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Old 02-24-04, 06:10 AM   #144 (permalink)
JimV
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Posts: 214


Another thing is how people interpret the term "blown head gasket". On older cars this usually means a dead miss, oil in the coolant, coolant in the oil, white smoke out the exhaust, etc... But what happens most often in these cars and Honda's in general could more appropriately be termed a seeping head gasket. I drove mine for over a year with this condition, got no noticeable oil in the coolant or visa versa, and no smoke. But it did use coolant and I did get air in the cooling system. The car ran great the whole time as long as it wasn't heating up.
I have heard people talk of the possibility that the water pump could be sucking in air. Before I did my HG's I dismissed this notion because I couldn't see how it could happen. Let me tell you that by Honda standards, this is a screwy engine. I've been doing major work on engines for over 25 years and this was one of the most difficult to work on. There are also a bunch of external coolant passages that on other engines are either non-existant or internal. While the coolant system in general has a positive pressure and thus could not suck in air, it is possible that there could be a portion of the system that is in negative pressure and would potentially suck air. Add to this the complexity of the cooling system and who knows. But in my case there was the fact that air only entered the cooling system under hard acceleration. If air was getting sucked in from outside it might be RPM dependant, but it wouldn't be load dependant.
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