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Thread: K20A2 DIY Rebuild - How Hard Can It Be?

  1. #1
    -SeanS's Avatar
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    Default K20A2 DIY Rebuild - How Hard Can It Be?

    Hi All

    I've gradually been upgrading my pre facelift EP3 since I purchased it back in 2017. It's been a bit of a project car and is a great example in good condition with all servicing carried out on time, currently sitting at just over 80k. As of early 2020 I had undertaken the following mods:

    - M Factory LSD Fitted at Area Motorsport
    - Area Motorsport Track Yellow Speed Coilovers Fitted/Set Up
    - New Genuine Honda Backbox
    - New front calipers, discs all round, Pads all round and upgraded brake hoses with RBF 600 fitted
    - Front LCAs polybushed, new track rod ends, shortened steering arms fitted
    - Federal 595RSR Tyres
    - Factory immobiliser reconditioned
    - Front/Rear bumpers resprayed due to lacquer peel
    - All wheels refurbed
    - Eibach 15mm Spacers

    I've used the car on a few track days and after getting the car set up with new coilovers and the LSD as well as a service with new engine oil, I took it on a track day at Cadwell park only to end up with a knocking engine by the end of the session. Suspected cause is that I didn't have a baffled sump fitted beforehand (I was unaware of the need for this until it was too late). I have had Area Motorsport have a quick look and they believe it is the little ends knocking.

    So, to cut to the chase, how difficult is it to do a DIY rebuild on the engine? I have to say I'm no expert and have no experience working on engines, which I appreciate sounds like a recipe for disaster. However, my logic is that if I need a new engine anyway, is now not the time to give it a whirl and try and get some experience? Worst case is I buy another engine and get it fitted.

    Appreciate any thoughts, especially if there is a good guide out there. I have a decent work space in my garage so can happily tinker away in evenings, even if it is just removing and replacing parts to build up my knowledge.

    Thanks

    Sean
    Last edited by -SeanS; 13-01-2021 at 02:32 PM.

  2. #2
    fmp's Avatar
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    Not entirely sure its related, but me and a friend rebuilt the engine in his DC2 ITR a good few years back. Neither of us mechanics, but both mildly mechanically minded and happy to do other jobs like change suspension, brakes etc.

    He managed to get hold of a manual that listed all the torque settings etc, and we just went through it bit by bit. New big end bearings etc etc.

    It ran like a dream once back in the car.

    As you say, nothing ventured, nothing gained. Whats the worst that can happen. Plus it will be a nice little project/learning experience.

  3. #3
    CR54WDS's Avatar
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    I think consider the cost, there are many K20 engines around available with a history, most at a price less than it'll cost you to rebuild your engine, your engine will need to be completely stripped, crank regrind, new main & big end bearings, water pump etc, if the cam chain, guides, tensioner + oil pump chain hasn't been done it's a good time to do it, plus gaskets, ancillaries, time and facilities to do it. Maybe cost out a rebuild first?

    It's not because of the lack of a sump baffle re the bottom end knock, Tom of TGM advised me to add an extra 1/2 litre of oil over the full mark and it'll be fine, well 6 years later and dozens of track days the motor is still good.

    If you do decide to rebuild it, have you considered the a K24 Frankenstein alternative?

    Good luck on which route you choose and keep us updated...
    Cosmic grey EP3 Track slag, + M-Factory
    Kuga AWD daily - SOLD
    BMW 335D X drive + M Sport pack

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    -SeanS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fmp View Post
    As you say, nothing ventured, nothing gained. Whats the worst that can happen. Plus it will be a nice little project/learning experience.
    - That's my thinking, as I mentioned I may even just try taking things apart/replacing them to better my knowledge.


    Quote Originally Posted by CR54WDS View Post
    I think consider the cost, there are many K20 engines around available with a history, most at a price less than it'll cost you to rebuild your engine, your engine will need to be completely stripped, crank regrind, new main & big end bearings, water pump etc, if the cam chain, guides, tensioner + oil pump chain hasn't been done it's a good time to do it, plus gaskets, ancillaries, time and facilities to do it. Maybe cost out a rebuild first?

    It's not because of the lack of a sump baffle re the bottom end knock, Tom of TGM advised me to add an extra 1/2 litre of oil over the full mark and it'll be fine, well 6 years later and dozens of track days the motor is still good.

    If you do decide to rebuild it, have you considered the a K24 Frankenstein alternative?

    Good luck on which route you choose and keep us updated...
    Agreed I would need to cost it up, it makes even less sense when you factor in an amateur putting it back together and the potential for things to all go wrong again. I have considered the K24 Frank route, I believe that's just mating a K24 bottom with a K20A head + a few other bits? That would be simpler wouldn't it.

    I think the most likely course of action is I attempt to do some of it myself, make things worse, pay a professional more money than I would have to correct my errors too and wonder why I even bothered in the first place.

  5. #5
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    The problem with k20 is the cranks can't be reground, as they have a hardened coating on them. Many people have tried and it never lasts.

    You'd be better off sourcing another k20, or as said above source a k24 and build a frank engine. Though that costs around 1500 once you've got all the extra bits required. The extra torque/power would be well worth it though, if mine ever goes bang I'll be doing that.

    You'd use your head etc and the k24 bottom end
    But personally if you don't have a y mechanical knowledge, I'd be getting someone who knows the engine to be doing it for you. TGM, area etc.



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