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Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
6/25/14 3:20 p.m.

Maybe we should refer to the Honda J35 as a GM L66 instead. Then it would get the credit for torque

Apparently, the engine was used in the Saturn Vue, and that's what GM calls it. Thank you Wikipedia.

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
6/25/14 3:30 p.m.

The owner of Mini Tec said it was all about the Benjamins. If my math is correct, I'm looking at about $18,000 for a Flyin' Miata V8 swap, and that doesn't include the engine.

If I can do a bolt-in Honda V6 swap out the door for $3k or $4k, now we have an alternative for our market. Yes, Keith's car makes more power at idle, but it also costs more to duplicate.

Bobzilla
Bobzilla PowerDork
6/25/14 3:36 p.m.
Keith Tanner wrote: Maybe we should refer to the Honda J35 as a GM L66 instead. Then it would get the credit for torque Apparently, the engine was used in the Saturn Vue, and that's what GM calls it. Thank you Wikipedia.

Nope, still feels torqueless! Remember? GM sucks.

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
6/25/14 3:56 p.m.

Your math is fuzzy.

You can do an LS swap for less than $18k. The prices on the FM website are for buying everything brand new and not doing any of your own work. If you don't want to do any engineering of your own and want something where you can beat the crap out of it on the track, then that's what you want. You now have a brand new driveline and fuel system and cooling system that is overbuilt for whatever you'll ask of it. That FM list is full disclosure, every single ziptie and hose clamp and roll of electrical tape needed. Nobody lists engine swap costs that way, just like almost no kit car manufacturers give an honest accounting of how much it costs to finish one of their cars.

If you want to use a junkyard engine/clutch/trans/diff, do your own wiring, figure out your own way to attach the GM PS pump to the Miata rack, use a standard rad with pieced-together hoses and weld up your own exhaust, use the standard 5/16" fuel lines to feed a 350 hp LS1 - then it will be considerably less to drop an LS motor in your Miata. Not $3500, of course, but you do end up with a fully upgraded driveline without potential weak spots. And the best part is, if you want to go in with your eyes open, FM has provided a list of all the areas you need to take into consideration. This is unusual.

Does the $3500 include a fuel pump upgrade? You'll probably want one for that fuel volume, especially if the Honda setup uses a fixed high pressure. Does it include exhaust? A clutch? The recommended 3.9 rear end? If the Honda PS pump is used, are all the appropriate fittings included? If not, then you're not comparing apples to apples. $3500 sounds like a good price for a subframe, a transmission adapter and a modified intake on exchange. But that leaves a lot of loose ends to be cleaned up. This is realism.

I think this swap has got some potential, and I wish the car had stuck around for Sunday at the Mitty so I could have checked it out. But at the moment, the costs are the hand waving optimistic types and the power numbers are of the internet "just add a chip and an exhaust" type. I'm looking forward to seeing more info and details on how they made it work.

dculberson
dculberson UberDork
6/25/14 3:57 p.m.

I'm excited for the swap because while LS series engines are getting more common they're still not as thick on the ground as the J35 v6. There's always at least one seemingly complete Honda 3.5 v6 in the yards around here. Usually more than one. They sold about a half billion of them and a 10 year old mini van doesn't take much to send it to the yard.

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
6/25/14 4:00 p.m.

I admit it's fuzzy math. I see it as an alternative--just like a turbo, supercharger or whatever. In this case, it's a way to add some displacement for what looks like a fair price.

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
6/25/14 4:15 p.m.

I'm looking forward to finding out more.

Joe Gearin
Joe Gearin Associate Publisher
6/25/14 4:34 p.m.

Has anyone tracked one of these Honda engines? I wonder if they need a baffled oil pan, or other mods to deal with high-g loads. Unless this was the engine designed for the NSX years ago--- chances are the engineers didn't expect it to see track duty. Honda engines are usually very stout--- but there are a lot of unanswered questions about this swap.

For street use, a turbo miata is pretty hard to beat cost vs. performance wise. For track duty--- like Keith mentioned, the V8 FM swap is a great choice as it's been through so much research and development---- from a very reputable company that will support you. This Honda swap has promise, but there are many variables that need to be considered.

It may be an ideal middle ground between a turbo and a V8 swap. It may also be a pie-in the sky dream that never makes it to production at anywhere near the costs estimated. We'll see......

Hasbro
Hasbro SuperDork
6/25/14 5:24 p.m.

I had a Honda six and absolutely loved it. It would be a beautiful match with a Miata, I think. A 300 hp six and a coupe kit like what Keith shopped ( much better than the original) and I'm there.

There are a bazillion guys out there that believe that the Honda motors are the greatest motors ever. That's a huge market, mark my words.

unk577
unk577 Reader
6/25/14 6:43 p.m.

It would be interesting to find out what the actual cost is for those that have done an LS swap. All the comments so far, for the most part, speculate that it is expensive.

While some cost are fixed, such as the kit used to perform the swap, everything else is open to what you can wheel n deal. I bought my LS for less than the price that is being thrown around for the Honda motor. Not every LS swap is going to cost what it does from FM, but you are essentially paying for parts and labor for a new car with them. No swap will be cheap unless you're swapping from a 1.6 to 1.8.

And for anyone that wants a V6, the LFX comes in a lot of different GM vehicles and can be found cheap.

DirtyBird222
DirtyBird222 UltraDork
6/25/14 8:50 p.m.

I love me Honda V6s (aside from doing T-belt swaps) but you can have yourself a GM 5.3 or 4.8 out of a truck with similar power numbers and more torque for the same price as the Honda V6 and you don't have to worry about pesky timing belts. However, I would enjoy this swap and would drive a Miata with it. There I said it.

dculberson
dculberson UberDork
6/25/14 9:59 p.m.

I can get one of the 3.5 Honda motors today for $170 + $50 core charge from Pick N Pull. I can't say I've ever seen an LS motor that was complete at Pick N Pull.

Now, motor price is only the beginning, but that's one heck of a cheap beginning. Once swaps get more common I'm sure the motors will become a bit more scarce.

beans
beans Dork
6/26/14 2:35 a.m.

On the intake manifold issue, the newer Odyssey touring intake manifold is pretty low profile, cheap(ish) and unlocks a TON of power, especially in the midrange. The engines really respond well to a set of headers, the factory manifolds are pretty crap. Even with cheapo ebay headers, it's not uncommon to see almost 20whp unlocked and an equal amount of torque.

This J32A2 swapped Accord ran 13.6' at 104mph, before the headers, on a stock ECU, small exhaust, making 'only' about 240whp/220tq on less than optimal 'fitment' wheels/tires, and snaps axles a LOT(mainly from custom mounts that are probably causing a bind). There's a ton to unlock in these engines, 300whp isn't too terribly uncommon on stock bottom ends and as cast heads with fairly mild regrind cams that are just starting to hit the market. E36 M3, Honda already makes a 300+hp version and sticks it in a couple of cars, and many of those parts can be retrofitted to the earlier engines. Just look at that torque curve! A GOOD set of headers, decent exhaust, and a tune should easily be able to unlock another 30+hp out of this engine, and it's only a 3.2L! My friend's Accord that I posted in the for sale section makes over 250whp, as well. http://www.hondasociety.com/board/showpost.php?p=2304966&postcount=326

Just imagine that in a Miata, without having to deal with aftermarket bolted on boostcharger issues. These engines are TOUGH, too. As rowdy as they sound and as much as I want a V8 swapped miata, I just think it's gross overkill to a point where it's scary almost. A J35(or stroked to 3.7L using OEM components), with pretty much everything factory engine wise, with a 6-speed and a 3.63~ gear sounds way more up my alley than the LS swap idea, especially since it uses so many factory Miata components.

If this can get off the ground, it's going to be a very popular option, methinks. Even swapped into fatass Accords and Civics with poor launching, these engines are proving to be absolute beasts. They're extremely efficient, to boot. Most swapped cars are getting over 30mpg pretty easily. A friend's J35 swapped '96 Civic hatch gets 36mpg on the freeway and is a damn fast street car.

bravenrace
bravenrace MegaDork
6/26/14 9:56 a.m.

I've had both a 3.2 Honda and a 6.0 LQ4. In fact I've had a couple each of the Honda V-6 and LS. I'd take the Honda over the GM any day of the week for a swap into a Miata. The difference in refinement, power delivery and sound is astounding. For me, peak power and torque are not the only factors to consider in an engine swap. Balance, sound, feel, looks, NVH, and overall appropriateness of the engine to the vehicle all play a part for me, and the Honda wins all of those compared to the LS.

Swank Force One
Swank Force One MegaDork
6/26/14 10:03 a.m.

I'm trying to figure out the big advantage to this over the K24 Miata swap kit that seems to have beaten this to the market.

So far all i can come up with is "different." Not panning the J swap at all, but it's just something i'm wrestling with.

Zomby Woof
Zomby Woof PowerDork
6/26/14 10:06 a.m.

Priced out a K24 lately?

dculberson
dculberson UberDork
6/26/14 10:11 a.m.
Swank Force One wrote: I'm trying to figure out the big advantage to this over the K24 Miata swap kit that seems to have beaten this to the market. So far all i can come up with is "different." Not panning the J swap at all, but it's just something i'm wrestling with.

70hp more in the commonly available variants of the motor seems like a very compelling reason. A "typical" k24 is, what, 170hp? The J35a4 that's all over the yards here is 240hp and it goes up from there. And that's the one I can get for $170+core. Start talking about less common variants of both and the hp gap widens - the K24 maxes out stock around 200hp, the J35a around 300hp.

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
6/26/14 10:21 a.m.

I think the obvious difference is torks. Two extra cylinders and a liter of displacement will do that for you. You know, if it's not too much for the car and inappropriate

Bobzilla
Bobzilla PowerDork
6/26/14 10:26 a.m.
bravenrace wrote: I've had both a 3.2 Honda and a 6.0 LQ4. In fact I've had a couple each of the Honda V-6 and LS. I'd take the Honda over the GM any day of the week for a swap into a Miata. The difference in refinement, power delivery and sound is astounding. For me, peak power and torque are not the only factors to consider in an engine swap. Balance, sound, feel, looks, NVH, and overall appropriateness of the engine to the vehicle all play a part for me, and the Honda wins all of those compared to the LS.

I'd rather have the 4.8 over teh 6.0 in something fun to drive. Rev's better and isn't overly torque heavy down low. In a car like the miata where rear tire size limits what you can put down, moving the torque up the rev range a little isn't a bad thing.

ProDarwin
ProDarwin UltraDork
6/26/14 10:37 a.m.
Swank Force One wrote: I'm trying to figure out the big advantage to this over the K24 Miata swap kit that seems to have beaten this to the market. So far all i can come up with is "different." Not panning the J swap at all, but it's just something i'm wrestling with.

Isn't the K24 kit obscenely expensive? Whats the J35 weigh compared to the K24?

If people are truly putting ecotecs into miatas, I'm trying to figure out the advantage of either of those vs. a simple LSJ swap.

Swank Force One
Swank Force One MegaDork
6/26/14 10:50 a.m.
Zomby Woof wrote: Priced out a K24 lately?

Yeah, they're fairly cheap in the US. There's a few under $1000 within an hour of me.

Swank Force One
Swank Force One MegaDork
6/26/14 10:53 a.m.
dculberson wrote:
Swank Force One wrote: I'm trying to figure out the big advantage to this over the K24 Miata swap kit that seems to have beaten this to the market. So far all i can come up with is "different." Not panning the J swap at all, but it's just something i'm wrestling with.
70hp more in the commonly available variants of the motor seems like a very compelling reason. A "typical" k24 is, what, 170hp? The J35a4 that's all over the yards here is 240hp and it goes up from there. And that's the one I can get for $170+core. Start talking about less common variants of both and the hp gap widens - the K24 maxes out stock around 200hp, the J35a around 300hp.

I'm looking at the K24 from a "lighter, more zing-y, more huger aftermarket" perspective.

Again, not saying the J sucks.

A worked K24 in the 260-300whp n/a range attached to a miata 6psd wearing a 4.77 kia R&P out back sounds like the bee's knees.

Swank Force One
Swank Force One MegaDork
6/26/14 10:57 a.m.
ProDarwin wrote:
Swank Force One wrote: I'm trying to figure out the big advantage to this over the K24 Miata swap kit that seems to have beaten this to the market. So far all i can come up with is "different." Not panning the J swap at all, but it's just something i'm wrestling with.
Isn't the K24 kit obscenely expensive? Whats the J35 weigh compared to the K24? If people are truly putting ecotecs into miatas, I'm trying to figure out the advantage of either of those vs. a simple LSJ swap.

K Swap is $3995. Well in line with the J in question.

bravenrace
bravenrace MegaDork
6/26/14 11:29 a.m.
Bobzilla wrote: I'd rather have the Honda over the 4.8 or the 6.0 in something fun to drive. Rev's better and isn't overly torque heavy down low. In a car like the miata where rear tire size limits what you can put down, moving the torque up the rev range a little isn't a bad thing.

FTFY

beans
beans Dork
6/26/14 11:44 a.m.

Although a big cammed K can make that power, it's much peakier and less reliable than a nearly all OEM engine making more power under the curve with less reliability issues. J's are happy to eat 87 octane and make big power, too. Not to mention we're talking a stock tune and engine(J) vs a heavily modified and tuned one(K). Youre going tp be sinking another $3k+ ontop of the K to get it to $500 J35 power levels. The biggest downfall to the J is the lack of aftermarket in the camshaft and tuning areas. That gets solved, 300+ HP reliably will be common. Newer J's can take advantage of Hondata's flash pro, but they have single port exhaust side's on the heads. There's a lot left on the table for these engines.

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