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Discussion Starter #1
So here's the situation,

I sent my head off for a refresh (new valve seals, a couple new valves, all new springs, and head is cleaned and surface machined) Nothing major, just to get it back in tip-top shape. While the head was off, we cleaned the piston tops of all the carbon buildup, replaced the oil control jet, scraped all the old gasket material off, and checked the deck for straightness per the FSM. Everything checked out fine, got the head back assembled. And I used the Stoner gasket kit (valve seals, spark plug seals, etc. and threw it back onto the block.

Here is where the problems began. We used a 4 layer head gasket per a TSB from Honda but the TSB mentioned that we needed to use these new "Spiral" headbolts (Which aren't available from Honda anymore...Go figure.) So we just used new regular head bolts with the new 4 layer gasket. After putting everything back together and torquing down the head bolts, we added oil and started it up. At first the motor fired up normally and was purring along. I let the car warm up then took it around the block, just a quick 20-25mph cruise under 3000 rpm, came back and while idling I noticed plumes of smoke from the exhaust that had the unmistakeable smell of burning oil.

I quickly shut down and began inspecting the motor and noticed oil dripping from the front side of the block (head/block mating area) It became apparent that the 4 layer gasket didn't seal. I then pulled the plugs and noticed the tips covered in oil, then began to inspect further and could see that there was oil on the piston tops, great... We then pulled the head off again, cleaned everything off, replaced the PCV valve, and this time used the graphite gasket that came in the Stoner rebuild kit. While the head was off the second time a test was performed to see if we had a leak issue through the valves, so we flipped the head upside down and poured ATF onto each chamber, the idea was to see whether or not any of the valves weren't seated properly and was possibly letting oil escape through the valve and onto the piston. All 4 chambers passed the test and no leak was detected through the valve seats.
After the head was put back on with the new graphite gasket, we did a quick compression test to see if the rings were bad. Cylinders 1-4 all yielded compression #'s in the 185-190 range which is nominal according to the Honda FSM, so no problem there.

So now with the new graphite gasket, new stock Honda head bolts, re-cleaned piston tops, cleaned ports and passages of oil (Intake and exhaust side), and the other new seals that came in the Stoner Kit that was replaced earlier, you would figure the problems would be fixed right? Wrong... As soon as the car started up the car began smoking, burning oil again... I checked the mating point of the head on block and this time around, the head gasket sealed. But once again, I did find oil on the piston tops and a very light coat of oil on the spark plugs (almost unoticeable).

So to the Honda gurus out there, have any of you experienced this? Is it possible that the replacement valve seals that came in the Stoner kit are just garbage and is causing the oil to leak down onto the pistons? Is it possible that replacing the oil control jet (located on the center of the deck, towards the firewall on the block) is causing an issue? I'm pretty stumped here, but before we go out throwing more money to buy more replacement parts I'd like to get a better idea of what to replace.

So far here's what's been replaced:

Headgasket - OK, it seals
OE Honda Oil Control Jet - Seems OK have not noticed anything
Stoner Valve Seals - Suspect, cannot confirm if these are oil tight
Stoner Valve cover gasket, spark plug o-rings, and rocker arm seals - Suspect, Rocker arm o-ring seals are covered in oil.
Stoner Camshaft seal - OK
OE Honda Dist. Seal - OK
PCV valve - OK, just replaced with a fresh one
New valve keepers - OK
New 16 OE Honda Valve springs - OK

What hasn't been replaced:

Valve guides
Valves - But were cleaned up and confirmed to be straight by machine shop


So what's left? change the valve seals again to OE Honda? Should I change the valve guides as well? Is there anywhere else that the oil could be coming from that would be causing the oil to end up on top of the pistons causing the car to smoke so badly?

TIA

Mike
 

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Never finishes (TWSS)
91 Civic SI hb
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1,831 Posts
did the motor smoke before you took it apart. also if you didnt rebuild the bottom end its probably the rings that are gone
 

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Never finishes (TWSS)
91 Civic SI hb
Joined
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1,831 Posts
if just the oil ring is gone you will still get good comp but it will smoke, as far as i under stand.
 

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Wagovan
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773 Posts
The only way anything in the head would be the problem, not gasket, would be if the valve guide seals were not installed right then under higher vaccuum it might such oil down into the combustion chaber. Could do it on either int. or ex. valve. Check the back of them, especially the ex. valves for slight residue.
 
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