water pump, head bolts on 90 accord EX

Hey,
We just took this 90 accord apart, a burned valve from leaking valve stem seals. It is the F22A4 motor with 200k on it. The compression numbers besides
the blown cylinder were consistent. The head is in the shop now. In the meantime I bought a Felpro gasket set, Gates timing kit, various tune up components. However, I am stuck on a few things.
- The head bolts that came out look like standard hardened steel bolts. One of them is much longer than the others. The torque specification is 3 stage, not a torque + angle. Are these head bolts reusable (i.e. after cleaning up the threads with a die) or do I need to buy new ones?
- I have a choice of a reman Cardone brand water pump, or a NEW "Master" brand water pump at the parts stores. Should I go cheap or play it safe and get the OEM pump, and if OEM where can I get a good price on it?
- What do I call the o-rings that keep oil out of the spark plug holes from the valve cover? The parts stores have no idea what I am talking about or how to look them up.
- There were not oil pressure problems. Should I worry about a new oil pump or leave well enough alone?
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Ryan Underwood wrote:

Using a Honda OEM head gasket would be the better option. By the cylinder head kit and you'll likely save a few $ over buying separate components.

Be sure to put it back in the correct position.

Follow the 3 stage torque recommendation using a quality torque wrench. I like to use a 3/8" drive model since the torque specs are closer to the midrange of the accuracy of these wrenches. Using a 1/2" drive model puts the torque specs much too low on the accuracy range of the wrench.
Reusing the head bolts is usually not a problem. Do not run a die over the bolt threads but clean them with a standard parts cleaner style brush and solvent. I like to run a tap through the threads in the bolt holes after soaking them with carburetor cleaner (be absolutely, with out any doubt what-so-ever, certain that you're using the correct sized tap or it will be a bad day afterwards). The bolt holes should be blown out with compressed air afterwards and it may take a couple of cleaning cycles (with carb clean only) to get all of the gunk out. Be sure to keep any gunk from getting in the cylinders or meticulously clean it up afterwards. I like to lube the bolt threads with a thin oil such as LPS #1 and put motor oil between the head bolt and its washer.

This is just my opinion, but a water pump is too important for these cars to gamble with a rebuilt unit since it's driven by the timing belt. Buy the new OEM unit. Check the prices at online Honda dealers such as http://www.hondaautomotiveparts.com and http://www.slhonda.com .

I call them spark plug tube seals and they're standard parts that sometimes come with the valve cover gasket. If the parts counter people don't know what you're talking about with such a basic part, then you should switch to people who are more familiar with Hondas.

Clean it, measure the tolerances as per the specs in the service manual, check for atypical wear marks, and reuse it if it's ok.
Eric
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Your post was very informative, thank you. I think the spark plug seals will come as part of the head set since it comes with a valve cover.
I have two questions.
What is the difference between the Felpro and Honda gasket? I have used Felpro in the past with good results, but not a MLS type. Is that where the complication comes in? I hope the shop gets the surface finish right because I have heard it is touchy on those.
Also, is there a specific reason why running a die over the head bolts is a bad idea? Other than that, your notes about preparing the block and torquing are right in line with my own experience.
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snipped-for-privacy@mail.win.org wrote:

"hope"??? why are you having it machined at all??? is it warped? and you should check by looking at other examples to see if they can do the job properly.
fyi, valves don't burn because of leaking seals - they burn because they were damaged, defective or the lash was allowed to become too tight. if this shop told you a seal caused this valve to burn, you may want to consider taking this head elsewhere for a second opinion. better yet, just replace the valve yourself, put the head back on as-is, and drive it for another 300k miles.

yes, it sure is.

yes. threads are rolled which makes them fatigue resistant. cut threads, or threads that have been "cleaned", get minute score marks in them which can initiate fatigue. thermal cycling in the engine fatigues bolts real quick if they've been damaged like this. just wire brush them, if they need cleaning at all, and re-use.

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All the exhaust valves were pretty bad. The way it was explained to me is that the oil leaking down the valve stem accumulates on the seat eventually preventing the valves from completely transferring heat to the seat. Is that wrong?
All the "hoping" is because I had to use a new machine shop due to the location. I think I will give them a call and remind them not to mess with the finish on it. The gasket was not blown so there seems little reason to mess with it especially given the risk.
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snipped-for-privacy@mail.win.org wrote:

yes. oil burns off the exhaust valves in a jiffy. carbon also. if the valves aren't seating it's because they've been bent or the valve lash is insufficient. in the old days, exhaust valves didn't even have seals.

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Oh, and am I off the mark, or is this motor a strange case - where you have an open deck motor, but the head bolts are not torque-to-yield type meaning they can be reused?
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snipped-for-privacy@mail.win.org wrote:

if they're not torque-to-yield, they can be reused. open deck has nothing to do with it afaik.
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Are they torque to yield or not? That's what I am trying to figure out and can't seem to get a reliable answer. It seems like most open decks have torque to yield.
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snipped-for-privacy@mail.win.org wrote:

check in the *helm* manual [NOT haynes] - if it specifies something like "torque to 90 ft.lbs and then another half turn", they're torque to yield. if it's just torque, they're not. open deck has become more common at the same time as tty, but the two are not related.
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OK, thanks!
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OK, I talked to the guy and made sure he isn't going to mess with the surface. He said it was true anyway so there's no reason to do anything with it. On the same page finally!
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Actually, according to this:
http://www.aa1car.com/library/ar396.htm
I would be better off with the aftermarket gasket on a MLS application, because the OEM gasket requires an OEM surface finish which is difficult to obtain. Felpro says they have some kind of sealant on their gaskets that is supposed to tolerate non-OEM surface finish better.
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snipped-for-privacy@mail.win.org wrote:

why does your head not have an oem finish? and it /is/ easy to obtain if you know what you're doing. if a machine shop tells you different, you took it to the wrong place. bottom line, it needs to be mirror, or very close to it. if it's not, no gasket is going to seal, i don't care who tells you otherwise.
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