We’re huge fans of small roadsters like the Honda S2000 and the Mazda Mx-5 Miata, and we’re even bigger fans of small roadsters with bigger engines in them. If you’ve ever seen a Miata with a Chevy LS1 swap or perhaps an S2000 with a Toyota Supra 2JZ swap, then you would know why. But if you’re not into manufacturer cross-breeding, then you might be interested in swapping a Honda J35 V6 into an S2000.
To swap or not to swap
You might be wondering why anyone would want to swap the glorious, high-revving F20/F22C engine out of their S2000 in favor of a bigger, heavier V6. After all, Honda produced this car to be a high-revving and lightweight performer.
People usually swap out their engines when the stock engine blows up or has some kind of catastrophic failure. Putting in a different engine will give the car more horsepower and torque without having to resort to turbo or supercharging.
Also, swapping in a Honda V6 engine can prove more reliable than going the forced induction route or utilizing an American V8.
The Honda J-series engine
The Honda J-series engine can be found in a number of different platforms including the Honda Accord, Odyssey, and Pilot, as well as a handful of different Acura vehicles. This means that the engine is quite plentiful in the aftermarket and can usually be found for under $1,000.
The J-series engine comes in different sizes and horsepower ratings, however, the most commonly used platform is the J32A engine out of an Acura TL. This engine is rated at 258 horsepower and 233 lb-ft of torque, which is greater than the S2000’s stock output of 237 horsepower and 162 lb-ft.
Of course, the idea behind swapping a larger engine with more cylinders is the added torque benefit in the lower rpm range.
It’s a tough swap to do
Don’t get us wrong, a V6 swap in an S2000 is completely possible and everything sounds great and theory. But in reality, it does take a lot of time and effort.
If you ever plan to do this swap, then you’re in luck because renowned companies like Innovative Mounts already have mounting kits for this particular engine swap. Additionally, Inline Pro makes an adapter plate to mate the engine up to the stock S2000 transmission.
One of the toughest parts of the job is wiring as no one makes a plug-and-play kit that makes all of the S2000 gauges and electronics work seamlessly with this type of swap.
One race team that tackled the V6 swap used the stock S2000’s wire harness in conjunction with the J32’s harness, which was then piggybacked by an AEM Infinity ECU for the engine management.
Other custom components for the car’s cooling and exhaust system were used as well.
Is it worth it to do this swap?
Comparably speaking, supercharging an S2000 will cost anywhere between $5,000 to $7,000, depending on which supercharger kit you use and who installs it, while a V6 swap can easily cost the same amount, but for less power.
The main difference between both of those routes would be the possible added reliability of the V6 swap over having to dial-in the added forced induction tuning after installing a supercharger. However, if you go that route, then you can expect power levels to increase to around 400 horsepower or so.
Technically, we wouldn’t say that the V6 swap is worth it unless you’ve blown your S2000’s stock engine or need a stouter engine for racing duties. However, it’s really cool that it can be done.