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Changing my first Head Gasket on 92 Accord

Discussion in 'Accord' started by Freethink, Mar 7, 2011.

  1. Freethink

    Freethink New Member

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    Hey guys. This is my first post so I'd like to say hello to everyone.

    I'm going to be changing the head gasket on my 92 Accord within the next two days. I've been doing research for awhile now, and it seems to be very complicated and have several pitfalls. I've changed one before with my father on a 91 Civic a few years ago, so I have the basic premise under my belt. However in my research I tend to see alot of people offering advice saying to do one thing this way, and often enough theres another person telling them not to do it that way.

    In light, got any advice? Thanks in advance!
     
  2. calmfornow

    calmfornow System Failure Racing

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    get a repair manual, that will tell you what to do step by step. haynes books are nice for the step by step and more pictures, and the other book is chiltons, which has more info on the car, but anyway get a repair manual and go step by step, but it is pretty simple on that engine.
     
  3. Freethink

    Freethink New Member

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    Thanks, I plan on starting tomorrow. I have the manual too.

    The problem is that its running rough. Two mechanics told me that its because theres a hole in the head gasket right between cylinders 2 and 3 causing three to misfire. I'm more than skeptical, I've done a HG before and that car generated a thick smoke screen and barely ran. This accord can make it a hundred miles to Chicago and other than the obvious and noticeable lack of power its just fine. It usually backfires for a few minutes right after startup, but eventually that goes away. But today I was looking it over and I noticed that if I pull cylinder three (the misfiring one) while its running the backfire goes away.

    I want to take this moment to declare myself a complete nub. I'm 19 and I'm learning about cars out of necessity and a sick obsession with mechanical concepts and systems. I understand the basic premise of how the engine works. Basics like how the pistons and valves and fuel all work in each cylinder to generate energy.

    It seems to me that if its backfiring when the spark plug is sparking but not when it disconnected that the plug must not be sparking at the right time. If its sparking at the right time and the fuel is in the cylinder then it should ignite, right? Like I said, I'm a nub so pardon my ignorance.
     
  4. BrutalB83

    BrutalB83 Brutal Moderator Moderator VIP

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    The factory service manuals are leaps and bounds ahead of any Haynes or Chilton book, but they're also quite a bit more expensive...
     
  5. Fernpatch

    Fernpatch Member

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    Take a close look at the valves when you pull the head off. I think you may have an issue with the intake valves on number 3 cylinder.
     
  6. Freethink

    Freethink New Member

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    Sooo, I goot the head off, took a look at the valves, and.....

    [​IMG]

    ...yeah. Burned valves, and a hole in the valve. So, any tips on a valve job?
     
  7. 1990 honda accord new be

    1990 honda accord new be New Member

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    changing valves are fairly easy get a vavle spring compressor you can rent one at any local auto zone. Keep in mind that since your changeing valves to change the valve seals as well but your book should be able to walk you through it all
     
  8. Freethink

    Freethink New Member

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    Ok, so I had the valves done by a machine shop and reassembled everything today. I go to start it and it won't, its turns over and shows plenty of current from the battery but it just wont start. I started checking and found that I couldn't get a spark on any of the wires.

    Anybody have any ideas? I've spent a hell of a lot of time on this and now I'm lost.I already checked to make sure the distributor rotor is turning, and it is so its not the timing belt.

    Thanks in advance.
     
  9. Dual-500

    Dual-500 Well-Known Member VIP

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    Take a break, then carefully look over the wiring - have someone else look at your work if you have access to anybody with a half a clue.

    I assume you pulled the negative battery lead when you did the work?
     
  10. Freethink

    Freethink New Member

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    Yeah, I did. I checked the ignition coil yesterday and found that one of the resitances was off. I took some voltage readings on its connector. I got 2 3 and 12 volts on each one with the key at II, so I thought it was the ignition coil since it was getting battery voltage.

    I also noticed that I can't hear the fuel pump whine on like I did before I did the work. Any ideas?
     
  11. Dual-500

    Dual-500 Well-Known Member VIP

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    This is always the problem when we do maintenance. What is wrong when it doesn't work? I've worked large automatic test equipment for aircraft avionics. When troubleshooting the test stations to resolve an issue, it's not uncommon to INDUCE other problems into the test station. That's when it gets interesting.

    Not suggesting you did anything wrong - just sharing possibilities.

    Is the issue maintenance related? Probably, but it may not be. It could be something just took a dump on you totally unrelated to the head replacement.

    You have a voltmeter, so check the wiring at the fuel pump for voltage.

    The problem you are facing is almost always the worst type to deal with and can certainly be the most frustrating.

    The ignitor could have failed in the distributor.

    Did you confirm the distributor is correctly aligned on the cam and not 180 degrees out. Simple to check - pull apark plug in #1 and pull it up to TDC, pull the valve cover or timing belt cover to see where the cam is - it should be on the timing alignment point. Also, be sure the timing mark on the crank pulley is at "0" on the marks. Whatever the firing order is on the engine, mine is #1 first, that's where the rotor should be pointing to.

    You are not getting any spark? I would almost try another distributor. I know it's $135 to $150 but might be worth the $. Or replace the ignitor in the original.

    I'm also wondering about the voltage readings you took. Did you reference a service manual to be able to know if they are correct or not? Your post wasn't clear on that.

    Have you checked all the fuses?
     
  12. Freethink

    Freethink New Member

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    Fuses Readings

    I've checked all the fuses and I've never heard of a relay going bad after a week. The voltage readings I took were with the key at II at the four pin connector to the ignition coil. Heres pics of each reading with the connector in view. I have raked my book but I can't find a god forsaken thing about what voltages should be on this connector.

    http://img23.imageshack.us/img23/2465/img20110321230145.jpg http://img263.imageshack.us/img263/5600/img20110321230127.jpg http://img225.imageshack.us/img225/7564/img20110321225736.jpg http://img8.imageshack.us/img8/2260/img20110321230206.jpg

    As for the distributor I resistance checked the three engine sensors in it today. The CLY, CRANK, and TDC sensors. Each was supposed to be at 250-500 Ohms, each was close to 330 Ohms. So The distributor should be good.

    By the way the ignition coil is brand new, 2 days old. As for checking the distributor to make sure its isn't 180 degrees out, I'm not entirely sure of how to do that, when I had it disassembled I couldn't turn any part of the timing system by hand or with tools, much less the pistons themselves. I'm also unsure of what you mean by timing alignment point. Where is the timing alignment point?
     
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  13. Freethink

    Freethink New Member

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    Multimeter was set to 20V max, btw.
     
  14. Dual-500

    Dual-500 Well-Known Member VIP

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    If you can't turn the engine or components over - how did your properly index the cam?

    Part of that job involves turning the crankshaft over by hand to bring the shortblock to TDC for #1 cylinder. Then setting the cam by the reference marks on the pulley and installing the timing belt. Reference marks on the cam put #1 at the firing position (valves closed) so you can align the distributor (look at rotor) to the correct position to fire #1 cylinder.

    Crank can be turned over by hand using a 3/4" drive wratchet or breaker bar and a socked on the crank pulley bolt. If car has manual tranny it needs to be in neutral unless front tires are off the ground - put it in neutral anyway.

    If you didn't do this - stop everything and do it. Disconnect negative lead from battery before attempting this.

    Find this part in the service manual you are using - it will be in the re-asembly section of the head remove and replace.
     
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2011
  15. Freethink

    Freethink New Member

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    Ok, hopefully I can find some time to do that today. I'm kinda swamped with school and other responsibilities. I'll let you know
     
  16. Freethink

    Freethink New Member

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    Does anyone have a decent explanation of what exactly to do? I've done some research and it seems ridiculous, nigh impossible to do it without having the engine out of the vehicle. Everything else seems to say that I need a timing light, a running engine and then I have to eyeball some markings on the crankshaft pulley. That seems awfully imprecise and hard to do to me. My manual is no help, and I can't find any guides that actually make any amount of sense.
     
  17. Dual-500

    Dual-500 Well-Known Member VIP

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    Static timing is done during assembly to set the cam timing. It must be done. Don't do anything with it until you confirm the cam timing is correct.

    If you have a service manual it will be there.

    The timing light is to set the ignition timing and not the cam timing. Huge difference. I don't know if your engine is an "Interference Engine" or not. If it is, and the cam timing is far enough off it could cause catastrophic damage.

    If you can't figure it out with the manual - get some help.
     
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