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Yet another K20R CRX well underway... lots of pics!

15555 Views 40 Replies 17 Participants Last post by  poormansporsche
A K20R CRX is born.... Well, its almost there... hehe.

This is my first foray into a K-series CRX swap, so i'm learning step-by-step, and believe me, there is a ton of little things that need to be dealt with on this swap. First and foremost, like any swap, make sure all the parts are there before you start... with the K stuff, since some of it is still 'custom' with manufacturers, sometimes getting the parts you need in a timely manner isn't all that easy. lol.

Anyway, so here is what we are starting with... a baby-crap green CRX, with a fairly healthy GSR swap already in it. The motor has 13:1 compression, RMF header, and a hogged out intake manifold. The car is running a ZDyne GOLD for tuning, and really is a fun little car to drive.... but he wants more :)

The new hotness... a JDM K20A Type-R

First order of business was to completely remove the old engine, and strip the engine bay. The owner of the car is wanting to repaint the car a very nice Hunter Green in the future, and so while we have everything out right now, we're going to completely redo the engine bay for him, and that way he won't have to mess with it when it is time to redo the rest of the car.

With everything out, we also decided to remove any unnecessary bracketry, and cover up any unecessary holes in the engine bay... sort of a 'mild engine bay shave', without a complete wire-tuck. Also, we started installing/welding the timing chain-side bracket that is supplied in the HASport Mount Kit we are using. The instructions say that you just have to weld the rosette welds, but we went ahead and welded al the way around. Better safe than sorry... besides, once painted, the weld is easier to make look nice than a big gap between the mount and framerail.

The job also requires "banging in the rear crossmember for clearance"... so instead of sledging away at the car, we notched the rear crossmember, folded the edges into each other, and seam-welded it back together. Came out fairly nice :)

And here is the engine bay right before it left for paint

While the car was at the body shop, we had them completely remove all of the stock seam sealer, and refinish the car with all new sealer. They completely sanded it down, and repainted it with base-coat and clear-coat in a beautiful black finish. Unfortunately this makes pictures tough to take, because light won't reflect off of it very well, but it'll look beautiful with the Hunter Green paint job when it gets done.

Now we're going to skip ahead a bit, because unfortunately the memory card that was being used sort of crashed for some reason, and we haven't been able to get the pics off of it :(

So now the motor is in the car. Everything pretty much lines up perfectly, and if you have a lift, the car slides right over the motor with absolutely no isses at all. Fits easier than a B practically... lol!

Couple of things noticed at this point: Make sure your belts are on before the motor goes into the car. It is a lot easier to figure out the routing. Also, make sure you have the alternator relocated somehow, or the headlight bucket modified. I didn't like the idea of cutting the fresh new engine bay headlight housing, so we relocated the alternator.

Also, it is kinda hard to see in this pic, but make SURE that you have everything done to this motor before you put it into the car... because to pull the head on this motor, or mess with anything under the timing chain cover, basically will mean pulling the motor. The area between the shock tower and the timing chain cover is extremely close. At minimum here, you'll have set the motor on a dolly, unhook all the mounts, pull it forward 1.5" or so, and then shift it over another couple of inches to be able to clear the car... you can then leave a lot hooked up this way, but it is a LOT of extra work just to pull the head, or replace a timing chain.

The Header being used is a DTR Fab 4-1 Merge Collector Header. This is a very nice piece... it sure is a tight fit though. To pull the header, the engine has to come out of the car basically (or at least completely unhooked, and pulled forward a couple of inches).

Also installed, is a full Ingalls Camber Kit. Using Balljoints in the front, and the forged adjustable link for the rear, this car will have great camber, and be really easy to align. <<Shameless Plug>> If you'd like to purchase a set for your car, check out ;)

During the process, the prop valve was also replaced, and new brake lines added. While we had them out, it was fairly easy to modify them, but you can see how the prop valve was mounted here... fairly simple, and definitely out of the way.

Next item up for change, is the shifter box area. It was decided that the car should look stock from the inside, so we trimmed out the center console area, and boxed it in with steel. Created a new floor for the shifter, and now the shifter will have a place to go, and fit completely underneath the stock console plastic.

Also on the 'modification list', is the radiator. The aluminum radiator in the car would barely fit, even moved all the way over to one side. The upper hose was still coming out right at the throttle body. So, instead of off-setting it, we decided it'd be better to just center it, and reposition the top hose position. So, i cut, welded, and voila! Also, we decided that for the cleaner look, it'd be cool to mount the radiator using its lower mounting holes... so now it is in place, and barely moves with no upper braces... looks a LOT better.

Here is the car as it sat waiting for a fuel rail to complete the system...

Can't wait to get it finished... this has been a fun but tedious swap. Its taking forever, but it'll be worth it. Definitely need to be ready for almost anything when doing this swap... and unless you have good fabrication abilities, and a welder, you'd be hard-pressed to do this properly in your driveway (so shops rejoice! you'll probably have more swap customers with this swap than with B's in the future ;) )

Anyway, i'll update this once we get it to a track. The motor is completely stock, except for the custom intake tube, and the 4-1 header/2.5" full mandrel bent exhaust i'm putting on it tomorrow.

K-RX... The ultimate swap :)
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that is so freakin sweet John. Definately more than i can handle in my back yard :lol:

keep us posted
Amazing work so far. Can't wait to see the numbers this thing puts down.
That was awesome! And very detailed. I'm very curious about that boxed shifter area. What's that about? I don't know much about this swap, but I must be missing something. And any idea what someone would expect to pay for all that work on this swap?
Thanks guys! I really can't wait to get this thing on a track and see how it does... high hopes around here.. hehe.

crxfisher: The shifter box area is made like that because of the large plastic shifter assembly from the RSX. If you look at the following picture, you can see the white plastic shifter sitting on top of a Karcepts plate...

Now, the Karcepts plate is designed to do the exact thing that my boxing in is designed to do, except it is made for those that don't have welding capability, or for some reason decide they can't do it. Me personally, it is quicker, easier, and way less expensive, and much longer lasting to box in the center console like i did... it is much cleaner imho 8)

And labor cost alone? Because of all the custom work that needs to be done, and assuming you want everything done "right".... expect a shop to charge more for labor than it would cost to do a basic swap in a crx with a B16A... :shock: (not including the engine bay painting like this car got). If Any shop says they can do it cheaper, then they are cutting corners, and you need to know -where- they cut them.. because this isn't the kind of swap that works well with corners cut.. lol!

But it is easy to see why a swap like this with a Type-R K20A can easily cost in the $10-13,000 range depending on options chosen and parts needed. For instance, this car already had the crossmember, and aluminum radiator... money saved there!

But the K is ooohhhhhh so worth it! :twisted:
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That's pretty incredible! Thanks for posting it!
SWEET write up john!
Please keep us posted with any #'s.
Damn!!! I wish I had that kind of skill...especially with the welding. There's a number of tasks that I would've had done by now if I could weld like that!! Nice work!
I was watching a video today of a K20 CRX! Looks like it'll be amazing... good work on the swap dood!
How much is this costing the onwer? j/w
cloors: N/p mang! 8)

ollie: Oh, i will... should be going to the track this week, and the dyno as well.

stickershop: All it takes is a desire to learn ;) Pick up an inexpensive welder, and start fiddling!

baker_jeff: Yea, and thats a K20... imagine a built k24?!? Well, we'll see what that is like in antoher couple months :twisted:

Wasuri: One left nut... OH, and his first born... before we take the nut of course. :lol: No, seriously, this is not a cheap swap. I'm not really ok with posting quotes, because they can be taken out of context so easily. Although, it is safe to say that the labor alone on this swap (If done right, cutting no corners) could get a very basic B into someones car... including the B :shock:
Everyone loves updates! :)

Well, she runs! Fired up for the first time tonight. Although, still have not gotten the fuel rail we've been waiting for...GRRR! How freakin hard can it be to get a fuel rail, even overnighting it? Doesn't matter, we improvised... and actually, i personally like it better!

Now for the pics... first things first, i was sent a set of these fender braces by Robert at RC Auto Works. I requested them unwelded, because i wanted them TIG welded, and he's not offering them TIG'd (Yet ;) )... So anyway, he sent htem to me in no time, all tack welded together, and i just had to finish weld them. Not bad pieces :) Fitment was great, and all the mounting flanges and hardware were right-on.

They went onto the car, and we snapped some shots.

I promised Robert that i'd get good pics of them, and since it is a black background, i had to paint them silver... unfortunately, he sent me silver stickers! LoL.... Well, almost all silver ;)

He sent one Pink sticker, so it got put onto the braces for the pics :) Thanks Robert for the fender braces! They found a great home 8)

Next order of business was touching up a few items. We got kinda concerned about the radiator and the intake manifold, so our tech Jason decided to install a rubber foot incase they decided to rub, it would insulate it... worked great!

Then the interior got put back together.... this is why the shifter box welding was done... so that the center console could fit over the rsx shifter box, and everything would clear nicely!

Now, onward to the fuel system! So, we ordered a GE fuel rail on Thursday (It is now Monday) through our local wholesale supplier, and it was SUPPOSED to be overnighted... Well, someone dropped the ball, and it is still unaccounted for. So, we just improvised... the stock fuel rail is steel, and i had some steel fittings.... so that was that:

For the rest of the fuel system, we used an Aeromotive -6 FPR, mounted it on the firewall to existing bolt holes, and plumbed it all up...

Anyway, thats that, she runs, and all is well. Putting the finishing touches up on the exhaust system, and it'll be at the track for some runs very shortly :)

I do have a vid from the first-startup, and will post it once i get it off of my friends phone.. hehe.

For now, THANKS for all the AWESOME responses and questions. It was nice talking to those of you interested in the swap. We have two more K-RX swaps coming in right behind this one... one built K24 setup which should be out of this world awesome!, and the next one (which will be built right beside it basically) is going to be a turbocharged K20 running Motec, GT42 turbo, and a couple of interesting tricks up its sleeve ;)

Also, both of the upcoming cars are going to be full-restorations as well, which means they will both be getting new paint jobs! So like this one got its engine bay done, the next two are getting the whole car and the engine bays done. The next few months are going to be VERY fun!

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Looks good John.
Very cool project. Kseries still look odd to me though. i considered switching though, but im sticking with the B for now. i do however like K's with ITBs.

Wow, I did not know you did swaps regularly or is this for special customers? Great work and worth shipping my car to you when I strike it rich.
John, have you thought about designing and selling a K20 / K24 compatible hood? I know the K20 will clear a JDM-style hood with the ribs cut out of it, but NOBODY makes a hood right now that clears the K24.

Personally, I think a JDM-style hood with a higher cowl / center section would look good. You should have your "fiberglass guy" make a prototype, then some molds...

I want to do a K24, but since you gotta cut a hole or make an ugly buldge in the hood, Im not gonna do one anytime soon.

Just an idea, buddy.

Well we will be doing a K24 here very shortly...Lets see how it turns out. :wink:

We will keep you posted.

Yea, what Jonny said... we'll see how this one turns out ;)
brx017 said:
I think a JDM-style hood with a higher cowl / center section would look good
I would be interested too. My H22 isnt gonna clear my hood and was thinking about the same thing. Ill probably end up making my own with my factory hood, Im gonna miss my CF ZC hood :cry:
Cool... i'll keep you posted. It won't be very far away, because the car that will be requiring the hood is on the lift right now 8)
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