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Need Advice!

Discussion in 'General Tech and Maintenance' started by 8wrench, Nov 12, 2007.

  1. 8wrench

    8wrench New Member

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    Hey, I've been reading the forums for a while now and some of the articles inspired me to start my own project. I just bought a 1990 Civic SI with 250,000 KM, which took a $1500 bite out of my total budget of $4000. Out of my remaining budget, I plan to spend around $1000 on the engine, and this is where I need the advice.

    For a bit of background, I'm a 19 y/o business student in Edmonton, AB, so this car will be my daily driver and will go through some intense winter conditions. I'm not looking for much more power, but definitely more than my bone stock D16A6. Forced induction isn't an option due to my budget, so I'm looking for bang-for-buck N/A power. Nothing crazy, but ending up with around 120-135 HP would be nice.

    Keep in mind that I have only basic knowledge of the engine, and a Hayne's manual to guide me along. So for most things labour costs will have to be factored in, or the cost for the rent-a-garage with tools for any items I can tackle on my own.

    I've been doing a lot of researching and have come up with a few options for the engine, not sure which would be the best based on my needs and budget:

    1) Clean up my stock engine; replace the timing belt, drive belts, valve cover gasket, etc., and then throw in a few add ons

    2) Mini-me

    3) D16Z6 swap with whatever addons I can afford

    4) Drive this thing through the winter, fix the engine and little things here and there, sell it for $2500 in summer and put profits toward a gen5 civic, 90+ MR2, or 1G DSM

    The muffler is broken, so I'm planning on adding a catback exhaust once I decide on which engine option I'm going to do, and find out what my end-project power will be.

    Another thing is my rear brakes, which are completely done. Anyone know if it's worth it to convert to disc brakes? Or should I stick to replacing the drums, rotors etc?

    I've included a few pics of my car and the inspection report from my mechanic, if anyone could point out any alternatives or DIY jobs that aren't too tough and could save me some money it would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks in advance,

    Ryan

    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]
     
  2. norcalgsr

    norcalgsr Honda Master Technician

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    You could swap in a DOHC ZC engine and make some pretty good power that way.
     
  3. serrilion

    serrilion In my own little world! VIP

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    The stock d16z6 has ~125hp 102lbs of torque... so there is the HP range your looking for... Think these days u can find 1 for a decent price...and the trans and ecu can proably find for about 200 together, and the mounts, im guessing around 70 looking in the right place...
     
  4. 8wrench

    8wrench New Member

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    Thanks for the suggestions guys. I'm trying to avoid or at least put off the swap until I know enough to do it myself, otherwise I'll have to pay $800 labour for my mechanic to do the swap. Another thing I considered was if I'm going for complete d16z6 I would fix some minor problems with my hatch, sell it, and get a 92-95 because I like the body style better anyway.
     
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2007
  5. norcalgsr

    norcalgsr Honda Master Technician

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    Are you going to pay someone else to do the swap? If not you can get a DOHC ZC for around $500....
     
  6. 8wrench

    8wrench New Member

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    Well I have my Hayne's manual and access to a garage, but I've never done serious engine work before. I could probably get through it if it's as easy as people make bolt ons sound, but it makes me sketchy playing around with an engine I know very little about.

    Otherwise yeah, my mechanic estimated $800 labour over approximately two days for a full bolt-on swap. An import shop offered me a B-series imported from Japan for $5500 swapped, but thats way above my budget.
     
  7. norcalgsr

    norcalgsr Honda Master Technician

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    It's not too bad.. even though it's a different engine the swap is basically the same. However if you aren't comfortable doing that you may be better off freshening the stock engine and going that direction. In all honesty it's a lot easier than it seems looking at it, and it's always going to be more intimidating if you've never done that kind of job before. If you have the manual I'm pretty confident you'll be able to pull it off, but it's really up to you. I wouldn't pay someone to do it for me though, you would be better off putting that $800 towards something you can do yourself.
     
  8. 8wrench

    8wrench New Member

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    Yeah that makes sense. I'm confident I could follow the manual, but if something doesn't go as planned, or there's something wrong with the engine there's a good possibility I wouldn't notice and I'd hate to make an engine killing mistake over something simple.

    It's $170 for labour on the timing belt, I was told unless I have experience with an engine I should leave the timing belt to him. I understand how to dissasemble it, I don't have the tools though and if I mess up the timing belt I'll kill my engine. I didn't have auto shop as an option in school, so I never really got any hands on experience except doing my own oil changes, changing tires, air filters etc.
     
  9. loko_1

    loko_1 New Member

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    well if u got 4k go ahead and throw a b16 swap plus labor it shouldnt be anymor then 2500 and u still got money 2 play with... plus u got a really light shell ull get better # then me... i got 1 and i hit a buck 140 on da highway against a rsx type s and he beat me but he didnt strech on me i was on his ass the whole way ther and trust me the power difference is alot. i got no work just a flywhell and clutch and im mor then happy with it u cand find a b16 swap for about 15 the (WHOLE THING!)
     
  10. 8wrench

    8wrench New Member

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    Yeah I thought about a B series swap, but my budget is 4000 for the whole project, 1000 of that is going to the engine.

    Basically, I need the best bang for my buck so I can get a nice setup under the hood for a thousand or less. I think the best option would be swapping the head from a z6 and doing a minime, that way I'll get VTEC cheap and I can still afford to throw on some extra upgrades.
     
  11. norcalgsr

    norcalgsr Honda Master Technician

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    The dual cam ZC will make more power than a mini me..
     
  12. 8wrench

    8wrench New Member

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    I looked into the cost and power differences between the two a little further, ZC isn't that much more expensive, and I'd rather have a new(er) engine anyway. Thanks for the advice man
     
  13. daveholiday

    daveholiday Do work

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    actually I'm in the process of swapping a y8 head onto my a6 block.

    I actually kinda wish I had kept the a6 together and just saved for a full b swap or something. It's kinda to the point that the mini-me is more trouble than its worth. I started it almost 2 months ago, and it's still not running right. It's leaking badddd coolant from somewhere, and it doesn't seem to be putting out the power it should. Unless my problems are super rare and I'm uncommon, I'd stay away from the mini-me. And if you want to go mini even still, the z6 head needs a little bit of modding as far as dizzy and other things to fit right. The y8 stuff bolts right up to the a6. Just a little fyi.
     
  14. 8wrench

    8wrench New Member

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    Yeah after doing some more research I've revised my options a little.

    I'm looking at a full swap now, either z6 or ZC, replacing all the wear parts, and somewhere down the road boosting it. Either that or sell my civic and buy a gen 5 Si, for all the trouble of finding an engine, importing it, and doing the swap I may as well just buy a newer vehicle and rebuild the engine.
     
  15. daveholiday

    daveholiday Do work

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    I'm very not-happy with my blahblah hp/poopoo ft.lbs. D16A6/Y8.:(
     
  16. daveholiday

    daveholiday Do work

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  17. 8wrench

    8wrench New Member

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    Alright, so I'm trying to decide on a ZC or a Z6 swap, but I can't seem to figure out the major differences. Both produce similar amounts of power, but DOHC does it by having all valves available at all times, and VTEC limits the number of valves available until you hit high RPMs, then it opens them all up? I tried looking up SOHC, DOHC, and VTEC on howstuffworks but I'm still a little confused.

    To recap, I have $1,000 to get the engine from the store to my garage, replace major worn parts, get it inside the car, and get it running. I plan on putting a turbo on it somewhere down the road, and for the most part it will remain a daily driver. Should I go with a ZC for DOHC, or Z6 for VTEC? HP I want is 130-170

    Also, does anyone who drives in a lot of snow have experience with CAI? I've heard that they're very sensitive to water, and in slushy conditions it will probably get wet. In winter air is already between -20 C and -50 C anyway, are CAI designed for cold temperatures like that?
     
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2007
  18. daveholiday

    daveholiday Do work

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    Howstuffworks "How Camshafts Work"
    Howstuffworks "What does the VTEC system in a Honda engine do?"
    Howstuffworks "Variable Valve Timing"

    If you're worried about hydro lock you can buy a bypass valve that AEM makes and tested it on their NSX, it opens up if you suck up water in your pipe and uses the bypass valve as air untill the water is out of your system
     
  19. 8wrench

    8wrench New Member

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    Thanks for the links man, those are the ones I got when I tried browsing around, and it still left me a little confused about VTEC vs DOHC. From what I understand VTEC is more fuel efficient because it only opens the extra valves at racing RPMs, where as DOHC has different valve timing for increased performance. Still am not sure if I should go for ZC or Z6 swap though.

    Exactly what I was looking for. Thanks buddy
     
  20. daveholiday

    daveholiday Do work

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    I think AEM has a video of pictures too of their NSX using the bypass valve where the completely submerged the filter into a tank of water for 5 minutes, then pulled it out and left it running and it continued to run fine, so I'd say thats your best bet there. As far as Z6 vs ZC, I don't know much of the difference between a DOHC ZC and say a B18A1 or something, but I know that b-series are much more boost-friendly as far as stock internals, but I'd assume it's DOHC's in general, not just B's. SOHC's aren't bad either, but they take a lot less boost with stock internals, but then again you have the vtec stuff, which some people like because when they have it tuned, they'll bring their vtec crossover point a little lower to make some extra power while waiting for their turbo to fully spool, so there's that too.

    AEM - Air Bypass Valve for Cold Air
    AEM - Air Bypass Valve for Cold Air


    EDIT: Found the NSX article
    AEM Air-Bypass Valve - Tech - Sport Compact Car Magazine
     
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2007
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