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Honda Engine Swap 101: Find Engines and Swap Them


It is possible to fix the engine, but that can take a lot of time and money. Instead you might consider doing a Honda engine swap from another car with less miles on it






Honda Engine Swap

by Steve Unwin

How to find and perform a Honda engine Swap

Why do a Honda Engine Swap?

It is best to do an engine swap in a Honda because Honda engines are sturdy and long lasting engines. Having said this, they do eventually wear out.

The typical symptoms of an engine needing to be replaced are:

  • smoking,
  • rough idling,
  • burning oil,
  • failing smog tests, etc.

It is possible to fix the engine, but that can take a lot of time and money. Instead you might consider doing a Honda engine swap from another car with less miles on it. Or as an alternative, replace the engine with a brand new engine from the factory. These tend to be expensive.

A low mileage used engine can be found in other used Hondas that you can buy from a private party, or you can find them at the local scrap yard. It must of course have fewer miles on it than your current one.

What type of engine do you need?

Of course, you must find the right engine for your Honda engine swap to be successful. First find out what you have. Things to find out about what you have are:

  • the cubic inch or cubic centimeter displacement of the engine,
  • whether or not it has fuel injection on carbureted fuel delivery, and
  • other options such as cruise control.

The donor engine must match these specifications to the letter, but may come out of other Honda cars and different years. If you are lucky you’ll find one that comes out of a car which is nearly identical to yours, having less miles of course.

Determine what components must come with it

Engines typically come with accessories like:

  • cruise control,
  • power steering,
  • alternator,
  • starter,
  • air conditioning and so on.

To do a Honda engine swap properly, you need to ensure that the options that are on your car are also on the car that the donor engine is coming from. This way you won’t be sitting in your car in the middle of summer wondering why the air conditioning isn’t working right.

Where to find a Donor Engine

Don’t get taken by a rip off artist. Buying a used engine can be a risky thing to do, especially if the seller is not trustworthy. I recommend doing some homework, asking around about who can be trusted, and perhaps even consulting the better business bureau.

A good starting point to finding a used engine vendor is to check a website called They have a huge searchable database of used car parts from junkyards all over the country. They should be able to steer you to a few local used parts sellers that have the engine you need.

Getting on with the work

If you have never done a Honda engine swap you might consider paying a mechanic to do the work for you. This can actually be the cheaper method since they already have all the tools and knowledge to do the job right the first time. The specifics of doing a Honda engine swap depend on the particular motor so you should be sure to use a Honda Repair Manual if you plan on doing it yourself.


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