How To CB7 H22 Swap

How To CB7 H22 Swap


The fourth generation Honda Accord spanned the years between 1990-1993 and is commonly called the CB chassis. Because this is the first Accord to come with the F series engine that shares so many traits with the DOHC H series engine found in the Honda Prelude, the CB7 H22 swap is very common.

This is a big reason why Honda swappers on a budget love this year range of Honda Accord, and when properly setup can result in a sleeper unlike any around your city.

If you found this page looking for how to make your 1990-1993 Honda Accord faster, this particular Honda swap has a lot to offer for you. Looking for a complete Honda engine swap guide that’s not focused on the CB7 chassis or the H22 VTEC engine? Try here for our comprehensive and complete guide on Honda engine swaps and don’t forget Part 2 where we focus on the H series.


This checklist will help you complete your Honda swap if you own this generation of Accord and want the DOHC flexibility of the H22 VTEC. Further, the new H2B drivetrain modifications have brought about a revival of the H22 in many ways that are now becoming more and more common.

Before you use this CB7 H22 swap guide, make sure you know how to identify your H22 engine. Because there’s several versions and places to buy your donor engine from, you must know exactly what version you have. Knowing how to identify and evaluate the H22 engine you are looking to swap in can help you avoid buying the wrong H22 engine.


CB7 H22 Swap Engine Checklist

When you are looking for your donor engine, make sure to stick to a OBDI to keep the headaches to a minimum. You can of course opt for a OBDII H22 engine if you really need to, but you’ll need changes to the distributor as well as the alternator for it to plug into your Accord.

  • H22 longblock
  • Ignition distributor
  • H22A Intake manifold
  • exhaust manifold and B pipe
  • P13 OBDI ECU
  • Factory fuel injectors
  • Fuel rail
  • Engine wiring harness

Because your motor mounts are the same or similar between the H series and the SOHC F series in your CB7, focus on building the accessories and maintaining the engine before install.

Smogging your Honda Swap


If you own a swapped CB and live in California, things can get a bit sticky when it comes to smog or emissions. Planning your H series swap properly by making sure to pick an engine from a newer year than the car, and all the emissions equipment will go a long way to legalizing your Honda Swap.

For more details on smogging your Honda swap, check here for our guide on 50 state legality. Check out a customer’s build below where we swap a H23 into a CB7 for under 2000 dollars and it’s completely smog legal.

Tune Up


Before installing your H series engine into your Honda Accord, it’s best to perform a tune up on the engine before install. After all changing the timing belt and especially the balance shaft belt is much more difficult in the car.

Here’s a short list of the parts you’ll need for this swap – We are using a 1996 Honda Prelude H22A in this example.

  1. Timing Belt – This Prelude part number for this unit is 14400-P13-004 or 14400-P13-014 depending on the year of your H series. For the 1996 H22 VTEC engine, this is a 155 tooth belt and does not feature any timing marks on it.
  2. Balance Shaft Belt – Probably the biggest bummer about the H series, you should remove the balance shaft belt assembly if this engine is designed for racing. It’s one less point of failure for your H series, and there’s not much vibration or harshness that’s saved by retaining the balance shafts.
    1. The 70 tooth balance shaft belt found in the 96 Honda Prelude H22A has a few part numbers, depending on several options.
      1. 13405-PAA-A01
      2. 13405-PAA-A02
      3. 13405-PAA-A03
      4. 13405-PT0-004
  3. Water Pump – Many engine swappers skip this step but that could lead to disastrous results. Instead swap this unit now to ensure that your water pump and timing components are in tip top shape. The part numbers for this Prelude water pump are 19200-P13-000 or 19200-P13-003.
  4. Thermostat – Ditch the old JDM or used part to make sure that coolant is flowing into your radiator and doing it’s job. There’s also a few part numbers for the thermostat on your H series engine, they are 19301-P13-000, 19301-P13-305, 19301-P13-306, 19301-P8C-A10 or 19301-PR7-305.

Don’t forget the usual stuff, like a new oil filter, spark plugs and fluids. If you are keeping your balance shafts, make sure to service the donor H22 engine with a front balance Shaft Oil Seal Retainer Kit. Depending on the engine you’ve selected, you may need the manual tensioner from a H23 engine.

Wiring the VTEC

If you need to add VTEC to your existing wiring harness, this is easier than you may think. There’s two components that will need to be wired in order to add VTEC to a Accord. One sensor is the VTEC oil pressure sensor, and the other component is known as the VTEC solenoid.

How To Install a Skunk2 VTEC Solenoid

Check here for our guide on how to wire up VTEC to your existing P13 ECU, and always check your other engine sensors if your VTEC isn’t kicking in. The Manifold Absolute Pressure sensor (MAP), throttle position sensor (TPS) and your knock sensor (KS) can be some of the leading causes of VTEC not working.

How To Troubleshoot VTEC
How To Troubleshoot VTEC

Parts you need to keep from your SOHC Accord Engine


There’s several things you will need to do in order to complete the CB7 H22 swap into your Accord. One of them is keeping some of the old parts from your engine and chassis in order to swap over to the new DOHC H series engine.

  • Front water pipe and sensor – Because this pipe properly routes the upper radiator hose outlet in position, it’s best to keep the complete pipe. You can in a pinch cut and reweld the H series DOHC water pipe, but keeping your old unit is way easier.
  • Fuel Rail – Locate this from a USDM 1992-1996 Honda Prelude or reuse your old Honda Accord CB7 rail. If you have a JDM engine, your fuel rail inlet will be located on the wrong side.
  • Air conditioning compressor and pump with bracket – If you are intent on keeping those creature comforts.
  •  92-95 DOHC Prelude Power Steering Line – This is the high pressure side that must be swapped in if you are swapping to a Prelude power steering pump. Most people simply grind away extra material from the F22 pump and bracket in order to bolt onto the H series engine. However it may hit your hood depending on how you’ve mounted it, so it’s best to make the jump to the Prelude pump.

Important Honda Accord and Honda Prelude Interchangeable Parts include the following ;

-The Honda Prelude H22 & H23 Si distributors are the same.
-Your alternator and mounting bracket is the same between the 1990-1995+ Accord as well as the 1992-2001 Prelude
-Honda Accord and Prelude Power Steering Pulleys
-Honda Accord and Prelude Harmonic Balancers otherwise known as the crankshaft pulley.
-OBDI H22/H23 Power steering lines, pump, tensioner and mount bolts
-H23/H22 upper intake manifold plenum and throttle bodies
Have any questions about our How To CB7 H22 swap your Accord guide? Leave them for us below and let us know!


    • Hi Andrew, thanks for reading.

      Newest would be a 2001 although it’s not recommended to use an ECU from 2000+ onward. The reason is behind the OBD2B as well as the key immobilizer feature that would have to be bypassed.

      Thanks for commenting!

    • Hey Joe! Thanks for commenting!

      Yes! the H22A4 is a great swap candidate for your CB7! Let us know how it turns out sir!

    • Unless you have a real reason to keep the F series transmission, it’s best to switch because you’ll be mix and matching quite a bit of stuff to make your SOHC transmission work in this example. If you are using an auto however you might not have a choice, so if you own a auto CB7 you can make it work. However it’s not ideal because you’ll also need the Prelude transmission ECU as well. Let us know how it turns out! sounds like a great swap!

  1. First I have to say this article was very helpful so thank you lol. I was wondering what you would estimate the cost of this swap in its simplest for to be? And also if you had any tips for a Honda noob? Thanks again though man.

  2. I have a 92 cb7. I bought a 97 jdm h22a I got a p28 socketed and chipped for an h22a what I am having trouble with is figuring out what harness to use. Any help?

  3. Hey guys, needing some more info and help here, I own a 90′ CB7, love the car just having it as my project car right now cuz i wanna rebuild it from the ground up and I already know how I want my car to look and everything, but aside from that, I do want the H22 engine, but which version is recommended for it? I was referred to a friend of mine that knows hondas and such and recommended me an engine such as the H series because I was wanting something that’s not too slow and not too fast like a race car, I would think you can put any engine in cars now a days, but my question is, what’s the difference of the H22A4, or A1, or others? I just want to know which one is recommended for mines so that way I am aware of what to get and have a successful swap, I’m really excited for this project to revive my car and get it running again. But if you guys can give me some info, id definitely appreciate it thanx guys 🙂

    -Ricky proud CB7 owner

  4. Hi. I have a 91 cb7 and a 95 h22a1 . And I always get the egr and knock code . My question is what is the proper vacuum line routing for this swap with out Cruise and no iar. Also under the intake behind the block there is a box what is it and what plugs into it. It’s close to the oil pressure switch I believe.
    Thanks in advanced.

    • Hi Josh, thanks for reading.

      Couple of questions, when you say no iar do you mean there’s no IAC? If so the vacuum routing should be fairly simple. But if you keep getting knock and EGR check engine codes, this could be related to your vacuum routing. Did you transfer the vacuum hoses and EGR from the 95 Prelude?

      The block under your intake is probably your charcoal canister or EGR vacuum block. It should be connected to a metal bracket under the intake manifold correct? Check out a replacement unit in a 1995 Prelude and try to transfer the entire block and vacuum lines over. Are you using a stock H22 intake manifold? Let us know and we can help. Thanks for commenting regarding your Honda VTEC Swap

  5. I put a h22 a motor in my cb7 and it bogs out also can’t get the full rpm Rev out the motor. Using a p28 ecu won’t run it. The f22 ecumenical is what I’m just to make it go. What key wire pointers do I need to know?

    • Hi Robert, quick question

      what ECU are you running again? You are definitely right the P28 won’t work for your H22. Are you using the factory harness in your CB7 swap?

  6. Hey guys im completely new to the process of engine swapping i have added a few tiny mods like a short ram air intake and a muffler myslef but nonthing with the actual engine its something i want to do on my own as a dream because i love this car. Its a 1992 honda accord ex and i just want to know what is the best engine to put in for max hp but also not going to ODBll, it sounds harder than just keeping ODB1. I guess what im asking whats the newest year h22 engine that i can put in and not have to interchange the least amount of parts for it to fit i know ill have to change somethings but for my first time id like it to be a great learing experience and i do plan on doing many more mods after i accomplished this.

    • Hi Kwane, I would stick with a H22 from a 94 and under to stay OBDI. This eliminates the need for a OBDI to OBDII conversion and a lot of other headaches if you live in a smog regulated state! Thanks for commenting!

  7. Hi recently just swap jdm h22a obd1 on 1993 accord using p13 ecu after driving for a while car sometimes hesitate or looses power on certain rpm and come back up any idea what causing it?

    appreciate your help thanks

  8. Hi, I’m new to the Honda world and kinda confused with the car I’ve purchased. I bought a 97 Honda Accord ex coupe, and didn’t know that the previous owner had swapped the engine with an h22a4 until I drove it for roughly a month then stated having problems with the idle. Fixed that issue, then had a problem with the distributor not getting spark. So I replaced the distributor with a new one but it still gets no spark. Now I’m thinking it’s a bad wiring harness, but with how the previous owner chopped up the wiring ,there are so many miscellaneous random wires and missing pigtail plug missing I don’t even know how he got the car running. I guess what I’m trying to ask is , what wiring harness can be used if my ecu which I checked and is a p28 ecu chipped, what harness can I use with that ecu to work with that engine. Also I don’t know what year the engine is just that it has h22a stamped into the block and the sn# is 300728. I could really use some help plz . Thanks.

    • Hi Angel, thanks for reading.

      The problem you are describing is a common one. Honda swaps can be a real problem when you buy one used and the previous owner doesnt know what hes doing. To answer your Honda swap question, there are many harness and ecu options that can run your H22a4. However because the car did run, let’s get it running first.

      open your distributor and check for power to the unit. it’s a black and yellow wire. It should lead to your internal trigger, and without power there’s no chance of your car getting spark. If you have power there, we can begin testing for spark at each coil and wire. Check for power at the Honda distributor first and we’ll go from there. Let me know what you have at the Honda power wire and I can help with your Honda swap.

      Thanks for reading.