Project Overkill: Chassis

Discussion in 'Workshop Forum' started by darwoodious, Jun 27, 2018.

  1. Rodger

    Rodger True Classic

    Location:
    Olympia, WA
    I don't want to take this thread too far off topic but the K20A2 is the swap engine of choice as it comes with the 6 speed manual, plus higher hp, plus tons of aftermarket support, ie. Hondata, K-Tuned, etc. The K20A3 is the base engine for the Acura RSX and comes with the 5 speed. More plentiful, but not as desirable as a swap, hence the premium price for the A2 motor. If you are going to go through all of the effort and cost to do it, most people want the most bang for the buck, so to speak. The K24 is not a performance engine, as I understand it, but for those that really want to go for broke, you can do a "Franken motor" which uses a K24 block with the K20A2 head. Tim Hoover is doing one of his swaps with a Franken motor that was built for him. See his current thread.
     
  2. darwoodious

    darwoodious Darin Nelson

    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    What Rodger said :)

    I picked up a drivetrain from a 2002 Acura RSX Type S (6 speed, K20A2) and, yeah - not cheap as you can expect to pay between 2k and 3k.
     
  3. Hasbro

    Hasbro True Classic

    Location:
    Danielsville, Ga
    The K20a3 and K24 will rev nicely to a 7600 or 7800 redline, more if you build them for it but why bother since there is the a2 if you want high end. The K20a3, normally aspirated, will be limited to 200 or less whp, 165 - 175whp before going into the block. A really nice street motor and underappreciated due to it's limitations compared to the a2, 24s, and a myriad of Frank options. It has a very similarly shaped power curve to the 24. The 24 is 20mm taller than the other Ks.

    My personal choice would be a K24 frank, hands down. But a 9.000+ rpm a2 is just incredible. 2 to 3k for an a2 is well worth it.
     
  4. Dr.Jeff

    Dr.Jeff True Classic

    Location:
    Sin City
    Not to get this side tracked, but for a Honda engine swap into the X1/9 application. Do I understand correctly you are looking at $3K for a donor engine, $4K for the kit, and at least another $2K in needed items? That's close to $10K into a $2K car? Please don't get me wrong, I would love to have that kind of power and reliability, but wow. I'm sure there is more work involved, but what is the comparison cost to swap a much more affordable engine from say a Toyota, Ford, Mazda, whatever? Curious how it compares for something else with 200 HP. Honestly I'm just asking because the engine swap idea intrigues me and I've never looked into the details, so had no idea it was $10K. I've done similar engine swaps into VW's for under $2K (2.0 twin cam in a Mk1 Golf). Granted that's 'apples and oranges' as the saying goes, but it is the only comparison I know of.
     
  5. darwoodious

    darwoodious Darin Nelson

    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    The MWB kit used to be some $900 cheaper, but yeah it lists at 3700 now. There's a K20A2 drivetrain in Philly for 1900 (https://ebay.us/SWyych). You could fab your own setup for sure but what you save in dollars you'll pay in time and fab costs. It is definitely not cheap.

    The fact that you can pick up an exxe for 2k doesn't mean its worth that - for me it remains my favorite drive ever but I always wanted more power, so the cost is worth it. I won't be able to sell it for what I have into it (just parts costs - forget time) so that doesn't factor into it whatsoever. Can't imagine I'd ever sell it - I regretted the day I sold my first exxe so won't make that mistake again.
     
    lookforjoe and nichol01 like this.
  6. Dr.Jeff

    Dr.Jeff True Classic

    Location:
    Sin City
    Totally understand what you are saying. I was just a bit shocked at the cost to do the swap.

    The last time I looked into using a Honda power plant for anything (a sandrail project many years ago), they were very plentiful from companies that imported container loads of JDM spec units. The "take outs" from vehicles that have met the mileage limitation is some regions of Japan (pollution control laws much stricter than ours). Technically they weren't legal for street use here, so you could get a low mileage engine and trans with all of the controls/ECU's for VERY cheap (if I recall they were around $1000 for the better 'performance' models). Likewise, the cost of a good low mileage 'hot' VW engine to swap into a Rabbit or the like can be had for well under $1K. Guess I was out of touch with Honda stuff.
     
  7. Daniel Forest

    Daniel Forest True Classic

    Location:
    Montreal,Canada
    Jeff. Stop living in the past. Prices for X1/9 items also climbed steadily. Not long ago, bumper shocks were good sale at $10 each and $10 000 cars were time-capsules... o_O
     
  8. lookforjoe

    lookforjoe True Classic

    That auction only lists the engine (135K miles)- All the K20A2 / 6spd kits I've looked so far at are 3-4K, with no ECU.

    I found a 64K K24A3 Acura TSX motor & AST5 6 speed with harness, ECU, axles, etc., for $1800 in Texas. Best price I have found so far for a basically complete setup. Matt said I should get the K20a oil pan & pump to gain ground clearance.

    As you say, these cars are a labor of love. I have no intention of ever selling mine. I would never recoup the costs to date, nevermind after the Honda transplant :D
     
    darwoodious likes this.
  9. sub-zeroil

    sub-zeroil True Classic

    Location:
    hollywood fl
    yes don't be like me with the k20z3 oil pan problem it was lots of hours of non fun work !
     
  10. lookforjoe

    lookforjoe True Classic

    I bought a '06 RS type S K20a2 oil pump, baffle & pan with hardware. Listing described it would work on a K24....
     
  11. sub-zeroil

    sub-zeroil True Classic

    Location:
    hollywood fl
    you good with a2 pan or any k24 pan !
     
  12. darwoodious

    darwoodious Darin Nelson

    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    Makes sense - sorry about that. Thought it was a very good deal. I paid 3400 for mine 3 years ago and had to have it shipped from Vancouver BC (across the border, but it was thrown in for the cost of purchase).

    Good luck with your hunt Hussein - given what you've done so far, I'm quite sure you'll be done before I am!
     
  13. Dr.Jeff

    Dr.Jeff True Classic

    Location:
    Sin City
    So true. A couple years ago everything "Fiat" started to soar in price. Wonder if the popularity of the 'new' Fiats in America had something to do with that.


    And thanks to everyone for explaining about the cost of doing a swap.
     
  14. darwoodious

    darwoodious Darin Nelson

    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    The latest update on my quest to stiffen the exxe chassis without making it look like a race car (i.e., rollbar etc). Everyone has seen strut tower braces where you bolt it up to the strut tower studs to transfer the high-load (outside wheel) strut tower pull to the less loaded inside tower. Since I'm do a full body restoration, I figured I should take advantage of it and go overboard again. There are some considerations I needed to deal with since I was going for a stock look and function:
    • I still want to be able to use the frunk for luggage as well as put the targa top there without modifications
    • Need to be able to service the battery
    • I wanted to tie the whole thing into the center tunnel as it is now much stronger
    • try to be as light as possible while still being strong
    Here's what I came up with:
    sketch-x-strut-brace.png
    the red bits are welds, the yellow bars are threaded aluminum suspension tubes (2 10" ones for the lowers and one 23" one for the top). these are left and right threaded to adjust the distance and tighten for tension preload. I picked up some jam nuts to keep it steady and provide the minimal compression that might occur. Here it's mocked up:
    strut-brace-photo-mockup.jpg

    As much as I would prefer to get metric threaded bars, that was gonna be hard to come buy and much more expensive, so these are 5/8"-18 threads. I needed to get both right-hand AND left hand threaded rod or bolts or something to fabricate the mount to the body, but I couldn't really find any. One could get heim-joint connections and go that route, but that seemed clunky somehow to me and I wanted something thinner that would just to the job of transferring tension and compression load, so I designed the custom part.

    strut-brace-bracket-detail.png

    it's basically a stainless threaded bar that tapers down and is TIG'd to a 1"x2" tab of 1/8" stainless. My neighbor a couple houses down has two metal lathes and I tried to get him to build it for me, but... anyways - I ended up just buying his small one. Plan is to build my own - not that I know how to use a lathe or anything, but it's never too late to learn. How hard can it be, right? Anyways, that's why I picked up the lathe. Turns out cutting threads is pretty hard and involved. My first attempt (on aluminum for practice) isn't good, but it sorta shows what I'm gonna try to do.
    IMG_2409.JPG


    On the towers, I cut out some 14g steel to shape and attached to the towers down a bit point below where the targa goes in and in front of the battery box. It would be stronger and lighter if one could simple use the top plane of the towers but that's right where the targa goes. Anyways, cut and weld and cleaned and stitched the layered seams (I'll need to ensure I get good primer and seam sealer there to protect that area once painted).
    IMG_2407.jpg
    IMG_2405.jpg
    IMG_2400.jpg
    The tabs are all welded and lined up allowing the two lowers to bolt in front and the upper brace rearward - that's why I ran the fishing wire, just to verify.


    As my plan above shows, I wanted to also tie into the center tunnel and the ledge in the center looked like a great place to do it. I'll be creating a strong triangle along with the strut brace that will assist the front firewall in torsional strength. The one issue is that the steering rack channel is under it, so no real way of tying it directly in. After investigation, I saw that the steering rack is bolted to the front firewall right where the tunnel connects (and it is a good thick piece of flat steel already welded at the factory). To support the added brace and tie into the tunnel, I fabbed and welded in some small pieces that should do the trick. Here's a couple of photos taken in the steering tunnel:
    IMG_2404.jpg IMG_2403.jpg


    Should be pretty strong. Yeah, it's total overkill but I only get one chance at these mods before it goes to paint, so I'm fine with it.

    Also, this is a 1976, so the washer tank is in the drivers side headlight pod. I'm not running a stock exxe transmission, so no need to worry about the speedometer cable, however - I think this particular mod would work and fit fine on a later car with the larger washer tank as well as clear the speedo cable bits.
     
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  15. Dr.Jeff

    Dr.Jeff True Classic

    Location:
    Sin City
    Nice work once again. ;)

    To clarify, out of interest. Is there a reinforcement layer welded over the tower before the new mount strip was added (red arrows, pic below)? Or is that a seam weld on the tower?
    And it looks like a second (reinforcement) layer was added over the center tunnel area (yellow arrow)?

    IMG_2400.jpg
     
  16. darwoodious

    darwoodious Darin Nelson

    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    On the tower, that's just seam welded at the top. The "U" shaped piece is the only thing added there. Once you break out the wire brush and go to town on the seam sealer there, you discover the layers of steel that comprise the towers (and why there can be rust issues in those layers).

    The second reinforcement thing was added as I wanted to both distribute load up where the actual firewall is and allow for the back-side reinforcement bits to get load. Here the are before being attached.
    IMG_2138.JPG

    EDIT: here's some more detail from the drivers' side...
    IMG_2297.JPG IMG_2296.JPG
     
    79X19 and Hasbro like this.
  17. Dr.Jeff

    Dr.Jeff True Classic

    Location:
    Sin City
    Thanks Darin, I see it all now. Very well done.
     
  18. artz1731

    artz1731 True Classic

    Location:
    Denver PA
    I would just go with the steel string...less weight. ;)
    Nice work.
     
    kmead likes this.
  19. 79X19

    79X19 True Classic

    Location:
    Worcester, MA
    Very impressive work!
     
  20. lookforjoe

    lookforjoe True Classic

    One thing though - don't you NOT want to bolt the braces in place in the direction of potential load? Won't they (the sections) just flex at those junctions rather than add rigidity? Or will they have double bolts or locating pins, etc?
     

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