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Discussion Starter #1
before i start this isnt a sob story, i really dont mind, its not a daily driver, and it was a stock head that i regret not building to begin with, so its more of a what to do now.

setup is basically cookie cutter custom length vitara.

i think it happened the other day while setting up the anti-lag. its had an intermittent miss ever since that wasnt there before, but was so slight i figured it was my imagination. then yesterday i played with my boss in his c6 vette, and my car although quick just wasnt pulling like it usually does, started smelling some coolant, but again thought it was paranoia so i blew it off after looking at everything and finding nothing.

well today i threw the MBC back on, and went for a drive. set it all the way loose to begin with, and first pull it hit 15psi and blew out the spark or hit or something (horrible miss), so i stayed out of it until i got to the gas station, filled up, turned the boost controller out a little more and headed home. was making 14psi fine all the way to 7500rpm. did a couple pulls and then stayed out of it for the next 10-15 miles. about a block from my house i start smelling coolant again, stronger this time (gauge was normal, datalogging showed 192°), so i do another pull 3rd gear took it up to about 6500rpm and heard a pop from under the hood, lost almost all power, and smoke from under the hood and exhaust. by the time i got home it was pegged. when the gasket went it pressurized the radiator and overflow and blew the overflow out of its bracket and blew coolant EVERYWHERE.... didnt have crap for tools and it was almost dark so i said screw it let it cool for a little bit then cranked it up and refilled it with coolant, seemed to idle and rev pretty good but there is definately exhaust coming out the radiator now.

so a couple questions (hopefully someone is still reading).. i was running an OEM y8 gasket and arp's.... no copper spray which is ALWAYS use but didnt this time.

should i go back with an OEM gasket with copper spray, cometic with copper spray, or felpro MLS with copper spray? arp's were torqued to 60ft/lbs, but never retorqued. should i retorque them next time after a few heat cycles?

should i go ahead and get a cam and some springs while its off this time? i've been thinking about delta, but still have seen no results (i'd like to atleast see where it falls off, no point in a turbo cam thats done by 6800rpm, and i know its a bisi clone, but a clone isnt always exact..... anyone using blox springs, it seems they are made by supertech, who supplies most with their valvetrain components.

lastly, this is a y8, timing at 10psi at 10°, and 5° at 15psi, so i doubt it was head lift due to too much advance, from my experience and other experienced tuners thats not even head lift territory. so i'm guessing it was the antilagging.


last but not least, i can get a z6 head for $50, complete as they come, but then i'd have to order 1 headstud, find a z6 dizzy, dizzy conversion harness, z6 timing belt, and start all over......

any suggestions on anything?
 

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(IF it was me) I'd Slap a new OEM headgasket on and go play. just Retourqe after a few heat cycles. Some people swear by copper spray some peeps hate it. Do what you are comfortable with. What HP are you at @ 15 lbs? The timing isnt aggressive at all.
 

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i use a felpro with hylomar spray and ARP's torqued to 70 ft lbs....ive never retorqued. been holding for years and alot more boost than you.. oh and i also run 12 degrees total timing.
 

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i run a fel pro permatorque my arp studs are torqued to 75ft lbs. i dont belive in the copper spray.i believe if the head surface and block surface are clean and straight you do not need the spray.i think the spray is just a bandaid for not being clean enough or maybe a lil warp.i have accidentally hit 35psi with no gasket problems.
 

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Definitely head lift. Replace with a new Y8 HG with new ARPs (not 100% needed, but I'm anal. LOL!). Sounds like a serious incident, so perhaps a machinist should check the head out for flatness. When you pull the HG let us know if it looks like mine did after headlift, all of the black seal removed from the intake side. I suspected pre-ignition on my tune on E85 :

 

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Discussion Starter #7
(IF it was me) I'd Slap a new OEM headgasket on and go play. just Retourqe after a few heat cycles. Some people swear by copper spray some peeps hate it. Do what you are comfortable with. What HP are you at @ 15 lbs? The timing isnt aggressive at all.
i've used copper spray on every build i've ever done, but this one i skipped it for some ODD reason. no clue what kind of power i'm making, i had just installed the MBC and was street tuning for the added boost. on 10-11psi i was at 50% duty cycle with the 880s at 43psi (no vacuum).... use some math, i come up with roughly 250-260whp, never got to looking at duty cycle at 15psi since i knew they were nowhere near maxed and i was datalogging AFR.

i use a felpro with hylomar spray and ARP's torqued to 70 ft lbs....ive never retorqued. been holding for years and alot more boost than you.. oh and i also run 12 degrees total timing.
12° total at what psi? i was told start at 10° at 10psi and 5° from 15psi on...... havent gotten to the det cans yet since i was sure thats conservative timing and i was still fine tuning AFR.

copper spray isnt going to do shit for a headgasket.
i have heard of hylomar, but i dont know enough about it, or where to get it, any suggestions?
 

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Discussion Starter #9
i'll pull the plugs tomorrow after work, just to get an idea.

i should mention that the stock gasket i pulled out was beat, so its likely the surface isnt flat. only drove the car a few miles home before tearing it apart and boosting it so i'm not sure if it had problems prior to being built, but from looking at the old OEM gasket it was definately leaking.

the head is getting checked for sure, i'm not replacing the arp's though, this was the first torque, and they werent overtorqued at all, so i doubt they stretched, but if it happens again (and i dont go boosted GSR) i'll replace them.

anybody have a clue what the missing at 15psi would have been? possibly boost spike that was too quick for the boost gauge or datalog to pick up? i had boost cut at 22psi, gauge never got over like 16psi and neptune was only hitting the 14psi column, even during the cut, yet when i turned the MBC down like 1.5 turn i still hit 14psi but didnt get any cut....
 

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idk if this has anything to do with it but what are you running for a map sensor?

if it was the stock map wouldnt it only read 14ish p.s.i ? idk why the boost gauge wouldnt pick it up but its just a thought im by no means a pro tuner, hell i've never even tuned a car. this is just what ive picked from everything i've read since i first started researching.

hope you figure it out good luck
 

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when was the last time you swapped out plugs....

call me anal but i swap mine on every oil change, although my first set i ran for 6 months and they were fine.....

if you look at my sig, the time i ran the 13.9xxx i later found out it was the plugs, i thought i dropped a valve to be honest but compression check came back beautiful....so i tossed in a new set of plugs and was good to go....

also you were raising boost did you check the plugs or close the gap a bit, with the added boost i thing you may have just been blowing out the spark

when tuning the car the plugs seem to go quicker, hench the reason you bring a few sets with you to a tuner....although that doesnt account for the hg blowing it may be the reason for the miss, they were sparking just not enough or you were blowing out the spark.....when i redid my build i needed a new tune, i was planning on driving it very carfully down to the tuner, but if i tryed to boost it went know where, it was rich as hell, had the guy send be a leaned out chip, although still rich i was able to get it there.....to bad it spun a bearing on the way home....lol

on a side note, i say delta 272-2(i gots one) springs and retainers....possible some vlave work/clean up the port castings if you can afford it
 

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Had you ever gone above 15psi? the miss could easily have just been the spark being blown out, depending on your gap. but could also have been small misfires due to small amount of coolant seeping in too... No way to be 100% POSITIVE at this point

Cam and springs? WHY NOT! if you can afford it, and you've still got to finalize a tune, mine as well make some power, a little easier, with a cam/springs

And I havent had much experience with HG's, but OEM did me well on my last hatch at 15psi. Im running a Mr. Gasket MLS system now at 20psi and now problem either, although MY tune isnt final so Im not making full power either...Never used copper spray on either.

Good luck tho man, get it back on the street!
 

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What is the gap of your plugs? When I was running 15PSI I gapped mine to .28 I believe.

I've never used copper spray on my HG's and never had an issue. On my vitara built motor, I ran just an OEM HG with no copper spray at 15PSI and never had an issue. This was 3 years ago, and the guy I sold it too still running it hard with no issues.

If you didn't over-torque the ARPs I wouldn't bother with new ones that's just more money you have to spend. My buddy torqued his to 75lbs, blew a HG, reused his ARPs and torqued them to 78lbs and still ran fine. So I guess it's all preference.

If you aren't planning on reving your motor over the stock limit and aren't trying to break 400whp also wouldn't bother with a cam and springs. Why spend the extra money? Get it running correctly and then see if you want to spend extra on the cam and springs.
 

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i didnt see your setup on the d series turbo build thread. mind sharing or is it still MORE TO COME. id go with oem hg and if u like a bit more CR then the y8shud do you good. as for the boost spike all i can think of is internally gated wastegate/boost leak. but i cant say. i dont know your setup. im sure later your gonna want a cam down the road so save up.
 

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I blew my head gasket tonite dont feel to bad.
me too...i guess when it rains it poors...


felpro permatorque FTL...
 

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Discussion Starter #17
when was the last time you swapped out plugs....

call me anal but i swap mine on every oil change, although my first set i ran for 6 months and they were fine.....

if you look at my sig, the time i ran the 13.9xxx i later found out it was the plugs, i thought i dropped a valve to be honest but compression check came back beautiful....so i tossed in a new set of plugs and was good to go....

also you were raising boost did you check the plugs or close the gap a bit, with the added boost i thing you may have just been blowing out the spark

when tuning the car the plugs seem to go quicker, hench the reason you bring a few sets with you to a tuner....although that doesnt account for the hg blowing it may be the reason for the miss, they were sparking just not enough or you were blowing out the spark.....when i redid my build i needed a new tune, i was planning on driving it very carfully down to the tuner, but if i tryed to boost it went know where, it was rich as hell, had the guy send be a leaned out chip, although still rich i was able to get it there.....to bad it spun a bearing on the way home....lol

on a side note, i say delta 272-2(i gots one) springs and retainers....possible some vlave work/clean up the port castings if you can afford it
the plugs were swapped out after the last tuning session i took it on (not a daily driver) which was about a week ago, 300 miles MAYBE (i read plugs while tuning so i swap alot of plugs). i set the gap at .032 to begin with and it was blowing it out around 11psi so i dropped it to .028 and it was fine. i didnt drop the gap when i upped the boost, and i havent looked at them since upping the boost, i literally made 3 pulls after upping the boost (high gear pulls datalogging to make AFR adjustments).

money isnt the issue, its value, i am not positive the 272-2 makes any more power, helps spool, or extends the powerband because NOBODY has given a review of it yet, i guess i might be the first because i cant think of any reason not to go ahead and do it. any spring recommendations?

Had you ever gone above 15psi? the miss could easily have just been the spark being blown out, depending on your gap. but could also have been small misfires due to small amount of coolant seeping in too... No way to be 100% POSITIVE at this point

Cam and springs? WHY NOT! if you can afford it, and you've still got to finalize a tune, mine as well make some power, a little easier, with a cam/springs

And I havent had much experience with HG's, but OEM did me well on my last hatch at 15psi. Im running a Mr. Gasket MLS system now at 20psi and now problem either, although MY tune isnt final so Im not making full power either...Never used copper spray on either.

Good luck tho man, get it back on the street!
it was at 15psi for a day right after i put it together and was fine (plugs were gapped at .025 IIRC) and it was fine from what i could tell, was a tire fryer so i dropped the boost while i waited on rims/tires and worried about the vacuum side of the maps, maybe put 50 miles on it at 15psi. was also using one of those needle seat ebay boost controllers then too. the one i put on yesterday was a ball and spring mbc.


What is the gap of your plugs? When I was running 15PSI I gapped mine to .28 I believe.

I've never used copper spray on my HG's and never had an issue. On my vitara built motor, I ran just an OEM HG with no copper spray at 15PSI and never had an issue. This was 3 years ago, and the guy I sold it too still running it hard with no issues.

If you didn't over-torque the ARPs I wouldn't bother with new ones that's just more money you have to spend. My buddy torqued his to 75lbs, blew a HG, reused his ARPs and torqued them to 78lbs and still ran fine. So I guess it's all preference.

If you aren't planning on reving your motor over the stock limit and aren't trying to break 400whp also wouldn't bother with a cam and springs. Why spend the extra money? Get it running correctly and then see if you want to spend extra on the cam and springs.
gap was .028 and was fine at the 14psi (the 2 passes i made) which is why i think the first setting (before turning it down) was way more boost than what registered on the datalog. it was much more violent and the boost gauge was HAULIN but i couldnt watch it because of my speed (3rd gear pulls to keep from spinning).

the reason i kept the stock cam/springs is because i didnt plan on revving higher than 7500 and was shooting for 300-350whp, and didnt want the hassle of tuning a cam, but since its coming back off and money really isnt an issue i'll just go ahead and swap one in.

i didnt see your setup on the d series turbo build thread. mind sharing or is it still MORE TO COME. id go with oem hg and if u like a bit more CR then the y8shud do you good. as for the boost spike all i can think of is internally gated wastegate/boost leak. but i cant say. i dont know your setup. im sure later your gonna want a cam down the road so save up.
i dont do build thread because its distracting to stop and take pictures and shit when you are measuring ring gap, PTW, etc. i'm running a custom length rod vitaras, cast manifold, ebay 57trim (spec'd it myself to verify true size) 3" downpipe to shitty 2.25" catback (2.25 testpipe), was open downpipe until i decided not to kill myself with fumes, external wastegate. again, i dont live week to week, or month to month, money is not a problem, i chose parts based on value and goals, if i couldnt pay i wouldnt play...
 

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My headgasket is starting to go as well.

Just today I caught a wiff of that particular smell of coolant, and a little excess smoke from the exhaust.

I know the reason is because I never got the head & block milled/decked for flatness when I last did the headgasket.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
UPDATE!!!!!!

pulled the head this morning and found the problem. i hadnt prepped the block surface well enough (no decking of the block). i scraped and cleaned it but didnt use a scotchbright pad to remove all the old black gasket crap off. so the gasket failure was probably my fault.

i said screw it and just replaced the gasket. but this time i cleaned the block and head with scotchbright pad, cleaned with brake cleaner and used Hylomar on both sides of the gasket, and then torqued the ARPs to 70ft lbs. swapped plugs, gapped the new ones down to .022

left the MBC where it was when i blew the headgasket, first pull was great at 14.9psi, did a couple more, pulled over and turn it up to 17-18psi and did quite a few more pulls. so far it hasnt blown it, and the spark isnt blowing out anymore.

only problem i'm having now is blowby. i didnt change the oil after the blown headgasket/overheat, so either its very diluted with gas, thinned out from the heat, or i killed the rings. i'm going to change the oil before driving it again (didnt want to change it before putting a few miles on it no point in wasting $40 worth of oil if it blew the gasket again). if i get a chance i'll do a compression test.

blowby isnt horrible, but it is noticeable. either i left my dipstick out of the tube a little or it forced it out, either way the blowby is bad enough that it soaked the timing belt after a quick drive like that.

i wouldnt be too upset if the whole thing blew up, i've been wanting to build a GSR for boost lately.
 

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i bumped a thread in the build section but i will mention it here because i forgot this important step...make sure you install the dowel pins that align the head gasket and keep it in place...im just hoping i dont pop another headgasket now because of a dumb error.
 
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