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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hey everyone. Hoping someone can give me some advice on a swap i'd like to do in my wife's Element. It is a 2008 LX 5-spd (drive by wire). Everything i've researched has been on the 03-06 Elements and swapping the outer portion of the intake manifold to remedy the lack of drive by wire.

What I have not found is any information on doing a swap from a similar year model that has the drive by wire system. I have a lead on a low mileage TSX engine from a 2009 year model. My hope is that i'll be able to swap it in, and perhaps even use the TSX ECU. Although I have read that some dash functionality runs through the ECU and might be compromised?

Any help would be extremely appreciated!
 

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i think its just a headswap/ecu swap you're looking at. should be the same bottom end
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I'm looking to replace the entire engine to prevent from having a low compression TSX headed Element engine needing tuning. The K24A8 is 9:1 and the K24A2 is 11:1.

I'm just curious if i'd be able to re-use the engine harness or if i'd need to swap some plugs here and there.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Well i'd love to just DO IT :)

The ECU i'm finding is a different design. The 09 TSX has one with plugs on the front which i'd need for the drive-by-wire setup.

2009 TSX ECU:


2008 Element ECU:


So right out of the gates i'd have to convert to non drive-by-wire which is not a big deal from what i've read. Just an extra step. Then I could run the older TSX ecu. I'm just not sure what i'd lose as far as dash/gauge cluster functionality by doing that.

My best bet would be to order one and plug it in. See what happens :)
 

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I've been reading a lot over at the RSX / TSX / K20a dot org sites ----and I'm no expert but the ECU will be the big stumbling block. I'll hypothesize that getting the element ECU upgraded by Ktuner / handata / reflashed by ?? would be the best options << I know - not supported yet >> I think if you could get a tuner to re-flash the stock ECU with the Base maps from the tsx (on to your element ECU ) That would be your best way to go. then you would have to re-pin a lot of connectors of the element's engine harness to match the TSX sensors they will clip to. The TSX computers do a lot more for the car so I'm guessing the computer would freak out if it lost a lot of it's input -then you'll get code / dash lights /poor performance / an irritated wife / rejection for emissions when you go for a sticker.... well - lets keep positive...
Look at the accord / euro accord /civic si ECU for similarities they might be easier to work over. Then try to pickup a backup element ECU. I prefer to mess with a "spare". Talk to your local tuners about what can be done with a re-flash and who you need to have do it. Hope I'm some help . A gain the K20dot org sight is a wealth of knowledge - and even has some of our folks on there ! Keep us in the loop! Good Luck Peter
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I'm no stranger to re-pinning harnesses, i'd just need a pinout diagram for each ECU. Before the conversion harnesses existed back in 01 I was repinning my civic d-series wire harness to work with the b-series computer. It took a while for my eyes to un-cross from cross referencing two diagrams.

I have asked a few tuners about 07+ Element ECU support. The latest one being KTuner. Their response was:

"Currently the 07-08 Element is on hold because there is simply not enough interest overall. There is a thread on the element owners club forums that will outline what's currently going on there."

So before I can do anything really, i need to down convert to non drive-by-wire and get something tunable before thinking about doing the engine swap. My wife has been through a couple of tuned cars and even a full blown race car - she has the patience of a saint :)
 

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I'm no stranger to re-pinning harnesses, i'd just need a pinout diagram for each ECU. Before the conversion harnesses existed back in 01 I was repinning my civic d-series wire harness to work with the b-series computer. It took a while for my eyes to un-cross from cross referencing two diagrams.

I have asked a few tuners about 07+ Element ECU support. The latest one being KTuner. Their response was:

"Currently the 07-08 Element is on hold because there is simply not enough interest overall. There is a thread on the element owners club forums that will outline what's currently going on there."

So before I can do anything really, i need to down convert to non drive-by-wire and get something tunable before thinking about doing the engine swap. My wife has been through a couple of tuned cars and even a full blown race car - she has the patience of a saint :)
I have been pushing for the Ktuner 07-08 reflash as well, but it's not going to happen any time soon. Ktuner knows that there is very little market.
 

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I'm just about ready to send my spare ECU out for the Ktuner upgrade - Im an '03 and be using an '05 ECU .... Ive been reading how progress has stopped. That would drive me nuts. Maybe re-verting to a cable system and an '07/08 TSX motor is more do-able
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I'm just about ready to send my spare ECU out for the Ktuner upgrade - Im an '03 and be using an '05 ECU .... Ive been reading how progress has stopped. That would drive me nuts. Maybe re-verting to a cable system and an '07/08 TSX motor is more do-able
Yeah, hearing that progress has stopped kind of let the wind out of my sail. I think you're right about converting to cable and doing an 07/08 motor. I at least want to do the conversion on the Element setup, get the Ktuner ECU running like stock before I go and pick up the TSX motor.

Time to buy some parts! Stay tuned :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Time to buy some parts! Stay tuned :)
As quickly as I decided yesterday, I realized that if I convert to non-drive by wire i'll lose VSA. I don't want my wife to have to deal with the loss of features, and I don't want to have to run a TPS connector to the ECU and replace the gas pedal. I think that is quite convenient on rainy days and such. So i've changed my plan.

The TSX moved over to DWB in 05 and the ECUs fit the Element between 05 and 08. So just as a starting point, i've ordered an 06 manual transmission ecu which i'm going to have reprogrammed to match the Element's immobilizer - hook it up, and see if I can at least get it to initialize and control the throttle. I know that some things won't work due to the differences between the ECUs but if I can get the car to crank and idle - even if terribly, it will be a starting point.
 

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dope slap my head!

Ok ... I know electronics is an issue , but your raa intake + TB will bolt on to an pre '09 tsx piece of cake. that should mean you just need to get the cpu to adjust to the higher vtec engagement, fuel maps etc .. Yes I'm kinda tired as I write this so it sounds like " slap it on and it works " I know it wont - I just came to the realization that you don't need to lose DBW because your system will bolt right on - this leaves the "teaching the computer what to do" the problem. ---I'm gonna get some sleep now LOL! Peter
 

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The question about moving forward was... in-ECU board... or CAN bus. I was leaning toward CAN bus for 07+, but waiting on an affordable cable option that actually worked.

Well, I have one now... so please touch base again via email and I'll be happy to work with you on your project.
 

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Good News

Great news for you '07+ guys ! SEE someone out there loves/ supports our E's!!
 
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