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My D17A6 to JDM D17A Engine Swap Thread

Old 08-01-2013
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My D17A6 to JDM D17A Engine Swap Thread

Hello,
Well, in my last thread I mentioned I was thinking about selling my 2002 Honda Civic HX Coupe for something else, because it was beginning to burn oil at 184,000 miles. As of yesterday the car started to overheat. I changed out my thermostat but that did not help, so I took it to the shop. The shop ran a pressure test on the cooling system and a test to check for hydrocarbons. It was discovered that I had gas in the coolant leading them to believe it was a problem with a cracked head or bad O rings. With the amount of miles on the car they could not give me a warranty on any work on the head and recommended a new engine. This shop had a D17A2 with 30,000 miles but wanted over $5,000 for the engine and labor.

So I've made arrangements to have the car towed to a shop down closer to the city, that does engine replacements frequently. They had a D17A2 for $800 with almost 80k miles. They can swap the engines for under $1,200 in labor.

I found a JDM motor Wholesaler over an hour away that had over 10 JDM D17A motors in stock. They are not marked with the last number 1-6, where 1=LX, 2=EX and 6=HX. He assures me that the JDM motors can be used in all models from 2001 - 2005. Because the motors are shipped from Japan, he can't provide an accurate count on the mileage, However he says his average is 50,000 miles. He offers a 90 warranty on the engine, which is about the same as a salvage yard. So I will be driving down tomorrow morning to pick up the motor and then bring it to the shop to be swapped out.

So I will use this thread to chronicle this process, ask question to those who have been through this and hopeful report how great of an experience it has been.

I've already asked the mechanic to change the timing belt and the water pump. Are there any other services I should have done or inquire about?
Are there any important questions I should be asking?

The Shop Performing the Engine Transplant is:
All Star Automotive
1015 Old Eastern Ave.
Baltimore, MD 21220
(410)238-3001
Shop Manager: Ron

The Shop I purchased the JDM D17A Motor from is:
MD JDM Motors, INC.
7800 Airpark Rd, Unit 8
Gaithersburg, MD 20879
(301)869-2400
Shop Manager: Brian

Thanks!

__________________________________________________ _________

Update 08/06/2013

Just drove my car home from the shop. I really have to say I thought this was going to be a major hassle. It was not. Last Thursday I had my car towed to the shop and I drove to there in my truck and he lent me a spare tire for the engine transport. I drove the the JDM Engine shop, purchased the engine, no hassle, everything looked good, they loaded it and helped me strap it down. Drove back to the Shop and dropped off the Engine.

They began working on my car yesterday (Monday) and I was able to pick up my car this afternoon (Tuesday). The car drove home great, no smoke, overheating, CEL, or anything. It's hard to say on one drive, and it was raining so I kept things low key and cruised the highway up to 80mph. No heavy accelerating. But the car felt responsive.

My total was $1,831.50. Which in my book is a majorly good deal.
Engine - $530
Tow - $75
Misc Parts - $251.41
Engine Labor - $960

In regards to the HX D17A6 to JDM D17A conversion:
They had to order a new Vtec Solenoid, so I may lose a couple GPM there and my vtec now probably kicks in at 3,200rpms instead of 2,300rpms. Not a big deal to me. I could not use the Exhaust Headers on the new engine, because the HX has an extra O2 sensor on the headers. I wish I could. My heat shield was garbage and fell apart and my headers are cracked and have a small leak that I need to get repaired. They had to use the HX wiring harness.

Misc. Parts that you may be able to purchase and bring in to save money:
Engine Oil - 4 quarts
Thermostat and Thermostat Gasket
Oil Pan Gasket
Exhaust Manifold Gasket
Air Filter - In this case I threw out my ebay short ram air intake and went back to stock
Water Pump
Timing Belt
Antifreeze
VTec Solenoid & Gasket
Honda OEM Power Steering Fluid


Reviews
I will do my best to come back in 90 days and update this thread. You can always email me. Based upon my experience thus far I HIGHLY recommend the two shops listed above. Ron was completely awesome to deal with. Very knowledgeable and friendly. The shop specializes in engine and transmission replacements. He did a thorough inspection of the engine, taking the oil pan off, and also sanded down my flywheel and inspected my clutch. So far I am very happy.

__________________________________________________ ___________

Another thing I should mention. Because I supplied the motor, and did not get the motor through the shop, the shop doesn't supply any warranty. I still have the 90 warranty on the engine itself. But that is only on the $500 engine. I still feel good about the engine, after talking to Ron at the shop. He was impressed with the condition of the engine and said it was much better than what he gets from junk yards. Plus when he gets an engine from a yard, there still was no certification on the mileage of the engine. I was under the impression that you would get something certifing the mileage, but you don't.

Last edited by 4jacks; 08-07-2013 at 06:46 AM.
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Old 08-01-2013
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Re: My D17A6 to JDM D17A Engine Swap Thread

Here is a Link to pictures of the JDM D17A motor:
http://s6.photobucket.com/user/4jack...how/JDM%20D17A
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Old 08-01-2013
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Re: My D17A6 to JDM D17A Engine Swap Thread

Japanese D17A doesn't have a number at the end, because they are solely JDM production.
From what I know, it's slightly better than the A2, and I think you can use the A2 ECU.

I would have the valve lash adjustment done while it's there as well.
If you like, I would have a crower stage 1 cam installed while at this time as well for a little performance gains.

How much are they charging for the D17A's?
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Old 08-02-2013
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Re: My D17A6 to JDM D17A Engine Swap Thread

Well to update. I have gotten the car towed to the shop and picked up the engine and dropped it off at the shop. It was about an hour away.

Originally Posted by Kennykid2002 View Post
Japanese D17A doesn't have a number at the end, because they are solely JDM production.
From what I know, it's slightly better than the A2, and I think you can use the A2 ECU.
That’s good to know. I have the A6, which from what I read somewhere, the ECU should work, it is very close to the A2. I am thinking that my MPG will decrease slightly, but I may gain a whooping 3 or 4 horsepower. I still have the manual transmission gear ratios of the HX, so I should still get better gas mileage than an EX. I do a good amount of highway driving.

Originally Posted by Kennykid2002 View Post
I would have the valve lash adjustment done while it's there as well.
If you like, I would have a crower stage 1 cam installed while at this time as well for a little performance gains.
Is there something I can read up on the Valve Lash Adjustment. I googled it, and it seems like a performance tuning thing. Do the valve lash’s get knocked off a bit out of proper adjustment over time so that they should be reset? Or is this strictly a performance issue?

8 years ago I would of put in the performance Cam. Now I just want reliability and good gas mileage. I am having the guy take off the ram air and put on the stock air intake.

Originally Posted by Kennykid2002 View Post
How much are they charging for the D17A's?
I paid $500 plus tax, so $530. Which is an extremely good deal. The engine had the air filter, power steering, alternator, thermostat, plugs, distributor cap and headers. Pretty much everything was still bolted onto the engine. This will make the installation easier, and give me my old working parts for spares. The repair shop manager was impressed with the deal I got. He looked the engine over and thought everything looked really good. He should be able to start on it Monday.
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Old 08-03-2013
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Re: My D17A6 to JDM D17A Engine Swap Thread

That's a good deal on the engine.

As for the valve lash adjustment, it's not so much a performance tuning, as it is a service maintenance.
It should be done every 30K miles or so.
The engine doesn't suffer much when valves have been loosened, but the engine will be a lot quieter with the adjustment.
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Old 08-03-2013
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Re: My D17A6 to JDM D17A Engine Swap Thread

That is a great deal on the engine! What is the name of the place with the engines. I am not to far from you and might want to take a look at what they have.
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Old 08-05-2013
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Re: My D17A6 to JDM D17A Engine Swap Thread

Originally Posted by GolNat View Post
That is a great deal on the engine! What is the name of the place with the engines. I am not to far from you and might want to take a look at what they have.
The place is called
Maryland JDM Motors
7800 airpark rd. unit 8
Gaithersburg, MD 20879
1-888-975-2142

I will post a full review when I am done. So far so good. My only complaint is that I have no proof of exact mileage on the engine. But the condition of the engine appears to be within the 50,000 miles area.
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Old 08-05-2013
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Re: My D17A6 to JDM D17A Engine Swap Thread

Sweet! Thanks!

A review would be great.
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Old 08-06-2013
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Re: My D17A6 to JDM D17A Engine Swap Thread

Got my car back, first post is updated!
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Old 08-06-2013
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Re: My D17A6 to JDM D17A Engine Swap Thread

Sounds good.

Your HX engine, most parts will not be compatible.
You will find more compatibility with the D17A2 engine, or the EX
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Old 08-07-2013
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Re: My D17A6 to JDM D17A Engine Swap Thread

Originally Posted by Kennykid2002 View Post
Sounds good.

Your HX engine, most parts will not be compatible.
You will find more compatibility with the D17A2 engine, or the EX
By most parts, do you mean the alternator, power steering, and etc?

I still have to go through my Box-O-Parts. But I was honestly thinking I would put them on Craigslist for a couple bucks, rather than put them in the attic for who knows how long, until something breaks.

Even then, say my Alternator dies. An Alternator isn't the most difficult thing to replace. But it's not super easy either. I've replaced one before on an ecclipse. The fact is, if it dies on a Friday Afternoon, in my driveway, I may take a pleasant Saturday morning to replace it with the one with 185k miles on it, just to see how it long it lasts me. However if it dies while I'm out, or in the rain or snow, then it's going to the shop. And I'm not paying on labor to put a part in that has 185k miles.

So I think I will just post a craigslist ad and sell them pretty cheaply.
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Old 08-21-2013
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Re: My D17A6 to JDM D17A Engine Swap Thread

Went through the first full tank of gas on the new engine. 35.4mpg. It is a slight decrease from typical driving on the HX, but still pretty good.

One thing that came up. On the second day after the engine transplat the A/C went completely luke warm. It was not ice cold when I brought it in, but this was absolutely no cooling power. I hooked up a can of refridgerant with the gauge to the lower connection and filled it up. When the gauge first hit, it was absolutely empty. The needle on the gauge was barely above the pin.

Is it normally part of the engine transplant process to remove the refridgerant?
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Old 08-21-2013
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Re: My D17A6 to JDM D17A Engine Swap Thread

If they took off the AC Compressor, probably.

Alt replacement is pretty straight forward, probably a 20-45 minute job.
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Old 08-26-2013
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Re: My D17A6 to JDM D17A Engine Swap Thread

Thanks, good to know it's not something non-related.

I will keep try to updated this thread in the future if I have any trouble. In the mean time, if anyone is considering getting similiar work down, feel free to email me for an update.
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Old 08-28-2013
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Re: My D17A6 to JDM D17A Engine Swap Thread

Hey, did your JDM engine come with a transmission? I see the air box has clips instead of screws.

I think this is their website.
http://www.md-jdmmotors.com/
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Old 11-04-2013
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Re: My D17A6 to JDM D17A Engine Swap Thread

Originally Posted by nsrhonda89 View Post
Hey, did your JDM engine come with a transmission? I see the air box has clips instead of screws.

I think this is their website.
http://www.md-jdmmotors.com/
Sorry for the late reply.
Please anyone, feel free to email me if you have any questions, I will reply as soon as possible. I know when your car needs a new engine it sucks, so I will try to be as much help as possible.

That is the correct website, but seems to be down today.

My engine did not come with a transmission. They had transmissions available for $500 at the time of my purchase. Even some that were still bolted to the engine. Still an Awesome deal.

I also got an email and want to update the thread and answer those questions in the thread.

I've had the new engine for almost 5,000 miles now and it's doing great.

You do Not need to replace the cam gears from the D17A6. They will fit the D17A.

The Vtec Solenoid from the D17A6 will not work with the D17A. You will need a new Vtec Solenoid and Solenoid Gasket. Not a major cost.


I had the timing belt and water pump changed at the same time. The engine is out of the car, so there is no sense in not changing these. I had about 60-70,000 miles on the timing belt and water pump. If you know that your timing belt and water pump are brand new, then perhaps you have no reason to change them.

The other items I listed were necessary to perform the swap from a D17A6 to the D17A. Your shop should be able to provide them, I listed them incase you can obtain them less expensive elsewhere.

Thanks Again!
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Old 07-13-2015
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Re: My D17A6 to JDM D17A Engine Swap Thread

Got this great information from a Civic Owner who reached out to me about the swap on his 2004 Civic HX. Added for the benefit of anyone else.
__________________________________________________ _____________

I thought I would update you regarding my recent D17A6 to D17 engine

swap. My son in law and I performed the swap ourselves so this info

comes from the first hand experience we had with this.



1) The original HX V-Tec control solenoid works perfectly on the D17A with 1 minor exception:

The controller on the D17A engine has a bolt in place of an oil sending unit on the

the North American Market engines like the D17A6 to monitor oil pressure. It is necessary

to remove the bolt on the side of the Japanese controller and thread on the sending unit from

the original D17A6 Vtec controller. This seems like over kill on the American engines….by the time

sending unit on the vtec sends a warning, I guarantee your engine is fried.



2) The PCV Valve (Positive Crankcase Ventilation) is threaded into a black gloss-painted plate

that is bolted to the rear of the block on the D17A6 motor. PCV hose is attached to that.

The D17A has no visible PCV valve. That same hose attaches directly to the same plate however.

I am assuming the PCV is somehow internal to that plate and the block itself.



3) The primary Oil pressure sending unit has a completely different connecting plug and is completely

different on the Japanese-produced units. The JDM powerplants typically are delivered with

this being intact so it is necessary to remove the old wiring and plug and connect it to the

new engine. Don’t be a dunce cap like me and figure this out when the engine is already installed.

The sending unit is grounded to the block so it is only a single wire but it is above the oil filter

on the rear of the motor. Your choices at this point are 1) Splice wire and heat shrink tubing or get it switched

out with massive headache. Save some grief and perform this simple correction before the engine install.



Note: I think you’ve covered this but the original intake from the HX must be used. Japanese models

are right-hand drive and there are numerous design differences under the hood to accommodate

this. Rest assured, however, that all intake connections: (Fuel, Vacuum and electrical) are fully

compatible.
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