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to ZC or not to ZC, maybe Mini Me?

5568 Views 16 Replies 11 Participants Last post by  jvillarr

What would be the best setup for the price?

I have a '90 crx si with 189K miles on the engine. The car is in great shape (no smoke ). I notice a small oil leak from the head gasket. I also notice a bit of oil on two of the spark plugs (on the wire side not on the spark side). it's also going to need a clutch soon.

Now, should I make the expense on having the head gasket replace and take the heads to the machine shop. Which also means I have to buy new intake and exhaust gaskets too. or...

Since i'm going to remove the heads anyway, should i go mini me? which I will have to add the cost of the new heads and vtech controller etc.. or...

Order a ZC and change water pump, t.belt before swapping it in. If I decide to go this route, I plan to take the heads off an replace the head gasket an all other seals.

parts like the water pump is no biggie beacuse i had another CRX with a ZC that i still have warranties on some of the parts.

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ZCs, I'm scared of getting them these days. I'd love to run another ZC in my rex, but the quality ones just aren't really there anymore. I ordered one for my rex 3 years ago, and it lasted 2 months... I should have done a full rebuild on it.. it spun a rod bearing. My friends also bought one... it came with a previously broken t-belt and the mish-mash of valves that accompany a broken timing belt.

A mini-me would probably be nice, if you want the extra ~20hp and to spend the extra cash.

It sounds like you only need to replace the gaskets on the top of the cylinder head betwean the valve cover and head, along with the head gasket. My first rex had the same issues... it was still running great however. I have no clue how long it would have lasted. Replacing the gaskets would be the cheapest option.
Personally... I think the ZC swap is a good setup for the money. However, a mini-me swap will get you a marginally better performance, but you will have to run an OBD-I ECU if you want to do it properly. A ZC swap requires no changes in wiring or just bolt it in, switch the ECU and go.
you do have to rewire the ZC distributor... the A6 has a 7 pin plgu, b/c the cam sensor is in the distributor, the ZC has a 5 pin distributor plug, and a separate 2 pin cam sensor on the exhaust cam.
Once upon a time I weighed 1800 with a dohc ZC ihe and pulled a 14.4 ET in cool weather.

A healthy a6 mini-me driven to potential could probably do the same thing at that weight.

-if that helps
rex2nr said:
you do have to rewire the ZC distributor... the A6 has a 7 pin plgu, b/c the cam sensor is in the distributor, the ZC has a 5 pin distributor plug, and a separate 2 pin cam sensor on the exhaust cam.
I did not know that. You learn something everyday! :D
Yea, and it sounds like a simple conversion, until you try it. Most times, the wires have discolored to the point where you can't tell which wires need swapping :(
Well I run a mini-me and love the difference,and for the $450 I spent my arse dyno likes the difference too!

Z6 head/and intake(JunkYard)$75
OBD-1 dizzy $50
head set(gaskets) $45
Frog conversion harness $120
chipped P06 $35
ARP head studs $35
Machine work(decking the head and a 3 angle valve job)$90

Now mind you I am picky as hell and you dont have to do everything I did.
1)Most JYs sell a Z6 head and intake combo for around $100
2)You can find a OBD-1 dizzy fairly cheap nowadays say $80 to $90
3)You dont actually NEED a head set,If your budget is poor then you can "get by" with just buying a HG.
4)You dont really have to do any machine shop work or buy ARP headstuds,but like I said I'm picky.
I know the conversion harness sounds expensive,but I like it WAYYY better than some of the botched wiring jobs I've seen some local kids do.
Oh and you dont have to use a chipped ECU,the P28 works wonderfully and can be bought for around $80 to $120

If I missed anything sorry...its after midnight ...
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Does anyone have pix of their mini me swap or site I might be able to to know and see the differences between the d16z6 and the d16y8?
they are pretty much going to look very similar. The main way to tell the difference would be in wiring connectors and by reading the stamping on the block. The intake manifold may also be slightly different between the 2.

after some googling

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mmmmmmmmmm ZC

my buddy has a zc in his rex but its a junky, nice for power tho i like the swap
I say if your A6 bottom end is still good why replace the whole thing when you can pretty much just bolt on a z6 or y8 head for much less. You might find a dohc zc for 500-600 bucks but then you have to pay about $300 in shipping.

I'm personally going with a Y8 head and intake once I get my car back from the body shop.
I would go ZC. Of course I have one, so Im a bit prejudiced in my opinions... however, I have been impressed with some mini-me swaps..

After reading through this thread, I am so happy now that I got my ZC 6 years ago!

The fact that a good ZC is getting hard to find, is the reason why instead of swapping in a B, Im going to rebuild my ZC and go turbo!

Hopefully I can get that done this year...


MiniMe OwnZ! 8)

I do think that these days (even a while back it was) the MiniMe is the best bang for the buck if you already have a good motor to begin with... It also doesn't require removing your motor, which makes it even easier for the DIY'er in thier driveway with hand tools.
I had a ZC in the old white car, I liked it.
I have a mini-me in my current car, and still don't have it right.
Getting frustrated with it, the zc was sooooo simple compered to this.

(please ignore the temp intake)
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i loved my ZCs...such great engines, even though i love the a6 more... :?
which one has the vtec logo on the top of the valve cover? I've read that only the 94 and 95. if true, can a 94-95 valve cover fit the Y8?

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