Elise engine conversion: Honda v Duratec

Elise engine conversion: Honda v Duratec

Author
Discussion

Lefty

Original Poster:

15,378 posts

160 months

Sunday 27th December 2015
quotequote all
Say your k-series hypothetically blew it's gasket (as they all do) and you fancied a bit more power and reliability. My Elise is high mileage and a bit tatty well-used so I'm not "wasting" a nice one.

K20 and 2.0 duratec installations are similar in price, around 8k all-in to get a 200bhp installation.

Honda k20

Pros:
Tried and tested, lots of experience out there
200+ bhp
Very reliable package
6-spd box
Vtec yo!
Good demand 2nd hand when it comes to resale which helps value

Cons:
Heavy (+50kg to an s1 elise)
Issues with driveshafts?
Hard to find low-mileage engine/box nowadays


Duratec

Pros:
Lighter than the k20
Less invasive - uses same transmission/drivetrain
Crate engines available
Similar power delivery to k-series

Cons:
Less common than k20 conversion
Harder to resell
Seems to lose value more than a Honda Elise
Only 150bhp as standard so needs some tuning (cams, ITB's etc)



Secret option 3 - tune the k
Pros:
Least invasive option
Originality

Cons:
Reliability!


Any thoughts?




Edited by Lefty on Sunday 27th December 08:43

arcamalpha

909 posts

122 months

Sunday 27th December 2015
quotequote all
If you're aim is no higher than the 200bhp mark then I'd just repair and possibly tune the K series.

Remember that a head gasket repair is well under £1000 and just another £500 or so would get you 25bhp with a decent slug of torque. I'd say that looks pretty tempting next to an £8000 upgrade! Also remember that the £8000 is just the start. You'll likely have other foibles come up after an engine swap and the temptation to do brakes, suspension etc.

If you want a bit more power, my understanding is that a K will quite cheaply go to 170-180bhp. It's only beyond that when things get a bit more expensive and reliability comes into question due to stress etc.

Take a look at the DVA website for rough prices on top quality K series tuning.

GTRene

11,764 posts

182 months

Sunday 27th December 2015
quotequote all
secret option 4 the audi engine?

http://wiki.seloc.org/a/Engine_conversions

Lefty

Original Poster:

15,378 posts

160 months

Sunday 27th December 2015
quotequote all
hehe Nope, I've no interest in a vaj turbo, has to be NA or if going forced induction a supercharger...

I've seen the DVA power website and the chap seems to have s good reputation.

How reliable is a rebuilt 180bhp k-series?

CrouchingWayne

603 posts

134 months

Sunday 27th December 2015
quotequote all
The appeal of the K20 to me is the Rev-happy nature of it and chasing the redline which is more in keeping with the original K series.

arcamalpha

909 posts

122 months

Sunday 27th December 2015
quotequote all
Lefty said:
hehe Nope, I've no interest in a vaj turbo, has to be NA or if going forced induction a supercharger...

I've seen the DVA power website and the chap seems to have s good reputation.

How reliable is a rebuilt 180bhp k-series?
More reliable than an original K I think. Give Dave at DVA a call though and I'm sure he'll give you an estimate of how far you can go reliably. The cost only increased significantly if you choose to do bottom end work rather than just the head.

kambites

60,060 posts

179 months

Sunday 27th December 2015
quotequote all
Supercharging the K-series might be another option?

I think I'd be going for a K20 though.

GTRene

11,764 posts

182 months

Sunday 27th December 2015
quotequote all
kambites said:
Supercharging the K-series might be another option?

I think I'd be going for a K20 though.
Indeed, could be very good, I drove (test) a Lotus Elise with 210 or 215 hp version back then (long time ago)
it drove very well with the rotrex system, so not such a screaming supercharger.

I guess, a supercharger with a bit boost can be better for such engine then a rover engine with high tune and high rpm.

Turn7

18,545 posts

179 months

Sunday 27th December 2015
quotequote all
Im a bit out touch of with Elise engine swaps, but can the Toyota be transplanted ? I know the K20 seems to add some value.

kambites

60,060 posts

179 months

Monday 28th December 2015
quotequote all
Turn7 said:
Im a bit out touch of with Elise engine swaps, but can the Toyota be transplanted ? I know the K20 seems to add some value.
I think the answer is that yes of course it's possible but why would anyone bother when they could just buy a factory Toyota car? If you're going to put the effort in to swap engines, the K20 is lighter, more powerful, more tunable and has a more linear torque curve.

Lefty

Original Poster:

15,378 posts

160 months

Monday 28th December 2015
quotequote all
Is the k20 lighter than the Toyota engine?

There have been all sorts of engine conversions done including various v8's, r32 vr6 etc but if I do go down the conversion route I want something tried, tested and proven. As close as possible to the original character of the k-series and without too much of a weight penalty.

Ive

195 posts

127 months

Monday 28th December 2015
quotequote all
If you want 180HP out of a naturally aspirated K with drivability, you need ITBs.. Check SELOC for regular sales ads of ITBs and air boxes. Or get a 2l block.
To do this cheap, 2nd hand parts can save a lot of money.
If you are unsure, I'd give Dave Andrews a call. He builds you any K you like or provides the parts you need if you feel confident building the engine yourself. Given you let the delicate machine work been done by the professionals, it is not that hard to do.
Ks even with high power are reliable these days freshly build as the weaknesses are now known.
In a Elise you can aid reliability by adding a electric water pump set-up. I use a DaviesCraig EWP80 plus controller. It helps eliminating one of the causes of HGF in the K, overheating cylinder heads causing them to anneal/turn soft. This usually starts in the exhaust valve area. The fire ring of the head gasket then indents the head, loses tension and fails to seal.
An other cause of HGF was porosity. DVA peens the ring area before skimming. An other way is to use a N-series head gasket. It uses a wider and flat seal section similar to most other OEM head gaskets. A shim is an other option. All solvable these days with readily available parts.
An other cause was poor liner protrusion and tilt liners due to bad manufacturing tolerances. If you build a K today this is checked, corrected and therefore no issue anymore.
There is also now a much stronger cylinder liner available preventing cracks in those higher power builds.
Then they were poorly manufactured head gaskets themself. Also fixed these days buying from the right people, e.g. Dave Andrews.

I would be surprised to see a HGF on a K these days on a proper build engine.
Of course, if your radiator leaks and you continue to drive without coolant, no technology helps saying that engine.

I have driven a K20 engined Elise and a supercharged K20 engined Elise. It is a blistering package giving the Elise a true race car feeling.
If you can afford it, do it.
Regarding supercharging the K20 in a Elise, some owners including a friend would not SC it again. It makes the car very very fast, but it is not necessarily better fun on track or the road. It makes it too fast at times. This though may be strange at first, but if you drive a very fast / powerful car a few times, you will know what I mean.

My K is supercharged with a Rotrex C30-94 and it works well. Not a low cost option, though.
It has survived a dozen trackdays unlike many factory Toyota or Audi engined cars.
Someone just got a Roots SC kit 2nd hand from a chap in Italy for about 2000 quid. Instant 230HP out of a VVC K with forged Pistons.

Today, I'd either get a 2nd hand SC setup, buy a factory SC Elise or buy a already converted Elise.
Saves the hassle unless you have a decent budget.

A factory Elise SC or S (supercharged) is a very quick car.

Avoiding ITBs on a K still gets you to very drivable and potent 160HP these days without reliability issues.
combined with a B4BP close ration gearbox it makes a very fast car both on the road and on track.

Edited by Ive on Monday 28th December 14:50


Edited by Ive on Monday 28th December 17:21

AntiLagGC8

1,309 posts

70 months

Monday 28th December 2015
quotequote all
I'd go with the K20 if it were me, fantastically reliable engine with a huge number of cars running more power from them. The engine in standard form is in my honest opinion far better than the competition.

Also do you still have the Impreza?

Scuffers

20,887 posts

232 months

Thursday 31st December 2015
quotequote all
Lefty said:
Honda k20

Pros:
Tried and tested, lots of experience out there
200+ bhp
Very reliable package
6-spd box
Vtec yo!
Good demand 2nd hand when it comes to resale which helps value

Cons:
Heavy (+20kg to an s1 elise)
Hard to find low-mileage engine/box nowadays
corrected that for you.

Scuffers

20,887 posts

232 months

Thursday 31st December 2015
quotequote all
Lefty said:
Is the k20 lighter than the Toyota engine?

There have been all sorts of engine conversions done including various v8's, r32 vr6 etc but if I do go down the conversion route I want something tried, tested and proven. As close as possible to the original character of the k-series and without too much of a weight penalty.
as a package (engine+box etc) the Toyota is heavier

bigger problem is it simply will not fit as the box is much longer.

In reality, the weight argument is one that's been banged on about for years, reality is the K is a very light engine, which is great, but the limitations are that it's also fragile once you start to push the envelope.

all the others, the V8 never existed outside of a wet dream and show mock-up, the VR6 engined car was just horrible in every possible way, etc etc.

Duratec is a decent enough engine, but once again, it was designed and built to a budget and to get high power from it your back to spending money replacing most of it's parts.

Upside to the K20 is the engines are massively over-designed/built, in standard form, (as in un-opened engines) they can stand ~400 Hp (or 1,000 if you're an American!)

Lefty

Original Poster:

15,378 posts

160 months

Thursday 31st December 2015
quotequote all
There's a rover v8 vx220 that's well documented.

Lefty

Original Poster:

15,378 posts

160 months

Thursday 31st December 2015
quotequote all
Ive said:
If you want 180HP out of a naturally aspirated K with drivability, you need ITBs.. Check SELOC for regular sales ads of ITBs and air boxes. Or get a 2l block.
To do this cheap, 2nd hand parts can save a lot of money.
If you are unsure, I'd give Dave Andrews a call. He builds you any K you like or provides the parts you need if you feel confident building the engine yourself. Given you let the delicate machine work been done by the professionals, it is not that hard to do.
Ks even with high power are reliable these days freshly build as the weaknesses are now known.
In a Elise you can aid reliability by adding a electric water pump set-up. I use a DaviesCraig EWP80 plus controller. It helps eliminating one of the causes of HGF in the K, overheating cylinder heads causing them to anneal/turn soft. This usually starts in the exhaust valve area. The fire ring of the head gasket then indents the head, loses tension and fails to seal.
An other cause of HGF was porosity. DVA peens the ring area before skimming. An other way is to use a N-series head gasket. It uses a wider and flat seal section similar to most other OEM head gaskets. A shim is an other option. All solvable these days with readily available parts.
An other cause was poor liner protrusion and tilt liners due to bad manufacturing tolerances. If you build a K today this is checked, corrected and therefore no issue anymore.
There is also now a much stronger cylinder liner available preventing cracks in those higher power builds.
Then they were poorly manufactured head gaskets themself. Also fixed these days buying from the right people, e.g. Dave Andrews.

I would be surprised to see a HGF on a K these days on a proper build engine.
Of course, if your radiator leaks and you continue to drive without coolant, no technology helps saying that engine.

I have driven a K20 engined Elise and a supercharged K20 engined Elise. It is a blistering package giving the Elise a true race car feeling.
If you can afford it, do it.
Regarding supercharging the K20 in a Elise, some owners including a friend would not SC it again. It makes the car very very fast, but it is not necessarily better fun on track or the road. It makes it too fast at times. This though may be strange at first, but if you drive a very fast / powerful car a few times, you will know what I mean.

My K is supercharged with a Rotrex C30-94 and it works well. Not a low cost option, though.
It has survived a dozen trackdays unlike many factory Toyota or Audi engined cars.
Someone just got a Roots SC kit 2nd hand from a chap in Italy for about 2000 quid. Instant 230HP out of a VVC K with forged Pistons.

Today, I'd either get a 2nd hand SC setup, buy a factory SC Elise or buy a already converted Elise.
Saves the hassle unless you have a decent budget.

A factory Elise SC or S (supercharged) is a very quick car.

Avoiding ITBs on a K still gets you to very drivable and potent 160HP these days without reliability issues.
combined with a B4BP close ration gearbox it makes a very fast car both on the road and on track.

Edited by Ive on Monday 28th December 14:50


Edited by Ive on Monday 28th December 17:21
Really helpful post, thanks! thumbup

I like the idea of building a reliable k-series, my Elise is 100% a road car, used all year round, probably 15k/year. Not looking for crazy power or ultimate performance but I want something that I can rely on. I think 150-160bhp would probably suffice but I don't have a problem with going for ITB's at a later date...

Scuffers

20,887 posts

232 months

Thursday 31st December 2015
quotequote all
Lefty said:
There's a rover v8 vx220 that's well documented.
XV220 is not an Elise with a K series.

the chassis and subframe are massively different.

also, only reason you would use a rover V8 is because you want a V8, power wise, other options are cheaper/easier.

Look, there are one-off all kinds of stuff, from Alfa V6 and Audi V6 turbo to V10/V12 installs.

BUT! there is a reason they are all one-offs.

and just because something can be done, does not make it a good idea to repeat.

Lefty

Original Poster:

15,378 posts

160 months

Thursday 31st December 2015
quotequote all
Scuffers said:
Lefty said:
There's a rover v8 vx220 that's well documented.
XV220 is not an Elise with a K series.

the chassis and subframe are massively different.

also, only reason you would use a rover V8 is because you want a V8, power wise, other options are cheaper/easier.

Look, there are one-off all kinds of stuff, from Alfa V6 and Audi V6 turbo to V10/V12 installs.

BUT! there is a reason they are all one-offs.

and just because something can be done, does not make it a good idea to repeat.
Yes, that's the point I was making:

Lefty said:
There have been all sorts of engine conversions done including various v8's, r32 vr6 etc but if I do go down the conversion route I want something tried, tested and proven. As close as possible to the original character of the k-series and without too much of a weight penalty.

bencollins

3,358 posts

163 months

Thursday 31st December 2015
quotequote all
The MG6 engine is an Over 75 turbo with all the foibles solved and a slightly stronger block (think its called the N-series), but similar weight except for +turbo mainfold and turbo.
Ive got the 75 turbo version in mine and very nice and still a "K" so relevant heritage.
Chap called Lee Connor does time attacks and has a 300hp+ turbo K series apparently.
I think the obvious choice is to buy an SC variant (now called S) as stated by the other poster above 0-60 in 4 seconds.