Top 10 Best Honda engine swaps

Top 10 Best Honda engine swaps


Whether you are an advanced Honda engine swapper, or you are just starting out, there’s a lot to learn and know about Honda engine swaps. Most important perhaps is what engine you choose to build and swap into your Civic. With Honda’s wonderful interchangeability and simplicity in which you can swap motors and transmissions, it’s easier than ever to swap a Honda engine.

That’s what our Top 10 Best Honda Engine Swap countdown is for, to help educate and show you what the ten best possible Honda swaps are. This guide takes into account several factors, from budget and cost to ease of install and of course power potential. The biggest part of planning your Honda engine swap is to make sure that you plan your project with high detail. The details will help you plan a course of action and decide what parts you need the first time, so you can swap your Honda engine the right way.

Before you plan anything of course you’ve got to remove your old Honda engine. Changing your mind on engine build or poor planning will always result in lost time and money. Do yourself a favor and use our Top 10 Best Honda engine swaps
list to help you decide what engine to swap into your Honda.

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Top 10 Best Honda engine swaps

Honda engine swaps are nothing new to the world of import performance. In fact without many of these popular Honda engine swaps, it's hard to imagine what sport compact tuning and small displacement engine performance would be today.

Whether you drive a Civic, Integra, Del Sol, or CRX, our Top 10 Best Honda engine swaps guide will help you identify what Honda engine swaps are most popular. This helps you plan ahead and avoid making any mistakes with your build, that waste precious time and money.

Of course if you are planning to do a Honda engine swap, or need some guidance on wiring, how to fix your VTEC, your engine swap harness or what Honda engine swap mounts you should use, our master primer article named Honda Swap Combinations shows you what fits what. Our guide to the Top 10 Best Honda engine swaps is ranked by cost, ease of build and of course the bang for your buck factor.

Hopefully this Honda engine swaps list will help you make a choice when it comes to swapping a Honda engine into your car. Do you see an error or a Honda engine swap candidate that we left out? Help us by contributing and making our Top 10 Best Honda engine swaps list more accurate.

If you are looking for more tech tips, How To's or DIY articles on Honda engine swaps or engine swaps in general? Make sure to check our links at the bottom of our Top 10 Best Honda engine swaps for more help with your Honda engine swap.


G23 Swap in a Civic

Apr 20, 2015
G23 Swap in a Civic

One of the best possible combinations of cost and horsepower, the G23 engine swap in a Honda Civic is not for everyone. Gone are the easy bolt in and swap guides, because most of this engine build will require some serious planning and engine work. This is a frankenstein of Honda engines, made up of several different Honda engine components.

The use of a SOHC 2.3 liter F23 shortblock with a H22 cylinder head can result in an excellent 2.3 liter VTEC Honda engine. People with the proper knowledge and patience and build an awesome G23 that delivers more power and torque than the K series engine, at a fraction of the cost. When installing an upgraded clutch, it's a good idea to step up your clutch master cylinder like this unit. It's designed to deal with the high pressure nature of your pressure plate in the 2.3 liter engine and allows you to shift faster and more crisply.

Where most K series engine swappers are going over 7,000 dollars in parts and components, the right G23 can be built for well under 2,000 dollars.

Why the G23 VTEC swap in a Civic works -

Torque - And lots of it with the 2.3 liter SOHC F series shortblock, and if you are looking for an all-motor solution the G23 VTEC engine swap is one of the very best.

Cost - Cheap and well under the cost of a K series engine swap or J series engine swap, you won't get a better dollar to horsepower ratio out of any other engine swap on our Top 10 Best Honda engine swaps guide.

Why the G23 VTEC swap in a Civic doesn't work -

Not easy - Again, not rocket science but if you just buy the parts and expect it to slap together, you've got another thought coming. The G23 is a great and flexible build, but again it's not for everyone. If you are not comfortable putting an engine together or checking for clearances, it's best to seek a pro who can help you with your project.


There are several choices if you want the best Honda engine swap possible. Of course when you are planning a engine swap, you need the best Honda swap mounts money can buy.

Want more articles and informational DIY specifications and How Tos on swapping a Honda engine or how to swap a VTEC Honda, check our guides below.


    • Hi Vincent, thanks for commenting!

      The H22 or H23 won’t fit into your 03 Civic without a custom motor mount kit and of course the shifter conversion, since the H series uses a cable assembly. Take a look at HASPORT or AVID for the motor mount kit that works for you!

      Sounds like a cool swap! Let us know how it turns out!

    • Hi James! Thanks for reading!

      As stated this is definitely a great choice as a base Honda engine swap. However it’s not easy and will require permanent modification to your chassis ( as well as your hood ) to fit a J series engine. Based on the other combinations we think that it’s perfectly fine at that position. Still a plenty good engine swap however if you are running a J swapped Civic. Thanks for commenting!

    • Hi Tony, sorry but the DOHC VTEC B16 won’t easily fit into the new 2001+ Honda Civic without custom mounts. No combination of Honda stock or factory engine mounts will get this Honda swap off the ground. Thanks for commenting!

  1. I have a 98 Honda Civic Ex with an automatic transmission , it originally had a d16y8 and I’m swapping it with a b18a1 what automatic transmissions will bolt up to my be 18 and work in the Honda Civic for PnP

  2. I have a civic sedan 95..can any one recomend me an engine which can simply run better..with a.c on..and can be installed easily..n does nt cost me frequent visits to mechinics. Plz email me ..i will be waiting for ur reply ..thanks aloot

  3. I have a ej8 that I’ve swapped to a b20z3 any ideas other than (headers an intake an strait pipe ) how to make it perform better ? Thanks

  4. I have a 95 civic hatchback and am looking for the best engine swap with max power but without over complicated the process

  5. hi guys I have a 97 civic coupe with a D16y5 engine I want a engine swap it don’t know the best engine. I’m not looking for the most expensive one just a good reliable engine to have fun in.

  6. I have a 97 civic hx with d16y5. Not sure what kind of swap to do. What would be the cheapest but best? And what would be the best regardless of price?

  7. What transmission do I run on the G23 swap im puting it up in a 1998 Honda Civic EK this is going to be my first build and I want to try it and what block do I use and what heads

    • Hey JDMTupe, thanks for reading.

      The transmission type can be a cable based H series from a Prelude, OR you can try the H2B conversion and use a gsr, B16 or LS transmission. There’s quite a bit more info out there on the G23 nowadays! Just make sure to clay bar it to ensure proper clearance and you should be very happy with this build. It sounds like a great swap let us know how it turns out!

    • Hi Lyle and yes, have seen quite a few rwd, awd Hondas. I think it’s fair to say that anything that’s been thought up has been done in the world of Honda by now. Thanks for commenting!

  8. Greetings,
    I blew the head gasget on my ’78 Civic and am contemplating on getting an engine swap. However, I do not know what my option(s) for it. Not looking to win races. Just want to be able to be able to safely keep up with traffic. Sincerely appreciate any suggestions!

    • Hi Leo, thanks for commenting.

      That’s a definite keeper of a car! unfortunately we don’t have much experience with the 78, however having custom mounts welded or created for you wouldn’t break the bank. The custom axles may however, so you could do decently with a D16Y8 and be able to keep up great. Spend a little more for a non vtec B18B or B18A engine would be another great choice.

      Let us know how it turns out! sounds like a great project!

  9. Appreciate the suggestions, John?
    Looks like I would now be on the hunt for a good mechanic/engine?
    Again, a big thank you for your valuable input John?

  10. I have a 97 Honda civic ex AT was looking to swap out the stock engine and transmission for something with a little more power and performance. Any suggestions?

  11. Hello,

    I’m finally back into the honda scene again. over 10yrs ago, I had a b16 ek coupe, but was very displeased with the low end tq. This time around I am pondering b/w a H2b swap and a b18c5. Its going into a 98 hatch. Regarding the h2b, is there issues with closing the hood all the way? Does one have to lose their AC and Power steering in the process? I love the idea of the TQ that the h2b would provide but I like my AC and power steering. Thanks.

    • Hi Stephen, thanks for commenting.

      Unlike the J series swaps, there’s no big issue with the hood closing.

      However getting AC to work may pose a challenge depending on what engine mounts you’ll be using in your EK hatch. The H2B works great for your chassis however, and using a Quaife manual steering rack it’s actually very nice around town, outside of parking lots and parallel parking.

      Sounds like a great project man, let us know how it turns out

  12. Great article. Currently racing in an asphalt 1/4 mile oval “supposedly” stock class. Everyone always pushes the rules, especially the Honda cars & after reading this article I realize their is possibly a huge horsepower advantage I may be giving up. Its where we lack right now, we are out of HP.
    Take a day or two, think about a car, we are allowed to lower cars to 4″ ground clearance (to lower point of chassis, not including suspension arms, links, bars, etc), what car, civic, del sol, Integra? Its supposedly a beginner division, but in any form of racing money is spent. So I know realistically it will cost a few bucks. But maybe give me an idea of a top 3 choices of, must be front wheel drive, non turbo, non rotorary motors, not bigger then 2.4 liter. Those are the basic rules. Something like….
    #1 94 Acura Integra B18. Or whatever. Cause it was the last year for whatever reason, you can swap x head, get so much HP. And so on..
    #2 2003 Honda Civic B23 combination you mentioned in article?
    #3 and so on…really appreciate the help and advice.

    • Hi Thomas, and thanks for commenting! racing a Honda in the stock class is awesome, and glad to hear from you.

      If cost is no factor, I would suggest a H22 VTEC engine, paired to a B series hydro transmission.
      If you are technically able, and want to save money, go with a G23 combination with a B series hydro transmission
      For budget builds, LS is great but ideally you want VTEC. You can opt for a GSR or B16 engine, and “fudge” the rules a little bit by using higher compression pistons.

      For transmissions try to consider the type of racing you’ll be doing. Autocross and smaller tracks will benefit from the shorter gears in a b16 or type r hydraulic transmission. High speed tracks or circle / oval track may warrant the longer gears in a LS tranny.

      Sounds like a great project, best of luck to you and let us know how it turns out!

    • Hi Juan, there’s lots of SOHC Turbo ninjas out there making a lot of power!

      Just remember don’t skimp on tuning or fuel, and keep boost low on a stock block!

      Thanks for commenting! Let us know how it turns out!

  13. Hello i have a 97 shell i got got for 400 and im doing a budget build for 3k so i have about 2600 left any ideas for motor and trans? But i would like to beat my annoying friend and his super fast scion tc lmaoo exaggeration⬅ its slow but he talk crap so i jus want it to be decently quick and relible

  14. Aloha Gentlemen,
    My husband is looking for a 1992 Accord engine. I’m trying to help him out.
    I found a 1996 Accord that’s been hit in the back and is now salvaged.
    Please, will this 1996 motor work?
    Mahalo, Hawaii Wife 🙂

    • Georgie, Hi thanks for commenting.

      Is this replacement 92 engine supposed to go into his Accord? If so swapping in a 96 will be problematic. I would recommend continuing your search for a replacement 1992 Accord engine.