7th Gen Honda Accord Upgrades & Modification Guide

"All you need to know about performance mods and upgrades on the Honda Accord 7th Gen!"

So what can we do to improve the performance and handling of your 7th Generation Accord with mods and upgrades?

There are quite a few options, and the Honda engines are very solid, reliable and respond well to tuning upgrades and mods.

As there are so many mods out there, and tuning parts it would help to go through the common ones and flag up the pros and cons of each.

Honda Accord underwent some dramatic changes in its lineup and introduced an all-new sophisticated mid-size class of models in 2003. The 7th generation was produced from 2003 to 2007. Accord features dynamic new styling for its coupe and sedan models.

All the models got some standard equipment addition like the tilt and telescopic steering wheel and anti-lock brakes. A new V6-powered model with a 6-speed manual transmission was introduced to give more power and lower emissions than the previous models.

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

The Honda Accord 7th Gen make awesome project engines and with the ultimate uprated parts like remaps, turbo kits and camshafts you will positively enhance your driving enjoyment.

We shall detail the best approach to Accord 7th Gen tuning and report on the best mods that work.

History of the Accord 7th Gen Engine

The most powerful engine update is the introduction of a new 3.0 L J30A4/J30A5 V6 engine along with 5-speed automatic transmission rated at 240 horsepower. The models got modern cutting edge technologies inside and a new robust design outside.

I think the European model is one of the best-looking versions with outstanding aerodynamic drag. Two engines are available the 2.0 L K20 i-VTEC I4 and the 2.4 L K24A I4 i-VTEC. The second one is more efficient producing 190 hp power when mated with a new 5-speed automatic transmission. It provides a smooth and quieter ride. A diesel option is also available: 2.2L N22A i-CTDi I4.

The new specifications include standard dual-stage front airbags, occupant position detection system, rear headrests, LED instrumentation, larger comfy seats, dual-zone climate control, multifunctional key on the dashboard, and a LATCH child safety seat mounting system.

Tuning the Honda Accord 7th Gen and best Accord 7th Gen performance parts.

Best Accord 7th Gen parts

Despite the fact that specific tuning parts are appear in lots of Accord 7th Gen projects it doesn't mean you should fit it, we will focus on the best tuning parts that will give your Accord 7th Gen the best power gain for you money.

Tuning tips and articles

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

For those of you that own a Honda Accord 7th generation car and are looking to modify it, here are some of the best possible options in this regard.

Please watch our video which covers the 5 principles of tuning your Accord 7th Gen. Be sure to subscribe and support our new channel.

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

Best mods for your Accord 7th Gen

  • Brake Upgrades - Improve your ability to stop should be near the top of your Mods list.
  • Remaps - A Remapped Accord 7th Gen ECU ensures the biggest gains in terms of cost, aftermarket ECUs, and inline Tuning boxes are all alternatives.
  • Flywheel lightening - a reduced weight flywheel will noticeably improve the engines rev changes. Not a great mod for all Accord 7th Gen engines.
  • Accord 7th Gen Suspension Kits - Fitting a more sporty Suspension kit radically improves your Accord 7th Gen handling Adjustable coilovers and better bushings are what is needed here.
  • Turbo Mods - forced induction is the most dramatic method to increase air supply, which permits you to utilize more fuel and make better power figures. It is one of the most expensive modifications it does provide the largest gains.
  • 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.
  • Sporty Profile Camshafts are are often the best upgrade for an engine, but TorqueCars recommend they be installed in your engine by someone qualified to set them up and it is often hard to find a suitable cam near you but there might be a local firm to regrind a stock cam for you.
  • Intake Mods and high flowing exhausts - NB: on their own these mods will NOT ADD PERFORMANCE on most cars, but they will enable you to enhance power after other upgrades by lessening the restriction.

Accord 7th Gen Tuning Stages

Typical stage 1 mods often include: Remaps/piggy back ECU, Drilled & smoothed airbox, New Bushes, Sports exhaust manifold, Performance Brake Pads, Panel air filters.

Typical stage 2 mods often include: Fast road cam, Suspension (Sports), Ported and polished head, Sports catalyst & performance exhaust, Brake Discs (drilled/slotted or grooved, high flow fuel injectors.

Typical stage 3 mods often include: Twin charging conversions, Adding or Upgrading forced induction (turbo/supercharger), Crank and Piston upgrades to alter compression, Engine balancing & blueprinting, Internal engine upgrades (head flowing porting/bigger valves), 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 7th Gen Handling/Suspension Upgrades

Upgrades to the Accord 7th Gen's suspension and handling mods.

When it comes to modding your Accord 7th Gen, one of the most often cited objectives is to enhance its handling. However, we continue to come across the same mistakes where people drop the car too much, or go too stiff with the springs.

Look out for adjustable coilovers which enable you to set a ride hight and this allows you to setup your cars handling to suit your driving style.

One of the most popular reasons for uprating your Accord 7th Gen suspension is to improve its handling.

Suspension

Besides engine modification, suspension upgrades are also important for your Honda Accord 7th generation car.

Here are some recommendations based on our members, readers and viewers responses and our own experiences. Please drop a comment below to pass on your tips, especially if you have found a decent upgrade mod.

Lowering Springs

Some of the best options for lowering springs include:

  • TEIN H-Tech Lowering Springs;
  • D2 Racing Pro Lowering Springs;
  • TruHart Lowering Springs.

These springs are relatively low priced and thus you won't need too much money for them.

Shocks/ Struts

The following are great options regarding shocks/struts:

  • PRO Shocks TASS Series Twin-Tube Steel Shock Absorbers;
  • AirREX Front & Rear Lowering Air Strut Kit;
  • Monroe Monro Matic Plus Strut.
  • You can also fit strut bars such as:
  • DC Sports Carbon Steel Strut Bar;
  • Megan Racing Race Spec Strut Bar.

Coilovers

These are the most expensive suspension upgrade options but the results they deliver are much better than what other parts achieve.

Here are a few great options in this regard:

  • Revel Touring Sports Coilovers;
  • TEIN Flex Z Full Coilovers;
  • D2 Racing RS Full Coilovers.

Upgrading your Accord Bushes

Factors to consider when setting up and selecting your suspension bushings if your Accord 7th Gen is also used as a daily driver?

The suspension components of the Accord 7th Gen connect to the car's chassis through bushes, which are rotatable rubber mounts. Being rubber they absorb much vibration and noise. Unfortunately these rubber ones will wear out over time.

By replacing them with a new set of OEM rubber bushings, you may greatly improve your vehicle's performance.

There are upgrade options though, with many opting to go for Poly bushes.

Because the polyurethane bushes are firmer, the ride may be a bit bumpier, but they will last longer and maintain the handling. This makes Bush replacement an effective Accord mod.

Worn bushes may also accelerate the depreciation of other suspension components due to the increased vibration and play.

A new set of polyeyurothane bushes should help to lessen the excessive play associated with rubber bushes.

You may struggle to find a full set of poly bushes, but most stores have the primary mounts available. Often, custom Accord 7th Gen poly bushes may be manufactured to your requirements.

How low should you go on the Accord 7th Gen?

According to TorqueCars research and testing, the maximum amount of suspension drop for most road vehicles is 23 - 35 millimetres, whereas hot hatchbacks with lower OEM sport suspension have a maximum suspension drop of 20 millimetres.

These tolerances may be drastically lowered if the wheel size is changed. Even with 16 or 17-inch wheels and conventional suspension, lowering the vehicle may create a lots of problems.

Accord 7th Gen Camshaft Upgrades

First we need to bear in mind that VTEC is pretty much a sporty cam profile and stock cam, so getting the VTEC to kick in earlier will give similar benefits to fitting a fast road cam.

However some modified Accord owners want more power, and replacing the cam is a good solid upgrade on a naturally aspirated motor.

Sporty camshaft profiles helps you to boost top end power and we generally recommend this as a primary mod on petrol engines, and secondary on Diesels to a remap. In most cases you will see peak power hikes through performance camshafts on most engines.

Significant gains on most of the Accord 7th Gen engines come from cam upgrades. Altering the cam profile alters the intake and exhaust durations on the engine and can dramatically change the power band and power output.

Fast road cams tend to push up the performance throughout the rev band. You typically lose a little bottom end bhp but the high end rpm power will be greater.

Motorsport and race cams increase the high end of the power band. But this causes the car to not idle smoothly and almost always reduces low end power.

A Race camshaft will just annoy you whilst in heavy traffic.

You should ideally optimize your torque band to your typical driving style, so for a road car stick with a shorter duration Accord 7th Gen camshaft

Each engine responds differently primarily due to the airflow when cams are fitted depending on the cam being more or less aggressive cam 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 map and fuel delivery and fuel pump also will make differences on the bhp gains you'll hit.

Altering valve durations can adjust the bhp curve, and on most engines there are some advantages to extending the intake or exhaust durations and valve lift.

Review your options and then buy your modifications and set yourself a power target to avoid wasting your time and money.

ECU Mapping Improvements for the Accord 7th Gen

ECU flashing should help to fully realize the full potential of all the tuning parts you've fitted to your Accord 7th Gen.

(Sometimes flashing 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 ensure 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 your mileage usually vary depending on the tuning parts you've done and the condition of your engine.

Chip tuning is a hot domain for enthusiasts of performance cars. There are several options available out there for your Honda Accord 7th generation vehicle.

One such example is GAN Tuning. This company offers chip tuning services for all models of the 7th generation Honda Accord and thus you can choose your vehicle’s engine and get information about the performance gain you would get by using GAN Tuning’s service.

  • For example, for the 3.0-litre engine, the performance increase is as follows:
  • Power: 29 hp Torque: 34 Nm.

These are impressive numbers and you don’t have to pay huge amounts of money for getting these gains. This makes such chip tuning services extremely attractive.

The best part is that most services also feature a warranty so just in case the results don’t match your expected results, you can contact the company again and use their services for free, in most cases.

Air Flow improvements on the Accord 7th Gen

Forcing more air into each cylinder is the main goal to any performance tuning project. There is very little restriction in the stock intake on a standard Accord engine. So unless you've done other mods or want the induction noise we would not recommend induction kits.

However if you have a restriction and need to free up the airflow the air intake is a solid Accord mod and will typically release around 7hp on higher power builds.

Accord Air Intakes

The most commonly upgraded part of any car is the air intake system. The Honda Accord 7th generation vehicles are no exception.

If you have a 2.0-litre vehicle, we recommend that you use the Flowmaster Delta Force Cross-linked Cold Air Intake System.

Although this is an expensive option, still the high performance justifies the cost.

For cars with 2.2-litre engines, using the Injen RD Series Cold Air Intake System is a good idea. It is a moderately priced part and works effectively.

The 2.4-litre Honda Accord 7th generation car owners can choose the K&N 69 Series Typhoon Cold Air Intake system.

Using the Weapon-R Secret Weapon Short Ram Air Intake System for the 3.0-litre Accords of this generation is also advised.

Air Intake manifolds flow the air from the filter and allow it to be pulled into the engine cylinders.

Shape and flow rate of the head, ports and intake manifold can make a big change to fuel delivery on the Accord 7th Gen.

We often see intake manifolds are in desperate need of an upgrade, although a few manufacturers provide fairly well optimized intake. This depends on which engine you have in your Accord.

Fitting big valve kits, doing a bit of 3 or 5 angle valve jobs and porting and head flowing will also raise bhp and torque, & importantly will afford you a greater bhp and torque increase on other parts.

Accord 7th 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 7th Gen

If you are looking for serious performance figures, you need an effective turbocharger system to get the desired results.

For a wide range of Honda Accord 7th generation vehicles, you can use this turbocharger from MMI SPEED SHOP.

Check whether this system is compatible with your car, before choosing this part. There is a helpful guide and info on the MMI SPEED SHOP where the list of all compatible Honda Accord models is provided.

Another option dubbed Turbo Specialties T25 Extreme Turbo Kit Honda Accord K20 03-05 is also available for interested customers.

It is to be noted that both the above-mentioned turbocharger options are quite expensive and thus you must take special care for making sure that they fit the particular engine on your car.

Alternatively, you can choose a universal turbocharger from BorgWarner. The Airwerks S400SX Super Core Cartridge is the best option available out there at the moment.

The most attractive aspect of universal turbochargers like this is that you won’t face any issues regarding fitting the part.

Supercharger

If you want to supercharge your Honda Accord 7th generation car, we recommend going for the Kraftwerks Rotrex K-Series C30-94 Supercharger Race Kit.

This supercharger is also an expensive option and can be used just for the 2.4-litre Honda Accord of this generation.

Intercooler Mods

Any Accord which has had a turbo fitted will need an intercooler as well. Any compression of air will raise the intake temps.

An intercooler is a highly useful part because it provides your engine with cold and dense air which is vital for improving the power and torque of your car.

For the Honda Accord 7th generation vehicles, you can choose from a wide variety of intercooler options however some of them that we think are the best fit include but are not limited to:

  • SpeedFactory Universal Intercooler 2.5” Side Inlets;
  • Mishimoto Universal Intercooler R-Line;
  • Vibrant Performance Universal Intercooler.

All of these are great value for money and can be had at moderate prices. We highly recommend that you get one of these intercoolers if you have modified your Honda Accord 7th generation car.

Bigger upgraded turbos often experience a bottom end lag, and low capacity turbos spool up more quickly but don't have the peak rpm torque gains.

Thanks to new tech the world of turbos is always increasing and we now see variable vane turbos, allowing the vane profile is altered according to speed to lower lag and increase top end bhp.

Twin scroll turbos divert the exhaust flow into two channels and direct these at differently angled vanes in the turbo charger. They also increase the scavenging effect of the engine.

It is common that there's a limitation in the air flow sensor (AFM/MAF/MAP) on the Accord 7th Gen when a lot more air is being sucked into the engine.

We see 4 bar air sensors coping with quite large power gains, whereas the OEM air sensor sapped performance at a much lower level.

Adding a supercharger or additional turbo will make large torque gains, although harder to setup. We have this in depth look at twinchargers if you want to read more.

Radiator Upgrades

A radiator is important for keeping your car’s engine cool during operation. However, it is to be mentioned that most stock radiators are incapable of handling the excessive heat generated by modified car engines.

This is why the need to replace them with aftermarket high-performance radiators becomes a must.

One such radiator option that shows impressive results in heat dissipation for your modified Honda Accord 7th generation car is the Mishimoto Race Ready radiator.

This part is mid-priced but we suggest that you get it if you want to avoid overheating issues in your car.

Accord 7th Gen Fuelling Upgrades

You will need to ensure that the engine is not starved of fuel so should increase the fuelling when you start extending past 20% of a power increase. Fuel pressure boost valves raise the fuel pressure, can improve throttle response.It is important to over specify your injector flow rate.

Fuel Delivery System Upgrade

Once you have fit most of the engine-related modifications on your car, the next step is to ensure the supply of a larger quantity of fuel to the engine.

This does not mean just fitting a better fuel pump. You have to look at the whole fuel delivery system, right up to the injectors.

Running low on fuel will definitely lose you power, so make sure you have plenty of overhead fuel capacity.

The fuel delivery parts which commonly are replaced include fuel injectors, fuel pumps, fuel pressure regulators and injector drivers.

You can use the following options for upgrading the fuel delivery system on your Honda Accord 7th generation cars:

  • DeatschWerks In-Tank High Flow Fuel Pump;
  • AEM Adjustable Fuel Pressure Regulator;
  • BLOX Fuel Pressure Regulator;
  • Skunk2 Composite High Flow Fuel Rail;
  • Walbro In-Tank High Flow Fuel Pump;
  • Hondata Injector Driver.

Fuel Injectors

You must take special care when choosing the fuel injectors for your car. That’s because these are the most vital components, and thus we advise using the following options for these cars:

  • Grams Performance Fuel Injectors having a capacity of 550cc;
  • Injector Dynamics ID1050x, ID1300x, ID1700X and ID 2600-XDS Fuel Injector Sets;
  • Edelbrock Injector Pico Style. They are available in the following different capacities: 185cc, 281cc and 427cc;
  • Blox Racing 1000cc Eco-fi Fuel Injectors;

The accepted safe increase is to add 20% to the flow rate when fitting an injector, this accounts for injector deterioration and affords a bit of 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 7th Gen Performance Exhausts Upgrades

You may need to upgrade your exhaust if your current exhaust is actually creating a flow problem.

On most factory exhausts, you'll see the exhaust 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 can help balance the flow of gases through the engine.

But if your exhaust is too big, ie: over 2.5 inches, you will lose much of your flow rate and end up losing power and torque.

Usual exhaust restrictions are in the catalyst and filters installed, so adding a better performing aftermarket version removes the restriction, and rather than doing an illegal decat, will keep the car road legal. Please note that performance catalysts perform similarly to cat removal and have the added benefit of keeping your car street legal, as decat or catalyst removal is not a legal mod.

Accord Alloy wheel upgrades

The 17's are my preferred rim size, but I've seen people happy with the 18's and one guy even fitted 19's to his. Weight is the big factor when it comes to alloy wheel sizes.

Wheels

The company fit wheels of different sizes on different car models. Here are the details.

2.0 liter

  • 195/65R15;
  • 205/55R16;
  • 195/65R15;
  • 215/60R15;
  • 215/55R16;
  • 225/45ZR17.

2.2 litre

  • 205/55R16;
  • 225/50R16;
  • 205/50R17;
  • 225/45ZR17;
  • 225/45ZR17.

2.4 litre

  • 205/55R16;
  • 215/45ZR17;
  • 225/45ZR17;
  • 225/40ZR18;
  • 245/35ZR18.

3.0 litre

  • 205/60R16;
  • 215/50R17;
  • 235/45ZR17;
  • 235/40ZR18;
  • 245/35ZR19.

Weak spots, Issues & problem areas on the Accord 7th Gen

The Accord 7th Gen engines are fairly reliable as long as you regularly service and maintain them.

Carbon build up in the head, particularly around the valves which will sap power or create flat spots, this is a very common problem on direct injection engines but should be looked out for on all engines. We have tips on intake clean to remove carbon build up Avoid short journeys and use a good quality fuel.

Regular oil changes are vital on the Accord 7th Gen, and more so when the car is modified and will help ensure reliability of the engine.

If you want to learn more, or just get some friendly advice on Tuning your Accord 7th Gen engine please join us in our friendly forum where you can discuss Accord 7th Gen tuning options in more detail with our Accord 7th 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 to know what our visitors have got up to and which modifications work best for them on each model of car. We use your comments and feedback to improve the accuracy of these Accord 7th Gen tuning guides which get regular updates and revisions.

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