Honda Accord 4th Gen Tuning

"All you need to know about performance tuning the Honda Accord 4th Gen engine!"

People have emailed us for some recommendations on improving the Accord 4th Gen and which tuning modifications we rate as the best.

There are quite a few mods around and it can be quite hard working out which ones would be best for you car as there is a lot of conflicting information out there.

We've put together this page as a guide to cover the primary areas and methods of modifying and tuning the Accord 4th Gen.

When the fourth-generation Honda Accord debuted in 1989, it marked the beginning of a really remarkable period for the brand. This generation was left with just the coupe, sedan, and station wagon as options, while the sporty hatchback was ruled out. The Accord sedan was voted the best-selling vehicle in the United States because of its exceptional technical design.

The Honda Accord 4th Gen are a popular tuning project, and with the optimum upgrades like a remap, turbo upgrades, and camshafts, you will really increase your driving experience.

Let us review and look at Accord 4th Gen tuning and report on the optimum modifications for your car.

Check out our video introduction to Honda Tuning, all you need to know about mods and upgrades on your Honda.

Tuning the Honda Accord 4th Gen and best Accord 4th Gen performance parts.

Best Accord 4th Gen mods

If you own a Honda Accord from the fourth generation and are looking for performance mods and upgrades, you've come to the right place.

So, without further ado, let's get started and talk about some of the modifications and upgrades you can easily perform on your car and get fantastic results.


Tuning tips and articles

Engine tuning Transmission tuning Care care Intake & Exhaust mods Improve handling Forums

Check out our video introduction to Honda Accord Tuning, all you need to know and full guide.

Best Mods for your Accord 4th Gen

  • Intake Upgrades and Exhaust - Be aware on their own these mods won't ADD POWER , but they permit you to enhance power after other modifications by lessening the restriction.
  • Brake Mods - Enhancing your stopping power ought to be somewhere in your mods list.
  • Upgraded cams are are often the best upgrade for an engine, but we strongly suggest they be setup by someone who can fine tune the cam timing and it is often hard to find a suitable cam near you but there might be a local firm to regrind a stock cam .
  • Forced induction upgrades - Adding a turbocharger is the most significant way to increase air supply, ensuring you are able to combust more fuel and make better power figures. Typically one of the most challenging mods but provides the best gains.
  • Flywheel lightening - a reduced weight flywheel will enhance the engines free revving nature. Not recommended for all Accord 4th Gen engines.
  • Flowing and porting the engine head - for larger gains, you will get better flow and make a more efficient engine if you do this to support your other mods.
  • ECU Tunes - A remap offers the most advantages for your investment, aftermarket ECUs, and piggyback ECUs are all alternatives.
  • Accord 4th Gen Handling Mods (Suspension) - Fitting better springs and shocks greatly enhances your Accord 4th Gen road holding and cornering. Adjustable coilovers and better bushings are what is needed here.

Accord 4th Gen Tuning Stages

Typical stage 1 mods often include: Remaps/piggy back ECU, Panel air filters, Suspension (mild drop), Sports exhaust manifold, Fast road camshaft, Intake manifolds.

Typical stage 2 mods often include: Sports catalyst & performance exhaust, induction kit, Brake Discs (drilled/slotted or grooved, Ported and polished head, fuel pump upgrades, Fast road cam.

Typical stage 3 mods often include: Adding or Upgrading forced induction (turbo/supercharger), Engine balancing & blueprinting, Twin charging conversions, Internal engine upgrades (head flowing porting/bigger valves), Crank and Piston upgrades to alter compression, Competition cam.

(We have Tuning guides for other Accord Generations, see the links below.)

4th Gen Accord Mods 5th Gen Accord Mods 6th Gen Accord Mods 7th Gen Accord Mods 8th Gen Accord Mods 9th Gen Accord Mods

Accord 4th Gen Handling/Suspension Upgrades

Upgrades to the Accord 4th Gen's suspension and handling

Handling mods are often the initial step for the Accord 4th Gen.

Adjustable Coilovers allow you to adjust your ride height and this allows you to setup your handling.

As suspension has a lot to do with the ride quality of your car, here are a few important upgrades that can be fit to Honda Accord 4th generation vehicles for getting the best results.
If you are looking for high-quality options of springs, here are some of the options that can be used:

  • D2 Racing Pro Lowering Springs;
  • TEIN H-Tech Lowering Springs;
  • TEIN S-Tech Lowering Springs;
  • Skunk2 Lowering Springs;
  • H&R Sport Spring Kit;
  • Megan Racing Lowering Springs;
  • TruHart Lowering Springs.

Lowering springs pull down the centre of gravity of your car so you can corner easily. This significantly helps when you drive your modified 4th generation Honda Accord at high speeds.

These high-quality springs cost anywhere between $130 and $210 and can be fit in all variants of the 4th generation Honda accord regardless of whether your vehicle is the 2-door variant or the 4-door one.

Shocks/ Struts

Shocks and struts also contribute to overall drive quality. Here are some high-quality Honda Accord 4th generation upgrade options which you can fit on your car for improved performance:

  • Skunk2 Sport Shocks/ Struts;
  • KONI STR.T Shocks/ Struts;
  • KYB Excel-G Shocks/ Struts
  • TruHart Sport Shocks/ Struts;

These parts range in price from $115 to $300 and can be for the 2-door as well as the 4-door variants of the vehicles.


Get one of these Coilover kits for your 4th generation Honda Accord if you want the best ride quality possible. They are costly, but the result is impressive.

  • Godspeed Project Mono-SS Front & Rear Coilover Kit;
  • TEIN Street Basis Z Coilovers;
  • KSport Kontrol Pro Front & Rear Coilover Kit;
  • Skunk2 Adjustable Sleeve Coilover Kit;
  • D2 Racing RS Full Coilovers;
  • Megan Racing EZ II Series;
  • TruHart StreetPlus Full Coilovers;

The price for coilovers starts at around $300 for the average quality ones however you must set aside over a thousand dollars if you are after the premium quality coilovers.

Is there anything I should bear in mind while deciding on suspension mods for my Accord 4th Gen?

Improvements to the bushings

Enhancements to the bushings: Things you need to know

The suspension components of the Accord 4th Gen may be mounted to the car's chassis through bushes, which are rotatable rubber mounts. These rubber ones will degrade as they age.

By replacing new OEM rubber bushings, you may greatly improve your vehicle's performance.

Because the polyurethane bushes are firmer, the ride may be a bit firmer, but they will last longer and maintain the handling.

Increased vibration and play may also speed up the depreciation in other suspension components.

A new set of poly bushings may be able to reduce the excessive play that comes with rubber bushes.

You may struggle to find a full set of polyeyurothane bushings, but most stores have the primary mounts available. You may be able to have custom polyeyurothane bushings created to suit your needs.

How low should you go on the Accord 4th Gen?

According to TorqueCars research and testing, the maximum amount of suspension drop for most road vehicles is 25 - 43 millimetres, whereas hot hatchbacks with lower OEM sport suspension have a maximum suspension drop of 21 millimetres.

These tolerances may be drastically reduced if the wheel size is changed. Even with 17" wheels and stock suspension, lowering the vehicle might result in lots of issues.

Accord 4th Gen Camshaft Upgrades

Getting a fast road cam will work better at upper RPM range power and are better suited on petrol engines, than diesels. This will usually provide good peak power increases through performance camshafts on most engines.

Significant gains on the Accord 4th Gen can be made from camshaft upgrades. Altering the camshaft profile alters the intake and exhaust durations on the engine and can dramatically change the power band and power output.

Fast road camshafts commonly boost the bhp and torque through the rev range, you could sacrifice a little bottom end bhp but the top end will be better.

Race camshafts, boost the top end band but as a result the car will not idle smoothly and low end power nearly always suffers.

In a road car you need to optimize your bhp range to your usage of the car.

You will never have found a Accord 4th Gen Competition cam is a delight when driving in heavy traffic. Because your low end power will be very lumpy. Competition cams are designed to lift the maximum power at the top part of your RPM range, a place that most daily commutes will not usually permit!

Each engine responds differently due to the head and flow characteristics when camshafts are fitted depending on the camshaft being less aggressive camshaft durations so view each engine and camshaft as unique due to manufacturing tolerances and quality variations so check your engine on a rolling road.

The ecu map and fuelling and fuel pump and injectors also have an effect on the torque gains you'll get.

Extending exhaust or intake durations can alter the torque range, and on most engines there are some advantages to extending the intake or exhaust durations and valve lift.

The Accord 4th Gen power trains are fantastic to work on and we're pleased to see that there are increasing numbers of upgrades and performance parts around.

ECU Mapping Improvements for the Accord 4th Gen

ECU mapping will help fully realize the full potential of all the mods you've done to your Accord 4th Gen.

(Sometimes engine tuning/remapping the ECU is not an option, so an aftermarket ECU is the route to take, and most of these exceed the specs and performance of your factory ECU's but check it has knock protection and that you get it installed right.) It will usually give around 30% more power on turbocharged vehicles and you can expect to see around 15% on NA (naturally aspirated) engines, but power output usually depend much on the mods you've done and the condition of your engine.

Honda Accords of the 4th generation had two different types of OBDs. For model years 1990 to 1991, they had OBD0 whereas for the later models the newer OBD1 replaced the previous version.

There aren’t any ECU engine tuning/remapping options available for the OBD0 options, however, there are a few available for the OBD1. One such option is from Perfect Power which promises improved performance figures.

However, most Honda Accord enthusiasts suggest replacing the vehicle’s stock engine with the H22 as they think that it delivers much better performance than any engine tuning/remapping option.

It is however pertinent to mention that the H22 will require considerably more money than such small modifications.

Air Flow improvements on the Accord 4th Gen

It is the main goal to any performance tuning project to get air and fuel into each cylinder

Accord 4th Gen intake

Contrary to popular belief there is generally very little power gain got by fitting an induction kit, they only become beneficial and are recommended after you increase the engines power to the point where the standard air intake box cannot cope!

So if you don't have a restricted intake the best flowing air filter and induction kit in the world will not be adding power as there is no lost power for it to release.

For most Accord engines TorqueCars would suggest you just go with a washable panel air filter. On heavily tuned engines and turbo vehicles an induction kit will help release the power providing you address the problem of supplying cold air.

Air Intake manifolds channel the air from the filter and allow it to be drawn into the engine cylinders with fuel for the squish phase.

Design and flow rate of the Intake manifolds can make a large improvement to fuel atomisation and engine efficiency on the Accord 4th Gen.

One of the best ways to improve the performance of your Honda Accord 4th generation vehicle is to add an air intake system to it.
Depending upon the engine in your car, you can choose one of the following highly effective options.

  • For the 1.8 litre and the 2.0-litre variants, the Weapon R Secret Weapon short ram air intake system costs around $270. This triples the air inflow as compared to a conventional system thereby enhancing the POTENIAL performance figures significantly;
  • For the 2.2 litre Non-ABS variant, we recommend going for the Injen RD Series Cold Air Intake System.

Fitting big valve kits, getting port matching and head flowing will also improve bhp and torque, & importantly will raise potential for a better bhp and torque increase on other modifications.

Accord 4th Gen Turbo upgrades

NA (naturally aspirated) engines need quite a lot of work when you add a turbo, so we have a separate guide to help you take into account the pros and cons of going this route on your Accord 4th Gen

The more air you can get into an engine, the more fuel it can burn and uprating the induction with a turbocharger upgrade makes massive power gains.

When your car has forced induction tuning mods are relatively easy and most turbocharged engines are made using many forged and stronger components.

There are weak spots for every engine, with some being over specified and some just sufficiently able to handle stock power. See where you'll find these restrictions and install better pistons and crank to survive the power.

It's not unheard of car owners spending loads on turbocharger upgrades on the Accord 4th Gen only to suffer the indignity of watching the whole thing go up in smoke soon after it's used in anger.

Bigger upgraded turbo units will usually suffer low end lag, and smaller turbo units spool up quickly but won't have the top end engines power gains.

In recent times the selection of turbo units is always moving on and we now see variable vane turbo units, allowing the vane angle is altered according to speed to lower lag and increase top end torque.

Twin scroll turbo units divert the exhaust flow into a couple of channels and direct these at differently designed vanes in the turbo. They also help the scavenging effect of the engine.

It is common that there's a restriction in the air flow sensor (AFM/MAF/MAP) on the Accord 4th Gen when loads more air is being drawn into the engine.

You'll see that 4 bar air sensors coping with quite large power gains, whereas the OEM air sensor was restricting performance at a much lower level.

Accord Supercharger Kits

Adding a supercharger or additional turbo will make large bhp and torque gains, although more challenging to install. We have this feature on twinchargers if you want to read more.

After installing an air intake system, you would think that the next step has to be a supercharger or a turbocharger to get the most possible power out of your 4th generation Honda Accord.

However, it is worth noting that there are no effective superchargers or turbochargers before the Honda Accord 6th generation.

The ones available on the internet claiming performance boost are just gimmicks (from what I've seen so far) and we recommend you not to fall into this trap. One such example is this, which costs around $700 but we don’t recommend going for it.

Intercoolers for Turbocharged Accords

Intercoolers have the important task of supplying cold and dense air to engines. If you want to get more performance out of your Honda Accord 4th generation, we recommend you get an intercooler.

You can use the Mishimoto Universal intercooler for this purpose and the part costs around $180 making it a great option.

Accord Mk4 Radiator

Another effective way of keeping a modified Honda Accord 4th generation’s engine cool is by using an aftermarket radiator.
Different options are available in this regard but Torxe Aluminium Engine Coolant Radiator is the best because it ensures a higher rate of coolant flow.

This means that the heat is effectively dispersed ensuring that the engine doesn’t overheat.
For the 1.8-litre and 2.0-litre variants, only 3-row radiators are available for around $150. However, for the 2.2 litre manual variant, you can also get the relatively cheaper 2-row radiator which costs around $120.

Accord 4th Gen Fuelling Upgrades

You will need to ensure that the engine is not starved of fuel so must ramp up the fuelling when you start going beyond 20% of a bhp and torque increase. Boosting the fuel pressure can improve the acceleration responsiveness.Most tuners we speak with say to over specify your flow rate on the injectors.

For meeting the fuel requirements of your modified Honda Accord 4th generation, you will have to install new fuel injectors.
These fuel injectors ensure the supply of an enhanced quantity of fuel to the engine which when combined with the higher quantity of air provided by the air intake system generates more power.
For the 2.2 liter version of the Accord 4th generation, Beck Arnley fuel injectors having part numbers 158-0436 are a great option. They cost around $50 and are thus fairly reasonably priced.
However, the Grams High-Performance Fuel Injector Kit is the better option as it can be used for all engine variants of the 4th generation car.

The accepted safe increase is to add 20% when buying an injector, this allows for injector deterioration and gives some spare capacity should the engine need more fuel.

We think this one is common sense, but you'll need to match your fuel injector to the type of fuel your car uses as well.

Accord 4th Gen Performance Exhausts

You may need to increase your exhaust if your current exhaust is actually causing a restriction in flow.

On most factory exhausts you'll see your flow rate is still good even on modest power gains, but when you start pushing up the power levels you will need to get a better flowing exhaust.

Sports exhausts generally help improve air flow out of the engine but avoid an exhaust that is too wide or you will stuff up your flow rate. Generally speaking you should stick to around 1.5 to 2.5 inches as a rule of thumb.

Usual exhaust restrictions are traced to the catalyst and filters installed, so adding a freer flowing sports aftermarket one improves flow, and rather than doing an illegal decat, will keep the car road legal. Please note that performance catalysts and filters perform a similar power improvement to cat removal and have the added benefit of keeping your car street legal, as decat or catalyst removal is illegal in most territories.

History of the Accord 4th Gen Engine & Model Code differences

The novel aluminum 2.2-liter F22A I4 16-valve engine has replaced the 2.0-L 12-valve engines from the past generations. The fourth-generation Accord was built on the ‘CB’ chassis. The engine mounted on the rear-wheel-drive vehicle was equipped with 4-speed automatic transmission to lower the vibrations and noise frequencies.

All the Accord vehicles vary considerably among different countries having different trims and different feature options available.

Differences between the Accord DX, LX and EX

The U.S. trims DX, LX, and EX correspond to the LX, EX, and EX-R Canadian trims. The manual transmission with the hydraulic clutch was a standard feature in all trims, while the 4-speed automatic transmission was optional.

The DX and LX models were equipped with a 4-cylinder engine (F22A1) generating 125 horsepower. The EX-model with a 130-horsepower version (F22A4) got a 5-hp boost due to a twin outlet muffler, a slightly larger exhaust piping, and a different exhaust header/manifold design.

The DX model has various dealer-installed options available like a single-disc in-dash CD player, security system, air-conditioner, rear wing spoiler, fog lights, luggage rack, center armrest, sunroof visor, car cover, trunk lip spoiler, cockpit cover, and a stereo equalizer.

The LX came with similar options to previous generations i.e., door locks, power windows, air conditioning, and mirrors. The EX-models contain some standard features like 15-inch aluminum-alloy wheels, rear stabilizer bar, sunroof, upgraded upholstery, and high-power 4-speaker stereo cassette.

Accord received a facelift in 1991 for 1992 models. The EX-models received an additional 15 hp boost over DX and LX trims due to the introduction of the 140-hp F22A6 engine of the SE model.

There is an additional 10 hp rise due to the revised exhaust system including a revised camshaft, a revised air intake, and a revised intake manifold. The shoulder belt was ousted with a standard airbag. The front and rear fascias got updated exterior looks.

Sedan and coupe models received new headlamps, updated wheel designs, driver’s seat armrest amber parking lights, gold finish kit, thinner car body molding, and a new grille.

The 1992 Accord sedan inspires the passion of drivers with its unparalleled driving demeanor and technologies like 4-wheel steering, anti-lock braking system, double wishbone suspension, electric sunroof, alloy wheels, and power steering.

Fourth-generation models were successfully launched and sold in the U.S, Canada, New Zealand, etc., but Europe got coupes and wagons only. European vehicles had some features not available in the U.S. vehicles like power seats, automatic climate control systems, and some minor ones.

There was no true sports model offered in these fourth-generation vehicles. That’s why this generation of models does not hold a special place for enthusiasts. But it was a decent car for regular use and with the right mods you can make dramatic improvements to it, building your own "Type R".

Weak spots, Issues & problem areas on the Accord 4th Gen

The Accord 4th Gen engines are not bad as far as reliability goes as long as they are regularly serviced and maintained.

Carbon build up in the head, particularly around the valves which will sap power or create flat spots, this is a larger issue on direct injection engines but should be looked out for on all engines. We have tips on intake clean to remove carbon build up To minimize this risk only use quality fuel and don't short journeys.

Regular oil changes are essential on the Accord 4th Gen, and more importantly so when the car is tuned and will help maintain the long life of the engine.

Accord Mk4 Wheel upgrades

The Honda Accord 4th generation vehicles came standard with the following wheels sizes:

  • 1.8 liter variant: 165SR14;
  •  2.0 litre variant: 185/70 R14 and 195/60R15;
  •  2.2 litre variant: 195/60R15.
    (The vehicles with more powerful engines had bigger wheels.)

Generally speaking you will be best going no more than 1 inch over these recommendations with lower profile tires.

If you want to learn more, or just get some friendly advice on Tuning your Accord 4th Gen engine please join us in our friendly forum where you can discuss Accord 4th Gen tuning options in more detail with our Accord 4th Gen owners. It would also be worth reading our unbiased Honda tuning articles to get insights into each modification and how effective they will be.

Please help us improve these tips by sending us your feedback in the comments box below.

We love hearing what our readers have got up to and which upgrades work best for them on each model of car. We use your comments and feedback to improve the accuracy of these Accord 4th Gen tuning guides which get regular updates and revisions.

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