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Thread: New Member, looking to convert from Carb to FI 1989 Accord

  1. #1
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    New Member, looking to convert from Carb to FI 1989 Accord

    Just introduced myself in the new member thread.

    I am a seasoned mechanic with my own shop and am looking for some advice going forward on this conversion.

    I want to turn our 1989 LX into an LXi.

    I know I will need the complete intake manifold, with injectors, throttle body, blah, blah, the black box, the airbox, and the ECM.

    A complete 89 LXi got set at my local wrecking yard, I was there today and the engine compartment is still complete.

    I'm sure I will need a complete engine harness, and am unsure as to the ECM harness, or how that even works with the existing harness.

    Can anyone tell me what else I am going to need to grab?

    I am excellent with wiring (wired up the Tuned Port Injection in my S10, and the AMG 5.4 in my Chrysler Crossfire), so I am absolutely certain I can pull this off.

    My goal is to have OEM appearance, and OEM performance. This car has 127k miles and will be my wife's daily driver for her 7 mile commute. We both really like 80's Hondas and she will drive this car for a very long time.

    Jared
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  2. #2

    Dr_Snooz's Avatar
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    Re: New Member, looking to convert from Carb to FI 1989 Accord

    Dr_Snooz

    "I like to take hammers, and just break stuff, just break stuff." - Beavis


    1989 Honda Accord LX-i Coupe, 240k miles, MT swap, rear disc swap

    Shop manual downloads available here: CLICK TO VIEW

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    Re: New Member, looking to convert from Carb to FI 1989 Accord

    The link is dead, please can you post another info...Im in the same process.But for aerodeck

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    Re: New Member, looking to convert from Carb to FI 1989 Accord

    It looks like that link is dead. Which is gonna be a problem, but not a big one. You see, the thread wasn't really a guide on how to do the swap. It was a brief rundown of all the work that you'd have to do to get it done. One read through the list would convince 99% of guys to do something else. The other 1% was convinced by 2 reads. It was massive work and included highlights such as removing the dash to replace the wiring harness behind it, removing the interior to run a gas return line, and replacing the gas tank. I don't think even 5 guys have ever completed the swap. At least not on this board.

    If the work involved doesn't dissuade you, then consider doing a B-swap instead. There's a lot more documentation available, better aftermarket support and you won't be swapping in a bunch of 30 year old junkyard parts. If you can weld up a set of engine mounts, you might even consider a K-swap. That would be a rare swap and give you the most modern engine available. When done, you'd have bragging rights and a very reliable daily driver. The K is possibly the best engine ever built by Honda and is highly sought-after by tuners and enthusiasts.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Oh, and welcome!
    Last edited by Dr_Snooz; 11-28-2020 at 10:39 PM.
    Dr_Snooz

    "I like to take hammers, and just break stuff, just break stuff." - Beavis


    1989 Honda Accord LX-i Coupe, 240k miles, MT swap, rear disc swap

    Shop manual downloads available here: CLICK TO VIEW

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    Re: New Member, looking to convert from Carb to FI 1989 Accord

    I already have ep3 , and got a donor car with a20a4, but i wanna swap the efi in my a20a2.Want to use the old engine cause i like it. My main question is :Is there any differences apart from the compression ratio and is that going to cause problems with my a20a2 running ok..Btw my dash is out cause my windshield was really bad glued and there is little rust on the frame.Work is not a problem

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    Dr_Snooz's Avatar
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    Re: New Member, looking to convert from Carb to FI 1989 Accord

    The long block should be identical. The only differences will be the valve cover and the distributor mount. Both are easy to swap. I believe the front motor mount is different, though it's apparently very difficult to find, so you're better to keep the carb mount. The manifolds will be different, and the exhaust. The intake will be almost impossible to remove with the engine in the car, so consider swapping the head with everything still attached. This was still a fairly simple EFI system, relatively speaking, so you shouldn't have much trouble getting it to run. I haven't done the conversion, and only read over the guide maybe twice, so I'm no expert. You have two cars to compare and you'll know when it's running so there you go. Take lots of pics and keep us updated on your progress.
    Dr_Snooz

    "I like to take hammers, and just break stuff, just break stuff." - Beavis


    1989 Honda Accord LX-i Coupe, 240k miles, MT swap, rear disc swap

    Shop manual downloads available here: CLICK TO VIEW

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    Re: New Member, looking to convert from Carb to FI 1989 Accord

    What about the pistons and rods?And crankshaft.I can swap the pistons with new set of rings but not sure about the rods.

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    Re: New Member, looking to convert from Carb to FI 1989 Accord

    The a20a4 bottom end is slightly higher compression, I would just get the engine out of the LXI and use whatever is still in good shape. Pretty sure the heads are the same save for the cam (I think there are several different slightly varying grinds and what you get is a lottery). Only difference in bottom end is the piston dish size, a4 has less dish so more compression. If you have to go as far as replacing pistons you might as well go .040 over fuel injected pistons and surface the head. If you are worried about the cam being wrong I would just send it to Delta cam for a regrind, it will be higher lift, but its a known baseline. It will run good though.

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    Re: New Member, looking to convert from Carb to FI 1989 Accord

    The whole gymnastics is to register it with its original motor but at the same time to be 122hp.Tnx for the info.I will swap the pistons and use my crank and rods.Then use the efi head with cam.

  10. #10

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    Re: New Member, looking to convert from Carb to FI 1989 Accord

    I see. You can get brand new .040 over pistons and rings for under $100 plus the cost of the bore. Depending on the condition of the cylinder it could be egg shaped and you won't get it out with a hone, I often see a little bit of scoring on these engines with high miles. Mine has some, but not enough to lose a significant amount of compression, those old rings are seated, but if I did bottom end work I would not want to rering it without a bore. I'll tell you what though, if you don't spend any money on the head, a cam regrind will get you the number you want, honestly without it I'd bet you sit around 100hp... If you do want to do head work just get the seats, valves, and guides done for reliabilities sake, mill it a small amount, and replace all of the valve springs with the exhaust valve springs (you will need 3 sets of exhaust valve springs) and have your head guy set the seat pressure. The head does not need to be ported or anything expensive, the ports are already huge. I recommend arp head stud kit 218-4703 to keep the head gasket from doing Honda things, but if not make sure you replace the bolts. All of that is a practically untraceable mod and the factory computer won't care, hell it will run more efficiently.

    I am not trying to talk you into building a badass motor... ok I am, but you don't have to do all that, I just don't want you to put new rings in a 30yo bore and then it start smoking like a coal train in a week.

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