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93 dx + 92 lx
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So my jdm d15b came out because it developed a tick in the top end and I had a y7 with crosshatches still showing waiting for its day. Slapped it back together with a fel pro composite gasket and a y8 manifold and a weekend of work later it was in and running great.

Fast forward 2500 miles or so, and now this motor is giving me the exact same tick. Silent when cold, then after a couple rips at full temp the faint ticking returns. Its loudest at the cam gear end of the head. Pretty sure its source is nearby. Go down by the tensioner and its less pronounced. Come around the front or back of the head and its quieter there too.

Its literally the exact same noise I pulled the old motor over. Bout to check the valvetrain again but I'm expecting its still fine. It did take some time to start so something might have worked loose but its RIGHT where the cam comes through the head.

The new cam seal doesnt leak but i did replace that, belt and tensioner are new as of 2500 ago.

Its running an a6 map with a couple or 3 degrees more advance dialed in from 2500-4500 that ran great with the d15, i set dizzy timing 2 degrees less than book due to the timing in the chip and the book for a y7 being lower anyway. Dont see how that could make the head tick though. I dont get any knock.

Where should i go next?

Thicker oil to see if the bearings are hogged out and its an oiling issue? Slack off a tiny bit on the belt tension to see if anything changes? Just check the lash? Open to suggestions here.

Im dying to get the turbo on it but....shes got issues. After a year of sitting after 3 years getting wasted by salt its making noise from the passenger front hub especially cornering and now the rear is kinda loud too but those hubs/bearings are cheap. And now it has a weird turn signal issue. I hate wiring and electrics...

The good news besides us getting new keys made is the vx rims fit and it suprisingly rips way harder in 3rd. Throttle response is noticeably quicker at speed and I'm digging it. Hopefully the extra mechanical advantage in 5th will help it over the pass too. Heres a pic on 185/60s
138200



Much quieter than video in this post, but same rapid cadence.

Thanks for your input guys!
 

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Got video of noise? What did you set lash to?

Does the noise still occur near the cam gear hot even when revving up?

If so, check valve lash again just for sanity reasons. Also make sure cam cap bolts are still at torque. Make sure they didnt pull threads, loosen, or similar near #1. Flexing assembly due to pulled threads will cause a tick. Fasteners can loosen from hydrolock if you torqued them down and didnt get all oil out of holes.

No VTEC, so no LMAs, cant check those lol.

Also might be worth it to quickly while hot pull the accessory belts off, then start engine and recheck to rule out accessories and friends.

If thats a dead end, things look ok lash wise, but noise is still there, might verify oil pressure with a gauge, make sure its ok, check cold, then go for a rip and recheck at hot idle.

If oil pressure looks ok, maybe drain an oil sample into a clean mason jar, look for any metallic chunks or flakes, filter through an old coffee filter or similar as well.

If oil sample looks ok, and all other things appear ok, then yeah try your hand with a thicker hot range weight oil. If youre on 5w30, maybe try 5w40 and see what happens.

It could also be normal valvetrain noise. After every rebuild and rip session, your only human like the rest of us to think that every noise is a ticking time bomb :)
 

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Also, watching rabid's videos you linked to, might be worth it to run to harbor freight and pick up a mechanics stethoscope if you dont already have one ($2).

Touch the timing belt tensioner bolt from the LF wheel well, plug removed, and see if tensioner bearing is clicking.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Yeah it scopes good. Definitely loudest in the valley of the vc where the cam gear is just passenger of the timing cover.

It does it hot when revving but doesnt change intensity like id expect a bad bottom end to make. The only time I dealt with that i could nail it at lowish rpm and itd get louder til revs and oil pressure built then itd get a bit quieter. This just lightly ticks. I had the thought about resusing the alternator but pulling the accessory belts ruled that out. The cap bolts though....that will be easy to check and may be the problem. I OILED those bolts when I installed them. 100% sure there are drips of oil in the bottom and I didnt make any effort to dry out the holes.

Thanks for the direction. Ill report back in the next few days, and try to make a video using a tube near the phone mic to act as a stethoscope. Do i gotta upload that to youtube or can I attach it directly to the post?

Oh and lash was set with a .010 feeler because thats the thinnest I have. I put the intakes tight on it and the exhaust with a correct feel to the pull so the intakes are probably a bit tighter than .010.
 

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Do you have an adjustable cam gear? check for clearance of the bolts and nuts used. Too many times, one or more came loose and started to rub as they heated up and expanded, even the tiny amount that is expected.


Also run an oil pressure gauge, and check it when the engine is fully warmed up. Might just be dealing with oil pooling up in the head, and getting intermittent oil starvation.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Hmm its a stock cam gear but ill check to make sure its fully torqued down to spec, i never considered the cam gear but it makes sense that it may have something to do with it. Ive never given it a second thought. The noise is very pronounced at the cam gear bolt and then also in the vc adjacent to the cam gear. Im thinking it may be cam related? The cap deal described earlier is definitely getting checked before it runs next. As is lash and the cam gear bolt tq.

Its definitely not an intermittent issue. Once it starts doing it the noise occurs til it cools off if memory serves. I'll have to re verify that. Slightly worried hooking the mechanical gauge to it will give me bad news about oil pressure given thats the case.

If i had lost a bearing though and it was bleeding pressure internally wouldnt the noise not be hyper localized like it is? I would expect the whole top end to clatter. Dont have that much experience with ohc engines not getting oil up top though in perfect honesty so please educate me if thats not the case.
 

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I might just for sanity buy a feeler gauge that goes down a bit further, to at least 7thou. Even a tight 10thou on intake is pretty loose and probably going to make some noise.

If you want to attempt diag now though, and feel it could be lash related, just adjust the intake valves to 10thou, then go another 1 or 2/16th of a turn in, lock em down, and see what happens.

Even if you get the intakes slightly too tight for when the engine is warm doing things by feel, if the gap closes and you have no more noise, youre probably on the right track looking at valve lash issues.

Remember, youre only going slightly tighter for diagnostic purposes, not for extended running, so you wont hurt things doing this. Just make sure to not drive around more than needed to see if the noise went away.
 

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Check clearance between cam gear and the part of the cover that bolts to the head as well, sometimes one of the sleeves falls out and torqueing tweaks them, add that to heat expansion and the acceptable runout on the y7 gear and I chased a similar sound for 2 weeks.
 

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Check clearance between cam gear and the part of the cover that bolts to the head as well, sometimes one of the sleeves falls out and torqueing tweaks them, add that to heat expansion and the acceptable runout on the y7 gear and I chased a similar sound for 2 weeks.
Now thats a good one :) i could definitely see myself chasing that for a while haha
 

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I think I pulled that basket case apart 4 f'ing times searching for that tick, dug a greasy spare out of a bin, slapped it on, told the guy dont come back. It hasn't been in for anything more than services in years 😅
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Spare cam gear or head? I have a y8 head in pieces or could grab one from the junkyard for pretty cheap. If its not fixed with this next effort im totally down to pull the head again. Im not really down with vtec though so id probably lock the high cam (that is a thing on sohc too I hope?) and let it eat with a disconnected solenoid.

Does the y8 head have ANY advantage over the y7?

138223
 

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Spare cam gear or head? I have a y8 head in pieces or could grab one from the junkyard for pretty cheap. If its not fixed with this next effort im totally down to pull the head again. Im not really down with vtec though so id probably lock the high cam (that is a thing on sohc too I hope?) and let it eat with a disconnected solenoid.

Does the y8 head have ANY advantage over the y7?

View attachment 138223
No! Not the head lol. Hes talking about the cam gear/timing belt COVER.

The plastic cover has little steel dowels in it where the cover bolts go. If a dowel falls out, and you wrench down on the cover bolt without those dowels inside the hole, the bolt will squeeze and deform the cover plastic, possibly making it begin to touch the cam gear, especially when hot after all the metals and plastics have expanded.

Check those dowels, better yet, pull the upper timing belt cover, look for wear witness marks. If you happen to see some, leave it off and go for a rip and see if your ticking went away!
 

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Yes, pull and inspect before you start ripping the head off, lol. The signs are not obvious directly and im not saying this is for sure your issue. But if you notice a sleeve missing from the backing plate or see a polishing mark where the cam gear just might contact thst plastic look into it. Hit it with light from several angles and check the entire stretch where the cam gear passes over the plastic, run it with the upper cover off and watch the gear for runout, ect.

Does the y8 head have ANY advantage over the y7?
Certainly, especially with aftermarket cams and tuning. Firstly the combustion chamber is smaller, raising compression, secondly higher flowing intake ports that maintain velocity over a broader rpm range. Lastly, but certainly not leastly you have actually 3 varying cam lobes on the intake side, this allows a more pronounced swirl effect into the cyl under low to mid rpm where atomization and efficiency can net large gains, while providing a second option for high mid to top end power where its more about brute force than efficiency, aka VTEC. The b2/7,a6 and y7 designs are more aimed at mid range specifically with the best atomization and velocity between 2200 and 4900rpm, not saying cams and cam timing can't alter these things, let alone port work, just giving baselines.
 

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The Y7 is a better head for velocity, and therefor low end torque. It is not a bad head by any means, just lacks aftermarket camshaft support. You can always just install Y8 valvetrain and lock vtec to make it a slightly beefier Y7 with the stock ecu. Just needs valve lash checked more often, and needs some extra zinc and other lubrication helpers for best results.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Ohhhh see i was under the impression the pistons are what made the y8 have more compression and it sounds like my oil pressure based aversion to vtec may be costing me more than some top end.

My parents live in Tacoma so delta is literally 5 minutes away. My school bus actually used to go past their shop daily and id dream about working there. Aftermarket cams/vtec have never been something I learned about because they will grind whatever I want with whatever ramp I want super cheap. Not sure if theyd have options when it came to vtec because....well....ive never asked.

Grabbed a new valve cover seal this morning and i should get to checking things tomorrow when the live in babysitter moves in. Idk what my wife is thinking having her bosses 18 year old daughter move into our spare bedroom but it could be worse.

...and she drives hondas so its like triple win!
 

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Ohhhh see i was under the impression the pistons are what made the y8 have more compression and it sounds like my oil pressure based aversion to vtec may be costing me more than some top end.

My parents live in Tacoma so delta is literally 5 minutes away. My school bus actually used to go past their shop daily and id dream about working there. Aftermarket cams/vtec have never been something I learned about because they will grind whatever I want with whatever ramp I want super cheap. Not sure if theyd have options when it came to vtec because....well....ive never asked.

Grabbed a new valve cover seal this morning and i should get to checking things tomorrow when the live in babysitter moves in. Idk what my wife is thinking having her bosses 18 year old daughter move into our spare bedroom but it could be worse.

...and she drives hondas so its like triple win!
My wife would smack me everyday:

Me: "What was that for?"

Her: "Just in case..."

Me: "What did I do?"

Her: "Just making sure thoughts weren't brewing...."
 

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Zealautowerks d series compression calculator is a great tool to play with
 

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My wife would smack me everyday:

Me: "What was that for?"

Her: "Just in case..."

Me: "What did I do?"

Her: "Just making sure thoughts weren't brewing...."
🤣 🤣 🤣 🤕 mine too
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Haha me too.

I have a feeling my wife will be the one to get the ball rolling. All i gotta do is work on another honda and keep the yard/my beard tidy....maybe double down on push ups for a few weeks lol
 
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