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Fonda? Hondord? A Honda K24 Swapped Foxbody

895 Views 22 Replies 8 Participants Last post by  Shauncb
Hello all and welcome to my K24 Foxbody build thread. Now I'm sure you are all wondering, "Lummode why the heck would you put a Honda in a Ford???".

1. I like Foxbody's
2. I like Hondas
3. Because I can

Now a little backstory on the car:

It was owned by a friend of mine who had the intention of doing a drag build. He decided to sell it around 2019-2020 to fund another project, I looked at it and decided to pass on it since I had just taken ownership of a 2012 Triumph Street Triple R. Fast forward to November 2022 when I'm cruising Facebook marketplace in a full leg cast after my second motorcycle accident of the year, the car had been listed by whom I assume was the new owner 3 years ago. Shot him a message, still for sale and only 8 minutes away? You bet I'm going to look at it crippled or not. Turns out I went to high school with the owner, small world.

Anyway the car is a 1988 LX Hatch. At the time of purchase the car was completely gutted short of the rear axle and a Scott Rod dash. The front end was tubed, already had subframe connectors and the 8.8 was converted to 5 lug.

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Got it home and started down the research rabbit hole. I already knew I wanted to K-swap something and this was the perfect candidate. The intention was to build a lightweight street/weekend track car. Goals are 2600lbs and 350-400hp. With all that in mind I started ordering parts that will make the car handle properly:

96-04 SN95 Splindles
MM K-member
MM Caster/Camber Plates
MM Torque arm kit
MM manual Steering Rack Bushings
MM Bump-Steer kit
MM Rear Coilover Axle Mounts
Feal Coilovers
Eibach Sway Bars
Flaming River Manual Steering Rack
Motion Raceworks Steering Column

Lead time was rather long for the MM stuff so I decided to pick out the brake components:

Cadillac ATS Brembos
S&S Engineering ATS to SN95 Hardware Kit
13" Cobra Rotors
Taurus rear calipers (43mm)
Foxbody Brakes Rear Disc Conversion Brackets
11.6" Cobra Rotors
Strange Manual Brake Conversion
MM Braided Brake Lines
Wilwood Proportioning Valve

Got the brake stuff in the mail quick so I got to modifying the Brembos for the S&S kit and got them mounted on the spindles:

Table Wood Saw Hardwood Gas

MM K-member, LCA's, caster/camber plates and Feal coilovers came in a month or two later so got them fitted to the chassis with the front brakes:

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The Feal springs match the paint almost perfect and the MM parts are super nice. Steering rack, MM bushings and bump-steer kit arrived. Bump-steer kit does not use tapered hardware so I setup the spindles in the mill and drilled them for 5/8 hardware:

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Ordered a K24A from JDM Engine Depot in NJ. Showed up freight in less than a week. Engine build:

Stock internals K24A
ARP Head Studs
Type S Oil Pump
Unit 2 Baffled Oil Pan
Touge Factory Turbo Manifold
Tial Wastegate and BOV
KPower Intake Manifold
KPower EP3 Pully
KPower B series 74mm Throttle Body
Garret GT3076R
Touge Factory RWD coolant goodies
Remote Oil Filter
FIC 1000cc Injectors
Radium Fuel Rail and Regulator

K24 cleaned up and turbo manifold fitted:

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Now the K24A use a slightly different water pump housing than the USDM K- series engines. The alternator mounts from the front vs the side and you cannot easily source JDM alternators in the states so off to pick and pull for the correct housing. Picked one from a 2007 Element:

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JDM left USDM right

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USDM unit mounted with a fresh water pump, tensioner and ep3 pully. The ep3 pully replaces the power steering pump:

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New coolant fittings to suit a RWD conversion:

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Have to relocate the oil filter to clear the turbo manifold. Has a threaded port for turbo oil supply too:

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Pulled the valve cover to add some breathers:

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Love it!! Always thought it would be cool to bring an all motor deal to imports vs domestics. The Honda’s in that class obviously have the power/weight advantage over the v8s. But a Honda in a chassis that would work I believe would be a domination in the class.
Sent the valve cover off for powder coat. In the meantime I started getting the ARP head studs and type s oil pump fitted:

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I didn't snap any photos of the original oil pump so I included one to show the difference between the two. The original pump has a balance shaft to help with the vibrations but that makes it too large to run a baffled pan and they tend to fail at sustained high rpm. The type s pump (off a K20) is a 5th of the size and allows the use of a baffled pan.

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Type S:

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Valve cover came back from powder coat:

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Since I got rid of the balance shaft with the old oil pump I decided to add an ATI damper. Fresh rear main too:

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Love it!! Always thought it would be cool to bring an all motor deal to imports vs domestics. The Honda’s in that class obviously have the power/weight advantage over the v8s. But a Honda in a chassis that would work I believe would be a domination in the class.
Thanks! I would have loved to do an all motor NA build. ITB's and 10k rpm would sound amazing on track but I decided to go the turbo route for now
Intake manifold, fuel rail, injectors, throttle body and fuel pressure regulator came in. The fuel rail needed some spacers to accommodate the height of the injectors. Bought some Garolite and machined two 5mm spacers. Garolite is an insulator and the theory is it will keep the intake from heat soaking the fuel rail:

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The GT3076R came in soon after and I got the engine dressed. Its going to look fantastic in the bay:

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The manifold has a provision for a stock idle air control valve which I wont be using. About an hour in Fusion 360 and a 3d print I had a working block off plate. Machined the final product out of aluminum:

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I decided to tackle the motor mounts next. Admittedly I had no real plan on where they would end up, I was sure they were not going to line up with the mounts on the MM K-member and I had limited options on the block. I figured wherever they end up I'll work it out on the chassis. Cardboard template to 3d print and finally off to get laser cut. Bushings were a generic kit off Ebay:

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The car was originally manual and its going to stay that way. T56 coming in hot AND Grannas Racing just released a K to T56 bellhousing and ya boy got one:

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Shot a message to Action Clutch about getting a standard K-series clutch splined for the T56. They said no problemo:

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Made up a bronze bushing that accepts the T56 input shaft:

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Now a few problems arose. I'm running a Tilton hydraulic throwout bearing and the specs call out for a .125" air gap between it and the clutch fingers but with the bearing adjusted at its max height it falls short by about a 1/4". The other problem is the clutch pack is not fully seated on the input shaft splines. I cant shorten the length of the bellhousing because I don't have enough clearance between the end of the input shaft and the bottom of the crank so the only solution is a custom flywheel that moves the clutch friction surface out 3/8". Still waiting on that so I got to machining the spacer:
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Cool stuff! Definitely following this one 🤙🏾
Spacer is done and while I'm waiting for the flywheel I turned my attention back to the chassis. I removed and sold the Scott Rod dash, after removal I spotted a patch of rust . Some small pinholes rotted through but its still pretty solid, so I cleaned and prepped it for some chassis saver:

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Opened up the brake booster hole in the firewall for Motion Raceworks manual brake kit. The kit moves the master cylinder up so that the brake pedal applies more leverage. Drilled the OEM brake pedal per their instructions and painted the pedal box assembly:

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I bought some aluminum pedal covers from LMR but didn't like the fitment and how you could see the OEM pedal foot through the holes. Modeled and laser cut new pedals. Cut the stock pedal feet off and welded the new pedals on:

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Went to install the pedal box but the stock plastic spacer disintegrated so I ordered an aluminum replacement from MM. Meanwhile I started on ripping the stock rear suspension out. The car had aftermarket rear LCA's and some kind of reinforcement brackets. The stock uppers and bushings fought me so out came the liquid wrench, wont be reusing them with the MM torque arm anyway:

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Cut the quad shock brackets off the axle tubes and added a bit of weld to the top of the LCA mounts. Prepped the axle for paint and used self etching primer followed Tractor supply Rustoleum tractor paint mixed with Majic hardener. Brushed it on thick then used a roller to get rid of the brush streaks. Very happy with the results:

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Pulled the diff cover to refinish it and too my surprise the 5 lug axles are 35 spline and the diff was fitted with an Eaton TrueTrak! 3.73 gears were fitted but I will be replacing them with 4.10's:

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Dropped the axle off for a complete overhaul at a buddies shop. All new bearings, seals, Ford Performance 4.10's, ARP bearing cap studs and new driveshaft flange. While removing the rear axle I noticed that the both the driver and passenger side floors had been repaired where they meet the rear floor. I had to remove some of the Matt66 sound deadening to add a cage so I got to chipping. Started at the rear of the car where there was evidence of an old cage:

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More evidence of an old cage and it looks like no paint or prep was done before laying down the sound deadening so I decided to remove ALL of the sound deadening. Glad I did because there were some hidden damage. Used about 60lbs of dry ice to get it all out:

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From the pics you can see the deadening was laid right over a ton of rust. Looks like stress cracking and some odd passenger side floor damage. I made a cart to support the back of the car so I could roll it outside and wipe the interior down with mineral spirits. Cut right through all the leftover tar and soot inside:

Tire Wheel Car Window Plant

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Passenger side transmission tunnel:

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Drivers side floor under the pedal box:

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Overall the floors are pretty solid, I am going to try hammering out the passenger side floor but have to come up with a plan to fix the patched areas. Cut them out and replace with sheet steel then add the cage floor plates? Of course the repaired area is where 2 floor pans meet and its not worth buying all 3 replacement floor pans for such a small area. Opinions?
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You lost me at fonda...

And then after seeing tjlhe incredible amount of work YOU, yourself are putting in here you gained a fan.

Good job.
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You lost me at fonda...

And then after seeing tjlhe incredible amount of work YOU, yourself are putting in here you gained a fan.

Good job.
I'm with you on this. Never been a fan of bastard swaps, but this guy has some mad skills.
I'm impressed 👏
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I'm with you on this. Never been a fan of bastard swaps, but this guy has some mad skills. I'm impressed 👏
I also came to this thread expecting to hate it but the problem solving and attention to detail is great.
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I appreciate you guys! Thanks for reading through the thread, definitely a motivator!

Got a little work done over the weekend, pedal box is installed with the manual brake kit and MDL hydraulic clutch conversion. Steering column is fitted but I need to shorten the spacers for the rear mounts to center the column in the firewall plate:

Worked on some brackets to mount a CSF radiator for a 05 Mustang I found second-hand to the tubed front end. It will sit about 1" over the top of the crossmember and be rubber insulated. I'll be able to use a stock fan which should pull plenty of air for the K24. No fill on the radiator but the coolant port on the back of the K-series head will be the highest point in the bay anyway. Will end up adding a neck and cap at the head:

The intercooler is a Treadstone TR8:

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3/16" is a bit overkill but oh well. They will be gusseted from the top as well:

I plan on running a 6 point cage and will use a Rhodes Race Cars kit as a start and adding some diagonal bracing later. The main cage hoop into the rear strut towers similar to what Team-z does on their cages. Bent some 3/16 plate to match the profile of the towers but I'm not happy with the large gaps on the sides. It would require too much weld to fill them so I am going to make a new set that will fully capture the towers like the Team-z unit, then weld them to the chassis top and bottom:

Team-Z unit for reference:

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I love this build! And the attention to detail is very promising, the Fox looks extremely clean. The rust is unfortunate but it looks like you're taking the time to restore glory to the chassis.

I myself own both a 93 Civic Si that I'm in the finishing stages of a full turbo restomod on, and a stock (for now) 89 Mustang GT. It's really the best of both worlds, two iconic classic cars from the same era that are polar opposites in terms of platforms.

Keep up the good work, it looks amazing! I also admire your barn/property, I have a good work area for myself which I'm grateful for but eventually definitely want a larger slot of land.
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Got the new rear strut tower caps done and the flywheel showed up! Engine and transmission are officially mated:

The k series will sit at its factory 15* angle


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