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On my '99 Honda CR-V...it has about 205K on it. I just took it to one shop, I was hoping that they could fix it before we went out of town. But, they did a compression test and it had 135 or higher, in 3 cylinders and #4 had 35#.

So, I take it to another shop that takes forever to get in to and we leave it while we are out of town. They adjust the valves, #4 has no lash at all on the exhaust. You could not move the rocker arm. He starts it and it runs fine. I drive off and when it warms up and goes off of fast idle it starts throwing the same code (P1399). We only notice a problem at idle.

I was hoping that a valve job would fix it, but now I am not so sure.

Today, I do a leakdown test. The only good thing about it I can say is that there was no leakage in the radiator or exhaust.

#1, air leakage heard in the valve cover (caused by leaking rings?)
#2 you could feel a draft coming out of #1 and #4
#3 leakage heard in the intake manifold
#4 draft in #3 and noise in #1

This is very odd...for instance, #1 is not audible in the other cylinders...But, #2 and #4 both have symptoms in #1. When I say a draft, I mean that when you put air in to #2 and put a rubber hose against the sparkplug hole and your check you can feel air coming out of #1.

So, based on the above....Can I safely assume that a valve job is a waste of time? Correct?

Has anybody had any luck w/JDM engines...do you have a recommendation?
 

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With that kind of compression test numbers are you sure you had the pistons on TDC when doing the leak down?
What percentage of leaking did you get?
Have you taken a compression reading on #4 since the valves were adjusted?
 

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I would do another compression test in the #4 cylinder. If the number is that low again, you have a bad set of rings or a very scored cylinder wall. Remember to let it crank over 4-5 times before you stop.
 

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I don't think that is necessarily the case 04, the valves were being held open in the first test. It could still be a burned valve causing the low number, if it is in fact low again.
 

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I don't think that is necessarily the case 04, the valves were being held open in the first test. It could still be a burned valve causing the low number, if it is in fact low again.
Ive never seen a compression test done as a leak down test. Leakdown test are done with pushing air into the spark plug port while the cyclinder is at TDC. This will check the intake and exhaust valves for leaks. You will either have air coming out the intake or exhaust or none at all. How do you get a compression number doing this test? To check compression, the piston has to move up and down several times to get an acurate reading. Is there a new leak down test that tests compression I am not aware of or a way of testing compression this way that I am not aware of? Just curious. I've only done a compression test, never a leak down test, that is why I am asking.

And I agree with you, that number is way off the other 3. Usually they are not that off so I agree with you, a valve had to be open.
 

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Ive never seen a compression test done as a leak down test. Leakdown test are done with pushing air into the spark plug port while the cyclinder is at TDC. This will check the intake and exhaust valves for leaks. You will either have air coming out the intake or exhaust or none at all. How do you get a compression number doing this test? To check compression, the piston has to move up and down several times to get an acurate reading. Is there a new leak down test that tests compression I am not aware of or a way of testing compression this way that I am not aware of? Just curious. I've only done a compression test, never a leak down test, that is why I am asking.

And I agree with you, that number is way off the other 3. Usually they are not that off so I agree with you, a valve had to be open.
Sorry, I thought I was being clear.
In the original post it was stated that the compression # for #4 was 35 psi.
He then had the valves adjusted.
He did not do another compression test to see what #4 produced.
I asked if he had.
You stated you thought it was a bad piston/cylinder seal issue.
I then stated I didn't think so because he hadn't done a compression test AFTER the valves were adjusted.
IF he does a compression test and the #4 cylinder is still low, it doesn't necessarily mean the piston/cylinder seal is bad, it could be he has burned valves.

OK?

A leak down test is a % measurement of how much air is lost when pumped into a cylinder that is at TDC on the compression stroke. At least that is what I was taught in my auto shop class way back in the late '60's.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I think that there is a cylinder seal issue, on #1, you can hear it in the valve cover (crank-case).

I am using a Harbor Freight tool and it has never worked right. All I can tell you is that at 15#, you can hear the leakage and it pegs the leakage portion into the green (good) area.

I have the dizzy rotor pointing at the SP-wire plug on the cap. If it isn't at TDC, it turns the motor.

Like I said, when the valves were adjusted, there was no lash at all. He could not move the rocker-arm. So, it was probably not allowing the valve to close all the way.

You know, I've been thinking about it. The first shop gave me pretty good advice. They said that I should do a leak-down test and if it was high, that I could just do a valve job, and if it was low, then it needed a rebuild.

It is leaking into the crankcase on #1. Therefore, a valve job would just make the rings leak more.

JDM motors are about $600. My wife likes it, and she can really rack up the miles on a car (we are 25 miles from town, RT and sometimes she has to make multiple trips). For the cost of a motor, and what it would cost to replace it (the big factor, not what it is worth), I think a motor is the thing to do.
 

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Sorry, I thought I was being clear.
In the original post it was stated that the compression # for #4 was 35 psi.
He then had the valves adjusted.
He did not do another compression test to see what #4 produced.
I asked if he had.
You stated you thought it was a bad piston/cylinder seal issue.
I then stated I didn't think so because he hadn't done a compression test AFTER the valves were adjusted.
IF he does a compression test and the #4 cylinder is still low, it doesn't necessarily mean the piston/cylinder seal is bad, it could be he has burned valves.

OK?

A leak down test is a % measurement of how much air is lost when pumped into a cylinder that is at TDC on the compression stroke. At least that is what I was taught in my auto shop class way back in the late '60's.
I gotcha, thanks for clarifying that for me.

As for the OP, I'd say you got your monies worth out of that motor. If you can get another rebuilt or quality used motor for $600, I'd jump on that. Good luck with your CRV.
 

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I'm not sure I follow what the shop told you, you can have high a leak down % and it could be the valves or cylinder.
You will always see some blow-by at the rings, their seal isn't 100%. When doing a leak down, if air is escaping into the intake or exhaust manifolds (assuming both valves are closed) there are valve sealing issues, if the air is excessively escaping into the crank case there are cylinder sealing issues, that is where the leak down test will tell you if it is excessive. If it is leaking to an adjacent cylinder, bad head gasket.

If you can acquire a good engine for $600, that may be the way to go, not knowing the actual mileage or history/condition on an imported engine is risky.
 

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How does the engine run now that the valves have been adjusted?
Is there a 'miss' at idle?
Does it 'pop' a little out the exhaust in time with the 'miss'?
This would be indicative of a burned exhaust valve (don't ask how I know).
I've seen used engines from Japan advertised here in the LA papers, or at least I used to when we got a paper, for what seemed like reasonable money. 30k mile engines, pulled from cars in Japan and sent here. For $600 and the cost to install it may be the cheaper way to go at this point. I'd think labor to R&R a head isn't much cheaper than the R&R of the engine is going to be.
 

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On my '99 Honda CR-V...it has about 205K on it. I just took it to one shop, I was hoping that they could fix it before we went out of town. But, they did a compression test and it had 135 or higher, in 3 cylinders and #4 had 35#.

So, I take it to another shop that takes forever to get in to and we leave it while we are out of town. They adjust the valves, #4 has no lash at all on the exhaust. You could not move the rocker arm. He starts it and it runs fine. I drive off and when it warms up and goes off of fast idle it starts throwing the same code (P1399). We only notice a problem at idle.

I was hoping that a valve job would fix it, but now I am not so sure.

Today, I do a leakdown test. The only good thing about it I can say is that there was no leakage in the radiator or exhaust.

#1, air leakage heard in the valve cover (caused by leaking rings?)
#2 you could feel a draft coming out of #1 and #4
#3 leakage heard in the intake manifold
#4 draft in #3 and noise in #1

This is very odd...for instance, #1 is not audible in the other cylinders...But, #2 and #4 both have symptoms in #1. When I say a draft, I mean that when you put air in to #2 and put a rubber hose against the sparkplug hole and your check you can feel air coming out of #1.

So, based on the above....Can I safely assume that a valve job is a waste of time? Correct?

Has anybody had any luck w/JDM engines...do you have a recommendation?


P1399 is a code indicating random misfire and is often associated with low engine vacuum. (lets assume the #4 valve being burnt is the cause)

Do a vacuum check/test. Verify the engine vac is 19" or higher. Verify the manifold absolute pressure is 0.90 volts or less. Failure is usually a result of leaky valves, miss timed valves or miss adjusted valves.

By the sound of your test results you have a myriad of small problems that fit the profile of a high mileage motor. If you find a replacement ask for a compression test before purchasing and maybe pay a good mech. to check it over.
 

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P1399 is a code indicating random misfire and is often associated with low engine vacuum. (lets assume the #4 valve being burnt is the cause)

Do a vacuum check/test. Verify the engine vac is 19" or higher. Verify the manifold absolute pressure is 0.90 volts or less. Failure is usually a result of leaky valves, miss timed valves or miss adjusted valves.

By the sound of your test results you have a myriad of small problems that fit the profile of a high mileage motor. If you find a replacement ask for a compression test before purchasing and maybe pay a good mech. to check it over.
Good advise.

I have wondered how all of those import engines end up with such low mileage, especially with the age of some, for such a low price, after being shipped from Japan.
 

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They're considered boat anchors in Japan.
I guess they have more restrictive inspections than we do so it's 'normal' (from what I understand) to change the motor out at 30k miles in order to meet the standards.
 

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They're considered boat anchors in Japan.
I guess they have more restrictive inspections than we do so it's 'normal' (from what I understand) to change the motor out at 30k miles in order to meet the standards.
Sure...a 30k motor is junk?
People buying them have no clue if they have 30k or 130k on them. I would bet on the latter.
 

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That's what I've been led to believe, 30k miles, and I've heard/read it on more than once.
YMMV.

You also have to remember, their 30k miles is a lot different than ours are. IE they don't have the big open spaces to run around in, most would be in city stop and go. Lots harder on an engine than open space freeway driving.
 

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That's what I've been led to believe, 30k miles, and I've heard/read it on more than once.
YMMV.

You also have to remember, their 30k miles is a lot different than ours are. IE they don't have the big open spaces to run around in, most would be in city stop and go. Lots harder on an engine than open space freeway driving.

Very true, they are limited to open spaces unlike the US. My claim of 130k is likely excessive.

I looked up a reseller, this is from their site; Because our engines are imported from Japan, it is not possible for us to know the exact year or mileage of any particular engine. We get 50-60 engines at a time on an ocean container. Your engine will, however, be the correct one for your car.
They will give a 6 month warranty but you have to do the following;
A. All labor must be done by a qualified technician.
B. Your radiator must be rodded out by a radiator shop, or replaced with a new one. Also replace your water pump, thermostat and temperature sensor. Replace hoses as necessary. 90 % of engine failure is caused by overheating. Our engines are equiped with "heat tabs". If the heat tabs are melted or removed, the warranty is void.
C. Replace the timing belt, tensioner, crankshaft seals, oil filter, gaskets, water and oil sending units and tune up parts. If you purchased aNissan 300ZX twin turbo engine(VG30DETT) you must also replace the oil pump.
D. Transmission cooler and lines must be flushed and new transmission fluid installed. Your transmission oil cooler must be rodded out or replace. Some cars do not have a separate oil cooler and use the car’s radiator. In this case the radiator must be rodded out or replaced, or a new auxiliary transmission oil cooler installed.
E. Engine must be properly timed and be sure you have no vacuum leaks! Failure to do this could result in preignition, detonation, or a lean mixture. Any of which could result in engine damage.
 

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So if you do all that that site says you're supposed to do, essentially they've sold you a pre-assembled long block with a head on it.
Works for some people.
 
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