The ZC Engine

In Honda's line-up of engines, perhaps the one which leads to the greatest amount of confusion would be the ZC engine. This engine comes in a wide variety of form. In this installment of topic of the moment, TOV-A looks at the various forms of the ZC engine. As usual, we try to be exhaustive in this examination but there is always the possibility we could have missed out on one or more items. Let us know if we have missed any out.

As far as TOV-A knows, the ZC engine comes with an engine block that has 4 cylinders, water-cooled, with bore and stroke as 75mm by 90mm, ie an undersquare design. Thus, the capacity of the ZC engine is always 1590cc. The ZC engine comes in various configurations, SOHC, DOHC, carbaretted as well as fuel-injected. The only configuration that ZC does not come in is in DOHC-VTEC form. The ZC engine is also used in a large variety of models. The list below tries to tie the various configuration of the ZC engine to examples of Honda models and types that they appear in. This list is not intended to be exhaustive.

SOHC twin-carburetted
16V SOHC, with dual Keihin carbs mounted side-ways.
Max Power : 105ps.
DA-series Honda Integra RX and ZX.
DC-series Honda Integra ZX.
EG-series Honda Ferio RTX (EH1) with 'realtime' 4WD.

16V SOHC, Programmed Fuel Injection.
Max Power : 120ps.
EF-series Honda Civic 36i (4door).
DA-series Honda Integra RXi and ZXi.
DB/DC-series Honda Integra ZXi.
Revised DB/DC-series Honda Integra, various models, eg Ti, Xi-G, Xi(4WD).

16V SOHC with VTEC, Programmed Fuel Injection.
Max Power : 130ps.
EG-series Honda Civic Ferio EXi (coded as E-EJ3).

DOHC PGM-Fi (First generation)
16V DOHC, Programmed Fuel Injection.
Max Power : 125ps.
1st Generation Honda Civic Si.
1st Generation Honda (coded as E-AS) CRX Si.
1st generation Honda 'Quint' Integra GSi and RSi.

DOHC PGM-Fi (Second generation)
16V DOHC, Programmed Fuel Injection.
Max Power : 130ps.
EF-series Honda Civic (4door and 3door) Si.
EF-series Honda CRX Si (EF7).
EG-series Honda Civic Ferio RTSi (EH1) with 'realtime' 4WD.

The ZC engine also appears in other Honda lines, notably in SOHC PGM-Fi and SOHC Dual-Carb'ed form in the Concerto line-up which was also available for export (Singapore is one country which has this model in its domestic lineup).

Of note is the 1.6l SOHC VTEC PGM-Fi engine as used in the JDM Honda Civic Coupe and various current generation EK-series Civic types although having the same capacity (1590cc) with same bore and stroke is coded D16A instead of ZC. In fact, the EJ1 JDM Civic Coupes have plates that states they're manufactured in the United States.

The same configuration of engine, with matching power output levels, (120ps at the same rpm), is also available in what can best be described as 'lesser' markets for Honda. This engine then often powers the top models for that market. An example is the Malaysian domestic line-up, which for the previous and current generation has a Honda Civic 1.6EXi which is powered by a 120ps 1.6l SOHC PGM-Fi engine but coded as SM16A. Similary, for the equivalent EF-generation, the Malaysian domestic line-up has a top model, the Honda Civic 1.6EX which is powered by a 105ps 1.6l SOHC Dual-Carb'ed engine coded as D16Z1. There is a distinct possibility that these engines are localised export versions of the 'master' JDM ZC engine.

One interesting item that TOV-A has come across is a ZC engine that is DOHC but uses dual-carburetters. The owner whom contacted us to find out more about the engine says that it came off an older JDM Integra. Unfortunately, TOV-A is not unware that such a configuration of the ZC engine even exists ! If any of you have any additional data on this engine, please let us know.

Temple of VTEC - Asia. June 03 1998