The only hurdle to putting the Z1 drivetrain into a 96+ civic is the fact that the wiring harnesses are OBD2. They are wired differently than what the Z1 is set up for. This means buying a conversion harness from Rywire in order to even get the P07 ECU hooked into the wiring harness. After that hurdle, there is the fact that most of the 96-00 model civics have the crank sensor mounted down on the crank itself instead of inside the distributor on the OBD1 cars.
If you really want the comfort and amenities of the 96-00 civics, try to get an HX model. Sometimes you can pick up one with a bad CVT for cheap and do a 5 speed swap into it. Then you're all set for some 44+mpg gaslogs out of the box.
Even the 96-00 Civics share the same rust problem as the 92-95s do. From the factory, the mount to hold the edge of the rear bumper to the sheetmetal above the rear wheel is the culprit for starting the rust. I can get repair panels for dirt cheap for the 92-95 hatchbacks in order to eliminate the rust problem.
I find it easier to get the Z1 drivetrain to work with the 92-95 chassis.
Checkout or call JDMsource.ca.. I just got a japanese equivalent to the d15z1 and a cx trans (same as vx) from them for a great price, just mention that you are from gassavers and that the last guy who bought one of these engines referred you, Trevor (they refer to us as the gas freaks), and they should really take care of you. I actually was just calling them to get a price and it was so good I bought it right there on the spot.
Big oil execs making 32mil a year and we're paying upwards of $4 a gallon.. Hubberts peak you say? Oh ok, I believe you.