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Old 11-11-2017, 01:47 PM   #1
wtfisafleek
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wtfisafleek : 1991 Accord LX

Here's my car when I picked it up back in early September. Overall it's a very complete car, but it was showing it's age i various ways.



On the outside, the windshield was cracked, the wheels and paint are oxidized pretty heavily, the power antenna was malfunctioning, and the body has various minor dents. On the interior, the carpets and upholstery are pretty dirty, the cupholder is broken, and two of the power windows don't operate properly. The original radio is still present and working, however only one speaker still operates correctly. A couple of the inside doorhandles are broken too.

Overall it's a complete functional car, if it weren't for the crank bolt snapping off and allowing the engine to become out of time. Before writing off the head to damage and removing it for inspection, I opted to replace the bolt, crank pulley, timing belts, and seals on that side of the motor to see if she would run correctly. My retired mechanic neighbor suggested it, and so do other old timers I've talked to so I went for it.

Here's a good pic of the crank pulley. You can see how the crank became out of time with the timing belt. The crank pulley probably walked itself off soon after the crank bolt snapped. You can also see all the oil that had seeped it's way out of the motor over the years. I knew I had to replace all of the seals.

When drilling out the other half of the crank bolt, before I could ream out that last little bit, the drill caught on it and came out with the bit.





After cleaning all the chips from the crank, I double checked that the threads were ok by putting in the new bolt. Smooth as butta.



One of the first things I noticed after that was that the throttle body was ridiculously dirty. It was douched with some kind of grease. It was probably what the PO used to ease installation of the intake tube. Which I guess his efforts were all for naught as the thing ended up cracking anyway.



Once that was settled, I moved up to the belt side of the motor. After getting all the belts/seals installed on that side of the motor, the car didn't want to idle correctly. Here was one of the problems. The FITV was clogged with all kinds of gook. But even after I replaced it, it still didn't want to run right. It had another slight problem at the exhaust manifold.



Judging by the carbon and dirt that was staining cylinder 4's exhaust outlet, I could tell there was a leak there. The telltale sign was 2 of the fasteners on that side were loose. So I removed the manifold in preparation of installing an A4 header and new exhaust system all the way to the tailpipe. Everything was just rusted to bits. *Correction: I believe this is the later A6 manifold; the A4 is tubular steel*



I ground down most of the casting marks and sharp edges before spraying it with some VHT high heat paint.



At this point, I'd already replaced all of the sparkplugs, the o-rings that go under the rocker assembly, set the valves to spec, and changed the oil. I replaced the battery and fired it up, yet it still didn't want to idle correctly even after trying my best to reset the base idle.

I did a compression test and was not happy with the results. Cylinders 1, 2, and 4 were good, but 3 registered a big fat 0 on my guage. Looks like I'll be taking the head off soon to investigate the problem. Here's where I'm at as of last night.



I still need to order a gasket set. I'm going to wait on that until I know what all I'll need. I'll probably just get a remanufactured head as the guy over here by me is really good, but he wants $270 to rebuild a head and they're cheaper shipped on ebay.

Inbetween all of the aforementioned things, I was working on other things for a change of pace when I got stumped by something or ran across a stuck fastener. Namely I replaced 3 of the 4 engine mounts as they were all shot. Not shown is the front dogbone.

Driver's side replaced:


Passenger's side replaced:




I also noticed some rust starting to rear its head on the "framerails" in the trunk, so I ran a wire wheel over those and sprayed them down with some rust neutralizer and black paint over that.



I found a little under the hood underneath the battery tray too, so this was treated the same way.


I also gave the wheels some love. You can't tell from the very first pic in this series, but the were CAKED with brake dust. I don't think the PO ever really cleaned inbetween the spokes, so it was really hard to get it all out. After cleaning, they looked like this.


I wetsanded them and followed up with rubbing compound on my drill with a Mother's ball attachment and they looked 100% better.


I also replaced the door handles that needed attention. The drivers side front and passenger side rear window track rubber pieces were removed, cleaned, lubed, and reinstalled. They work much better now as well.

I've replaced the front door speakers. When I went to investigate the rears, it looks like the PO soldered on the original Honda speaker connections to the new speakers, but he did so in such a way that the unsheathed copper wiring is way to close to the body openings metal edges, so I'm just going to redo it. I need to replace the CHMSL housing anyway as it melted a bit for some reason and won't hold the bulb housing in place.

Last edited by wtfisafleek; 02-16-2018 at 12:42 AM.
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Old 11-11-2017, 05:20 PM   #2
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Keep up the good work!
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Old 11-11-2017, 06:26 PM   #3
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Good stuff man we like twins except mines a ex lmao! Treat her right she be good to you!
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Old 11-12-2017, 12:09 AM   #4
wtfisafleek
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I forgot to mention above, but at one point when I was troubleshooting the idle, I said fuck it and took it around the block just to get a feel for the old girl. The brakes were really spongy, so I figured I'd bleed them. This is like a month ago.

The first wheel I go to is one of the rears, and the damn bleeder is seized up. A little part of me got the teensiest bit excited because I'd had the foresight to order some wheel cylinders just in case they had problems. A funny sidenote: the one on the left is dated 1998 and "Made in the USA" on the box. It was very different from the China part. It's very heavy and probably iron or steel, while the other is definitely aluminum.



But my joy was short-lived. I got to looking around and the brake lines themselves were looking pretty old and stiff. Not horrible for a 26 year old car, but the little bit of cracking I saw was enough to get me back on the laptop ordering more parts. I've since got them in the mail and got those installed/bled.

One more thing to check off the list.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 92smokeaccord View Post
Good stuff man we like twins except mines a ex lmao! Treat her right she be good to you!
Well technically my exhaust is a full EX system, so it's closer than you thought . No sunroof in mine though, thankfully.

Last edited by wtfisafleek; 11-12-2017 at 12:17 PM.
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Old 11-12-2017, 12:19 PM   #5
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Another little bit I forgot to add...I decided to rebuild the ps pump since it was obviously weeping when I got the car and the kit to rebuild it was cheap. It's pretty straightforward in how it comes apart. Here it is sitting pretty in my vise ready to go back in the car.

A note to those who may be looking to do this: the nut that holds on the pulley is REVERSE threaded.


Last edited by wtfisafleek; 01-16-2018 at 07:51 AM.
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Old 11-12-2017, 04:02 PM   #6
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It's always nice to get one all cleaned up. I have one ready to go, and two more sitting around to rebuild - I'll probably never use them all.
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Old 11-21-2017, 11:25 PM   #7
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I'm loving the fact that a lot of the components on these cars are rebuildable or made in such a way that we can figure out a way to fix them, or even do periodic maintenance. Unlike newer cars, which more often than not don't even come with transmission dipsticks!
Imagine my surprise when I found out the auto tranny in my Camaro didn't have one, despite other GM vehicles with the same exact transmission having it. All they did was fill the hole with a rubber plug...buttheads.

My cylinder head is on its way and should be here Friday or Saturday. Various gaskets have shown up in the meantime so hopefully I'll get it done in a couple days once it gets here.
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Old 11-25-2017, 07:46 PM   #8
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Off with its head

I decided I better get back out to the garage and get the head off so the motor would be ready when the new one got here. I still had to get that coolant housing off the left side of the motor, the bracket that holds the intake to the block, and a couple other miscellaneous brackets.

Amazingly enough, with all the cars I've had and had to work on to keep going, this one will be the first I've had to replace a cylinder head on. One thing I observed while loosening this one from the block was that after I got to the last two bolts in the middle in my first pass, the head started to creak and groan - like a a container ship bending in the ocean. This went on for at least 30 seconds. I stood back a couple feet in case it decided to throw something at me.

After that weirdness a neighbor helped me lift the intake/head assembly off and brought it over to the bench. The pistons look good, if a little coked up with carbon. I think that may have saved the #3 piston from taking any damage. I did a quick wipe wipedown with a paper towel and it looks good.



The valves were damaged as I thought. I put a light behind the intakes and you can see it peeking through on both.



I've got all my gaskets and bolts, but I need to replace the bigger of the two coolant sensors on the passenger side, my wrench broke off the track the connector goes on.
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Old 11-25-2017, 10:02 PM   #9
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Those wheels turned out nice. Iíll have to try that trick with the mothers ball. Iím picking up another EX coupe tomorrow that has those wheels.
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Old 11-26-2017, 08:43 AM   #10
wtfisafleek
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I got lucky. Apparently the PO was a very careful, slow driver to hear him tell it. So the car's never been in any serious wrecks or took any real bad damage anywhere. After 382k.
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Old 11-26-2017, 08:48 PM   #11
wtfisafleek
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I've gotten the cam and rocker assembly switched over, as well as the rear motor mount replaced. It was relatively easy with that intake out of the way. That thing was toast. With that I've ended up replacing all of the mounts.

Now I'm waiting on some new coolant sensors, and I need to figure out the correct part number for the EGR plugs as I went ahead and pulled those while I've got it all apart.

I also replaced all the rubbers and orings for the fuel injectors - they needed it!

Still need to clean the gook off the piston crowns. Speaking of gook, omg you should've seen how much was caked inside each intake runner, going up about 3-4 inches from the injectors. It was so thick I took a flat blade screwdriver to scrape most of it out before spraying carb cleaner and wiping them out. It came off like a thick, gritty black paste. I made sure to pay special attention to the injector bosses, as it had caked around there quite a bit. After I was done I could see how good a job Honda did of the casting. The inside was pretty smooth with little porosity.



Last edited by wtfisafleek; 01-16-2018 at 07:54 AM.
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Old 11-30-2017, 11:45 PM   #12
wtfisafleek
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I got the head installed earlier today, making sure to set piston #1 at TDC. I still need to drop the cam in, install the rocker assembly, get sensors plugged in, etc.

I dealt with the enlarged egr openings by tapping them for allen head plugs. I didn't really focus on them here but if you look close you can see them. Not the prettiest job but it will work.

I do have a question about the head bolts though. I did get a new set from Mahle btw. As I torqued them down, I was getting through my 3rd pass when one of the bolts would catch and almost lock in place, enough to make my torque wrench click waaay before I got to the prescribed 78 ftlbs. I did add oil to the threads before installing, but none to the face of the bolt. Does it sound like maybe I could've spilled some coolant in that bolt hole, enough to lock it up?




Last edited by wtfisafleek; 01-16-2018 at 07:55 AM.
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Old 12-04-2017, 06:20 PM   #13
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Almost done. In the last couple of days I've timed the cam, got the upper intake and throttle body installed, replaced the thermostat, reinstalled the p.s. pump, alternator, and their brackets, double checked all of my hoses and electrical connectors, set the valve clearances, and replaced the upper radiator hose.

I just need to make some new battery tie down rods, install the battery, and reinstall the injectors after they come back. I sent them off to get cleaned.
The back seat is partially disassembled until I get the package tray and speakers put back in.


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Old 12-15-2017, 08:23 PM   #14
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Just a little update. I've gotten everything back together; sorry but I forgot any pics. I am having a problem getting it started but from what I can tell, the cylinders may not be sealing at all. I'm not of the mind that the rings are bad because before I had the old head off, compression was healthy across three cylinders, assumably all 4 given the bent valves in the head.

Now, I'm barely registering 2 or 3 psi on my guage. When cleaning up the little bit of coolant that got on a couple of the pistons, I may have wiped the bores just to get up all the water and cleaned them of any oil. I'm thinking the lack of oil is keeping them from sealing.

Not to mention, I went to crank the motor for 20 seconds or so to make sure I had oil pressure in the head. During this time, the fuel injectors were NOT disabled. I've since read that the fuel injectors can be turned off by the electrical connectors on the driver's side shock tower.

Just kidding. I do have a crappy pic. I just went out there to top the oil off as it looked to be very low. I guess I lost more than I thought when changing the oil pan gasket. Stupid me, I just filled it back up with the oil that was in it and didn't account for that much loss. The oil was changed right before I changed the oil pan gasket, so I know the level was good then.



I've dropped a few tablespoons of oil down the cylinders. I'm going to disable the injectors tomorrow and give it a couple of revolutions, and put another bit of oil down depending on what result I get. This thing really isn't being nice to me after all of this effort!

Last edited by wtfisafleek; 12-15-2017 at 08:46 PM.
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Old 12-20-2017, 08:30 PM   #15
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It Lives

After going about 5 rounds of adding oil to the cylinders and checking compression, she sputtered to life. After about 20 minutes of smoke, it cleared right up and she's running well. If anything I think I may have set the valves a bit too tight. The clatter isn't as bad as the video makes it seem.

I took it for a run around town and it didn't miss a beat. The biggest thing that stands out to me is the brakes. Wow, is that brake pedal soft. Definitely will have to plan ahead and not follow people closely.

No leaks underneath! Going to get it registered tomorrow!

https://youtu.be/0h6rvCDvb08

Last edited by wtfisafleek; 12-20-2017 at 08:48 PM.
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Old 12-22-2017, 03:39 PM   #16
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After driving around my immediate area quite a few times, I decided it was time to give it a longer distance test. I went to my friend's house and back, which was about 80 miles roundtrip. There were a couple times I could've thought I heard something rubbing in the suspension, but I'm not too sure. The biggest thing that stands out to me now is the right rear door's weatherstripping. It's got a big chunk missing and the extra tire noise generated by its wet tires is immediately noticable.

Last night went very well though. Fairly quiet, heat worked great, and I got it up to over 80mph at one point with no problem at all. The suspension feels a bit shaky as if some of the bushings are ready to go, but the shocks all work great and there's no clunking to report. The brakes are getting a little better. Maybe they just needed a little self-adjustment on the drums.

One of my headlight bulbs burned out, so that was replaced.
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Old 01-12-2018, 11:46 AM   #17
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After driving the car for about 400 miles I've made some observations.

1. The car pulls to the right fairly significantly, but not too bad. It looks to have been that way for a while judging by the tires wear pattern. Again, not too bad. I need to do a thorough suspension inspection. It rides very comfortably, but there's a bit of rattling when ever I go over bumps. I think the shocks are okay, but all other mounting points are suspect right now.

2. The "S" light on the dash is always on while in D. However I'm experiencing no driveability problems. The trans seems to shift into all gears, if just a tad bit harshly. All motor mounts have been replaced, so I'm good there. It's very possible the TCU was replaced with a later model that didn't have the revered Sport mode which is keeping the "S" light on.

3. All HVAC controls work great, however the lights for the knobs and transmission indicator worked only for a short time before going out. The lights for the airway direction work okay at all times. Given they went out at the same time, I'm thinking there's a problem with a connector or in the wiring somewhere. One of the air vents above the HVAC knobs is very loose, leading me to believe someone's been in there before and they may have messed with the wiring. I bought extra bulbs just in case.

4. Question about the radio: is any part of it besides your selected preset buttons and selected station display supposed to illuminate?

5. The brakes are still too soft and squishy. I think I need to bleed them again.

6. Rear defroster works great!

7. I got about 320 miles out of 4/5 of a tank, so I think mileage has been good so far.

8. Driver's side window wants to cock forward and not seat in its channel when rolling back up. Not sure if it's just the run or the regulator at this point.

9. Cigarette lighter works, but you have to hold it in. It won't stick in and then pop out when it's hot. Not sure if that's the correct function.
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Old 01-12-2018, 05:03 PM   #18
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If you still have the original springs in the front, check that they aren't broken. The bottom coil tends to break right where it comes off the seat on the shock.
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Old 01-12-2018, 07:49 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fleetw00d View Post
If you still have the original springs in the front, check that they aren't broken. The bottom coil tends to break right where it comes off the seat on the shock.
Fleetw00d is right on this. My '93 SE has a broken passenger side front spring right at the front of the perch.
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Old 01-13-2018, 09:08 AM   #20
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wow broken crank pulley bolt! that sucks. I would have been so upset..

All your work is great! ever think of doing some OEM upgrades? f22a6 intake manifold?
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