Luckily broken transmissions scare most people so they can be picked up for really good deals if you know what you're looking at. If you are working with a budget you don't want certain gears or certain parts broken because they can make the rebuild get really pricey (full OEM 2nd gear set for that 13 SI trans is $500ish, if it was an RSX and it was just the gear and not the hub and synchro its only $175 for an aftermarket hardened steel replacement gear). Luckily the core I got the LSD from was free. It was an insurance job and they get scared of the rebuild labor rates so they just have us change them out.
Depending on how you look at it the good/bad news is I have found a 6 speed transmission that fits my budget!
I found a K20z3 transmission from a longtime customer. Bad news is he removed and sold the LSD and 4th gear has all the teeth destroyed from boost.
Good news is I have the correct LSD to put in it. My catalog at work shows the 2013 LSD being the same part number as an 11 SI so it should fit the K20Z3 with no issues.
Better news and pure luck is another long time customer rebuilt his K20Z3 transmission with an aftermarket drag race gear set and has a full K20Z3 gear set with all the synchros and hubs in mint condition that he is selling me.
So for $150 plus the cost some new seals and bearings from work I should be able to put together one healthy transmission out of these 3 separate ones. The extra work will be worth the savings, at least in my opinion. The only downside using the Z3 is I either need to drill the case to modify it for using an 02-04 RSX VSS or I need to spend some money on the signal converter. Either way I'll still be spending less than the used 5 speeds are running at the junkyard right now.
Hopefully within the next week I'll have some pics from rebuilding the transmission. Also have to get the transmission off of my TSX. I'm going to use the flywheel, clutch, and pressure plate for the EG to save some $$$. The TSX is going twin disc with the new set up and used clutch setups aren't worth selling.
Yes, I still have the TSX. No, I haven't done anything to it in way to long. But that's another thread.
Decided to break the drill back out with the spot weld bit and finish removing the last couple of brackets that need to be removed from the engine bay.
I'm using Hybrid Racing Billet mounts for the swap so this alignment bracket for the transmission torque mount has to go.
I am keeping AC using the Hybrid Racing off the shelf line kit for the 92-93 Civic application. So that requires flipping the condenser and radiator. I'm using Karcepts upper radiator and reservoir relocation kit along with some cheap VMS lower brackets from eBay. This is where the Skunk2 Alpha radiator will sit. And I'm using some really cheap NAPA hose part numbers I found searching forums that are suppose to fit with the K swap.
Once I drilled the spot weld I broke out the grinder and ground down the spot welds. I need to sand these with some 80 grit and give it a little coat of filler.
This is a 'budget' build in the fact that I'm picking and choosing where to spend extra money for reliability.
I've done tons of swaps and installed a lot of products from different brands so I'm choosing everything I've had good experiences with in the past.
That does mean some parts aren't the most budget friendly way to install a K... but I drive 60-100 miles minimum each day so I don't want to deal with reliability issues.
Also for ease of maintenance there won't be anything tucked or shaved. I'm going to install everything as cleanly as possible while leaving everything easily serviceable in the event I need to do any repairs.
The true "budget" part of this swap is the $350 K20a base model JDM RSX engine and the K20Z3 transmission I have pieced together from 3 scrap transmissions for a total cost so far of $150. That transmission cost will go up as I order the seals and any parts I decide to replace while assembling the case.
Why K swap a car clearly not worth much more than the $200 I originally paid for it?
With the suspension bushings, new rack and pinion, and stereo I've updated the car and truly enjoy driving the EG. Without including the stereo (since it can be removed and put in any of my cars) I've only got a little over $900 tied up in the car before the cost of the K swap. That $900 got me nearly 10,000 enjoyable miles of commuting to work with no unexpected issues. I knew full well the original tires on it were shot and the trans was bad. I just figured for the cost I'd drive it until they failed.
Now I like the car and figured I'd give it a second chance at life instead of sending it to the scrapyard. I'll be finishing the swap along with cleaning up the rust and putting on a nice coat of fresh paint... probably from Maaco (I'll still prep it for paint) since its a daily. But it will be better than what's there.
Also this car is really fun and compared to my TSX, this is cheaper to mess around with, the TSX has taken way longer than planned, and I miss having a fun car.
Also I'll review the parts I use so everyone can get a idea of what you get for the money. There are a lot of parts from Hybrid-Racing, Skunk2, Hondata, Honda OE, NAPA, and Karcepts.
Got all my radiator installation parts laid out so I can work on proper placement before drilling the holes for the well nuts.
Got the grinder out and finished cleaning up all the spot welds. Drilled a tiny bit too far on a couple of them so I'll need to skim it with a bit of filler before sanding and prepping the engine bay for some fresh paint.
In the past I've used Innovative, PLX, and Prosport widebands all with good results on my swapped Civics.
For this car I chose the 'AEM X-Series Wideband UEGO AFR Controller.'
I managed to snag this on sale on Amazon for $153 with free 2 day shipping. Unfortunately it was in an Amazon warehouse in Florida so I had to pay sales tax. It ended up costing just shy of $164 total, still a great deal for a wideband.
I'll do a review of this setup once I get to put it to use but so far the packaging is great and everything seems well built. From all the reviews and test I've read the biggest benefit to this setup is the response time and accuracy of this sensor and controller. So far the only con is AEM makes an ugly gauge (this is my opinion of course). If the AEM could look like the Innovative DB gauge or even the ProSport EVO series this would be perfect.
Now I need to get the water temp and oil pressure gauges. I'm not going to be using this car for anything other than daily driving so there won't be a need for oil temp or anything else. I just don't trust the factory gauge for water temp especially when I have to sit in traffic. And keeping an eye on oil pressure is always a good idea.
I'm trying to post updates whenever I think of anything. I'm having a good time keeping track of progress on here even if the forum is pretty dead lately.
I've been keeping a list of things I need to address as far as safety concerns before installing the K
1- Rust - I'm from Florida so this is a new one for me. I'm doing research on the proper repairs and hoping I can swing by a you pull it this weekend to cut out some clean patch panels. In my garage full of tools one of the few things I wish I had is a welder. This is one of the few things I'll have to pay to have done. This probably doesn't seem like a safety concern but with the rain we get here water coming into the cabin can cause electrical nightmares and make glass fog up.
2- Brakes- The LX rotors and drums aren't going to be safe with a K. Again junkyard time. I'm going to track down some EX or DC2 front knuckles and rear trailing arms. 4 wheel disk the correct prop valve and a new bigger master cylinder should be plenty for a glorified LS swap (k20a3 )
3- Suspension - I've already got energy suspension's entire bushing kit installed in the car except I saved the rear trailing arm bushings to use for a disk brake conversion. As for coilovers I'm going to re-visit that once the engine is in so I can work out some spring rates with the weight distribution of the K in the sedan chassis. All the off the shelf stuff is for hatchbacks. Also the stock suspension is still working great and while it isn't a performance part I don't expect it to be a safety concern for daily driving. I will need to put some money into the suspension though if I ever want to get the full use out of the K swap.
Also have plenty of auto body filler and other supplies left from my TSX that I'll be using to clean up where I drilled the spot welds. 80-320grit is to help clean up all the areas that were grinded on while removing the spot welds. Unmarked roll of sandpaper is 600 grit which is what the bay will mainly be sanded with.