At one point, the fifth generation Accord, produced from 1994 to 1997, was the best selling car in America. It appeared on one renowned automotive magazine's 10-best list more times than any other car in the world. It's even arguably one of the better looking Accords ever made. In spite of its achievements as a utilitarian consumer vehicle, though, the Honda rarely gets a whole lot of respect outside of its native suburbanite habitat.
A simple engine swap with a modern K-series engine and that Accord could be back on the "most desired" list. Thanks to the swap masters Hasport, the '94-97 Accord's CD chassis can finally accept the K series. Not any K series, though, just the 2.4-liter version from contemporary Accords or the TSX for now. In the heavier Accord, however, this may actually be the best engine to get.
You may be wondering to yourself, why would I put a 160hp K24 in my fifth gen. when my F22 already makes 130-145? Indeed the marginal power increase doesn't seem to merit the expense. Well, there are a couple of reasons. First, the K24 will have more torque everywhere in the powerband thanks to the cam phasing found in iVTEC motors. Second, that F-series is pushing ten years and could be nowhere near what it used to be. Finally, K24's are starting to pile up in junkyards. Looking around, $1,000 appears an average price for a complete engine AND transmission--not too shabby.
You could also swap in a K24A2, the TSX motor, like Hasport did to the car featured in this story, but if you don't have $3,000 for this much-harder-to-find engine, Skunk2 has some great news for you. To simplify production, it appears the head on the A2 (the real 3-lobe VTEC) and the A4 (economy VTEC) are very similar when it comes to combustion chamber size, port area, and valve dimensions. This suggests that if someone would just make a big cam for the non-A2 heads we should see pretty good power from lesser K24 engines. That somebody will soon be Skunk2. Preliminary testing has shown over 200 wheel hp for these engines with minor modifications.
Now that you're interested in a K24 for your CD Accord, here's what else you'll need. Hasport and the Driveshaft Shop have the custom length axles necessary for this swap, but make sure to get the half shaft or jack-shaft that comes with the engine/transmission combo. An aftermarket engine management system is essential, like Hondata's K-Pro or AEM's EMS, which consequently means the engine harness on the K24 won't work. A harness from the K20A2 ('02-04 RSX Type-S) or K20A3 ('02-05 Civic Si) engine is a must. Finally, like any K swap, you'll need the shifter box and cables from the Accord or TSX the engine came out of.
Power steering works simply by rerouting a line to the other side of the car (remember: the K-series is oriented 180 degrees from an F engine). Air conditioning is possible, but only with a tubular front crossmember (Full-Race makes one) and a pair of custom made hoses. The stock radiator works but takes some hose trickery, so for this swap, Hasport used the radiator from an '02-05 Civic Si since it has in's and out's on the correct sides. Finally, the DC Sports header for K swaps into EG/EK Civic chassis works perfectly and bolts right up to the Accord exhaust so long as you delete the catalytic converter.
It may seem like a lot of things to get, but if you want more power out of your CD-chassis Accord, or if you just want to have one of the coolest fifth gens. around, this swap will do it for you.
PARTS CHECKLISTK24 long block and transmission from '03-05 Accord or '04-06 TSX
Shifter cables and shifter box from same car
'02-04 RSX-S/Civic Si engine harness
'02-04 RSX-S C101 plug (male and female ends)
'03-05 Accord throttle body (if using TSX engine)
Hasport mount kit
Hasport sub harness
Hondata K-Pro or AEM EMS engine management
DC Sports K-swap header for EG/EK Civic
Fuel pressure regulator