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Old 12-17-2010   #1 (permalink)
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Car wont start after Head Gasket and Timing Belt replacement

Short Version New Head Gasket and Timing Belt, car wont stay on and dies within 2 seconds of being on. Tried giving it gas, farts and dies.

Longer Version Replaced my head gasket and messed up my timing, later going back to put a new belt on and fix TDC. Finally did that and replaced a busted fuse and now turns over, but cuts off right after. I understand that with a fix like this its trying to get the gunk out. I tried hitting the gas to maybe keep it going but it just kinda farts then dies again.

Has a bad smell too, again i just think its gunk being cleansed.

I think it might be the timing again. Any Ideas guys?
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Old 12-18-2010   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Car wont start after Head Gasket and Timing Belt replacement

hard to really say from your description.

depending on how much you screwed up your timing and tried run the engine you could have bent valves.

bad smell is poor/no ignition

did you pull the distributor off to do the head gasket? It may be misaligned as well
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Old 12-18-2010   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Car wont start after Head Gasket and Timing Belt replacement

Your plug wires in the right order?
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Old 12-18-2010   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Car wont start after Head Gasket and Timing Belt replacement

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Originally Posted by Mad Dog Tannen View Post
Your plug wires in the right order?
Which plugs are you referring too?


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Originally Posted by Stock 99 View Post
hard to really say from your description.

depending on how much you screwed up your timing and tried run the engine you could have bent valves.

bad smell is poor/no ignition

did you pull the distributor off to do the head gasket? It may be misaligned as well
Which valves would have been bent and can I find them to clearly determine if there are bent or not?
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Old 12-18-2010   #5 (permalink)
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Re: Car wont start after Head Gasket and Timing Belt replacement

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Originally Posted by keewee89 View Post
Which plugs are you referring too?
Spark plug wires
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Old 12-18-2010   #6 (permalink)
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Re: Car wont start after Head Gasket and Timing Belt replacement

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Spark plug wires
Yea my spark plugs don't come with wires. All coils.
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Old 12-18-2010   #7 (permalink)
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Re: Car wont start after Head Gasket and Timing Belt replacement

Oh I see. So what car/engine do you have?
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Old 12-18-2010   #8 (permalink)
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Re: Car wont start after Head Gasket and Timing Belt replacement

7th gen civic has no distributor, no spark plug wires. Have you installedl all the sensors back the way they were? It's very important. Timing is also very important, if you tried to start the car with the timing incorrect you probably did bend your valves like previously suggested... do a compression test to make sure everything is functioning internally. I did a head gasket/timing belt on my civic and never got a bad smell?
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Old 12-18-2010   #9 (permalink)
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Re: Car wont start after Head Gasket and Timing Belt replacement

I'll get right on the compression test done today or tomorrow. I understand 140-170 pounds per square is normal, what will indicate a bent valve?

Also if you know, would I be able to replace a bent valve myself and how much would that be and how difficult, if not how much would a mechanic cost?
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Old 12-18-2010   #10 (permalink)
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Re: Car wont start after Head Gasket and Timing Belt replacement

Mechanical cost for a bent valve is pretty high unless you remove the head yourself (which youve already done). If you have a bent valve you can count on the compression being VERY low to nonexistant, because the valve wont close properly and you will lose compression there. Other than that just double check all your work to make sure everything is done right and put back the way it was. Head gasket is a very big job and not one to be taken lightly. Did you remove the intake manifold???

Also, it's important that compression be even across all four cylinders, within reason.
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Old 12-18-2010   #11 (permalink)
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Re: Car wont start after Head Gasket and Timing Belt replacement

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Originally Posted by tbohar View Post
If you have a bent valve you can count on the compression being VERY low to nonexistant, because the valve wont close properly and you will lose compression there./////////// Did you remove the intake manifold???
Ok, is a compression test going to give me any useable results if the car just dies right after I start it?

And I did remove the head like 2 months ago, so I wanna say no on the intake manifold removal. I think we were able to just unscrew the head from it and lift and then apply the new head.

Also do you know how to replace a bent valve or is there a DIY guide lol?????
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Old 12-18-2010   #12 (permalink)
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Re: Car wont start after Head Gasket and Timing Belt replacement

Ok so I just attempted the compression test and got these results.

#1: 40-60-40 3 times tested
#2: 60-90-40 3 times tested
#3: 60-60 2 times tested
#4: 60-40 2 times tested

Also the dude at O'reillys totally said the same thing about a valve being bent. So I guess I'll just take the head off and examine each valve.
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Old 12-18-2010   #13 (permalink)
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Re: Car wont start after Head Gasket and Timing Belt replacement

Replacing a valve should be done by a mechanical shop. It might be cheaper to replace the engine Take the head off and then take the head to a mechanical shop and they should be able to give you an estimate of the damage done. Those numbers are way too low. Are you sure you seated the head gasket properly?
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Old 12-18-2010   #14 (permalink)
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Re: Car wont start after Head Gasket and Timing Belt replacement

should be around 125psi per cylinder
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Old 12-18-2010   #15 (permalink)
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Re: Car wont start after Head Gasket and Timing Belt replacement

any idea how far out your timing was? You'd probably have to be out by > 30 degrees to have an issue (180 degrees they are bent for sure).

Quote 'Ok, is a compression test going to give me any useable results if the car just dies right after I start it?'

When you do a compression test take all the plugs out and hook up the tester. Crank the engine over 4 or 5 times in a row and check your reading. You shouldn't be getting such widely different readings on 2nd and 3rd attempts. Something is wrong with your process there.

Valves aren't that hard to replace with the head off but your best bet would be to take the head to a mechanic.

I had that thought too about the head gasket just not being set properly. As tbohar pointed out.

But like I said in my first post unless you lead us through step by step to how you got where you are now, we're all just really guessing.

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Old 12-18-2010   #16 (permalink)
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Re: Car wont start after Head Gasket and Timing Belt replacement

Quote:
Originally Posted by tbohar View Post
7th gen civic has no distributor, no spark plug wires. Have you installedl all the sensors back the way they were? It's very important. Timing is also very important, if you tried to start the car with the timing incorrect you probably did bend your valves like previously suggested... do a compression test to make sure everything is functioning internally. I did a head gasket/timing belt on my civic and never got a bad smell?
Whoops. I didn't notice that this was in the 7th gen section.
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Old 12-19-2010   #17 (permalink)
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Re: Car wont start after Head Gasket and Timing Belt replacement

Ok I'm really confused. I read 2 different compression test guides and it said to take out all four spark plugs. M buddy at O'reilly said to take out the spark plugs in order as your testing and keep the 3 not being used in for each of the 4. Which is it. Cuz I was bummed to hear that after returning the freakin gauge lol.

Also I was recommended to take the head out and take it to a shop and prolly charge $300, because there is a special order tool for changing valves. Do you guys concur with that?
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Old 12-19-2010   #18 (permalink)
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Re: Car wont start after Head Gasket and Timing Belt replacement

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any idea how far out your timing was? You'd probably have to be out by > 30 degrees to have an issue (180 degrees they are bent for sure)
A guy told me this dodge was off by a tooth, no where near 30 degrees and all his valves bent. Are you sure under 30 degrees wouldn't be damaging?
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Old 12-19-2010   #19 (permalink)
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Re: Car wont start after Head Gasket and Timing Belt replacement

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Originally Posted by keewee89 View Post
A guy told me this dodge was off by a tooth, no where near 30 degrees and all his valves bent. Are you sure under 30 degrees wouldn't be damaging?
I've heard lots of people being 1 degree off and needing to go back and re-adjust on DIY timing belts, but none of them bent all their valves. I have a feeling Dodge guy was way off, but he either didn't realise how far off he was or he didn't want to admit it.

You could buy a complete head for less than $300.
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Old 12-19-2010   #20 (permalink)
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Re: Car wont start after Head Gasket and Timing Belt replacement

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A guy told me this dodge was off by a tooth, no where near 30 degrees and all his valves bent. Are you sure under 30 degrees wouldn't be damaging?
Yeah, man I hear what you're saying I was just trying to get some idea of how far off it was. Just because I've mentioned bent valves that don't make it so.

I recently read about someone running their timing 15 degrees advanced for HP so I figured less then 30 was probably a reasonable estimate. Not to be taken as fact or truth in any way.

There's also 2 different types of engines inductive and non inductive and one of them if you snap a belt the valves don't slam into the pistons. I don't understand why that wasn't the adopted standard. Seems like a no brainer to me.
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Old 12-19-2010   #21 (permalink)
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Re: Car wont start after Head Gasket and Timing Belt replacement

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Ok I'm really confused. I read 2 different compression test guides and it said to take out all four spark plugs. M buddy at O'reilly said to take out the spark plugs in order as your testing and keep the 3 not being used in for each of the 4. Which is it. Cuz I was bummed to hear that after returning the freakin gauge lol.

Also I was recommended to take the head out and take it to a shop and prolly charge $300, because there is a special order tool for changing valves. Do you guys concur with that?
Different people/manufacturers are always going to have different recommendations for engine maintenance. Go with that. I usually do it that way for less resistance when turning over the car.

2 things your really looking for is better then the minimum psi and most importantly that the compression is even cylinder to cylinder.

I just did my bike and my truck last year with all plugs out and they hit specs using this method. Some people do 'wet' and 'dry' testing as well.

The special tool is a spring compressor. It sort of looks like a C clamp. Not terribly expensive. Really, I agree with just changing out the head for the simple cost effective solution.

And again if that's actually the problem.
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Old 12-19-2010   #22 (permalink)
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Re: Car wont start after Head Gasket and Timing Belt replacement

I've taken apart the EX head before- changing a valve can be done, but you dont know how many of them are ****ed up to begin with, and changing them can cost some money.

You'll want to get the valve seals replaced and make sure all of the valves are seated properly... basically valves wear down over time, like sanding, and if you put a brand new valve in, it needs some modification to fit n seal right. And if you take the head apart, you need to change the cam seal. Getting the rocker arm assemblies back on is pretty challenging if you don't have any experience.

...Which is why people are saying you might just want to replace the head. If you do, I have an EX head for sale (not sure what trim your car is) that was taken to the machine shop to have the seals replaced and everything reassembled. It only has 50-60k on it.
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Old 12-19-2010   #23 (permalink)
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Re: Car wont start after Head Gasket and Timing Belt replacement

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...Which is why people are saying you might just want to replace the head. If you do, I have an EX head for sale (not sure what trim your car is) that was taken to the machine shop to have the seals replaced and everything reassembled. It only has 50-60k on it.
I just have a basic 04 Civic Ex. So I'll consider it if you think it matches.


As far as timing belt goes. I'l recheck the TDC again, maybe I was off by a tooth or two this time. It's just when I messed up the TDC the first time it was off by a good amount and it would just click without starting, this time it actually starts, then it just dies right after. I also smell exhaust coming from the front. when it dies. So I wanna say an exhaust valve is bent and isnt circulating right? Because why would a timing belt cause an exhaust odor in the front.

And I appreciate all the help guys, keep it coming
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Old 12-19-2010   #24 (permalink)
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Re: Car wont start after Head Gasket and Timing Belt replacement

sounds like your onto to something there!

nice description this time too...

So timing was off but you never actually started the engine. That may have saved you from any major damage.

However, I wouldn't run it anymore until you get things sorted out. No sense in creating more problems. When it ran was it making any kind of horrible noise? Like metal slamming into metal? If not then valves may be alright. If so could you tell which piston? That would be a start.

How are you setting the timing? Just the timing being off can create exhaust smell in the front of the engine.

Check and recheck everything it may just be a timing issue.

I'm rooting for ya.

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Old 12-19-2010   #25 (permalink)
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Re: Car wont start after Head Gasket and Timing Belt replacement

Everytime I would hear the engine kill a kind of pop would happen, which I descrived as a fart. In the back of my mind I wanna say a piston is doing it like you said, but I have no idea how to know which one. I'll just check the timing later today when daylight hits lol
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Old 12-19-2010   #26 (permalink)
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Re: Car wont start after Head Gasket and Timing Belt replacement

I'm not trying to be negative here but just cranking an engine can bend valves.. no? While your waiting for some results do your research and check to see how much a used D17 costs around your area. You might be suprised and find one for 500 dollars.
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Old 12-19-2010   #27 (permalink)
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Re: Car wont start after Head Gasket and Timing Belt replacement

Whats a D17? If worse comes to worse then I'll just pull the head out and get the valves replaced professionally which I was quoted around 300, we'll see

I'll get back to you guys after checking the TDC
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Old 12-19-2010   #28 (permalink)
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Re: Car wont start after Head Gasket and Timing Belt replacement

D17 is the engine code for the engine in your car Best of luck... last I heard a head inspection is 300 dollars, changing valves might be much more.. could be cheaper down in the states though, we get robbed blind here in Canada for everything... my head inspection was 400, and that was the cheapest around
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Old 12-19-2010   #29 (permalink)
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Re: Car wont start after Head Gasket and Timing Belt replacement

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Originally Posted by keewee89 View Post
Whats a D17? If worse comes to worse then I'll just pull the head out and get the valves replaced professionally which I was quoted around 300, we'll see

I'll get back to you guys after checking the TDC
Did you read my previous post? replacing the valves is going to cost you a lot of money (being quoted 300 isnt far off) when you can just get a used head, like the one I have with 50K, or around 200 bucks on your doorstep.
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Old 12-19-2010   #30 (permalink)
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Re: Car wont start after Head Gasket and Timing Belt replacement

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Did you read my previous post? replacing the valves is going to cost you a lot of money (being quoted 300 isnt far off) when you can just get a used head, like the one I have with 50K, or around 200 bucks on your doorstep.
Yea I responded to your offer. I asked if my basic 04 Civic Ex would be work.

If I can totally do that after determining its not the timing then yea I'll buy it off your hands, I'll just need 1 week to come to a final decision, but odds are I probably will, since that is pretty cheap for a head at 50k
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