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Old man looking for advice

Discussion in 'General Tech and Maintenance' started by Alans97, Aug 28, 2006.

  1. Alans97

    Alans97 New Member

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    New guy here in the Honda world and looking for advice. My daughter has a 97 Civic EX (automatic) with 125k miles, and it has an oil leak (not from the cam seal) at the front corner (Driver side) of the head. Took it to a garage and he said I would probably need a new head (also said he never saw an oil leak from there before). Then he said if I replaced the head there is a good chance the bottom end won't hold up. I found a shop in South Florida to replace the engine (D16Y8) with a used engine with approx. 50k miles, for $1500 complete. I have been trying to learn about swaps on Hondas but it seems they are a little more difficult than what I have done in the past (60's & 70's American muscle cars) with OBD 0,1,2, what engine is compatable with what system, and front wheel drive. I found a couple of D17A2 engines (00-05) but I cannot find any compatabilty articles. She uses this car for basic transportation and does not want it hotrodded. I have even thought about going to a Tuner night at a local spot to see if anyone could help me there. Any help, or advice on what to do what be appreciated.
     
  2. get_nick

    get_nick These snozzberries taste like snozzberries... VIP

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    i would stick with a stock d16y8. i don't see why you wouldn't be able to just repair the leak. it's hard to tell where the leak is coming from. it may just be a valve cover gasket. $1500 is pretty spending. Honda engines are pretty easy to swap because all the plugs match right up. the front wheel drive is something a little different from you muscle cars, but you basically just have to pull the axles out of the tranny. i would take it to a honda specific shop. i know there are a lot of hondaswap members here in florida. maybe they can help you save money and help you with the labor.
     
  3. reckedracing

    reckedracing TTIWWOP VIP

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    1500 seems like a knot and a half for a simple motor replacement, especially just a sohc vtec

    look in the local yards, you should be able to find one for 500 max, and you can prob get someone to put it in for 500 max...

    if it were my car i wouldn't pay over 600 for motor and install...
    you have pics of this leak?
    sounds odd between and head and block surfaces
    did it overheat? was the car on fire?
    you might even be able to just mill the head and slap it back on

    you sure its not the valve cover gasket?
     
  4. pissedoffsol

    pissedoffsol RETIRED

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    can you post a pic of the leak?
     
  5. Alans97

    Alans97 New Member

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    No I cannot take a picture of the leak. It is below the valve cover and above the oil pan. It is difficult to see exactly where it is coming from because the engine is so close to the fender, but there seems to be a cover in front of the cam and it seems to be below (closer to the ground) that also, (maybe a crank seal?). I removed some skirting under the radiator to try to see better and I didn't see anything obvious. No, the car was not overheated and it did not catch fire either.
     
  6. Alans97

    Alans97 New Member

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    Would any of you guys just replace the head and see what happens or would you go for the engine?
     
  7. Capt. Orygun

    Capt. Orygun Win the Day

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    front cover seal? I had to change mine on the S14 last year. If you can clean the engine they sell a dye which shows up under a black light. You just dump it in your oil and drive for two days then use the light to chase the leak.

    If it's the front cover seal then your engine SHOULD BE fine
     
  8. Alans97

    Alans97 New Member

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    I will gunk down the motor tomorrow and pull the left front wheel and see if I see anything. I didn't know there was a front cover seal. The garage told me there was a hole in the cover incase the water pump leaked you would see it. Maybe I need to go to another garage that is Honda friendly.
     
  9. Airjockie

    Airjockie Watanabe Whore!!!

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    first, degrease the engine, squirt some simple green everywhere and hose it off..advoid getting water on the dizzy and alt. then run the car around the block for 5 minutes and see if you have the leak visable, and we'll go from there. Changing an engine due to an oil leak is overkill....

    Second, jack the car and put a socket on all the oilpan bolts.

    3rd...replace the valce cover gasket...$10-20 at autozone, and while you have the valve cover off, adjust the valves if your mechanically inclined... you might get a little more compression and the car will run better after a good tweeking...and replace the spark plugs and wires...since the prices for those parts are cheap nowdays, it never hurts to throw a new set in once in a while.

    4th, when you have the valcover off, take a look at the camshaft seal, wipe any excess oil from the are with a lint free cloth doused with rubbing alcohol and apply a bead of silicone around the seal, then use a wet finger and smooth out the bead and to get it to smear around good.the more it smear;s, the better the bond.

    5th, just drive the car till it dies...then change the engine and drive for another 50-100K miles...if the oil leak is bad enough, keep a quart in the trunk, and decent sized cardboard and park over the cardboard if you care about the driveway.

    6th...if it ain't leaking, then it's out of oil....add a quart. hehe :)

    And now I don't feel old anymore...if your daughter is driving, then that means your at least 35+ years old.... :)
     
  10. Capt. Orygun

    Capt. Orygun Win the Day

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    they could be right, I drive a Nissan :)

    but the symptoms sound similar so I thought I'd share. In my case the oil was making it onto the fan... I dont think I need to tell you how hard that made it to troubleshoot... :lol:
     
  11. Alans97

    Alans97 New Member

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    Airjockie, I am sure I will see the leak after 5 minutes, (probably after 2). I ran the car up on ramps this afternoon and checked all the oil pan bolts, got just a touch from most of them. Replacing the valve cover gasket is something I will do tomorrow but the cam seal was replaced a couple of weeks ago when the timing belt was done, but I will do as you said. When you check the valve adjustment on these engines is it done hot or cold? Come to think of it, there was no leak before the timing belt replacment. hhhhmmmmm......
     
  12. Capt. Orygun

    Capt. Orygun Win the Day

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    cold, according to my old mechinic, 97 degress or less, also there should be some friction/resistance when inserting or removing the feeler gauge(after adjustment).. like 25in lbs, but nothing crazy
     
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2006
  13. Cashizslick

    Cashizslick !i!i!i!i!i!i!i!i!i!i!i!

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    Do the center valve cover gaskets while you are at it. I didnt change those the last time I had my valve cover off and i started getting oil in my spark plug chambers because the seals hardened.

    They are an extra $2 each or so.
     
  14. Cashizslick

    Cashizslick !i!i!i!i!i!i!i!i!i!i!i!

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    Unless hes from Springfield :ph34r:
     
  15. pissedoffsol

    pissedoffsol RETIRED

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    "left" wheel meaning driver side?

    oh, and moving this to a tech forum :)
     
  16. Alans97

    Alans97 New Member

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    Yes driver side. Also thank you for not berating me for posting in the wrong forum. I started out with just wanting to say hi like the forum stated for me to do the first time.
     
  17. reckedracing

    reckedracing TTIWWOP VIP

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    yea, this is a bit suspicious...
    that whole timing belt cover can be removed with relative ease...
    you'll need to pull the belts and crank pulley but it'll give you a pretty clear view of everything on that side of the motor...
    sounds to me like whoever did the work fucked something up
    check into hondabond for cam seals etc...
     
  18. hybrid_b18

    hybrid_b18 crew chief

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    WRONG!!!!!!!
    Sorry but at my shop SAE certified, you neve apply silicone to acam seals. Maybe in the corners before and after the seal but never around the whole seal.

    Why you telling him to do all that stuff any way? without pics we cant telll where its coming from to better help this gentlemen and his problem. I dont know how it is in FL, but labor rate here is @80/hr. A simple d series engine swap would cost $600 plus parts ie. complete d16y8 and shop supplies. Final bill approx. $1200.


    I think if you took a weekend out to do it yourself you could figure it out. jsut graba chilton and go from there.

    good luck.

    you could always bring it up to us:D
     
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2006
  19. Alans97

    Alans97 New Member

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    Just an update.... I will be out of town for the weekend so I am taking the car to 'The Jap Shop' to have them look at it when I come back. They too feel something is wrong from the timing belt change. I explained my situation with the car and they told me I can stand with them while they work on the car to see what the problem is. I will post what they find next week. Thank you for all the replies to this point. Alan
     
  20. Alans97

    Alans97 New Member

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    Is it possible there could be a small leak where the power steering pump bracket bolts to the head? I could have sworn there was something bubbling from where the bracket meets the head. I was able to get about an eighth of a turn on the bolt then I sprayed 409 or something like that on it and it seems to have quit bubbling. I still think the majority of the leak is coming from either directly below the crank or immediately behind it (firewall side) of the motor. I will find out more Wed morning when it hits the shop. Another quick question...where is the oil filter located? Alan (97 EX) Can't quite get under the car to see it.
     
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2006
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