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1996 Honda Accord - Follow The Leader

K-powered Accord coupe built to inspire

Joey Lee
Aug 26, 2013
Photographer: Rodrez

The Accord crowd is an interesting bunch. For as long as Hondas have been modified, the Accord chassis, no matter the generation, has always played the role of underdog. The Civics and Integras have always been the dominant group, and though you don’t see very many of them either, even the Prelude crowd could be considered the more popular of the two in terms of in-depth builds. There are many factors that contribute to the lack of a larger audience, but the biggest one is probably the undying stigma that the Accord isn’t cool because it is nothing more than a “family car.”

It’s silly if you really put things into perspective. After all, Hondas in general start out as economy cars, and none but the NSX or S2000 are really considered true sports cars. Accord builders often say they don’t get a fair shake, and well, it’s true. Enthusiasts who are into the Accord chassis often have to do much more to garner the respect of others. Few ever do, however, due to the fact that the Accord is also one of the entry-level vehicles that younger enthusiasts start out modding. They’re usually hand-me-downs from parents, and once the newbie modder realizes there isn’t much aftermarket support to feed their needs, they move on. The Accord is the revolving door of the Honda community because many young enthusiasts are more adept at complaining than doing anything to change the negative views of their otherwise unloved “family car.” People are quick to move on when they see greener pastures, and they quit on their Accord projects as soon as they can afford to. That’s why you don’t see highly labor-intensive restoration-type builds with Accords like you would with a Civic or Integra.

1996 honda accord LX JDM front lip Photo 2/8   |   1996 Honda Accord - Follow The Leader

Those who have chosen to stick with the Accord chassis through the good and bad have formed a strong bond. They are only a small percentage, but there are Honda guys out there who honestly have a genuine passion for the Accord. These guys congregate on a Honda web forum known as Honda Society, and one of its most well-known members is Son Vu, also known as user “Special_K.” Vu’s CD7 Accord coupe stands out not only because of its unique shade of green; it is also one of the first of its generation to feature a complete K24A2 swap. Didn’t know that anyone made K-swap mounts for the Accord? Well, you’re probably not the only one. It isn’t nearly as common as a K-swap in one of the more popular platforms, but HaSport has had these engine mounts in production for years now.

Vu’s story starts out much like the other Accord owners; he initially acquired one as a hand-me-down from one of his siblings. “This coupe is the second Accord I’ve owned. My first was a four-door LX model that I was driving around back in high school. I started modifying my Accord because I was inspired by the cars I saw in Honda Tuning. There were many nights when I just stayed up looking online for parts for my car, and then I was referred to the Honda Society forums. Getting to know everyone on the forum was great because we all shared a common interest.”

After spending a considerable amount of time with his fellow CD owners, he found himself wanting an Accord coupe. The sportier look appealed to Son, and he later acquired this 1996 Accord LX five-speed, which was black at the time. The motivation to go with a K24 swap instead of the more common H22A came from a ride-along one day in a K20-swapped CRX. He was completely sold on the idea after that and began doing research on his swap. “The (engine) mounts were already on the market, and the information was there, but I have to admit it was a huge challenge,” Son says. “Getting the motor into the car wasn’t too bad, but it was everything else after that really tried my patience. I ended up with two headers that didn’t fit, broken axles, and K-swap products for Civics just didn’t work on an Accord.”

1996 honda accord LX mugen rear spoiler Photo 3/8   |   1996 Honda Accord - Follow The Leader

Eventually Vu would enlist the services of Church Automotive. The Northridge, California, native had his Accord transported to Church’s where the guys there assisted in helping him complete the swap as well as dyno-tuning it. With the coupe running smoothly, he knew he had to make drastic changes to the exterior to bring attention to the engine bay. The entire shell was then resprayed in an eye-catching Army green hue from a Toyota FJ Cruiser. To provide contrast to the green, Vu acquired a staggered set of gold 17-inch Gram Lights rollers. Holding the suspension together is a collection of billet-aluminum components from Fat Four Customs; a company dedicated to manufacturing aftermarket products for the fifth-generation Accords and beyond.

“Building an Accord can be frustrating at times, but having an odd swap like this in an unpopular platform makes it that much more unique. I’m proud to be one of the first Accord owners to have a K, and I hope I inspire others to do more to their Accords. What motivates me is the overwhelming sense of community that the Accord guys represent. There aren’t too many of us, so our group is tight-knit—it’s almost like an extended family.”

1996 honda accord LX nardi steering wheel Photo 4/8   |   1996 Honda Accord - Follow The Leader

Bolts & Washers

Propulsion
K24A2
HaSport CDK1 engine mounts
Hondata K-Pro
Custom-fitted Karcepts KN01 K-swap intake
OEM RBB TSX intake manifold
OEM 2005 Accord throttle body
HaSport K-swap exhaust manifold
K-Teller 3-inch stainless steel exhaust piping
Magnaflow resonator
Magnaflow Hi-Flow catalytic converter
Vibrant muffler
Walbro 255-lph fuel pump
Golden Eagle fuel rail
Custom fuel lines
AEM fuel pressure regulator
Visteon EP3 full-size radiator
TSX 6-speed manual transmission
Custom shifter mounting plate
Exedy Stage 1 clutch
ACT lightweight flywheel
Custom C/V halfshafts
Custom clutch line
FFC radiator brackets
FFC fender washers
K-Tuned coil pack cover
HaSport K-swap conversion harness
Hondata K-Pro

1996 honda accord LX K24A2 Photo 5/8   |   The K24A2 fits nicely between the fenders of this ’96 Accord coupe.

Power
220 hp and 195 lb-ft torque

Suspension
D2 coilovers
Suspension Technique front/rear antiroll bars
Wicked Tuning rear camber kit
FFC front strut bar
FFC rear strut bar
FFC rear toe arms
FFC lower control arms
Innovative traction bar

Resistance
Wilwood front brake rotors
Wilwood front brake calipers
Wilwood front brake pads
Upgraded brake proportioning valve
Accord EX rear disc brake conversion

Wheels & Tires
Front: 17x8 +27 Rays Gram Lights 57Pro, 205/40-17 Nitto Neogen
Rear: 17x9 +27 Rays Gram Lights 57Pro, 215/40-17 Capitol Sport

Exterior
Toyota FJ Cruiser Army green paint
Shaved side moldings
Mugen rear spoiler
JDM Accord SiR front lip
JDM Accord window visors
JDM Accord side markers
JDM Accord headlights
JDM Accord foglights
Wald front grille

Interior
Recaro Speed seats
Nardi Deep Corn steering wheel
NRG quick-release
NRG short hub
Custom weighted shift knob

Props
Everyone at HondaSociety.com, FatFour Customs.com (FFC), the organizers of CaliAccordMeet, my family, my friends, the Wolfpack, my buddies Christian and Sol, Troung and Elise with their newborn, and all the folks at Honda Tuning

1996 honda accord LX FFS radiator bracket Photo 6/8   |   1996 Honda Accord - Follow The Leader

Owner Specs

Daily grind
Web/graphic designer

Favorite Site
hondasociety.com

Screen name
Special_K

Building Hondas
8 years

Dream car
JTCC Accord

Inspiration for this build
Buddy rivalry and HondaSociety.com

Future builds
Continue this current build with forced induction

Fat Four Customs

FFC (Fat Four Customs) is a small company originally created to cater to the fifth-generation Accord platform. Its first product was a nifty three-point strut bar for the CD chassis, but FFC has since gone on to develop a solid catalog of products that weren’t available before to Accord owners. Parts range from something as simple as aluminum fender washers to billet-aluminum lower control arms. Since some parts are cross-generational, FFC has been able to supply newer and older Accords with its products as well. Its website also offers valuable resources like installation instructions and detailed photographs. If you are in the process of putting your Accord together, make sure to check out www.fatfourcustoms.com.

Sources

HASport Performance
Phoenix, AZ 85040
602-470-0065
http://www.hasport.com
Hondata
Torrance, CA 90503
310-782-8278
http://www.hondata.com
K-Tuned
877-958-8633
http://www.k-tuned.com
Church Automotive Testing
Wilmington, CA 90744
310-518-4966
By Joey Lee
242 Articles

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