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93 Civic HB SI, 95 Civic HB CX
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Discussion Starter · #182 ·
Nice work sorting out the intermittent issue, they're seriously the shittest thing.

Got a vid of the noise you're having dramas with?
I need to take a good one, I'll try this week.

This car makes so much interior noise though, it'll probably be hard to hear lol, every panel rattles.
 

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Discussion Starter · #183 ·
Driving late Sunday afternoon to pick up fuel filter for Grey car, I hit something that was laying in the middle of the road. Have no idea what it was, but after the incident I checked it out at the parts store and saw the crease in the downpipe, but then a day later driving next to a tall concrete wall I heard exhaust leak.

So crap, put it up on ramps and saw a hole in the resonator! I'll get it welded up this weekend.

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Also, so far so good on the cutting off issue! Aero hasn't hiccuped once in the week I've been driving it, so I'm gonna call it fixed!
 

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Discussion Starter · #184 ·
I've got a new rack and pinion with a set of outer tie rod ends coming for this car as well. I believe both inner tie rods are shot, it makes light knocks through the steering wheel driving in a completely straight line on a flat road.

Loading the steering up in a corner, the light knocking through the steering wheel stops.
 

· Formerly weebeastie
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I've got a new rack and pinion with a set of outer tie rod ends coming for this car as well. I believe both inner tie rods are shot, it makes light knocks through the steering wheel driving in a completely straight line on a flat road.

Loading the steering up in a corner, the light knocking through the steering wheel stops.
Pinch bolt checked? Literally how mine was acting.
 

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Discussion Starter · #188 ·
just a love tap..atleast it didn't take out the fuel tank..
It was dark when I hit that object, and I just continued cruising watching fuel level and oil pressure to know if I needed to pull over and cut the car off haha
 

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First thing I checked. Pulled that plastic cover off and looked, brought a wrench and confirmed it was snugged!
Have you had the rack out of the car at all? If that pinch bolt isn't lined up with the groove on the shaft 100% and it's torqued, it wont clamp correctly and the joint will be loose.

Put one hand on the steering rack input shaft and wiggle the steering wheel back and forward, you'll feel if the input shaft is being moved or not and helps identify whether the problem is upstream (column) or down stream (rack to wheels).
 

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Discussion Starter · #190 ·
Oh yeah, got the car up in the air, the 30+ year old rack is toast. Not only are the inner tie rod ends worn to hell, but the rack and pinion itself has excessive play.

She's ready for new steering components, got em sitting in the trunk waiting.
 

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Discussion Starter · #192 ·
Guys, scary how much the rack and pinion was worn out. Like, chewed up terribly! I'm honestly not sure how it got that bad, but the new one is amazing! So much better, it drives like a brand new car now.

Taking it for alignment tomorrow, got it pretty close with just tape measure, if I had to guess I'm toed in about 1/4 degree on both sides. It tracks perfectly straight and wheel re centers. No scrubbing either.

While I had the rack out, I also had to pull the exhaust and shift linkage down. So patched up the resonator and rebuilt the shift linkage with the Lowes hardware bushing method:

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Shifts so much better than before, no exhaust leak, and an insane improvement with the new rack and pinion. The chassis has received much needed love, hopefully now I can focus on whatever this internal noise is in what I think is coming from the tramsmission.

I will try to take a video this week to share, if the noise can be heard!
 

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Discussion Starter · #193 · (Edited)
No updates for a while, lots going on.

Did a few things on Aero recently.

Picked up another trans to rebuild for Aero thanks to @Soul Engineering sniping things off Facebook Marketplace.

Replaced the antenna as well cause I broke the old one by accident.

Also got my hands on a new HVAC equipment setup, super stoked to be able to evac and recharge at home again. After getting a quote of $300 + refrigerant, per car, for 2 cars at a local shop I trust, I started pricing the individual components themselves out for a portable HVAC field tech type setup, compared to a dedicated machine. Turned out, I could re-outfit myself for around $1000.

I used to have both a dedicated HVAC machine for R134a, as well as a standalone component based setup, but basically gave the machine to a friend last time I moved to Canada, and sold the standalone parts to a guy in HVAC since I needed cash about 10 years ago.

The nice thing with going back with standalone components is I can technically be refrigerant type agnostic, meaning all I really need to evac and recharge the most common household and automotive refrigerants are dedicated recovery tanks to store the stuff. All the other components work with everything, so I outfit myself to be able to handle R134a, R1234yf, R22 and R410a.

Being component based makes the setup portable, so I can throw the equipment in the truck and do jobs wherever. Hoping to make some money off reacquiring this capability at home!

Pushed about 8 lbs worth of R134a cans into a vacuum evacuated brand new recovery cylinder:

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Sight glass for checking refrigerant and oil in running systems for signs of contamination, compressor coming apart, etc.

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How much came out of Aero, half a pound, so charge was only about half full.

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Got a full charge put back in, and AC is actually amazing for a civic, probably the coldest air in direct sunlight ive ever felt coming from a civic, 38 degree F vent discharge air on recirc after 5 minutes at idle!
 

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Discussion Starter · #195 ·
It's been a MINUTE since I updated this thread! Oh boy have there been some interesting things going on with Green car over the last few months.

Where to start.... hmmm....

So I realize my last post here was about getting the AC ice cold, and from there I basically dailied the car for a few months. She's a great commuter, and I do have plans to make a few more creature comfort mods. But more on that later.

From May until September, the car did great. I've known the transmission in it needed some love since I first started driving it, it made all kinds of special noises especially when starting out in 1st and 2nd that slowly got worse as time went on. They were really pronounced when the trans got warm, as will happen in summer lol. As long as I was easy with the throttle, those bearing noises were "alright", but they always got under my skin.

The "oh shit, I need to drop the trans and rebuild it" moment came when I tried to race a Chevy Blazer acting like a jackass. The shift from 1st to 2nd ground so hard, no matter how I tried to pull on the shifter it wouldn't actually shift into gear until revs really came down. I babied it home, and parked it.

I had bought another transmission for it, @Soul Engineering hunted one down for me off Facebook Marketplace, $100 for an EX or SI S20 case with 40mm bearings. This trans sat around for a while, and I never cracked it open so I wasn't sure of its condition. But now I had a reason to.

Opening the countershaft snap ring plug hole, I was greeted with a pile of Smurf Cocaine:

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Not a good sign. BUT, after fully tearing it down and breaking the gear stacks apart, it honestly didn't look all that bad. It's just all the bearings were extra crunchy, and the slider collar teeth faces were all sharp and blunted, so that is likely where all the metal was coming from. Shift forks and assembly looked alright as well, same with main, countershaft and all synchronizer hubs. Just too many hours of slamming and jamming by some Honda Boi lol. This trans was tired as well.

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So I bought a rebuild kit from Synchrotech for this S20 B000 case, and planned to rebuild it then slam it in the Green car to try and get it ready for CHD in October.

Literally the day before CHD, the trans kit arrived and planned to rebuild the trans at @Soul Engineering's place. His buddy was lined up to drive Green car, so that both Grey and Green cars would be there.

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Of course, reality had other plans. After being super tired getting the trans together and up in Green car for a test drive at 2AM, it was violently popping out of gear under any sort of power.

So we took that as a sign, and parked it. We would resume figuring out what happened after CHD.
 

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Discussion Starter · #196 ·
It stayed parked for a while @Soul Engineering's place until time was right to try and tackle it again.

Some time went past, and I pulled Grey car inside my shed to start preparations for installing the B series powertrain, and pulled out the D Series powertrain. So I had this nice ready-to-run D series trans just sitting there, if only I had a car to put it in....

So I made the decision to take Grey car's trans and install it to Green car, so that it would be a running/driving daily again. This would be temporary until I can build/figure out another street trans.

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Made the trip over to @Soul Engineering's shop, and proceeded to take the S20 popping-out-of-gear trans back out, and reinstall Grey car's trans. BUT, while we were at it and had everything apart, we decided the season was right to make some mods to Grey car's D series trans that were overdue:
  • The black case S20 trans that was popping out of gear had a 4.25 final drive in it.
  • Grey car's trans was supposed to be from a Y7, so it should have had a 4.05 final in it.
  • The goal was simple, swap final drives between transmissions.
When we took Grey car trans apart, we counted the the final drive teeth to check for the 4.05. What did we find?

Grey car had a 3.722 final drive and gear set from the CX/HX civics!!!

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That means I've been driving on track in Grey car with a fuel sipper trans setup hahaha. Needless to say, even with the 1-5 CX/HX gearing, changing the final drive from 3.722 to 4.25 would result in some nice acceleration gains.

Here's the before and after in Zealworks calc, same gearing, only thing that changed is the final drive:

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When I take this trans back out as soon as I build another street trans for Green car, I have an .848 5th gear to install that will be better on the racetrack with the D powertrain in Grey car.

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I was able to get close to hitting rev limiter before the braking zone on the back straight at VIR in Grey car with the 3.722 FD and the 0.909 4th, which means keeping the 4.25 FD and installing the .848 5th will allow me to tach the car out before that braking zone:

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But enough about the racing side of things in Grey car lol, this is about Green car being a street car, and all the shenanigans that go on with street cars lol.

So we got the 4.25 final drive installed in Grey car trans, it looked great. Buttoned it up and installed it to Green car and went for first start up.

First crank, you could hear a ticking noise that was less pronounced with clutch pressed in, and ungodly loud with clutch released. We went through the motions:
  • Checked for starter/starter bolt interference.
  • Flywheel inspection cover interference
  • Release bearing and fork oddities
  • Etc.
After testing each, nothing really stood out that said it was any of these things. The noise was still there, and followed when you released the clutch pedal. It did it even with your foot on the brake, so the internals of the trans were NOT rotating. All of this meant the issue was isolated to the flywheel/clutch/bellhousing area.

Don't ask us how this happens, but I've NEVER seen this before in all my years as a tech. Keep in mind, this issue was NOT present with Green car's original trans, the swapped in S20 black case trans, but for some reason only showed its face on Grey car's trans. We found and realized two things:
  • Trans cases I guess can have different casting and machining differences, causing clearances between things to change. This makes sense, so long as certain thresholds were met.
  • There are supposed to be 6 flywheel/pressure plate bolts, how many did we find? ONLY 3 INSTALLED! You know what was installed in 3 out of the 6 flywheel holes in place of pressure plate bolts?? These f*****s:
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REALLY? WHY?? WHO??? The noise was literally from the pressure plate flexing and touching the inside of the trans case. We pulled the starter motor out, and rotated the engine by hand to get access to the holes with the missing bolts, to install new ones. We were able to remove the christmas tree trim clips from the inspection cover side. Installed 3 additional bolts, threw the starter back in, and the noise was GONE!

Took it for a test drive afterwards, man was she a ripper, especially with the cold air moving into the winter months!

Brought it back to @Soul Engineering's shop, and started packing/cleaning things up. We checked under the car to look for any leaks, and noticed there was a wet trace against the lower control arm on the passenger's side. We figured it was just extra fluid, and I also didn't have any thread sealer around the countershaft end plug cover, so we figured it was a combination of these things possibly, but in either case I was ready to tow the car home on the car trailer, I would just throw it up on ramps, clean off the fluid, pull the plug back off and use some proper thread sealant, and be good to go.

But OH NO.... things can't possibly be that simple. That close to a daily driver again? Nonsense!
 

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Discussion Starter · #197 ·
Upon tightening the access cap, I noticed the true reason why it was leaking fluid. The case was CRACKED around that threaded area!!! I must have snugged it down too much, or it was snugged too many times too much and this was the day it was no longer happy.

I told you, never ending lol.

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So what do I do? I try my best to get it welded without removing the trans from the car.

I terminated the crack, grooved it out, cleaned it as best as I possibly could, and, have you guys ever tried welding oily cast aluminum vertically? Well, no good could have come from that lol, but I gave it the old college try!

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Needless to say, it didnt work. On top of that, the heat started warping the threads in the plug hole, so it was not going to be fun regardless.

So, trans back out.... DAMNIT!
 

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Discussion Starter · #198 ·
I tried to weld the crack on the bench, but there was just way too much contamination and that thin piece of casting wasn't really substantial, not to mention the parent material wanted to melt faster than the filler rod. Thinking about it now, I probably could have gotten away with just brazing it, but I was already in too deep lol.

To successfully weld this thing, I would have had to cut the entire cracked section out, and rebuild the plug wall in order to recover. But even then, I would have to restore the threads to reuse the plug. Who the heck that tap laying around? lol, no one.

So I stopped trying to repair it, and started looking for S40 small bearing A000 case halves. Found a few prospects online and from a buddy, @Soul Engineering even tried to put the word out. But then as I was cleaning up my shop, I noticed that Green car's old trans case (the original that came with the car) had a P4A sticker on the front... I was like "I think Grey car's trans also has a P4A sticker on it..."

Sure enough, Green car's original trans case was an S40 small bearing A000 lmao. The outer trans case was still in good condition, so I got to work measuring shims and ensuring, double and triple checking clearances and other such things.

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I ended up settling between a mix of shims from Green and Grey car transmissions, to get the diff shim and the main shaft shim and clearances correct. I ended up at 0.005" (even though spec is 0-0.004", it'll be alright lol, what's 1 thou among friends...), and 0.005" end play on the main shaft (spec was 0.004 - 0.007").

I didn't have the fancy main shaft end play checker jig that Honda calls out in the service manual to compress and relax the spring washer, but I did have a rag, a pair of vice grips and and a pry bar lol.

And for the icing on the cake, I found out where the clutch pressure plate was hitting the trans case when we were troubleshooting the missing pressure plate bolts!

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Got the trans all back together, and was ready to reinstall. Of course I chose the literal coldest day of the year to repair this thing... it was 14 degrees outside at 3:30 PM lol. Jet heater to the rescue! I noticed after a while, that the heater wasn't putting out as much heat as it was just a bit ago. Looked at the propane tank, it had a 1/2" wall of ice frozen around the outside of it! Typical refrigerant bottle stuff lol. Propane is a genuine refrigerant and has pressure/temperature relationships. It was so cold out, the ambient temp couldn't maintain the pressure needed to feed the heater! I used the kerosene heater to heat the propane tank to keep the tank pressure up:

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And we got through it. Trans was in the car about an hour later, had it fully buttoned up by around 7:30 (it was 9 degrees at that point lol). Pumping the oil in the trans took a while haha.

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Thoroughly inspected the car, torqued everything, ran through my mental checklist of things, aired up the tires, and hit the road. Went to get coffee, stopped at a Sheetz and datalogged.

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Also made the mistake of stopping by the car wash. The car was pretty dirty having sat outside for a while through everything, so I wanted to give it a rinse off. Needless to say, I essentially glazed my entire car in a coating of ice that froze almost instantly on contact lmao. In Canada, automated car washes are indoor and heated, so that water stays liquid all the way to the drier stage, and only once the car is dry do the doors open. Not in NC lmao. I had to body slam the door to get it to open hahaha, then had to scrape off the ice from the windows cause it was impossible to see anything.
 

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Discussion Starter · #199 ·
Did a few more things to the car before I drove it to work and dropped it off for alignment.

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Got a replacement driver side seat belt installed, since the original one was fraying really bad at the waste. Used a donor that was in good shape from Grey car when I stripped the interior bits 5 years ago!

Also did something I've been putting off for a long while: measuring, cutting, fabbing an adapter, and installing the 3rd gen prelude wheel to this car. It looks and feels SOOO much better than the old wheel:

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On the commute back from work with the car aligned, the combination of having it realigned, this wheel installed, using the federals as tires off grey car, and having all these trans mods installed, the ride was just fantastic.

She accelerates sooo much easier and smoother, and it no longer darts/dances around in the corners. It's another machine, a great daily that has enough on tap to surprise unsuspecting commuters lol.

Creature comfort goals now: a comfier driver seat or front seat pairs (looking for something OE honda to transplant), a new deck and better speakers.

My truck has babied me terribly, with all its newfounded bluetooth connectivity to your phone wizardry for hands free stuff...
 

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What a debacle, but that's working on cars hey. Glad you sorted it out though. That prelude wheel is so sick, i remember swapping it into an ED at a wrecker years ago and being disappointed when the indicator clearance was real tight. Haven't thought about it since, but modifying the boss is a great idea.

Also, i literally mouthed what the f*ck to my screen when you discovered the plastic plugs pushed into the flywheel bolt holes. What goes through some peoples heads hahaha.
 
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