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I have owned several brands of cars. I recently purchased a Legend 262k miles, fresh headgasket, tbelt, water pump etc....

I knew these cars were bad on head gaskets from just driving around. See a legend, watch it accelerate, white or blue smoke, probably a bhg.

Why do they fail so often? and they usually fail in the same spot.

I owned a 96 Eclipse non turbo. The block was iron and the head was aluminum. Two different expansion and contraction rates between the two metals. So the head and block would rub the paper gasket and eventually it would blow. But it would always blow on the back side of the motor on the corner. Well after years a technician finally found that the head bolt hole on that corner was a few 100ths of an inch off from the others. Basically the head bolt when torqued down would bottom out and not be as tight as it should. Mitsubishi and chrysler fixed the bhg problem by switching to a mutli-layer gasket.

So what type of gasket is the OEM legend gasket? And are the block and head different metals?

Also chrysler as the coolant that has some sealer stuff in it. Basically it reacts with air and seals leaks. Anybody tried this on a legend?
 

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they fail because our cars are older now with the youngest legends being around 13-14 yrs old. so sooner or later, regardless, im pretty sure HG's on any car dont last forever and ever. they can last a long time with proper maintenance for sure but im sure alot are failing now because our cars are older now adays. probably in like 1997-1998 there wasnt any mass extinction of legend HG's like how there is now...feel me?? thats my philosophy haha.
 

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i believe that they are both aluminum. I used off brand head gaskets and they sucked one was defective and I replaced it with a felpro and the other one I am doing next week. so this sucks.
 

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i believe that they are both aluminum. I used off brand head gaskets and they sucked one was defective and I replaced it with a felpro and the other one I am doing next week. so this sucks.
i heard felpro is good but OEM would be best from what i read. when i had my BHG i bought OEM HG's and a cheap full gasket kit off ebay and about 20,000 miles later my needle hasnt moved at all. good luck with that tho man....it'll all be worth it when u drive ur legend for the first time after its fixed.
 

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that and it dont help usen the kickdown botton at the bottom of the gas pedal :) no but seriously time and heat takes its toll on all things
 

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no but seriously time and heat takes its toll on all things
exactly due to heat in the back (firewall side) of our engines causes #6 to fail. i have 150k on my coupe and just had to do a head gasket 2k miles ago.
 

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Matthew is THE USER!
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lets just say... honda and acura just dont care.

lets not even look at the HG's.

but

rear quarter panel rusting.. common.. they KNOW that its a problem.. but they dont do anything...
 

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LS92Sedan- I agree with everything you mention, but can you clarify this statement?
"BLEEED the system regularly, as in every oil change or every other oil change"
I do not see the need to bleed the system at every oil change? The cooling system is a closed system unless you have a way for air to get into it. If that is the case, then you already have a problem I would assume-
 

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um, I am amazed at some of these responses. First of all, the heat is not the sole reason in bhg's with our cars. #1 VIBRATION, the C32 doesnt use a balancer like the C35 does, basically the C32 was the founding technology for the C35, what worked on the C32 stayed and what failed on the C32 was either replaced or modded to work better on the C35. #2, the expansion and heat acting on 2 different metals at the mating surface, heads are aluminum and they tend to warp very easily when they are overheated, the other metals dont react as quickly to heat and do not expand or contort under heat as quickly and easily as aluminum does. #3, the OEM HG design isnt all that great to begin with, some aftermarket gaskets seem to be of the same cheap quality and design, the only way to get greater longevity out of our HG's is to see about having a MLS gasket made for it. #4 and Last, alot of people that owned these cars before we owned them had zero knowledge of our cooling system and how picky it was/is. Im sure along the way hoses were replaced, t-stats, radiators etc, and most time people try to save $ and replace with aftermarket parts, most of these aftermarket parts arent of the same quality and fitment as OEM. That being said, a hose that doesnt fit right, a rad cap not sealing properly, a radiator with an obstruction in it, etc will cause some sort of fault in the cooling system and reduce its efficiency. My best advice, dont cheap out on the cooling system, OEM or better replacements, and constantly check your coolant levels and for christ sake BLEEED the system regularly, as in every oil change or every other oil change. My last point, I see some of you guys are newer, and Im not trying to be mean, but we have covered this subject many times, by just doing a simple search for "headgasket" you would have seen this.......The Acura Legend & Acura RL Forum - Search Results. It def ok to ask questions, but please try and search, there is all this information out there, and then if you dont understand or cant find what you need, then please ask, but PLEASE search!
i knew that was coming....the long explanation. so mainly time and a little bit of neglect over time causes it. period
 

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I would agree with that. Id say 100% of all HG failures are due to either some sort of neglect or replacing one of the cooling system parts with a lesser quality/fitting aftermarket replacement or not using the proper type of coolant. Im not going to add to the honda coolant debate, Im just sayin make sure you use a silcate free type of coolant. If any of you have ever seen the inside of our motors, you would see how narrow our coolant passages are, so one minor foul up in the system can have some very catastrophic consequences.
do u use the honda coolant??? i have an aftermarket radiator and ive used prestone 50/50 since ive had the car. HG and all other gasktes were replaced last year along with machining, water pump, timing belt, thermostat, and other misc. parts. all OEM. prestone 50/50 is good right?? or next coolant change i do should i switch to honda coolant??
 

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KA8 Legend Killer
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Has anyone tried the ebay headgaskets? i was wondering on their quality
 

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KA8 Legend Killer
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cool, just wanted to hear some feedback before I do the HG job
 

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Unless its Prestone silicate free 50/50 Id stay away from it. I do use honda coolant and here is why. Most silicate free coolant costs about 10-12 bucks per gallon, I go get the honda type II blue silicate free coolant for $12 a gallon. So why not just get the honda stuff made for your car, your paying about the same price anyways. The reason for silicate free coolant is simple, silicates break down seals in the cooling system and inside your waterpump you have bearings, if these become clogged with enough silicate deposits you can seize the waterpump.....Ive done it.....twice. And I changed my own waterpumps, lets just say its not hard, but it sure isnt fun, and damn, it isnt cheap either, between the waterpump, clamps, lube, rtv, coolant and what not, I paid like $275 or so in parts. Ive learned the hard way with these cars, I used to say that all the talk about oem this, honda coolant that, was subjective, but after mine and a few other peoples experiences, Im stickin with oem parts and the premixed honda coolant.
sounds good
 

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Yeah, a few guys on the forum have used the ebay gaskets, as far as I know almost all of em are running still. The true unknown is the longevity of those gaskets, still remains to be seen.
Please tell me who is still running with the cheap ebay gaskets and how many miles they've put on those gaskets?

The ebay head gaskets are cheap crap and wont last long (mine lasted 10K) end of story.
 

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HA HA! Didnt know we had a member who had em and blew em. Thanks for letting us know. Ive always figured if you have to replace em, go felpro or oem, otherwise have a custom mls gasket made. Sucks that you had to find out the hard way too, just when ya think you are saving a few bucks and bam, kicks ya right in the twig n berries.
LOL, back when that happened I asked (on the forum) if anyone had used them but it appeared I was the first. Long story short, (ebay) gaskets began to seep after about 10K (6 months). I redid the gaskets using OEM (RL gaskets); got some hands on experience digging into my engine the second time around and 23+K later everything is in tip-top shape. I believe others posted about their ebay gaskets going bad later on as well; and I know I've posted warnings about the gaskets plenty of times before. Oh well, it was only a $500 lesson; taught me to do things right the first time.
 

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exactly due to heat in the back (firewall side) of our engines causes #6 to fail. i have 150k on my coupe and just had to do a head gasket 2k miles ago.
Yeah... that's nonsense.

HEAT is a deteriorating factor but it's certainly not due to proximity to the firewall. The heat in question is the heat created by the motor that the cooling system is in place to contain and dissipate. The Legend's biggest problems occur when the cooling system fails... this has the potential to essentially grenade the head gaskets on the vehicle.

I would agree with that. Id say 100% of all HG failures are due to either some sort of neglect or replacing one of the cooling system parts with a lesser quality/fitting aftermarket replacement or not using the proper type of coolant. Im not going to add to the honda coolant debate, Im just sayin make sure you use a silcate free type of coolant. If any of you have ever seen the inside of our motors, you would see how narrow our coolant passages are, so one minor foul up in the system can have some very catastrophic consequences.
Hats off to you for your previous responses as well but you hit the nail on the head here in my opinion. The subject has been discussed ad nausium however this is what it boils down to.

The only theory (note: THEORY) that we may be relevant is the vibration discussion: that the head gaskets are doomed to failure eventually because of the lack of a balance shaft which cases a vibration that eventually wears the gaskets out at cylinders 3 and 6. This is a large motivator for many for the C35A swap, though even those motors are still too young to know if the problems been truly fixed.

The folks who have the best luck are the folks who neglect their vehicles the least. There's only a handful of folks around here that I know that are truly meticulous with maintenance and one of them is one of the highest mileage vehicles on this board and probably has the most original drive line components in the bunch (Tyson man, you still on an original clutch?) Those who fall somewhere in the middle of the road are probably pretty good about keeping up with what needs to be done and those who are blowing head gaskets in the low 100k mile range own a car that may have been neglected either by them or more likely: the previous owner. And again, neglect with the car can be as simple as letting the car overheat a few times instead of parking it right away and having the problem fixed: case in point, I had a sticky thermostat kill the engine on my 92 Legend because I wasn't educated enough to know not to drive it (nor was my dad who told me not to worry about it.)
 

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That and i think just giving a luxury car full throttle might not help either. but with the sweet sound these cars make when floored is music to my ears.

Ya gotta pay to play. :)
 

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i was thinking, with the problem with HG, why not just replace the motor with a jdm with about 60k miles and you know it should last about 100k or so. im planning to wait for my motor to go and do just that..
 

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The Infamous Left Lane
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I will bump this thread for anyone who wants to know why the overheating thing i had this in my favorites for a while(in the far far back) and since this answered my questions 2 yrs ago i think it could answer some questions now..
~Dee
 
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