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ENG: F22 Spark Plug Tube Seal Replacement

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    ENG: F22 Spark Plug Tube Seal Replacement

    I've seen many threads these days about "I've got oil all over my #blah spark plug, and the tube is full of oil.". Here's how to take care of it. It should take an hour or two, even with minimal engine experience. This is mostly stolen out of a Hanyne's 90-93 Accord (F22) manual.

    You'll need:

    - in-lb torque wrench
    - ft-lb torque wrench
    - rubber hammer
    - sockets/ratchet
    - screwdriver
    - blue high-temp RTV sealant or HondaBond
    - plug tube seals, lower plug tube seals, valve cover gasket (AutoZone sells a set by FelPro for $16 that includes all the gaskets/seals you'll need)
    - 4 new spark plugs (replace distributor cap/rotor and spark plug wires at your discretion)

    Note: The camshaft bearing caps are removed together with the rocker arm assembly. To prevent the opposite end (transaxle end) of the camshaft from popping up (due to timing belt tension) after the assembly is removed, have another able body hold the opposite end of the camshaft down, then reinstall the bearing cap on that end to hold it in place until reassembly (if timing belt remains installed, but is easiest while changing timing belt when there no tension on the cam gear).

    Step 1: Remove the valve cover

    1- Remove spark plugs.
    2- Remove the distributor cap and wires. Be sure to mark which wire goes where for correct intallation.
    3- Mark and detach any hoses or wires from the throttle body or valve cover that will interfere with the removal of the valve cover.
    4- Wipe off the valve cover the prevent dirt and debris from falling onto the exposed cylinder head or camshaft/valve train assembly.
    5- Remove the valve cover (acorn) nuts.
    6- Carefully lift off the valve cover and gasket. If the gasket is stuck to the cylinder head, tap it with a rubber mallet to break the seal. Do not pry between the cover and cylinder head or you'll damage the gasket mating surfaces.

    Step 2: Position number one piston at Top Dead Center (TDC)

    1- Remove the timing mark inspection plug.
    2- Place the number one piston (closest to the drivebelt end of the engine) at Top Dead Center (TDC) on the compression stroke.
    To do so, rotate the crankshaft pulley counterclockwise until the timing pointer on the block lines up with the TDC mark on the flywheel. The distributor rotor should be pointing toward the number one spark plug wire terminal on the distributor cap. If it isn't, rotate the engine one complete turn and realign the marks.

    Step 3: Rocker arm removal and seal replacement

    1- Have an assistant hold down the transaxle end of the camshaft, then loosen the camshaft bearing cap bolts 1/4 turn at at a time. Starting with the #3 cylinder loosen the two exhaust side camshaft bearing cap bolts. Loosen the bolt on the intake side of the assembly behind the spark plug tube. Repeat for #2 cylinder, #4, #1, and then loosen the cam bearing caps at the end #1 cylinder end of the head behind the cam gear. Finally loosen the 2 bolts at the #4 end that are closest to the distributor. DO NOT REMOVE THE BOLTS COMPLETELY FROM ROCKER ASSEMBLY.
    2- Lift entire assembly off in one piece. If timing belt is in place, see note above.
    3. Lower tube seals will be attached/stuck to the bottom of the rocker assembly. Remove pieces of lower plug tube seals (will probably be in severa pieces). Be sure to remove all remnants of old tube seals from rocker assembly.
    4- Replace tube seals.

    STEP 4: Rocker arm assembly reassembly

    1- Replace rocker assembly.
    2- In the reverse order of loosening, tighten rocker assembly bolts. The smaller 6.0 x 1.0 mm bolts need to be torqued to 108 in-lbs, and the larger 8.0 x 1.25mm bolts to 16 ft-lbs.

    STEP 5: Adjust valves

    1- With the engine still at TDC, the #1 cylinder valve adjustment can bve checked and adjusted. Start with the intake valve clearance. Insert a 0.010-in feeler gauge between the valve stem and rocker arm. Withdraw it, and you should feel a slight drag. If there's no drag or a heavy drag, loosen the adjuster nut and back off the adjuster screw. Carefully tighten the adjuster screw until you can feel a slight drag on the feeler gauge as you withdraw it.
    2- Hold the adjuster screw with a screwdriver (to keep it from turning) and tighten the locknut. Recheck the clearance to make sure it hasn't changed. Repeat the procedure in this tep and the previous step on theother intake valve, then the two exhaust valves. For the exhaust valves, use a 0.012-in feeler gauge.
    3- Rotate the crankshaft pulley 180-degrees counterclockwise (the cam pulley will turn 90-degrees) until the #3 cylinder is at TDC. With the #3 cylinder at TDC, the UP mark on the camshaft sprocket should be pointed at the exhaust side (nine O'clock position) and the distributor rotor should point at the #3 spark plug wire terminal. Check and adjust the #3 cylinder valves.
    4- Rotate the crankshaft pulley 180-degrees counterclockwise until the #4 cylinder is at TDC. With the #4 cylinder at TDC, the UP mark on the camshaft sprocket should be pointed straight down, and the distributor rotor should point at the #4 spark plug wire terminal. Check and adjust the #4 cylinder valves.
    5- Rotate the crankshaft pulley 180-degrees counterclockwise to bring the #2 cylinder to TDC. With the #2 cylinder at TDC, the UP mark on the camshaft sprocket should be pointed to the intake side (three O'clock position), and the distributor rotor should point at the #2 spark plug wire terminal. Check and adjust the #2 cylinder valves.

    STEP 6: Put it all back together

    1- Replace upper plug seals.
    2- Replace valve cover gasket, and use HondaBond or high-temp blue RTV sealant to make sure there's no leaks. Let the RTV site for about 5 minutes to harden up before putting valve cover back on head. Torque the acorn nuts to 84 in-lbs. DO NOT overtighten these acorn nuts, as they are easy to split. If they break, you have a trip to the parts store in your immediate future in another vehicle.
    3- Reconnect any hoses or wires from the throttle body or valve cover that previously disconnected.
    4- Replace spark plugs with new NGK spark plugs (I've been using Autolite with no problems, however).
    5- Reinstall distributor cap and plug wires.

    I'm sure I've left some details out, but the bulk of the matter is here. I'm sure someone will chime in with something that I missed or overlooked, and I welcome all suggestions and/or corrections.

    Last edited by HondaFan81; 04-01-2011, 10:21 PM.
    Former: 90 Accord EX Coupe, 93 10th Anniversary in Frost White

    1985 Volvo 245 manualk [IPD lowering springs, IPD sway bars, OEM Virgo wheels, 1977 quad round headlights, 1978 grill]
    2008 Ford Escape XLT [bone stock]
    2015 Toyota Prius Three with solar roof [rear diffuser, Vision Cross wheels... cheaper than steelies!]

    #2
    Okay, here's what I came up with:

    This pic is showing the rocker arm assembly already taken off.

    1 is where the lower tube seals go.
    2 is the oil journal that usually causes the #2 plug tube to leak
    3 is the cam seal



    Now notice on the next pic, it shows:

    1 is where the replacement tube seals go
    2 are all the old plug tube seals that came off the rocker assembly. They shred very easily and will come out in a million little pieces. carefully use a flathead screwdriver to get the old pieces out. be thorough or the new seals won't fit right.
    3 is the oil journal that causes the #2 plug tube to leak

    *notice how the bolts are still in the rocker assembly so the same bolts go back into the same holes*


    Hope that helps out some, guys.
    Former: 90 Accord EX Coupe, 93 10th Anniversary in Frost White

    1985 Volvo 245 manualk [IPD lowering springs, IPD sway bars, OEM Virgo wheels, 1977 quad round headlights, 1978 grill]
    2008 Ford Escape XLT [bone stock]
    2015 Toyota Prius Three with solar roof [rear diffuser, Vision Cross wheels... cheaper than steelies!]

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      #3
      9/6/04 update:

      Started this project today and have been taking pics of it, I'll have it done by tomorrow seeing that I had to adjust my cam timing as well cuz the f**kers at the Honda dealer (which we never had issues with) had the timing off, no wonder my car would dog so much from 5500 RPMs and up. BLEH!
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        #4
        Step # 1

        Label spark plug boots, not to mix them up and make installation easier. Remove spark plug boots.
        Attached Files
        Last edited by HondaFan81; 10-11-2005, 09:41 PM.
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          #5
          Step # 2

          Label spark plug wires at the distributor end to make installation easier and have no mix ups. Remove spark plug wires from distributor cap.
          Attached Files
          Last edited by HondaFan81; 10-11-2005, 09:42 PM.
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            #6
            Step # 3

            Remove the 4 acorn nuts & washer grommets on the valve cover to remove it, these are 10mm. Torque specs are 84 in-lbs. Remove the valve cover ground wire as well that's near oil cap.
            Attached Files
            Last edited by HondaFan81; 10-11-2005, 09:43 PM.
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              #7
              Step # 4

              Be sure to label the distributor cap terminals as well, in reference to the wires. Remove only the top screw from the distributor housing so you can remove the rocker arm assembly later.
              Attached Files
              Last edited by HondaFan81; 10-11-2005, 09:43 PM.
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                #8
                Step # 5

                Overall view of the valvetrain after removal of the valve cover. Take the time now to loosen all the intake & exhaust valve lash nuts. Reason for doing this is so that when you install the rocker arm assembly, you do not put instant valve pressure on them. Makes installation of the rocker arm assembly easier.
                Attached Files
                Last edited by HondaFan81; 10-11-2005, 10:01 PM.
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                  #9
                  Step # 6

                  Before removing the rocker arm assembly, I suggest removing the timing belt off the camshaft gear. This will help relieve the force pulling down on the camshaft gear end. Paint a line from the cam gear to the timing belt so you know how to realign the two parts later so your cam timing is not out synchronization. To remove the timing belt, on the cam gear end you will find an adjustment nut (14mm), which you want to loosen 1 full turn, push the timing belt on intake side inward, then retighten the adjustment nut snug again. This will loosen the timing belt enough for you to slip it off the cam gear (after your mark the belt to the gear for later reference). It may still take some force to remove the belt.

                  Loosen all the rocker arm assembly bolts in the REVERSE order of the "Tightening Torque Sequence" in post #43 further down in this thread. Do NOT remove the bolts after they are fully loosened up, just leave them in place or the rocker arm assembly will spring apart. Notice the bolts are all loosened, but kept in place in the photo below.
                  Attached Files
                  Last edited by HondaFan81; 10-11-2005, 09:54 PM.
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                    #10
                    Step # 7

                    Rocker arm assembly is removed, maintain bolts in place.
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                      #11
                      Step # 8

                      Photo of under the rocker arm assembly where you can see the lower spark plug tube O-rings, these are the old ones that leaked and caused oil to get into the spark plug tubes. Cylinder # 2 O-ring usually is the first to go because it's next to an oil passageway.
                      Attached Files
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                        #12
                        New parts photos

                        Photos of all the new O-rings, gasket, seals, etc for all seals under the valve cover. Also included are new NGK spark plugs because I did not want to reuse the old oil covered ones.
                        Attached Files
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                          #13
                          more new part photos

                          Couple more new parts photos...
                          Attached Files
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                            #14
                            Step # 9

                            Photos of old upper tube seals on the valve cover, you can choose to clean the valve cover as well at this point before installing the new seals.
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                              #15
                              Step # 10

                              New upper tube seals on the valve cover installed...
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