We receive a tonne of messages and emails every week about K-Swaps - We have put together the Ultimate K-Swap Guide to try and answer the most common questions we get on this swap. If you're serious about Swapping arguably the best 4 Cylinder ever produced into your EG, EK or DC2, be sure to read this to the end and absorb as much information as possible. It should enable you to achieve your swap with the parts you want, and maybe even save you a bit of cash!
If you want something easy we offer K-Swap Packages which are available in 4 Levels. These packages are intended for people who want to spread the cost of the swap, or want to just get the swap parts required in a single click. The parts included in each Level are detailed in full in the main description. We have also completely reworked the description here so you know exactly what you're getting and to get an idea of what's involved to achieve the swap.
The Swap Packages are great, but what if you want Power Steering, different Cooling options, a Billet Shifter or Race-Spec Cables? We've broken down all the areas of a K-Swap below.
Mounts - K-Swap Mounts are readily available for the chassis of your choice. We always recommend Hasport Motor Mounts where possible. EG and DC2 models will require the factory Drivers Side Transmission Bracket to be removed, to make way for the new Hasport Bracket. Mounts are available with different polyurethane bushes ranging in Hardness depending on your intended use of the vehicle. For example, 62A while still being harder than OEM Rubber will be a lot more tolerable on the road than that of 94A, more suited to a dedicated drag car.
Drive shafts - We always recommend dedicated Swap Axles, designed to be the correct length for the application. Not all Swap Axles are designed to stand up to continued abuse or racing conditions, so be sure to check your chosen Drive shafts are suitable for your needs!
Cooling - Like any engine, the K20 needs cooling and there's options for you here. The EP3/DC5 Radiator also houses the Fan Switch, something you won't find on an earlier Honda Radiator, there's a few solutions for this. You can either run a dedicated K-Swap Radiator or a B-Series Half Size Radiator relocated to the passenger side of the car. A dedicated K-Swap radiator is available from various manufactures but may require a custom lower hose and/or a K-Tuned Swivel Neck Thermostat Housing. This allows you some repositioning of the lower hose should you require it. We always recommend the B-Series Radiator option for a few reasons; This is by far the most cost effective way of cooling your K-Swap, B-Series Radiators are now available from many brands and at many different price points. Also when paired with this K-Tuned Radiator Hose Kit, both the upper and lower hoses fit as intended, as well as having an inbuilt provision for the Fan Switch in the lower hose! Your Factory Radiator Brackets will need to be removed and replaced with new ones to reposition the Radiator in the desired location.
IACV - The IACV (Idle Air Control Valve) Rotation plate is a simple solution to moving the throttle body mounted valve out of your way to allow clearance for the upper Radiator Hose.
Heaters - Road Car? You probably want to keep the in car fan heater operational, this is easily done with K-Tuned Pre-Fit Heater Hoses. These are designed to fit from the K20 straight to your Heater Core. Race Car? Ditch the heater and loop the outlets, less weight = faster!
Wiring - A conversion harness must be used to convert the signals from the EP3 Engine Harness into your existing Dash Harness and to the ECU. K-Tuned offer a number of Conversion Harness solutions depending on your chassis. These are not 100% plug and play, some splicing is required.
Engine Management - To enable your new K-Swapped Civic or Integra to run you will need some form of Engine Management. UK EP3 ECU's fit perfectly with the appropriate conversion Harness, will run the car and produce factory power. They contain an immobiliser however and so you will need the K-Tuned Immobiliser Bypass to overcome this. The EP3 ECU is a great way to get your swap going but if you want to be able to tune your swap and support any future upgrades then the Hondata K-Pro ECU is the way to go. This ECU is Immobiliser Disabled so will start the car without the use of any add-ons. It is also feature rich for tuning both NA and Boosted applications and is by far the most popular K20 Engine Management available today.
Fuel - Later Honda's use a non-return fuel system. To enable you to properly Fuel your new K-Series Motor you will need to change out the Fuel Rail to a K-Tuned or similar. These are available in different colours for your taste and also come on their own or as a kit form. A Remote Fuel Pressure Regulator is also required to keep things flowing how they should be. Buying the Fuel Kit certainly takes out the headache, but it can be pieced together if you wish to do it this way. There are also centre feed options available should you want this.
Ancillaries - Keeping the cost of the swap down by removing your Power Steering is easily achievable by adding a simple power steering loop kit to the rack. Depending on the space you have in your bay, you may want to install the K-Tuned P/S A/C Delete Pulley Kit. This will relocate the Alternator to where the A/C compressor would usually sit and give you more room. Want to keep Power Steering? No problem, simply install the K-Tuned Power steering relocation kit - this utilises an OEM DC5 Power Steering Pump and relocates it to where the factory A/C compressor would usually sit. It comes complete with the relevant brackets and hoses to make it as straight forward as possible!
Shifter & Cables - Many options are now available for mounting your shifter assembly. An OEM DC5 Shifter and Cables can be used for your swap. As well as the Revo Technica DC5 Shifter, the BuddyClub DC5 Shifter, the No-Cut Shifter Box, and of course the Billet DC5 shifter or Accord Shifter Boxes available. If mounting a DC5 style shifter, you can mount this below the tunnel or above the tunnel. If mounting below the tunnel you can use the K-Tuned Shifter Mounting Kit. This provides a very OEM looking install from up top (cutting required) and will enable the shifter cables to be routed underneath the car, just as they do on EP3 or DC5 models. If mounting above the tunnel, this can be achieved by using a Shifter Mounting Plate. Be advised that this option will mean your cables will need to run through the interior of the car, under the dash and through the firewall. This can be tricky on a car will full interior and heaters etc, extra modification will be necessary. If an Accord Shifter is your preference, this can easily be done with the relevant mounting plate, cables and transmission bracket.
The No Cut Shifter Box is a solution gaining in popularity, offering a clean and simple install and routing the cables underneath the car.
You should be using DC5 style Shifter Cables with your K-Swap unless you are using an Accord Shifter. Whether this is OEM Honda DC5 Cables, Street Spec or Race Spec by K-Tuned, or perhaps other Aftermarket Cables for the DC5. EP3 Cables will not work due to the design being different.
Exhaust - The K-Swap will require you to obtain a suitable manifold. The K-Tuned Budget header is an entry level swap manifold, made from mild steel but with bends in the right places allowing a perfectly functional, good flowing and cost effective solution of getting the gasses out the back of the car. This header is also available in Stainless Steel. There are other swap manifolds available also.