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The 7thGen: Should I Swap or Turbo?? FAQ

Old 10-04-2005
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Exclamation The 7thGen: Should I Swap or Turbo?? FAQ

Okay.. like myself and a few others on here. We get tired of seeing the same questions and answers get asked day in and day out on a regular basis.

Well like myself i once was a newbie and many others on this site as well. But of course as time goes you get irratated of the fact that many new comers to the site either ask a specific question or dont know what to do so the most common answer almost most people give and i am sure you have seen it at one point is SEARCH.. Anyways we are by no means trying to be mean or anything just we get tired of seeing the same things.

So in short this is the reason behind me writing this. You probably seen things that i have written such as the DIY: DX/LX head swap to EX and the VAFC2 Wiring which both can be found in the DIY and the most recent one being the K20 swap DIY cause i know alot of people were asking about it. Now i will attempt to tackle this commonly asked question to my ability and what i can find.

--------------------------------------------

SHOULD I SWAP OR TURBO?

Very good question in deed and lets start by looking at the cost of each

Turbo swap can range in price from as low as i have found it is $1000
Now that was a used kit with pieces missing from it. Turbo seals were gone and needed to be rebuilt. So basically to get this kit running you would need to invest at least $1000+.

A new turbo such as dezods turbo kit goes starting at about $3100+ for the core kit. To as much as $3800+ for the value package. Kits will cost more for other stuff that are not included such as boost controller and turbo timer. That stuff right there will run an additional $400 so your looking around $4000+ for a pretty good kit

Now onto the k20 swap. I have the numbers posted on my K20 DIY but it will be posted here for the sake of getting things answered. Let me quote what i wrote on there.

Here is the pricing of the parts i paid for everything. All these parts were new from the dealer unless otherwise stated that i got it from the junkyard

k20 intermediate shaft.................$220
Axles from 02+ si.........................$100 from junkyard
RSX Subframe............................$600(quoted from acura) $150 from junkyard
Hasport Mounts............................................ .$400
Shifter Assembly.......................................... ...$100
Shifter Cables............................................ ....$300
02+ si radiator. i used the rsx radiator.................$150 (TYC brand)
fans.............................................. .................$30 universal fan from autozone
02+ si upper radiator hose..................................$13
02+ si lower radiator hose...................................$11
RSX Throttle cable............................................. $40
RSX Fuel Line.............................................. ......$45
RSX Brake booster line........................................$45
RSX Purge Line.............................................. .....$40
02+ si ac line from compressor to condensor............$100
RSX Clutch Line From slave to master.....................$20 from junkyard
RSX high pressure power steering hose...................$240
RSX Power steering return line...............................$50
92-95 Civic Power steering resevoir with bracket.......$50

Optional Stuff:
Hondata........................................... ................about $900
Hasport/Hybrid Racing Engine Harness....................about $300**
(complete new harness)

**they do offer a core exchange for a different price. if i remember correctly i think it comes to $150 with core exchange. But to be safe just call and ask.

So the grand total not including the motor on just the parts needed list for the swap comes out to roughly around $3754. Plus lets say 4% tax then that comes out to roughly 3900... give or take...

Just remember that this does not include the motor... i have seen complete motors that go for as low as $2000 for the SI to as much as $5000 or more for the JDM type R...

So now when you add everything that brings it up to roughly
$5900 or possibly lower to as much as $8900 or more

Also remember that you will not need to buy everything on the list if you have read my DIY... Basically you dont need the following
Shifter assembly
Fuel Line
Purge Line
Brake Booster Line

.. thats saving you at least $130.. if you can find a 92-95 civic single cam throttle cable that would save you a few more bucks


--------------------------------------

Short summary of pricing (gonna be a little generous on pricing a bit)
K20 swap = $5000 - $9000
Turbo = $3000 - $5000

--------------------------------------

Now it all depends on what your goal is and how much you want to spend.

Swap is the most reliable you can go. Lets say you get a k20a2 which is out of the rsx type s which is rated to put out 200hp. Now you basically have a motor in your car that puts out 200hp STOCK.

Now lets look at our D17 stock motor which is rated at 117hp on the EX model. So lets say you boost stock and you would roughly get around 150-170hp on 7-8 possibly 9psi of boost on your stock motor.

The most i have ever seen or read about that the D17 motors put out was 245hp on built internals. You can accomplish this same numbers on a k20 with intake, headers, exhaust, kpro and maybe some stage 1 cams.

So now if we play it by numbers based on HP. Now lets say our goal of 250hp is what we are shooting for. Lets try it from a turbo point of view.

Full turbo kit roughly - $4500
Rods & Pistons
Valves & Springs
Retainers & Turbo Cams - $2500
Port & Polish for turbo - $1000
Clutch & Flywheel for turbo - $600

So now our total is rougly $8600 give or take a few to get our car running 15psi to nake something close to what we are looking for. Now take this into consideration, after doing all that you pretty much have almost maxed out your motor and pretty much cant get anymore unless you get really down and dirty. Even then you have literally just dropped the RELIABILITY factor down the drain. You have now resorted to a full race car.


Now lets look at a k20a2 (type-s) swap. Lets say you can get a complete swap for roughly $6500. Now remember this price already includes the hondata k-pro.

k20a2 swap - $6500
intake - $150
headers - $300 (race headers)
full exhaust - $200 (custom 2.5in exhaust)
all motor cams - $800

So basically your staying all motor and keep the reliability factor and spend about $7950.. or better yet lets just say $8000 give or take a few. But then if you wanna be generous about it lets say the cams cost $1000 which adds another $200.... SOOOO... Lets bump the price up to i dont know... lets say ...$8500 just to be safe... then say general dyno tuning around $500. So thats roughly around $9000. And you also have to remember that you are still not using the full potential of the k20 motor. You can still upgrade the internals for higher compression and change and put in better cams and upgrade the valvetrain (valves, springs, retainers).



All in all to get roughly 250hp on both sides you saw the numbers that i have generally come up with. Remember that not everyone will pay the same amount for parts thats why i rough the price a bit.

What it really comes down to is HOW FAR DO YOU WANNA GO AND HOW MUCH MONEY YOU WANNA SPEND?


If its just for a little umph in your ride to get it going then get a TURBO

If you want the same umph you can also SWAP

If you want to really GO FAST but dont got alotta cash go TURBO

If you want to really GO FAST and got alot of money go SWAP

If none of these are for you then by all means GO NITROUS. Costs only $500




But you guys see where i am going with this. You have to ask yourself these questions first before asking everyones opinion. I tried to be non biased about this for some of you already know i have done it all from:
all motor d17
to turbo d17
and now the k20 swap.


--------------------------------------

Quotes from other people

Streetglower:
If you do it right and smart, turboing a d17 will yeild some big results. Everyone has there opinions, some would rather drop in a k20 and go from there. Others turboed and went from there. But I think the biggest thing to it depends on how much time and money you are willing to spend. Check out some of the turboed members on this site. Check out C2i0v0i1C, he has an LX that is turboed running 245 HP at the wheels. thats damn good on a stock engine that puts out barely 100 HP. But he also has internal engine upgrades. that helps also. If you turbo your car properly, then your engine and turbo should last a long time. If not, then you will have problems. Now if you arent experienced at tuning it, find a shop that has experience people who can help.

Now others want to drop in a k20 and go from there. But again it all depends on money. doing a swap can get expensive. But always remember, when you are adding all this extra HP, you also create extra heat. You are also pushing the engine alot harder which means you will need to upgrade stuff. Whether it be the internals of the engine or upgrading the internals of the tranny, something will give with to much power. But again, if done right, you will be fine.



xproductionz:
i have done it all.. almost..

i went from all motor d17 to custom turboed d17 to what i have now.. a k20

right now imma go all motor k20 and from there if i see the need for more its going turbo k20...

but see i have spent tons of money going from one to the next.. and it all depends on how much you can initially spend and how far you wanna go..

i have hit a dead end with all motor..
you can only go so far with turbo and built internals

so the next logic step is the k20... just all depends on how far and what you wanna spend



k20txem2:
Like everyone has said, If you decied to turbo i would say yeah go for it. only its going to caust you a few bucks to do it right. I have seen a lot of people strap on a trubo, run 6 or 7 psi and run it in to the ground. Yeah you can spent 2000-3000 bucks on a kit, but what are you really getting for it? When you turbo a car the reliablity goes down and there tends to be a lot more problems then doing something NA. But not to say that it cant be done right. I dont know exzactly what your going for here.

Personaly i decied that the swap was the better bet for my goals. I dont plan on selling my car anytime soon, and plan on making it as quick and reliable as i can. The swap gave me a better platform for making the car quick NA, although you can also turob the car. But if you ever plan on getting rid of the car, i would say turbo the car, its cheeper and you can always put the car back to stock. Doing the swap, you wil either have to sell it to a privat owner or bite the cost of everything you did to it.

Engine for powe K20 or k24 Frankenstine *cheeper than a K20*
Engine for price turbo



siharathb:
Turbo the d17:

I would prefer to put a turbo into mine, but I will not be biased, so I will tell you what I know (or think i know) about the two without trying to influence you.

What you need to do is ask yourself:
what is your goal for your car?
ie. how much horsepower? want a smooth ride? etc...

Turbo will be Instant Boost to the car, do you like that feeling? Of course extra power to the engine is always a good feeling but did you know that daily driving a boosted car will "probably" stress the engine more.

Another thing you want to keep in mind, if you have searched the threads there are "safety PSI" or pounds of boost you can run safely on a stock d17 engine.
You will run it at the safety psi, but if you are like me, you will get sick of the power and CRAVE for more and you are tempted to turn it up! Sure just for once, then later on you will think twice a week is not bad, then keeps on going, etc... get the point?

With turbo you want more and more, and it will probably be too late and boom ... bye bye engine... well thats me, if you're different I bow to you....

Okay, another thing about forced induction cars are their maintenance.... they are a PAIN...

High maintenance- Change oil at least every 3,000 miles +thicker oil
-colder spark plugs
-high octane gas (93+)
if you fall in love with the boost, you will like to floor it and screech your tires (decrease tire life)
the list goes on....

K20 swap:
Usually a little bit more money,
Very reliable swap because its a Normal Aspirated N/A engine. It will run smooth just like a d17engine but it has a DOHC i-Vtec. Will feel different throughout the powerband but maintains the smoothness.

You will probably get sick of the N/A VTEC engine and put on bolt-ons, and either rebuild for an ALL motor engine or go the Turbo route... because a turbo k20 will be probably the fastest combo for our cars.

So yes, less maintenance, more reliable, (if you keep up the high maintanence of a turbo) then the reliability is the same.

Personally, I would go for the boosted route because I have an Auto and I dont plan on swapping out into a manual because I want to drive an Auto.

Basically for me:
its base rsx for more than turbo for a lil bit more power than stock
or turbo kit with more hp and torque.


Final thoughts?

Basically,
Turbo d17 = more potential with less money

Swap k20= reliable, i-Vtec!, and more routes later on in your car's life like
build your motor
or turbo k20

If you dont want to spend $15,000 on your car to make it FAST
then go with turbo d17.



03-acura-1.7-el:
I'm not trying to convince one to go turbo route, but this is what I thought of.
Swapped car is definately not an easy seller, cant realy put old enfine back in and part out the ride.
Turbo kit can be taken off and re-sold as used (right now they go for $1500-2000 used). Engine can be returned back to stock and you see no traces of turbo mods...
High maintanance of turbo and 91+ gas, well its part of the package. If youre good with tools you will spend no more than few full days installing kit alone.
More to that, as one member offered to buy used kit. Here you go, no $6500+ need to get more power.....Buy a used kit, use it and resell it down the road. ....
Think twice.



xproductionz:
think about it a k20a2 which is a rsx type s motor already give you a starting point of 200hp.... comparable to a turbo kit which puts about 160-170hp at about 7psi of boost (feel free to correct me on this)

so basically lets think about it this way

k20a2 swap = $6000** = 200hp (stock)
D17 boosted = $4000** = 160-170hp (6-7psi boost)

------------------------------------

If you want to see a discussion we had on these you can check this thread out

http://www.7thgencivic.com/forums/sh...d.php?t=228443

------------------------------------

Hopefully this will help in your decision in going between turbo and swap.
If any info needs to be added let me know so i can add it or (if they want to) a moderator can do it.. hehe

Last edited by xproductionz; 10-04-2005 at 03:22 AM.
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Old 10-04-2005
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just stop tring to add stuff up and do both!!!
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Old 10-04-2005
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Swap Then Turbo! 8D
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Old 10-04-2005
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lol.. imma go all motor with my k20 setup and if i dont get good results imma going TURBO... lol
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Old 10-04-2005
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You cant really compare the k20a 200hp(at crank) to the turbo 170hp(at wheels). The RSX dyno's somewhere around the same HP to the wheels with considerably less TQ.
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Old 10-04-2005
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swap the K20 in, then turbo it

buddy of mine just dyno'd 300whp on his rsx-S turbo'd
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Old 10-04-2005
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Originally Posted by liljoe
You cant really compare the k20a 200hp(at crank) to the turbo 170hp(at wheels). The RSX dyno's somewhere around the same HP to the wheels with considerably less TQ.
heres a stock dyno run of a type-s.. 180.89hp to the wheels.. point being is that the swap still gives you a higher starting point



you gotta remember that i am just trying to show facts found on the web about both turbo and swap. I aint saying one is better than the other. Thats for the person to decide.

Personally i made 201hp to the wheels with i/h/e and kpro

Last edited by xproductionz; 10-04-2005 at 03:19 AM.
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Old 10-04-2005
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Originally Posted by HondaLuver
just stop tring to add stuff up and do both!!!
Remember that this isnt for me. Its general info for everyone to read and get general info to help decide. Not everyone who does a swap can afford to do both.
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Old 10-04-2005
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Great, thank you. I'm sticky'n this too....

If other have any further (useful) opinions as well, please add...
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Old 10-04-2005
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Originally Posted by xproductionz
heres a stock dyno run of a type-s.. 180.89hp to the wheels.. point being is that the swap still gives you a higher starting point
and who here was saying that my 170 whp dyno with intake was normal?
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Old 10-04-2005
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Just an hour ago, someone asked "about turboing d17" question.
I laughed!
I guess, the guy is blind, cant read, but can type and drive.
lol
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Old 10-04-2005
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lol
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Old 10-04-2005
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i wanted to add:

1) if you are an auto and want to turbo you wont be as fast as a manual because of the percentage lost from the tranny.

For example, stock auto EX civic with turbo kit and Stock manual EX civic with the same turbo kit and at the same PSI (pounds of boost) the manual will make more power about 15-20% more.

2) I am not sure about this myself, how about if you have a 2001 civic like me with 70K miles, I am assuming that it will decrease my engine's durability. Like instead of running, 8psi safe, it would be about 5psi safe? Or would it be the other way around because its been "broken in" more. The auto tranny will go to because it's probably to much heat and torque for our auto trannies to handle.

Bobby S.

PS: Please feel free to correct me if I'm wrong, I know some things about our cars but not all, and I encourage you to tell me if I'm wrong. I am here to learn.
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Old 10-04-2005
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the ex comes with 127hp
and i think in is hard enough to fit a k20 alone in the engine bay no way with a turbo sticking off it, but i could be wrong
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Old 10-04-2005
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Orrr you could take that 8 grand, sell your civic, get approx 12 for it and buy an actual type s, wrx, srt 4 (or something else that is faster stock), have a warranty (possibly), be completely stock, and still be faster. That is just my view on things.

Civic's don't go fast. There is no point in wasting the money.

Based on the amount of members who have gone from turboed civics to bigger and better things, it is just a harsh reality that the amount of money that it would take to make a civic actually fast is just not worth it when you could make a better car faster for cheaper.
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Old 10-05-2005
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goddamn this is EXACTLY what i have been waiting for... good post
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Old 11-24-2005
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Originally Posted by againifall
goddamn this is EXACTLY what i have been waiting for... good post
glad it could help
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Old 11-30-2005
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Well i dont know everyone is talking about k20 being so much better than a d17. No one gives credit to the d17. the ex has a 127hp, but with an cold air intake and 3" with greddy evo II i have been able to beat a stock k20. if you turbo your d17 just tune it so it runs stronger and smoother. over time save money and do internals for more power and reliability. k20 is good but not that good. civics have only one good advantage and that is that they are light. about 2400lbs. dodge srt-4 always have something to prove but they weight 2970lbs. ok in power to weight ration which determins who is faster. 2400lbs / 200hp boosted civic equals to 12lbs per hp. vs. dodge srt-4 weights 2970lbs / 223hp equals to 13lbs per hp. which makes the civic faster. ahh good luck.

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Old 11-30-2005
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Originally Posted by SleakCivic02
Well i dont know everyone is talking about k20 being so much better than a d17. No one gives credit to the d17. the ex has a 127hp, but with an cold air intake and 3" with greddy evo II i have been able to beat a stock k20. if you turbo your d17 just tune it so it runs stronger and smoother. over time save money and do internals for more power and reliability. k20 is good but not that good. civics have only one good advantage and that is that they are light. about 2400lbs. dodge srt-4 always have something to prove but they weight 2970lbs. ok in power to weight ration which determins who is faster. 2400lbs / 200hp boosted civic equals to 12lbs per hp. vs. dodge srt-4 weights 2970lbs / 223hp equals to 13lbs per hp. which makes the civic faster. ahh good luck.
well you gotta remember this is a pros and cons of both.. not meant to be biased for one or the other.. with that said lets see....

anyways this thread is a comparison between a D17 and a K20 in the civic.. we are not comparing a civic to other cars.. that can be saved for another thread...

based on personal experience i could not even come close to beating a stock rsx at the speedway.. if i find the video i will show you my vision proof of it.. and my car had a milled head with thinner head gasket.. intake headers and full exhaust running a vafc2 and it still was a no getter...

my question to you is if you read the entire first post?. because in that post i do state that its all a matter of preference and so forth.. it comes down to what you want your starting point of horsepower to be and how far you wanna go... and how much money you wanna spend..
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Old 01-04-2006
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awww wait, most turbo kits eliminate the catalytic converter huh.....
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Old 01-17-2006
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Noob here, but not to modifying 4bangers. Neither option is cheap. There is alot to be said for reliability. First off, no hassles with tuning. The key to turbo performance(generally speaking) is a well designed kit, a matched turbo, larger exhaust, and excellent tuning. The tuning makes you or breaks you. The cost to tune correctly is the added expense necessary to dial durability/reliability.
Swapping NA motors is fine, but in this case, overly costly IMO. Why throw $5k+ on a swap that will not provide the torque of a turbo? Torque is king, and turbo is the only way to get the most. $ for $, the 1.7 turbo is a better bang for the buck. But, as stated earlier in this thread, once you get the taste of boost, you will want to turn it up, and more boost means more tuning, beefed up bottom end....more $$$.
The choice is yours of course. If you are wanting to kill everything on the road, then money is no object. If you want a fun ride into the 14's, the turbo will get you there. As far as cost, in the long run, you'll never stop spending if you want real power.

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Old 01-31-2006
  #22  
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Originally Posted by SleakCivic02
civics have only one good advantage and that is that they are light. about 2400lbs. dodge srt-4 always have something to prove but they weight 2970lbs. ok in power to weight ration which determins who is faster. 2400lbs / 200hp boosted civic equals to 12lbs per hp. vs. dodge srt-4 weights 2970lbs / 223hp equals to 13lbs per hp. which makes the civic faster. ahh good luck.
i believe our cars are 2600 lbs, but close enough.
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Old 02-02-2006
  #23  
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OH MY GOD!!!

I really shock to see the price of setting turbo in your country, as well as the K20 motor price

Here in my country setting the turbo for D17 wont cost you more than $1500 (A very good kit) and $1000 for the kit not so good but still not blow of your engine

The K20 Type R engine which has 220HP is cost $3000 - $3750 (not include installation cost) but overthere is ****ing expensive!!!!

Anyway this trend help me alot

Thank you all you guys
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Old 02-07-2006
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K20a2 w/ BOOST
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Old 02-12-2006
  #25  
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Originally Posted by ManUtd0018
i believe our cars are 2600 lbs, but close enough.

sorry buy i have to prove you wrong
visit this site

http://auto.consumerguide.com/Auto/N...581/Act/Specs/


its only about 2400lbs.
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Old 02-16-2006
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Originally Posted by SleakCivic02
sorry buy i have to prove you wrong
visit this site

http://auto.consumerguide.com/Auto/N...581/Act/Specs/


its only about 2400lbs.
i dont think that's right, unless those are the specs of the civic DX. here's a link to the correct one bro. http://car-reviews.automobile.com/Ho...road-test/799/

2004 Honda Civic EX Coupe Road Test
Honda Civic Specifications

* Price Range (MSRP): $16,860 - $17,910
* Body Type: 2-door coupe
* Layout: front engine, FWD
* Engine: 127 hp, 114 lb-ft of torque, 1.7-L, 16-valve, DOHC I-4
* Transmission: 5-spd manual (opt 4-spd auto)
* Brakes (front/rear): disc/disc, ABS
* Curb Weight: 2,606 lbs
* Seating Capacity: 4
* Cargo Volume: 12.9 cu ft
* Fuel Economy (city/hwy): 31 / 45 mpg
* Warranty (mo/miles): 36/36,000 comprehensive - 60/60,000 powertrain
* Direct Competitors: Chevrolet Cavalier / Cobalt, Dodge Neon, Ford Focus, Hyundai Elantra / Tiburon, Kia Spectra / Spectra5, Mazda3, Mitsubishi Lancer, Nissan Sentra, Saturn ION Quad Coupe, Subaru Impreza, Toyota Corolla, VW Golf / Jetta
* Web Site: www.hondacars.com

and see how it says it's taken off of honda's official website?

and for the 2001 civic EX curb weight is 2590 according to edmunds.com from their test. http://www.edmunds.com/insideline/do...05/pageId=4089
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Old 02-16-2006
  #27  
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both of you are right the dx is a little more then 2400lbs the LX is about 2500lbs and the EX is about 2600lbs (also Autos are more.)

My 4 door LX with a K20 swap and full interior, no spare, no CF hood, about 1/2 tank of gas, came in a 2465lbs
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Old 02-20-2006
  #28  
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Originally Posted by caorndorff
both of you are right the dx is a little more then 2400lbs the LX is about 2500lbs and the EX is about 2600lbs (also Autos are more.)

My 4 door LX with a K20 swap and full interior, no spare, no CF hood, about 1/2 tank of gas, came in a 2465lbs

why would lx be havier than ex, because of the vtec head?? haha anyways, i think dx is a little lighter cuz it does not have power windows and mirrors. such stuff, but i dont think it would be that big of a difference but something in few pounds. the difference in dx,lx and ex is the engine head, and the trans. i think. correct me if i am wrong.

p.s. dont talk about automatic trans. we are only talking about manuals... thanks
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Old 04-10-2006
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Originally Posted by xkimsungminx
i dont think that's right, unless those are the specs of the civic DX. here's a link to the correct one bro.

2004 Honda Civic EX Coupe Road Test
Honda Civic Specifications

* Price Range (MSRP): $16,860 - $17,910
* Body Type: 2-door coupe
* Layout: front engine, FWD
* Engine: 127 hp, 114 lb-ft of torque, 1.7-L, 16-valve, DOHC I-4
* Transmission: 5-spd manual (opt 4-spd auto)
* Brakes (front/rear): disc/disc, ABS
* Curb Weight: 2,606 lbs
* Seating Capacity: 4
* Cargo Volume: 12.9 cu ft
* Fuel Economy (city/hwy): 31 / 45 mpg
* Warranty (mo/miles): 36/36,000 comprehensive - 60/60,000 powertrain
* Direct Competitors: Chevrolet Cavalier / Cobalt, Dodge Neon, Ford Focus, Hyundai Elantra / Tiburon, Kia Spectra / Spectra5, Mazda3, Mitsubishi Lancer, Nissan Sentra, Saturn ION Quad Coupe, Subaru Impreza, Toyota Corolla, VW Golf / Jetta


and see how it says it's taken off of honda's official website?

and for the 2001 civic EX curb weight is 2590 according to edmunds.com from their test.

Don't mean to jump in, but isn't the Civic EX motor for the 2004 year a SOHC and not a DOHC?

Also, my EX only has a Disc/Drum setup. I dunno what Edmunds is smoking, or maybe my rear "discs" are a little brown.
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Old 05-10-2006
  #30  
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ok so yeah ive read this whole thing and i would love to do a swap but my question is(cuz i live in cali) arent all swap illegal unless you bring it to the "referee"?.. dont get mad at me please cuz all i want to know is if its illegal in cali cuz i would love to do that but thats my prblem right now..
any info on this would help me out greatly.. again please dont get mad im just trying to get informed..thanks for any positive help
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