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How To: Change a Head Gasket. -LOTS of pics-

Discussion in 'General Tech Articles' started by Andrew, Aug 3, 2006.

  1. Andrew

    Andrew New Member

    Heres a step-by-step walk-through of how to change a Head Gasket on your Honda's D-series motor. And btw, sorry for some of the blurry pics... I'm not a photographer :p

    1. Start unplugging wires and hoses. Everything attached to the head from the car's body or the block MUST be disconnected.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    2. Unbolt your header. I had to pull out my A/C fan to get it to clear the studs on the block.
    [​IMG]

    3. IMPORTANT STEP! Set your motor to TDC (Top Dead Center), where the #1 cyl. is on the Intake stroke. Post if this confuses you.
    [​IMG]

    4. Remove the timing belt. I just slide mine off. Remember NOT to turn the motor OR the Cam-gear after this step, unless you like head-aches.
    [​IMG]

    5. Unbolt your head bolts in sequence. Make sure you have a manual in front of you, and unbolt in 1/4-turn increments until you can looses them by hand. Your Manual tells you all of this. GET ONE.
    [​IMG]

    6. Keep track of what bolts go into what hole. I used stickey notes.
    [​IMG]

    7. Head bolts removed.
    [​IMG]

    8. Head removal. This is easier with two people. I did it by myself. I'm a framer and have a strong back, and my back still didn't like me after this.
    Notes: Just make sure you don't force it. take your time. double and triple check for coolant lines. make sure the PCV valve hose is pushed out of the IM.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    I thought it was kinda funny...

    And the engine after the pull:
    [​IMG]

    9. This is where I grabbed a water, wiped down all the oil on the car/floor/pants/desk, then just looked over my pistons.
    Notes: Just take a Shop Vac and stick it on the pistons, just to make sure theres no grease/dirt/oil on them.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    10. Moving onto the head, after draining the oil on/in it (by just turning it upside down over an oil pan), I took off the TB and IACV to clean them. My IACV is going out, so I figured I'd help it out a bit by cleaning the screen on it. it can't hurt. The TB I just took off for kicks and to clean it out/check out what the inside of my IM looks like (yikes! ;) )
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    11. Then I checked out my valves. just looking them over and cleaning them up with a shop towel.
    Notes: Just take care when you flip up the head/IM, as there are a couple sensors and plugs that you could break in doing this. just a friendly reminder.
    [​IMG]

    12. This is where I started cleaning up everything. Degreaser, followed by a toothbrush scrub, then a wipe-down with a clean Paper Towel worked Awsome for me.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Installation

    13. Important! CLEAN the block's deck to make sure theres no dirt or grease where the new HG will sit. Then go ahead and set the new HG down and line it up.
    [​IMG]

    After numerous failed attempts to get everything to line up, I devised a way to keep the HG in place, as well as a way to guide the Head right down on to the block- PENCILS!. Yep. They worked great!
    Notes: Make sure you feel the metal dowels set into place from the Head to the Block. I believe there actually oil passages, but dowels might be more easily understood.
    Also, if you desire, now is a good time to go ahead and set that Clutch cable behind/under the IM, just to give you that clean, 'wired tucked' look, if your into that sort of thing.
    [​IMG]

    14. Soak the bolts in regular 'ol motor oil for a few seconds before screwing them down.
    Notes: As you put them in, go ahead and take your rachet/socket/extention and tighten them only until SNUG, then move on to the next one.
    [​IMG]

    15. Begin your torque'ing sequence. Remember to torque the bolts in two stages, as noted in your Manual. In my case(and most D-series cases), you torque them all to 22ft-lbs, then follow that up with 53ft-lbs. Just make SURE to follow the torqueing sequence so-as to not warp the head.
    [​IMG]

    16. Start connecting coolant lines, wiring harness connections, and then re-install the timing belt etc.

    Then your done!

    Hopefully this'll help someone out there looking to try this out by themselves.
    Mods & Admins, your more than welcome to move this thread into any 'restricted forums', that normal members can't post in, if you think it'll help out the site.

    Comments Welcome!!!

    -Andrew

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    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 22, 2009
    3 people like this.
  2. reckedracing

    reckedracing TTIWWOP

    nice write up
  3. TurboMirage

    TurboMirage Finally boostin'

    ive never heard of putting the head studs in oil...
  4. brian11to1

    brian11to1 Senior Member

    damn newbs
    those arent studs, they be headbolts...

    lol...

    you didnt bother getting the head milled?
    you didnt cover checking the head for levelness?

    didnt you just buy this engien from HMO? and it already had a blown headgasket?

    fucking awesome write up. im doing a headgasket/head swap on a DA...
  5. VTECin5th

    VTECin5th Administrator

    Yea I also wondered why there was no straight edge check for warp.. but the write up is awesome.
  6. Andrew

    Andrew New Member

    I didn't even think about taking a level to it.
    Nope, I didn't get this from HMO. Guess your thinking of someone else.
    I'll be picking up anoher d16x6 with 60k soon, so it'll be going into my rex.
    Thats also why I didn't spend the money on getting it milled- PLUS I'm already running PM3 pistons which I believe it was you that told me they "Actually come out of the block", plus with the Y8 Gasket, I'm @ about 12.17:1 compression, so milling it would NOT be a very wise idea...


    Thanks for the props and reply's guys. Hopefully it'll help someone out.
    -Andrew
  7. brian11to1

    brian11to1 Senior Member

    I dont know shit about D series, so it wasnt me who told you the PM3 pistons will come out of the block. I think that might've been Blanco.
  8. Andrew

    Andrew New Member

    Musta been him... my bad! :p
  9. Andrew

    Andrew New Member

    Bump.
    Let it be seen!
  10. MikeBergy

    MikeBergy Blah blah blah....

    Nice writeup. A B-series hg job has quite a few more steps involved. Just a FYI, isopropyl alcohol works really well to clean/prep the mating surfaces, as it leaves no oily residue as some degreasers can. My .02
  11. boosted_ek

    boosted_ek Junior Member

    im pretty sure honda recommends to replace your head bolts after uninstalling them.. but my lack of memory could fail me. I would of decked the head also. Sweet write-up, lots of good pics
  12. phunky.buddha

    phunky.buddha Admin with a big stick Admin

    Honda DOES tell you to replace the bolts when you remove them, but many people reuse them without a problem.

    I (among others) told you that the PM3s would stick out of the block, but that's going by the 'D series calculator' and so is not necessarily 100% correct. If you're running the PM3s in there right now, I just might have to try it myself!
  13. B16

    B16 Super Moderator

    First time I pulled a head I tried to reuse the head bolts and snapped one before it reached torque. :( I had to hire some guy to come out and get what was left of the bolt out of the block.
  14. Andrew

    Andrew New Member

    Did you soak 'em in oil? Or chase the threads with a tap/die?
  15. Taco15

    Taco15 I wear stretchy pants

    nice write up Andrew! I'm assuming this was before you found out the z6 head was warped.
  16. MikeBergy

    MikeBergy Blah blah blah....

    Hmm... I never had a problem with them. Of course, ARP studs all the way for me now :)
  17. 5HIK3GX222

    5HIK3GX222 New Member

    head gasket

    :(Hello everyone! Glad to be a member.
    I am changing the head gasket on my 94 Honda civic. How do I set the motor to top dead center?
  18. Andrew

    Andrew New Member

    An easy way to do it is to
    1. take out the #1 cyl. spark plug(furthest away from Distributor)
    2. Take off the valve cover so you can watch the springs. stick a long screwdriver or something into the #1 cyl spark plug hole.
    3. spin the motor over by hand(17mm socket and a few extentions on the crank pully) counter-clockwise
    4. watch the intake valves. wait until you are on the intake stroke of the #1 cylinder, and then start watching the screwdriver. spin the motor slowly until you see the screwdriver reach it's peak and start to go back down. work it until it's as close to the top as possible.

    Thats it.
    -Andrew
  19. hcivic.com

    hcivic.com Senior Member

    anti sieze is a much better choice than oil
  20. Andrew

    Andrew New Member

    Probably is, but I used oil. =)

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