6th Gen Honda Accord Best Mods & Tuning Guide

"All you need to know about performance tuning mods on the Honda Accord 6th Gen engine!"

As many of our readers have emailed us about the Accord 6th Gen and sought recommendations on how to modify one, so we've put together this article to go over what we feel are the primary mods and upgrades which make for improvement and tuning success on this great car.

For those looking to improve the performance of their Honda Accord 6th generation vehicles, several options are available.

Let's discuss the top upgrades and mods that can be performed on your Accord for increasing power and improving the handling.

6th Gen Accord Model History

The sixth-generation Accord hit the market in 1998 as a 2-door coupe and a 4-door sedan. Honda made three distinct versions for Japan, America, and Europe. The production values focus more on users’ needs and wants than engineering needs and wants. To reduce costs Honda established a common platform to cater to widely differing needs of the users from all these countries.

For the first time, Honda presented a four-wheel-drive configuration and a 5-link double-wishbone rear suspension in the Accord series. The vehicle has electric power steering available with a variable gear ratio.

Now we will detail the best approach to Accord 6th Gen tuning and provide tips on the best modifications. Honda Accord 6th Gen great bases for a tuning project and with the ultimate tuning modifications like a remap, turbo kits and camshafts you will definitely maximise your driving experience.

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

History of the Accord 6th Gen Engine

All the engines of 6th gen vehicles feature VTEC technology for robust performance. This effectively gives you a car with 2 characters. The engine options available for sixth generation vehicles include: 1.8 L F18B I4, 2.0 L F20A/F20B DOHC I4, 2.2 L H22A DOHC I4, and 2.3 L H23A DOHC I4.

Every country offered different trims but the most powerful model has a 3.0L V6 SOHC VTEC engine that generates 200 bhp and a torque of 195 lb-ft.

The sixth-generation models have a rigid body structure fitted with anti-vibration and sound-absorbent material. The cars are equipped with a navigation system, sunroof, rear suspension module, four-wheel disc brakes, membrane horn switch, and new light alloy wheels.

Honda Accord got the world’s first factory-installed Lane Wandering Sensing Device to detect the wandering pattern during travel. The system detects abnormal driving and warns the driver via alarms.

The American models got a facelift in 2000 featuring a new front fascia, new tail lights, side skirt alteration, rear bumper, and fresh-looking wheel design.

The European Accord has a distinct style as it was a bit shorter than other models. Europe got a 4-door sedan and 5-door hatchback from Honda.

The most powerful model has a 2.0 L F20B6 VTEC engine producing 145 hp power. It got a minor facelift in 2001 featuring a revised bumper, alloy wheels, an updated grille design, and revised front and rear lights. The smooth and comfy interior makes you feel relaxed during travel.

Tuning the Honda Accord 6th Gen and best Accord 6th Gen performance parts.

Best Accord 6th Gen parts

The optimum Accord 6th Gen mods on an engine are typically the ones that give the biggest return for your cash.

I will not base my recommendations on the most common or popular Accord 6th Gen mods, they need to prove cost effective and give decent benefits.

Tuning tips and articles

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

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

Best mods for your Accord 6th Gen

  • ECU Tunes - Accord 6th Gen remapping offers the most advantage compared to cost, aftermarket ECU upgrades, and inline Tuning boxes are all alternatives.
  • Turbo upgrades - forced induction is the most significant way to raise the intake air supply, this means you are able to use more fuel and make higher power. Typically one of the most technically difficult mods but provides the best gains.
  • Upgraded Camshafts are are often the best upgrade for an engine, but we strongly suggest they be applied to your engine by someone understands performance engines and tracking one down may be hard but you might find a local firm to regrind a stock cam .
  • Braking Mods - Improve your Accord 6th Gen's stopping power needs to be listed in your priority list.
  • Accord 6th Gen Handling Mods (Suspension) - Upgrading your suspension radically improves your Accord 6th Gen handling Coilovers and Bushings are the usual go to mods
  • Lightened Flywheels - a lighter flywheel will noticeably improve the engines free revving nature. In some cases flywheel lightening is not a great mod for all Accord 6th 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.
  • Intake Mods and Sports Exhausts - Please note that on their own these mods will NOT ADD TORQUE for most setups, but they will enable you to lift power after other modifications by minimizing the restriction.

Accord 6th Gen Tuning Stages

Typical stage 1 mods often include: Fast road camshaft, Suspension (mild drop), New Bushes, Panel air filters, Performance Brake Pads, Remaps/piggy back ECU.

Typical stage 2 mods often include: fuel pump upgrades, Suspension (Sports), high flow fuel injectors, induction kit, Ported and polished head, Sports catalyst & performance exhaust.

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

(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 6th Gen Handling/Suspension Upgrades

If you’ve performed all the engine-related modifications on your vehicle, another domain that also needs your attention is the suspension.

One of the most popular reasons for modifying your Accord 6th Gen suspension is to better its handling. In spite of this, we continue to witness the same mistakes over and over again.

Coilovers enable you to adjust the suspension height and this allows you to setup your handling.

Lowering Springs

By lowering your car, you can bring down its centre of gravity which makes it easier and safer to corner the vehicle at relatively higher speeds.

Here are a few options used for lowering your Honda Accord 6th gen.

  • H&R Sport Lowering Coil Springs. They start at $155;
  • Eibach Prokit Lowering Coil Springs. They start at $75;
  • Vogtland Lowering Coil Springs. They start at $160.

 Shocks/ Struts

For shocks/struts, you have the following options:

  • Koni STR.T Shock Absorbers which start at $65;
  • TruHart Sport Shock Absorbers which start at $212;
  • KYB AGX Twin-Tube Adjustable Strut which starts at $88.

Coilovers

The best option for any suspension upgrade is coilovers. Here are a few options that you can choose from for your Honda Accord 6th generation car:

  • Godspeed Project Mono MAXX Front & Rear Coilover Kit which costs $890;
  • Tein Street Advance Z Front & Rear Coilover Kit which costs $800;
  • D2 Racing RS Series Front & Rear Coilover Kit which costs $1500.

Is there anything I should bear in mind while deciding on suspension mods for my Accord 6th Gen?

Improvements to the bushings

What factors should you consider when setting up and selecting your suspension bushings if your Accord 6th Gen is also used as a daily driver?

It is possible to connect the Accord 6th Gen's suspension components to the chassis of the Accord 6th Gen using poly bushes, which are direct replacements for the factory mounts. The rubber ones will lose their shape with time and need replacing anyway so why not upgrade.

New OEM rubber bushes may have a major impact on the performance of your vehicle, especially when comparing with the old work bushings on high mileage Accords.

It's probable that the ride may be a touch rougher because of the stronger polyurethane bushes but they'll last longer and maintain tighter handling.

Worn bushings may also hasten the degradation of other suspension components due to the increased vibration and play.

With a new set of poly bushes, the excessive play associated with rubber bushings may be reduced.

How low should you go on the Accord 6th Gen?

According to TorqueCars research and testing, the maximum amount of suspension drop for most road vehicles is 27 - 43 millimetres, whereas hot hatchbacks with lower OEM sport suspension have a maximum suspension drop of 22 millimetres.

These tolerances are drastically reduced if you change the wheel size. Even with 16 or 17-inch wheels and conventional suspension, lowering the vehicle may create a lots of problems.

Accord Wheel Upgrades.

You may save on unsprung weight and improve brake cooling by upgrading to alloy wheels. Even though we can't go into great into about them here, tyres are perhaps the most important part of any vehicle since they are responsible for transferring the engine's output to the tarmac.

On an Accord, slick tires that are permitted on the track are a significant improvement over economy tires. While huge alloys may look good on the Accord, they significantly reduce the vehicle's performance. With a different effective final drive ratio, acceleration drops as vehicle size increases.

The Honda Accord 6th generation vehicles came with the following wheel options:

2.3 litre

  • 195/65R15
  • 205/55R16
  • 205/50R17

3.0 litre

  • 205/65R15
  • 205/60R16
  • 215/50R17

Personally I wouldn't go over 1 inch of what was originally fitted, it just hampers performance on wet everyday road surfaces, but please let me know in the comments what your experiences has been.

Accord 6th Gen Camshaft Upgrades

Performance camshafts come into their own at higher RPM power so are more suited to petrol engines, than diesel ones. We've always seen peak power hikes through performance camshafts on most engines

The cam profile plays a big part in the engines power output so cam upgrades make quite a large difference. The intake & exhaust durations will alter depending on the chosen cam profile, so large bhp gains are on offer for cam upgrades.

Fast road cams usually bump the bhp throughout the rev range, you may sacrifice a little low down bhp but the top end will be lifted.

Motorsport cams, bump the top end band but as a result the car will not idle smoothly and low end power nearly always suffers.

A Race camshaft is not great driving around busy urban areas.

You should ideally match your torque band to your cars usage so for a car used daily stick with a shorter duration Accord 6th Gen camshaft

Each engine responds differently depending on how well made they are, even same model engines have produced varying results.

When camshafts are fitted the result depends upon the camshaft profile. If it is a less aggressive camshaft duration you will retain drivability, so view each engine and camshaft as unique due to manufacturing tolerances and quality variations so set your engine up on a rolling road.

The ECU mapping and fuelling and fuel pump also will say much on the power gains you'll make.

Extending exhaust or intake durations can amend the power band, and on most engines there are some advantages to extending the intake or exhaust durations and valve lift.

The Accord 6th Gen power plant respond well to upgrades and we're pleased to see that there is a growing number of parts and performance parts around.

ECU Mapping Improvements for the Accord 6th Gen

Remaps allows a tuner to to establish the full potential of all the tuning parts you've done to your Accord 6th Gen.

(Sometimes chip tuning the ECU is not an option, so an aftermarket ECU is the route to take, and many of these will outperform factory ECU's but check it has knock protection and that you get it correctly setup.) 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 your mileage usually depend much on the tuning parts you've applied and the condition of your engine.

ECU Chips

If you want to instantly put your Honda Accord 6th generation vehicle on steroids, one great option is the Unichip Plug & Play ECU system.

The installation process of the device is extremely easy due to its Plug & Play nature and thus you don’t need to be a master of such stuff for getting the most out of your car.

This system costs around $540 and works for the 3.0 litre Honda Accord 6th generation vehicles only so make sure you choose the right part for your vehicle.

Boost Controllers

You can also use one of the following boost controllers for getting the most out of your modified Honda Accord 6th generation car (Obviously only applies to turbo models.):

  • AEM Tru-Boost Controller & Gauge;
  • GReddy Profec Electronic Boost Controller;
  • HKS EVC Electronic Boost Controller;
  • GrimmSpeed Manual Boost Controller.

These parts range in price from $95 to $400.

Air Flow improvements on the Accord 6th Gen

It is the whole point to any tuning task to feed air into each cylinder, burning fuel is what tuning is all about.

Air Intake Systems

Normally the first performance upgrade that most people undertake on their cars is related to the air intake system.

By upgrading this system, you enable your car to get an enhanced quantity of air. When this air gets mixed with a higher quantity of fuel, it will results in better power and torque.

Some of the best options regarding air intake systems for the Honda Accord 6th generation vehicles include but are not limited to:

Performance air intake system from K&N having part number 69-1203TP is one of the optimal parts for these cars.

However, if you are looking at engine-specific air intake systems, here are a few options for you:

  • For the 1.8 litre vehicle, we recommend the Injen IS Series Short Ram Air Intake system which costs around $250;
  • For the 2.0 litre cars, you can go for the Weapon-R Secret Weapon Short Ram Air Intake System. These cost around $270;
  • For the 2.3 litre vehicles, the AEM Intakes Short Ram Air Intake System that costs nearly $250 is a great option;
  • If you have a 3.0-litre vehicle, the K&N 69 Series Typhoon Complete Cold Air Intake System which has a price of around $450 suits your vehicle the most.

Intake manifolds take the air from the air filter and allow it to be pulled into the engine cylinders. If this is restricted in anyway you'll be losing some performance.

The bore size, shape and rate of flow of the intake you have can make a noticeable change to fuel atomisation and engine efficiency on the Accord 6th Gen. It can even raise or lower the peak power band to a degree.

It's not uncommon that intake are crying out for motorsport parts, although a few car makers provide fairly well optimized intake manifold.

Adding a Accord 6th Gen big valve conversion, carrying out port work and head flowing will also improve performance, and more importantly will give you raising the performance increase on other parts.

Accord 6th 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 6th Gen

We see many tuners spending a fortune on turbo upgrades without remapping it properly.

Sadly on the Accord 6th Gen it can be hard to get this right and you'll suffer from engine problems and misfires.

Large capacity turbo chargers commonly suffer a bottom end lag, and little turbo chargers spool up much more quickly but do not have the top end bhp gains.

A turbocharger is one of the most effective ways of increasing the performance of your car.

After you’ve got enough air flowing to your engine, the next rational step is to go for a turbocharger.

For this purpose, we suggest using the TSI Extreme Turbo Kit. It costs around $2400. This kit contains everything you need to boost the performance of your engine including the air intake and filter.

This means that by using this kit, you can save money as you don’t have to use a separate air intake system.

An alternate option is to use the BorgWarner Airwerks S400SX Super Core Cartridge turbocharger which costs around $1100.

It is a universal part so you can install it without having to worry about fitting problems.

You'll commonly see there's a limit in the air flow sensor (AFM/MAF/MAP) on the Accord 6th Gen when a lot more air is being pulled into the engine.

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

Adding a supercharger or additional turbo will make large bhp gains, although harder to setup. We have this article on twincharging if you want to read more.

Intercooler

An intercooler works wonders by delivering cold and dense air to the car’s engine. This is important if you want to increase the performance of your car considerably.

There aren’t any vehicle-specific intercooler options available for the Honda Accord 6th generation cars. So, the best option for you is to go for the Mishimoto universal intercooler.

This intercooler not just fits all vehicles but is also quite reasonably priced at $180.

Radiator

Modified cars often suffer from overheating issues. The main reason for this is that the radiator and cooling systems of the stock cars are not designed to handle the excessive heat that is generated by the modified car engines.

This is where aftermarket performance radiators come into action. Some of the best options in this regard are as follows:

  • Mishimoto Race Ready Radiator which starts from around $400;
  • Griffin Thermal High-Performance Aluminium Crossflow Radiator costing around $200;
  • Spyder Xtune Engine Cooling Radiator that costs $105;
  • Proform Universal Radiator is priced around $250.

Accord 6th Gen Fuelling Upgrades

You will need to ensure that the engine is not starved of fuel so need to look at the fuelling when you start exceeding 20% of a bhp increase.

Fuel pressure boost valves raise the fuel pressure, providing a more snappy throttle response.

Most tuners we speak with say to over specify your flow rate on the injectors.

A modified car needs a higher quantity of air and fuel mixture for the increased combustion process.

For delivering more fuel to the engine, you need better fuel injectors and here are some of the best options for your Honda Accord 6th generation cars.

  • Injector Dynamics ID1050x;
  • Injector Dynamics ID1300x;
  • Injector Dynamics ID1700x;

These fuel injectors start from around $550 and go all the way up to $1300. Depending upon your vehicle’s requirements, you can choose the option that suits you the best.

Other than the fuel injectors, there are several other components which also play a pivotal role in the delivery of fuel to the vehicle’s engine. Fuel pumps, injector drivers and pressure regulators are some of these parts.

Here are a few parts that can be used to guarantee the smooth flow of fuel to your vehicle’s engine:

  • DeastchWerks In-Tank High Flow Fuel Pump;
  • Walbro In-Tank High Flow Fuel Pump;
  • BLOX Fuel Pressure Regulator;
  • AEM Adjustable Fuel Pressure Regulator;
  • Hondata Injector Driver;

As a rule of thumb add another 20% when specifying an injector, this takes into account injector deterioration and provides 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 6th Gen Performance Exhausts

You should look to upgrade your exhaust if your exhaust is actually creating a restriction in flow.

On most factory exhausts you should find that the flow rate is still fine 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 increase the flow of air through the engine.

But if the exhaust pipe is too large, ie: over 2.5 inches bore, you will lose a lot of the flow rate and end up lacking power and torque.

For road going cars mods such as a sports catalyst pretty much remove this restriction, mainly to it's larger size and surface area, and will effectively raise the performance to levels you would expect without having a catalyst installed, but keeps the car road legal. And will remove the restriction due to it's higher internal surface area and design. The alternative test pipe mod or catalyst removal should be considered an off road only mod, as removing a catalyst is illegal in most territories and regions for road registered cars (and in some you can't even replace a working catalyst).

Weak spots, Issues & problem areas on the Accord 6th Gen

The Accord 6th Gen engines are fairly reliable 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 cleaning guide Avoid short journeys and use a good quality fuel.

Frequent oil changes are essential on the Accord 6th Gen, especially when tuned and will help prolong the life of the engine.

If you want to know more, or just get tips on Tuning your Accord 6th Gen engine please join us in our friendly forum where you can discuss Accord 6th Gen tuning options in more detail with our Accord 6th 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 appreciate people taking the time to tell us what our members have got up to and which mods work best for them on each model of car. We use your comments and feedback to improve the accuracy of these Accord 6th Gen tuning guides which get regular updates and revisions.

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