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Old 04-15-05, 10:18 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Head Gasket D.I.Y.

I'm starting this thread for anyone who has enough GUTZ to attempt a Head Gasket Replacement. I'll give the reasons and also tips and tricks I used while doing mine. Hopefully anyone having any of the problems I experienced will be able to determine if they need to do this or have it done.

"This will be a work in Progress because it is such an intense repair so bare with me as I have little time each day to post."

I'll start by giving the symptoms that led to this major repair

1. Temperature gauge going all the way to hot, then suddenly dropping back to normal. "Every day"

2. Engine idles irratically;up&down;fast then slow; during cold starts. Especially in the morning.

3. No Heat. Then heat only after symptom #1.

4. Traces of coolant in the engine bay. Mainly on top of the radiator fan cover.


I went to the Acura dealer and here is how they beat me over the head, stole my check book, then had me begging to do it all over again.

1. They told me to bleed the air out of my coolant system. Did this 10 times with no improvement.

2. Suggested I get a new radiator. I replaced it myself and after 4 hours of work(because I had no garage at the time), it happened all over again. Basically I threw away a perfectly good radiator.

3. Told me it was a water pump problem so I had them do the timing belt and water pump which cost over $800.00. A day after I drove off .....it started all over again.

4. A month later coolant leaked right into the passenger floor. Had the stealer I mean dealer change out my heater core. Can't remember but it was 500 or more $$$. What tha F.......! Drove off Tuesday and behold back there on Wednesday Temp Gauge up and down, idle crazy, and sure to happen again if I don't find the real problem, a busted heater core.

5. After I took it back complaining like h*ll. The manager was nice enough to offer me $1000.00 off of the head gasket job which he originally quoted for $3000.00+ . I'm like O.K. who is the genius certified mechanic who diagnosed my problem the 1st time I came in? Which mechanic in these 20 pictures on the wall here do I have to thank for wasting my money and time? I grabbed my keys, ran over the manager, dumped a quart of anti freeze on the mechanic, and did a Michael Knight right through the garage door!!!! No seriously I told him he was CRAZY and left never to return to that place again!!!

Now to the D.I.Y.........Took a lot of tools and Balz to do it but my Legend is one fast azz new gasket having Beauty right now. Also did water pump so I'll post instructions 4 that as well. Here we go.......

NOTE: DO AT YOUR OWN RISK. I AM NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR ANY DAMAGE YOU DO TO YOUR VEHICAL AS A RESULT OF THIS REPAIR. THIS D.I.Y. IS ONLY TO BE USED AS A REFERENCE GUIDE IN CONJUNCTION WITH YOUR OWN EXTENSIVE RESEARCH AND MECHANICAL ABILITIES FOR THIS JOB. ALSO IF I POST A LINK FOR PARTS REFERENCE I AM NOT PROMOTING THAT COMPANY. I'M JUST GIVING A POINT OF REFERENCE. SHOP AROUND FOR YOUR BEST PRICE PLEASE!

All that being said if you have a garage, a good assortment of tools, a lot of patience, and some good mechanical skills, you should be able to complete this job with no problems. Just take your time, pay attention to what you are doing, and do it right the first time. Aprox time to complete for a 1st timer. 48 -72 hours. If it takes you longer don't worry, you can't rush perfection. That ACURA LEGEND is a work of art so take your time........

Latest quote I got for this job was $1700.00. It end up costing me about $1000.00. Oh and I get to keep all the x-tra tools I bought I made a stupid mistake that cost me $200.00 but I'll talk about that later. Would have been $800.00.

Must have tool set:

1. AIR-TOOLS
a) IMPACT WRENCH
b) AIR WRATCHET
c) AIR HAMMER (FOR RUSTED EXHAUST BOLTS YOU NEED TO BUST)
d) METRIC IMPACT SOCKET SET
e) IMPACT SOCKET ADAPTER SET FOR ALL SIZE WRENCH TO SOCKET SIZES
f) IMPACT UNIVERSAL JOINT ADAPTER (FOR HARD TO REACH BOLT ANGLES)
g) AIR DRILL (ANY DRILL WILL DO THOUGH)

2. SPECIALY TOOLS
a) CRANKSHAFT PULLEY (HARMONIC BALANCER) HOLDER TOOL( If doing water pump and/or timing belt)
b) TORQUE WRENCH
c) 1/2" SOCKET SIZE BREAKER BAR
d) LONG IRON PIPE TO FIT OVER BREAKER BAR AND 1/2 INCH WRATCHET FOR XTRA LEVERAGE. (FOR CRANKSHAFT PULLEY BOLT)
e) A GOOD SHOP LIGHT.
f) ABRASIVE PADS FOR DRILL. (FOR REMOVING STUCK ON GASKET MATERIAL.
g) DREMEL TOOL WITH FLEXIBLE SHAFT (get wire brush set for cleaning. Polishing set optional.)
h) ZIP LOCK BAGS AND A BLACK SHARPIE MARKER ( ORGANIZATION OF NUTS AND BOLTS IS A MUST)
i) Chilton and or ACURA service manual. I have both.
j) Masking tape for labels.
k) Plastic BINS for larger parts.
l) Wratchet style oil filter wrench tool.
m) Magnetic Antenna screw getter thing. A MUST! drop a screw or socket down that engine compartment without it and you'll be sorry.

3. BASIC TOOLS
a) Good metric socket set with all size extensions and adpaters.
1. Most used sockets for this job from most to least are 10mm - 12mm - 14mm.
b) 1/4 ; 3/8 ; 1/2 wratchets.
c) FLOOR JACK AND JACK STANDS! DO NOT GET UNDER YOUR CAR WITHOUT JACK STANDS. (I STRESS USE THE STANDS AND PROP THE JACK ON SOMETHING UNDER THERE...JUST TO BE SAFE.)
d) Needle nose and basic pliers.
e) Standard and phillips head screw drivers.
f) A good metric wrench set. I had flared end and s shaped hard to reach wrench sets.

CHEMICALS and CLEANING:

a) WD40
b) Carb cleaner
c) easy off oven cleaner
d) Simple Green
e) SOS pads
f) Household Wire Brush


ENGINE BEFORE WORK BEGAN "What a dirty mess"


I'm going to say this one time only. As soon as you Take off your bolts, screws, brackets, etc.. , place them immediately into labeled zip locks or plastic bins and store them neatly. You will thank me later.. Hit up the dollar store and get a bunch of stuff to store your parts. Work smarter not harder.

I. Disconnect the battery terminals.

1. Check your ceiling height in your garage. Your going to need to stand the hood straight up and out of the way. This includes the x-tra height you will need to jack the car. Give yourself at least 8ft or more. If you don't have this headroom you will need to remove the hood completely. This will also save your back.

2. Remove the 4 10mm bolts that hold the hood supports to the hood, not the body. 2 on each side located about 1/2 way up the hood. Lay the supports down and prop the hood straight up using rope or some other clever support. Run the rope through the hood latch bracket for safety and attach the ends to something in your garage. I used the garage door guide assembly to attach it to. Be creative with your lighting you need plenty of room and focused lighting to see down in there. A hanging shop light hooked on string that you can slide from side to side would be perfect. That's what I did.

3. Jack the car up enough so you can get underneath where the exhaust manifolds attach to the y pipe. One on each side. Use jack stands so the front of the car is up in the air. (PLEASE USE YOUR EMERGENCY BRAKE AND STICK SOMETHING UNDER THE REAR TIRE(S) TO PREVENT ROLLING. DON'T BE STUPID!)

4. Now that you have plenty of room to work under the car. Remove the plastic shield under the radiator. 10mm bolts. There are a lot of them so find them all. Plastic anchors in there as well. Get them out of there so you'll have complete access to the radiator. Drain the oil and coolant. Remove the oil filter after draining and replace with new. If you don't know how to do this please stop here because it doesn't get any easier. Screw the oil plug back into the engine because you won't need to remove it again. Tighten but don't over do it.

5. Since your working under there grab your impact wrench, a 12mm impact socket, impact extension, and universal impact joint. Spray the exhaust bolts coming from the head pipes with WD40. let em sit for a min or 2 then impact them off of there. Make sure you seat the socket on the bolts clean so you don't strip them. You'll see why you needed that universal joint here. If you strip them or can not get them off, use an air hammer with chissel attachment to fracture the bolts "NOT THE SCREWS DO NOT DAMAGE THEM YOU HAVE TO PUT NUTZ BACK ON THEM" You may want to try a nut breaker tool if you are not comfortable working with an air chissle. Choose your weapon wisely.



6. (If your not changing the timing belt or water pump you will not have to remove the radiator. Skip this part.) Last thing under the car to do is remove the bottom coolant hose to radiator as well as transmission coolant lines to radiator. Grab your pliers for those clamps and a screwdriver to work the transmission hoses loose from the radiator. The've been on there a while so they will be stubborn. Wear some gloves to prevent slips that slice your hands up. Same thing for coolant hose just use a socket for the clamp screw. Can't remember the size. Maybe 8mm??? Can't recall.

7. Back to the top of the car. Remove the stabalizer bar and upper radiator hose completely.

8. Remove the plastic fuel rail covers 10mm.

9. Take a 17mm socket or wrench and a shop towel, wrap the towel around the fuel line to catch fuel, then loosen and remove the fuel line bolt and washer. Move hose out of the way towards windshield in towel. NO SMOKING PLEASE.

10. Disconnect all 6 ignition coils from wiring harness(Press Tab till you hear a click then pull) and unbolt them. Remove and take care in storing them. I even put them in order as to return to original locations. If you think you will not remember, now would be a good time to start labeling your harness with tape and markers( I didn't do this for this step but use your own judgement).

11. Remove the 4 nuts that hold the fuel rails down 2 on each side. 10mm.

12. Move on to removing the battery and mounting plate. The horn is connected to this plate so unbolt it as well but leave it connected to the harness.

13. Open the fuse box and unbolt the 2 power lines that connect with 10mm/phillip head screws. Unbolt the fuse box from the car frame. Push it towards where the battery was. It still has the wiring harness connected to it so leave it be. You just need to move it to get the left valve cover off.

14. TAKE THAT STUPID AIR FILTER ASSEMBLY FROM THROTTLE BODY TO FENDER OFF THE CAR AND THROW IT IN THE F'N TRASH! LOOKS LIKE SOMETHING YOU CONNECT TO YOUR TOILET! TAKE THE MONEY YOUR SAVING ON THIS JOB AND BUY AN AFTERMARKET INTAKE. I GOT A RM RACING INTAKE FOR $190.00. SEARCH THE WEB AND FIND ONE THAT'S RIGHT FOR YOU. I HAVE A TYPE II WITH TCS. YOU MAY HAVE A DIFFERENT SET UP. READ MAN, GET TO KNOW YOUR RIDE'S SPECS BEFORE ORDERING ANYTHING. O.K. SAVE THE THING TILL YOUR DONE JUST IN CASE YOU NEED IT FOR CLAMPS AND STUFF. OR JUST NEED SOMEWHERE TO THROW YOUR BEER TOPS. IF YOU HAVE A LEAKING GUTTER SPOUT, STICK THAT THING UP THERE, IT'LL PROBABLY WORK.

15. Remove the throttle and cruise control cable cover. Remove the cables from the bracket. They slide right out once you take the tension off them. Figure it out. Remove the 3 10mm bolts that hold the bracket. The bolt underneath is hard to get to. Not sure if that one is 10mm or not. I didn't take that 3rd bolt out until I lifted the intake manifold. I bent the bracket a little so don't do what I did.

16. Now comes the hard tedious part. Starting from the 4 major electric connections on the passenger side close to the windshield, remove all the main wiring harness connectors. Do this all the way to the drivers side. You do not have to disconnect the fuel injectors. What we are trying to do here is move the main wire harness out of the way of the engine. There are plenty of screws and connections. Be careful and do a good thourough job. Do not damage any connectors take your time and look around. You will find them all. AAgain the idea here is not to take it completely out of the car but to move it out of our way. There is a ground connection attached to the right side valve cover. Now is a good time to label a bag valve cover and put that nut in there. It's a 10mm. CAUTION: The fuel injectors pull right out of their ports easily. There are rubber seals on top of hard plastic seals. Do not lose those plastic seals. The rubber ones come in the head gasket set to replace but the plastic ones do not. Remove them individually and put them away. Do not bang the injectors around. Be very carefull when repositioning them for anything!!!!! Here is a pic.


17. Once you get that harness out of the way now comes more tedious work. Start by removing the two 10mm bolts that hold the metal vacuum tube rail and breather hose to intake manifold. It's on the right(passenger) side of the engine. They are bolted to the valve cover. Disconnect all the vacuum hoses (pliers and flat blade screwdriver a must. They are stubborn. Put some gloves on.) from these rails at the front and rear of engine. The idea here is to free up the intake manifold for removal. (LABEL THEM) Take the two coolant hoses going into the heater core off as well(pic below). I'm talking about everything connected to that intake back there. Look around for em. I like to leave my clamps on my hoses. The ones in the front are easier to get off cause they are clearly visible. Once you have all the vacuum hoses disconnected remove the metal vacum rail completely and the breather tube. Store them somewhere safe.


Continued below .. Ran out of space in this thread.

Last edited by The_Iceman; 04-18-05 at 10:25 PM.
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Old 04-15-05, 11:38 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Rob, Thanks for the heads up dog. I did the job already and am posting this as a DIY. It definitely was a head gasket problem. I have a ton of pics so I feel inclined to post for my fellow Legend owners. Check back frequently as I will be adding as much as possible.
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Old 04-15-05, 12:50 PM   #3 (permalink)
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yeah I hope I can get it all in here cause it's a constitution sized document!
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Old 04-15-05, 01:15 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Yeah i'll keep posting and hopefully someone will lend a helping hand. We'll see how it goes. If i makes any difference I am a Certified web master
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Old 04-15-05, 11:19 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Yeah I have a pic of that BHG too. I'll post in a little while. Keep checking back. Yeah if your not having problems with your heat you may be in luck. I hope you don't have to do this job but honestly....It brought my baby back to life
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Old 04-16-05, 12:55 AM   #6 (permalink)
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I ran out of space so I'll continue here. I think I'm going to have to build a web page for this..... Anyway.....

18. This is the part that is going to piss you off. You need to unbolt the EGR tube at the manifold. Don't try to do it at the egr side. No room to work off those rusted bolts. I was able to get a 3/8" air wratchet down in there and with some bullying I got the 10mm socket on there and worked the nuts off. Be creative here cause it's a tight work area. If that's not enough you need to disconnect the brackets that hold the wiring harness clips to the back of the manifold and left valve cover. The hardest bolt to get to is the one sitting behind the Trans dip stick tube. What a pain in the azz to get off. Notice how I bent the dip stick tube bracket out of the way to get in there. Have fun. I'll post a pic of this area. It's easier if I show you. Bottom line for this section is to get everything off that intake manifold. It's almost time to pull it off. Here is an open view after removal that shows all the disco points back there.





19. At this point you should be ready to remove the intake manifold. Double check all your hoses and wires are disco'd. I think we're looking at 12mm bolts here. Remove all bolts and nutz at points in pics below. I think I got them all there but use your eyes on your own car. Once you have them all out use a screw driver or pry bar and begin to seperate it from the heads. Make sure you are not prying on anything mating surfaces or things that can break. Just take your time and go around the thing like a can opener. It will loosen and you should be able to pull it of by hand.




20. Once you have the intake off you should be looking like the pic below. This has got to be one of my favorite pics. Look at that clogged EGR tube!!!!(I exploded the pic of it in top left corner) Wonder what problems that has been causing????? Can't be good. Also those intake ports are worse than my bbq grill from last year. This is another reason to have this job done. I can just see the wasted power that was happening in here.




CAUTION: Here is where I wasted $250.00. See those 2 knock sensors? Use a wrench and carefully take them out immediately. Do not slip and hit the plastic piece. These items are $140.00 each. If you break them you bought em'!!!! I was so stupid and anxious to get those heads off that I left them on while removing the heads and cracked them both. What makes it so bad is I used to work for a research company that built these things and I used to make 100's of em. I should have known better but now you will. I took one on the chin for my fellow LEGEND owners.

21. Now we are going to set the #1 piston to TDC and then remove the cam sprocket covers. Remove the spark plugs(Now's a good time to do a tune up. Buy some new plugs. I got the NGK IX Iridiums. They seem to have a lot of a$$). If you are doing the timing belt and/or water pump, you should already have the crankshaft tool. http://www.thetoolwarehouse.net/shop/SP-60100.html . We're going to use this to rotate the crankshaft. If you don't have this you can however use a 19 or 17mm(can't recall) socket directly on the crank bolt. Either way you will need to remove the shield thing(I don't know it's name) that is sitting directly in front of the crank pulley that is preventing you from getting your breaker bar down there. Of course you will need to move the wiring harness back over the engine. It's in your way now.

22. Now that you have your breaker bar connected to the crank pulley(Harmonic Balancer) WHATEVER, now comes my Macguyver trick to getting that #1 piston TDC without a compression tester or looking for those hard to see TDC marks on the pulley. Take a long metal rod that is skinny enough to fit down in the spark plug hole and long enough to petrude out at least above the valve cover and carefully slide it down into the #1 plug cavity. Rotate the crank shaft slowly clockwise and watch the pole go up then down. Of course when the pole rises to it's highest point, stops, then begins to go down:::STOP::: you are at TDC!!!! Get it as close to the mid point as possible. Go counterclockwise,clockwise till you get it right before the drop. If you didn't know already, the rod is sitting right on top of the piston It's a wrap. Move on.

23. Move your wiring harness/injectors back off the engine. Remove the cam sprocket covers. All 10mm. Loosen the timing belt tension bolt 1/4 turn counter clockwise. Use your hand and push down on the right side(passenger side(last time I'll clarify)) upper timing belt. This will release the tension and allow you to slip the belt off the cam sprockets. It should slip off pretty easy so if it's still tight, you didn't do it right. Try loosening the tension bolt a little more but don't take it out. You'll get it.


24. You will now need your impact wrench to remove the cam sprockets 12mm. Please be carefull not to have the wrench set to tighten(CLOCKWISE) cause you will F'up your head(check it a couple times please). You can use hand tools but it's much easier to use the impact because the cams want to turn with your force. I got these bolts out in less than a minute, both sides. AND WE ARE NOT USING IMACT WRENCHES TO PUT BOLTS BACK ON EVER!!!! Pull them(cam sprockets) off and once off you will want to store them with the bolts still in the holes as not to mix them up.

25. Unbolt the crank/cyl sensor from the left cam shield. 3 bolts in pic. Notice the black sludge thats on there. It's hardened and I'm not sure what that is. Anyone???? I'll just blame that sh*t on the dealer. I just left it be. Causing no harm. Pull the shields a little towards you holding at the top. Just wiggle them off. You'll hear the rubber seals seperate and they come off pretty easy. You'll be replacing those seals during reassembly.


25a. Let's talk about timing for a second. I marked my belt and sprockets b4 I took them off just in case. However all timing marks for the cams are on the sprockets and shields. I just lined them up as best as possible during reassembly. Notice in the pic where my left timing sprocket was off. I'll PIN this one on the dealer as well. MF'as... I guess now I know why my car had lost some power I'm no certified mechanic but that sh*t does not look right to me.


Larger PIC http://blacksmithllc.com/acura/timinglarge.jpg

25b. I forgot to include removing the alternator and steering pump brackets. I'll put this in later. I have to get some good pics for this part.

26. Now comes the fun part, removing the heads. If you want to remove the rockers and cams go ahead. It's strictly preference.(reference the bolt sequence below) I left them on until after the heads were off. FYI: Bolts are 10mm and 12mm.

HEADS: Let's start by breaking out your breaker bar and a deep 14mm impact socket(i'll post a pic of the perfect setup). Your going to have to break these bolts free a little bit at a time in sequence as not to warp your heads. Better safe than sorry at this point. If you have everything out of the way you should be able to get that bar and socket to every bolt on the head(8 per side). SQUARELY place the socket on each bolt and put some azz in to it and break those bolts free(counterclockwise please). If you haven't been working out get someone who has been to break em' free. I don't recommend extending this with a leverage bar for control reasons. You don't want to be off center with your socket on these bolts. When you feel each bolt move a little stop and move on to the next one until all are starting to turn. At this point loosen them a little more in sequence until tension is minimal. Once loose a little you may want to switch to a 1/2" ratchet to get them all the way out. Air wratchet is fine.

THESE PICS ARE THE TIGHTENING SEQUENCE SO DO IT BACKWARDS FOR LOOSENING. HEADS 8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1..ETC.... ROCKERS 22-21-20-19..ETC..



27. Now once you have all the head bolts out you are going to have to pry the head loose. DO not put any pry tools on the head mating surfaces. again <----... Crack it open slowly until it starts to seperate. Find those points where you can cause no damage to the heads and block and make it happen. It takes a little working but they will seperate. Once you have them seperated you have to lift them off(coolant should pour out a little). Now since we left the exhaust manifold on it's going to be heavy. I would suggest getting help. I pulled them out by myself. That's just me though Be careful not to bang things up too much on the way out. ESPECIALLY THE OXYGEN SENSORS. Pay close attention to them and you will not break them. They are just as bad as the knock sensors as far as cost. Luckily I didn't break mine so neither should you. Put the heads on some cardboard or newspaper as they are filthy. Oh again don't lay them on the oxygen sensors.

BLOCK AFTER HEAD REMOVAL


27a. Here is the problem with the head gasket. Notice the deterioration in the gasket that was allowing the air from the cylinder to get into the coolant. Look closely and you'll see the ring seperated from the rest of the gasket. If the compression is leaking I was definitely losing power. Now based on my story above it should all be making sense now. Could this be you as well. I remember someone else having the same problem with cyl #3. It's great when you can see your problem and be on your way to fixing it. When I saw this my confidence level went up and rang the bell. I can fix this. Also are a few more pics of the heads right after I took them off the block.






28. Hit bolts for exhaust with WD40 prior to removal. If you haven't already remove exhaust manifold shields( 2 Bolts on each 12mm) Then remove the exhaust manifolds at the head. Set them to the side.

29. You should now be able to sit the heads down flat and begin removing the cams and rockers if you haven't already. Just be sure to follow the sequence in the pic I provided earlier to prevent warpage. Be very carefull with this stuff as this is your valve lifeline. Store the cams and rockers safely away. Remove all the brackets and hoses because now you are preping the heads for delivery to your local machine shop.



30. Ok so you have the heads off and have some time to kill while your heads are being worked on. Well actually you don't. Now is a good time to replace your timing belt and water pump. First thing you have to do is remove that hard as h*ll to get off harmonic balancer(HB). You should have the radiator out already. In order to get the tools on the HB your going to have to remove the front engine mounts and bracket. You'll also have to place a floor jack under the engine and lift it up a little to clear the car frame. Be sure to place a wooden block between your jack and the engine. We don't want to damage that beatiful engine! Picture below.



31. Your going to need the holding tool coneected to a 1/2 inch wratchet with a long black iron pipe over the wratchet for leverage. Grab your breaker bar with the appropriate size impact socket and iron pipe to extend this as as well. Safety is a must during this procedure so grab some help. What I did was place a cardboard box on the passenger side quarter panel, put the holding tool on with wratchet and had my help hold the bar steady as I used the breaker bar to break that bolt free. Why a cardboard box you say? Well I didn't want to fight with my help I only needed control of the force. So as I was pushing counter clockwise with my breaker bar the other pipe moved until it was smashed into the box where it could move no further. This prevented any damage to my quarter panel as this was the solid surface I needed to prevent the shaft from turning. This way all the force I was putting on the bolt was being applied to the bolt and not my help. I heared a big snap! and the bolt was loose. Just be carefull here because you don't want to slip and get hurt using all that force. I think it's 175ft pounds tightened. Make sure your sockets and tools are straight and flush before laying into it. I went out a bought a heavy duty impact wrench but never ended up using it so I'm not sure if this will get it off or not. If anyone else has success with this let us know. I took it back to the store for a refund.

Last edited by The_Iceman; 05-01-05 at 09:07 AM.
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Old 04-16-05, 01:33 AM   #7 (permalink)
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In the pic above I see the Knock sensors installed and the heads removed. That is an expensive no-no. Always remove the knock sensors right after removing the intake. The knock sensors break very easy and cost $130 ea. They are very easy to remove.
I broke one of mine when I did my HG's. Learn from my mistake.....
Thanks for taking the time to make the BHG DIY. Good job.
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Old 04-16-05, 03:02 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Yeah man I learned the hard way too! I'm going to mention that in the D.I.Y. I made reference to it in the intro. It cost me $230.00 to replace both of them. I was mad as H*ll! What a dumb azz. Thanks for the feedback!!!! It's going to take me a few days to finish this thread. I'm going to save my fellow Legend owners tons of headaches with this thread. LEARN FROM OTHER PEOPLES MISTAKES. YA KNOW!

Last edited by The_Iceman; 04-16-05 at 03:21 AM.
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Old 04-16-05, 11:13 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeD
Yes I know this problem when the needed space is sometimes too small. But I can help you, presupposed you want it. After you have finished your thread I can merge all posts in numerical sequence into one and move it into the DIY forum where such a great works belong. That's no problem.

Excellent work, 'Iceman', esp your great pics !!! You can't believe how we love pics. The more the better it is -Mike

BTW: You don't need to build a new homepage. Many members have enough free hosting space. I have it too. I'd love to host your pics !!!

Thanks Mike! Once I finish the thread with all the pics I'll let you know and you can hook it up in the D.I.Y. That would be hot Thanks for the props on this thread...............
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Old 04-28-05, 07:18 AM   #10 (permalink)
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I should be done with this DIY by Sunday. I've been busy with other stuff. I love ACURA's but I do have a social life
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Old 05-02-05, 07:52 AM   #11 (permalink)
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What's going on fella's? Well I missed my weekend deadline for finishing this thread. Was working on this yesterday and my pc was running really slow so I did a defrag that took all day to run. I won't be setting any more finish dates that's for sure. I'll just keep posting what I can until it's complete. Shouldn't take more than a few days tops. Thanks everyone for taking the time to read this. You all are keeping mE amped to finish it. I tell you when I was searching for a d.i.y. for this a while ago, I came up empty which is why when I decided to do mine, I had to document it. Well got to go to work Later.

ICEMAN

Last edited by The_Iceman; 05-03-05 at 07:46 AM.
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Old 05-03-05, 08:13 PM   #12 (permalink)
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32. Once you have removed the HB remove the timing belt cover. All 10mm bolts. Keep them in order as they are different sizes. You now have full access to the timing belt and water pump. Unfortunately it was a saturday morning and I was in a rush to finish this part so I didn't grab the camera during this replacement. I did take a picture of the old water pump/SHOULDER CANON. This thing has a lot of 10mm bolts so undo them all keep them in order and remove the water pump. Make for certain that you clean the old gasket material from the block before you put the new one on. I used the dremel tool with a small wire brush connected. Take your time and get all the old RTV sealant off there. If you don't have a smooth clean surface, you will have leaks and this is a pain to get to so do it right the 1st time please! Once all the material is removed, use a shop towel and ACETONE to clean the surface of debris and oil. Now your ready to put the new pump on. Don't forget to replace the rubber gasket on the pump side as well. Now I used High Temp RTV sealant when I replaced. This may have been over kill but there are no leaks right now so I guess I made a good decision. Look in the book for the torque specs on tightening this down. Do not OVERTIGHTEN! You break a bolt in that block and you'll be sorry.



33. I took the picture out of the service manual for how the timing belt is to be routed around all it's components. Please be sure you do this correctly. I wish I had taken a picture before I put the cover back on. This is the easiest part of this repair so I would just replace these parts if your on the fence about it. My belt was still in good condition so I didn't have to buy a new one. Be mindful when putting the plastic cover back on as there are guides on the cover as well. Just look at it and it will make sense. No biggy here. Now when you put the HB back on just do the opposite with the leverage setup mentioned earlier. Check the manual for the torque settings. You have to really lay into this so be just as careful as when you were taking it off.



34. Since we are in a cleaning mood let's go ahead and clean up the block. I used a combination of DREMEL tools and abrasive pads that went into my electric drill. You may see some small pits on the block surface, these cause no harm. Just clean all traces of the old gasket off the block. Be carefull not to over do it with an abrasive pad that is too course. You do not want to make the surface uneven. Use the dremel tool with wire brush to clean the thin cylinder ring surface. Here are some pics of my block after I cleaned it. It's the best I could do. I took my time and got it all off there. Hit it with some ACETONE to get the oil off there. You can also remove the oil orifces. I didn't and found out I could have later. I even sanded them a little. I guess they were in good shape because I am having no problems but replace them as indicated in the service manual. They have threads in the center hole that you can put a screw in, then pull them out. There are new o rings in the gasket set for this.



Here are some pics before and after my garage mechanic valve job. You may probably think I was crazy to do this myself but take a look at the before and after pics. Without a machine shop that's one h*ll of an improvement. Like I said I don't recommend this but hey I'm having no problems to date. Car is running like a dream. A few swirl surface marks on the right hand side of the head created by my drill pad, but they are not scratched or scored. Notice the condition of the valves in the after pic. I used some chemicals from auto zone to soak them in. The rest is basic easy off oven cleaner, simple green, and carb cleaner. Not bad huh?




------------------------------------------------------------------------
HEAD REINSTALLATION

35. Grab your can of acetone and a shop towel. Clean the block and head mating surfaces thoroughly. Now when your putting the new gaskets on, make sure you identify the right head gasket and the left head gasket. The right side has an "R" in the lower left corner. Position them carefully on the block and over the pin dowels. Now this is the hard part. Grab the head with the exhaust manifold attached and re-mount each side. Do this very carefully as to not cause the gasket to move out of its correct position. It's good to have help when putting the heads back on. They are heavy and precision is a must. Once you have the pin dowels lined up, the heads will slide down flush. Just wiggle them down alternating from corner to corner until there are no gaps. The exhaust may or may not line up but not to worry, the Y pipe moves so you can connect them once under the car later. Again let's ensure that you have the new gaskets on the correct side and not upside down. Triple check before mounting the heads.



36. Coat the bolts with engine oil prior to installation. Using the tightening sequence described earlier, begin to tighten the head bolts. DO NOT TORQUE THEM TO SPEC JUST YET. Turn each bolt in sequence until they start to get a little tight. I stepped my torque wrench up a little at a time ie: 20 - 40 - 50 - 56 foot pounds. Do the same for both the left and right heads and the hard part is complete.

37. Coat the cams with a little engine oil prior to reinatallation. Reinstall your cams and rocker arms. Before you clamp everything down be sure to attach the cam gears to the shaft (but don't bolt on) and line up the timing marks. If you miss this you can do it later but it's better to do it now because they are hard to turn once bolted down. There are new seals in the gasket set for the cam shafts. You need to use new plug seals on the rear shaft and apply RTV to the points noted in the manuals. Read the book for exact locations. Follow the sequence from before and be careful not to over torque the bolts. I broke one because I read the setting wrong on the 6mm bolt. I had to special order 1 bolt which took 1 week. I was HOT Mad down time! JUST FYI THE (6MM BOLTS ARE 9FOOT POUNDS) AND THE (8MM BOLTS ARE 16 FOOT POUNDS).

38. Once you have both cams and rockers assembled and torqued down, mount the cam sprockets and torque to spec. They will rotate a little during torque but will bounce back into place without turning out of TDC position. At this point you should finish the timing belt install around the left sprocket first then the right last. It's a little tricky but if you have the tensioner bolt loose enough you can get it on there. Work it and it will go. Once you have it on completely, tighten the timing belt tension belt to spec and use the HB pulley tool to rotate the crankshaft around a few times. this will ensure that it is on good and that you have threaded it correctly. Inspect thourougly. I had to loosen and tightne my tensioner bolt a few times to get satisfactory tension on the belt. Push on the same part of the belt you used to release the tension to test for snugness!!!

39. Now you can reinstall the cam shields and covers. Use new gaskets where needed. Here is the extremely important part, Reinstalling the Valve Covers. First put new O rings on the spark plug cavities. Next grab te new gaskets for the covers and apply a few beads of RTV to hold them in place in the covers. i did this holding the covers up side down. the left side is pretty easy because you have more room to position it correctly. Just ensure that the gasket is flush and not out of place ANYWHERE. The right side however, you have to get it under the A\C line. Be very carefull about putting this one on right. It's a beast. If you do not have these things sealed properly you will end up with oil all over the ground about 1 minute after you start the car. I lost all of my synthetic oil when I first started my car because I did not pay close enough attention to this seal $$$$\quart. It was a mess so learn from me and quadruple check it, no matter how long it takes. Once I fixed the seal it took days before all the excess oil burned away so I wasn't sure if I had a good seal or not. I had to remove a lot of brackets and hoses just to correct my mistake. Torque the bolts down but not too tight as to buckle the gaskets. Make sure you connect your ground cable to the right cover on the lower right bolt.

NOTE: Now that I look back on it I would RTV the gasket at small points around the valve cover(NOT ON THE HEAD MATING SIDE THOUGH, ONLY THE GASKET TO COVER SIDE) and let it dry prior to installing. DO this the day before you need to install them. This should hold the gasket in place and allow you to maneuver the cover into position without worry. Dont pile the RTV on either... use a little class......refine yourself.

Last edited by The_Iceman; 06-07-05 at 11:53 PM.
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Old 05-15-05, 11:59 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Did you ever get pics of the gasket and reinstall? Did you use that gasket sealant crap or just the gasket between the head and block?
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Old 05-15-05, 12:03 PM   #14 (permalink)
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wow that is amaizing...

if you have larger versions of the pictures you used, and need somebody to host them (some of the pics are small) I will be more than happy to.
 
Old 05-19-05, 09:34 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Why hasn't this been stickied or moved to the DIY section?
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