The Top 5 Honda Accord Modifications. Since its introduction in the late 1970s, the Honda Accord has been a popular choice for drivers searching for a dependable and economical vehicle. The Accord has been one of the best-selling vehicles in the United States since the 1980s, transporting hundreds of millions of Americans for hundreds of millions of kilometers. While most people don’t equate the Accord with performance, Honda has been releasing some pretty strong V6 and turbo-four Accords on the market since the mid-2000s. Many of them produce little under 300 horsepower.
We’re creating a 5 Best Honda Accord Mods guide to assist you get started if you want to get a little more performance out of your Accord. We’ll begin with suspension modifications and selecting the best wheel and tire combinations. Then we’ll talk about ways to boost horsepower and look at the best bolt-on intake, tune, and exhaust upgrades on the market.
Keep in mind that Honda has launched numerous trim levels and Accord models over the years. We attempted to make this guide as generic as possible, but not everything will apply to every model, trim, and model year combination. Before making any final purchases, always double-check fitment and functionality.
History of Honda Accord Performance
Honda released its famous Accord model in 1976, which feels like an eternity ago. Buyers were enticed to its affordability at the dealership and at the gas pump right away, but performance was an afterthought. Most models produced 60-75 horsepower, and it wasn’t until the early 1980s that they exceeded 100 horsepower. They did, however, have MPG ratings in the 50s and 60s, which most American domestics couldn’t match.
By the late 1980s, the Accord was one of the country’s best-selling vehicles. Honda released the first V6 accord with the 2.7L C27 engine in 1994. The V6 Accord was one of the most popular options by the mid-2010s. The most powerful V6 Accords produced over 270 horsepower and 250 pound-feet of torque.
Honda replaced the V6 engine in the Accord lineup with a turbocharged 2.0 L inline-four engine beginning in 2018. The new engine produced 252 horsepower and 273 pound-feet of torque. Honda has not yet unveiled the new model, but we do know it will have a 1.5 L inline-four turbo engine. It will most likely produce similar power as the current 2.0L turbo, but with higher fuel efficiency and lower emissions.
Why should you modify your Honda Accord?
When most people think about enhancing and improving their vehicles, a modified Honda Accord isn’t the first thing that comes to mind. While we are guilty of discounting the Accord at times, it does have decent performance specs on paper. The Honda Accord is one of the few cars that still has a manual transmission. This alone puts it ahead of many other current vehicles that are attempting to enhance and improve the driving experience.
The ninth generation Accord V6 produced 278 horsepower and could accelerate from zero to sixty miles per hour in less than six seconds. Many V6 Accord owners have achieved quarter-mile times of 14 seconds at 100 mph. While they aren’t spectacular numbers, they are pretty good for a fuel-efficient economy car like the Accord.
The Honda Accord already has good performance, but if you want to improve the handling and increase the horsepower even more, modding is a wonderful option. With a few modest Honda Accord changes, you may improve the handling and increase the horsepower to levels comparable to many modern performance vehicles.
Top 5 Honda Accord Modifications
Honda needs to make several concessions for performance in the Accord from the factory in order to offer the fuel economy, emissions, and inexpensive pricing that veteran Honda fans have come to expect. Fortunately, many of these shortcuts may be corrected with a few simple Honda Accord modifications.
Top 5 Honda Accord Modifications:
- Suspension Upgrades
- Upgraded Wheels and Tires
- ECU Programming
- Fresh Air Intake
- Exhaust Modifications
The suspension system is the first thing we would recommend updating on basic Honda Accords. The original suspension is not noted for its handling, especially when equipped with the more powerful V6 and turbo-four engines. However, all Accords can benefit from improved traction, reduced body roll, and more overall stability.
The next best upgrade after the suspension is a nice pair of tires and wheels. Getting performance wheels and tires will increase handling, traction, and, most crucially, reaction, just like getting suspension adjustments for your Honda Accord. Many folks are amazed at how much a performance wheel/tire update can make the Accord feel nearly completely different.
After we’ve addressed some fundamental handling issues, the next step is to consider increasing horsepower and torque. ECU tuning, a cold air intake, and exhaust upgrades are our three recommendations for increasing power on the Accord. To be honest, the horsepower boosts aren’t dramatic on paper, but they make a significant difference in the driving experience.
1) Honda Accord Suspension Modifications
Advantages of Honda Accord Suspension Modifications:
- Body-roll reduction
- lowered ride height
- enhanced maneuverability
- enhanced cornering
- increased stability
- improved ability to deal with bumps
There are numerous locations where the Honda Accord’s factory suspension system can be improved. The stock system is clearly designed for comfort above performance, and it severely compromises handling. The most frequent Honda Accord suspension changes are, in no particular order, sway bars, strut bars, and coilovers or lowering springs.
Simply put, strengthening your suspension will make your car handle much better everywhere. You’ll notice improvements when entering and exiting corners and trying to keep the car straight over bumps. You’ll also notice greater cornering stability and reduced shaking inside the cabin. It will make the automobile feel much more grounded to the road than before.
Upgrades for Honda Accord Sway Bars and Strut Bars
Body-roll is reduced with better sway bars and strut bars (also known as strut tower braces). Under heavy load, the OEM sway bars and strut bar are known to flex. The benefit of upgrading to aftermarket ones is increased strength and lower weight, which prevents flexing while losing unwanted pounds.
Sway bars run underneath the car and connect the suspension’s left and right sides. When an automobile spins, the weight shifts from both wheels to the outside wheel. The sway bars’ purpose is to clamp down on the springs on the inside wheel, shifting weight from the outside wheel, keeping the car level, and preventing body-roll. For this reason, sway bars are also known as anti-roll bars, and there are two of them: one in front and one in behind.
Upgrades for Honda Accord Sway Bars and Strut Bars
Body-roll is reduced by improved sway bars and strut bars (also known as strut tower braces). Under heavy load, the factory sway bars and strut bar are known to flex. The benefit of upgrading to aftermarket ones is increased strength and reduced weight, which prevents flexing while shedding unwanted pounds.
Sway bars run underneath the car and connect the suspension’s left and right sides. When a car turns, the weight shifts from both wheels to the outside wheel. The sway bars’ purpose is to clamp down on the springs on the inside wheel, redistributing weight from the outside wheel, keeping the car level, and preventing body-roll. For this reason, sway bars are also known as anti-roll bars, and there are two of them: one in front and one in back.
Instead of being under the car, the strut bar is located in the engine bay. The strut bar connects the left and right struts and serves the same purpose as the sway bar. The bar transfers spring pressure from one strut to the next, reducing body roll and increasing stability. Upgraded sway bars and strut bars will vastly improve handling when entering and exiting a corner.
Coilovers and Lowering Springs by Accord
This brings us to coilovers and spring lowering. Both achieve the same goal: lowering the ride height to lower the center of gravity. Lowering the center of gravity and ride height makes steering adjustments more precise and responsive. With coilovers, your car will perform even better when cornering and will ride more stable in a straight line.
Coilovers cost more than lowering springs, but they perform far better. Lowering springs are the low-cost option, while coilovers are the professional option. We strongly recommend coilovers over springs because they are well worth the extra money.
Another thing to consider is that coilovers or lowering springs will make the ride harsher. Because most aftermarket springs are stiffer than stock, the car will respond to and stay planted over bumps much better. However, even if the bumps are minor, you will feel them much more acutely.
If your Accord is your daily driver and you put a lot of city miles on it, you might want to think about coilovers. Many people have installed coilovers only to discover that they are too stiff and uncomfortable for daily driving. Especially if you’re not the only one in the vehicle.
2) Upgraded Accord Wheels and Tires
Now let’s talk about Honda Accord wheel and tire upgrades. Simply put, there is almost nothing you can do to the suspension that will make a difference as much as upgraded wheels and tires. They are, however, more expensive, so they come in second place.
The Advantages of Honda Accord Wheel and Tire Upgrades
- enhanced maneuverability
- Acceleration has been improved.
- increased traction
- enhanced braking
- Wheel weight reduction
The stock rims and tires are both underwhelming in terms of performance and aesthetics. Honda’s OEM rims are made of cast aluminum, which makes them porous and less durable. They also appear incredibly simple and do not add much to the appeal of the wheel look.
Forged wheels, on the other hand, provide less porous wheels that are much more durable. Instead of being poured into a mold, forged wheels are cut and compressed from a single billet. This makes them significantly stronger, more resistant to oxidation and corrosion, and significantly lighter. They outperform cast alloy wheels in terms of performance and durability. You can also change the color, material, and pattern to your liking.
The advantages of upgraded wheels are in the areas of handling, braking, and acceleration. Because of their lighter weight, forged wheels are more responsive to driver adjustments, improving handling. The lighter mass also makes it easier to slow down and move the wheels when braking and accelerating. You won’t gain any horsepower, but you will be able to put it down more effectively.
Upgraded Accord Tires
High performance tires are an excellent performance upgrade for the Accord because they outperform other types of rubber in terms of performance, handling, and traction. They have superior design features that enable precise and consistent control in both dry and wet conditions.
High performance tires are typically summer tires, but if you live in a harsh climate, you can also find all-weather and winter performance tires. Many people who live in snowy areas have two sets of tires, one for summer and one for winter. This gives you the best of both worlds in terms of traction and performance, but it is very expensive. If you live in an area with a lot of snow and rain, a high performance all-season tire is probably the best option for most Accord drivers.
When combined with lighter forged wheels, a performance tire upgrade will completely transform your Accord. With new tires and wheels, you will definitely notice improvements in acceleration, braking, handling, and traction.
3) Upgraded Accord ECU Tuning
Benefits of Honda Accord ECU Tuning:
- enhanced horsepower/torque
- Power band that is more consistent
- Capability to compensate for aftermarket modifications
- Improve aftermarket mod performance.
Now comes the exciting part: adding horsepower to your modded Honda Accord. ECU tuning is one of the most effective ways to increase horsepower on your Accord. Nowadays, almost all modern automobiles are powered by an onboard computer known as the Engine Control Unit or ECU.
Your engine’s ECU controls many aspects of its operation, including how much horsepower and torque it produces. Honda tuned their engines to maximize reliability and fuel economy, which means they sacrificed some power. You can easily unlock some of this extra horsepower by using aftermarket Accord ECU tuning.
The majority of Honda tuners are handheld programmers that plug into the OBD II port beneath your dashboard. They come preloaded with “maps” or “tunes” that you can program into your vehicle using the included tuner. In order to achieve maximum horsepower, these tunes optimize parameters such as ignition timing, camshaft timing, boost pressure, and air-to-fuel ratios.
You can also use a custom tuner instead of a preloaded tune. While custom tuners are more expensive, the benefit is that your car will receive more attention. Instead of a generic tune designed for your specific make, model, and mods, a custom tune considers how your specific car reacts to the mods to ensure they work optimally. Not all mods work perfectly on all vehicles, and custom tuning can assist in ironing out any kinks.
ECU tuning is an excellent mod for both stock and modified engines. Expect a 10-20% increase in power and improved drivability.
Related : The Top 5 Acura RSX Mods
4) Cold Air Intakes by Accord
Accord Cold Air Intake Advantages:
- increased horsepower and torque
- enhanced throttle response
- increased fuel economy
- Broadened power band
- Engine noise has increased.
- Enhances the appearance of the engine bay
A cold air intake is our first bolt-on recommendation for the Honda Accord to make more power. The Honda Accord has two types of intakes: cold air intakes and short ram intakes. Both are similar, but short ram intakes have less piping and the air filter is located as close to the intake as possible. Cold air intakes, on the other hand, move the filter as far away from the engine bay as possible in order to capture cooler air.
We recommend a CAI because the colder air will improve performance significantly. Colder air contains more oxygen than hot air, allowing the car to produce more power when it combusts. Furthermore, cold air intakes have less restrictive piping and air boxes than stock intakes, allowing for greater flow volume and velocity. All of this translates to more horsepower, a more responsive throttle, and a wider power band.
Installing a cold air intake will improve your gas mileage, though it will be minimal. The idea is that colder air requires less fuel, so a cold air intake will cause your engine to use less gas. While this is true in theory, in practice it only corresponds to 0.5-1 MPG increases. It’s still better than nothing, but not by much.
5) Accord Exhaust Modifications
The exhaust is our final Honda Accord bolt-on recommendation. There are various pieces you can upgrade depending on the size, configuration, and natural aspiration of your engine. We’ll begin with naturally aspirated Accords and progress to turbocharged models.
Top Advantages of Honda Accord Exhaust Modifications:
- enhanced horsepower/torque
- Broadened power band
- increased exhaust flow and scavenging
- Exhaust noise has increased.
- Accord Exhaust Modifications for Naturally Aspirated Engines
You’ll want to upgrade the headers and cat-back exhaust on naturally aspirated Honda Accords. The header(s) are the most forward part of the exhaust and connect directly to the engine. Accords with inline four or six engines have a single header, whereas V6 Accords have two headers (one per cylinder bank).
The Accord header upgrade will improve exhaust flow and scavenging while decreasing exhaust reversion. Without getting too technical, it will assist you in expelling hot and dirty exhaust gases so that they can be replaced in the engine by cool and clean air. This translates to more horsepower and torque, as well as a wider and smoother power band.
Accords headers are classified into two types: race and shorty/street. Shorty or street headers will retain the factory catalytic converter, whereas race headers will either remove the cats completely or replace them with high flow versions. The most power will be produced by catless and high flow catted race headers, but they are not legal in many states.
The cat-back is another part of the exhaust to upgrade on naturally aspirated vehicles. As the name implies, this is the section of exhaust from the catalytic converter to the mufflers. A cat-back will not increase power as much as headers, but it will increase exhaust volume more. Using performance mufflers and possibly a resonator, a good cat-back will bring out the good sounds of your Accord engine while eliminating as much rasp and drone as possible.
Exhaust Mods for a Turbocharged Accord
If you have a turbocharged Accord, your exhaust modifications will be slightly different, though many people will still install a cat-back. Generally, upgrading turbo headers does not result in a significant increase in horsepower. However, upgrading the downpipe will result in some significant gains.
The exhaust manifold on a turbocharged Accord connects to one side of the turbo and the downpipe leading to the rest of the exhaust and muffler connects to the other. Turbochargers generate boost by using engine exhaust gases, and the excess exhaust is routed through the downpipe.
The goal of a downpipe upgrade is to reduce restriction and improve exhaust flow. Downpipes are very popular and powerful Accord mods that add significant horsepower and torque (+10-25 hp) to your engine. You’ll be messing with removing the catalytic converter in the exhaust, which isn’t legal in all states, just like with race headers. Most states allow a high flow cat, but check your local regulations to see how it works where you live.
Summary of the 5 Best Honda Accord Mods
Here are the top five modifications for the Honda Accord. While it won’t turn your Accord into a drag racer, it will make for a more enjoyable driving experience and increase your “miles per gallon.”
We’d begin by upgrading the suspension, then look into improving the wheel and tire combination, and finally consider squeezing out some more horsepower and torque. Finally, you should have a mid-performance car that can compete with some Audis and BMWs.