Hands down, the K-series lineup of engines is the superior choice for horsepower, reliability and overall performance when you're looking for a naturally aspirated setup in a Honda. Just look around any racing series and you'll notice K-motors in all the winning Hondas, whether it's drag, time attack or professional racing.
The B-series engines were great, but their time has past and thanks to some dedicated K-swap companies-like Hybrid Racing and K-Tuned-swapping a K20 or K24 into your old B-series-equipped DC, EK, EG, and even EF chassis has become a rather simple task. Still, it's not cheap and the whole shebang can cost anywhere from $5,000-$9,000, depending on the engine and parts. It's worth it, though, because once you see how easy is it to make obscene amounts of power you'll be happy you went the K-swap route.
But before I jump into the actual install portion of the swap, it's necessary to outline all the needed parts so that once you start you can actually finish the job in a matter of days rather than weeks when you have to wait around for missing parts. I find there is nothing more frustrating when you're missing something and the swap halts to a grinding stop. Hopefully, this guide will help you avoid the aforementioned situation.
K-Series "How To" Install DVD
This is a very handy DVD to have on hand and watch as it goes through the step-by-step process of the entire swap. Many helpful tips are provided.
Having driven both K24- and K20-equipped Hondas, I found the K20 to be more enjoyable engine largely in part due to its amazing revs. The K24 is a torque monster, but the fun factor got me at the end and I opted for a K20A2, which I sourced for around $2,000. That's on the cheaper side of the spectrum, but it was missing the shift linkage and ECU. You can always opt for the Type-R version K20A which will provide more power (220 hp vs. 200 hp) and an LSD trans, but it'll cost you significantly more.
Shifter Box And Linkage
You'll need to have both the shifter box and cables for the swap. Ensure that you get '02-04 cables otherwise there are two large metal weights (as seen in the photo) that you'll spend quite a bit of time cutting off in order to make the cables work.
Unfortunately, you can't just plug the stock ECU in and have it work. That's because there's an immobilizer built into it to deter theft. Luckily, Hondata has the solution. Its K-Pro ECU upgrade takes your regular K20A ECU and rids it of the immobilizer. More importantly, it becomes a fully tunable ECU, which is essential to take full advantage of the motor setup.
K20 Swap A/C Kit
Before this kit, keeping your A/C in a K-swapped Honda meant a lot of custom lines and fabrication. Now with Hybrid Racing's A/C kit the install is a bolt-in affair using the stock K20 A/C compressor.
Integra K-Swap Intake
This is a purpose-built intake specifically for the K-swap and ensures proper fitment on the stock intake manifold as well as having provisions for all the proper sensors.
Stage 2 Clutch And Ultra Lightweight Flywheel
Wait until you see the burnt clutch that came with my motorset, further reinforcing the fact that replacing the clutch is a must on any used engine setup. Competition Clutch supplied its 2100 street series clutch that offers an 80 percent increase in torque capacity but still engages smoothly for daily driving. Opting for its lightest flywheel, the Ultra Lightweight Steel Flywheel weighs in at about 8 lbs and will make the K20 an even quicker-revving engine.
Bolt-In Shift Kit
Until now there hasn't been a bolt-in solution for the shift box. Cutting a section out of the center tunnel has been the only way to make the K-series shifter fit. Hybrid Racing has introduced an alternative to using the OEM box with its bolt-in shift kit. The shifter has adjustable throw and can be set at 100 percent stock throw, 75 percent and 50 percent throw. In addition, the throw for the front/back and left/right motions can be independently adjusted so you can fine-tune the shift pattern to better suit your individual taste. Unlike the stock RSX shifter and most RSX-style short shifters on the market, the Hybrid Racing shifter features a stainless steel (not plastic) pivot ball and all spherical joints are woven PTFE lined chrome-plated steel resulting in smoother, more solid-feeling shifts and an overall more durable product.
Power Steering Kit
The most common method is to eliminate the power steering entirely when performing the swap using an EP3 idler pulley. However, unless you're looking for a workout while driving there's a better solution. The Hybrid Racing Power Steering Kit provides all the necessary parts (OEM parts included) to retain your power steering with the swap.
Spending all this money performing a swap and not taking much care into what fluids you run would be a grave mistake. That's why you can be sure that Royal Purple will provide you with the best performing oil while ensuring that your engine is protected both on the street and at the track.
Throttle Cable And Bracket
The stock chassis throttle cable is way too long and often wraps around the engine bay when you swap the K-motor in. K-Tuned has developed an OE-quality replacement that's the right length and a bracket to hold it in properly.
4-2-1 K-Swap Exhaust Header
This affordable header from K-Tuned offers great power on stock to mild setups and is made of thick stainless steel to take the abuse of the rigid mounts typically used in the swap. The header has a 2.5-inch outlet and larger primary runners for excellent flow characteristics. It's designed to ensure proper fitment and to not interfere with shifter kits.
Swivel Neck Thermostat Housing
This product solves the many headaches associated with the plumbing of the lower rad hose and it has provisions for a fan switch and gauge sensors. It can be rotated any which way to ensure a proper fit or for a custom rad setup.
You'll need to connect your clutch slave cylinder and master cylinder together when performing the swap. However, the stock clutch line on most K-swapped cars will not mate up to the slave cylinder on the K-series transmission. This is where the Hybrid Racing Clutch Line comes in. It allows a seamless transition between the slave and master cylinder.
Fullsize K-Swap Radiator
Griffin and Hybrid Racing have teamed up to make a radiator specifically for K-series swaps. Each radiator has been designed by Hybrid Racing to take into account the chassis' dimensions and mounting points, as well as the K-series' motor coolant inlet and outlet. These radiators simplify the K-series engine swap by eliminating the need for custom mounting brackets and by providing a perfect fit for your specific swap.
Hybrid Racing Engine Mounts are guaranteed to last the life of your swap. They're manufactured from 6061-T6 billet aluminum and feature no-tear tapered polyurethane bushings. This taper eliminates interference between the mount and chassis, minimizing vibration throughout the car. The mounts also offer two settings for engine placement: one placed farther backward and the other more forward, depending on which axles are being used and what type of racing will be done.
The K-series engine has a return-less fuel system while the DC chassis uses a return-style system. To get fuel to your K-series engine, you're going to need to retro fit a return system to the engine. Hybrid Racing offers a complete 100 percent bolt-in solution, including the rail, filter and braided lines.
Wire Conversion Harness
Every DIY mechanic's least favorite job is the wiring, and the K-swap isn't an easy one to do yourself. It's quite difficult, actually. That's why Hybrid Racing makes a pain-free wiring harness that interfaces with the factory dash harness, your OEM K-series engine harness and your K-series ECU to greatly simplify the swap wiring. This is a must for anyone wanting a hassle-free swap.
K-Swap Drive Axles
Custom drive axles are required for the K-swap because the stock B-series axles won't work on their own. Teknotik offers a full service to convert OEM B-series drive axles to work with the K-series transmission ensuring that you get the proper length and fitment for a trouble-free ride.