From ZC to what? B18A2 or B16A2?

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Junior Member
Hi all!

I am the proud owner of a 1991 CRX with its original ZC motor. D16A9 to be exact. I am looking for more power. Actually I want something more torquey. That is why rather than spending money on bolt-ons which will give me only small gains, I thought I'd save it up and do a complete swap for a motor with more 'potential'.

ZC is one hell of a motor. It is a beast for what it is. At first I thought I would modify the hell out of it but I was discouraged by the fact that you can't even get cams for ZC anymore. HKS used to make them but discontinued now. They are expensive, too and you can't expect much from just cams and some bolt-ons. I want something with more potential like a B16A2 or a B18A2.

I even thought of Frankenstein motors but discouraged again after a few firends told me that I wouldn't be able to use the potential of VTEC head and powerband of aftermarket VTEC cams. Parts availability was another problem, too, so I am left with two options here ---> A B18A2 out of a 91-92 LS or a B16A2 out of a 92-96 del Sol or a 96-99 Civic VTi.

Which one would be easier for me to have done and which one would you recommend?

Part of me wants the torquey B18A, and the other part wants the more-tunable, better-aftermarker, higher-revving -but relatively torqueless- B16A.

Which one, guys?
the B18A will be good for boost... if you get the B16A1(1st gen B16) it will be more direct than the A2 (cable tranny and OBD-0)
I wish it was available, man. :(

Another questions, though; could I swap all the internal parts of a hydraulic-clutched B16A2 tranny (whatever its code is) into a cable LS tranny case, or do I sound too stupid for asking such a question? Just an idea... ;)
if your looking to boost the B18 dont bother swapping gears the LS ones are very good for boost they just suck for NA
Thank you for your replies!

I know. LS gears are longer.

I don't think I would boost it, at least before dropping it in. I think the torque of LS motor would cut me for a while before I need even more power than the LS.

You're right. B16A2 would suck with LS gears. I might even be dropping outta the VTEC zone after shifting up.
That's why I had an idea of putting B16A2 tranny gears in an LS tranny case.

Then again, I don't think LS motor with LS tranny wouldn't be so undriveable. I would miss the gearing of ZC's L3 tranny bad, though.
if your going NA im pretty sure you will have no problem swaping in the B16 gears (not sure if the cable/hydro thing is an issue there) with a B16 w/ LS gears you will definatly be dropping out of VTEC when shifting... if you plan to boost the B18A at all just suffer through the long gears of the B18A (its really not that bad) till you do boost it... no point in paying for gears if your just gunna take em out
i say go B16a2. My buddy gave me some websites that do a really good job of describing the wiring, and a guy here at school has a GSR in his CRX, said it took him like 2 or 3 hours to wire the ecu harness, and it took him longer to do the engine harness, because he has a DX. The tranny is now simple to deal with either sell or trade it, for a cable one, or buy the HASport hydro to cable coverter (it is a new product).
I think obd1 has more potential than obd0, it really depends on what you want to do...
good luck.
Is wiring a problem at all if I am getting the motor, tranny, axles, ECU and ALL out of one single car thrashed?

I mean it is going to come already wired?

Sorry for my ignorance guys. There is a lot I hafta learn.
no you have to solder about 50+ wires, to go from obd1 to obd0, there is a guy who makes half the harness and then you have to solder it to your old harness if you want i have his e-mail (PM me for it) or you can buy one from for like 250 bucks i think. but you already have a ZC in your car so you will just have to add an O2 sensor and remove your fuel resistor box. ( someone please correct me if i am wrong i am going on what i have been told i am going to have to do when i do my B16A2 swap.) It is a lot of wiring, i think it is not that hard it just takes a bit of time to figure it all out.

-btw happy 100 posts to me.
Converting to obd1 is not hard at all. You will have to run a few wires, cahnge a few plugs nothing too hard. You will need to buy or make a conversion harness for the ecu. You can buy them for around a 100 bucks from lelopez. If you buy this harness you can do the obd1 conversion in under 4 hours taking your time.