Everything you need to know about the Honda J-Series V6

Colin
By Colin Wood
May 31, 2021 | Honda, v6, j series

Say you want to put a Honda J-Series V6–an engine found in everything from the Honda Accord to the Acura MDX–into a car that didn’t come with one from the factory.

That’s cool, but where do you start? After all, there were a number of variations produced and, perhaps most importantly, you want to figure out which ones will actually fit in your project.

Lucky for you, forum user Flight Service started a thread a few years ago on the subject, covering pretty much everything you might want to know when it comes to the J-Series, be it specifications, technical information or even dimensional drawings.

So, if you have a question about the J-Series, or even have some advice you think is worth sharing, check out the “Honda J series thread. Tech Info” thread.

Also, what’s your favorite application of the J-Series?

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Comments
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fidelity101 (Forum Supporter)
fidelity101 (Forum Supporter) UltraDork
5/17/21 2:23 p.m.

bookmarked to enable future bad ideas

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
5/17/21 3:52 p.m.
fidelity101 (Forum Supporter) said:

bookmarked to enable future bad ideas

RX7 Kevin aka "Dr. Rotorstein"

Blame Colin. 

Pete. (l33t FS)
Pete. (l33t FS) MegaDork
5/17/21 4:48 p.m.
fidelity101 (Forum Supporter) said:

bookmarked to enable future bad ideas

RX7 Kevin aka "Dr. Rotorstein"

Depending on the exact bad idea, I'd buck up for a GM High Feature.  They accelerate much better than Hondas.

The GM engine accelerates better than the Honda.  Yeah, I said it twice, because it feels so weird to say.

Driving an Accord with the 271hp VCM engine (got to do rings in it) I was kind of shocked... today when I read the article and saw it was a 271hp engine and not a 200hp engine.  

wvumtnbkr
wvumtnbkr GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
5/17/21 5:14 p.m.

My buddy put one in an impreza.   He kept the stock 5 speed and awd.   It's cool.

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
5/17/21 5:49 p.m.
wvumtnbkr said:

My buddy put one in an impreza.   He kept the stock 5 speed and awd.   It's cool.

Wait, Honda-powered Impreza? Got pics? 

Chesterfield
Chesterfield Reader
5/17/21 7:17 p.m.

I really enjoyed the j32a2 in CL Type-S, and I thought it would be fun to swap it into a lighter car, preferably mid-engined.

CrustyRedXpress
CrustyRedXpress Reader
5/17/21 9:33 p.m.

The J is an easy swap into the NSX-far cheaper than rebuilding the original C30 and the kit is better than the ones made for k-swaps. Way more aftermarket support for big power and nobody cares if you throw a rod out the engine block.

It's also a prettier engine and better from a packaging standpoint. The C30 was at the end of the era where Honda engineers put vac hoses everywhere and the 60deg J gives way more space in the engine bay.

Run_Away
Run_Away Dork
5/17/21 10:23 p.m.

"Everything you need to know about the Honda J-series"

in big bold letters, with an arrow pointing to a cutaway picture of a Honda C-series V6. devil

BA5
BA5 GRM+ Memberand Reader
5/18/21 7:33 a.m.
Run_Away said:

"Everything you need to know about the Honda J-series"

in big bold letters, with an arrow pointing to a cutaway picture of a Honda C-series V6. devil

Hahaha I noticed that as well.  I let GRM get away with that sort of stuff because they're cool, though.

 

wvumtnbkr
wvumtnbkr GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
5/18/21 7:42 a.m.

In reply to David S. Wallens :

I'll see what I can do.

 

It's a racecar, so the requirements are easier than a comfy streetcar.

ProDarwin
ProDarwin MegaDork
5/18/21 7:56 a.m.

A pretty good engine (w/o VCM), bolted to a bunch of crappy stuff and some ok stuff.

schnapsmann
schnapsmann New Reader
5/18/21 8:37 a.m.

I love this engine for swaps.  I have one in a Classic Mini, a Miata, an Element and a 914.  Easy to work with, plenty of power and all the reliability you could ask for.

Robbie (Forum Supporter)
Robbie (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
5/18/21 10:00 a.m.
CrustyRedXpress said:

The J is an easy swap into the NSX-far cheaper than rebuilding the original C30 and the kit is better than the ones made for k-swaps. Way more aftermarket support for big power and nobody cares if you throw a rod out the engine block.

It's also a prettier engine and better from a packaging standpoint. The C30 was at the end of the era where Honda engineers put vac hoses everywhere and the 60deg J gives way more space in the engine bay.

oh god. I did not need to know this. 

Number1Gaza
Number1Gaza GRM+ Memberand Reader
5/18/21 10:13 a.m.
Pete. (l33t FS) said:
fidelity101 (Forum Supporter) said:

bookmarked to enable future bad ideas

RX7 Kevin aka "Dr. Rotorstein"

Depending on the exact bad idea, I'd buck up for a GM High Feature.  They accelerate much better than Hondas.

The GM engine accelerates better than the Honda.  Yeah, I said it twice, because it feels so weird to say.

Driving an Accord with the 271hp VCM engine (got to do rings in it) I was kind of shocked... today when I read the article and saw it was a 271hp engine and not a 200hp engine.  

The VCM engine combined with the automatic transmission is a terrible combo for power to the wheels.  The VCM system gunks everything up in the cylinders that get deactivated and kills power once the engine gets a bit of mileage on it, and the automatic transmission has an over 20% drivetrain loss.   ~200hp to the wheels in a 3600 lb car.  Very slow.  

It's remarkable how much the 6mt wakes up the powertrain, and none of the cars made with a manual transmission have VCM engines.

Colin Wood
Colin Wood Associate Editor
5/18/21 10:14 a.m.

In reply to Run_Away :

Good eyes. That's my bad, I got mixed up on model years. I've replaced the lead with an actual J-Series this time.

I'll I've you bonus points if you can tell me what model and year that C-Series is from:

wvumtnbkr
wvumtnbkr GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
5/18/21 10:38 a.m.

j swap into impreza keeping stock trans and awd.

RustBeltSherpa
RustBeltSherpa New Reader
5/18/21 12:09 p.m.

In reply to Number1Gaza :

Correct. Also,  NO Acura J-series engines(regardless of trans-mission) were equipped with VCM.

CrustyRedXpress
CrustyRedXpress Reader
5/18/21 12:39 p.m.

In reply to wvumtnbkr :

That would fit in the back of a lotus europa, right?

bluebarchetta
bluebarchetta Reader
5/18/21 1:15 p.m.

I have a 2008 Odyssey with the J35A6 (no VCM, 255hp) and a 1991 Miata and I often fantasize about how nice that Honda V6 would be in the Miata.  I know Minitec makes the kit and harness for the swap, but I believe they require the J35A4 (no VCM, 240hp) for some reason. 

The J35A6 feels plenty strong in the van.  Can't imagine how it would feel with 2000 fewer lbs to haul around.

Edit:  just found this thread explaining J35A4 vs. J35A6

https://grassrootsmotorsports.com/forum/grm/j35a4-vs-j35a6/152335/page1/

sobe_death
sobe_death Dork
5/18/21 5:10 p.m.
schnapsmann said:

I love this engine for swaps.  I have one in a Classic Mini, a Miata, an Element and a 914.  Easy to work with, plenty of power and all the reliability you could ask for.

An Element, huh? I bet its so nice in there!  Is yours also a 5-speed?

DirtyBird222
DirtyBird222 PowerDork
5/19/21 3:36 p.m.

Smooth power delivery, a decent engine note for a V6, and fairly easy to work on make these a decent alternative to K-swaps. I'd still rather have this than and GM V6 in a swap. 

I've thought about one of these for a S2000 swap but a K-series makes way more sense. 

BA5
BA5 GRM+ Memberand Reader
5/20/21 11:54 a.m.

In reply to wvumtnbkr :

wvumtnbkr: would your friend mind sharing what he did for the starter/flywheel?  I'm working on my own project that involves attaching a J series to a Subaru transmission (see details HERE) and I'm about to have to solve that issue myself.

Thanks!

bobzilla
bobzilla MegaDork
5/20/21 12:23 p.m.
Colin Wood said:

In reply to Run_Away :

Good eyes. That's my bad, I got mixed up on model years. I've replaced the lead with an actual J-Series this time.

I'll I've you bonus points if you can tell me what model and year that C-Series is from:

I'm guessing this is a first generation Legend. 87-90-ish or a Sterling. 

BA5
BA5 GRM+ Memberand Reader
5/28/21 7:18 a.m.

Bumping this in the hopes that wvumtnbkr will see this and ask his friend what he used for a starter/clutch/flywheel.

I tried messaging wvumtnbkr, but it said it was undelivered.

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