1996 Honda Accord – Follow The Leader


The Accord crowd is an interesting bunch. For as long as Hondas have been modified, the Accord chassis, regardless of generation, has always played the role of underdog. The Civics and Integras have always been the dominant group, and though you don’t see very many of them either, even the Prelude crowd could be considered the more popular of the two when it comes to in-depth builds. There are many factors that give rise to the lack of a larger audience, but the biggest one is probably the undying stigma that this Accord isn’t cool because it is nothing more than a “family car.”

If you really put things into perspective, It’s silly. In the end, Hondas in general start out as economy cars, and none but the NSX or S2000 are really considered true sports cars. Accord builders often say they don’t get a fair shake, and well, it’s true. Enthusiasts who are into the Accord chassis often have to do considerably more to garner the respect of others. Few ever do, however, due to the fact that the Accord can also be one of the entry-level vehicles that younger enthusiasts start out modding. They’re usually hand-me-downs from parents, and as soon as the newbie modder realizes there isn’t much aftermarket support to give their needs, they move on. And they quit on their Accord projects every time they can afford to, the Accord is the revolving door from the Honda community because many young enthusiasts are more adept at complaining than doing something to change the negative views with their otherwise unloved “family car.” Folks are quick to move on when they see greener pastures. That’s why you don’t see highly labor-intensive restoration-type builds with Accords just like you would using awith all the Accord chassis through the bad and good have formed a solid bond. They are only a small percentage, but there are Honda guys around who honestly have a genuine passion for the Accord. And one of the most famous members is Son Vu, also known as user “Special_K.” Vu’s CD7 Accord coupe stands out not merely because of its unique shade of green; additionally it is one of the first from the generation to feature a complete K24A2 swap, these guys congregate on a Honda web forum known as Honda Society. Didn’t know that anyone made K-swap mounts for your Accord? Well, you’re perhaps not the only one. It isn’t as common like a K-swap in one of the more popular platforms, but HaSport has had these engine mounts in production for years now.

Vu’s story starts out much like the other Accord owners; he initially acquired one as being a hand-me-down from one of his siblings. “This coupe may be the second Accord I’ve owned. My first was a four-door LX model that I was driving around back in high school. I started modifying my Accord because I found myself inspired with the cars I saw in Honda Tuning. There were many nights as i just stayed up looking online for parts for my car, and then I had been referred to the Honda Society forums. Getting to know everyone around the forum was great because we all shared a common interest.”

After spending plenty of time with his fellow CD owners, he found himself wanting an Accord coupe. The sportier look appealed to Son, and he later acquired this 1996 Accord LX five-speed, which was black at the time. The motivation to choose a K24 swap rather than the more common H22A came from a ride-along one day in a K20-swapped CRX. He was completely sold on the theory after that and began doing research on his swap. “The (engine) mounts were already on the market, and the information was there, but I ought to admit it was a huge challenge,” Son says. It was actually everything else next really tried my patience, even though “Getting the motor into the car wasn’t too bad. I ended up with two headers that didn’t fit, broken axles, and K-swap products for Civics just didn’t work withCalifornia and Northridge, native had his Accord transported to Church’s where guys there assisted to help him complete the swap as well as dyno-tuning it. With the coupe running smoothly, he knew he were required to make drastic changes for the exterior to take attention to the engine bay. The entire shell was then resprayed within an eye-catching Army green hue from a Toyota FJ Cruiser. To provide contrast to the green, Vu acquired a staggered set of gold 17-inch Gram Lights rollers. Holding the suspension together is a selection of billet-aluminum components from Fat Four Customs; a company focused on manufacturing aftermarket products for that fifth-generation Accords and beyond.

“Building an Accord may be frustrating sometimes, but through an odd swap like this inside an unpopular platform makes it much more unique. I’m proud to be among the first Accord owners to have a K, and I hope I inspire others to do more to their Accords. What motivates me is the overwhelming sense of community that the Accord guys represent. There aren’t too most of us, so our group is tight-knit-it’s almost likeKeep To The Leader

Bolts & Washers



HaSport CDK1 engine mounts

Hondata K-Pro

Custom-fitted Karcepts KN01 K-swap intake

OEM RBB TSX intake manifold

OEM 2005 Accord throttle body

HaSport K-swap exhaust manifold

K-Teller 3-inch steelbetween your fenders of this ’96 Accord coupe.


220 hp and 195 lb-ft torque


D2 coilovers

Suspension Technique front/rear antiroll bars

Wicked Tuning rear camber kit

FFC front strut bar

FFC rear strut bar

FFC rear toe arms

FFC lower control arms

Innovative traction bar


Wilwood front brake rotors

Wilwood front brake calipers

Wilwood front brake pads

Upgraded brake proportioning valve

Accord EX rear disc brake conversion

Wheels & Tires

Front: 17×8 27 Rays Gram Lights 57Pro, 205/40-17 Nitto Neogen

Rear: 17×9 27 Rays Gram Lights 57Pro, 215/40-17 Capitol Sport


Toyota FJ Cruiser Army green paint

Shaved side moldings

Mugen rear spoiler

JDM Accord SiR front lip

JDM Accord window visors

JDM Accord side markers

JDM Accord headlights

JDM Accord foglights

Wald front grille


Recaro Speed seats

Nardi Deep Corn steering wheel

NRG quick-release

NRG short hub

Custom weighted shift knob


Everyone at HondaSociety.com, FatFour Customs.com (FFC), the organizers of CaliAccordMeet, our family, my friends, the Wolfpack, my buddies Christian and SolTroung, Elise and Sol using their newborn, and all sorts ofAdhere To The Leader

Owner Specs

Daily grind

Web/graphic designer

Favorite Site


Screen name


Building Hondas

8 years

Dream car

JTCC Accord

Inspiration just for this build

Buddy rivalry and HondaSociety.com

Future builds

Continue this current build with forced induction

Fat Four Customs

FFC (Fat Four Customs) is a small company originally created to cater to the fifth-generation Accord platform. FFC has since gone on to create a solid catalog of products that weren’t available before to Accord owners, although its first product was a nifty three-point strut bar for your CD chassis. Parts cover anything from something as simple as aluminum fender washers to billet-aluminum lower control arms. Since some parts are cross-generational, FFC has been able to supply newer and older Accords having its products as well. Its website also offers valuable resources like installation instructions and detailed photographs. Be sure to check out www.fatfourcustoms.com if you are along the way of putting your Accord together.