2002 Civic Head gasket...

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2002 Civic Head gasket...

Postby Racin'Jacin » Fri Aug 17, 2018 8:09 pm

So I hope this firedrill can help others.

So the backstory - daughter's car had a small head gasket issue that I finally diagnosed with a failed block test (combustion gas in the coolant) after passing that test earlier - seems I may have had too much coolant in the radiator previously - with it 1/2 full there was plenty of area for the gas to be detected.

So when I FINALLY got the head removed I was able to measure .005" out of flat - the spec limit is .002" - after being quoted $250 to pressure test the head and take a skim cut - I said No WAY!!!

So what's a Cheap Bastage to do?? Well I was eyeing up my 1940s bandsaw table thinking I BET that sucker is flat. Well being unable to see any light under a straight edge I decided it was close enough for this guy!

I took some trim adhesive and glued two sheets of sand paper to the table. 150grit if I remember correctly. After getting the entire surface to show signs of being sanded I switched over to some 13Micron paper I had (I used what I had - I am not saying you have to use this) and after several paper swaps I eventually got the fine paper to show a cut across the entire head again.

To later qualify it I stuck it on my granite table and checked the entire surface with a height gage and indicator. It was flat within .001" - that's well within the spec and since this wasn't a race motor I called it good enough. Total cost a few sheets of sandpaper and some time.

Next I inspected the valves - they looked good except the exhausts just barely showed some pitting. So those got to meet my 1950's Black and Decker valve grinder. A few thou removed and they were deemed suitable to reinstall. I lapped all of them for good measure. These are a bitch to hand lap because they are so tiny!

Anyways, new valve seals and ship it.

I stoned the deck and all mating surfaces before assembly. After getting everything bolted back in place I fired it up and of course it ran like TOTAL SHIT.
What the &^$%^/. 3 codes - misfire 1 misfire 2 and random misfire. Found a couple small problems (forgot to hook up engine ground) but none of them fixed anything. My mechanic buddy chided me for not rolling the motor over and rechecking the timing belt, but I had been meticulous so I thought I was good, but he planted doubt in my mind so I rechecked it - it was good. BUT! when I had the vavle cover off to check that belt I have a habit of always looking at rockers....and I found that two next to one another were different. I checked and rechecked those so THAT was troubling, but in any event needed readjusted - intake too tight on 1 and 2 hmmmnnn seems to be a trend. Readjusted and reassembled - ran perfect - codes gone.

So trying to figure out what happened to end up with a couple tight valves got me to remembering the old timers smacking the valves with a hammer to ensure they were seated properly. I just pushed these by hand because the springs are so small, but obviously that was NOT effective. Lesson learned.

New timing belt, water pump, water manifold, battery, alternator, valve seals, gaskets, motor mount, brake line, and whatever else I forgot and hopefully it'll go another 150K.

BTW Honda of Mentor - jackasses.

Hopefully this will be useful for someone.

Dragster Valve vs Honda valve
Checking the head
Sanding the head

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Basement Paul
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Re: 2002 Civic Head gasket...

Postby Basement Paul » Sat Aug 18, 2018 8:07 am

Cheap bastage strikes again. Working in a free HGR shirt too! Nice. Maybe you could make a 16 valve head for the Hemi?


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Re: 2002 Civic Head gasket...

Postby Racin'Jacin » Sat Aug 18, 2018 2:25 pm

I have thought about it!!!! :-)

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