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D15Z1 3 Stage VTEC, what do i need? (USA)

Discussion in 'Engine Building' started by imzjustplayin, Mar 31, 2008.

  1. imzjustplayin

    imzjustplayin New Member

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    The results of this thread will most likely determine whether or not I buy a civic at all. I'm trying to carefully plan how I'm going to go about doing what I'm about to ask. What I want is a Civic, either a 4 door or possibly a coupe with a '96-'00 body style and a D15Z1 engine with 3 Stage VTEC. This to me would yield the most ideal circumstances I could ask for in a honda civic and most likely any vehicle. I could get the fuel economy I want, I'll get the power I want, I'll get the safety I need and I don't have to get a hatchback.

    I do not own a honda yet, I am looking for a car with good mileage but isn't slow on the road which is why I'm asking for help with the above idea. I've had prior experience with honda civics (specifically 90s) and they've been mostly positive, in fact I can't remember anything I didn't like about them so that is a good start.

    I live in the USA, because americans are stereotyped as liking to waste gas, I can only assume that is the reason why they didn't bring a 3 Stage VTEC with a D15Z1 engine over here.

    I realize the D15Z1 engine in the USA comes with the '93-'95 Civic hatchback and that in its default state only makes 92HP. However, if I'm able to take that engine, update/upgrade the necessary parts to have 3 stage VTEC, and then install that engine into the body of a '96-'00 civic, I'd be good to go.

    I do not know where to begin in searching for "3 Stage VTEC" in the sense of a part. I'm sure I could find an engine with 3 stage VTEC but that isn't quite what I want to do for numerous reasons I don't care to cover. I want to know how and where I can get the parts specific to 3 Stage VTEC as everything else is the same.

    Here are the following things I already know:
    The D15Z1 engine is ODB-I in the USA, in europe/japan the D15Z1 with 3 Stage VTEC is ODB-II. ('96-'99 over there)
    The '96-'00 Civics use ODB-II
    From what I know, I think you can put VTEC from a D15 series engine into a D15 series engine w/o VTEC.
    From what I know, I think you can put VTEC from a D16 series engine into a D16series engine w/o VTEC.


    I do not know if you can put VTEC from a D16 onto a D15 series engine that didn't originally have VTEC.
    I want to know what I'll need in order to upgrade an american D15Z1 engine to have VTEC Stage 3 and I wanted to know if since this will now be ODB-II, will the installation of this into a '96-'00 civic body be anymore or any less difficult than this installation into a '93-'95 Civic VX hatchback.

    And finally, will this be smoggable? I mean I wouldn't be using a JDM engine, just a JDM tweak, much like putting an ECU from a different car or a JDM ECU. Right?
    Not to mention that it isn't easy to spot 3 stage VTEC unless you know what to look for.

    I'm outta breath, hope you guys can help!
     
  2. K2e2vin

    K2e2vin Senior Member

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    If you want 3 Stage VTEC, you might as well not even get the D15Z1 because from what I've seen, everybody only sells the long block. Once it's bolted in the car though, you'd just have to deal with wiring; simple OBD1 to OBD2 wiring conversion and adding the wiring for the 2nd VTEC solenoid if it's going into a 92-95 Civic. For a 96-00 Civic, you're just adding the VTEC wire.
     
  3. imzjustplayin

    imzjustplayin New Member

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    What do you mean by long block? Is this different from what I would need? If the '96-'00 civic of USA don't natively have stage 3 VTEC, how is just the linking of the VTEC wire all I would need? Wouldn't I need to run a competely separate wire from the VTEC, into the ECU and swap out the ECU with that from europe/JDM?
     
  4. imzjustplayin

    imzjustplayin New Member

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    Why is this a problem? I get the VTEC Stage 3 cylinder head and do a mini me with the D15Z1 engine from USA. maybe I'm missing something..
     
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2008
  5. jOnZ

    jOnZ JDM jOn

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    Hello imzjustplayin,

    Why not just get a 96 civic hx? It also is comes with the VTEC-E which has more power than the older version of the VTEC-E. I don't understand why you would want the 3 stage vtec. If you are looking to save gas with the 96-00 civics go with the HX model.

    D16Y5 1.6 16V SOHC VTEC-E PGM-FI 1590 115hp@6200rpm 104tq@5400rpm '96-'00 Civic HX (USA)
     
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2008
  6. BrutalB83

    BrutalB83 Brutal Moderator Moderator VIP

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    :werd:

    Are you not aware of the HX Civic? They made it in 96-00, so it's the body style you like, and it came from the factory with a VTEC-E equipped motor that makes more horsepower than the older VTEC-E engine you want to swap in...
     
  7. imzjustplayin

    imzjustplayin New Member

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    But it has a 1.6 litre engine opposed to 1.5litre of the slightly older '95 model. The '95 model has 47/56mpg opposed to the '96 which has 39/45 with the 1.6litre engine.

    Actually, what is more disturbing about this picture is that the '96 with the 1.6 loses so many MPG over the 1.5 litre that it just doesn't make any sense. If you look at the '01 model, it loses only like 3 mpg over the '96 model with its 1.7litre engine.
    The '96 is 200LBs heavier than the '95 and the '01 is 200lbs heavier than the '96. The first to second makes no sense but second to third does..
     
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2008
  8. BrutalB83

    BrutalB83 Brutal Moderator Moderator VIP

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    True, but you've also got to consider that the 1.5 liter engine you're wanting makes less horsepower than the HX engine, plus it's going to be going into a chassis that's 200 lbs heavier, so the performance aspect of it is pretty much going to be nullified.

    You did say you wanted a balance of mileage and performance, right?
     
  9. imzjustplayin

    imzjustplayin New Member

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    The engine making less horsepower I understand but don't you see how odd the discrepancy is? Did you miss my comparison of the 1996 to the 2001? How the difference in mileage "makes sense" but the '95 to '96 not so much, or at least begs the question, what did they do to the engine that improved performance but hurt mileage. My thinking is that they hurt the mileage with an adjustment to the cam profile but that improved the performance.

    Also I think you guys should know that the 1.5litre engine with the VTEC-E makes 92HP but with the VTEC 3 stage makes 130HP, yet retains the mileage.
     
  10. BrutalB83

    BrutalB83 Brutal Moderator Moderator VIP

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    :werd:

    The easiest thing for you to do would be to contact some of the engine importing companies and see if they can find you one of the OBD2 D15Z1 engines you were talking about. You'd want to buy a complete swap (engine, tranny, ecu). That will be the best as far as ease of installation, and probably easier than trying to source just a head with the 3-stage VTEC mechanism that you want and building a hybrid engine...
     
  11. imzjustplayin

    imzjustplayin New Member

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    But if I could get just the 3 stage VTEC head, wouldn't it be easier than trying to get the engine, tranny and ECU shipped across seas, not knowing whether or not it'd work? The D15 use the same block and I can imagine that installing a new tranny +engine+ECU would be more difficult and more $$ than just installing a new head with possibly a new ECU.

    Otherwise if I can't get just the head, why would I need a new tranny though?
     
  12. BrutalB83

    BrutalB83 Brutal Moderator Moderator VIP

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    You don't absolutely need the entire engine or the tranny, but it would probably actually be easier. Just unbolt the old engine with tranny attached, drop the new one in, hook up the ECU and you're done.

    You certainly can re-use your old transmission, but I'd be willing to bet that part of the awesome gas mileage you get with that setup probably has to do with gearing as well as the engine itself, so if you can find a complete swap, I'd do it.

    Oh, and the ECU will be a necessity if you want the 3-stage VTEC to run properly...which I assume is something you'd want?
     
  13. imzjustplayin

    imzjustplayin New Member

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    So yes, assuming I can buy just the head, why would buying the entire swap be easier though? Maybe I'm missing something here but isn't changing the head a bit easier than removing everything since you should be able to do the head swap in the engine bay opposed to removing everything? I'm more ignorant than I'm making myself look like so please enlighten me.
     
  14. K2e2vin

    K2e2vin Senior Member

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    He's saying finding an entire swap is going to be easier than finding just the head....

    Most importers that sell those motors usually don't want to part their motors out. Your best luck would be to find someone selling it privately(as in on ebay, craigslist, etc.); which is VERY hard as not much people have those motors.
     
  15. VWRXSTI

    VWRXSTI New Member

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    alright first of all, he's looking at a d15b from a JDM 96-00 civic. the engines themselves are hard to find, but sometimes some dumb importers sell them as d15b non vtec engines because the valve cover has no VTEC anything. anywhere.

    you need to look for a non-vtec looking engine with 2 solenoids where normal vtec engines only have 1 solenoid.

    if you're lucky, you can get one for 600 shipped.

    the problem is, however, getting the dual stage vtec to work. since they never implemented anything like this here, there is no USDM ecu that is capable of properly managing the essentially three separate engines (Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde/The Hulk).

    but, where there is a will, there is a way.

    The first would be to use an ecu capable of dealing with vtec and IAB, using its vtec for 16v operation (Mr. Hyde) and its IAB function to trigger the second vtec solenoid (the hulk). Of course, you'd have to do a lot of tweaking and tuning to get it to work nicely.

    The second option is to use a vtec ecu in conjunction with an rpm triggered switch. The ecu will handle 16v operation, while your RPM switch would take care of the ridiculous vtec cam.

    But either of these could be switched up (iab, RPM for 16 v operation and VTEC for second stage vtec), depending on which would ultimately be easier to tune.
     
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  16. BrutalB83

    BrutalB83 Brutal Moderator Moderator VIP

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    Thanks for the info dude, that's good stuff. FYI though, I don't think this guy is going to be coming around here anymore. He made some other dumbass threads which have since been locked down, and he essentially called all of us stupid and immature for saying his crazy ideas were bogus, so I kinda doubt we'll be hearing from him any time in the near future.

    Like I said though, good info. Seems like no one around here really knew much about that motor at all, so it's good to have some definitive knowledge about it posted up finally...

    + rep for you
     
  17. newb

    newb phresh VIP

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    So let me see if I understand how this engine works. In its lowest stage it operates as an 8 valve engine, then moves into a 16 valve stage, then finally at a third stage it crosses into vtec on all 16 valves? This engine is new to me so Im just tryin to understand it, thanks.
     
  18. K2e2vin

    K2e2vin Senior Member

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    Yes; although the transition of the stages are referred to as VTEC anyways(ie Dual VTEC engine=3-Stage VTEC). first stage is 8 valves; with the other valves being cracked open to prevent pooling; then second stage is all 16 valves open but at the same lift and duration as the first stage, then second stage is all 16 move to a higher duration and lift profile.
     
  19. Flippinjig

    Flippinjig New Member

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    I searched mini me and found this thread.
    Excuse my ignorance as most of this goes over my head so just let me blurt it out. I have a D16Z6 with a rod thru the side. Due to my lack of $ I bought a D15Z1 motor because it was in my price range with the idea of taking the head off my Z6 and bolting it on the Z1. Good mileage but power when I need it. Will this work or am I just totally off base here???
     
  20. K2e2vin

    K2e2vin Senior Member

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    Start you own thread, but you'll lose MPG compared to the Z1. Yes, it'll work.
     
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