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fleetw00d : 2008 Honda Element LX

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  • Fleetw00d
    replied
    Drove it about 280 miles today, 140 of that continuous highway. No codes.

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  • Fleetw00d
    replied
    I've put about 400 miles on it since the oil change. No codes. One full tank of mixed, but mostly highway at 63 mph or less, yielded 30 mpg - I guess it is running OK.

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  • Fleetw00d
    replied
    Did the 5W20 to 5W40 oil change last weekend. I did about a ten mile drive with the 5W20, then checked the pressure at idle, 1000, 2000, 3000, and 4,000 rpm. Then changed the oil and repeated the process with the 5W40. Pressure at 3000 rpm is supposed to be 44 psi minimum. According to some other Element owners, the VTEC solenoid for the exhaust rockers switches on at about 2200 rpm. Based on a teardown of a valve assembly and the pin in the rocker arm, it requires about 35 psi to operate the system.
    RPM 5W20 (whatever the Honda dealer put in) 5W40 Mobil 1 (for European cars)
    Idle 7-8 psig 11 psig
    1000 12 16
    2000 27 37
    3000 48 61
    4000 66 72
    Now I need to take it on a longer drive to see if this addressed the P2646 code.
    Last edited by Fleetw00d; 07-24-2021, 01:27 AM.

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  • Fleetw00d
    replied
    Installed an oil pressure gauge yesterday. Ran it in the driveway. Initial oil pressure on start 70 psi, dropped to 15 psi at idle as the temperature reached operating temperature. A minute or two at 2000-3000 rpm, 11 psi at idle. Another minute or two at 2000-3000 rpm, 7-8 psi at idle (supposed to be 10 psi minimum). Once it is legal (notary in Iowa didn't sign the title, had to send it back to my daughter to get it signed), I'll drive it a bit to see how low it drops on the road, then switch to 5W40 oil.

    20210710_202450 by Paul Kemme, on Flickr
    Last edited by Fleetw00d; 07-11-2021, 11:54 PM.

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  • PakaloloHonda
    replied
    Holy .... Moly! I just hope my "refresh" comes out half as gorgeous ...
    You are simply an asset to this site

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  • Fleetw00d
    replied
    My neighbor graciously allowed me the use of his 2005 F250 diesel, rented a tow dolly, drove from southwest OH to Des Moines, IA (600 miles) Thursday evening, loaded up Friday morning and got back home about 7:30 PM. The truck got about 16 mpg for the whole trip - it didn't really seem to care that it had the Element behind it.

    After the initial diagnosis of low oil pressure (about 5 psig at idle), she started running 5W30, which reduced but didn't eliminate the P2646 issues. I confirmed today that the last oil change they didn't remember this and put 5W20 back in, so P2646 started cropping up again more frequently. She didn't have a problem until it was good and warmed up and she'd back out of the throttle at highway speeds.

    First thing I'm going to do is install an oil pressure gage so I can monitor the oil pressure. First with the 5W20 that's in it; then maybe switch to 5W40 (Mobil 1 makes one that is advertised for turbodiesels - I suppose because of the heat). I'd like to avoid jumping right to a 20W50 if I can. I did a partial rebuild (honed cylinders, rings, rod bearings) in summer 2019 to get the oil consumption from a quart almost every tank of gas to not needing any between 5,000 mile changes. Since then I've been trying to figure out a way to replace the crank bearings without removing the engine. I have also been trying to figure out a way to tell if the low oil pressure is a worn out pump, or the engine itself.

    Still very little rust underneath for a vehicle that has spent most of its life in the midwest. The rear bumper beam is rusty, but still feels solid - may pull it and have it derusted and powder coated to preserve it.

    Last edited by Fleetw00d; 07-03-2021, 10:56 PM.

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  • Fleetw00d
    replied
    This one is coming full circle. This daughter was getting tired of the P2646 codes that were diagnosed as low oil pressure; she bought a 2018 CR-V LX AWD with about 24,000 miles on it. They reportedly did $2000 worth of work on it (certified) including new tires; comes with a 150,000 mile power train warranty. I'm going to take the Element off her hands and see what I can do with the oil pressure. It'll give me something to drive if I actually try to deal with the rust on Ruby again.

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  • Fleetw00d
    replied
    Not quite day and night - evenings and weekends when the weather was nice (in the driveway).

    Yeah, the body is in good shape. I'm not sure what Honda did with these, but I've never seen a rusty one - maybe hidden behind the plastic fenders. Only really rusty part was the trailer hitch. I was able to get two of the four main bolts out, but had to pay a shop to get the other two off to remove the hitch and retrieve the bolts from inside the frame boxes.

    Oct. 18, 2019: Three weeks later, my daughter says the oil level hasn't changed a bit.

    Oct. 27, 2019: She drove it to Des Moines yesterday (starts a new job tomorrow). Oil level hasn't changed, but she had a P1009 fault code come up (VTEC oil control valve). Must be intermittent, the light has since gone out.

    Dec. 19, 2019: She's put 5,000 miles on it since September, only a small amount of oil usage in that time.

    Dec. 24 ,2019: Home for Christmas maintenance. Slight oil leaks at oil pressure switch and timing chain tensioner cover; installed new switch and Hondabonded the cover. Oil and filter change. Installed new hood pull cable (inside handle broke; not a separate lever like the CB7). She had a catalytic converter efficiency code on her way to Des Moinse and they quoted $2200 to change the converter. We left it alone and it hasn't returned; I'm think the 5000 miles of highway driving has burned all the oil out of the converter and off the sensors.
    Last edited by Fleetw00d; 12-24-2019, 06:21 PM.

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  • Raf99
    replied
    wow........... was that your vacation? D00d, you just worked on that vehicle day in and day out, but for your daughter so I hope she appreciates it!!

    And ya... honing cyclinder walls is a huge thing! Good job man! I'm assuming the body on this vehicle is in really good shape

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  • Fleetw00d
    replied
    Drove it to Indianapolis to trade my daughter for my 92 EX coupe.

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  • Fleetw00d
    replied
    Honed the cylinders yesterday, got two of the pistons ready to go back in - it is a bear cleaning all the carbon off, particularly getting it out of the ring grooves and the oil holes through to the inside of the piston (completely clogged with carbon).

    20190824_174759 by Paul Kemme, on Flickr

    20190826_205343 by Paul Kemme, on Flickr

    20190824_140711 by Paul Kemme, on Flickr

    Used a funnel that fit tight in the bottom of the cylinder to collect the honing residue and route it past the bearings and rod journals.

    20190824_131800 by Paul Kemme, on Flickr

    The glaze at the top didn't feel like it had any thickness and the pistons came out easily past them. It didn't come off as much during honing as I thought it would.

    20190824_155750 by Paul Kemme, on Flickr

    Aug. 27, 2019: Pistons installed. Is it normal for the crank to be a little stiff to turn with new rod bearings and piston rings?

    20190827_204315 by Paul Kemme, on Flickr

    Aug. 28, 2019: Little by little, installed the head.

    20190828_212116 by Paul Kemme, on Flickr

    Aug. 29, 2019: Installed oil pump and balance shaft assembly. Have to raise the engine to get the oil pan on. Anybody know a good way to remove Hondabond without tearing the paint up on the pan?

    20190829_195439 by Paul Kemme, on Flickr

    Sept. 2, 2019: Three steps forward, two steps back. The left ball joint boot was torn and I wanted to remove the left axle to make it easier to lift and maneuver the engine to get the pan on and get the mounts reinstalled. The ball joint wouldn't separate from the knuckle and I damaged the stud in the process (I notice some play in the joint anyway), so I had to remove the whole lower arm and knuckle together. The stabilizer linkage studs (have to use an allen wrench to hold the stud) were so rusted I had to cut it to disconnect it from the lower arm, then cut the covers off to grab the ball with a vice grips to get the nuts off. Biggest problem is that the ball joint is not replaceable (according to Honda), so I have to replace the whole knuckle and probably the bearing because it is pressed into the knuckle.

    I did manage to get the engine raised enough to get the oil pan on. I used a gasket as well as some Hondabond on both sides because I didn't trust that I would get enough Hondabond only on the joint - I don't want to have to do this anytime soon again. Dropped the engine back in place and got the front, rear, and left mounts installed. Have to install the timing chain before the right mount can be installed.

    20190902_162143 by Paul Kemme, on Flickr

    Another step backward; I was cleaning the Hondabond off the timing chain cover and noticed one lower corner was broken off. I must have missed it during disassembly, then pried from the top thinking it was just difficult because the Hondabond was bonded well. DOH! You can see it in the photo of the oil pump chain tensioner at the lower right corner of the block. Luckily I have the cover from the original engine.

    Sept. 3, 2019: Some good news. Honda doesn't sell a separate ball joint, but the aftermarket does. I have a press so I should be able to swap the ball joints.

    Installed the timing chain, adjusted valves, remounted the AC compressor.

    20190903_194719 by Paul Kemme, on Flickr

    Sept. 6, 2019: Looking more like an engine. Intake and exhaust manifolds, timing cover, fourth engine mount, alternator, tensioner, PS pump, new battery cable installed. Ball joints arrived so I can change them tomorrow. Powder coated valve cover should be available tomorrow. If all goes well, I may be able to attempt to start it. What is the proper procedure for breaking in new rings and rod bearings? I plan to crank it on the starter without the plugs (and with injectors disconnected) to circulate oil and build pressure first. Then install the plugs and fire it.

    20190906_212514 by Paul Kemme, on Flickr

    Sept. 8, 2019: Marathon sessions Friday evening and yesterday to get the engine back together. Fired it last night, started and ran at idle for a while. A little more ticking from the valves than I'd like; I may pull the valve cover and double check the adjustment. Something was burning off the exhaust manifold; I may have spilled some oil when pouring some over the cam and rockers before installing the valve cover. I don't see any obvious leaks from the valve cover.

    20190907_210503 by Paul Kemme, on Flickr

    Sept. 9, 2019: Was able to fixture things in the press to remove the old ball joint, then used my ball joint/pitman arm separator to press the new one in.

    Sept. 11, 2019: When I took the left side suspension apart, I couldn't separate the ball joint from the lower control arm, so I took the knuckle and lower control arm together. I was able to use a cutoff wheel to cut the ball joint stud. I replaced the ball joint in the knuckle, but with a 12 ton press and heating couldn't get the remains of the stud out of the control arm. Local machine shop was able to do it today and bead blasted the control arm (it was fairly rusty). The suspension is back together except for the control arm (letting the paint dry). Should be drive-able tomorrow.

    Sept. 12, 2019: Painted the lower control arm (makes the rest of the suspension look bad). Suspension is all back together. Did a transmission drain and fill. My daughter reminded me that the plates have expired; it will take about a week to get a new sticker, so I have to be careful driving it anywhere. Just need to install the engine cover and the splash shield.

    20190912_192237 (1) by Paul Kemme, on Flickr

    20190912_212217 by Paul Kemme, on Flickr

    Sept. 15, 2019: Installed flywheel cover, splash shield, and engine covers so it is essentially complete. Took it for a psuedo discrete test drive. Engine and trans feel fine. Brakes just a little soft (even though I didn't open the system at all); I'll bleed 'em and check the rears (lubed the front slide pins while I had them off the knuckles). Oh yeah, need to install a new LF ABS sensor.

    Sept. 17, 2019: Installed new sensor; system reset itself this evening on a short test drive. Bled the front brakes, then moved to the rear - whoever did the rear brakes needs to be smacked up side of the head - there was no grease on the caliper slide pins. Wire brushed the bores and pins, then lubed them up. Brakes feel better. Gotta start driving it and monitoring oil consumption.

    Sept. 18, 2019: Another step backward. Something was clunking in the rear end when going over bumps in the road. Lifted the rear end and the only thing I could find that clunked some was the sway bar; there was some play between the bushings and bar. I was going to try an experiment and put a thin spacer between the bushing and frame to increase the squeeze between the bushing and bar some then drive it to see if that stopped the clunking. If so, I'd install new bushings. First bolt I tried to remove broke. I was able to drill it out and retap the threads in the nut welded to the frame. Put a spacer in and installed a new bolt. Then I made the mistake of trying to do the other side; that bolt broke too. Now the drill bits I used were too dull to drill that one out. Tomorrow is another day.

    Sept. 19, 2019: Bought a cobalt bit, still had trouble getting through the bolt (and crooked at that). Retapped the hole such as it was and installed a shim and new bolt. The shims cured the clunking. I may just leave it as is because I'm pretty sure the second bolt on each side will probably break as well if I wanted to try to remove and replace the bushings. Drove it 110 miles this evening - no noticeable change in oil level before and after.

    Sept. 21, 2019: Spent yesterday evening and part of today cleaning the interior. Painted the fourth wheel that I didn't get to three years ago. Installed new plugs. I had used the old plugs just to make sure it ran; they appeared carboned up like the pistons (post #9 above), so I bought new ones. When I took them out today, all the carbon had been burned off and they didn't look too bad at all. Some noise from the front end that I can't decide whether it is just noisy tires or wheel bearings.

    20190921_174042 by Paul Kemme, on Flickr

    Sept. 22, 2019: With the front end in the air, I isolated the noise to the right side (engine running, transmission in gear; when I stopped the right front wheel, the noise stops, when I stop the left front wheel, the noise continues and follows wheel speed). There is no play that I can tell in the wheel bearing; the noise sounds more like it is coming from the inner CV joint and the axle shaft coming out of the joint doesn't run true. If a new axle tomorrow doesn't do the trick I guess a wheel bearing is next.

    Sept. 23, 2019: Installed a new axle. Drove it 220 miles (delivered some Accord parts); oil level didn't change, 27.5 mpg. Less noise up front, but I'm not sure I can convince myself that it is just noisy tires. I'll try temporarily installing front tire from my wife's Pilot or daughter's TSX and see if that quiets things down. I may just find a set of knuckles, make sure I can install new bearings, then swap the assemblies when done.

    Sept. 24, 2019: Installed the front wheels/tires from the TSX; the noise is still there. Took the wheels off again, left it jacked up, started it and let the wheels turn. The splash shield almost sings with the vibration of the bearing. One more repair to do.

    Sept. 26, 2019: Installed a used knuckle assembly (with new ball joint) with a smooth feeling bearing - problem solved. I actually bought both sides from a salvage yard (knuckle with hub/bearing and ABS sensor). Ordered new bearings, so I'll rebuild these two loose assemblies with new bearings and have them on hand when needed for either Element. Just going to do a final oil & filter change, heater control bulb, and exhaust manifold bracket bolt then give it back to my daughter and get my 92 EX coupe back.
    Last edited by Fleetw00d; 09-26-2019, 05:01 PM.

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  • Crankshaft
    replied
    Good luck with the rebuild Paul, these new engines are made for numbers but not quite for longevity anymore and seems ALL the makers are going in this direction. On the positive side, being a Honda parts will be cheap and abundant.

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  • Fleetw00d
    replied
    Parts arrived. And hone:

    20190814_210508 by Paul Kemme, on Flickr

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  • djALBINI
    replied
    fleetwood you're an animal! Quite the undertaking and all for saving that hard earned $$$. The 2000+ mile drives on top of it too, wow. Hope it turns out all good in the end.

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  • Fleetw00d
    replied
    My plan now is to refresh the engine in the vehicle. Got the head off and pistons out. Will hone the cylinders, install new rings, new rod bearings, and new valve seals in the head; then reassemble everything.

    20190720_210345 by Paul Kemme, on Flickr

    20190722_213039 by Paul Kemme, on Flickr

    20190721_161255 by Paul Kemme, on Flickr

    Tape to keep crap out of cooling jacket. Need to figure out a way to protect crank and bearings when honing the cylinders.

    20190722_212822 by Paul Kemme, on Flickr

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