I have a 95 Honda Civic that I was having problems with overheating.
It would push antifreeze out the coolant reservoir until it was out of
coolant. I ended up replacing the thermostat, water pump, fan temp
switch, and radiator cap but nothing fixed the problem. I then
started to suspect a coolant leak in the head gasket. I connected an
air hose to each cylinder using my compression tester hose. When I put
air pressure to #4 cylinder @ TDC, the coolant level in the radiator
would rise and spill out over the top of the radiator.
My question is, when I tear into the head gasket, how will I know if
it is the head gasket or a cracked head? Will it show signs on the
head gasket where it is leaking or will you be able to see a crack in
Also, should I do any other maintanance while I have the head off? The
car has 137,000 miles.
how new is the timing belt? and as tegger says, stem seals are good too.
if doing this work yourself, DO NOT use abrasives to clean the head or
the block. that includes scotchbrite. use only a blade to carefully
clean. it takes time! abrasives, no matter how you try to avoid it,
accumulate under the rings and quickly ruin compression and dramatically
increase oil consumption. avoid having the head skimmed too unless it's
warped. and i bet it's not.
allow plenty of time - this is an all day job if you're going to do it
carefully and well.
The timing belt is brand new. That is one of the things I replaced
when replacing the water pump.
I was wondering maybe I should swap out the motor for a lower mileage
engine or v-tec engine. The compression on this motor seems a little
low at 140psi compared to other 1.5's with 180-200psi. It doesn't use
any oil but it does have rod slap when cold outside. I was thinking
maybe I should swap it out with a JDM import 1.5 VTEC engine with
40,000-60,000 miles for around $600. Just a head gasket kit will run
$120-$150, if that is all I need.
I wouldn't be concerned about the compression since the numbers are
consistent across the cylinders; it just isn't designed for premium gas. The
piston slap is more worrisome and is a good reason to think about going JDM.
But just to be sure: it is piston slap (quiets down in about five minutes)
rather than an exhaust leak (quiets down in about one minute)? If so, JDM
sounds attractive in your situation.
doesn't make a lot of difference at operating speeds. compressions on
both my civic and crx are "low", but they both run great, the civic
it's piston slap. it's not necessarily a problem. my 2000 civic did it
from about 20k and that thing was babied.
good question. personally, i lean towards replacement. changing the
gasket, and doing a good job of it, is long hard work. shops do it
because the long labor hours are profitable. and they routinely use
abrasives. and they routinely skim heads. and they shrug off the
subsequent failures with a "don't blame me, the engine was already shot"
attitude that is as ignorant as it is annoying.
unless i had a special reason to preserve a particular engine, or had a
lot more time and no money, i would replace the motor. these low
mileage jdm motors are cheap and work just great. a whole motor swap
takes a good deal less time than the head prep.
your problem with the vtec conversion is wiring in the vtec solenoid.
if you don't already have that motor, you'll need to upgrade the ecu and
engine electrics accordingly. it's non-trivial doing that. it's not
hard, and there's plenty of resources on the subject [checkout
boomslang.com] but it's still non-trivial. done right, it's worth the
The engine I have now is a D15B7 1.5 liter 16 valve SOHC. What will
the mileage difference be between a JDM 1.5 VTEC versus what I have?
do with this type of engine swap is to bypass the VTEC oil pressure
switch. Is that true or do I need to get a VTEC ECU brain box?
Also, what is OBD1 and OBD2?
And what is the difference between a 1.5 VTEC-E economy and a 1.5
that's wrong - do /not/ "bypass" the pressure switch. you have two sets
of cam lobes - one for high revs, one for low. if you don't switch the
cams, you'll be stuck on one or the other, with sucky performance at one
end of the range, depending on how you're switched.
ideally, you need the vtec ecu - it has a higher red line than the
non-vtec as well as the right switchover programming. but if you don't
use one, you can also use a rev sensitive switch to handle the cam for
you. google this group as the same question came up a few weeks ago.
the no-worry road is to just do a straight replacement. plug and play.
and it's going to be better than what you have now.
if you swap for vtec, for ecu's, you'll probably need a u.s. version
rather than jdm to pass smog. you can get them from junk yards
occasionally, by far the cheapest way to go! but generally not since
all the "2-ner" crowd mean they get picked clean pretty much
immediately. in that case, you'll be looking at ebay or craigslist and
paying a lot more.
regarding d15z1 vs. d16z6, it depends on whether you want performance or
economy. iirc, the d15z1 is the economy motor. either way, you
probably need the correct ecu to get the right injection map.
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