Honda / Acura K20a K24a Engine Forum banner
1 - 6 of 6 Posts

Formerly unix4linux
307 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Howdy Member's!

Let me preface this with the following: I have NO experience in
  • Body work​
  • Painting​
  • Restoration​
  • Fabrication​
  • Welding​
I have experience in:
  • Engine building (and engine swaps)
  • Very entry level tuning
  • Desire and drive to succeed
  • Being optimistic
  • Patience
  • Not being afraid of failing and trying again
  • Asking for help
Full disclosure: I just tinker with cars on my free time. I have been a Systems Engineer for 20 year's so when I'm not at my desk working my 9-5, I'm spending time with my family. When I have spare time, I work on car's and my experience is solely based on that.

With that said, I currently have a 1st Gen Honda Civic from 1977. I wanted to work on something that was extremely challenging especially in areas that I have zero experience in.

When my wife and I purchased our second home 2 1/2 years ago, we wanted a place where I could build my own shop for my hobby and where she could build on her own hobbies as well (she's not into car's 馃槣)

In a nutshell, this is what the shop looked like before


This is what it looks like today


With that said, I feel comfortable working on the projects I choose. I won't get into the details of the tools I have but in a nutshell, I have a lift and an air compressor (soon a welder) among many other standard and specialty tools so I know can accomplish this.

Here is my '77





It is beat up! Lots of rust everywhere when I picked it up. I just put it on the lift last evening to check out the condition underneath. I have not taken pictures yet either so we'll see what's up.

I spent most of the day just cleaning up the shop as much as possible and then doing a preliminary test fit of a K24 in the car.

The goals on this build:
  • Body restoration inside and out
  • Converting it to RWD
  • Configure an N/A K20 engine w/ 260 - 300 WHP
  • Drive it everywhere and enjoy it! No track use except to probably take it once and see what it can do down the 1/4
I have a fully assembled K24 with all accessories on it that I used briefly to test fit and get an idea of clearances in the engine bay





As you can see, it's sitting up super high but that's because it's resting on the current subframe. In terms of space, there is clearance on the firewall and at the radiator support. The ground clearance with the stock oil pan in order for the engine to sit low enough for good clearance is 4" from the ground. With a different pan I can make it about 6", though.

The idea here was to simply look at the possibility with spacing in the engine bay. There are the obvious obstacles of cutting into the firewall and creating a transmission tunnel, etc. However, I just wanted to see if an engine of this size would even be possible and it looks promising.

The next step is to remove every bolt-on piece from the engine bay and try the engine bay and engine fitment again to see what welded body components from factory are in the way to either eliminate/replace or modify. After all of that is taken into account, I'll put those notes to the side and start the restoration process, which I have ZERO experience in

I'll make sure to post updates here for sure. I'm really good at that. I also post updates on my IG and make videos from time to time of these projects on my YouTube Channel if you're interested in following there.

Thanks again for following this project or at least checking it out. I think I'll be spending a lot of time in the Fabrication section of this forum 馃槣

Formerly unix4linux
307 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
This looks like a very cool project and I love the shop. Can鈥檛 wait to have my own someday ! I will be checking this out for sure 馃憤
Thanks a bunch! It took me 20 year's in savings to get to where I am today 馃槄 but the wait and hard work was worth it. You'll get there in no time. It took me longer only because I wanted to move first from our old home. But two children coming to this world during that time put a lot of things on hold (which I don't regret).

Thanks again for looking!

Formerly unix4linux
307 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I am really looking forward to your progress here. As you have much of patience, will and endurance, I am sure you will manage all the stuff you have no or little competences actually and you will learn a lot in that project. What a great chance in live such a project can be: fun to start, to work on to learn and to achieve step by step the final aim and status.That is what live can provide at maximum, isn't it like that? When we learn from going through challenges: school, studies, job, kids, family, house and so on, we grow on that. I think this 1st generation Civic is a great chance to follow that process of growing in a very intense form.

I am really looking forward to see this project growing and nearing step by step the final result.
Thanks so much for the kind words! I completely agree! It's definitely an experience all around. This is definitely what life is about, building experiences and memories. Projects like this also blossom new relationships, which I'm also looking forward to.

Thanks for following!!!

Formerly unix4linux
307 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
@Teedohs Thank you for sharing a interesting and rare swap project. It is not everyday we see a 1977 1st gen Civic, let alone one with a K24 swap in progress. This going to be a good one to follow. Also you have an awesome shop brother, serious respect.

One of the first things that occurred to me is how much TQ the K24 has and how little the TQ was in the original engine. The next thought was creating a rigid chassis to accommodate an engine originally designed for a 3,200 lb chassis. When you get you welder in the shop, you can start creating and fabricating at will. The more rigid it is, the better it will handle & accelerate without flexing.

I am looking forward to seeing your creation unfold. I wanted to ask where did you find a 1977 Civic..?

Thank you! I actually decided to go with a K20 for this build. The car as is from factory and it's engine is about 1,200 LBS. I won't need much torque for sure. I'm using a K24 just for preliminary sizing/measurements/comparisons.

I found it in Facebooks marketplace, believe it or not and it was in Florida. I took some footage or the rust underneath the car and it doesn't look bad at all.

Have you worked on a first gen civic before or have done any fabrication with engine swaps?

I'll post more pics up tonight in this thread too. Thanks for following!!

Formerly unix4linux
307 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Your welcome !!

Absolutely you made the right choice going with the K20. Which K20 do you have your eye set on? From my experience the K20A2, K20Z1, or K20Z3 are great choices if your build includes using stage 2 cams, ported/shaped runners/polishing intake manifold, upgrading valve train, and are planning to rev past 9,000rpm into the 10,000 rpm zone. You will save money going this route if you plan on modifying the engine. Since you do not mind working on your car in that killer shop, I would get one of K20's above and use the extra money you saved for cams, valve train, timing chain assembly, oil pump & oil chain assembly. That should be close to the difference saved over purchasing a $2,700 - $3,000 K20a Type R longblock.

If you just want a factory engine that you do not have to open up, that has decent power, put together a little better, settle with a K20A Type R (PRC version) OR the K20A Type R (RRC version). At this point and the smartest thing to do, is to rebuild the complete Timing Chain Assembly & rebuild the complete Oil Chain Assembly (includes new oil pump and again if you are planning on going past 9,000 rpm, get a 4Piston Modified Oil Pump). Finally, replace the water pump. Once those mechanical upgrades are out of the way, replacing the PRC intake manifold with a RBC or RRC intake manifold would be a great option. Switch to at least RDX injectors and install Kpro.

If you source a K20A Type R engine from the majority of JDM engine depots OR dealers, they offer warranties. However, to grant the warranty You have to replace these certain parts to get it : timing chain assembly, oil pump, water pump, and 1 or two more parts. I know this because I called and got it straight from the horse's mouth.
Indeed! I've been down this road a lot for sure and this is my comfortable area. Thanks a bunch for the tips, though. I do appreciate it (y)

Formerly unix4linux
307 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I haven鈥檛 been on the forum and so long. This build will keep me coming back. Can鈥檛 wait to see this done
Thank you! I hope to get started more in depth soon as well!!
1 - 6 of 6 Posts