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ZC Swap Info

Engine Identification   

D16A8  ~ European model - fuel injected

D16A9 ~ European model - carburated

ZC ~ Japanese model - fuel injected

ZC's have a black valve cover with the cover bolts on the sides and the Honda symbol on the exhaust side of the valve cover.  They come with a 4-2-1 style exhaust header and a small oil to water oil cooler on the back of the block.  The engine mounts are the same as the 88-91 Civic/CRX.

Note - be sure it has a black valve cover with the cover bolts on the front and back edges of the valve cover and that it is a DOHC design.   There is an older ZC with a brown valve cover that you don't want!  Also watch out for the Integra motors which look identicle to the ZC except for the valve cover bolts are not on the edges of the cover, this motor will not bolt into the CRX.

Technical Specs  

1.6L  (1590 cc) (97 ci) DOHC

130 hp @ 6800 rpm

Bore 75.0  mm (2.95 inches)

Stroke 90.0mm (3.5 inches)

C.R. 9.5:1 for the Japanese model

C.R. 9.3:1 for the European model

ZC redlines @ 7200 rpm  


Swap  Info

  • You can use the ECU from either the U.S. CRX Si, 88-89 Integra 5 speed, or the Japanese CRX Si which is what the ZC came out of anyway.  The best choice would be the Integra one since it has more aggressive fuel and timing maps as well as a higher redline than our CRX Si ECU and its readily available, .  The Japanese Si ECU is probally just as good but they are very hard to get and have a speed governor that is set at too low for most peoples taste.
  • The motor bolts right up to the stock motor mounts and to the tranny.   While the HF tranny does bolt onto the ZC you will definatly want to use an Si tranny because of the much better gearing, you may even want to consider this if you have a DX. 
  • Replace the clutch.  As long as everything is apart it doesn't require any extra work to replace it.  A performance clutch is recommended because of the ZC's greater output.

  • The motor only weighs about 25 pounds more than the regular CRX one so handling is not affected.

  • Here is a picture showing which two wires need to disconnected from the distributor and attached to the exhaust cam sensor.



  • Spark plugs ~ 88-91 CRX or 89 Integra
  • Distributor ~ 88-89 Integra
  • Timing belt ~ 88 Prelude Si 2.0 
  • Throttle body + TPS ~ 88-91 CRX Si
  • Cap and rotor ~ 88-91 CRX or 88-89 Integra
  • Head gasket ~ 89 Integra
  • Intake gasket ~ 89 Integra
  • Exhaust gasket ~ 89 Integra
  • Water pump ~ 89-91 CRX
  • Oil pan gasket ~ 88-91 CRX or 89 Integra
  • Oil filter ~ 89 Integra
  • Spark plug wires ~ 89 Integra
  • Header ~ the 88-91 CRX header will fit but requires some porting to work properly since the exhaust ports on the ZC are shifted slightly to the side
  • Thermostat ~ 88-91 CRX
  • Rod and Main bearings - 88-89 Integra
  • Pistons ~ 88-89 Integra are exact matches for ZC pistons
  • Gaskets ~ the top half of the motor uses a 89 Integra set.



  • Stock ZC rods are said to survive up to about 200hp / 8000rpm's
  • Shaving the head .8mm will give a cr of about 10:1 while a shave of 1.4mm gives a ratio of 10.6:1
  • The upper timing belt cover on the ZC may rub on the bottom of the hood.  Most people solve this problem by just leaving it off.  Another solution is to put small 1/8" washers in between the two parts of the drivers side motor mount, this lowers that side of the motor just enough to clear the hood.
  • Modifications to your CRX are done at your own risk.




  • Stock ZC powering CRX's can vary alot depending on engine condition.
  • ZC with header, exhaust, throttle body, cold air intake and an integra ecu can run as fast as the mid 14's to the upper 15's.


I Need One

  • Price $350 - $600
  • Nippon (Cali)1-562-272-4050
  • John's Foreign Engines (Wash State) 1-360-571-8505
  • PFI in (Colorado) 1-888-296-3463
  • Everyplace that sells the ZC claims that they have about 30k miles on them, but keep in mind that there is no actual way to know this for sure.  Some of the better sellers will perform a compression test and provide you with the results.