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Fit for The K - Honda Fit

The Ultimate Engine Swap For Your Honda Fit

Text By , Photography by Brian Gillespie,

Subtle, cute and economical are just a few of the words that come to mind when describing the new Honda Fit. If the "Fit is GO! " as Honda's catchy slogan suggests, perhaps Honda engineers should have considered shoehorning an engine more horsepower worthy of the H-badge, rather than a 1496cc engine that delivers a measly 109 hp. Long before the Fit was delivered to the U.S., countries in both Asia and Europe were already well acquainted with the Fit/Jazz as performance products began to trickle into the market. Fit fanatics began spending hundreds of dollars on aftermarket components, in hopes of doubling their horsepower. But, unfortunately for many, the gains of 5 to 10hp weren't what they expected from their Fit.

Hasport Performance, located in Phoenix, Ariz., has taken the Honda Fit to a new level. Although the K20 and K24 Honda motors have long been rumored to fit within the Honda Fit's engine bay since its debut, few have had any success. Hasport is one of the few companies to carefully analyze and perfect the K-series installation for the Fit, while creating an easy-to-install engine swap kit for any savvy customer to tackle on their own.

Forum chat rooms and performance shops have been abuzz recently with rumors that the engine height and hood clearance were major setbacks when dropping in a K-motor. In hopes of putting these rumors to rest, we asked Hasport marketing and product development guru Brian Gillespie on what is truly fact and what is fiction. "The engine bay in the Fit is tall due to the configuration of the Fit engine. While there seems to be a debate on what works and what doesn't, both the K20 and K24 engines will fit and engine height is not a factor. The intake manifold has to be the snail style manifold found on the RSX type S, 2002-2005 Civic Si and JDM ITR and CTR up to 2005. The snail manifold is more compact and is the only one that will clear the Fit radiator." Upon further research, we found out that the 2006 Civic Si intake manifold will cause clearance problems due to its larger plenum and less tapered intake runner setup. Gillespie continues by saying "The shape of the rack and transmission case also dictated the height the engine was mounted. As it turns out, the bottom of the engine wound up being the same height as the front suspension cross member. Side-to-side placement was also a no brainer. The K-series engine is as wide as the Fit engine bay. In order to keep the K-motor from rubbing, we moved the engine a little towards the driver side and notched the frame rail for clearance."

If you're thinking this is a simple B16 swap in some Civic scenario-think again. Although most of the parts involved in making the k-series dream come true are straightforward (minus the header, which will be explained as we continue), the piggyback ECU setup, which requires two ECU's (factory ECU and Hondata K-Pro), is unique to the Fit swap and a necessary component for the dash, electronic power steering motor, and throttle body drive-by-wire-system to work. Communication with the car and ECU is CAN Bus and information for the dash and climate control is handled through this system. CAN is known as Controller Area Network and is found on many of the newer vehicles sold on the market today. While the factory ECU plays an integral part in controlling many of the factory features, the Fit harness was also modified by Hondata to fit the K20. Along with making the harness fit, the VTEC solenoid wiring and crank position sensor no. 2 wiring were added. With the unique feature of running two ECU's, the Fit ECU and K-pro unit were reflashed to run in a piggy-back configuration. The ECU was then modified to take the '06 Si input shaft speed sensor as the signal was converted to use the Fit ECU.

We asked Gillespie what he considered was the hardest task in dealing with the swap. With a grin and a look of despair, all paired into one, Gillespie said, "Getting the damn motor in. It is too large front to rear. You have to come in from the bottom and wind up rocking it back and forth to snake past the core support and front suspension crossmember." Not fun if you've dealt with tight engine bays.

As Hasport Performance continues their R&D with the Honda Fit and K-motor transplant, Gillespie and his crew push forward with new designs and various revisions on their soon-to-be-released swap kit. As this article is being written, there is currently no stock header known to fit perfectly with this swap. Hasport is currently in works with Jackson Racing to design and manufacture a bolt-in header which will be available by the time the mounts are released to the general public. Just imagine... a 600hp, K-powered Honda Fit screaming by you on the track as if you were standing still. No doubt, you've just been owned by a Honda Fit.

HOTBOX
Hasport Performance
http:// www.hasport.com
Hondata
2341 W. 205th St.
Torrance
CA  90501
3-10/-782-8278
www.hondata.com
The Driveshaft Shop
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