The Honda Accord is appreciated for its reliability and efficiency, but many drivers wish for more power. Supercharging seems like an appealing upgrade to add substantial horsepower, but it has notable pros and cons to weigh. Supercharging forces more air into the engine, allowing it to burn more fuel and make more power. However, it also stresses the stock components significantly.
In this comprehensive guide, we explore whether you can supercharge different Accord generations, what’s involved in a proper setup, real-world supercharged builds, and the tradeoffs versus other power adders. While possible with the right modifications, supercharging is complex and costly.
Can You Supercharge A Honda Accord?
The Honda Accord is one of Honda’s most popular sedan models, known for its reliability, fuel efficiency, and smooth ride. While most Accords come with modest power from the factory, some performance enthusiasts have wondered whether it’s possible to add more power to their Accords through supercharging. In this article, we’ll take a look at whether and how you can supercharge different generations of the Honda Accord.
How Does A Supercharger Work?
Before getting into the specifics of supercharging an Accord, let’s quickly review how a supercharger works. A supercharger is a type of forced induction system, meaning it uses compressed air to push more air into the engine’s cylinders. This allows the engine to burn more fuel, increasing horsepower and torque output.
There are two main types of superchargers:
- Roots-type: Uses rotating lobes that force air into the intake manifold. Provides boost instantly.
- Centrifugal: Uses a belt-driven impeller that spins a compressor wheel. Provides a boost that builds gradually.
Both types of superchargers are powered by the crankshaft, so they don’t require complex turbo piping. However, they do require more power to operate than turbochargers.
Supercharging Older Accords (1976-1989)
The first through fourth generation Accords used simple, carbureted engines with modest power output. However, their rear-wheel drive layout makes them decent candidates for supercharging.
Several companies produced bolt-on supercharger kits for the early Accords. These included:
- Jackson Racing: Offered a centrifugal supercharger for the 1st and 2nd gen Accords. Claimed up to 50% power gains.
- Sprintex: Produced a Eaton roots-type supercharger kit for the 3rd gen Accord. Rated at 6-7 psi boost.
- Wiseco: Sold centrifugal supercharger kits for the 2nd through 4th gen Accords. Designed for high boost (10+ psi).
With up to 100 horsepower gains, these supercharger kits transformed an economy Accord into a quick street machine. However, boosting the simple carbureted engines required supporting mods like head work, exhaust, and engine management upgrades.
Supercharging 5th & 6th Gen VTEC Accords (1990-2002)
The fifth and sixth generation Accords introduced Honda’s famous VTEC technology, featuring more advanced fuel-injected engines. Their added complexity makes supercharging a bit more difficult, but the performance potential is immense.
CT Engineering (CTE) produced the most popular supercharger kit for 90s VTEC Accords, featuring a Rotrex C30-94 centrifugal supercharger. At 10 psi boost, CTE claimed gains of over 150 horsepower. But realizing this potential required building the engine to handle the extra power reliably.
Jackson Racing also offered supercharger systems for the H22 and F20 VTEC motors, good for 200+ horsepower when dialed in properly. And smaller roots blowers from companies like Neuspeed produced milder gains while retaining driveability.
Supercharging Modern Direct Injected Accords (2003+)
The 2003+ Accords continued using direct injected (DI) V6 and turbo 4-cylinder engines, posing unique challenges for supercharging. Their tightly packaged engine bays restrict space for additional components. And their advanced engine computers and sensors make tuning difficult.
Still, some aftermarket companies have produced supercharger systems for the modern Accords:
- ScienceofSpeed: Offers a twin-screw supercharger kit for J-Series Accord V6s making over 400 horsepower. Requires significant engine mods.
- Kraftwerks: Produced a Rotrex C38 centrifugal supercharger system for the 8th gen V6 rated at 8 psi boost and 340 horsepower. Discontinued.
- Hydrotech: Makes a roots-type supercharger kit for the 9th gen 3.5L V6 Accord good for 6-8 psi and 300+ horsepower.
These kits show supercharging is possible with DI Accords, but not simple or cheap. Limited availability also makes these systems hard to find compared to older Accord kits.
Key Considerations for Supercharging Any Accord
While various supercharger kits exist for the Honda Accord, here are some important factors to weigh before supercharging one:
- Factory engine strength – Adding a supercharger puts a lot more stress on the stock engine components. Older designs have more leeway compared to today’s high-output motors.
- Supporting mods – To get the most from a supercharger without failure, you’ll need upgraded fuel, ignition, engine internals, cooling, etc. This adds complexity and cost.
- Driveability – Supercharged Accords can be more challenging to drive smoothly day-to-day due to their abrupt power delivery. Turbocharging is often more driveable.
- Cost – All-in, a supercharger kit and required mods can cost $5,000-$15,000 or more. Those looking solely for added power may consider cheaper options like boosting a turbo motor or engine swapping to something larger.
Properly Setting Up A Supercharged Honda Accord
Once you’ve determined your particular Honda Accord can support forced induction, properly setting up the supercharged engine is critical for performance and reliability. Let’s look at some key steps involved in supercharging an Accord.
Choosing the Right Supercharger Kit
The first decision is choosing the right supercharger kit for your Accord’s motor. Here are some things to consider:
- Engine compatibility – Make sure the kit matches your exact Accord engine. Most are specific to certain motors.
- Power goals – Centrifugal and roots kits offer different tradeoffs between peak power and low-end response. Consider which fits your goals.
- Brand reputation – Stick with reputable brands known for engineering quality supercharger kits that hold up over time.
- Ease of install – Some kits are much more involved than others. Factor in your technical skill and how much custom fabrication you can handle.
- Tunability – Make sure the supercharger and ECU tuning solution allows adjustments to safely achieve your target power level.
Once you select the right supercharger, follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully during installation. Proper belt tension and clearance to other components is critical.
Tuning the Engine and ECU
The engine and ECU must be properly tuned to account for the extra airflow from the supercharger and avoid detonation under boost. This usually involves:
- Lowering compression via a head spacer
- Custom tuning the fuel, ignition, VTEC, and boost parameters
- Upgrading the fuel system with larger injectors and pump(s)
- Adding an air-fuel ratio gauge or wideband O2 sensor to monitor tuning
You may need a professional tuner’s help adjusting these parameters and dyno testing for max safe power. Take the time to dial it in right.
Strengthening Engine Internals
Even with reduced compression and careful tuning, the factory internals can only handle so much extra power. For high boost or high mileage engines, internal strengthening is recommended:
- Pistons – Forged low compression pistons help withstand detonation.
- Rods – Stronger H-beam or I-beam rods prevent rod bolts from failing under stress.
- Crank – An aftermarket crank adds durability for the extra power.
Replacing these parts ensures the bottom end stays together when you lean on it hard. Don’t cut corners here.
Improving Intercooling & Cooling Systems
Superchargers heat the incoming air charge considerably. You’ll need improved intercooling and engine cooling to handle this extra heat:
- Front mount intercooler – Cools the charge air before it enters the engine for denser intake and less chance of detonation.
- Upgraded radiator and fans – Protects the engine from heat soak on hot days and sustained high load driving.
- Engine oil cooler – Keeps oil temps under control when driving hard. Prevents oil breakdown.
Take time to properly fabricate ducting and heat shielding to optimize the effectiveness of these upgrades. Monitor intake air, oil, and coolant temps when testing.
Finalizing the Fuel System
Don’t overlook supporting fuel system mods when completing a supercharged Accord build:
- Fuel pump – A higher output in-tank and/or external pump prevents lean conditions when the injectors are maxed out.
- Fuel lines – Upgrade to -6 AN or -8 AN lines to supply the extra fuel demand without restricting flow.
- Fuel rail – An upgraded billet rail allows consistently high fuel pressures.
- Regulator – Match the regulator’s psi rating to your fuel pressure goals for maximum output.
Properly dialing in the fuel system ensures a consistent air fuel mix through the engine’s entire RPM range when under boost.
Final Dyno Tuning & Break-In
The last step is final dyno tuning and break-in to validate your setup. Work with an experienced tuner to:
- Tune air fuel ratios – Use the wideband O2 sensor to optimize AFRs for power and safety through the whole rev range.
- Tune boost curve – Adjust the supercharger bypass valve to build a smooth boost without spikes and surges.
- Validate internals – Use dyno runs to check for detonation and that the bottom end is safe at high RPM.
- Break-in safely – Follow proper break-in procedures before any full throttle runs. Let the piston rings fully seat.
Taking the time to properly dyno tune the engine will ensure optimal performance and longevity from your Honda Accord supercharger setup.
Safety Equipment for Supercharged Accords
When building a supercharged Accord, it’s also important to upgrade key safety equipment given the increased power:
- Clutch – A twin disc clutch handles the extra torque without slipping. Make sure to break it in properly.
- Axles – Upgrade to thick chromoly axles so the CV joints don’t grenade under hard launches.
- Wheels/Tires – Sticky performance tires on wide wheels provide maximum grip to put the power down. Consider 10″ wide rears.
- Brakes – Larger rotors with performance pads improve stopping power commensurate with the added acceleration.
- Roll cage – A quality cage improves chassis rigidity and protects you in case of an accident when driving at the limit.
Don’t overlook these supporting mods in pursuit of peak dyno numbers. They turn an overpowered Accord into a well-balanced performance car.
Example Supercharged Honda Accord Builds
To give you an idea of real-world supercharged Honda Accord builds, here are three example setups with details on key mods and performance:
500 HP Turbocharged & Supercharged J32A2 Honda Accord
This extensively built 2007 Honda Accord sedan combines a turbocharger, supercharger, and camshafts to achieve over 500 wheel horsepower from the J32A2 V6.
- Custom turbo kit with T4 turbocharger
- Vortech V3 Si centrifugal supercharger
- Brian Crower 273/279 camshafts
- CP pistons, Eagle rods, balanced crankshaft
- Upgraded fuel system, injectors, and engine tuning
- 513 wheel horsepower @ 7,100 RPM
- 408 lb-ft torque @ 6,500 RPM
This setup shows the immense power potential of compound boosted J-series Honda V6 engines. But the dual-boost, cammed combo requires expert tuning and drivetrain upgrades to handle the output.
Jackson Racing Supercharged H22A Euro R Accord
This clean example combines a Jackson Racing supercharger with mild engine boltons to achieve reliable daily driven power.
- Jackson Racing F2 roots-type supercharger
- Mugen air intake, exhaust manifold, and header
- Skunk2 cams, intake manifold, fuel rail
- ACT clutch, P2M engine management
- 295 wheel horsepower @ 7,900 RPM
- 218 lb-ft torque @ 7,100 RPM
With proper tuning and gradual break-in, this supercharged H22 held together reliably. The broad powerband retained great drivability despite nearly doubling factory output.
Sprintex 210 WHP Supercharged F20C Accord
This tastefully modded 6th gen Accord coupe exemplifies building a supercharger kit right the first time.
- Sprintex S5-335 supercharger kit
- Fluidyne radiator, Mishimoto oil cooler
- Skunk2 intake, exhaust, fuel rail, lower pulley
- DC Sports headers, Hondata K-Pro ECU
- 210 wheel horsepower
- 162 lb-ft torque
Sticking with the recommended supporting mods and professional tuning ensured this VTEC Accord realized the kit’s full potential safely. It became a capable canyon carver without compromising reliability.
While supercharging a Honda Accord requires careful setup and supporting mods, the right kit can add substantial horsepower to your Accord regardless of generation. With custom engine building and tuning, today’s Accords can even support compound boosted setups making over 500 wheel horsepower. But restraint is wise to retain drivability – mild supercharger kits in the 200-300 WHP range deliver a fun and reliable enhancement on most Accord platforms.