“Why don’t you just do a K-swap instead?”
Seriously? Like we were talking about swapping in brake pads or something simple like that!
Stock 2zz w/ MP62 still installed.
The asphalt floor was so uneven, every time I dropped
a bolt it would roll under the car immediately!
It turns out, Innovative had just completed a full conversion kit for the S2 federal Elise/Exige and now they sell most of the mechanical parts needed for the swap. The kit includes custom motor mounts, axle shafts, shift linkage, complete DBW to throttle cable conversion, clutch line, universal wiring harness, and even an A/C bracket! They offer a few other parts but these were the main ones that thankfully I would not have to fabricate myself. Of course, this isn’t everything you need for the motor to work; there is also the engine wiring, dash controls, ECU, fuel system, exhaust system, intake, coolant lines, engine cooling, catch cans, etc…
The Fiberglass clam shells were excellent ...
... at taking up all the space in my work area.
Filling in the Gaps
There's More Than One Way to Skin a Cat
There are many different options to choose from when building a performance Honda engine. For instance, I found some builds with guys making over 300 whp on a normally aspirated 2.4L short block matched with a K20A2 head (2.0L Acura RSX-S motor). Some people supercharged the K20A2 with an MP62, which gets them up to about 300-350 WHP. Then I found some crazy turbo builds making 700+ WHP. That sounds like fun but the drawback was excessive turbo lag and a turbo car's non-linear power could be dangerous when the boost hits on a road course or even on the street, especially for someone new to track events like me. I decided to use the K20A2 out of the 02-04 RSX-S, as it would be the easiest to swap in and it is also the highest-revving. I could have used a K24 motor, which would have given me more torque, but I would have lost the high revs you get with the K20A2 stock motor. I figured a goal of 400-450 WHP on pump gas would make it a road worth traveling.
Swap engine mounts from Innovative
But how do I get to that power without having to deal with turbo lag? Then I discovered the Rotrex supercharger. These compact centrifugal superchargers were making crazy horsepower and no lag! They even have their own oiling system that adds some more complexity to the install but well worth the trouble! Utilizing a bigger C38 charger, I could easily hit 400 WHP with mild boost and conservative tuning. Even with the linear power from a supercharger, traction could be an issue at this power-to-weight ratio. Would I then have to cut into the fiberglass clamshells to expand the panels for bigger tires? I knew that at least a new limited slip differential was in my future.
As we move further through this series, you can see my plan coming together, accompanied by chronologically relevant pictures, and finally all the details from the build. Also, I had not planned on doing this long write up, so most of the work-in-process pictures are taken with my phone camera and in a dark garage.
This is where it's all happening.
Crumbling garage floor... sprinkled with magic.
To be continued...
A Lotus Gone Wild: How an A/C Leak Turned into a 400-WHP Monster - Part I
A Lotus Gone Wild: How an A/C Leak Turned into a 400-WHP Monster - Part II
A Lotus Gone Wild: How an A/C Leak Turned into a 400-WHP Monster - Part III
A Lotus Gone Wild: How an A/C Leak Turned into a 400-WHP Monster - Part IV
A Lotus Gone Wild: How an A/C Leak Turned into a 400-WHP Monster - Part V
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