Which engine to turbo?


Junior Member
From what I have read on this forum I think I am the first "old-skooler" to stumble my way here :unsure:

Anyway, the car is a '79 civic and by the time it is ready for an engine it should have custom coil-overs all round and anything else i can find to keep the bloody thing on the ground. Before i I can start any of that, i need to have picked an engine so that i know how much its gonna weigh etc etc.
Due to the car this will be going into, I will be restricted to a D series. The complexity of stepping up to a B is gonna be too much of a hassle and i have better things to spend my $$$ on. Initially it will be run NA probably a few months or so, then it will become turbo. There are several options I have been reading about: DOHC non-vtec ZC, D15B, D16Z6 etc, but I am not sure which is going to be most suitable. I am aiming for 250-300 hp at the wheels probably off a T25. I like the idea of the SOHC VTEC's they will allow more engine bay space for intercoolers etc, but will the DOHC make more power in the end? The other thing is engine management. Not being in the states is probably going to limit me as far as management options go (ie. no Hondata for me :bawling:) so accurately tuning a VTEC may be more difficult. I would like to keep internals stock to start, and i have been told that rods will be the first to die as the boost gets raised in a D?

The easiest gearbox to use seems to be an Si Civic, will that bolt up to any D series and can you get them with LSD?

Oh and the car will hopefully be down to 500-550kgs race weight (600ish on the street)


Senior Member
'79 civic? Damn dats old! Might even be too old man. Carbureted, Pre-Pre OBD0! That car is going to require some SERIOUS work to get a D-series in there!

First I would guess you need custom mounts, that engine you have in there now came atleast 5 years before the D-series came out. If it even fit with the custom mounts, you would have to have a tranny that matched it (hydro or cable), this would probably require custom shift linkage. If by some means you got the motor in the car and shiftable, you would need a new ecu and a complete harness, not to mention you will be doing some wiring too. With what money was left over you would probably have to build a turbo kit for it cuz i doubt anything offered for a '92+ specific Honda would fit the confines of the engine bay. So just to recap you would have to get:


Not to crap on your parade though, but you would be much better off investing in a '88+ Honda civic or 90+ Integra, for tunability and parts.

The only other thing i can think of off the top of my head is what Mugen did in the 80's with the EW Crx's. They came out with a turbo kit for the EW engine but they are very hard to find and are no longer produced. If you could swap this '86-'87 Crx Si engine in your car, there would be a little more hope, but probably not enough to get it romping out 250-300hp. More like 180ish if you're lucky :(