From memory, Honda suggests:
1. Changing the motor oil to a 0W30 grade in an effort to allow air to enter
the HLA's. If this does not work in removing the problem...
2. Remove the valve covers, rocker shafts/arms, HLAs from the rocker arms
and clean with engine degreaser using a paper clip to push in the bearing at
the base of the HLA while pushing on the top to pump degreaser in and out of
the HLAs in an effort to clean out the varnish. Reload the HLAs with fresh
oil, install into the rocker arms in their same positions, and then put the
car back together and away you go. Make sure to reinstall all rockers into
their same positions on the rocker shafts.
I just completed this very service on my own car, a 1995 Honda Passport, V6
3.2L engine. It took a VERY CONSIDERABLE amount of time, being that I have
NEVER done anything this extensive on my own [almost two months total from
time constraints, waiting for parts, and the fact that we had a second car
and a loaner to replace our out-of-commission Passport.] If I had to do it
again, it would take a MUCH SHORTER amount of time, probably over a weekend
with all available parts ordered ahead of time.
This work is not hard, but very straightforward. I used a Haynes Manual as
a guide for the work, and a very helpful Honda parts/service department
staffer was a plus. I was able to get some pretty detailed schematics for
the job from them.
Since then I've found a good site thanks to someone in here:
New rocker shafts (when I got inside, they were thrashed) ran me $75 apiece
from the dealer. I replaced all four of them. Unfortunately, I didn't
check here first about price on those. Found them later for c. $56 apiece
through the above website.
Discovered that someone else tried to come before me to fix the "clicking"
on the passenger side but gave up after stripping out all the cam shaft
bolts (allen type). Those were damned expensive. But, again, cheaper
online, if you do this job and happen to run into the same problem, or end
up stripping bolts, which is quite easy to do inside the head. Make sure
you dig out all the carbon from inside the tops of the allen bolts before
you attempt to untighten them, and you should be okay.
I only had a problem with clicking on one side of the head. Just before I
put the car all back together, I decided to tear out the driver's side as
well and check those rocker shafts. They were pretty bad as well and,
although not clicking, Murphy's Law says they'd have started up after I got
it all back together. So I did that side a well.
Replaced all oil seals, timing belt, drive belts, valve cover gaskets,
intake manifold gasket, plenum gasket, throttle body gasket, thermostat &
gasket, spark plugs.
Used Castrol Super Clean (EXCELLENT STUFF) for a degreaser. Bought a
solvent tank. Cleaned all parts to brand new look, using the degreaser and
an air compressor for blowing out the carbons.
Had a BAD squeal when I got done with the car which I believed was due to
the Hydraulic Timing Belt Tensioner which I ended up reloading the hydraulic
fluid. Turns out it was only the drive belts which needed a good adjusting
So all in all it was a great fix and I have gained major gas mileage and a
lot of power to the vehicle now that my valves get to open all the way.
I wholly recommend skipping #1 and going straight to #2.
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