport tells you to
buy in there manual. But in all reality its already in our cars.
You have to gently bend the lines so that way it
bends with the right line facing to the right and the left line is pointing
towards the front of the engine bay. Now if you want to label these lines the
left is the FUEL and the right one with the bend is the PURGE which hooks up to
a vacuum on the manifold. Make sure you make no kinks in these lines or else you
have to replace it somehow someway.
Now lets first start off with the left side
bracket (passenger side). This is what was included with the hasport mounts to
go on that side.
And this is how it supposed to look when its
bolted onto the frame of the car.
Now one thing you might notice is that the
washers or spacers they give you will not make the bracket fit flush to the
frame of the car. In fact you end up short on spacers. Pick up a bunch of
spacers that look just like the ones they supplied so you can mount it flush....
Heres what i mean
The bottom will mount flush except the top. I
actually used the spacers on the bottom so it would be flush then didnt have any
for the top. So check your package to see if they gave you more than 3 or 4
washers. If not then get a bunch more.
Okay now that side is mounted correctly. Lets
move on to the driver side mount. For those of you with ABS you will have to
modify the ABS bracket from what i read. I dont have ABS so i didnt have to come
across it. SO if anyone who has ABS did the swap and wants to contribute
anything about how to do it with the ABS and some pics or came across anything
let me know so i can add it.
Okay now if you dont have ABS then the driver
plate should be direct mount with 3 screws...... or so i thought.. i bolted one
screw and the others wouldnt go in. You will basically need a dremel/ grinder to
make the hole bigger on one side. Not all three holes lined up perfectly.
As you can see when the mount is flush to the
frame the other 2 holes didnt line up perfectly. So basically what i did was i
kept the bottom hole the same because that one lines up perfectly. The far right
hole i had to grind it bigger up and to the left and the top one had to be
grinded a little down and a little to the left.
Now take the radiator and put it
into the original location of the stock ones. I used an RSX one and
didnt have to modify anything. They say you have to trim around the
cap opening around the grill... Seeing that as i had no grill cause
i have an aftermarket one then it was real easy for me. As far as
wires go for the fan on the radiator. Originally the wire hanging
from the right is the A/C fan switch and the one on the left is the
RADIATOR fan switch. Since this motor is reversed run the RADIATOR
fan switch wire to the right hand side to make it easier access. I
used an aftermarket universal fan so mounting it was easy. If you
cant find an SI radiator fan just go to autozone or pepboys or
something and get the universal 17in fans for like $30 or something
*NOTE: This is for when the car is
back together. When you finally get the car running check the fans
to make sure it is blowing the air towards the motor. If not then
make sure you switch the wires to change the polarity so the fan
blows the right direction.
If you take a look at your a/c
compressor on your k20 you will see that it is has a harness coming
off of it and it only has 1-wire coming off it. Thats fine and
everything but i bet most of you are not wondering about that
problem. Theres 2 things i am gona try and go through here. First
thing is the a/c lines you gota use and how to wire your harness to
the a/c compressor.
First lets start with the a/c lines.
The really easy part is to order the a/c line from the 2002-2005 si
model car or commonly known as the EP3. (This is for the U.S.
Models). The part you will need from the car is the line from the
compressor to the condensor. Which is that big looking intercooler
thing on the front of your car.
anyways.. what you need if you dont want custom
lines and want to use oem parts your gona need the following from
the EP3 ONLY.
80325-S5T-A01 PIPE ASSY., AIR CONDITIONER (replaces the line
coming out your firewall which is required if you want to use the
oem suction hose)
80311-S5T-A01 HOSE, SUCTION (which makes the line wrap around
the passneger side)
80315-S5T-E01 HOSE, DISCHARGE (goes from compressor to
condenser and YES you can use the RSX one just for
this hose only)
So how much is a/c worth to u??
brand new it comes out to
Prices where taken from hondapartsdeals.com
HOSE, SUCTION $82.51
HOSE, DISCHARGE $92.34
PIPE ASSY., AIR CONDITIONER $77.56
*To see shipping prices procced to checkout and create an account.
Now when it comes to the Suction
Hose as stated above you got 3 options for it:
1- Get a custom line made from the
compressor to the line coming out of the firewall (assuming you want
to you your stock hose coming out of your firewall). If you do that
they also need to put a LOW recharge port on the line so you can
recharge the a/c.
2- Get the rsx line that comes off
the compressor and goes to the line coming out of the firewall (this
option will also allow you to use your stock hose coming out of your
However this line also needs some modification because it has no
recharge ports. So u need to have someone weld on a low recharge
port somewhere on the line.
3- This last option requires no
modification whatsoever but it does require you to buy one more
part. You will need the ep3 line from compressor to the line coming
out of the firewall. BUT you will also need the double lines that
come out of the firewall. If you look at the back of the firewall
where your a/c lines come out. There is 2 lines attached to
one plate held in place by one bolt. You will need to order this
line as well. Everything else is bolt-on from there. Slight bending
of the line might be required. (See above for part numbers and costs
for this option)
For the wiring part. I so far have
come across 3 different wire configurations. I noticed that it can
come from any particular vehicle and/or model. So bare with me on
- First type of a/c wiring i have
come across is the 1-wire which will clip right up to the stock a/c
compressor. No modifications necessary.
- Second type is a 3-wire connector.
The color of the wires are
For this setup you have to take the blue/white wire
and connect it to the green/yellow wire. Then the last wire which is
the blue/red wire will go directly to the 1-wire compressor
-Last type is also a 3-wire
connector. The color of the wires are
For this etup you have to take the red wire and connect it
to the blue wire. Then the last wire which is the blue/red wire will
go directly to the 1-wire compressor
Im sure there are probably other
color types out there i dont know about but if you have a blue/red
wire and the other colors are different. Its safe to assume that the
blue/red wire go to the compressor and the other 2 wires connect to
Everything is pretty much straight
forward from here on in. I havent gone into detail too much which
the remaining steps only because i stopped taking pics of the swap
halfway through. PLEASE NOTE that however, I will be updating this
again with more details and pics of the following when i do another
swap into my car. I will be pulling the motor out and doing some
work too it. So when i do put it back in i will take pics to go
along with putting the car back together. So dont worry. I will go
into more details next update. I will even try to go into how to
make a custom a/c line for the car. Think i might do it using oem
- Attach Rear tranny bracket to
- Bolt up the k20 subframe to the
car. Dont attach the Control-A arms to the frame yet.
- Now bolt the k20 rear mount to
the rear bracket. not the subframe. Found it easier this way. Hand
tighten but still leave it a little loose so you can still move
- Mount on the hasport mount (or
whatever brand you got) to the engine. Passenger side and tranny
- If your using an engine hoist.
Lift the motor over the car. and slowly lower it into engine bay
be careful not to hit anything. watch the fuel lines and power
steering lines in the back and the radiator up front.
- I have done it both ways. Do
which ever is easiest for you. Either mount the tranny side first
then match up the passenger side or mount passenger side then
match up tranny side. Remember hand tighten but dont tighten fully
till all 3 mounts are in
- When all 3 are in and ready to
go. Tighten all 3 mounts.
- Install axles. First put the axle
into the tranny. Then attach the control arm back to the subframe.
Make sure that the axle is in the tranny and in the hub while
bolting up the control arm. Be careful not to pull the axle out of
the cups or else your asking for it.. haha.. (there is another way
to do put in the axles but requires more work)
- Connect the fuel line and the
brake booster line and so forth back to the motor. Radiator hose
lines. Make sure you left nothing out.
- Attach the powersteering pressure
line to powersteering pump
- For the return line u can use any
approved hoses to run from the pump to the resevoir. Just make
sure it doesnt rub against the accesory belt.
- Attach a/c lines if you have them
(will go into more detail next update)
- Almost there. Attach engine
harness to motor. Run wires into the car on the passenger side
where you originally pulled out the D17 wire harness. Plug C101
clip into in-dash harness and clip the rest to the ecu.
- Check all your fluids and fill it
up. Powersteering, raditor fluid, oil, tranny fluid, blinker
- Connect your intake and headers
and the rest of your exhaust system
Double check everything. Turn key to
on. Make sure you hear the fuel pump priming. On-OFF-On-OFF a few
times. Leave it ON then go into the engine bay and check all your
fuel lines and make sure nothing is leaking and you dont smell any
fuel. If you do CHECK IT again. Of vourse before you can start it
you gotta have kpro. Turn the key to ON then connect your laptop and
access the ecu.
- Start the kpro software
- click on "file" then "new"
- choose the appropiate ecu and
motor you are running and hit "ok"
- look for the window that says
- click on "MISC"
- remove the check mark from "immobolizer
enabled" and "obd2 enabled"
- Check that the "multiplexer" is
set to normal
- then click "file" and "save as"
and save it somewhere you can find it for future use
- then click "online" and then
"upload" and it will start sending the calibration to your ecu. If
the "upload" setting is a very light gray that means either you
didnt turn the key to "on" or there is no power running to the ecu.
Check all your connections
- I suggest after calibration is
done uploading. Turn the key to off position then turn the key
back on. Then try starting the car.
Like with any swap double check
everything twice before you even start her up for the first time.
Even while the car is running. Check the temp from in the car. Make
sure its not overheating. Once car is warmed up the radiator fan
will come on. If you hear any unusual noise turn car off.
Once everything is all said and
done. Heres your end result
Of course dyno tune is a must in my book. You
don thave to but i highly suggest you do it
If anything i suggest that if you never done
swaps before to have someone there to help you with it just in case you forget
something. I will be updating this thing in the next month with pics when i redo
K20 Specs and General Info
K20A Japan Spec
HP 220 @ 8000 rpm
Torque 152 lb/ft @ 7000 rpm
Redline 8400 RPMS
Comp Ratio 11.5:1
Specific output 110HP/L
Final Drive 4.765
K20A - EURO spec
147 kW (200 hp) @7400 rpm
Torque 196 Nm @5900 rpm
Redline 8100 RPMS
Comp Ratio 11,0:1
Displacement 1998 cm3
Specific output 100HP/L
K20A2 US spec RSX type S motor
200 HP@7400 rpm
Torque 142 lb/ft @ 6000 rpm
Redline 8100 RPMS
Comp Ratio 11.0:1
Specific output 100HP/L
Final Drive 4.388
K20A3 US spec Ep3 / RSX motor
160 HP@6500 rpm
Torque 132 lb/ft @ 5000 rpm
Redline 6800 RPMS
Comp Ratio 9.8:1
Specific output 80HP/L
Final Drive 4.765
K24A2 US spec TSX motor
200 HP@6800 rpm
Torque 166 lb/ft @ 4500 rpm
Redline 7100 RPMS
Comp Ratio 10.5:1
Specific output 88.33Hp/L
Trans Specs manual
Final Drive 4.765
K24A US spec CRV motor
160 HP@6000 rpm
Torque 162 lb/ft @ 3600 rpm
Redline 6500 RPMS
Comp Ratio 9.6:1
Specific output 80HP/L
Trans Specs manual
Final Drive 4.765
2002-2004 Acura RSX Specs in Detail
Specs in Detail
The K20A3 does not have a standard DOHC VTEC
valvetrain as we know it from the B-series engines - the K20A3 should actually
be called a "DOHC i-VTEC-E" engine, because it uses a VTEC-E cam setup. The
K20A2 is the "real" DOHC i-VTEC engine, utilizing the standard DOHC VTEC cam
setup we're all familiar with. To help you understand the differences between
the K20A2 and K20A3 engines, I've included the following information from a post
I made elsewhere:
Allow me to evaluate. Let's start out by defining some terms:
VTEC - Variable valve Timing and lift Electronic Control. At
low RPM, a VTEC engine uses a normal cam profile to retain a smooth idle, good
fuel economy, and good low-end power delivery. The VTEC mechanism engages a
high-lift, long-duration "race" cam profile at a set RPM value (i.e., ~5500RPM
on the B16A) to increase high-end power delivery.
VTEC-E - Variable valve Timing and lift Electronic Control for
Efficiency. This system isn't really VTEC as we know it. At low RPM, the VTEC-E
mechanism effectively forces the engine to operate as a 12-valve engine - one of
the intake valves does not open fully, thus decreasing fuel consumption. At a
set RPM value (i.e., ~2500RPM in the D16Y5), the VTEC-E mechanism engages the
2nd intake valve, effectively resuming operation as a normal 16-valve engine.
Note: in a VTEC-E engine, there are no high-RPM performance cam profiles; this
engine is supposed to be tuned for fuel economy, right?
VTC - Variable Timing Control. This is a mechanism attached to
the end of the intake camshaft only which acts as a continuously variable cam
gear - it automatically adjusts the overlap between the intake and exhaust cams,
effectively allowing the engine to have the most ideal amount of valve overlap
in all RPM ranges. VTC is active at all RPMs.
i-VTEC - intelligent Variable valve Timing and lift Electronic
Control. This is a combination of both the VTEC and the VTC technologies - in
other words, i-VTEC = VTEC + VTC. Currently, the only engines that use the
i-VTEC system are the DOHC K-series engines.
Now this is where things get tricky - Honda uses the term "DOHC i-VTEC" for two
different systems: The first system is used in the K20A2 engine of the RSX
Type-S. The second system is used in the K20A3 engine of the Civic Si.
The First System (K20A2):
This system is pretty close to the older DOHC VTEC engines. At low RPM, the
K20A2 uses a normal cam profile to retain a smooth idle, good fuel economy, and
good low-end power delivery. At 5800RPM, its VTEC mechanism engages a high-lift,
long-duration "race" cam profile to increase high-end power delivery. The only
difference between this i-VTEC engine and the older VTEC engines is the addition
of the VTC system. The intake camshaft has the automatic self-adjusting cam gear
which continuously optimizes valve overlap for all RPM ranges.
This system is used in engines powering the JDM Honda Integra Type-R, Civic
Type-R, Accord Euro-R, and the USDM Acura RSX Type-S and TSX.
The Second System (K20A3):
This system does not really conform to the "DOHC i-VTEC" nomenclature, as Honda
would like us to believe. As I mentioned in my previous post, it actually should
be called "i-VTEC-E," because it uses a VTEC-E mechanism rather than a standard
VTEC mechanism. At low RPM, the VTEC-E system effectively forces the engine to
operate as a 12-valve engine - one of the intake valves does not open fully,
thus decreasing fuel consumption. At 2200RPM, the VTEC-E system engages the 2nd
intake valve, effectively resuming operation as a normal 16-valve engine. There
are no high-RPM performance cam profiles; this engine is tuned to balance fuel
economy and power, rather than provide pure performance. On the intake cam,
there is the VTC mechanism which basically is an automatic self-adjusting cam
gear used to continuously optimize the valve overlap for all RPM ranges. This
being a VTEC-E system - and not a true DOHC VTEC system - is the reason the
K20A3 redlines at a measly 6800RPM, while the K20A2 is able to rev all the way
This system is used in engines powering the USDM Acura RSX base, Honda Civic Si,
Accord 4-cylinder, CRV, and Element.
The K20A3 engine used in the Acura RSX base has a slightly different intake
manifold design from the K20A3 engine used in the Civic Si. The RSX engine uses
a dual-stage manifold, similar in concept to the manifold of the B18C1 in the
old Integra GSR. It uses long intake runners at low-RPM to retain low end power,
and switches at 4700RPM to a set of shorter intake runners to enhance high-end
torque. This accounts for the extra 9 ft-lb of torque in the RSX (141 ft-lb, vs.
132 ft-lb in the Civic Si).
1. The i-VTEC engine engages VTEC gradually, and not suddenly like in the old
Wrong. The i-VTEC engine "engages VTEC" at a single set RPM, like always.
Whoever started this rumor is a ****tard. Read the definitions above.
2. VTC engages at a set RPM.
Wrong. VTC is always activated. Read under "VTC" above.
3. The K20A3 engages VTEC at 5000+ RPM.
Wrong. Technically, there is no "VTEC" (as we think of it) in the K20A3 engine -
it uses a VTEC-E technology, which engages at 2200RPM. Read under "The Second
ALL IN THE FAMILY
By Keith Buglewicz
A sense of nervousness has seeped into the Honda performance community. It comes
not from new anti-racing laws, or emissions regulations that will weld the hoods
of new cars shut. No, this nervousness comes directly from Honda itself.
K. It's just a letter, but in the coming years its significance to Honda
enthusiasts will achieve the status that "B" has now. With the introduction of
the Acura RSX, the new Honda Civic Si and CRV, Honda chucked more than 12 years
of engine experience and aftermarket support out the window for a clean sheet of
paper design. The new engine family is the K series, and on paper, it makes even
the highest performance VTEC B series engine look like yesterday's blue plate
Look at the specs. The K20A2 in the RSX Type-S churns out a solid 200 hp from
its 2.0- liters. That's 100 hp per liter, and you can thank i-VTEC for this
specific output. The "VTEC" part of that acronym is already familiar to Honda
enthusiasts. When the engine reaches a certain speed, rocker arms are locked
together, linking them to a higher-lift cam, and allowing more fuel and air into
the engine. In the world of variable valves, this is known as cam shifting right
now, only Honda, Toyota, BMW and Porsche sell cam-shifting systems in the United
However, that little "i" means a lot. It means the K series engines are also
equipped with VTC, or Variable Timing Control. This cam phasing system uses a
spool gear, oil pressure and some fancy electronics to change the angle of the
intake cam by plus or minus 30 degrees of timing.
The result is an engine with excellent power and especially torque, but one that
still manages better fuel efficiency and lower emissions than its predecessor.
Now, this is all fine and good, but what does this mean for an aftermarket that
has been centered on the B series engines? What can be done with it? Can it be
turbocharged? Can it be swapped? Does it respond to the simplest bolt on mods?
These are the questions on the minds of Honda enthusiasts, and we intend to
answer as many as we can. First, let's take a close-up look at the engines as
they come from the factory.
The K series currently consists of four power plants. The K20A3 is found under
the hood of the standard RSX. With 160 hp at 6500 rpm and 141 Ib-ft of torque at
4000 rpm, it churns out the same power as the B16A, 10 hp less than the B38C1,
but much more torque than either one of them, all at a lower engine speed. The
i-VTEC system works only on the intake cam on this engine, and it has a
composite two-stage intake manifold.
Similar to the K20A3 is the K20A found under the hood of the new Civic Si.
K20A-what? Well, we're not sure. The cars we've seen have all been
pre-production vehicles, without the requisite engine code stamp on the block.
The best information we have so far is that it's a K20A3, same as the RSX. But
that sounds a little off to us. While it has the same i-VTEC system as the RSX,
it boasts the fixed, single-stage aluminum intake manifold of the K20A2 under
the hood of the RSX Type-S instead of the dual-stage manifold of the base RSX.
Whatever the final engine code works out to being (we'll just call it a K20A for
now), this manifold swap actually works against the Si, reducing its torque. It
weighs in with the same 160 hp, but with only 132 Ib-ft of torque at a higher
5000 rpm than its K20A3 sibling.
Following the logic of Honda's engine codes, the K24A1 is a 2.4-liter version of
the K series. Following a philosophy similar to the B20 found in the previous
CR-V, it's tuned to be a torque monster with a long, 99 mm stroke. That's a full
13 mm (0.51-in.) longer than any of the K20 engines. The extreme stroke works.
With 162 lb-ft available at a low 3600 rpm, the CR-V is a veritable stump puller
among small four-cylinder SUVs. At the top of the enthusiast heap is the K20A2
that powers the RSX Type-S. With a lofty 7900-rpm redline, 200 hp and 142 lb-ft
of torque, this engine really is as good as its hype. With the exception of the
stroked K24, the engines are all very similar structurally. AII three of the
2.0-liter versions share the same 86 mm x 86 mm bore and stroke. This is known
as a square design. An oversquare engine has a longer stroke than bore, like the
K24. This generally results in more torque, but at the expense of peak power.
Conversely an undersquare design (such as the S2000's engine) has a bore larger
than stroke, and generally produces more high-end horsepower at the expense of
torque. Not surprisingly, a square design like the K20 is a compromise between
these two extremes, offering good torque and good horsepower without sacrificing
or optimizing either. Aside from the manifold change on the Si's version of the
K20, the main difference between these engines is the way they manipulate their
The K20A2 in the Type-S works the way you expect VTEC to work. The two camshafts
are equipped with three cam lobes and rocker arms for each cylinder's pair of
intake and exhaust valves. At 5800 rpm, oil pressure activates pins that lock
the outer rocker arms to the center arm. This forces both valves to use the
higher lift, longer duration center camshaft profile. However, this is augmented
by VTC on the intake side, which manipulates the timing of the cam itself. This
can be used to augment torque, reduce emissions or a variety of different things
depending on what the computer thinks is best at the time. The RSX's K20A3, the
Si's K20A and the CR-V's K24A1 use i-VTEC differently. First, it only operates
on the intake valves. But even then, the philosophy is changed. Until the VTEC
threshold is reached, the lesser K engines essentiality only use one intake
valve per cylinder. The other is opened just a crack, enough to keep fuel from
pooling behind the valve, but that's about it. In addition, the VTC is tuned
primarily to keep emissions as low as possible. All this weirdness results in
excellent swirl inside the combustion chamber and very efficient combustion.
It's great for fuel efficiency and low emissions. However, it isn't so great for
driving fun, as the engine inhales less deeply and revs lower.
The K24A is more closely related to the K20A3 and K20A. While it uses the same
i-VTEC tuning as those engines, it's the long stroke design that's intriguing.
The difference is in the block. The K24's deck height is roughly 19 mm higher
than its smaller siblings. It's also slightly bored, with 1 mm larger cylinders.
The compression ratio is also down slightly from the non-Type-S engines, 9.6.1
vs. 9.8:1. So what? Well, the natural temptation is to throw the K20A2's
efficient head onto the K24A1 block, raise the redline and have a torquey,
ultra-powerful i-VTEC stroker Frankenstein monster engine.
The actual bolting on part wouldn't be too difficult, as the heads should mount
right up. However, you do run into an issue with piston speed. At its 7900-rpm
redline, the K20A2 in the Type-S has a piston speed of 4464 feet per minute
(fpm). Thanks to its long stroke, the K24A1 comes close to that, running at 4225
fpm at its much lower redline of 6500 rpm. By the time you've spun your K24 up
to just 6900 rpm, you're already at 4485 fpm, and at the 7900 rpm redline of the
K20A2, you're at a crazy 5135 fpm. For comparison, even the hyperkinetic S2000
with its 9000 rpm redline doesn't exceed 5000 fpm (it maxes out at 49% fpm). And
the Integra's B18C1 only reached 4573 fpm. Translation: If you're going to plunk
a K20A2 head on a K24A1 block and redline the concoction to 7900 rpm without
seriously building up the bottom end.. duck.
If you scan the chart on page 85, you'll see that we've covered most of the cars
there. The Integra is just for comparison, of course, and we've hit the RSX and
CR-V engines. So what's the S2000 doing there? That is the true wild-card in all
this. It seems as though despite the different engine code (F20C1) and
north-south orientation, the S2000's engine block is a kissing cousin of the K
series. In fact, according to engine developer Paulus Lee at Advanced Engine
Breathing Systems in San Diego, the head gaskets are the same. This means the
S2000's standard VTEC head could, in theory, be put on the K series block.
The head design of the different Ks are intriguing, beyond just valve
manipulation. The K20A2 found in the Type-S is a wonderful design, according to
just about everybody; Honda nailed it, putting even the very effective B series
engines to shame. The valves are huge, noticeably bigger than the B series
valves even without the use of a caliper. But measure them and the difference is
that much more apparent. The intake valves on the K are 2 mm bigger than the B
series intake valves, and the same goes for the exhaust valves. The intake port
angle is also excellent, with a straighter shot into the combustion chamber than
the B series. On the other side of the head, the improvements continue. While
the B series heads force the exhaust gases through a strange humped path through
the head, the K sends it straight out to the manifold.
There are other improvements. The K uses roller rocker arms. This not only
reduces friction in the valvetrain, making more power possible it also frees up
the aftermarket to offer durable billet cams for the Ks. Slipper followers like
those in the B series put too much pressure on billet cams, wearing them down
prematurely. Forged camshafts are better, but expensive to produce in small
numbers. Note the difficulty Crane has gone to in creating roller followers for
its new billet B series cams. But with roller followers built in, we expect to
see some radical profiles for these engines in coming months.
The other K head is not quite as efficient. While the Type-S head boasts big,
smooth, unobstructed ports, the regular head features a strange groove cut into
the wall between the intake valves. Undoubtedly there to help improve the
single-valve operation of the VTEG system these engines use, any head porter can
tell you this kind of weirdness plays havoc with airflow into the engine. The
result is pretty clear. The Type-S K20A2 is the engine to have. While the other
two K20s are OK in their fuel-miserly, non-polluting way - and the K24 is the
undisputed torque champ - they are less ambitious, and offer less potential for
improvement compared with the mighty K20A2.
THE BOTTOM OF IT
Under the head is an all-new block. Made of aluminum alloy, it's a beefy unit,
heavily ribbed and gusseted for extra strength. However, it's also an open deck
design. An open deck means that at the top of the block (the deck), the water
jackets around the cylinders are open to the head, and rely on the head gasket
for sealing. This limits the amount of boost that an engine block can withstand,
because the individual cylinders can actually wobble slightly under high
pressures. This is why drag racers will seal the deck on their B series engines
before pumping the pressure up to bone-crushing levels.
But for a naturally aspirated engine, this is pretty darn strong. Flip the
engine over and you're greeted with a bearing girdle that actually makes up the
lower quarter of the block. Known as a split case, this design is much stronger
than the internal bearing girdle used in the B engines. About the only drawback
to this design is that it only uses two bolt mains, rather than the four bolt
mains preferred by racers. No matter, considering the overwhelming beefiness of
the design, this is still quite acceptable. Remove the lower part of the case,
and you'll see there's a lot of room inside the block. This means that one could
go pretty crazy with rod length before the block itself needed modification.
The crank is Honda's typical overbuilt forged unit. The Type-S crank is, again,
the better of the two, being fully counterweighted. The rods are similar in both
designs, although the Type-S rods are stronger to cope with the higher piston
speeds encountered in the engine. The pistons are another matter, however. The
Type-S pistons are about what one would expect, and are in fact quite similar in
design to the high domed structure that one finds in the B series engines. The
piston itself accounts for the higher compression in this engine, as the bore
and stroke are identical. On the other hand, the lower end K series piston
looks, well, weird. Off center on the top of the piston is an odd, round dish
that for all the world looks like a bellybutton. We can only speculate that this
is another way the non-Type-S engines achieve good fuel economy and low
WHAT ABOUT SWAPS?
It goes without saying that the various K's should swap into the RSX, Civic Si
and CR-V engine bays without a problem. In fact, one of the first swaps we're
likely to see is the anemic K20A in the Si being ditched in favor of the more
powerful K20A2. This is a drop-in replacement. In fact, the same hatchback is
sold in Europe with the K20A2 and called the Civic Type R, and there's some
speculation that we'll see this exact car in the United States sometime in the
2003 model year.
But the real question is will it fit in the standard, non-Si EM-chassis
2001-2002 Civic? Well, after analyzing the size of the engine bays and the way
the engines bolt in, we'll say that it's possible, but it won't be the drop-in
replacement we've become accustomed to with the EJ Civics and the B series
The EM Civic, the Civic Si, RSX and CR-V are all cousins under the skin.
However, that EM Civic is the redheaded stepchild of the group. In an effort to
save some RBD bucks, Honda opted to further revise the venerable D series engine
which powered Civics since the late '80s, rather than plunk the new K engines in
them. At 1.7- liters and 127 hp (in the EX), it runs well enough, and is still a
solid economy car engine. Of course, EM Civic owners want more.
One major obstacle is the D series engine spins the wrong way. For a very long
time, Honda engines all spun counterclockwise, backwards from almost every other
engine on the market. Why? Well, it put the engine on the left side of the
engine bay, which is the passenger side in Japan. This made the steering
mechanism easier to route. But with Honda being an international company for
several decades, it mainly was a case of corporate culture sticking around for
no good reason.
The K series engines spin clockwise, like most other engines, and as a result
they sit on the right side of the engine bay. In order to make one basic engine
bay that would fit both a left-side and a right-side engine, Honda had to do a
little bit of clever engineering. The transmission side of the engine in each
car attaches directly to the frame using a beefy engine mount, which bolts to
the tranny case. The pulley-side mount bolts to a "box" that is welded to the
frame. The problem is that the "box" is on the right side of the engine bay in
the RSX, Type-S, Si and CR-V, and on the left side in the EM Civics.
Dimensionally, there isn't much of a problem. The K engines should fit into the
Civic engine bay just fine without any clearance issues. Getting it to bolt in
place, however, will require some tricky mounts. To top it all off, you'll have
to drop in the K20 transmission and driveshafts as well. Even if the engine
mount situation is solved, the cost of this engine swap (at least until K20A2
engines become more readily available) will be so much that one might as well
just buy an RSX Type-S.
Of course, this doesn't mean that somebody won't try it. As for earlier EJ
Civics or earlier Integras, we'd just leave that whole can of worms unopened
until K20A2-powered EM Civics are commonplace.
WHAT DO TUNERS THINK?
The reaction to the Type-S engine has been overwhelmingly positive. Despite a
few reservations about VTC, the engine has been greeted with open, loving arms.
Many tuners have delved deep into the guts of the K engines, and are coming back
with some interesting findings. The non-Type-S engine has received a more
lukewarm response. Although it is a decent engine, it isn't really the best
choice for an enthusiast. We can expect to see intake and exhaust systems for
this engine, maybe supercharger kits later down the road. But this is not like
the B18A "LS" engine, which is a pretty good powerplant by itself. It's best
You're probably wondering what tuners have discovered about the engines, though.
For example, how easy is it to turbocharge the K series'? What kind of internal
mods have they made? Can you really put an S2000 head on a K block? The answers
to these and other questions will be found in Part 2, in the next issue of HT.
Don't you just love cliffhangers'?
Part2: The Tuners' Perspective
In the April/May issue of Honda Tuning, we took an up-close look at Honda's new
K series engine, the motivational power behind the RSX, new Civic Si and CR-V
sport utility. We compared it to the B series powerplants, far and away the
mainstay of the Honda tuning market, and discovered Honda really did its
homework on this engine. With robust construction, bigger ports, extremely trick
valvetrain, and a number of other goodies, we were positively giddy with
However, we're just a bunch of magazine schlubs, so we talked to some of the top
tuners to discover what they thought of the K, what they have planned, and what
obstacles they've had to overcome to achieve their goals. Although we wanted to
give the tuners a little more time to develop their various K series projects.
The K20A2 found under the hood of the RSX Type-S obviously king of the hill.
While the A3 in the standard RSX and new Civic Si, and the A1 in the CRV, have
been tuned with an eye toward fuel efficiency and low emissions, the A2 has been
tuned for power.
The big difference between the A2 and the other K series engines is how the
cam-switching part of iVTEC works. The A2 uses a cam-switching technique
familiar to the most Honda fans. Extra rocker arms are slaved to one of two
cams, increasing lift and duration at higher revs for better high-end power. The
other engines use a version tuned for fuel efficiency. One intake valve is
essentially closed when "off-cam," and when the switch happens, the closed valve
is just slaved to the same cam the opening one does. No higher lift or duration,
but some pretty good fuel economy and emissions figures.
The K20A2 is a gem of a powerplant, and is already making serious power in the
Type R versions of the Integra (Yes, it's still called that in Japan.) and
Civic. It's clear it has plenty of potential for performance, but how will it
react to intake and exhaust modifications? What about nitrous oxide and forced
induction? Can the engine be turbocharged or supercharged with all that
If you're looking for basic, bolt-on power you're in luck. The K20A2 responds
beautifully to intake systems, some systems making a solid 10 hp at the wheels.
Manufactures, such as AEM and Injen, are coming up with short ram and cold-air
systems. Short ram systems bold right in, while the location of the windshield
washer bottle requires a bit more work form cold-air systems. The bottle must be
relocated or removed, and a small portion of the fender liner needs to be
trimmed, as well.
For the skinny on exhaust systems, we turned to DC Sports of Corona, Calif.
These guys have been in the Honda exhaust market longer then just about anyone
in the United States and are the first to have both an effective cat-back system
and header for the Type-S.
The engineer in charge of the K series engines, Jehan Tetangco, told us the RSX
proved to be a tricky customer. Naturally, DC fell back on its prior knowledge
of Honda engines, fitting a 2.25-inch B-pipe to the car. It promptly lost power.
A 2-3/8-inch pipe lost even more power. After going backwards and fitting a
2-inch pipe, which pushed power back up to just less then stock levels, he
finally reached for the B series power handbook and threw it away. Clearly, this
K was a completely different animal.
After much experimentation, Tetangco finally discovered a combination that
worked. According to DC Sports, its Twin Canister System axle-back system and a
2.5-inch B-pipe resulted in a solid 6 hp gain and an average 3 hp gain from 3000
rpm to redline.
Headers are even more difficult proposition. The good news is the catalytic
converter is still separate form the exhaust manifold. However, it is shoved so
close to the head that there is very little room for long exhaust runners. In
fact, Tetangco discovered Honda's engineers did such a good job on runner size
that he, instead, focused attention on the collector. After trying numerous
designs, he discovered one that worked, again adding a nice 6 hp and 3 hp,
average. Together, the header and cat back are good for 8.6 hp, according to DC
Sports. However, add DC's cold-air intake system and the power gain shoots up to
over 22 horses, with almost a 10 hp average from 3000 to redline. Clearly,
intake, not exhaust, is the K20A2's biggest shortcoming from the factory.
NITROUS OXIDE AND FORCED INDUCTION
Traditionally, one of the quickest and easiest ways to get power form an engine
is a shot of good ol' nitrous oxide. With more power just the push of a button
(and a few hundred dollars) away, many vehicles fine themselves with nitrous
bottles in the trunk for a little added oomph. Simple, single-fogger systems are
commonplace, but multiple fogger systems with ports drilled directly into the
intake manifold are not unusual.
W spoke to Eric Vargas of Advanced Engine Management in Torrance, Calif. Eric is
the brain behind AEM's burgundy, nitrous-charged RSX you might have seen in our
sister publication, "Sport Compact Car." The car has been through a lot,
including a blown engine caused by an unforeseen problem with the fuel delivery
The Integra (and previous Hondas) used a fairly conventional fuel and ignition
system. The fuel routed to the rail where a regulator controlled pressure, and
excess fuel was returned to the fuel tank. Even in the high-tech Integra, a
mechanically activated distributor controlled the ignition.
The K series has a "headerless" fuel system, meaning the regulator and return
line are actually in the tank. There is no fuel return from under the hood. This
gives Honda the advantage of building the pump, regulator, return and fuel level
sensor all in one unit. It also helps reduce evaporative emissions.
Vargas tells us the down side to this type of system is it becomes very
difficult to build extra fuel pressure. It used to be that adding a fuel
pressure regulator would build enough additional pressure from the stock pump to
make forced induction or big nitrous applications relatively simple. The way the
K series' fuel is supplied make building adequate pressure much more difficult.
Unfortunately, there is no simple workaround for this problem. The stock fuel
pump is capable of about 55 lbs of pressure, adequate for low-horsepower (40 hp
or so) nitrous system or very low-pressure turbo or supercharger. Any higher and
the system will run very lean-a dangerous condition that could result in a blown
For higher horsepower application, a return line will have to be run, meaning
the single-piece fuel pump/regulator/return/level sender assembly in the tank
will have to be separated into individual components. This is an expensive and
time-consuming process that would make a bolt-in kit a more diffcult
proposition. Of course, that hasn't kept HKS, Greddy and Jackson Racing from
continuing to develop kits. Racing applications that need more than just a few
pounds of boost are still in the future.
The ignition system is also very different. The B and H series engine use
distributors, despite all the high-tech valve gizmos. The K uses a
computer-controlled ignition without a distributor. While this is great for
precisely retarding and advancing spark to meet different conditions, it makes
it very difficult to alter the spark curve using external devices. Simply put,
the engine freaks out and switches into limp mode until the computer itself is
allowed to manipulate spark again.
It's easy to see the K's computer is the dominant force in the engine, and
nobody knows Honda computers better than Doug Macmillan of Hondata in Torrance,
Calif. After digging into the stock computer, his excavations have unearthed
some surprising-and hopeful-answers.
First, the programming is extensive. The fuel maps alone take up more memory
then all of the programming for the B series put together. Macmillan told us
there are six non-VTEC and six high-lift cam tables. There are also another 24
that, as of press time, he was still working on. He also discovered the ignition
tables and the tables governing VTC cam advance.
Additionally, he discovered something tuners are going to love about the stock
ECU: Flash programmability. Unlike the previous car, this would make
reprogramming of the computer far simpler. And with the hurdles surrounding
ignition and cam timing for forced-induction engines, being able to directly
manipulate these factors is crucial.
Macmillan also told us a possible trouble spot doesn't seem to affect the
engine's performance potential. The RSX's compute is multi-plexed, meaning it
sends multiple signals to different systems down the same line. This would have
the potential to play havoc with aftermarket tuning but it seems the multi-plexing
is confined to systems outside the engine compartment.
FRANKENSTEINS AND SWAPS
One of the greatest performance features of the B series engines is the
interchangeability of the parts. With some modification, you can put a VTEC head
with a Type R intake manifold on a B20 block and make yourself a monster of an
Is the same true for the K? Skunk2 thinks so. It's in the process of building a
naturally aspirated race engine based on the Frankenstein concept. With the
K20A2's high-powered VTEC head mated to the CR-V's long-stoke K24A1, Michael
Choi of Skunk2 told us he hopes to create a high-revving, high-power,
high-torque monster that will rip the wheels off the shop's racecar. The biggest
obstacle will be the lack of off-the-shelf, high-performance parts. Anybody
wishing to build up the internals of their K engine will simply have to wait for
those parts to fill the pipeline.
Engine swaps are a different story. We spoke to Brian Gillespie of Hasport,
based in Phoenix, Ariz. Known throughout the tuning industry for its engine
mount kits, Hasport has already been working on stuffing the K into its chassis
The easy part is swapping the K series engines between car that were originally
equipped with them. So, if you want more bang out of your Civic Si, it's
relatively simple to drop in an RSX Type-S engine and be on your way. The only
snag might be with swapping a K24 engine into the RSX or Civic, owing to its
slightly taller block.
The non-Si Civics are a different matter. The current-model EM Civics are built
on the same basic chassis as the RSX and CR-V. This means that, theoretically,
the K series engines should fit in the Civic chassis. However, the engines mount
differently in their respective bays-the D series engines used in the Civics on
the driver's side, the K on the passenger side. This is a more complicated
proposition for potential swappers.
According to Gillespie, the trick is using the RSX subframe. This subframe
simply bolts in place of the standard Civic subframe, and ahs the rear engine
and transmission mount in the proper place for the K series engine. After that,
it's a matter of developing the proper engine mount on the sides of the engine.
Gillespie is confident the swap will be complete soon, and that before long
he'll have a K20A2-powered Civic coupe up and running. This is great news for
owners of current-model Civics who have been stymied by the D17's lack of tuning
The future is bright for the K series but, compared to what the aftermarket is
use to, the K series is a whole new ball game. From the most basic tuning to the
most advanced, it's going to take time for the RSX and its counterparts to get
up to speed. But it will. Whether you like it or not, Honda is not making the B
anymore. Smart tuners are going to get cracking on the new K as soon as they
can. Those that don't, will undoubtedly be left behind.