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Old 11-21-2015, 07:56 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default 97 EX civic w/Y7 block and Y8 head smog help CA

Hey guys,

I was recently gifted with a 97 EX with a Y7 block and Y8 head. The original owner mentioned that the previous motor overheated and seized, thus prompting a swap. It won't pass smog according to the original owner (he doesn't remember/can't find the paperwork). He mentioned that the smog tech said that something is wrong with his temperature sensor(?). My mechanical knowledge is limited. Smog in California.

I can get access to a code reader hopefully soon. But until then, if anyone would like to theorize with me, please be my guest!

What I do know:
D16Y7 block, P2J-5 "00" head.
DC headers with both O2 sensors on..
Catalytic converter = new (installed at a shop according to the owner).
Check engine light = not on.
Head gasket = likely not blown.
  • left engine running for about 30 minutes.
  • Light white smoke
  • Water and some brown stuff (rust maybe) spat out of the exhaust when revved
  • No white spots on the engine oil cap
  • Radiator doesn't spew/erupt with the cap off
Timing = couldn't check but is suspect
  • Wires were in correct order
  • Distributor is missing the bottom bolts

What I don't know:
Will a faulty temperature sensor affect the smog results?
How should I go about diagnosing the problem?

Thank you, I will continue to lurk until I can find something...
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Old 11-21-2015, 08:59 PM   #2 (permalink)
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First post your problem.

You havent said what is wrong with the car.
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Old 11-21-2015, 09:21 PM   #3 (permalink)
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y7 block with y8 head is still a y8. make sure you have the correct ecu for a y8.
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Old 11-21-2015, 09:22 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by xile6 View Post
First post your problem.

You havent said what is wrong with the car.
It won't pass smog. I am just asking for advice on how to approach this problem.
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Old 11-21-2015, 09:22 PM   #5 (permalink)
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why wont it pass smog? besides what the previous owner "thinks"


if you suspect head gasket, do a cooling system pressure test to see if its leaking pressure, you can also do compression tests and leak down tests.
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Old 11-21-2015, 09:34 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slo_eg8 View Post
why wont it pass smog? besides what the previous owner "thinks"


if you suspect head gasket, do a cooling system pressure test to see if its leaking pressure, you can also do compression tests and leak down tests.
I don't have the tools to do the pressure or compression testing.
Question: Will a code scanner throw a code if I had a bad head gasket?
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Old 11-21-2015, 09:38 PM   #7 (permalink)
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no. you can rent the tools at autozone if you have one local
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Old 11-21-2015, 09:49 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by slo_eg8 View Post
no. you can rent the tools at autozone if you have one local
Will do. I have an O'Reily's, I assume they're similar
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Old 11-21-2015, 10:07 PM   #9 (permalink)
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not sure if oreily's offers the "loan a tool" program
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Old 11-21-2015, 10:38 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Pretty sure they do. It's just not as large a selection of tools.
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Old 11-21-2015, 10:44 PM   #11 (permalink)
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There are two temp sensors. One is the ect (engine coolant temp) that the Ecu (computer) used to tell what temp the motor is at. The other temp sensor is for the gauge cluster,it tells you the temp the motor is at. The ect sensor is a two wire sensor on the side of the head under the distributor. If it's bad or wires to the plug are broken it will put the check engine light on and the Ecu will make the motor run rich. The other temp sensor is all so in the side of the head under the distributor but uses one wire.

Timing being off will all so cause you not to pass smog. Cali has a lot of stuff that needs to be right and I just don't know them as I'm in ny and don't have to worry about emission/smog.
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Old 11-22-2015, 04:17 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HTK1 View Post
It won't pass smog. I am just asking for advice on how to approach this problem.
But why?
What did it fail for?

Pass obd2 scan test but fail sniffer?
Fail obd2 scan byt pass sniffer?
Fail both?

You have given a reason for it failing.
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Old 11-26-2015, 01:26 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xile6 View Post
But why?
What did it fail for?

Pass obd2 scan test but fail sniffer?
Fail obd2 scan byt pass sniffer?
Fail both?

You have given a reason for it failing.
Reason for failing: I don't know. The owner doesn't even know (he's got ADHD). I've been trying to backtrack the swap job his friend did for him...

Okay, I just got my obd2 tool in the mail. I ran a check on it. There are no problems and the check engine light isn't on either.

Here's what I have done so far. I THINK I know what the problem may be, however, please correct me if I'm not doing it right.

Checked ECU: ECU = P2P
Checked IACV: IACV = 2 cable
Checked ignition timing = slightly off, I realigned it
Checked spark plugs = clean, no gunk or severe carbon buildup

with the torque pro app:
  • When I looked up fault codes, none appeared.
  • Under the emissions readiness, the catalytic converter, O2 sensors, and exhaust (I think, I have to make sure) all showed "Incomplete" status.
  • the O2 sensor bank 1 and bank 2 voltage reading seemed normal after warmup. (looks like a sine wave).
  • The temperature data is transmitted to the app. I wonder if the sensor/sender has no problems? I ordered a new sender and sensor just in case. The coolant temperature was 95c and the fan never went on. Is this normal? I tested the fan by jumping the wires and it did work.
  • I couldn't gather anymore useful data from the ECU (the test results), I'm not sure if I need to drive it for a while?

Now, I think I noticed something severely wrong with the car. There's been an intermittent light rattling/knock on the engine. I'm not sure if this is normal or if it really is a knock. I took this for granted because his friend just changed out the entire bottom block. I don't know this friend of his nor his mechanical adroitness...

So my next question: If it is indeed a rod knock, is it even worth fixing? My budget is very limited (college student, just got done with exams, I have a bit of free time).

Also, O'Reilly's loans out the compression tester for $40. Harbor Freight has one for $22 ($16 with a coupon). Amazon has a block tester for $33. Is it worth investing in ANY of these tools, assuming the above is true...
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Old 11-26-2015, 02:15 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Quote:
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not sure if oreily's offers the "loan a tool" program
I just looked this up... Amazing. I will be sure to get some tools from their loan a tool program tomorrow!
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Old 11-26-2015, 09:12 AM   #15 (permalink)
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if youre brave, drop the oil pan, remove the girdle and attempt to move the rods. if they have play on the crank, you may be able to get away with new bearings. if there is no play, reinstall girdle, torque it down, and install oil pan.
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Old 11-26-2015, 04:22 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Still likely won't pass the CARB referee.
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Old 12-05-2015, 12:58 AM   #17 (permalink)
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Hi all. Been lurking a long while. Never found a problem I couldn't solve through search so never had a need to post.

OP: You'll never pass visual. It's not a block/head combo that comes from the factory. Nor will a ref bar it for that same reason. The only way you'll pass is getting lucky at a facility that overlooks the bock/head stamps or is lax and doesn't care.

That's assuming you can get the emissions in spec. Sorry, not much of a tech so I can't help much there.
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Old 12-05-2015, 09:32 AM   #18 (permalink)
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I am up in Seattle and they have a similar Smog test (if not the same) my understanding is they don't look under your hood on a OBD II test, they didn't on mine.. If you aren't throwing a code, and she runs you could do the test is she passes, then yeah, but if she doesn't you just need the $150 waiver from a shop. It's an option.
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Old 12-05-2015, 12:12 PM   #19 (permalink)
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I dont know how much the y7 block will hurt you, I would suggest going to a shadier location and have them test it and see what they say. If they question the block you could try telling them the y7 and y8 block are the same and just the heads are different, and you have the y8 head. Since it is absoutely true it MAY work if you get someone with some understanding on your side. Then again it may not.

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Originally Posted by HTK1 View Post
[*]Under the emissions readiness, the catalytic converter, O2 sensors, and exhaust (I think, I have to make sure) all showed "Incomplete" status.
That can happen when the ECU has been reset and the second (post cat) O2 sensor hasnt recieved the proper signal yet. It can also happen if you have a hollowed out cat...

Try taking it on the freeway and running it fairly hard for several miles, maybe 10 miles or so in 4th gear at 60-70mph and try again, if that hasnt fixed it you might try pulling out the cat to make sure it isnt hollow.

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Originally Posted by HTK1 View Post
Now, I think I noticed something severely wrong with the car. There's been an intermittent light rattling/knock on the engine. I'm not sure if this is normal or if it really is a knock. I took this for granted because his friend just changed out the entire bottom block. I don't know this friend of his nor his mechanical adroitness...
Checking the bottom end as was mentioned would be good. But before you do that check the valve adjustment, D series have a mechanical, and not hydraulic, valvetrain. If it isnt adjusted properly it can rattle like a box of marbles. I am sure there is several guides how to do it around here and it isnt hard as long as you have a feeler gauge, basic hand tools and a couple hours time.

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Originally Posted by Dollyrose View Post
I am up in Seattle and they have a similar Smog test (if not the same) my understanding is they don't look under your hood on a OBD II test, they didn't on mine.. If you aren't throwing a code, and she runs you could do the test is she passes, then yeah, but if she doesn't you just need the $150 waiver from a shop. It's an option.
Unless something has drastically changed in the last few years King and Pierce county emission tests are nothing like California emission tests. Last time I took a pierce county emissions test they simply dropped an RPM reader on my hood and a tailpipe sniffer and had me hold it at a couple different RPMs, they didnt even pop my hood.

The testing counties in Washington state want to make sure you are somewhat compliant, but out of the 40ish counties in Washington only Clark, King, Pierce, Snohomish and Spokane counties require testing, so it is VERY easy to simply register your vehicle in a non testing county and simply bypass testing, and if they made the testing as intensive as California most people would simply bypass it.

California doesnt play that game. They are VERY intensive and even if you pass the OBD2 and sniffer test, you still have to pass a visual test to make sure everyhing is stock or has the appropriate pre tested CARB approval stamp.

Seattle wouldnt give a shit if I took a 1992 civic and dropped in an old 350 v8 with custom fuel injection and computer as long as it ran fairly clean, in California it wouldnt matter if the only emissions it produced was the scent of daiseys and unicorn tears, it still wouldnt pass emissions in a million years.
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