Purchased a Canadian 98 Acura EL. Has headgasket issue.... - Honda Civic Forum

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Purchased a Canadian 98 Acura EL. Has headgasket issue....

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Old 04-12-2015
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Purchased a Canadian 98 Acura EL. Has headgasket issue....

Long story short. Got a 98 Canadian Acura EL from a co-worker for $1000. Interior is great. Nothing broken inside, 5 Speed trans in good shape but it does have a headgasket leak. Oil in the coolant but no oil in the crankcase.

Ive swapped headgaskets on a 01 before so this one should be much easier. Is there any specific headgasket I should get for this year?

It has a 1.6L Vtech in it. Basically same car as a Civic for this year. Just dressed up as an Acura.
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Old 04-13-2015
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Re: Purchased a Canadian 98 Acura EL. Has headgasket issue....

Originally Posted by jackoncruzpr View Post
Is there any specific headgasket I should get for this year?
Just an OEM one or equivalent.
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Old 04-14-2015
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Re: Purchased a Canadian 98 Acura EL. Has headgasket issue....

Originally Posted by GolNat View Post
Just an OEM one or equivalent.

Thanks. I have not seen any coolant in the oil. Just a little bit of oil in the radiator. The rest of the oil leak is from the valve cover gasket.

Talked with a buddy of mine at work. He suggested that b to do this on the cheap would be to remove the head. Get it machined down smooth. Then remove the oil pan and take out the pistons one by one. Hone the cylinder and put new oversize rings on. New head gasket and use ARP studs to hold head down.

Last edited by jackoncruzpr; 04-14-2015 at 06:31 AM. Reason: spelling
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Old 04-14-2015
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Re: Purchased a Canadian 98 Acura EL. Has headgasket issue....

Talked with a buddy of mine at work. He suggested that b to do this on the cheap would be to remove the head. Get it machined down smooth. Then remove the oil pan and take out the pistons one by one. Hone the cylinder and put new oversize rings on. New head gasket and use ARP studs to hold head down.
Stop talking to this guy at work, he's going to get you in trouble.


The head ONLY gets machined if it is not perfectly flat and out of tolerance.

You cannot put in oversize rings without boring the cylinders to the next size larger than original, and purchasing a set of pistons in the correct oversize to match.
If there are ring problems, just address that while the head is off.

I would not stud anything without just cause. Are you boosted?
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Old 04-15-2015
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Re: Purchased a Canadian 98 Acura EL. Has headgasket issue....

Originally Posted by ezone View Post
Stop talking to this guy at work, he's going to get you in trouble.


The head ONLY gets machined if it is not perfectly flat and out of tolerance.

You cannot put in oversize rings without boring the cylinders to the next size larger than original, and purchasing a set of pistons in the correct oversize to match.
If there are ring problems, just address that while the head is off.

I would not stud anything without just cause. Are you boosted?

Awesome. The car is not boosted so just a standard set of bolts would work from what you are saying.

Thank you for the insight. I will need to do a leakdown test on the car first and see what the rings are doing.

Should I take a measurement of how much air loss during the leakdown I get first, then put some trans oil in the cylinder to see if the loss is less? That should indicate if my runs are good to go or not. If there is a significant loss even with oil in cylinder than maybe my valves are bad.

I'll still use the flatedge method with some feeler gages to check warpage on the head.
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Old 04-15-2015
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Re: Purchased a Canadian 98 Acura EL. Has headgasket issue....

so just a standard set of bolts would work from what you are saying
I'm pretty sure there is absolutely no reason to replace the head bolts at all.

I will need to do a leakdown test on the car first and see what the rings are doing.

Should I take a measurement of how much air loss during the leakdown I get first, then put some trans oil in the cylinder to see if the loss is less? That should indicate if my runs are good to go or not. If there is a significant loss even with oil in cylinder than maybe my valves are bad.
Note: valves are manually adjusted.

Compression test first. If there is a low reading then further testing would be warranted.

However:
You cannot evaluate the oil control rings with any test, other than observing oil consumption. The oil rings could be completely missing and you would never see it in a compression or leakdown test.

If it's got high mileage or there is any question, I'd pop the pistons out and change rings while it's apart, especially if I were wanting to keep it for a while. (I would not even hone it unless there are gouges. We do not touch cylinders when replacing rings under warranty. Slap them in and run it.)

Most of the time you will find the oil rings stuck in their grooves. A thorough cleaning of the grooves is in order before replacement.


I'll still use the flatedge method with some feeler gages to check warpage on the head.
Max warp spec 0.002 in.

Last edited by ezone; 04-16-2015 at 10:13 AM. Reason: speelign tpyo
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Old 04-16-2015
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Re: Purchased a Canadian 98 Acura EL. Has headgasket issue....

OK. So compression test first while engine is hot. If i am below 135 PSI which is the minimum, I should put in about a cap full of oil in the cylinder and re-test.

If compression goes up then I should suspect the rings. If no change then I should find out what the problem is when doing the leakdown test.
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Old 04-16-2015
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Re: Purchased a Canadian 98 Acura EL. Has headgasket issue....

If i am below 135 PSI
If *I* do a compression test and see a number that low, it's effin broken.

I fully expect to see 180 PSI or higher using my equipment and methods on a good engine.

If compression goes up then I should suspect the rings.
You still cannot evaluate the oil control rings this way.
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Re: Purchased a Canadian 98 Acura EL. Has headgasket issue....

Originally Posted by ezone View Post
If *I* do a compression test and see a number that low, it's effin broken.

I fully expect to see 180 PSI or higher using my equipment and methods on a good engine.

You still cannot evaluate the oil control rings this way.

OK. Gotcha. Im learning. Thanks. So........compression test first. If not at 180 pressure then leakdown to figure out what it is. Dont even bother with wet test.
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Old 04-16-2015
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Re: Purchased a Canadian 98 Acura EL. Has headgasket issue....

.compression test first.
Yes.

If not at 180 pressure
That's not a hard and fast rule, especially if you aren't familiar with the equipment you are using. If you borrowed a compression tester from Autozone, you really have no idea how it's been treated or if it is accurate.

When doing a compression test, you need to also look at how even the numbers are across all cylinders of the engine. Standard rule of thumb is "less than 10% variation" among any cylinders.

Dont even bother with wet test.
Oh no, it's still a valid test procedure when it's needed.....but once you do it it's hard to undo it, so it's a very last step for me, if it's even needed at all.

I have much more use for a leakdown test if I need to see where compression loss is going..


HTH
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Old 04-16-2015
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Re: Purchased a Canadian 98 Acura EL. Has headgasket issue....

Thanks again. I will soon be performing all these tests and will log all my numbers down and report back.
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Re: Purchased a Canadian 98 Acura EL. Has headgasket issue....

A compression test usually won't reveal the typical head gasket problems either.

Remember, passing a test doesn't always mean everything is ok.
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Re: Purchased a Canadian 98 Acura EL. Has headgasket issue....

Originally Posted by ezone View Post
A compression test usually won't reveal the typical head gasket problems either.

Remember, passing a test doesn't always mean everything is ok.


Yep, thats where the leakdown tests comes in. I plan on doing both
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