How to Make a Honda Accord LX Fasterby William Zane
Though the cars from Honda were initially known to U.S. buyers for their superior fuel economy and impressive reliability, in recent years they have also become increasingly popular cars to modify. Though models like the Civic and S2000 sports car are great bases for a faster Honda, the same approach can be applied to the Accord LX. Just about every area of an Accord can be modified and improved upon, resulting in a far faster and more unique car in the process.
Install an aftermarket exhaust. One of the most restrictive areas on cars like the Accord LX is the exhaust system. By installing a larger diameter exhaust, the engine will run more efficiently and generate more power thanks to the fact that spent exhaust gasses exit the motor more quickly. A performance exhaust should be installed by a professional shop since it usually requires metal cutting and welding expertise.
Install a performance chip. The stock Honda Accord's engine computer has conservative settings that place importance on fuel efficiency and emissions over outright horsepower. Installing a performance chip will change the fuel, air and ignition settings so the engine can generate more power, which in turn will make the car faster.
Replace the stock air box with a cold air intake. Like the exhaust, an Accord's air box is restrictive. A cold air intake replaces the plastic air box and flat filter element with less restrictive tubing that bolts to the engine's throttle body. The larger cone filter on the intake side delivers denser, colder air to the engine for better throttle response and a slight gain in horsepower.
Supercharge or turbocharge the engine. While this is the most expensive option for making an Accord faster (at least in a straight line), it is also one of the most effective. Both supercharging and turbocharging add power to the engine by forcing more air into it with a compressor. More air also means you will need to add more fuel (larger injectors, etc) and spark. Either of these methods should be installed by a shop familiar with forced induction.
Modify the suspension. To make your Accord faster in a straight line as well as around corners, the suspension should be lowered and stiffened to reduce body roll and increase responsiveness. On the less expensive side are lowering springs and performance shocks, while at the higher end are coilovers, which provide a comprehensive range of adjustments. After that, add larger anti-roll bars to eliminate body roll, as well as strut braces to stiffen the chassis and reduce flexing during cornering.
Upgrade the brakes. Start with performance-oriented brake pads that will reduce stopping distance, slotted or drilled rotors to reduce brake fade and stainless steel brake lines to improve pedal feel. The ultimate (and priciest) upgrade is a big brake kit, which will replace the stock rotors and calipers for a dramatic improvement in stopping.