Engine swaps have blown up in recent years, not only as a way to make more power but also to get some attention and maybe do something which hasn’t been done before. Today, we’re checking out the “Nastback” a 1966 Ford Mustang that isn’t a fastback but packs a turbocharged JDM Honda K24 engine.
The project car is intentionally rough around the edges and was put together by owner Jarred with help from his dad over just a few months. Of course, the K24 is an unusual powertrain to see in a classic American car, but this is also a rocket that aims to produce 600 hp using tech you’d normally see at the drag strip.
Mixing engines and cars from different countries isn’t that unusual. Just over the past few months, we talked about a Mustang riding atop a Honda Civic chassis. And let’s not forget Tj Hunt’s RB26 Mustang that puts down mean power at the dyno.
Honda K-series: the wrong number of cylinders
While the RB26 is an inline-6 that mounts longitudinally, thus not radically different from a basic first-gen Mustang, the K-series engine is a four-cylinder. It was introduced in 2001, equipped with DOHC, roller rockers, and coil-on-plug ignition with a coil for each spark plug.
It’s quite different from anything the Mustang offers, even if you want to consider the EcoBoost. The K24 powered almost every type of Honda model until it was discontinued in 2016 when turbocharging really took off. Two of its coolest applications are the K24A used by the JDM Honda Accord Type-S and the K24Z7 used by older Honda Civic Si models in America.
JDM Mustang parts
Jarred allegedly used the JDM-sourced K24A we talked about, complete with Type S oil pump and a different oil pan. His dad is the one who fabricated the new mounts which help with the transition from horizontal to longitudinal.
The rest of the setup is similar to those extreme Civic dragsters. It’s got a 67-mm GTX4584 RS ball-bearing turbocharger with a 44-mm wastegate through the hood and a 3-inch exhaust ported directly through a fender.
For street use, the turbo is only pumping 9 PSI, but it already rips pretty hard. Once a boost controller is installed, we’ll get to see what the K24 long block can really handle, with the goal being around 600 horsepower.
For the gearbox, he opted to use a Nissan 350Z unit, probably for budgetary constraints. It would have been more interesting to see an S2000 gearbox since it’s a Honda RWD, but they’re expensive and hard to find.
The interior also deserves a little attention. It’s mostly stock with a teal dash and seats. But the air conditioning panel was deleted, replaced by extra dials, and Jerred 3D-printed pods to mount on the steering like, like the Rally Pack you’d buy on a 1965 Mustang K-Code.