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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Just got a nice, little 1999 CRV and I know about the valve problems and adjustment these things require. It runs but upon a quick compression test I came up with this:

I did a complete compression test and found the number one cylinder is toast at only 32-PSI

My numbers from #1 to #4 are: 32-210-208-180

I know number one is very low, but the 210 and 208 is kinda high right? or is that the right ballpark for the compression on these things?

Next I am going to pop the valve cover, take a look and learn how to adjust the valves correctly. Also look for broken valve springs and what not.

Any pointers and tips on adjusting the valves on these would be very appreciated. I'm a DIYer, but pretty good with working on cars. Never owned a Honda, so any tricks are nice to have.

Like to get this motor tuned nice cause I like the CRV...pretty neat little truck.

Thanks, guys/ladies.

EDIT: What is a good lash point for the valves? I heard on the loose side is .008 and tight is .005 Would it be better to set it a bit loose?

I hope I don't have a burnt valve.
 

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Before doing any valve adjustment, check the cam timing on both intake & exhaust. As the 2 & 3 cylinders are kinda high value. It could be a mistimed cams.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I assume if the crank pulley notch lines up with the pointer on the cover and the drill bit can easily slip through the cam, lock down holes, then everything is in time?
I lined it all up and drill bit slips into the cam locking holes with no problem and the crank notch is lined up with the cover pointer, #1 cylinder valves are loose at TDC like they should be.

Gonna adjust valves perfectly and see what happens.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Started adjusting valves and I found out that the exhaust valve on number one cylinder, cannot be adjusted. Tried to slide a .008 feeler into it and it would not slide in, even when turning adjusting screw all the way both ways. I almost think that valve is stuck and it's the same cylinder that only displays 35PSI...sooo.The rest went fine...totally have the idea on how to adjust the valves now.

Looks like I'm going to remove the head and take a look....
 

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Yes, that is right if the bits go through the lock & the cams the 1 cylinder is on TDC. Both 2 exhaust valves on the cylinder #1 & 4? Have you inspected the spark plugs? You can try to remove the spring & remove the valve seals for the exhaust valves & squirt some Marvel mystery oil into the valve guide see if they will unsieze them. Let me know.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I got the entire head, intake and exhaust manifolds completely out fine.

As I thought, the number one exhaust valve, closest to the timing gear, is totally hung open to the point if I shine a light at it I can see the valve stem. All valves are shut, of course, because the cams are removed and I can still see the valve stem from that valve. It's a hairline gap, but I guess that is all it takes and I'm glad I found the problem, because this was a lot of work!

Now I have to figure out either swap heads or rebuild, new head bolts or get new? I'd like to re-use the head bolts, because new are 159 bucks.

Well, here's where I'm at.

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Thanks for the update. Was there any indication that the piston might have touched the valves? Have you tried aftermarket for the headbolts? Here is another website that might be a bit better on price for OEM parts. hondapartsnow.com
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Didn't see any valve crashes on the pistons, but they could have. I take that these are interference? It does look like the valve got slightly bent, because the edges of it look good, but still a gap from the valve seat to where I can see valve stem, I mean it's hairline gap, but a bright light shows the gap and valve stem. Explains the 35PSI compression in that cylinder. Either way it had to come off, so this project is worth it. Had a feeling the head was going to be ok and I did all this for nothing, lmao. I'm actually glad it has problems....just gotta take it to a guy and see if I can get this head redone or get a better used one.

Also I took compressed air and blew it down the exhaust manifold while filling the valve bowls with oil. Guess where I saw bubbles? yep..... and it's the only one.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Well I took the head to the machine shop and as expected, bad news.

Upon looking at my head he pointed out a few valves were piston beaten, the head has been off of the engine before, because of swirl marks from some tool and a large amount of carbon build-up from excessive oil blow-by in the piston rings. Also signs of head gasket failure between pistons two and three.

Guess I have a worn out bottom end too....but I didn't notice any blue smoke out the pipe, but just a bit on startup.....

Guess what I will do now is just repair the badly bent valve, get compression back in cylinder one, put on a new head gasket and put it back together....add some engine restore additive and see what happens. Might run for a while or blow....doesn't matter at this point. I'll just keep the body maintained and in storage until I find a great deal on a good engine.

Oh well.... It's ok....It's a fun, little project none the less.
 

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I'd put it together as best you can head gasket wise and see how it runs. Maybe a can of Marvel Mystery oil, to help with the rings if you think they might be stuck, would be in order too.
Good luck and let us know how you make out.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
So far I have installed one new valve, cleaned up the rest and lapped them in. I also cleaned the combustion chambers and installed all new valve stem seals. All the springs and keepers are back in place. My Fel-Pro gasket set came in and it has everything in it(I was impressed) Currently waiting on brand new head bolts, because I questioned how many times the original were used since it was pointed out someone had taken the head off before. Got new for 53.00 at Napa.

Personally I think it was the valve seals leaking in oil. I noticed a puff of blue smoke when it started and none while idling or reving it up a bit. The valve seals did seem a bit hard.

Taking my time and doing a bit each nite... having fun doing it right and who knows, it might run nice and for a while.
 

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Glad to hear that you got Fel-pro gaskets as they are one of the best manufacturer you can buy for your different vehicles. I notice that they get the best part they can assemble. When starting the puff of smoke means that the valve seals are worn or the valve guides are worn. That's the best taking your time & having fun while doing it. Someone has also mentioned that Marvel Mystery Oil might do good is right I have used the product with success. Keep us posted on the progress.
 

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Have you taken any pictures you can post of your work?
 

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Try the Marvel Mystery Oil first, before adding any 'engine restore' type additive. Hopefully with top quality oil and filter, your CRV will surprise you, pleasantly.
Other common running problems on that era are:
distributor cap
dist rotor
spark plug wires
non-ngk spark plugs
ignition coil
igniter
fuel filter on firewall
ignition switch

Nice job.
Buffalo4
PS: There are several writeups with photos about adj the valves on your gen of CRV.
Generally it is recommended to set it at the loosest setting (within the recommended range, of course) for the exhaust and the tightest for the intake valves. Reason, the exhaust valves get tighter as they slowly recede into the valve seats and the intakes get slightly looser from cam lobe and follower wear, AFAIK.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Ended up buying a re manufactured head.

I took mine to the machinist to pull some vacuum on my valves to see if they are good and he told me he wouldn't use that head. He pointed out the reason I couldn't get that one valve adjusted is because it had a recessed valve seat that makes adjustment impossible. Plus others are questionable. Also the head was re-worked by someone whom didn't know much. I was going to put it on with the new valve I put in it, but decided to bite the big one and get a new head that is professionally 'done over' with a warranty, 2 years for 375.00.

This CRV has some dings and such, but it is so straight and hardly any rust, if you want to even call it that. I thought this baby would be worth a second chance, so I just got a new head. Still waiting for it, but it's going on as soon as it arrives, lol.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Still with the new head I'll only have a tad over 1,000K in this rig. Nice interior and rust free....needs tires and a couple of cheap things, but overall won't be bad for a 1,000 dollar truck....hopefully the engine will hold up for a year or close. Still on the hunt for a low mileage engine to have for a spare.
 
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