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mightymini

K20 swap into a R53

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I started to do the mock up for the intercooler since it was decided to go turbo. I was having a hard time trying to fit everything . Until I ran across this adjustable thermostat housing. Now I can redo the radiator to a lower unit that will line up under the bumper and move it back into the engine bay. Now I got more clearance for a bigger intercooler and can still use the A/C condenser.

 

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In the never ending search for a few more ponies. Today I sent the intake manifold to a friend to have it extrude honed since he owes me a favor, hopefully he can do a fast turnaround so l can weld on a new plate for a bigger 80mm Dodge Hemi throttle body that should perform great with the turbo setup.

 

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A cool thing is the stock RSX TYPE S manifold has built in velocity intake runners.

 

Also Nick tomorrow l’ll try to post the new thermostat position on block here instead of messaging it to you, so the rest can see it as well. As for the fuel regulator it's a high pressure one that is for in tank type used on race bike and snowmobiles.

 

 

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Today I got the new ecu plugs that I need in order to make the new wiring harness, since l already got one guy interested in doing a mini k swap. I wanted to know if anyone else may be interested in a new wiring harness to connect the mini “link ecu “ with can bus on. K20 or k24 swap that way it will be easier for me to know if it is worth the time to make a few extra ones or just make two and be done with it.

 

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Nick here is how the new housing goes in order to give you about 2 1/2 inched of clearance to push the radiator back to be able to add the intercooler and still keep the A/C condenser

 

Before

 

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After

 

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Great work like always but I have a tip for you. Your new thermo setup may have an issue. Notice that your barb fitting that goes to your head is before the thermostat. Meaning that the thermostat has to open first to have the flow. The OEM design is before the thermostat. Im not saying that you will 100% have an issue but just to give you a heads up. People have overheated by doing it that way.

 

So what did you do with the regulator in the tank? I left mine alone and just returned the line without touching the regulator. I got 65Psi stock pump all the way up to the fuel rail. But I lowed it back to about 55psi when I did my return setup.

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Thanks Peter, You have great a eye for details and looking out, You are right the new set up does put the cooling hose fitting after the thermostat but I forgot to explain that I drilled out three small 1/4 holes around the thermostat plate in order to add some circulation to the head. it was the only way I thought that could over come that issue. I am currently running a 180F thermostat but may switch it out to 160F. and/or add a three pass radiator since I am still getting a running temp of 192F with the A/C condenser and the mock intercooler.

 

As for the in tank regulator, since this was a high mileage mini I first decided it was a good to replace the fuel filter since it looked like crap then I remembered that I still had a new in tank motorcycle regulator so I used it just had to do a little trimming on the plastic. In my mind it was best to be safe than sorry for not changing it. This set up is fine for now since it's still normally aspirated but later when I turbo it I will be do the same as you and go with a return line set up with a boost assist fuel pressure regulator.

 

Btw Peter since I’m not a Honda guy and you have more experience with them than me. I would greatly appreciate any help or recommendations if you notice anything else that can be improved.

 

Also how do you feel about CP pistons? Wiseco?

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well k series motors have VTC. Which your intake cam can advance itself up to 50 degrees. i have no idea how how your new ecu will control that or even at all. In the honda tune the k series has a total of 12 maps for the fuel and ignition. 12 fuel map before vtec and 12 after vtec. When the map is modified to use a certain intake advance the ecu will use the following map the cam is set on. Its a bit confusing at first but easy to understand through the software. Again not sure how you will tune the VTC or to completely disable it.

 

As far as pistons/rods or internal components go... I like CP pistons but these days all forged pistons are good. A tip to remember is that if you do not plan on making more than 500hp on the motor I would not even open the valve cover on it. These motors can make 500hp stock internals with out issues. A good turbo and 18 - 20 psi should get you it there but e85 helps.

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Thanks Peter, yeah! is it a not a bit confusing it’s a lot confusing..lol specially since I am not a computer savy kind of guy or Honda guy for that matter. I had to rely on a ton of friends to help me get the VTC working. Think I spent more time talking to the tech team at link than they would like but I am glad for their patience and help.

 

When I get all the turbo tuning done I will share my data to help anyone that wants to go this route.

 

Right now I’m thinking of doing a new radiator set up. Just did not want to use the Civic one anymore. I’m making a dual pass with two cores, which is bigger, but will still fits under the front bump and not interfere with the RSX intake manifold.

 

Since the plan is for 425-450hp I’m going to take your advice and not touch the motor for now. or unless I blow it up… :D

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I was having an issue with a vacuum leak around the two intake plate adapter that I made for the throttle body. Which means under boost it will leak even more. Since I decided to stay with the 70mm throttle body today I made a new plate adapter for that size this time with an o-ring seal and welded it to the manifold.

 

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When machining this plate I was thinking of what Peter mentioned about the head not getting enough water with the new thermostat housing. So, I think I may have a solution to fix that so I cut out a new passage for the outlet hose on the underside of the manifold. let's see if the new mod works.

 

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A little update, today I finished fitting the A/C condenser. After I decided to go with a scirocco radiator it made it a lot easier to fit. I still kept enough room on the side to clear the intercooler piping if I decide to go that route, still need to weld the mini A/C high and low side hoses to the Honda compressor fittings. make the new fan shroud and take the engine out to clean up the engine bay and install the new wiring harness, But that will have to wait till next year, hopefully I'll get the intake back honing soon.

 

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Here’s the scirocco radiator.

 

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here is after the front brace modification

 

 

 

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looks factory when the hood is drop.

 

 

 

 

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This weekend I wanted to start doing some research on which turbo would work best with this engine setup and what type on turbo manifold I will be making but ever since Peter brought up the water outlet to the head problem with the new thermostat. I have been thinking of difference ways I could solve that, at first I was going to make a spacer between the thermostat and the block and add an outlet to it.  Then a friend told that they already make one to solve that but at $269 I said screw that! so I decided to save time and money and do some backyard engineering and simply tap into the water pump passage before the thermostat and fit a barb fitting and connect the head inlet hose to it.  as you can see on theses picture. Problem solved  

 

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Also since space is at a premium after I installed the AC and the fan shroud was not touching but really close to the slave cylinder. I decided to do something about that and since the K20 RSX Type S slave is similar to the BMW "delay" valve type cylinder which I am not a big fan of. I changed it out to a standard K20 non S type and shaved off a little just to give me more clearance.  This will not only help with the clearance issue but will help faster shifting.   

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