Honda CR-V Owners Club Forums banner

1 - 12 of 12 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,501 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Never thought this would happen to me, but, it's not my fault here. ?

I started working on replacing the cylinder head in the '04 Civic last year. By the time I got home from travels, the weather had turned cold and wet, and aside from the winter weather, it remained cold and wet up until the end of June. (Where I live, roads are flooded for days at a time since Lake St. Clair is at a record level from all the rain, and the snow melt coming down through the Great Lakes system.) So I finally got back on the project earlier this month.

I was hung up on two things. First, there was a nut up and under the middle of the intake manifold that needed to come off, but I found that once I was flat on my back in the driveway with a strong light and a ratcheting box-end wrench, I managed to get it loose. The other, of course, was the crankshaft pulley bolt. My newer breaker bar was a piece of crap (it flexed!!), but I finally found a nice thick breaker bar via Amazon, and I also purchased a couple sections of one inch galvanized steel pipe and a couple of elbows (45° and 90°) so I could clear the bumper while using this as a "cheater" on the breaker bar. It got the nut loose, but, it was strange that the bolt didn't "snap" loose like it did on others I have worked on--it actually came out stiffly.

So after cleaning things up (a Roloc disc does wonders for cleaning off gasketed surfaces), I put a rebuilt head on. Got it torqued down. Start reinstalling the timing belt and all is good--all lined up. The tensioner requires that you snug it up, then back it off 180° to install the timing belt. So I have the belt on, and I go to tighten the bolt...it tightens somewhat, then keeps on turning. Crap!! Nowhere near the 33 ft/lb torque spec.

I back it out and I'm getting little spiral pieces of threads. So yep, whoever wrenched on this car ~100k miles probably stripped it out and used a helicoil. Once I thought about it, I recalled that the bolt was a little easy to get out when I disassmbled things.

This doesn't surprise me, though. Whoever put this back together was an idiot. The lower timing cover was destroyed--three of the bolt hole tabs were broken off, the bolts still in engine block, and the cover had rubbed on the crank pulley, so it was full of plastic shavings inside. Needless to say, I ordered a new lower timing cover. And finding the stripped and half-arsed repaired tensioner threads made sense at that point.

What I found interesting was that during my searches on Amazon for thread repairs, others with the 7th generation Civic also had the stripped tensioner threads. Of all the car brands, models and years mentioned in product reviews, it seems the 7th generation had the biggest representation.

Once I am back from my first trip of the season in mid August, I'll be ordering the Time-Sert Big Sert 10mm x 1.25 kit (#5012). These are superior to any helicoil fix, and since all the tools require a tap handle (drill, countersink, tap, and installation tool), I don't need to worry about dropping or lifting the engine to do any drilling. I do have to keep things square, but they offer a collar that you place against the surface that will guide the tap when cutting the new threads. I am going with the "Big Sert" since it is used for second-time repairs on stripped threads. This set is not cheap ($100-ish) but costs less than replacing an entire engine.

It will be nice to finally have the Civic back on the road...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,501 Posts
Discussion Starter #2
Update--home from travel, and I ordered the Big-Sert M10-1.25 kit #5012 along with the Time-Sert #75025 guide bushing which helps keep the threads straight while tapping. I'm debating keeping this for future use, or selling it to another Civic owner down the road a bit once I'm done fixing ours--I could recoup most of my cost when reselling it. (I have to change the timing belt on the Accord--I've never done a V6, and I'm keeping the kit on hand in case that tensioner is stripped.) The more I've read, I've learned the Time-Sert bushings are better than a helicoil since this is an actual bushing with threads on the inside and outside, and is even good enough for cylinder head bolts. It offers a means of locking the bushing into the hole, so it will not walk out when a bolt is unthreaded.

Fingers crossed!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,501 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
The Big-Sert kit arrived, and I ordered the guide bushing to help keep it square to the block.

Drilling the hole with a tap wrench was the worst part. It took me two days, stopping due to my carpal tunnel inflammation acting up. ? But I got it to a good depth today, but, it seemed a little sloppy since it is hard to drill anything square by hand. Step two is cutting a counterbore so that the top shoulder of the insert has something to grab onto. Third step is cutting the threads, using the guide bushing again to keep it square.

Fourth step is putting a drop or two of oil on the insertion tool, which is a threaded bit similar to a tap but without the cutting. Put the Time-Sent bushing on the tool, put red threadlocker on the external threads of the bushing, and start threading it in. It went in too easily and I was concerned until I got to the point where the insert was seated and it got difficult to turn. At this point you keep turning it until it eases up. Once that happens, the insert is locking into place. You can remove the insert driver, and some sort of small spring on the bottom acts as a cam to lock it in place.

I easily tightened the bolt to the required 33 lb/ft torque and it held perfectly. And I had to loosen the bolt and tighten it again--no issues!

The kit isn't cheap but it is impressive! The timing belt is back on, and tomorrow I can continue putting this thing back together. Hopefully the engine will be running by early next week! (I should post a "first start" video when it's ready.)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,922 Posts
I had a VW engine that had a couple of stripped holes in the block for the head bolts.
I called my mechanic, and he quoted me a price, which I couldn't afford. He was a great guy, and sold me some heli-coils and loaned me the tool to insert them, and explained how to do the work.
When I returned the tool I also brought him a case of beer (the usual "payment" when he helped me with something).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,501 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
A six-pack is often the best payment for any kind of work. ?

I thought of selling the kit, but I have to do a timing belt on the kiddo's V6 Accord, which has a tensioner and an idler. These engines often have the same threads for common locations, so I'll keep it handy. The kit comes with five inserts, so four are left. I am pretty sure the Civic already had a Helicoil that failed, which is why I got the oversized kit. I wouldn't hesitate to do this repair again.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,501 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
I'm putting the ol' Civic back together and after a few tries, got the timing belt all attached and the covers on. The lower timing belt cover was literally shredded--whoever put it on last time broke the three tabs off of the lower cover, so the pulley had rubbed on it and the inside was a pile of plastic shreds. It also looked like the crank seal was leaking, but my timing belt kit had new seals, so that is all set. I screwed up a couple of times, of course--my memory sucks. I forgot that the engine mount went on before the lower cover. So I had to undo it. And prior to that, I forgot to put the top rear timing belt cover on, and had to remove the cam pulley! Just old age catching up to me, despite having all the manual pages right in front of me. ?

So naturally, I get to putting the valve cover on, and find that one of the holes in the rebuilt head is stripped. I only tighten these to maybe 7-10 ft/lb. I'm not sure if there is a helicoil in there already--I'm getting a small "shred" like I did for the timing belt tensioner, but when I drilled that out, I never did find a helicoil--I think that is simply the aluminum thread peeling out of the hole. This time I'm just using a helicoil since it is not a load-bearing bolt. The kit is on the way to me.

So I'm delayed yet again, but I am going to fully degrease the engine now that the important things are covered up, and put the intake manifold and air boxes back on, and reconnect everything.

I may even order a new set of wheel covers. Only $34.99 each from eBay. I will have to repaint the steel wheels behind them (they are corroding) but it will make the Civic look a lot better. One of the wheel covers is cracked with a chunk missing out of it, and all four are peeling. I considered repainting them or doing a plasti-dip, but given the time and bother, I may just get the wheel covers. The body is pretty much flawless, so it will look good for a 15 year old car.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,501 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
Yesterday, marathon session outdoors (until 12:30am), I got it all put back together. Camera set up for "first start" video, and, "Whurl...ticketyticketytickety..." Battery? IT DED. Yep, deader than the dead sea scrolls. Despite having a trickle charger on it. It was so dead that my heavy duty charger wouldn't even register anything. Original battery was a Honda, but without a receipt, no way we could have done anything with the warranty. Plus it was at least five years old, as we bought the Civic used in 2014. Insurance and registration tomorrow, if all goes well.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,501 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
Brand new battery installed today. Also installed the new valve cover bolt grommets (one had split and was leaking previously).

I go to start it up...cranking away at it and nothing. Tried it three times until I realized I had pulled the fuse for the fuel pump so I could purge the fuel lines. Once I replaced the fuse where it belonged, I crossed my fingers...


I primed it a few times prior to starting (you can hear me turning the key a few times), but the other reason it struggled to start was P0340--camshaft position sensor. I'm probably going to replace the sensor anyways, but I am going to carefully check over the wiring harness--I had a squirrel or rat chew through one of the harness connectors to the #4 fuel injector. The engine runs smoothly, but will only rev to 3,500 RPM, and then acts like there is a rev limiter "bumping" it back down. Beyond that, it runs smooth and pulls well. Now I just have to insure it and register the plate so I can drive it legally. ?

The ticking is a crack in the exhaust manifold, a common problem on 7th gen Civics. Only, the catalytic converter is integral to the exhaust manifold, so it's a whole assembly to order. $250-$300, but I may go with a cheaper converter from Rock Auto since it isn't like this is a main vehicle for us (about $130). Someone on the Civic forum I visit had theirs welded, but by the time I could find someone reputable to weld it, and pay them, then hope it held, it's probably easier to just buy a new one.

I have a crap ton of work on the blue '09 and my kiddo's Accord, and you can see the old '97 there in the background. I need to replace the oil pan and free up the alternator. If I can just get it driveable, I'll unload it. It's been a good companion for 22 years, but it's past its sell-by date. ?
 

·
Moderator
'07 CR-V EX-L AWD
Joined
·
3,151 Posts
Oh, man, I sure don't envy you these tasks! My first, and only other, Honda, was a '91 Civic Wagon. I loved that car, but it was a bear to work on, for some things. At about 87k the water pump shelled out, so while I was at it, I put in a new timing belt, etc. The rub came when I was installing the new water pump and didn't realize one of the bolts was longer than the others. I was in too big of a hurry, and that was a mistake! I stripped it. Badly. I had to go buy a small right angle drill, shorten a drill bit, drill it out to the next larger size, and re-tap it. Took almost a week, nights after work, and I lost count of my fits and seizures! Of course, working on cars is like dealing with women. You make a mistake, you learn from it, and you move on, knowing that you won't make that same mistake again. The problem with that reasoning, though, is that the same exact situation never happens again. As Monty Python said, "And now for something completely different!" Aargh!

Luckily, it all worked out, and I drove that car for years, then sold it to a friend who drove it till the wheels fell off, so to speak. I loved that car!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,501 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
So I got the new sensor on Monday, and went to install it Tuesday. I unbolted the old sensor, just happened to glance inside the end of its connector...and one of the pins was bent.

I straightened the pin, remounted the old sensor, fired it up...the code is gone! Lesson for the day? Always look at the pins in the supposedly bad sensors. Given where this sensor is located (it's accessed after removing a boot on its wiring harness, through the upper timing belt cover), I'm not surprised I may have bent one of them when putting the engine back together.

The new catalytic converter/exhaust manifold came in today, and I got that installed in about 90 minutes. Oddly, there is a support bracket from the engine block to the flange on the cat. It came loose and then when I pulled out the old cat, the bracket had a break in it! I mounted it without the bracket and it is supported well, but I still want to get the new bracket. The exhaust "ticking" is now gone, but the thinner metal in the new cat/manifold is not as quiet as the thick Honda original. No error codes, so the cat is doing its job.

I want to replace the front bushings, and I need to get the headliner reglued. Also need to schedule the glass company to come out and replace the windshield, as it cracked vertically. But it's back on the road and running smoother and quieter than it ever has since we bought it five years ago. Another 42 miles and it will turn over 240,000!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,501 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
Given the insane oil usage (about a quart with every tankful of gas), I am going to be pulling the head again to clean the carbon from the pistons (specifically the oil rings), replace the piston rings, and hone the cylinders to remove the glazing. If the oil rings are packed with carbonated oil, that can cause excess oil consumption, as can the cylinder walls being glazed over (the oil has no tiny "grooves" to sit in). Since the engine is buttoned up tight with no leaks whatsoever, the piston rings and cylinder walls are likely the culprit.

The valve seals were all replaced on the rebuilt cylinder head, so those are tight. (Although I could theoretically still replace them again--it isn't that much work, and the seals are not expensive.)

Other than the oil consumption, the engine still runs very smoothly. We usually can't even feel it running inside the car!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,501 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
I replaced my first fill of oil since I'd put a lot of Seafoam in it. The oil wasn't a dirty brown, but a dirty grey. The second fill, I put in a little Marvel Mystery Oil, and I'm still seeing dark grey in the oil. I'm wondering if that's the carbon freeing up from the pistons. I already have tools and the piston rings ready to go (and a new head gasket) but then I'm wondering if I will need to do that. It is still using oil but I think the oil usage has decreased. And I don't think I'm seeing clouds of oil behind it anymore either. If that carbon is breaking up on its own and oil usage getting closer to normal (vs. a quart per tankful of gas, which is where it started out), maybe I won't need to open it up again after all. I may get into it in August or September after we've driven it a few more tankfuls to see what happens.
 
1 - 12 of 12 Posts
Top