Best Honda Crate Engines for Your High-Performance Build

If you’re serious about competitive driving, crate engines should definitely be on your radar. Track enthusiasts have always taken an interest in specific Honda crate engines to extract a ton of power from them.

But maybe you’re not so much into racing and you just want a fun daily driver or a sleeper car. In that case, consider plonking a competition-spec engine under the hood.

In this article, we’ll list what we believe are some of the most popular crate engines with the Honda badge. These range from the mighty K20C1 of the Type R to swap favorites like the B16 and B18.

Honda K20C1 Type R Crate Engine

K20C1 Type R crate engine

Honda’s subsidiary, Honda Performance Development, is selling the Civic Type R’s 2.0L turbocharged K20 motor as a crate engine for swap and racing enthusiasts.

In stock form, the Type R engine puts out 306 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque. Inside the crate, you’ll find a K20C1 long block, starter, alternator, turbocharger, intake, and throttle body.

You will, however, have to source the transmission, cooling system, and exhaust system, among other things, to complete the build.

You can, of course, spruce things up with an aftermarket map or Honda’s HPD controls package.

The crate engine can be sourced through select dealers or HPD itself, provided you are a member of Honda Racing Line.

In terms of price, the K20C1 engine with the HPD controls package costs around $9,000, while the engine alone will cost you north of $6,000.

It’s worth noting that there is no factory warranty on offer, and the controls package is a limited-run item.

The price is pretty steep, there’s no arguing that. But considering the K20C1 serves as a baseline for HPD’s Type R TC and Type R TCR race cars, the cost may seem justifiable.

Honda K20Z3 (8th-Gen Civic Si)

K20Z3 crate engine

Honda’s K20Z3 is no stranger to the swap community. Developed with sporting intentions, the K20Z3 is among the most coveted by Honda enthusiasts, owing to its performance hardware.

First seen in the 2006 Honda Civic Si, the K20Z3 makes 197 hp and 139 lb-ft of torque from its 2.0L naturally aspirated 4-pot.

The engine gets i-VTEC on both the intake and exhaust alongside a forged steel crankshaft.

Sourcing a K20Z3 crate engine may prove difficult, as there aren’t many suppliers. Although ATK engines used to supply remanufactured versions, the product is now discontinued.

That said, AAA Engine does supply the K20Z3 as a zero-mile remanufactured item. The package contains all OEM internals, including pistons, rings, rod bearings, main bearings, and a full gasket set.

Understandably, the kit does not include the transmission or cooling system, so those are some things you’ll have to source.

As for pricing, AAA Engine quotes $3,650 for the motor, which is fairly expensive, given there are used fully-built K20Z3s that cost about the same.

Honda L15B7 (10th-Gen Civic Si)

L15B7 motor

Yet another crate engine sold by HPD is the L15B7. It’s the same 1.5L turbocharged 4-cylinder found in the 10th-gen Si Honda Civic trim level.

As for hardware, Honda has installed the L15 dual VTC, direct injection, and a low-inertia turbocharger for improved engine response.

However, the engine lacks the infamous VTEC or i-VTEC system that controls both valve duration and lift.

Much like the K20C1 sold by HPD, each L15B7 comes with a long block, turbocharger, alternator, and starter motor as part of the crate engine package.

In terms of power, the L15B7, in its high-output avatar, makes 205 hp and 192 lb-ft of torque, achieved by running a higher boost pressure of 20.3 psi compared to 16.5 in the low-output version.

As for price, HPD sells the L15B7 crate engine for around $5,000, making the K20C1 seem more lucrative.

Alternatively, you can look at MAPerformance or TwoStepPerformance for an L15B7 built for up to 600 whp, albeit slightly cheaper.

B-Series Crate Engines

Honda B-series engine

Honda’s B-series engines are a particular favorite among tuners worldwide. While Honda made several B-series engines, the ones that stand out are the B16 and B18C1 naturally-aspirated 4-pots.

If you’re in the market for a B-series crate engine, King Motorsports and 4 Piston Racing are the ones you should contact. Both suppliers offer a variety of B-series builds, depending on customer preferences.

For instance, King Motorsports offers a turbocharged B16 crate engine Ultra build with over 566 whp, running race gas. But if you prefer a more sedate version, the company offers a B16 Street build with over 201 whp.

Depending on the configuration, the kit comes with Skunk Pro intakes, cams, and Wiseco pistons, along with King Motorsports’ competition head package.

Pricing is pretty much spec-dependent, and top-shelf items are generally in the 5-figure region.

In Conclusion

If you’re in the market for a built Honda crate engine, your options are pretty limited. But perhaps the more significant issue is the price.

The engines cost quite a lot of money, which may not seem justifiable since there are more affordable low-mileage engines on sale.

However, if price is not a concern, some of these offerings can be incredibly appealing. Especially the B-series builds and the Type R crate engine.

Which of these would be your top choice? Let us know by leaving a comment below. If you found this article informative, share it with a friend! We appreciate your support.

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