The Good, the Bad, the K24: What Performance Mods to Add and Avoid

The Good, the Bad, the K24: What Performance Mods to Add and Avoid

You finally decided to modify your K24 engine to achieve its true performance potential. This is an exciting time - with some careful planning and the right modifications, you'll soon be enjoying the thrill of extra horsepower and torque. But where do you start? There are so many options out there it can get overwhelming. Fear not, we've done the research to determine the best performance mods to add and the ones to avoid for your K24. Whether you want to slowly build up power over time or dive in for a full overhaul right away, this guide will walk you through how to unlock your K24's inner beast in a safe, reliable, and cost-effective manner. By the time you're done, your K24 will be transformed into the high-performance powerplant you've always dreamed of. So buckle up and get ready for the ride of your life!

The Origins of the K24 Engine

The Honda K24 engine is a tuner's dream. This powerhouse was built to perform and has incredible potential for customization. Originally debuting in 2001, the K24 has since become a legend in the tuning world.

A Solid Foundation

The K24 has a strong bottom end that can handle a ton of abuse. This overbuilt block features a forged steel crankshaft, forged connecting rods, and hypereutectic pistons. With upgrades like low compression pistons, lighter rods, and a stroker crank, you can easily push 500 horsepower or more.

  • DOHC valvetrain for high RPM

  • Four valves per cylinder for maximum airflow

  • Roller rockers reduce friction for more power

Bolt-On Power

The K24 responds extremely well to basic bolt-ons like a cold air intake, performance exhaust, and ECU tune. Installing these mods can net you 10-15% more horsepower, an increase you'll definitely feel from behind the wheel! For even more power, a larger throttle body, high-flow fuel injectors, and performance camshafts wake up the top end.

With the K24, the possibilities for building your perfect engine are endless. This versatile, robust powerplant has powered some of the fastest street cars and time attack beasts around the world. If you're looking for an engine with a cult following and a track record of domination, the K24 is calling your name! Add some performance parts, turn the key, and experience Honda performance at its finest. The K24 will transform your driving experience into an adventure you'll never forget!

The Most Popular Cars Featuring the K24

If you love boosting Honda performance, the K24 engine is a tune-up dream! The K24A2 version packs the most factory power, so it's perfect for mods. Two of the most popular K24-powered cars are the Acura TSX and Honda Accord.

The TSX is a sport sedan that came with a K24A2 from 2004 to 2008. With some basic bolt-ons like a cold air intake, performance headers, and a tune, you can easily bump up the horsepower on this engine by 15-20%! The Accord also featured the K24A2 in certain trims from 2003 to 2007. Whether you have an Accord or TSX, the K24A2 responds incredibly well to mods.

One of the best places to start is with performance headers like those from DC Sports or TunerGenix. Headers maximize airflow for more power at higher RPMs. Combine headers with a cold air intake for an extra 5-10 horsepower. Then get a performance tuner device to optimize the air/fuel ratio - you'll gain another 10-15 horsepower easily!

For the best results, do all three mods. Your K24A2 will sound meaner, accelerate faster, and really wake up! The TSX and Accord are fun to drive stock, but a tuned K24A2 makes them seriously quick. If you're after affordable performance for your Honda, the K24A2 engine is a perfect platform to build on. With the right mods, you'll have a blast speeding down the road in your tuned TSX or Accord!

The Good: Benefits and Strengths of the K24

The K24 engine has some seriously impressive strengths that make it a powerhouse for performance builds.


The K24 engine features more durable connecting rods and improved crankshafts compared to the previous K20 engine, allowing it to handle significantly higher horsepower. This rock-solid build means you can push the K24 to its limits without worrying about it cracking under pressure.

Easy to Modify

The K24 takes well to modifications, making it a tuner’s dream. With some bolt-on upgrades like a cold air intake, performance exhaust, and reflashing the ECU, you can gain 30-50 horsepower, easy peasy. Want even more power? Turbochargers, superchargers, high compression pistons, performance camshafts, and ported cylinder heads can boost output to 300+ horsepower for drag racing monster status.

High Revving

The K24 loves to rev, happily spinning up to 8,000 RPM without complaint. This high-revving nature, combined with its potent low-end torque, gives the K24 an incredibly wide and flexible power band that pulls strong from just off idle all the way to redline. Few engines can match the K24’s addictively fun responsiveness.


Despite its performance potential, the K24 remains a very reliable and durable engine when not abused. With regular maintenance like oil changes, the K24 can easily last over 200,000 miles in stock form. Even when tuned to higher output, the K24 is renowned for its longevity and dependability due to its robust construction.

Overall, the K24 powerplant has a lot going for it, from its stout durability to its rev-happy, tunable nature. With so many strengths and upsides, it’s easy to see why the K24 has become such a popular choice for Honda performance builds and engine swaps. This motor loves to be pushed hard—and it will reward you handsomely when you do!

The Bad: Weaknesses and Limitations of the K24

Unfortunately, the K24 engine isn’t without its weaknesses. Before diving into mods, you’ll want to address these issues to ensure peak performance and reliability.

Oil Seal Leaks

The front main seal and cam seal are notorious for leaking on K24 engines, especially as they age. These leaks can be annoying, but they also allow oil to escape, reducing oil pressure. Fixing them should be a top priority. Replace the front main seal, cam seals, and valve cover gasket with high-quality aftermarket seals to stop leaks in their tracks.

Cam Galling

The exhaust cam on K24 engines is prone to galling, where the cam lobes and journals actually wear into each other under high heat and friction. This can happen quickly, sometimes in under 50,000 miles. Installing hardened camshafts, especially on the exhaust side, helps prevent this issue. Upgraded cam caps also better distribute forces on the cams to avoid galling.

Transmission Woes

The transmissions paired with K24 engines often struggle, especially 2nd gear. Hard launches and power shifting can damage these transmissions over time. An upgraded clutch and flywheel help put less stress on the transmission. You may also consider a lower final drive ratio for better acceleration without pushing the transmission as hard.

Timing Chain Tensioners

The timing chain tensioners on K24 engines are known to fail prematurely, causing the timing chain to slack. This can lead to incorrect valve timing, reduced performance, and even engine damage in severe cases. Upgraded double-roller timing chain kits with reinforced tensioners are cheap insurance against this problem.

While the K24 has some weaknesses, the good news is they’re all addressable. Doing so will ensure your K24-powered ride runs optimally for the long haul. With the right mods and maintenance, the K-series can be an incredibly rewarding platform. Stay on top of these issues, and your K24 will serve you well!

Best Performance Mods to Consider for the K24

If you’re looking to boost the performance of your K24 engine, there are some killer mods you absolutely have to consider. These upgrades will unleash the full potential of your K24 and have you grinning from ear to ear as you blast down the road.

Camshaft Upgrade

One of the best ways to increase power on the K24 is by installing performance camshafts. High-lift cams open the valves wider and longer, allowing more air and fuel into the combustion chamber. You’ll gain noticeable horsepower and your engine will have an aggressive idle. Brands like TunerGenix and Crower offer cam kits designed specifically for the K24 that can add 15-30 horsepower.

Cold Air Intake

A cold air intake lets your K24 gulp in huge amounts of cool, dense air. More air means you can inject more fuel, which translates to more power. A quality CAI can net you 10-15 extra horsepower. Look for a kit with a large, reusable air filter and aluminum piping for maximum flow.

Performance Exhaust

One of the best ways to unleash your K24’s potential is by installing a cat-back exhaust system with headers. Performance headers provide less restrictive flow from the engine to the exhaust, while a cat-back system reduces backpressure for the rest of the exhaust. Together, a header and cat-back combo can add 15-25 horsepower. Look for systems with mandrel-bent tubing and a muffler that gives you the sound you want.

ECU Reflash

The ECU controls your K24’s air/fuel ratio, ignition timing, and other parameters. A performance ECU reflash will reprogram your stock ECU to optimize these settings for more power. Tuners like Hondata and KTuner offer reflashes for the K24 that can net you 10-15 extra horsepower on a otherwise stock engine. When combined with other bolt-on mods, a reflash can help maximize your gains.

With the right combination of these performance upgrades, you'll have a beast of a K24 that's faster, louder and more fun to drive. Get out there and unleash the full potential of your engine!

Performance Mods to Avoid for the K24

While there are many great performance mods you can add to the K24 engine, some are best avoided. Why waste your time and money on mods that won’t provide a good bang for your buck? Here are a few performance mods to steer clear of for your K24:

Aftermarket Cams

Aftermarket cams are popular mods for many engines, but the K24 actually responds better to other mods. The K24’s cam profile is already quite aggressive from the factory, so aftermarket cams typically don’t provide huge gains. You’ll likely only notice minor improvements in the mid-range and top end power. For the cost, your money is better spent elsewhere.

Short Ram Intake

A short ram intake may seem like an easy way to add power, but it can actually reduce performance for the K24. The short, exposed piping allows hot air from the engine bay to be sucked in, increasing intake air temps. This reduces power, especially in the mid-range. A cold air intake with a heat shield is a much better option for the K24.

Aftermarket Fuel Injectors

Unless you’ve significantly increased the power output of your K24, the stock fuel injectors will work just fine. Aftermarket fuel injectors are really only useful once you’ve reached the limit of the stock injectors, which is around 350-400 horsepower for the K24. Save your money—you likely won’t need bigger injectors unless you’ve already added a turbo or supercharger.

Aftermarket Valves

High performance aftermarket valves are unnecessary for most K24 builds and won’t provide noticeable gains. The K24’s stock valves are designed to handle plenty of power and rpm for a typical naturally aspirated or lightly boosted build. Aftermarket valves are really only useful for high-boost forced induction builds making over 400 horsepower. For most, the stock valves will work great.

Focus your efforts on mods like a cold air intake, performance exhaust, sports catalyst, and ECU tune or reflash. When done right, these mods can provide solid, cost-effective gains for your K24 without breaking the bank or wasting money on parts you don’t really need. Happy modding!

Real World Power: Highest HP Achieved From K24 Builds

The K24 engine is a tuner’s dream, with huge power potential locked away in its aluminum block. Let’s explore some of the highest horsepower builds achieved so far and see how you can unleash the beast within your own K24!

700+ Horsepower Turbo K24

You read that right—with some serious modifications, the K24 is capable of over 700 horsepower! Leo's K24 build used a massive turbocharger, performance camshafts, high-compression pistons, and an upgraded valvetrain to achieve a mind-blowing 707 horsepower. While not for the faint of heart, builds like this prove the K24 can run with the big dogs when pushed to its limits.

400+ Horsepower Naturally Aspirated K24

If you prefer to keep things naturally aspirated, 400+ horsepower is still within reach. A K24 build by K-Power Industries used high-flow cylinder heads, performance camshafts, and intake manifold to wring out an impressive 407 horsepower at a screaming 8,800 rpm. By optimizing airflow and ignition timing, NA builds can achieve high-revving power that turbocharged engines can’t match.

10,000 rpm K24 Dragster

For raw acceleration, check out this K24 dragster build that revs to an incredible 10,000 rpm! Using a fully built bottom end, ported cylinder head, performance camshafts and valvetrain, this K24 screamed to 307 horsepower. While not the highest horsepower, the ability to spin that fast proves the K24 can handle some serious abuse. With further mods, this build could easily break into the 400+ horsepower club.

The potential of the K24 is truly mind-blowing. Whether you prefer the instant torque of a turbocharger or the high-revving thrill of a naturally aspirated screamer, the K24 engine has cemented its place as one of the best platforms for building big power on a budget. Now get out there and start unleashing the beast!

Tuning Tips to Maximize K24 Performance

You’ve got a Honda K24 engine—congrats! This powerplant has loads of potential for making big power. Ready to start tuning your K24 for maximum performance? Here are some tips to unlock its full potential:

Upgrade the ECU

The stock ECU maps will only get you so far. For real power gains, install performance chip or flash the ECU. Remapping the ECU with custom tunes for your specific mods can increase horsepower by 15-25%! A tune optimized for your turbo, exhaust, and intake setup will make the K24 really roar.

Add a Turbo Kit

Forced induction is key to big power on the K24. Turbo kits can boost horsepower to over 350 whp! Look for a kit specifically designed for the K24 like the CX Turbo Kit or Full-Race Turbo Kit. These kits include everything you need for a complete turbo system. With the right tune, you’ll be rocketing down the road.

Install Performance Cams

High lift, high duration cams are one of the best ways to maximize K24 performance. Performance cams change the valve lift and duration to optimize power at higher RPMs. With a tune, you can gain 20-50 horsepower just by installing performance cams like Skunk2 or BC Racing cams. Open up that K24's lungs and let it breathe!

Dyno Tune for Maximum Power

The final step is dyno tuning. Strapping your K24 to a dyno allows a tuner to maximize every aspect of its performance. An expert tuner can tweak boost levels, air/fuel ratios, timing, and more while monitoring power output in real time. Dyno tuning a built K24 with supporting mods like a turbo kit can net gains of 30-50 whp at the same boost level. That’s some serious power from Honda’s legendary four-banger!

Follow these tips and your K24 will be making power like never before. From ECU upgrades to turbo kits to cams, the potential for performance is huge. Unleash that potential with the right mods and tuning, and you’ll have a beast of a K24 on your hands! What are you waiting for? Get to tuning!

K24 Engine Mods FAQ: Your Top Questions Answered

So you’ve got a Honda K24 engine and you’re looking to boost its performance. Excellent choice! The K24 is one of Honda’s most tuner-friendly powerplants. Here are the mods you should definitely consider, along with a few you’ll want to avoid.

Intake and Exhaust

Two of the best ways to unleash your K24’s potential are improving its ability to breathe. Install a cold air intake to provide cooler, denser air to the engine. Pair that with performance headers and a free-flowing exhaust system. You’ll gain 8-15 horsepower, your K24 will sound meaner, and you’ll feel the difference in throttle response.


For bigger power gains, upgrade your camshafts. More aggressive cams will open your K24’s valves wider and longer, allowing more air and fuel in and out. You can expect 15-25 extra horsepower. The K24A2 engine responds especially well to cam upgrades.


No set of mods is complete without a tune. A custom ECU reflash will optimize your K24’s air/fuel ratio and timing for your new parts. A tune can net you 10-15 additional horses. Tuners like TunerGenix offer affordable mail-order ECU tuning for K-series engines.


  • Nitrous oxide. Nitrous is a quick path to blowing up your K24!

  • Cheap knock-off parts. Stick with reputable brands for intakes, cams, and tunes.

  • Going too aggressive too quickly. Build power in stages and get used to each set of mods before going more extreme.

With the right combination of basic bolt-ons, camshafts, and ECU tuning, you can easily and reliably boost your K24's output by 50 horsepower or more. Take it slow, do your research, and your K24 will reward you with a long life of making extra power and putting a smile on your face every time you mash the throttle! What are you waiting for? Start unleashing your K24 today!


Well there you have it, everything you need to know to turn your K24 into a high-performance powerhouse without compromising reliability or drivability. With some basic bolt-ons like a cold air intake, performance exhaust, and engine tune you'll unleash over 50 extra horsepower. Not too shabby for a few hours work and a few hundred bucks. If you're feeling ambitious, ported heads, high compression pistons and performance cams can take you well over 300 horsepower. Just be sure to strengthen your engine internals and upgrade your fuel system to handle the extra power. Now get out there and make that K24 roar! The open road is calling your name. What are you waiting for? The mods are at your fingertips and adventure awaits.

1 comment

  • Ashton on

    Very detailed and informative.

    Thank you,

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