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Honda S2000 Part Swapping and More - Exhaust Notes

Comments, Questions, And Smart Remarks

Mar 1, 2009
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S2000 Inernals: Schooled Again
You guys keep stating in your magazine that you cannot use S2000 internals in K-series engines, and that is simply false. Our race EP3 had S2000 valve springs and retainers in the stock K20A3, and people online use the crank, pistons, and oil pumps in K24s andK20s. This is something that is making you guys look bad every time you tell someone those parts don't work in Ks.Remy Rounds, Sheridan, Colorado

Think you need to read a bit more closely, bud. Nobody ever said any of these things couldn't be done, just that there're better alternatives. Here's the breakdown from June's and September's Exhaust Notes along with a bit of enlightenment for you to chew on.

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The Valve Springs And Retainers: "John supposes that you might be able to use the valve springs and retainers, but why would you?" (Quoted from the June 2008 Exhaust Notes). Nobody's saying that the S2000's valve springs and retainers won't physically fit inside the K-series head, because they will; it's just a mod that doesn't make much sense what with the availability of aftermarket valve springs and lightweight retainers. The F20C head presumably has internals that are capable of engine speeds a bit beyond its 9,000-rpm redline, but there are many aftermarket spring and retainer packages that'll better that by a good 2,000 rpm and cost about the same.

The Crankshaft: Well, we never said anything about the crankshaft, but since you brought it up, now's a good time to talk about it. The answer is yes. Yes, the S2000 crank shares the same bore spacing as the K and will fit in the K-series block as will the H22A and H23A ones, which all provide different strokes and rod ratios than what the Ks have. But, the S2000 crank doesn't just drop right in. The snout needs to be machined in order to work with the K, which makes it doable and, in our opinion, the one S2000 part that does make sense for K owners, that is if you're looking for a different rod/stroke ratio and displacement.

The Pistons: Again, S2000 pistons were designed to be used with the S2000's FRM cylinder liners. Will they fit in a K? Sure. Will they expand and seal like they're supposed to? Well, sort of. Yes, a few respected engine builders have been known to use such pistons, but we suggest you study up on Honda's FRM technology and the different piston alloys that are recommended before getting into this. Also, you've got that whole wrist pin situation. The S2000's wrist pins are larger than the K's, which means the rod bushings need to be pressed out and re-bushed. That's a whole lot of trouble just to get some weak, factory rods to work-looks like new rods will be in order too. Hmm, at this point mounting a set of OEM pistons on some aftermarket forged rods isn't looking like all that great of an idea is it?

The Oil Pump: "The one part that is interchangeable with your K is the S2000's oil pump, although such a swap is rather pointless what with all of the enhancements available for the K pump from companies like, you guessed it, HyTech." (Quote from the June 2008 Exhaust Notes). It doesn't sound like anybody's saying the S2000's oil pump won't work here, just that it might not be the best idea.

Now who's looking bad, Remy?

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Thieves Still Suck
Hey guys, I've been reading your magazine for about five years and love it! I received the winter 2008 issue but got it a little too late. My '91 DA was stolen out of my open garage on Halloween; not a good feeling walking out to see your baby gone. The thieves unscrewed the security lights, cut the alarm siren, cut through the Club, and towed her away. I got the car back three days later with the rims and stereo gone. They did leave the full suspension and engine though. The alarm was still on as were the other security devices that were installed. The one thing that saved the car from being driven was the clutch lock, which they tried to cut, but didn't make it very far. I had about 75 percent of the items you posted in the "Thieves Suck" article. I'm going for the boot next. I've learned over the years that if the thieves want your car, they will get it. It doesn't matter what you have for security. Word to the wise: keep your OEM parts just in case this happens to you. Thanks Guys!Lance Lambertus

After reading last month's magazine and an informative article on Honda anti-theft tactics, my '97 accord was broken into. The perpetrators took my change holder that had less than a dollar's worth of change in it and my XM radio receiver, which I thought I had well hidden from some dumb thief. Keep up the great magazine. I look forward to another year of great articlesJoshua Davis, Jacksonville, Arkansas

Yep, thieves still suck. We're sorry to hear about this, guys. The truth is, you can only do so much. If somebody wants your stuff, they'll find a way to get it. It even happens to us. Out of all the cars at Honda Tuning's disposal (NSX, two TSXs, ITR-swapped EG, H22A-swapped EG, etc...) guess which one was most recently messed with? Our bone-stock '96 Civic coupe. Fortunately, the thieves had yet to perfect their breaking-and-entering skills and all they did was damage our window track and leave us a bent-up car antennae they used as a make-shift slim jim.

Cool! Somebody Built A ZC
I have a question I need answered. I built a DOHC ZC engine; it's sleeved, has Eagle rods, is bored...all that good stuff. it can handle 650 hp, but I don't plan on making that much. I'm going for 320 whp, maybe 400 whp. My question is: Are the stock fuel lines good for this setup or should I upgrade to Earl's? Also, when I'm breaking in the engine, how long should I wait, mileage-wise, until I go all-out with the turbo? Thank you.Eli, somewhere in Washington

First off, Eli, hats off to you for embarking on a ZC buildup. Aftermarket support is scarce for this engine and the number of tuners who have experience with them is few. All of this makes building a 320-400 whp one that much more impressive. As for your car's fuel lines, they'll be fine. You didn't say which chassis you've swapped the ZC into but we're guessing it's an '88-'91 Civic since that's the most likely candidate. The Civic has an 8mm fuel feed line that runs from the gas tank to the fuel filter and is more than adequate considering your horsepower goals. At this point, you're biggest concerns should be the fuel pump, injectors, and some sort of management system. You'll hear varying opinions when it comes to engine break-in procedures. While some suggest several hundred miles worth of conservative driving is in order before strapping it to the dyno, we recommend tuning the car and dialing in the air/fuel ratios and ignition timing before doing any driving at all. If the air/fuel ratios are significantly off, then all that time spent conservatively driving could be doing more harm than good. Excessively rich or lean conditions can damage a new set of piston rings in a hurry.

Bad Timing
Hi Honda Tuning, I have a quick question. I'm having trouble timing my H23A. It's been fully rebuilt from the ground up and I'm having extreme trouble timing it properly. I tried doing it by the Chilton's repair manual and it's not working properly. If my head was machined or worked on, do I need to advance my timing or retard it? The head is ported and polished and the block has high-compression pistons. I also still have the stock cam gears. I may invest in Skunk2 cam gears. Thanks for all your help. I'm looking forward to hearing from you guys!!Toun

None of the things you've mentioned affect timing, but since you mentioned porting and polishing the head, we're going to assume it was milled too. A milled head, or a significantly decked block, or a thicker or thinner head gasket will all affect both camshaft timing and ignition timing. Timing is a direct relation of the distance between the camshafts and the crankshaft, so anytime you bring them closer together or farther apart, timing gets disrupted. When you move them closer together, like when milling the head, this retards camshaft timing. You'll need those Skunk2 adjustable cam gears before you can do anything. Put them on and degree your camshafts so that you can find out where exactly "zero" is. Re-mark your cam gears accordingly. When you're done, and your cam gears are set where you want them, set your ignition timing accordingly.

4x4 Fantasies
Hi, I've got a '98 Civic DX with the manual transmission. It's turbocharged, but I've got too many mods to list. I've also had a bunch of Civics in the past but I think I'm going to keep this one. I'm trying to stiffen up my suspension without lowering it. What're your ideas on this? I prefer the stock ride height; it makes me look innocent.

I'm sure you have good intentions, but you've pretty much got to lower that thing. Stiffer spring rates aren't the only advantage to lowering your car, a lower chassis also improves aerodynamics and lowers the car's center of gravity, which means handling will be improved. You don't even need to set it in the weeds either. Both Eibach and Neuspeed offer springs with conservative drops and there are several companies with fully adjustable coilover setups that'll let you lower your Civic anywhere from dumped to practically stock; check out Eibach or Skunk2 if you're interested in that. Keep in mind that if you swap in shorter and stiffer springs, you'll also need shocks that'll be able to keep up.

Another Awd Wet DreamI recently heard that there is an AWD TSX. Where could I find one of these transmissions? Are the gears similar to the K20's six-speed?Austin Morris, whereabouts unkown

Yep, there is an AWD TSX...sort of. It's actually an option found in the '02-and-newer JDM 20EL and 20A Accords as well as the '03-and-newer 24EL Accord wagons, which are basically TSXs that're just badged differently. Both touring sedans come with the regular old K20A-only the wagon has the TSX-typical K24A-which means the gearbox would presumably bolt up, but you've got quite a few other things to worry about. First, the AWD models are stamped as CL8 and CM3 chassis, not CL7 or CL9 like every other FWD Accord or TSX. Typically, when Honda goes to the trouble to change chassis codes, it's for a good reason. Although we haven't crawled underneath the CL8 or CM3, we can assume they're at least slightly structurally different to account for the additional AWD hardware. In most cases this means you've got some cutting and welding to do at the very least. You'll also likely encounter some issues with wiring and electronics but nothing as complicated as Honda's new SH-AWD architecture. We say, why bother? We're not sure how much power you're making at the moment, but TSXs aren't exactly traction-limited. Don't forget that adding all of those AWD bits to your chassis will only make your car even heavier. Besides, remember that Honda's real-time AWD technology is not the same as Mitsubishi's or Subaru's full-time systems, which, let's face it, is probably where you got the idea to do this from. The main difference is that real-time AWD systems wait for real-wheel slippage to happen before the transmission's oil pumps send pressure to the multi-disc clutches, and transmit torque to the rear. Full-time systems, well, work full time. Oh, and did we mention the AWD gearbox is only offered as a five-speed automatic? Save your money; the TSX doesn't need this.

Got Questions, Comments, Love, Or Hate? Send Your Letters To: Editorial@Hondatuningmagazine.Com

Or Snail Mail To:Honda Tuning2400 E. Katella Avenue, Suite 1100Anaheim, Ca 92806



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