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Help! Changed HG, now smoking & Exhaust gas in oil system

Discussion in 'Engine Building' started by BuzzOrHowl, Jan 1, 2007.

  1. BuzzOrHowl

    BuzzOrHowl New Member

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    Howdy. I was having standard indications of Head Gasket failure (coolant disappearing, ethylene glycol smell in exhaust) in my 92 CX hatch (D15B8) so I pulled the head and replaced the gasket... I've done head gaskets before and went strictly by the book, so I expected no problems.

    When I started it up, though, it started smoking and had exhaust gas coming out through the dipstick and filler holes (!!!!)

    I figured the HG didn't seal for some reason, so the next day I bought a new one and did the whole job AGAIN... this time being extra careful and checking the head and block mating surfaces for any warp (found none).

    Just finished it, and I have the same problem!... Can Anyone Help me? Ever heard of this problem before? This is my daily driver so I need to figure something out soon...
     
  2. TurboMirage

    TurboMirage YEEAAAHHH VIP

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    did you check that you didnt put it on backwards ?
     
  3. BuzzOrHowl

    BuzzOrHowl New Member

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    Yeah... it only fits over the head right with one side up.
     
  4. 94_gs-r

    94_gs-r can you say 260 whp N/A??

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    :walk: time to switch to b series
     
  5. BuzzOrHowl

    BuzzOrHowl New Member

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    Thanks for the tip, GSR....

    Actually, I just need this car to run for now... It'll never be my project car.

    Update: PCV valve was disconnected... pesky little bugger there under the intake manifold... Reconnected in and drove a few miles.

    All problems remained; oil smoke in exhaust and exhaust gas exiting oil filler and dipstick holes.

    Perhaps I had some ring compression failure as a result of over heating just before I did the HG job? or valve guide failure? I'm just grasping at straws here...

    I'll do a compression check on each cylinder tomorrow... maybe I'll be able to isolate the problem to one cylinder then...
     
  6. Exodus

    Exodus Junior Member

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    In a situation where a system of some sort or another is producing abnormal results, I've found in my personal experience that it's best to return that system to as close to factory as possible. Keep this in mind as I continue.

    For one, perhaps I'm slightly mislead by what you've typed, but I'd like to as intelligently as possible try and discuss what it would take for exhaust gas to be directed through the oil system. I am in no way pretending to be right about any of this and completely welcome correction to any instance where I am wrong in my thoughts\theories.

    Your engine operates fairly normally, at least in the sense of the timing of your mechanical components. The engine runs (with problems), so we can assume the timing belt is properly installed and everything is "right" as far as what's going on when the components spin inside the engine.

    Exhaust gas escapes during the exhaust stroke when valves open and the piston forces the exhaust gas through the holes the valves reveal, directly through the header, through the exhaust system and then into the atmosphere. As we're assuming the mechanical "flow" if you will of your engine is normal, we can pretty well also assume any gas that's escaping through external oil ports of your engine is not actually exhaust gas. Exhaust gas comes from inside the combustion chamber and exits almost immediately via your exhaust ports and via through the openings behind the valves. There's not really, in my thinking, a possibility of exhaust gas escaping through the oiling system. Even if it did escape improperly, I don't know how it would go about finding it's way to the dipstick tube, they're fairly well separated from each other internally speaking.

    This creates concern for me, as the prospect of that gas seems to be your oil burning somewhere, or perhaps there is coolant burning and vaporizing somewhere. However, this is a more easily solved issue than one pertaining to tracking the flow of exhaust gas as it somehow escapes through the dipstick tube, which is a good thing in a sense.

    Now, back to the idea of returning stuff to stock. Think of your engine as a system. You want to return that system as close to stock as possible. The only real difference in your situation from stock is the wear that occurs from age and usage. So, try flushing the coolant system by removing the plug on the exhaust side of the block, and I think there is one on the rear as well, and flushing it with a hose, as well as draining your oil system.

    Reinstall another head-gasket, use copper seal on the gasket, fresh head bolts (or get some ARP head studs), and once again, follow your instruction manual step by step. Check the mating surfaces, and using a plastic edge, remove any particulate build up on the block deck or head deck that you can find (some people prefer to use a razor blade to clean the surface. Remember, those blades are steel and harder than the aluminum mating surfaces of your engine components, which means the razor can cause imperfections on the surfaces where the gasket goes. The polymers used to create plastic are not however hard enough to deface the surfaces, but are still hard enough to effectively scrape away any stubborn debris that may be causing an improper seal of the gasket.).

    Flush your radiator as well, ensure that there is nothing built up inside contributing to your issue.

    Once the head-gasket has been freshly installed and the engine reassembled, consider other service check points like the health of your timing belt and tensioner, water pump, oil pump, oil sump system, rings, bearings, etc... before pursuing this process any further, as realization of any further parts having wear will cause you to do a lot of extra work if you go about adding fluids and doing any other of my suggestions. Actually, these things are important to consider before tearing the engine apart initially now that I think about it, but I'm drunk, so it makes sensse that I'm late on that one.

    Anyway, what I'm getting to is that before your next fire-up, all of your maintenance should be complete for that key element of "stockness" for when you are trouble shooting. I recommend the use of Honda Genuine Coolant (as well as transaxle fluid and oil filters), fresh oil (synthetic, 5w30 if it's colder in your area, and high mileage formula if you've exceeded 75,000 miles), and a can of sea foam for when you first fire it up.

    Use the sea foam as per it's directions and continue the diagnosis of your situation. Even with the sea foam treatment, your problem may still arise, but you'll know that you're cleaning and lubricating many vital components as well as dehydrating your gas and oil systems (which, in your case may be one of or the only culprit as moisture in your oil system may be burning off when it heats up enough any exiting through oil exits\entrances), and helping to return your engine to more "stock" condition while fixing some minor issues. If this all doesn't solve your problem, the process in general will help the health of your engine some, and possibly improve some aspects, while hopefully eliminating some possible culprits contributing to the "burning" that's going on in your engine.

    Maintenance stuff is important to keep track of and up on. Properly functioning components contribute to the "stockness" of a system, which is really helpful in troubleshooting issues. Malfunctioning spark plugs or O2 sensors can do stuff like this, where you chase a problem throughout your car to find out that it's being caused solely by one item and sometimes the symptoms seem entirely unrelated to the part causing the problem. I see a lot of this on the dyno. Major problems arise and the problems with performance are mainly affected by something that could've been taken care of by a regular servicing of the vehicle. This is what I'm talking about when I say "stockness". I use that assuming from the factory, the car and every functioning system in it work perfectly because it is indeed a "stock" car. Ensuring the normal function of as much of your engine as possible and ensuring it's "stockness" is in order will either fix your problem, or stop and\or prevent other problems while eliminating possibilities of why your car is not functioning properly. All in all, it usually costs a few extra bucks, but it becomes a win-win for you.

    I mean, let's think about this, you are seeing either smoke or gas. Shit burns off almost every time you take an engine apart to some degree, so it may be that, you may have even changed a good head-gasket because the signs were confusing. But, ensuring the inner working of the engine are clean and crap free (by sea foaming it and flushing stuff with water), you can be fairly sure the engine will function more normally and efficiently, while possibly removing some of the causes to yoru issue.

    Basically, something is NOT the way it was before you touched it, and your quest is to ensure everything is exactly how it needs to be to be "stock" in setup. Think about your cooling\water and oil systems, make sure everything is replaced or doesn't need to be, clean stuff out, and try again, FOLLOWING THE BOOK|INSTRUCTIONS PRECISELY. And remember, DON'T RUSH, quality takes only a longer longer.
     
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