Looks like I'm headed down the "Headgasket Highway"....again - The Acura Legend & Acura RL Forum
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Second Generation Legend (1991-1995)

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Old 01-19-07, 04:29 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Unhappy Looks like I'm headed down the "Headgasket Highway"....again

Yep, I've got most all the symptoms. I was hoping that if I answered enough cooling system questions that the ACURA GODS would spare me another trip down the dreaded Headgasket Highway but I guess it doesn't work that way.

My pride and joy 94 LS that I bought in perfect condition at 110K miles has been showing signs of headgasket failure for the past several months. She is now at 186k miles. This car came with complete dealer service records and I have kept it in top condition. It has not been abused in any way. I can now make the statement that This BHG problem can happen to even the best Legend. Nobody is immune.

Over a period of about 6-8 months I have noticed:
1. First noticed gurgling in the heater core area a couple of times. Added a little coolant. Always checed the coolant weekly. No sign of a leak.
2. Noticed brownish/black goo on the radiator cap whin I removed it.
3. Started loosing coolant more often. No leak, no overheating. More goo on cap.
4. Occasionally, When started in the morning it would miss on one cylinder until I reved it a little, then runs fine.
5. Loosing more coolant, now checking daily. No leak, no overheat. Now missing every time I start it up until I rev it up a little. Still runs great.
6. Starting to notice excessive steam from exaust. Still have the goo on the cap.

The good part is I'll have to drive my 67 Nova SS while The Legend is down for repair.
Edit: Again..... refers to a BHG I had on my previous Legend, a 92 L.
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Last edited by Jetdoc; 01-19-07 at 10:24 PM.
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Old 01-19-07, 05:15 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Just curious, when you torqued the heads last time, did you go over the factory recommended 56 ft lbs?

I've done 6 head gasket jobs now, and none of them have come back. I've been running the bolts up to 63 ft lbs.
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Old 01-19-07, 06:21 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I had read a write-up on the web a while back about machining the heads & block (not Legend specific). This article stressed that the surface finish of these surfaces was very critical - not too smooth & not too rough. They made it sound like the person fly-cutting these surfaces had to REALLY know what they were doing. By the way, you said "again" - how many miles since the last job?
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Old 01-19-07, 06:33 PM   #4 (permalink)
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You've owned 2 Legends according to your sig/profile. Was the previous BHG repair performed on this Legend or your prior one? Just wondering, it wasn't 100% clear to me.
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Old 01-19-07, 06:36 PM   #5 (permalink)
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It make me felt bad for our Legend engine. They alway have a BHG.
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Old 01-19-07, 06:59 PM   #6 (permalink)
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The Previous BHG repair was on a different Legend, a 92 L.
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Old 01-19-07, 07:26 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Jetdoc, you've been a valuable resource to the "Is your Legend overheating" thread and it's unfortunate you've met this fate once more with your own personal car. Best of luck as you work through the repairs. On the bright side, a '67 Nova to drive in the meantime sounds like quite the dream car. One of these days I'm going to pick up a '68 SS. Love those old Chevy II's.

I'm still trucking right along at 270k in the coupe and no apparent HG failure. I recently sent an oil sample to Blackstone Laboratories for analysis (just for the heck of it), and it came back perfect -- no contaminants, antifreeze, or other unwanted ingredients were found in the oil. Their comments said, "Nice engine." So maybe it's hit and miss but I've definitely avoided the plague thus far.
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Old 01-19-07, 10:42 PM   #8 (permalink)
 
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This really does seem to be a Hit and Miss problem. Sorry to hear of your problems. I enjoy reading your posts, as I feel that you have a great understanding of how mechanical items function, how to look after them, and how to diagnose problems.

Good luck with the upcoming project, and "curse the HG Gods!"
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Old 01-19-07, 11:23 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Tyson man, don't tempt fate with posts like that.
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Old 01-20-07, 12:55 AM   #10 (permalink)
 
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holy mackerel another BHG!! we need to take a stand and do something about this...every single legend sooner or later gets a BHG..fuckin acura legend designers!!! what kinda conspiracy is this??. unbelieveable and sad.
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Old 01-20-07, 03:13 AM   #11 (permalink)
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wow another one what are the odds how often did u change your coolant?
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Old 01-20-07, 10:42 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pro_foundac91 View Post
holy mackerel another BHG!! we need to take a stand and do something about this...every single legend sooner or later gets a BHG..fuckin acura legend designers!!! what kinda conspiracy is this??. unbelieveable and sad.

Yeah, those damn Legend designers. I can't believe my car still drives perfectly fine with 243,000 miles on it and others with over 300k. These cars suck

Every engine on the earth will blow head gaskets (except Mazda 13b's) after so many miles. I don't see why people think Acura gives a shit about how 15-20 year old Legend engines are doing. It's called design flaws, and every manufacturer on the earth has them. You don't see that same flaw with the RL engine do you? It's the same basic engine, and doesn't have the head gasket problems that the Legend does.


And, uh, no, not every single Legend has a blown head gasket. I had a 92 sedan with almost 200k and never had the head gaskets replaced.
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Old 01-20-07, 10:42 AM   #13 (permalink)
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JetDoc: I also initially read the info as the second time for the same vehicle. Do you believe that gasket was already failing when you bought it? Wonder if the previous owner overheated it?
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Old 01-20-07, 01:49 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Why our Legend had BHG as a comon problem? Cooling system failure are one cause. so my question are our HG bad because HG made by bad material or the engine give out too much pressure????
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Old 01-20-07, 05:26 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by truonghthe View Post
Why our Legend had BHG as a comon problem? Cooling system failure are one cause. so my question are our HG bad because HG made by bad material or the engine give out too much pressure????

No, I don't think those are the reasons for failure. Read my theory.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Diaz View Post
Here's my theory that I discussed with a long time Acura tech. There's a few reasons why the Legend engine blows head gaskets.

Theory #1. The Vibration effect - once you remove the heads, you'll notice that the cyilnder walls sit out in the open by themselves with the coolant jacket surrounding it. No structural support at the top of the cylinder walls. What we discussed was the fact that engines vibrate, and the vibration eventually eats away at the gasket allowing coolant to flow into the cylinder. Typically it does this more at the rear of the engine (#3 and #6 cylinders). Next time you're in your car, rev it up to about 1500-2000 RPM's and feel the vibration that I'm talking about. Think about that vibration happening for 100k-150k miles and how that affects this area of the engine. Honda may have taken corrective action by installing a balance shaft in the RL engines, which don't seem to have anywhere near the amount of head gasket problems.

Theory #2. Improperly torqued heads - We talked a little about overtorquing heads and he claims that he overtorques the C32a heads to 59-60 lb ft. The theory is that when the engines were built at the factory, the engineers of the C series engines underestimated the torque specs for the heads. The factory torque spec should have probably been 60-62 lb. ft. I prefer 63 ft lbs when I replace head gaskets, and I have yet to see a problem.

Theory #3. Non-Honda coolant - Basically any non-Honda coolant can cause deterioration of the head gasket. See this post for more info: https://www.acura-legend.com/vbulleti...=honda+coolant
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