Budget K Series Engine Swap – The Parts List

Budget K series engine swap parts list to help you get your K on like a boss.

By Brian Gillespie

 

Here is the list of parts with prices used for our budget K-series engine swap. If you’re the impatient type and want to cut to the total, it’s at the bottom of the list. After the list is a description of the parts and possible alternatives.

$ 400     2004 Honda Accord K24A4 engine

$ 150     2004 Honda Accord 5-speed transmission

$   50     2005 Honda Accord ECU for manual transmission

$ 100     2004 Honda Element engine wiring harness for manual transmission

$   50     2006 Civic Si intermediate shaft

$   25     2004 Honda Accord alternator

$   35     2004 Accord flywheel

$ 180    2004 Accord clutch

$   50     2005 Honda Accord shifter and cables

$   40     Clutch slave cylinder and lines

$   35     CRV engine bracket

$   95     EP3 idler pulley

$     5     Intake air sensor

$   85     02 air fuel ratio sensor

$   17     Serpentine belt

$ 269     Hasport ECU sub harness

$ 299     KTuner reflash

$ 439     Hasport EGK4 mount kit

$ 299     Hasport axles for K-swap

$ 308     DC Sports K-swap header

$   45     Fuel fittings and hose

$ 126    AEM fuel pressure regulator

$   60     Parts for intake and air filter

$   10     Upper radiator hose

$   14     Lower radiator hose

$   35     Hasport radiator hose adapter

$   26     Heater hoses

$   10     Rywire knock sensor connector

$   20     Other misc wire and connectors

$     8     Brake line for clutch master

$3285  TOTAL

Well we didn’t quite hit our goal of $3000, but we came darn close. My total was actually under $3000 because we had a bunch of stuff lying around from other projects and got some screaming deals on a few of the parts we bought. We even had a good clutch and flywheel on the engine we purchased, which knocked $215 off my total and almost brought below $3K by itself.  I didn’t include all the deals in the list, I don’t think you get a realistic accounting of the cost of the project. But if you’re patient and scour the internet, the deals are out there.

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Our patient, a 1993 Honda Civic hatchback. It's on the operating table about to receive a transplant.

The website car-part.com was used to find many of the parts. Car-part.com aggregates the inventory of salvage yards all around the US and Canada. If you use the website you can often find better deals than the ones listed below. We stuck to using mostly local salvage yards so we wouldn’t have to pay shipping. Had we used the best prices found on car-part.com our total would have been well under $3000. You may get lucky in your area. A lot of the really good prices are listed at the east coast salvage yards.

Another possible money saver is buying a complete K-series swap. The first 12 items on the list add up to $1210. If you can find i tall in a package for $1000 or less, it is definitely worthwhile. Remember buying a complete swap may affect which way you go on wiring adapter, like whether  you’ll need Hondata or KTuner, and which other parts may be needed to complete the swap. Here’s the breakdown of the parts we used. On some of the parts we’ll look at alternatives and their affect on your shopping list.

2004 Honda Accord K24A4 – $400 

One of he biggest expenses for a K swap is the engine. To achieve our budget K-series swap we started with the engine. There are a range of engines you can use, but for the price, you can’t beat 03-07 Accord engine’s torque. Accord engines can be had for $300-$350 and up on car-part.com. I found mine at a local salvage yard for $400 with no charge for engine core. It even came with a clutch and flywheel. Had I pulled the engine myself from another salvage yard, the price would have been $300. Beware of missing essential parts like throttle body and extra charges like an engine core charge. That could add money to your swap.

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Your budget K-swap engine choices. The K24A4 from the Accord or the K20A3 from the 03-05 Civic Si and base RSX. I've seen the K20A3 go for as little as $750 as a swap. That means engines, trans, ECU, wiring harness, and alternator. That would have put us well below our $3000 budget, but in the end we chose the slightly more expensive K24A4 because of the higher torque output.

Alternatives: The Honda Element came with the exact same engine as the Accord. If you can find a 2003-2006 Element and maybe talk the salvage yard into including the engine harness too. The 2002-2006 CRV engine is another option and has similar torque and HP. They usually go for a $100 more because of the fewer numbers in salvage yards. Again if you can get it with a harness, the increased price might make it worthwhile.

Base model RSX and 03-05 Civic Si engines are cheap too. I recently bought an RSX base model engine for $300. But with 30 ft/lbs less torque than a K24 and only a few more than a B18C we skipped it. I have seen the complete swap go for as little as $750 which makes it somewhat enticing. I am sure I can find them for $1000 with a little time on the phone.

These are not budget K-series friendly  engines: RSX type S, 06-11 Civic Si and 04-08 TSX will cost you at least double the other K-series engines, but they’ll work as well. And they do have 40 more horsepower.

2004 Accord 5-speed transmission – $150

Another possible bank breaker for our budget K-series is the transmission. Here are some options that cost a fraction of a Type S six speed trans. Even though less than 10% of Accords are sold with a manual transmissions, there are hundreds available in salvage yards. With prices as low as $100 it was a no brainer to use the Accord tranny. I bought mine for $200 with shifter and cables. The gear ratios aren’t ideal, but with the torque of a K24 and the light weight of a Civic Hatch it is still quicker than a B18C powered Civic (We’ll see about that!-Aaron G) or Integra.

Using an Accord transmission does require the use of Hasport EGK4 mounts and Accord or TSX shifter and cables.

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One of the big advantages of using an Accord transmission is using the Accord shifter and cables. It was a couple of hundred dollars savings over using the RSX stuff. Honestly I think the feel of this shifter it much better than the RSX unit.

Alternatives: The next cheapest trans is the RSX base 5-speed or the EP3 Civic Si 5-speed transmission. You can buy them on car-part.com for around $300-400, but it does require RSX shifter cables which are more expensive. It also requires a different mount kit from the EGK4 we used.

If you’ve got to have 6-speeds, you gonna pay more. The TSX transmission uses our EGK4 mounts and the same Accord shifter the cables are usually over $1000. Using the RSX 6-speed requires RSX compatible shifter and a different mount kit. Those trannys can run $800 and up. The O6-11 Civic Si 6-speed trans is even more expensive but K-Tuned makes a bracket that lets yours the less expensive Accord shift cables.

2005 Honda Accord ECU for manual transmission – $50 

We chose to go with the KTuner tuning solution, so we used an 05 Accord ECU. With the KTuner reflash there are quite a few ECUs that can be used. Generally speaking any 05-06 RSX ECU, or 05-06 Accord or Element ECU can be utilized. For a complete list of ECUs, go to the KTuner website. The page also lists the features that can be activated with the various ECUs as well.

We bought a 05 Accord manual ECU, but could have used one for automatic transmission just as easily. In fact I probably could have saved $20 using and auto ECU. Choosing the Accord ECU allowed us to use the less expensive Element wiring harness too. More on that later.

Alternatives: You can also use earlier model RSX or 03-05 Civic Si ECU along with Hondata’s KPro. The 5 and 6-speed ECUs are getting a little more expensive, but now Hondata offers upgrades for the automatic RSX ECUs to run engine swapped cars. RSX auto ECUs can run $50 and less. Hondata K-Pro is more expensive than KTuner,  but if you have to have Hondata, use the 01-04 RSX auto ECU and save some cash. You’ll need an RSX or Civic Si engine harness to go with this ECU.

The AEM EMS Series 2 is another option. On occasion I’ve seen them sell used for around $750. New they’re gonna run  $1500 or so. The EMS Series 2 is available in multiple wiring configurations so you could use the Element engine harness like we did.

2004 Honda Element engine wiring harness for manual transmission – $100 

New Honda and Acura engine harnesses can run $350 and up. In “pick your own part” salvage yards I’ve paid as little as $40. I settled on the ‘o5 Element harness because it works with the ECU we were using and was a one piece harness much like an RSX engine harness. It meant that wiring would consist of the Element harness and and adapter harness. Plug and play. You can use 2003 to 2006 Element harnesses.

Alternatives: The 03-05 Accord engine harness can also be used with our ECU. It is a two piece harness though and will require a custom adapter harness. Automatic transmission Element and Accord harnesses can also be used with modification. Another choice is the 05-06 RSX harness.

If you are using a Hondata ECU you will need an 01-04 RSX or 03-05 Civic Si harness. Auto harnesses can be used with modification.

2006 Civic Si intermediate shaft – $50 

The intermediate shaft can come from several cars. I recommend against using the Accord or Element intermediate shaft, it’s much longer and will require a very short custom axle. I found five 06 Civic Si intermediate shafts at a salvage yard and made a deal to by all for $250.

Alternatives: Get one from any manual transmission 01-06 RSX base or Type S, or 03-11 Civic Si. They all look a little different, but will interchange. Automatic intermediate shafts don’t fit.

2004 Honda Accord alternator – $25

Accords are plentiful in the salvage yards. The alternators go for as low as $20. The years that fit are 2003-2007. The 03-08 Element and 04-08 TSX alternators work too.

Alternatives: You can also use 03-11 Civic Si, 03-06 CRV and RSX alternators. You may need a small stack of washers though to take up some spacing differences on the mount flanges. 04-08 TSX alternators work too.

2004 Accord flywheel – $35 

Even though I list the price as $35 I got mine for free with the engine. There are many available for as little as $25 on car-part.com.

Alternatives: A K-series flywheel bolts to any K-series engine, but they are not all the same. Make sure you know what car your flywheel came from so you get the correct clutch.  RSX and Civic Si flywheels are lighter than their Accord counterparts. You can also use flywheels from the Element or TSX.

2004 Accord clutch – $180 

A quick search on Amazon shows clutches available for $180-240. The $180 Luk brand clutch is OE quality and works fine on this motor even if we decide to do a few modifications. Again, make sure you get the correct clutch for your flywheel.

Alternatives: Make sure you get a clutch to fit the flywheel you’ve chosen. They all run about the same price.

2005 Honda Accord shifter and cables – $50 

Used Accord shift cables and lever are around $50-75. New closer to $200.

Alternatives: The transmission dictates the shift mechanism and cables. See the alternative transmissions for information on the cables you’ll need.

Clutch slave cylinder and lines – $40 

The clutch slave cylinder we used came from Amazon and was about $20. The clutch line was a stock clutch line from Honda, part number 46960-SDA-A04. There was also a small bracket, part number 46968-SDP-A02. Our bracket was still on the transmission.

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One tip to keep from going over budget is to not get $100 to death. You could pay $90-130 for a steel braided clutch line, or use a combination stock lines a hard brake line for around $20.

Alternatives: There are at least three of versions of this slave and line all for similar prices. You need to make sure your slave cylinder and clutch lines come from the same year car.

$    8     Brake line for clutch master – $8

By using the stock Honda clutch lines I only had to make a short line from the clutch master to the rubber line that connects from the frame rail to the transmission. It was $8 from NAPA. PN 813-1272 3/16″ x 20″ metric brake line.

CRV engine bracket – $35

BudgetK_bracket.jpg

If you're doing a K24 swap into almost anything, you'll need this. The CRV block bracket PN 11910-PPA-000. Available from any Honda dealership for about $45 or online for around $32. You can reuse the two 75mm bolts from the K24 block bracket but you'll need an 85mm bolt too. The Accord bolt is a little long.

Alternatives: There are several versions of this bracket available aftermarket and they go for $75-$100

EP3 idler pulley – $95

The Honda part numbers for this are: 31175-PRA-000, 31190-RRA-A00, 31185-PCX-003, 90031-PRA-000

Alternative: K-Tuned makes a super cool version the combines the CRV engine bracket, idler pulley and tensioner. But at $275 it isn’t particularly budgety.

Intake air sensor – $5

New, these puppies run about $27-$43 from Honda. I bought mine salvage yard for $5. I could have just slipped it in my pocket, but that would be wrong.

02 air fuel ratio sensor – $85

I have found these through car-part.com for as little as $20. I purchased a new one off Amazon for $85. Make sure you get the primary or upstream sensor.

Serpentine belt – $17

Depending on your setup you may have to try a couple of belts to get the correct one. Going without AC usually means you wind up with a belt with one less rib than the factory one. It will work fine.

$269     Hasport ECU sub harness – $269

Other companies make them too, but when you order yours make sure it is available for the engine management system you are using.

$299     KTuner reflash – $299

We opted to go the second  least expensive route we could. KTuner offers a simple reflash that deletes the immobilizer and loads a map that is good for running a stock motor.  With the KTuner reflash, those devices were turned off. The KTuner reflash works with manual and auto ECUs from the 05 Accord, 05 Element and 05-06 RSX base or Type S model.

The KTuner reflash works with manual and auto ECUs from the 05 Accord, 05 Element and 05-06 RSX base or Type S model. If you want to keep your check engine light, get an Element or RSX ECU because there is no output for that on the Accord ECU.

Alternatives: We could have gone slightly cheaper and used a stock Accord ECU with an immobilizer bypass like the one made by K-Tuned. But then we’d have to deal with those annoying codes for things like vent shut valve, fuel tank pressure, multiplex communication and secondary O2. With the KTuner reflash, those devices were turned off.

Hondata also offers a reflash for $295 but you will need a RSX Type S ECU from an 05-06. At $295 it’s technically cheaper than the $299 KTuner reflash, but the the money you save, plus some, will be eaten up buy the more expensive 05-06 Type S ECU. Also at the moment it only shows a tune for the K20Z1 engine. If you are using a budget motor like a base K20A3 or K24A1/4 it won’t run optimally.

Hasport EGK4 mount kit – $439

Using an Accord transmission dictated using the Hasport mount kit. It’s the only choice available.

Alternatives: If you are using a Civic or RSX tranny there are mount kits available from Innovative, Avid or Hasport.

Hasport axles for K-swap – $299

Since we were using a Hasport mount kit it was natural to use the Hasport Axles. They are designed to work with the Hasport engine position.

Alternatives: There are some recipes for stock axle combinations floating around on the internet. Haven’t tried any, yet. There is a thread on K20A.org about axles in an EG. On the 24th page of the 26 page post they conclude you should use a 03-05 Civic Si axle on the right-hand side and an RSX Type S axle with, I presume, an EG outer joint on the left-hand side. I haven’t tried it, so I can’t vouch for the information. If it works, it would reduce the axle cost by $150 or so.

DC Sports K-swap header – $308

DC Sports makes a great product and coincidentally it’s what I had sitting around at the time. I found this one on Amazon for $308 and free shipping.

Alternatives: Just after we completed this swap, K-Tuned came out with a new K-swap header made from 409 stainless steel that retails for about $330. That will probably translate into prices below $300 at some of the online retailers. There are many other options available with prices ranging all the way up to $1500, but these two are the most budget friendly.

$ 126     AEM fuel pressure regulator $126

There are many fuel pressure regulators available for as little as $30. Do you self a favor and stick with a name brand. Your motor’s life may depend on it.

BudgetK_FPR.jpg

We saved a bunch by not going with braided fuel lines. We used rubber lines designed to withstand the high pressure of fuel injections systems. What we didn't cheap out on was the fuel pressure regulator. I high quality FPR will run you over $100.

Alternatives: There are a lot of name brands that are at a similar price. Finding a used name brand FPR might save some extra moola. Again, stay away from cheap ones.

$  45     Fuel fittings and hose – $45

Braided lines are cool but expensive. I use bulk high pressure fuel line and a combination of stock fuel fittings and barbed fittings with my AEM fuel pressure regulator to deliver fuel to the stock rail. Not pretty and not expensive.

A lot of the things in the list will require further explanation, but heck I didn’t have anything to do over the next month anyway. Stay tuned for some updates while I bring you through the actual process of turning all these parts into a running driving car.

$  60    Parts for intake and air filter – $60

Since no one really makes an intake for a K24A4 in a Civic we opted to make our own. WE bought a universal AEM filter and then went to a shop that does turbos and bought some 2.5″ tubing scraps and a silicone coupler for around $20. I probably could have saved another $10 or $15 with another filter, but played it safe and got an AEM.

Alternatives: Depending on the engine you are using, there may be ready-made cold air or short ram intakes available. The different manifolds put the throttle bodies in different positions so who know what you may need. If you make your own though, you can make it any way you want.

$  10     Upper radiator hose – $10

I used a 2003 Hyundai Accent upper radiator hose Gates PN 22215. It just needed a little trim.

$  14     Lower radiator hose – $14

Another Hyundai part, Gates PN 20820. This time I chopped it up pretty good and used it with a Hasport hose adapter to get it to fit.

$  35     Hasport radiator hose adapter – $35

This magic device allowed me to build my own lower radiator hose and mount the radiator fan switch where it did the most good.

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Since no one makes a radiator hose for a K24 swapped EG with the stock radiator on the wrong side of the car, a creative solution was needed. We used a Hyundai lower radiator hose and cut out the curved pieces we needed and joined them with Hasport radiator hose adapter.

$   11     Heater hoses – $26

90 degree molded heater hose and this straight heater hose, both available on Amazon. These will be cut to fit, but they have moulded features that make them fit better than bulk heater hose.

$   10     Rywire knock sensor connector – $10

I don’t think Rywire has a part number for this, but just send him an email with a pic of the sensor so you get the correct plug.

$  20     Other misc wire and connectors – $20

Some things you may have, some you may need to buy and some things you may need to cruise the salvage yard for. Things like wire to extend the starter power, alternator connector, and connections for the alternator charge wire.

 

Stay tuned for more info on how we used the parts make the swap happen and see Project Budget K come together in our videos.

 

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Brian Gillespie
Technical Editor at VTEC Academy
Brian Gillespie fell in love with the Honda brand in 1974 when he owned and raced a CR 125 Honda Elsinore. Many Hondas later he started Hasport Performance with his brother Keith. The last 17 years have been spent developing all sorts of engine mount kits, paving the way for nearly every Honda engine swap that's since taken place.