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Since the Zc is a fairly common and affordable swap for anyone with a 88-91 Crx, i dug up some info on it. Hopefully this can help some ppl and sqaush the rumors and misinformation about this motor.
Info courtesy of hondaswap.com.

Let's start off by saying this:
The ZC series of engines(those stamped "ZC") were only sold in Japanese market cars. The DOHC ZC is basically a twin cam d- series motor and can also be identified by other stampings, depending on the region it was sold in. "ZC" was the stamp in the Japanese market while other regions of the world can see DOHC Zc's stamped as d16a8/9 or d16z5.
While the US market '86-89 Integra's D16A1 is very similar to the DOHC ZC, they are not the same engine.

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ZC Identification Guide

The ZC engine is one of the hardest to identify because there are many different versions of this engine. Honda offered this engine in both single and dual overhead cam designs, as well as fuel injected and carbureted versions of these. This article distinguishes the different versions of the ZCs offered. Hopefully this will separate the facts from the myths.

The first ZC

ZC's were first offered in Civic's and Integra's in 1985 and were still being manufactured in vehicles up until 2001. The first Generation ZC's were offered from 1985 through 1987. These engines can be found in 85-87 JDM Civic's and JDM CRX Si's and were very similar to the 1986-1987 US Integra engine. It's worth noting that this engine came with the highest horsepower rating of all ZCs at 137 horsepower. Remember, these engines were offered in Japan and similar versions offered in the United States were only offering 112 horsepower. The main difference is Japan's higher quality gasoline and different fuel curves along with slightly higher compression. These engines are usually bolted into 1st generation Crx's and 3rd Generation Civic's along with 1986-1987 Integra's. Most of this is pretty straight forward. The main problem lies within the carbureted versus fuel injected models offered during these years. This conversion is both difficult and time consuming and really not recommended because the results really aren't that impressive.

Swaping the 1st gen ZC

To bolt this engine in, the following mounts will be needed. First, the passenger side mount and rear mount from the ZC/Integra should be used while the driver's side mount and bracket need to be used from the Civic/Crx. To make things easier with wiring just use the stock wiring harness. Several of the wires may need to be lengthened but there shouldn't be any other problems. Ideally, the ZC ECU should be used however the Si ECU is adequate. If installing the Civic ZC into an 1986-1987 Integra is the goal, you'll need the Integra intake manifold and throttle body. Remember, the OEM wiring harnesses should be used with its own engine to make the swap easier and cleaner.

The 2nd Generation of ZC's

In 1988 Honda introduced the second generation of ZC's. These came with a black valve cover and have several differences when compared to the first generation ZC's there. First, its important to realize that there are two types of ZC's. The first, offered exclusively in JDM Civic's/CRX's, has ZC stamped on the block. The second is the D16A1 and it came in USDM Acura Integra's. These two engines are not interchangeable with one another and have different engine mounts. The Integra's driver's side mount is located near the front of the engine while the JDM ZC's engine mount is closer to the timing belt cover. It is also worth noting that the valve covers and intake manifolds are also slightly different.

What do these fit?

Because the 88-89 Integra ZC engine mounts the same as the 86-89 Integra, the engine will not only bolt in to the 88-89 Integra, but also into the 86-87 Integra and 84-87 Civic or CRX. Cool you say? Well, sort of. The reason this is not done more often is because of the wiring differences. Some big changes need to be done. The two major sticking points are vehicle speed sensor and electronic load detector. These require more than just a couple of wires for the conversion to work. The 88-91 Civic style ZC is a direct bolt in to the 88-91 Civics and CRXs. You can bolt the ZC to the stock transmission easily too. You just need to make sure you have the right clutch and flywheel combo. The easy way is to match the pair to what ever year tranny you use. Electrically the ZC is identical to the Si with the exception of the distributor wiring.

If you decide to use the Civic ZC tranny with your Civic ZC engine, get the Civic ZC intermediate shaft because there is no US counterpart to this part. The 86-89 Integra intermediate shaft will not fit, and I don't care what your friend heard or said.

The 3rd Generation ZCs

Is there such a thing?

After 1992 in some Civics and a few 1994 and up Integra's still come with the odd model: the DOHC ZC. These ZCs look like the Civic style ZCs from 88-91 but have the later style electronics. There are even more Integra and Domani models with SOHC ZC engines. There is not a lot of interest in these (SOHC or DOHC) engines I am afraid, because the B-series VTEC motors bolt right in the 92 up Civics. The ZC does make a good swap in the lowly, underpowered CX or VX, but only with the EX, Si or ZC transmission, otherwise I don't recommend them. But for the sake of argument and to impress you with our large volume of trivial Honda knowledge, let's go ahead discuss them.

To recognize thie 3rd generation DOHC ZC engine, just look for the black valve cover and 92 up grey colored electrical connectors. Some of the other visual clues are:

* a plug in the end of the exhaust cam, like the B-series motors
* two studs sticking up from the driver's side engine bracket poking out of the timing belt cover
* and no writing on the top of the intake manifold, just the three raised bars on the casting like all the other 92-95 Civic engines.

What do they fit?

Well, they will fit the 92-2000 Civics or the 94 up Integra... not that anyone would want to put it in an Integra. Again, this engine bolts to the D series transmission and the Si or Ex trannys make for a decent combo. But if you decide to use the 92 up ZC tranny with your 92 up ZC engine, get the 92 up Civic ZC intermediate shaft too because again, there is no US counterpart to this part. Although it is different from the 88-91 style, it is interchangeable.


ZC swap info
http://www.gamesbbs.com/~dmoore/zc.htm

Yet more ZC info:

The USDM D16A1 engine that came in the 86-89 Integra IS NOT a "ZC" engine. ZC is a name that honda attached high output versions of the D-series engines.

The ZC name is applied to many different engines.

* The ZC came with carbs and fuel injection.
* The ZC came as a DOHC and a SOHC.
* The ZC is not CARB (California Air Resources Board) legal.
* The D16A1 in the USDM 1986-89 Integra is not a ZC, but has a similar block
* The DOHC ZC has two different major types, Early and Late
* The Early DOHC ZC had the Valve Cover bolts on the middle of the valve cover
* The Late DOHC ZC has the Valve cover bolts on the outside edge of the valve cover.
* The SOHC ZC and the Late DOHC ZC are related to the 1988+ D series engines.

The following is info I found on the web regarding ZC engines.

The ZC Engine
In Honda's line-up of engines, perhaps the one which leads to the greatest amount of confusion would be the ZC engine. This engine comes in a wide variety of forms.
The ZC engine comes with an engine block that has 4 cylinders, water-cooled, with bore and stroke as 75mm by 90mm, i.e. an under square design. Thus, the capacity of the ZC engine is always 1590cc. The ZC engine comes in various configurations, SOHC, DOHC, carbureted as well as fuel-injected. The only configuration that ZC does not come in is in DOHC-VTEC form. The ZC engine is also used in a large variety of models. The list below tries to tie the various configuration of the ZC engine to examples of Honda models and types that they appear in. This list is not intended to be exhaustive.

SOHC twin-carbureted
16V SOHC, with dual Keihin carbs mounted side-ways.
Max Power : 105ps.
DA-series Honda Integra RX and ZX.
DC-series Honda Integra ZX.
EG-series Honda Ferio RTX (EH1) with 'realtime' 4WD.

SOHC PGM-Fi
16V SOHC, Programmed Fuel Injection.
Max Power : 120ps.
EF-series Honda Civic 36i (4door).
DA-series Honda Integra RXi and ZXi.
DB/DC-series Honda Integra ZXi.
Revised DB/DC-series Honda Integra, various models, eg Ti, Xi-G, Xi(4WD).

SOHC VTEC PGM-Fi
16V SOHC with VTEC, Programmed Fuel Injection.
Max Power : 130ps.
EG-series Honda Civic Ferio EXi (coded as E-EJ3).
.

DOHC PGM-Fi (First generation)
16V DOHC, Programmed Fuel Injection.
Max Power : 125ps.
1st Generation Honda Civic Si.
1st Generation Honda (coded as E-AS) CRX Si.
1st generation Honda 'Quint' Integra GSi and RSi.

DOHC PGM-Fi (Second generation)
16V DOHC, Programmed Fuel Injection.
Max Power : 130ps.
EF-series Honda Civic (4door and 3door) Si.
EF-series Honda CRX Si (EF7).
EG-series Honda Civic Ferio RTSi (EH1) with 'realtime' 4WD.

The ZC engine also appears in other Honda lines, notably in SOHC PGM-Fi and SOHC Dual-Carb'ed form in the Concerto line-up which was also available for export (Singapore is one country which has this model in its domestic lineup).
The ZC engine also appears in other Honda lines, notably in SOHC PGM-Fi and SOHC Dual-Carb'ed form in the Concerto line-up which was also available for export (Singapore is one country which has this model in its domestic lineup).
Of note is the 1.6l SOHC VTEC PGM-Fi engine as used in the JDM Honda Civic Coupe and various current generation EK-series Civic types although having the same capacity (1590cc) with same bore and stroke is coded D16A instead of ZC. In fact, the EJ1 JDM Civic Coupes have plates that state they're manufactured in the United States.
The same configuration of engine, with matching power output levels, (120ps at the same rpm), is also available in what can best be described as 'lesser' markets for Honda. This engine then often powers the top models for that market. An example is the Malaysian domestic line-up, which for the previous and current generation has a Honda Civic 1.6EXi which is powered by a 120ps 1.6l SOHC PGM-Fi engine but coded as SM16A. Similary, for the equivalent EF-generation, the Malaysian domestic line-up has a top model, the Honda Civic 1.6EX which is powered by a 105ps 1.6l SOHC Dual-Carb'ed engine coded as D16Z1. There is a distinct possibility that these engines are localised export versions of the 'master' JDM ZC engine.

1G ZC "Brown Top" D16A3
Engine ID: ZC
CC: 1590
Hp: [email protected]
TQ: [email protected]
Bore: 75mm
Stroke: 90mm
Compression:
Fuel System: PGM-FI
Ignition System: Vacuum Advance
Notes: Valve Cover Bolts are in the middle of the valve cover, NOT USDM LEGAL

86-87 US Integra "Brown Top"
Engine ID: D16A1
CC: 1590
Hp: [email protected]
TQ: [email protected]
Bore: 75mm
Stroke: 90mm
Compression: 9.3:1
Fuel System: PGM-FI
Ignition System: Vacuum Advance
Notes: Valve Cover Bolts are in the middle of the valve cover

88-89 US Integra "Black Top"
Engine ID: D16A1
CC: 1590
Hp: [email protected]
TQ: [email protected]
Bore: 75mm
Stroke: 90mm
Compression: 9.5:1
Fuel System: PGM-FI
Ignition System: Electronic Advance
Notes: Valve Cover Bolts are in the middle of the valve cover

2G ZC "Black Top" (this engine DOES NOT attach to the 86-89 Integra transmission and is closely related to the 1988+ D series engines)
Engine ID: ZC D16A8 (no catalytic converter), D16A9 (catalytic converter)
CC: 1590
Hp: (130 I'm not sure)
TQ: (I don't know)
Bore: (75mm I think)
Stroke: (90mm IIRC)
CompressionI don't know)
Fuel System: PGM-FI
Ignition System: Electronic Advance
Notes: Valve Cover Bolts are on the outer sides of the valve cover, NOT USDM LEGAL.

Additional pics/info provided by jilcrx

jlicrx said:
1st gen DOHC ZCs came in the 84-87 JDM CRX and Civic Si models and 86-87 JDM Integras- they had a brown valve cover with 4 bolts in the center of the valve cover - had vacuum advance ignition and the driver's side mount is on the front, not on the end of the block - the cam gears are large with 40 teeth on each - the identification stamp is not on the front of the block but is on the back above the starter - the CRX/Civic I.D. says ZC - serial number - the CRX/Civic serial numbers begin with '1' and the Integras begin with '5' - the block is a PG6 which is cast on the back of the block right below the I.D. - this is a 1st gen ZC:



this is the 1st gen ZC I.D. stamp:



the 2nd gen DOHC ZCs came only in the 88-89 JDM Integra - basically same as 1st gen except has a black valve cover and has electronic ignition and a different intake manifold - the I.D. is on the front of the block and serial number begins with '5' - the block is also a PG6 - this is a 2nd gen ZC:



this is 2nd gen ZC I.D. stamp:



the 3rd gen DOHC ZCs came in the 88-91 JDM CRX and Civic Si models - I.D. is on front of the block and serial number begins with '2' - has black valve cover with 4 attaching bolts on the outside edge of the cover - use smaller cam gears with 34 teeth each - has driver's side mount on the end of the block where it comes thru the timing belt cover - has same distributor and cylinder sensor (on end of exhaust camshaft) as the 2nd gen, but has different intake manifold - the block is a PM7 which is cast in on the back near the transmission and close to the bottom of the block - this is a 3rd gen ZC:






the 4th gen DOHC ZC came in some 92-95 JDM Civics - basically the same as the 3rd gen - I.D. serial number begins with '3' - has different intake manifold - different throttle body with MAP on top - no cylinder sensor on the exhaust camshaft - different distributor with cylinder sensor inside - has different driver's side mount bracket and timing belt cover - this is a 4th gen ZC:

 
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