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Discussion Starter #1
The more I think about it the more I've come to like the idea of using the J30A4 for a project in a RWD application, and am looking to find more information on the engine itself. Since this is basically a "from scratch" project idea, it should help simplify the process of using one of these engines. Thoughts and feedback are appreciated on anything I might be overlooking that would be a help/hinderance to successful use a J30.

It definitely looks promising that the intake manifold can be turned around for longitudinal mounting of the engine. I think the integrated exhaust manifolds also might help simplify installation into a tighter engine bay. From what I can tell Megasquirt should not have any trouble running the engine, including VTEC, but I have yet to find anybody actually using one on a J-series engine. Would it be safe to assume that it mostly because there isn't much demand for standalone ECU's in Accords, or is there something more to it? Has anybody actually weighed the engine before? I would expect it to be somewhat lighter than other similar displacement/powered options due to the SOHC heads and integrated exhaust manifolds, but one never knows. The cast intake manifold doesn't look like it will help any for weight or compactness, but it will certainly appear better than the plastic jobbies you see on other engines! Also is there any information on the crank flange bolt pattern and bellhousing bolt pattern? Finally are any measurements of the basic physical external dimensions of the engine available anywhere?

Again, any help on this would be appreciated, as it would help me get things further planned out before actually purchasing parts that may or may not end up being what I want/need.
 

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cunning linguist
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I'll be honest.
There is absolutely no reason on earth why anyone should use a J series engine (in a custom app) when they can just as easily/inexpensively use a LSX, modular Ford, SR20, Nissan RB, or 1JZ/2JZ with shockingly better performance.

You would be reinventing the wheel for no reason. If you wanted to do it purely for kicks, maybe, or even a sandrail where the integrated/compact engine and transmission would be helpful. But it sounds like you want it to handle...

I think Paul has been working on putting one in his S2k, but I honestly don't see the purpose unless you are already an expert on the J-series engine (which Paul is). There are better engines available and they have the parts to work with transaxles or at least inline transmissions. Save a few years worth of headaches...

Just my $.02 though
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Well if you've got a cheaper way to break over 200whp in a smaller/lighter package, I'm all ears. The J30A4's appear to be going for between $600-$900 around my area on the car-part website. The SR20 is the only engine on your list that comes even close to that, but I'm also not totally sold on the idea of turbochargers in an extremely lightweight (great handling) car...I'm also not sure that a stout 4 cyl like the SR20 plus all of it's associated turbo gear would be much, or any, lighter than a naturally aspirated V6 that also carries it's weight further rearward. Of course I won't know anything for certain until I get reliable numbers.
 

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yeah this does not make much sense.
ask for an opinion on this from someone even outside the forums and they will tell you what MorePower4me said. Only they might laugh at you while they are saying it but yeah..
 

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AdRiaN
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Well if you've got a cheaper way to break over 200whp in a smaller/lighter package, I'm all ears. The J30A4's appear to be going for between $600-$900 around my area on the car-part website. The SR20 is the only engine on your list that comes even close to that, but I'm also not totally sold on the idea of turbochargers in an extremely lightweight (great handling) car...I'm also not sure that a stout 4 cyl like the SR20 plus all of it's associated turbo gear would be much, or any, lighter than a naturally aspirated V6 that also carries it's weight further rearward. Of course I won't know anything for certain until I get reliable numbers.
use a k-series,(ei. k20a,k20a2,k24a2,k20/k24frank) 4cyl all motor on kpro, and with off the shelf bolt ons u would b at 225+whp...if u decide to build up the motor with high compression pistons cams, port the head, bigger valves etc (it will get expensive) but u will be at 275+whp. or just throw a s/c on a stock k24a2 motor at 9psi and make 300whp..

people have been doing this on the lotus elise's, kit cars etc (light weight and rwd).. if u shop around im sure u can get pretty good deals on k-series parts.
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
Ok, maybe I need to rephrase this. If you know where I can find a ready made sub-1600 lb (that's the goal at least) rwd car with 200-250whp and a good (non-strut) independent suspension at all 4 corners, please let me know...Oh yeah, and it's gotta be available for under $15k. :eek:

Otherwise I plan to build something that many people would call "crazy", or worse, and I'm ok with that. Believe it or not, even though nobody here is trying to make this any easier, I know that overall this is still not nearly as impossible to accomplish for me as it sounds to most people. And yes, the entire build will probably take at least 2 years.

It never occured to me that a K24A4 (only K-series I've found near me for under $1k) could possibly go from 160 at the crank to over 200 at the wheels with just an intake, header, exhaust, and a tune! I'll have to look into that further. Otherwise I'm ok with sacrificing ~75 lbs if it means saving a grand or two on the build. An engine that's 4 cylinders long will also be harder to keep entirely behind the front axle in a relatively short wheelbase car. But no, I haven't totally counted out all 4 cylinder engines just yet and that one is probably on my short list along with the Duratec 2.3L.

I have to admit though that there's also something that's just sexy in the sounds a 60* V6 makes, especially compared to a 4 banger...But I doubt anybody on V6 performance would be able to relate to that. And yes, I suppose in a way I think it would just be fun to do something different and exciting, much like I'm planning for the rest of the car. And using such a good, yet under-appreciated engine such as the J30 kind of makes sense in it's own twisted way.

Let me put this out there: If there were 2 equally priced 7th Gen Accords for you to choose from, identical in every way except one had the K24 and the other the J30 with both engines having aftermarket intake, full exhaust from head port(s) to muffler tip(s), and a tune...Which would you choose??

The other prime V6 candidates right now are the Ford Duratec 3.0 from a late model Taurus and Nissan VQ35DE from an Altima/Maxima. While the VQ is has a RWD tranny available and makes good power, it has those pesky variable cams that require a lot more time/cost/effort to tune correctly or accept a significant penalties leaving it inactive. I would guess it's also a little bigger/heavier than a J30. Even if my car ends up uncompetitive in it's class, there's also a 100 lb weight advantage I would be allowed (if I can hit my target weight) if I keep the engine under 3200cc. So the VQ30DE-K would might be a strong VQ option, but I don't really see any advantages it has over the J30 other than ease of bolting a trans to it. The Duratec is a good motor that will crack just a little over 200whp with little extra work, but needs trans adapting like the J30 and for a similar price/weight the J30 will put out power closer to the VQ. The Duratec, and probably the VQ, will also require a bit more time/cost/effort to build a custom set of equal length headers in addition to the exhaust to fit into a compact chassis, where as the J30 it's basically just an 'exhaust' I need to build.
 

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Honda Rookie
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Ask for opinions and then make fun and belittle everyone who has chimed in... sounds like a sure fire way to make friends. Good luck.
 

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J35 6Spd
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if you could pull it off that would be awesome.. but it'd take a lot of work including modifying the chassis of the car and a lot of money..

dont forget, even after you turn the j30 90 degrees, you still need a RWD transmission to bolt up to the engine... you might as well look into an RL/MDX/Pilot AWD drivetrain and modify it to fit into the car. then you need the ECU to run the thing. then you need to modify the underbody of the car to make room for the tranny which would butt into the cabin area of the car, a trench for the driveshaft going to the rear, room and mounting supports for the pumpkin in the back, and maybe even rear suspension mods since you're now putting power to the rear wheels.

and if you did go through with the AWD system, you could only get it in automatic since honda doesnt make any manual AWDs....

or you could get a s2000 transmission and see if it can be modified to bolt up to a J series engine, or just get a whole F20 powertrain and ECU (also expensive).

you have options, anything can be done.. but its just a matter of how much time and money you want to put into an accord over just buying a diff car.

you could also- buy a rwd car, and put the accord body panels and skin on it :cool:
 

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Bobby Lane Racing
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Ok, maybe I need to rephrase this. If you know where I can find a ready made sub-1600 lb (that's the goal at least) rwd car with 200-250whp and a good (non-strut) independent suspension at all 4 corners, please let me know...Oh yeah, and it's gotta be available for under $15k. :eek:

Otherwise I plan to build something that many people would call "crazy", or worse, and I'm ok with that. Believe it or not, even though nobody here is trying to make this any easier, I know that overall this is still not nearly as impossible to accomplish for me as it sounds to most people. And yes, the entire build will probably take at least 2 years.

It never occured to me that a K24A4 (only K-series I've found near me for under $1k) could possibly go from 160 at the crank to over 200 at the wheels with just an intake, header, exhaust, and a tune! I'll have to look into that further. Otherwise I'm ok with sacrificing ~75 lbs if it means saving a grand or two on the build. An engine that's 4 cylinders long will also be harder to keep entirely behind the front axle in a relatively short wheelbase car. But no, I haven't totally counted out all 4 cylinder engines just yet and that one is probably on my short list along with the Duratec 2.3L.

I have to admit though that there's also something that's just sexy in the sounds a 60* V6 makes, especially compared to a 4 banger...But I doubt anybody on V6 performance would be able to relate to that. And yes, I suppose in a way I think it would just be fun to do something different and exciting, much like I'm planning for the rest of the car. And using such a good, yet under-appreciated engine such as the J30 kind of makes sense in it's own twisted way.

Let me put this out there: If there were 2 equally priced 7th Gen Accords for you to choose from, identical in every way except one had the K24 and the other the J30 with both engines having aftermarket intake, full exhaust from head port(s) to muffler tip(s), and a tune...Which would you choose??

The other prime V6 candidates right now are the Ford Duratec 3.0 from a late model Taurus and Nissan VQ35DE from an Altima/Maxima. While the VQ is has a RWD tranny available and makes good power, it has those pesky variable cams that require a lot more time/cost/effort to tune correctly or accept a significant penalties leaving it inactive. I would guess it's also a little bigger/heavier than a J30. Even if my car ends up uncompetitive in it's class, there's also a 100 lb weight advantage I would be allowed (if I can hit my target weight) if I keep the engine under 3200cc. So the VQ30DE-K would might be a strong VQ option, but I don't really see any advantages it has over the J30 other than ease of bolting a trans to it. The Duratec is a good motor that will crack just a little over 200whp with little extra work, but needs trans adapting like the J30 and for a similar price/weight the J30 will put out power closer to the VQ. The Duratec, and probably the VQ, will also require a bit more time/cost/effort to build a custom set of equal length headers in addition to the exhaust to fit into a compact chassis, where as the J30 it's basically just an 'exhaust' I need to build.
do you know how much a J30a4 weighs? If you were wise and really wanted to pursue this project, go with a J32A2 out of a CL-S.


use a k-series,(ei. k20a,k20a2,k24a2,k20/k24frank) 4cyl all motor on kpro, and with off the shelf bolt ons u would b at 225+whp...if u decide to build up the motor with high compression pistons cams, port the head, bigger valves etc (it will get expensive) but u will be at 275+whp. or just throw a s/c on a stock k24a2 motor at 9psi and make 300whp..

people have been doing this on the lotus elise's, kit cars etc (light weight and rwd).. if u shop around im sure u can get pretty good deals on k-series parts.

The best swap conversion for a RWD K-Series is to throw it into a Toyota MR-S ;)
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Ask for opinions and then make fun and belittle everyone who has chimed in... sounds like a sure fire way to make friends. Good luck.
I'm sorry if I offended anybody. I certainly didn't intend anything I said as insincere or belittling towards anyone. Sure there were a few places I tried to lighten things up with a little good natured fun, but that's it. Overall I was simply providing the facts as I know them stating my case to those who question my intent. The only that could be considered belittling that I can seen in this thread has been aimed towards me. I have no issue with other people having their opinions, even if they disagree with my own, but that doesn't mean I'm not interested in an intelligent discussion on this. I actually appreciate people intelligently questioning my ideas based on their respective knowledge of the subject, as it helps ensure that whatever I decide is the right choice.
 

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AdRiaN
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Ok, maybe I need to rephrase this. If you know where I can find a ready made sub-1600 lb (that's the goal at least) rwd car with 200-250whp and a good (non-strut) independent suspension at all 4 corners, please let me know...Oh yeah, and it's gotta be available for under $15k. :eek:

Otherwise I plan to build something that many people would call "crazy", or worse, and I'm ok with that. Believe it or not, even though nobody here is trying to make this any easier, I know that overall this is still not nearly as impossible to accomplish for me as it sounds to most people. And yes, the entire build will probably take at least 2 years.

It never occured to me that a K24A4 (only K-series I've found near me for under $1k) could possibly go from 160 at the crank to over 200 at the wheels with just an intake, header, exhaust, and a tune! I'll have to look into that further. Otherwise I'm ok with sacrificing ~75 lbs if it means saving a grand or two on the build. An engine that's 4 cylinders long will also be harder to keep entirely behind the front axle in a relatively short wheelbase car. But no, I haven't totally counted out all 4 cylinder engines just yet and that one is probably on my short list along with the Duratec 2.3L.

I have to admit though that there's also something that's just sexy in the sounds a 60* V6 makes, especially compared to a 4 banger...But I doubt anybody on V6 performance would be able to relate to that. And yes, I suppose in a way I think it would just be fun to do something different and exciting, much like I'm planning for the rest of the car. And using such a good, yet under-appreciated engine such as the J30 kind of makes sense in it's own twisted way.

Let me put this out there: If there were 2 equally priced 7th Gen Accords for you to choose from, identical in every way except one had the K24 and the other the J30 with both engines having aftermarket intake, full exhaust from head port(s) to muffler tip(s), and a tune...Which would you choose??

The other prime V6 candidates right now are the Ford Duratec 3.0 from a late model Taurus and Nissan VQ35DE from an Altima/Maxima. While the VQ is has a RWD tranny available and makes good power, it has those pesky variable cams that require a lot more time/cost/effort to tune correctly or accept a significant penalties leaving it inactive. I would guess it's also a little bigger/heavier than a J30. Even if my car ends up uncompetitive in it's class, there's also a 100 lb weight advantage I would be allowed (if I can hit my target weight) if I keep the engine under 3200cc. So the VQ30DE-K would might be a strong VQ option, but I don't really see any advantages it has over the J30 other than ease of bolting a trans to it. The Duratec is a good motor that will crack just a little over 200whp with little extra work, but needs trans adapting like the J30 and for a similar price/weight the J30 will put out power closer to the VQ. The Duratec, and probably the VQ, will also require a bit more time/cost/effort to build a custom set of equal length headers in addition to the exhaust to fit into a compact chassis, where as the J30 it's basically just an 'exhaust' I need to build.
i said, a k24a2(tsx) 3 lobe cam 7600 red line, not the k24a4(accord) 2 lobe cam 6500 red line u cant get that to 200whp with simple bolt ons. or another way would b k24a1 block (crv) and a k20a2 head (rsx type s) thats with a tune will get u over 200whp. only reason i mentioned a kseries was because of aftermarket support it has and easier to tune.

but if u really want a v6 then (kiet)nighthawk04v6 is right look into a j32 instead of the j30.

The best swap conversion for a RWD K-Series is to throw it into a Toyota MR-S ;)
i have seen a couple of those... those things are sickkk...
 

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Discussion Starter #14
you could also- buy a rwd car, and put the accord body panels and skin on it :cool:
That's more like what I'm thinking of building...except the bodywork will not be from an accord. As of right now, I'm leaning towards seeing if I can adapt a T5 out of a Mustang to the J30. Once I get measurements on the bellhousing pattern and get some rough measurements of the block around the bellhousing, I will have a better idea of how feasible it really is.


do you know how much a J30a4 weighs? If you were wise and really wanted to pursue this project, go with a J32A2 out of a CL-S.
No I don't, that's why I was hoping somebody here would know or have access to that information. I was under the impression that (all else equal) the integrated exhaust manifold engines were ~20 lbs lighter than the external exhaust manifold engines. And that the heads still flowed rather well. Based on a number of factors in addition to that, I can see the possibility for these engines have the potential to be noticeably lighter than other similarly powered V6's out there from other manufacturers. The J32A2 has also crossed my mind as the other J-Series candidate, but the idea of simplifying the engine bay by not needing to build complicated/space consuming headers has become quite appealing. Unfortunately I also believe the J32 is just over 3200cc, which would mean I'd be required to run a 100 lb penalty on my minimum weight associated with unlimited displacement engines...Provided I could even get under the minimum weights in the first place. What am I missing that makes the J32A2 that much better for my application than the J30A4?


i said, a k24a2(tsx)
From what I'm finding those run $1500-$2000 on car-part...Definitely outside of my bang for the buck scope.
 

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cunning linguist
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Wait, so your going to detach what may be the MOST modify-able engine in history(5.0L) from the T5 5 speed, then bolt up (assuming you can) to a 3.0L from an Accord?

Don't get me wrong, we are all on here because we love our Honda's, but if we could get a bigger displacement engine in our Accords from the factory, the line would start behind me... and I'd bet it would be long.

When it comes to racing, displacement always wins. Always.
That is why the idea of 3.5 swaps appeal to us, 3.4L strokers appeal to Supra guys, and 351 swaps appeal to Mustang guys. They just work. If you can move up in displacement for only 100lb do it!

Take that 5.0L, add an intake, a cam and an ignition and you will have an honest 300hp that will run all day on 87, and never think of giving you an issue. To get 300hp out of a J30/32 you need to do some radical (i.e. costly) things and may run into reliability issues. If you run on the bleeding edge, sometimes you get cut.

So while you may never find a group of guys that would more like to see a J30 raced, especially in a RWD application, than us, you came here looking for good advice and because we are a supportive community that is what we gave.

PS - If it were me I'd look here.
V8 Miata's - They even have a kit (though you can easily DIY this one)
http://www.monstermiata.com/



 

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cunning linguist
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Also, if you are dead set on a V6, check out the GM 3.8 V6 engines (of Grand National/GNX fame) - many engine modifications available (Heads, cams, blocks, stroker kits) turbos (obviously,) and many people have converted them to T56 6 speeds. Plus its RWD from the factory.

In fact, any of the G-body GM's have RWD V6's and most can be motivated to make decent power. Certainly 200whp.
 

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hmmm what next?
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i once thought the same thing and it will cost around 30K easily and that is if you know what your doing not worth it in my opinion but if you do that would be sick as hell just expect to be putting sand bags in the back because there is no weight back there.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
When it comes to racing, displacement always wins. Always.
Yes and no. Consider Spec Miata and Factory Five Challenge race cars. They weigh roughly the same, but the Miatae run 2" narrower wheels, nearly half the power, less than half the torque, and barely 1/3 the displacement...Yet a quick search found the top Spec Miatae running only 1-3 seconds back from the Factory Five Challenge "Cobras" on a ~2:00 lap of Infineon. Based on the specifications, I would expect a noticably larger difference. At the 2006 SCCA national championships for autox, a car running in D-Mod (<2.0L) later simply bolted ~300 lbs into his car without any engine changes and took 2nd place in E-Mod (same rules but unlimited displacement and increased minimum weight). Actually on that thought, even though 427 Cobras are the "desirable" ones, they are considered rather poor handling cars compared to the 289 Cobras that I happen to have an affection towards.

To get 300hp out of a J30/32 you need to do some radical (i.e. costly) things and may run into reliability issues.
I have no current need/desire to run 300hp from this point in time into the forseeable future. Even if I barely get the car to break it's stock rated 240 crank hp, the car will be pushing Corvette C6 Z06 power to weight ratios. I am fully aware of Monster Miatas, using the 5.0 and more lately the LSX. I even considered them at one point. But remember I'm looking to possibly reinvent the wheel.

So while you may never find a group of guys that would more like to see a J30 raced, especially in a RWD application, than us, you came here looking for good advice and because we are a supportive community that is what we gave.
And while I appreciate the advice, thoughts, and comments, I am unfortunately not actually seeing many people interested supporting a RWD J-Series racecar.

In fact, any of the G-body GM's have RWD V6's and most can be motivated to make decent power. Certainly 200whp.
And I'd bet they weigh at least as much, and likely a bit more, than any other V6 I'm considering. Having worked in the racing industry for a few years as a Mechanical Engineer designing driveline components, finding a complete drively already oriented the right direction is less important to me than finding the right individual components for what I want and making them work to suit my needs.
 

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J35 6Spd
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just curious... do you have any prior experience substantially modifying cars/building engines/engine swaps?

im not takin any shots at you for your ideas, just curiosity since you're a new member.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
i once thought the same thing and it will cost around 30K easily
I don't think we're exactly on the same page for what I'm talking about building...Unless there's a lot of 24k gold plating involved with yours.

I'm talking about a small tube-frame chassis, with production car appearing bodywork draped over it, potentially motivated by an Accord engine. All of the design/engineering/construction will be done by me, with the help of a few close friends, and the occational machine shop for precision parts I can't fabricate myself. Parts will be chosen based on a combination of effectiveness, weight, and cost...Many of which will be purchased second hand.
 
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