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Discussion Starter #1
Hi! Okay...gotta new one for ya's...or maybe not...:

Car seems to run pretty good, 4spd never below 30mpg.

The radiator started loosing water 2 months ago...nothing fast, no drips nowhere, no water in the oil. Not burning much in the way of oil. It's an after market radiator I think as it has a made in china foil like little sticker on it.

Now the problem has grown worse. A 60 mile trip and the system looses about 3/4 of a quart. It only very very seldom shows overheating on the gauge (it did the other night when it was very cold out (and rainy) and I took her for a spirited hill climb in the twisties).

The fan works. The radiator cap is a new one from Kragen (but still a cheapie one...not with the bypass valve/pressure relief valve).

It spews out of the overflow when I turn the engine off from my 60 mile commute...it also blows steam out at the radiator cap. I drained the overflow bin recently and the water had some very small globules of greyish stuff in it that if given a chance sank to the bottom of the bottle.

Can't find any leaks from the radiator nor any of the plumbing. Oil still reading clean.

Only 2 things I can figure: the thermostat is not opening fully or there's a blown headgasket that's leaking from the water jacket into one or more of the cylinders at such a slow rate that it's burning off and not showing in the oil.

Occasionally if I go a short to medium distance then kill the engine it wont start for a while and when it does there is sometimes a white cloud from the tailpipe.

So: pop the thermostat? Impeller (not what I think but then I'm askin for advice so I'll not turn away the possibility!)? Or do a leakdown test and hope to hear some air bubbling up in the radiator? Is a leakdown the best way to test for the headgasket leak?

ps, I recently pulled the plugs and did not change them - their color was good (reddish dust color, lightly built up) so I put them back in.

Cheers!
Michael
 

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Discussion Starter #2
don't all jump in at once to hand out advice!:tt2::tt2::tt2:

Anyway...so I did a leakdown (I have a compression tester and I just 'adapted it' with some air fittings...presto!) and sure enough, scads of water erupted from #2 and #3 cylinders. So off to Kragen and one headgasket and 8 hours later all seems well.

A followup question: the gasket said it doesn't need to be re-torqued. Do I believe that or is it marketing hype? I didn't do a valve adjustment (that's next along with a compression and leakdown re-test so I have a baseline) so a re-torque ain't that big a deal once I'm in there.

Cheers!
Michael
 

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don't all jump in at once to hand out advice!:tt2::tt2::tt2:

Anyway...so I did a leakdown (I have a compression tester and I just 'adapted it' with some air fittings...presto!) and sure enough, scads of water erupted from #2 and #3 cylinders. So off to Kragen and one headgasket and 8 hours later all seems well.

A followup question: the gasket said it doesn't need to be re-torqued. Do I believe that or is it marketing hype? I didn't do a valve adjustment (that's next along with a compression and leakdown re-test so I have a baseline) so a re-torque ain't that big a deal once I'm in there.

Cheers!
Michael
i always recheck the torque on the bolts after a few heat cycles. doesnt hurt to know
 
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