Review the Best Honda K20 Engine Models for Racing Swaps

Evolution of the Honda K20 Engine

The Honda K20 engine is actually a family of engines that was first introduced in 2001. The K-series engine series replaced the B-series, which had been used in these applications for 12 years. Source URL

You’ll soon see that there are many K-series engine designations. However, most of them are closely related to the K20A2 or K21A3 engines. Both engines feature Variable Valve Timing and Lift Electronic Control (i-VTEC). However, the main differences lie in the valvetrains as well as VTEC implementation. Source URL

The K20 2.0-liter inline four-cylinder gasoline engine was first introduced in 2001. It was designed to replace similar versions of F-series and B-series engines such as the B20B(Z), and F20B (A). The Honda K-series also includes the 2.3L K23 and 2.4L K24 engines. The K21 engine was built in a variety of modifications, as with most Honda’s engine series. Each engine has its own application and features. Let’s look at the K20 engine options and highlight the major differences. Source URL

Honda introduced a replacement for its mass-produced K20A1 engine in 2006. It was the K20Z2 modification. The new 2.0-liter engine received modified camshafts and an electronic throttle body (Drive by wire technology). Source URL

Honda has continued to expand the K20’s legacy with their modern-day K20C-series after the R20A was introduced in 2015. Source URL

Honda has returned to their economy range with the K20C1’s impressive output. It is naturally aspirated and has a higher engine output. Source URL

Honda discontinued production of the original K20 engine in 2011. Production was put on hold for some time, but the K20C1 engine was introduced in 2015. This turbocharged version was only available on the European market and allowed Honda to produce a more powerful engine. Source URL


The K20C2 gasoline engine is a 2.0-liter naturally-aspirated, direct-injected gasoline engine. It’s still a relatively new power unit, having been introduced in 2016, when the K20Z2 was discontinued. The crankshaft and pistons are lightweight and have a 10.8:1 compression ratio. There is also a new cylinder head that has optimized combustion chambers and i-VTEC. Source URL

Although it may seem strange to use K20 parts, they have superior camshafts and valve springs to the K24. This route will require you to replace the K 24’s water pump with the K20’s. Source URL

Getting Maximum Horsepower

A K20A2 will likely have around 200whp if you add the usual breathing upgrades such as a decent intake and a smooth exhaust. The K20 is much easier to achieve this than the B18, which required more modifications to reach 200whps. Source URL

You can expect to achieve 300hp from an N/A engine if you make extensive modifications. However, this doesn’t come cheap. Source URL

JDM K20A, K20Z1, K2A2 or K20 Z1 are all easily achievable power gains. Simply fit bolt-on mods such as an RRC intake manifold, an FD2 throttle body, cold air intake system, 4-2-1 header and a 2.5″ exhaust. You can expect to see 230whp from a Hondata K-ProECU. This setup is ideal for street use. Source URL

K20 Engine Problems

A knocking sound coming from the engine can indicate that the valves need to be adjusted. If this has been done for too long, it can cause wear to the exhaust camshaft. You may need to replace the camsh shaft. Source URL

The mounts should be the first to be checked if you feel vibrations coming from the front of your car. After checking the mounts, it may be possible to find an extended timing chain in highly worn engines. Source URL

Honda Models with K20 Engines

This model is based on the K20A3, which was used in the USDM 2003-2007 Honda Accord and 2002-2006 Honda CR-V. Source URL

This engine series is found in many Honda models, including the Honda Civic, Integra and Accord as well as the Acura CSX, RSX, and RSX. This engine was based on many of the components of previous Honda engines, including VTEC technology, Honda’s version of variable timing. Source URL

Source URL

Contruction of K20 Engine

The K20 engine is essentially an aluminum engine. The block is made of aluminum and has steel cylinder sleeves. The cylinder head is also made from aluminum. Source URL

This engine was specifically designed for the JDM (Japanese Domestic Market), and was the first K-series to hit the market in 2001 for the 2001 model year. Source URL

Type of K20 Engines


The K20A JDM engine is a high-performance JDM. It was in production from 2001 to 2011. It features balancing shafts and high compression pistons (11.5:1), reinforced connecting rods and a lightened flywheel. Dual valve springs are included in the valvetrain. There are also 310cc fuel injectors. A 4-2-1 exhaust manifold (header) and a PRC intake manifold (or RBC for Euro R). The cylinder head features head porting that was made at the factory. The following camshafts are used in the K20a: intake/exhaust duration and valve lift – 244/240 deg and 8.84/8.84mm; 280/ Source URL


This was again based on the K20C1 for the U.S. and Canada markets. However, it has a 9.8 to 1 compression ratio using an MHI TD03 turbocharger and a boost pressure of 1.43 bar (20.8psi), and generates 252hp and 273lb/ft torque at 1,500-4000rpm. Source URL

A supercharger can be used to add 400whp to your mods. A turbo option is an option if you don’t think a superchargers is enough. You could be able to expect even more power from a Garrett GT3076R, stage 2 cams, valve springs, and retainers. Source URL


Is the K20 engine a good engine for a car?

The K20 engine was strong for its size. It used the most recent technology and sound engineering design to create an engine that could last a long time. Source URL

When did the Honda K20 engine come out of production?

The Honda K20 was first produced in 2001. The original K20 engine family was in production until 2011 and then it was out of production for some time. The K20C1 was introduced in 2015. Source URL

What was the last year Honda made the K20 engine?

Honda’s K20 engine series was a major step forward in their ongoing efforts to improve their engine line. The K-series was a great choice to replace the beloved B-series, even though it was not popular at first with those who loved it. Source URL

What is the service life of a K20 engine?

A timing chain with a service life of 120,000 miles rotates the K20’s camshafts. After this, it is worth checking if maintenance or replacement is required. Source URL

Can you replace a K24Z engine with a K20?

This only applies to K24A series engines. Due to the pistons’ contact with the K20’s cylinder head, the K24Z is not compatible. Source URL

How much horsepower does a K20 engine add to an NSX?

We weren’t exaggerating when we said insane. What makes a 1,000hp K20-powered NSX catch your attention? Source URL

How often should you change a K20 engine valve?

Common Typical maintenance can include routine servicing, which includes valve adjustment every 24,000 miles. Cold engines need to have clearances of 0.21-0.25mm in the intake and 0.28-0.,0.32mm for the exhaust. Source URL

How can I get more power out of my Honda K20?

You can increase your power by adding larger throttle bodies, intake manifolds and cams, as well as cam gears and valve springs and retainers. A larger exhaust, lightweight flywheel, and larger injectors will also make you more powerful. You can also achieve speeds of over 9,000 rpm with further modifications. Source URL

Should I get a Honda B16 or K20 engine?

If you are looking for enormous power, you might consider a higher displacement base such as a B20 or K20. Source URL

The B-series engine has its positives. If you already have a B-Series engine that is good enough, it’s likely that you will be able to upgrade it. Source URL

How much HP can you get out of a K20 turbo?

After you have added all the costs of the Frankenstein build, it might be more economical to purchase a K20 Supercharger Kit. Off-the-shelf models can produce more than 300 horsepower. Source URL

Can you build a Honda K20 to match the power of a B18 engine?

K20 owners will often argue that displacement is not enough. They have a valid point, especially if you are looking at naturally aspirated builds. Let’s not forget that B18 race-engines can produce more than 1,000hp. Unfortunately, your stock K20 will not be able to match. Source URL

How fast does a K20 Civic go from 0 to 60?

The K20 Civic was next, so it was fun to see the second run. The Civic was able to outrun the Lambo even though it had less horses. But that wasn’t the end of the fun. The video switches to K20’s perspective after the Civic runs away from Lamborghini’s view. The Honda Civic has blue flames coming from underneath its hood. The third and final run pits the Lamborghinis against the B18 Civic. The little hatch has a better pull this time. The tiny white compact, which is shown in Lamborghine’s perspective, is a bit smaller than the Lambo. Source URL

What is the difference between K20 and K24 turbo kit?

The twin scroll K series turbo kit retains all accessories such as PS or AC for both K20 and K24 applications. Source URL