Fiat X19 K20 Swap

About a year ago, we were approached by the owner of this yellow Fiat X19. We set up an appointment so that he could interview the team who would be working on his Fiat X19 Honda K20 swap. After discussing our credentials and the logistics, the owner decided that we were the right shop for this project. We don't usually work on X19s, but I felt that it would still fit well in our shop since it's a light weight, mid-engine, sports car.

The swap kit from Midwest Bayless comes with the sub-frame, mounts, shifter box, and axle shafts. The rest of it is to be engineered and fabricated on your own. Not to mention, the K motor doesn't exactly fit into the engine bay. There was some serious cutting and gusseting of the frame rails and firewall in the engine bay. The fuel system, cooling system, clutch hydraulics, re-routing of brake lines, exhaust, and wiring were all done custom and in-house.       

Photo taken by the owner, before all the work began. The car sat for about 2 years after the original engine died.

See.. fits right in.

Out with the old, in with the new.

2000 lbs car is getting a JDM K20A Type R engine.

Old  wiring harness coming out and cutting a big hole in the firewall for intake manifold clearance. After the hole is cut out, we boxed it towards the front of the car and made a cover which makes as a good access panel in the future if needed.

Here's the box from the interior right behind the passenger seat.

The motor came in and out several times before we were happy with the fitment.

Custom made coolant tank bracket.

Custom made shift cable brackets at the transmission end.

The left lower control arm needed to be notched for transmission clearance. A steel plate was then welded in for reinforcement.


One of my favorite parts of the project was building the wire harness and mapping it all out. The owner decided to go with a custom gauge cluster. It's a good thing we saved the chassis harness from an Audi S4 race car build from the previous year- All the wires came in handy!

Paint Job

Before the engine went back in for the final time, the owner decided to have the entire car, including the engine bay repainted. The work was done by our neighbor next door- ABC Auto Body Collision

Final Touches

After the engine was up and running and we got the gauges working, the interior went back together and we were able to tidy up all the wiring and hoses. I made some minor adjustments using Hondata KPro, but the car will be going to BlackTrax Performance for an actual tune.    

A folder with a copy of all my notes, wiring diagrams, instruction manuals, etc. are given to the owner for future reference.