J32A Engine: Everything You Need to Know

honda j32a engine specs

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Honda J-series is the 4th generation of V6 gasoline motors, production of which was initiated in 1996, following the C-line with its 3 different modifications. Being constructed by the brand’s American engineers, these motors were manufactured at Anna, Ohio and Lincoln plants in Alabama.

While C motors were 90° V6, these ones are 60°, being built for transverse mounting. Newer motors are more compact than their foregoers, featuring smaller bore spacing (98 mm/3.86 inches), shorter rods plus especial smaller crankshaft. All motors of J-lineup keep single overhead camshaft with 4 valves plus VTEC variable valve timing.

J-series’ distinguishing feature is the brand’s Variable Cylinder Management system. It deals with switching off one edge of cylinders under slight loading, converting V6 into a straight-3. Some modifications managed to switch off one edge of cylinders or one cylinder on opposite edges, permitting to employ 3-cylinder under slight loading and 4-cylinder under medium loading.

Honda presented its J32A motor, built on a framework of J30A, in 1998. This version employs V6 J30 cylinder block with an enlarged bore of 89 mm plus an identical 235 mm deck height. These features plus 162 mm piston rods and 30 mm piston compression height led to an additional 200 cm3 of capacity, converting the motor into a 3.2L one.

J32A utilizes two 12-valve single overhead camshaft heads featuring VTEC system. Exhaust and inlet valves became bigger, 30 mm and 34 mm respectively. Moreover, the motor was supplied with fresh intake plus exhaust manifolds. Note that J32A’s timing belt requires substitution after 60,000 miles are run.

Valves must be regulated every 25,000-30,000 miles. Valve clearances on a cold motor are inlet 0.2-0.24 mm while exhaust 0.28-0.32 mm.

Featuring 240 cc/min fuel injectors and 64 mm throttle body, the motor’s firing order is 1-4-2-5-3-6.

Contemporaneously with J32A, Honda produced J25, J30, J35 plus J37.

After cessation of J32A manufacture in 2008, the motor was substituted by 3.5L J35.


J35A engine modifications

  1. J32A1 is a debut motor of the series. Keeping a compression index of 9.8, VTEC system launches after 3,500 rpm. Being employed for Inspire, Acura TL and Acura CL automobiles, this motor reaches 225 hp at 5,500 rpm while torque is 264 Nm at 4,800 rpm.
  2. J32A2’s main differences from the previous variant are: fresh pistons reaching compression index of 10.5, enhanced heads flow, more dynamic and sporty Type S camshafts. VTEC system launches at 4,800 rpm. Enhanced two-stage intake manifold is activated after 3,800 rpm. Moreover, J32A2 features bigger throttle body of 68 mm, 36 mm inlet valves, tougher valve springs plus sportier exhaust system. Being utilized for Acura CL Type S plus Acura TL Type S, it reaches output of 260 hp at 6,100 rpm with torque of 314 Nm at 3,500 rpm.
  3. J32A3 is an enhanced variant of J32A2, while its head is built on a framework of the J32A1 one. Keeping compression index of 11, this motor employs cold air intake system plus 2-stage intake manifold (launched at 4,000 rpm), 35 mm inlet valves, fresh exhaust manifold plus redesigned exhaust system. VTEC starts to operate after 4,700 rpm. These updates led to more power, to be exact, 270 hp at 6,200 rpm with torque of 323 Nm at 5,000 rpm. This modification was utilized for Acura TL V6 Generation 3.


Honda J32A specs

Manufacturer Anna engine plant
Also called Honda J32
Production 1998-2008
Cylinder block alloy Aluminum
Configuration V6
Valvetrain SOHC
4 valves per cylinder
Piston stroke, mm (inch) 86 (3.39)
Cylinder bore, mm (inch) 89 (3.50)
Compression ratio 9.8
Displacement 3206 cc (195.6 cu in)
Power output 165 kW (225 HP) at 5,600 rpm
191 kW (260 HP) at 6,100 rpm
198 kW (270 HP) at 6,200 rpm
Torque output 293 Nm (216 lb·ft) at 4,700 rpm
314 Nm (231 lb·ft) at 3,500 rpm
323 Nm (238 lb·ft) at 5,000 rpm
HP per liter 70
Fuel type Gasoline
Weight, kg (lbs)
Fuel consumption, L/100 km (mpg)
Acura TL Type-S
12.0 (19.5)
8.1 (29)
11.0 (21.5)
Turbocharger  Naturally aspirated
Oil consumption, L/1000 km
(qt. per miles)
up to 0.5
(1 qt. per 1200 miles)
Recommended engine oil 5W-20 (Type-S)
5W-30 (Type-S)
Engine oil capacity, L (qt.) 4.4 (4.6)
Oil change interval, km (miles) 5,000-10,000
Normal engine operating temperature, °C (F)
Engine lifespan, km (miles)
-Official information

300,000+ (180,000)
Tuning, HP
-Max HP
-No life span loss


  • Acura CL
  • Acura TL
  • Honda Inspire

J32A engine problems and reliability

J32A’s blindside is unsteady rpm. This malfunction is solved by cleaning the throttle body or EGR valve.

On the whole, it’s a reliable motor with a great lifespan. However, almost all motors of this line are pretty old and so, problems may emerge at any time. The only actions you can do are proper motor maintenance plus the usage of high-quality oil and fuel.

Dan Hoffman

Dan is a co-founder of Engineswork. He knows everything about internal combustion engines. Ask your questions in comments down below this article - he will be glad to help you anytime.

4 thoughts on “J32A Engine: Everything You Need to Know

  1. Cameron Goff says:

    Hi, my name is Cameron Goff and I have a couple of questions. I have a 2003 Acura TL base model and currently looking to swap my motor for a Jdm Honda inspire J32A Base motor. Is this motor plug and play or are there anything I’ll need to switch from one engine to the other. Also are the exhaust manifolds the same? I recently picked up a set of new DC sports headers for my j32a1 and just want to make sure it fits the jdm engine. If you can help me at all I would greatly appreciate it.
    Thank you,
    Cameron Goff

    1. Dan Hoffman says:

      Acura TL UA4 & UA5 1999 – 2003 is a full analog of Honda Inspire and Honda Saber UA4-UA5, so in case of swap everything should be fine, including exhaust manifolds.
      As for the DC Sports – I know that DC Sports HHC5528 definitely fits this motor.

  2. So it looks like the J32A1 is ideal for supercharging with its 9.8 compression.? I found a low-mile motor from Japan (59,000KM). Supercharger should bring the HP up to 400hp with AEM ecu, bigger injectors fuel rail, headers. Thoughts?

  3. Since the J32a3 has different compression ratios and bigger Tb etc.
    Is the J32a (jdm) motor the same or completely different ? In terms of swapping a blown motor

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