06 Base K20A3 Engine Swap Help - Club RSX Message Board
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Old 02-12-2019, 08:49 PM   #1
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06 Base K20A3 Engine Swap Help

Hi, I have purchased a K20A3 (and clutch kit) to replace the K20A3 (and old clutch) currently in my base 06 RSX that has a cracked block. All of the sudden, the mechanic that was going to do it is too busy to do the swap anytime soon. The next best quote I got was $700 CAD more. So I started looking into doing it myself. I have some experience working on cars. I replaced the power steering rack, starter motor, and many other things on my 06 CTS. I searched this forum and only really found people swapping their A3s out for A2s or other superior engines.

So that brings me to my main question... Can I do this at home, in my garage, with my basic jack, hand tools, torque wrenches, etc. that I've used for all of my other fixes? Aside from needing to buy an engine crane and leveler.

I read through the engine replacement section of the shop manual in one of the stickies, and it was quite through, but that was using a lift and dropping the engine out the bottom by removing the subframe. Is this the best method even if you are just working out of your garage, or is it easier to lift it out the top?

My next question is what are the additional steps after getting the engine in and everything reconnected? I know I will need to change the oil, refill the coolant, and transmission fluid, but is there anything else? Do I need to tow it to a dealer to have the ECU reprogrammed or anything like that?

If I can do this myself, I will save about $2000, which is huge because I'm a college student. I have next week after midterms off and that would be a perfect time to do it if I can. Let me know any tips you know if you have done this, or any swap with the RSX in general.

Thanks
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Old 02-15-2019, 07:44 AM   #2
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Most people drop the engine out of the bottom with the rsx. I've seen them use the engine hoist to lift the front end of the car rather than the engine. Just be careful not to bend your radiator mount.
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Old 02-20-2019, 10:31 AM   #3
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All motor swaps are generally the same. If you have a good tool set, you should be able to get it done. I am using an engine hoist that I got from Harbor Freight for $180. I pulled the motor/trans out from the front. I had to remove: front bumper, radiator, condenser, front reinforcement bar, strut bar, axles, header, vac lines, clutch line, throttle cable, ps lines, ac lines, etc.

Some of the bolts were tight so be prepared with a breaker bar. I would make a list of everything that you need and make a step by step to do list. It will make the process much easier for you. Keep track of all your parts, bolts. Things are going to be all over the place so try to be organized, last thing you want is rush the motor in and slip on a socket.

As far as fluids, I spend about $150 on all fluids (engine, trans, coolant, power steering, ac).

In the end with fluids, parts, extra tools (hoist + random sockets) and the motor, I spent $1300. So yea, it's a big savings.


Here's my to do list (not in order):

Dc5 To Do List-
Spray down bolts with lube
Remove axles/wheels
Hook up sling/hoist
Remove motor mounts
Pull motor
Clean up + prep/paint engine bay
Drain oil from old motor
Fix shifter mech leak + bolt hole
Paint trans
Install flywheel + torque to 90 ft lbs (use blue loctite)
Use new pilot bearing
Install clutch + pressure plate + torque to 19 ft lbs (use blue loctite)
Paint new VC + Cure
Swap over all necessary parts to new motor (crank sensor, knock sensor, charge harness, engine harness, ps pump, alternator, ac compressor, water pump, valve cover)
Install slave on trans
Install painted vc + coil packs,
Mate motor + trans + lower plate
Put engine bay brackets, harnesses, lines back in place, power steering lines
Put motor mounts back in place (chassis + engine)
Oil change new motor
Trans fluid change
Drop motor in + plug everything back up (ac lines, power steering, engine harness, coolant lines, throttle cable + throttle body, intake, vac hoses, exhaust mani, clutch line, strut bar
Power steering fluid change + bleed
Clutch fluid change + bleed
Coolant flush + burp
Pick up ac line (Geneva $20)
Ac line replacement + fluid
Pressurize Ac system
Rotate tires
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Old 02-20-2019, 12:15 PM   #4
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I had to remove: front bumper, radiator, condenser, front reinforcement bar, strut bar, axles, header, vac lines, clutch line, throttle cable, ps lines, ac lines, etc.
I have most of the stuff out of the way, but the AC is still intact. I'm starting to consider dropping it out the bottom. If I do go the route of taking the AC apart and going out the top, how do I safely disconnect the AC? The car is in my garage, and of course I don't have one of the AC discharge machines.
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Old 02-20-2019, 12:54 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by buhler955 View Post
I have most of the stuff out of the way, but the AC is still intact. I'm starting to consider dropping it out the bottom. If I do go the route of taking the AC apart and going out the top, how do I safely disconnect the AC? The car is in my garage, and of course I don't have one of the AC discharge machines.
Do you have tall enough jacks to pull the motor from underneath? That's how I removed my transmission one time.

Unless you have the equipment or take the car to a shop to have them discharge the ac, it's going to be "environmentally unsafe". I don't recommend doing what I did but here you go, I loosened the lower right condenser line/bolt a little at a time while lightly pulling on the line until it started to leak ever so slightly. Then I covered it with a towel and put a large plastic bag over it. I was able to catch most of it that way. I let it leak out while I left the garage for 30 mins then came back and continued to remove the ac parts.

I suppose if you unbolt the ac compressor, you may be able to move it around to get it out of the way without unbolting the lines. I've never tried that so unless someone wants to chime in. I've always had to remove the ac components when doing a motor swap.
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Old 02-20-2019, 01:09 PM   #6
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I suppose if you unbolt the ac compressor, you may be able to move it around to get it out of the way without unbolting the lines. I've never tried that so unless someone wants to chime in. I've always had to remove the ac components when doing a motor swap.
That's what I was wanting to do, but I don't think I'll have enough room to get the engine and transmission out the top, even if I can move the line over a bit. I don't think my jack will go high enough to drop it out the bottom. I can try though, because I have taken a good amount of weight out at this point.
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