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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The Build
Life started as a blown up, BWR supercharged 2ZZ owned by someone who obviously didn’t care about their investment. She only had 23,888 mi when I purchased her. Basics were Laser Blue paint, starshield, biscuit leather interior, touring package, LSS satin black wheels and that’s about it.

I still can’t recreate the logic I had when I initially purchased the K20R. But, for whatever reason, that was the decision at the time. I call it a horrible addiction to the red wrinkle paint :) But it was likely due to the fact that I didn’t want to tear into an engine or trans to get good reliable power and a LSD. I placed the order with Innovative for a chromoly 'Race' mount kit, axles, shift linkage, throttle cable/bracket/pedal assy.

Teardown was in order after basics were ordered. Front and rear clams were removed, engine/trans removed, oil coolers/lines removed, stock stereo/speakers, door panels, interior, etc. I disassembled just about everything and you will see why below.

Assembly: Since teardown is self explanatory and removal of pretty much anything on this car can already be found on this forum, I will only be going over the install. Beginning with the engine, I rx installing once you have everything on the engine (accessories, wire harness, I/manifold, halfshaft) and have the transmission attached. Install the Innovative dr side bracket to the chassis. Note: A factory alum mount bracket was removed from the dr side, its obvious when you go to mount up the Innovative bracket. Loosely install the pass side mount to the chassis as well as the rear. Hoist the engine/trans into the bay. Concentrate on getting the bolts on the rear mount FIRST! Surprisingly, either side may not line up if you don’t do the rear first. Don’t torque. From there I loosely mounted the pass side, then went to dr side. Not sure if that is the correct way but it worked for me. I then torqued all mount bolts. There is no front mount.

With the engine secure, I went on to installing the axles. They are a clip in type, same as the Toyota ones. A light tap on the end of the axle straight on with a rubber mallet did the trick for mine. Suspension can then be buttoned up. I then routed my wiring. I used a stock Honda harness mated to a plug and play harness purchased from another member which he made using Innovative’s universal harness. The reverse lights still had to be hard wired in. I chose to mount the ecu behind the rear interior panel. After talking with Hondata, he said the ecu wouldn’t be bothered if it was near the speaker, just keep the wiring clear of it. So the ecu was mounted with industrial hook/loop against the inner part of the firewall taking care to route the ecu wiring away from the speaker. Since the panel was out I also mounted the crossovers for the speakers and mounted the tweeters on the upper portions of the panel. The Hondata converter box was wired in with the PNP harness so I didn’t have to run any additional wiring for that or the OBD port. The dash and OBD port function as they should and the car passed a plug-in OBD smog test.

On to the fuel system. Radium Auto makes an adapter that fits directly into the top of the fuel pump assy and adapts to a -6. Carefully remove the clip that holds the factory line and reuse it if it is in acceptable condition. Lightly lubricate the O-ring on the RA fitting and it will fit with ease. Refit the clip. As RA instructed, the 90` fitting will likely have to be ground down so it will seal properly, use a bench grinder if you have one, makes it a breeze. Clean the fitting well! Measure and cut the line from the tank to the surge tank. Only clamp the 90 on for the tank side. Route hose through the firewall, I reused the grommet, after trimming to fit and then tighten lines to spec. Don’t reinstall the cover yet, you’ll want to check for leaks later. Mount the surge tank per BOE directions, if you don’t your clam may interfere with the lines. I learned the hard way and had to cut a fitting off and use a 90 instead of a 180. Mount the FPR, I chose to mount right by the surge tank on the flat spot of the roll bar support. Install the fuel rail after lubricating injector O-rings. Install ORB to -6 fittings in fuel rail. Install RA’s fuel return fitting per instruction. Cut to fit all remaining fuel lines. I chose to add an in-line fuel filter in the line that feeds the surge tank. Be careful when routing fuel lines that they don’t rub on anything, protect them if there is a possibility. Tighten all remaining fittings.

Clutch line and bracket install with a rivet gun and 2 rivets. You will have to drill the old one off to install Innovative’s. Use the new banjo bolt and washers for the slave cyl side. Tighten and bleed system. Check for leaks.

Radiator and heater hoses were a puzzle. Innovative provided a large alum coupler. I used it to delete the plastic T fitting/hose that fed the old overflow tank. That hose was trimmed slightly on both ends and fit to the K-tuned upper rad hose fitting w/rad cap. The other lower rad hose was trimmed and with the K-tuned rotatable T-stat housing rotated properly, it fit. The heater hose to the back of the engine fit without modification. In fitting the rear heater hose, I cut the Honda OE metal hose about 6 in away and found a 90 deg heater hose at the parts store and fit that to a coupler. The coupler attached to the factory lotus hose with a fair amount trimmed off to fit. I flushed the whole system with distilled water until it was clear and drained that before refilling. Filling the system I found to be a chore. Getting all of the air out of the system when this engine is in the car it was made for is difficult. To solve this, I bought an AirLift2 from Amazon. It pulls a vacuum on the system and pulls the coolant in. Make sure the heater is on ‘hot’. I used Peak Global Lifetime coolant, found it at Napa but they no longer carry it. Walgreens of all places had the premixed stuff but it wasn’t cheap. Once filled check for leaks.

Install Innovative’s shift mechanism if you didn’t before you mounted the engine. Shift cables can be attached and adjusted now. Shifting quality/precision is not the greatest. This one needs some work on the cable end that controls the side to side (crossgate) movement. It is very hard to reach reverse and I am out of adjustment on the cable end, I will have to grind 1 thread off the end of the cable to see if that will help as the fitting is currently bottomed out on the fitting. Exhaust header can also be attached at this time.

For the intake I started with BOE’s ITG filter setup for the 2zz. I purchased an 18in aluminum piece of straight intake pipe from CX racing. Cut one side so the length was proper and drilled a hole to accommodate the Honda IAT. I used a piece of black PVC from home depot cut at an angle to fit into the dr side scoop/vent to keep the flexible hose that is included with the intake in place. Its a custom 'snorkel' in a sense.

The 06+ cars are drive by wire (DBW) and don’t have a throttle cable. They also require a pedal that will accept the cable. Cable and pedal were both purchased from Innovative. As a side note, the pedal does not look as nice as the one in their picture. The pedal is held in with 3 bolts accessed from the top of the car, near the master cylinder. Routing the cable is up to you. There is no hole for the cable to go through to exit the passenger compartment. If ran tucked up against the bottom of the dash it can be routed to the dr side sill behind the interior piece that comes up from the interior sill. It gets fished through and pops out by the rad hose. It can be routed through the engine bay and attached to the TB now. The bracket to hold the cable under the dash needed to be re-drilled to fit, 1 hole was off. Home depot was visited again to source a spring for the throttle pedal as one is not included. Personal preference will determine the spring strength to use. The first one I bought was way too soft. I bought an assortment so I could change them around after that. I ran 1 extra long bolt through the bracket to attach one end of the spring to, the other end goes to the pedal. I used nylock nuts for mounting the bracket. Throttle response turned out good, the only issue I see is that there is not enough adjustment in the cable and I am only getting ~97% throttle according to the Kpro. The lack of adjustment also contributes to a good ½ in. of movement at the beginning of the pedal before it actuates the throttle plate.

Finally…I fired up the car before putting the clams on to check for any leaks and to make sure everything is functioning as it should. I originally had issues with my fuel pumps not coming on and the dash converter not working. Upon some research and helpful forum members it ended up being the JDM ecu. It was missing necessary parts for the dash box to function (it was designed for USDM ecus) and the fuel pump pin is in a different location on the plug. The fuel pump is activated by grounding the wire which could have been bypassed but the dash would not have worked without the ecu having the other parts added.

Final assembly of everything left is pretty basic from here. Rear clam gets reinstalled. Muffler fitted. Ballasts for the HID kits I used 3M double stick tape and fixed them to the rad shroud before installing the front clam. Anything else I have listed in the build is optional and therefore not mentioned.

The following is a breakdown of parts I used by category…

Engine: K20 type R. Some tuners say it will be good for 210-220 whp with a proper tune. When it arrived, the crank pulley was damaged, there was a broken idle sensor, the wire harness needed a few major plugs and the vtec solenoid was broken. A new OE wire harness was added, along with an ATI crank pulley/damper, a new sensor, new vtec solenoid, new ngk spark plugs, k-tuned rotatable t-stat housing, new OE t-stat, k-tuned p/s delete pulley, k-tuned upper rad hose housing, new serp belt, new OE water pump, custom hard water line for rear heater hose, Hytech oil pan baffle. I run PureOne oil filters (PL14610) and Mobil 1 5w30.

Engine Mgt: Hondata KPro, Hondata dash converter box, Innovative’s universal harness, Whatsadsm custom PNP wire harness.

Trans: The trans came with a factory LSD so that was left in place, I added an ACT Racelite flywheel, ACT HD pressure plate, ACT organic sprung street disc and new axle seals. Only OE Honda fluid! The halfshaft was looking ugly so it got a sand, primer and paint with satin black. Later added was Innovative’s stainless clutch line. The type R trans is the closest ratio available (according to my research), so will probably be much more track friendly than street friendly.

Fuel system: This one was fun. So much, I’ll start at the tank…Radium Auto (RA) tank fitting to -6, 90 deg -6 to feed an external fuel filter, more Fragola fittings to meet the BOE surge tank, Hybrid racing diaphragm style FPR+gauge, more fittings, Fragola black fuel lines, Innovative aluminum fuel rail ending with the RA return line setup. Fittings were Fragola push-locks with Oetiker clamps. Different setups use different fittings, if you are going to run a setup similar to mine, pm me for a specific list of fittings and I will give you the skinny on how many 90's 180's etc.

Intake: BOE’s ITG filter system for the 2ZZ, longer alum pipe from CX racing(ebay) cut to fit and drilled to house the K20’s IAT, custom plastic snorkel for Dr Side sccop.

Exhaust: I fell in love with the Hytech art that Tim @ Innovative had so I started with that, it was a satin stainless header that had Hytech’s patented ‘anti-reversion’ technology, new OE ngk O2 sensor, new OE exh mani gasket and BOE’s ST-5 muffler. I am close enough to Laguna I was hoping to one day take the car there and I'm getting old and can't stand loud, droning exhausts. This one, catless, fits the bill.

Exterior: I added Radium’s quick removal clam kit, some 16/7, 17/8 gunmetal Team Dynamics 1.2 wheels with Toyo R888 (heat cycled), convex outer mirrors, black racing stripe, 111 IMRP Race sills, Reverie 5 element CF diffuser, F+R 111 tow hooks, DDM tuning 4500k HID lows, Phillips +50 highs, misc DDM led bulbs.

Brakes: HP+ pads grind away on stock rotors, ATE Blue runs through stainless lines and pushes against BOE’s stainless caliper pistons.

Interior: Fast Toys satin CF door panels, Schroth 6 pt harnesses in black x2, 111 sys.6.pack, 111 harness hardware, 111 race harness bar, OE rear panel/speakers pods for harness bar, new Lotus Racing floor mats, Infinity Kappa F+R speakers, Alpine HU and amp, Tecnacraft Kevlar/carbon seats, 111 fire ext mount, 111 CF rear view mirrior, 111 bootie, shifter reinforcement.

Suspension/steering: Ohlins DA coilovers, Titan QR rack, race ball joints, 111 V2 steering arms, 111 toe links RTD brace, 111 Monoballs, BOE wheel studs.

Misc: Stainless coolant catch can mounted to the firewall, Setrab 20 row air to air oil cooler, Mocal adapter/fittings, aeroquip -12 fittings/hose.

This has been the most interesting and time consuming swap I've ever undertaken. Parts were very hard to come by in a timely manner from beginning to end. Add that right before I purchased the car I had purchased a foreclosed/trashed home that has constantly needed attention. I finally have her out on the road after 2 1/2yrs!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Yeah, often life gets in the way. And when its not, I'm waiting for parts :)
Glad she is on the road now and wow does she scream!
 

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You know, my crossgate cable is pretty weak, too. When pulling the shifter out of fifth or sixth (or reverse, for that matter) the shifter doesn't want to move back to the neutral position on its own. Regrettable. Will need to investigate some ways to make it better...
 

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Sounds very similar to my setup. Enjoy it! I think you'll make a good 230-240whp with a tune.
 

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Thanks for sharing , great write up . Look forward to the pics .
Just building my own Elise K20 , but will be for the track only .
It certainly is a long time consuming road that needs to be followed ..
Hope the car lives up to your expectations ... keep the forum posted
Cheers
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Trans will easily hold 240 whp, which isn't much more than the stock engine would have produced from Honda. Really, all I've added to the stock 'R' setup was a cold air/free flowing intake and exhaust.
There is enough room for FI of your choice as others have succeeded in running. I don't have any plans for that though.
 

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You know, my crossgate cable is pretty weak, too. When pulling the shifter out of fifth or sixth (or reverse, for that matter) the shifter doesn't want to move back to the neutral position on its own. Regrettable. Will need to investigate some ways to make it better...
You need a new gearbox centering spring for the gearbox shift actuator unit (the section inside the box has a spring to center the assembly). According to most people this is a super common issue when you do a honda conversion. You need a stronger spring (mfactory i think sell them or some place with a similar name, check k20a.org).
 

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You need a new gearbox centering spring for the gearbox shift actuator unit (the section inside the box has a spring to center the assembly). According to most people this is a super common issue when you do a honda conversion. You need a stronger spring (mfactory i think sell them or some place with a similar name, check k20a.org).
Yup, ended up getting the MTEC race shift springs. 110% better cross-gate action. Hopefully others who do this Honda swap in the future come across this.
 
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