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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everyone I’m struggling to get my crx running. It ran about 1000 miles after rebuilding it. Quick backstory, it’s a 90 crx si all stock with a d16a6. I rebuilt it like 8 years ago. It sat for 5 years or more then I drove it last winter for first time about a year ago for 2-3 months before it died. Got it inspected and drove it back and fourth from work in Massachusetts to ny about 4 times total on weekends about 2-3 hours each trip. It drove pretty good. I drove it an hour each day during the week in between trips to ny.

Rebuild…..I put rings in it, honed cylinders,new timing belt, water pump,oil pump valve stem seals and gaskets. Spark plugs, wires. It was burning oil that’s why I rebuilt it. Torqued everything to spec, used engine assembly lube and set valve timing. All parts were oem Honda parts. I also took a bench grinder wire wheel and (very carefully) cleaned a ton of chunky carbon buildup off the valves before re assembling. Someday I will make a thread on it because I have some really cool pics on my old laptop if you guys wanted to see it!

The engine was running fine last year. I drove it 2 hours to my apartment one day in ny and shut it off with no issues after making the trip and parking it in my driveway. Then it wouldn’t start the next day. Just cranked fast and I now have 20 psi on all cylinders. How the heck could that be!? Especially since it drove fine. It seams to turn over harder than it should by hand. It’s now been sitting a year. When I checked the oil level it was pretty low. Like not even visible on the dipstick low which scares me. I had it full of synthetic 5w-30 after the rebuild and did one oil change within the first 100 miles and had checked oil within a week prior to it dying. So today I added a quart of oil and good news is it’s up to the minimum so I wasn’t completely dry. Thankfully. So I checked for sticky valves today by removing the valve cover and rotating engine. Nothing seemed wrong visually. Springs and valves moved and I can feel some lash meaning there is some gap and it’s not too tight. I don’t have air hose or compressor here so I can’t perform a leak down test but I’m dying to get this car running again. What can I do or check aside from just buying a whole new engine? I’ve been searching and can’t even find a d16a6. I poured some oil down each cylinder and tried turning it over with a freshly charged battery and jumpers from my truck to the car and it turned over kinda slowly and sputtered once every 5 seconds but wouldn’t even start at all. (Duh it has 20psi compression I know I know) Acted like it wanted to when it sputtered but not much. How do I fix this car? Let’s get this thing running. It seams like it should be something fairly simple since I drove it and parked it then next day boom. No compression….I hope it’s a simple fix. Thanks!
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Either dead rings or you bent valves. I'm going to go for rings because bent valves would've died in its tracks. However, stuck or cracked rings could cause the same issue. Have you check valve lash cold? Might start there. Not just I felt lash, but I made sure that they were all lashed properly.

Once you prove valve lash to be good, then its either burnt/bent valves or rings. Next step would be to pull the head and look.

My vote is that if it was a d16a6, you either replace it with a SOHC ZC or a DOHC ZC and happy motoring, then pull down your A6 to figure out what is wrong with it. Pull the head and find some valve carnage, you can buy valves and lap them in. If the valves are good, then most likely rings.

Did you bore it or just hone it? Did you check ring end gap prior to assembly?
Thanks for your reply. I don’t remember If I checked the ring gap or not I probably checked a few and then through the rest in but I do understand the importance of it. I will grab some feeler gauges from my tool box at work and check them to verify. I’ll have to google the specs.

as far as swapping in a new engine like a zc I have no idea how to wire it up if it’s different than mine so I would need help but I could figure it out.

if the rings are the problem I’ll need rings,hone,head gasket and I should be able to remove the oil pan whild the engine is in the car and get to the connecting rod bolts from underneath then push the pistons up out right? No reason why I would have to pull the engine right? However I do have a hoist in case I need to.
Anyway thanks for your input starting with valve lash is a good place to begin .
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Either dead rings or you bent valves. I'm going to go for rings because bent valves would've died in its tracks. However, stuck or cracked rings could cause the same issue. Have you check valve lash cold? Might start there. Not just I felt lash, but I made sure that they were all lashed properly.

Once you prove valve lash to be good, then its either burnt/bent valves or rings. Next step would be to pull the head and look.

My vote is that if it was a d16a6, you either replace it with a SOHC ZC or a DOHC ZC and happy motoring, then pull down your A6 to figure out what is wrong with it. Pull the head and find some valve carnage, you can buy valves and lap them in. If the valves are good, then most likely rings.

Did you bore it or just hone it? Did you check ring end gap prior to assembly?

Oops I meant I will grab feeler gauges at work to check the valve lash*
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
do you have any notes on where you set the original ring gaps? If you simply tossed new rings onto the pistons, likely you did some damage.

Drain the oil and see if you find any silver bits or chunks.

Pop the spark plugs out, spray a bunch of carb cleaner down the hole, and see if it actually puddles up, or if it drains right into the oil pan. Good sign if there is anything trying to seal or not.

You should also check and verify mechanical timing.


Dont second guess anything. Just treat it like it is brand new to you, and you need to check everything.
no I defenitly don’t have any documentation or notes I’m guessing I checked one or two compression rings and through the rest right in….so I’l lfollow those tips and get back to you guys soon! Thanks for the ideas.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
exactly my thoughts ,,

especially since all cylinders are low..

or maybe a whack gauge ..

also check the main relay ....when the key is turned on does the fuel pump prime?
Fuel pump primes but I will double check! I replaced main relay before with a new one thinking this might be the issue with a previous problem I had
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
My money is on a belt that jumped a few teeth, did you replace the tensioner pully and spring with quality aftermarket or o.e. when you rebuilt it?
I didn’t even replace it! I replaced everything else under the sun except the tensioner/spring. I’m going to have to check the timing I will be doing a bunch of checks on this thing throughout this week/weekend and I will post to update.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
134k miles is low.

My bet was the original issue was actually topend related, such as bad valve gudies and stem seals.

Unless you confirmed via a compression test with the engine warm.
Interesting, yeah I can only guess what was originally causing it to burn oil but I was about 17 years old and clearly remember pouring at least a quart of oil in a week. I wanted to freshen it up so I knew the valve stem seals could cause oil to leak past when worn and there was literally a half inch round blob of rock solid carbon buildup on the valves that I cleaned up.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
In my experience, you'll hear when the bearing in the tensioner pulley goes bad. Usually it'll make itself very known for a long time before it seizes. What's more likely is that the tension wasn't set correctly, or the tensioner bolt was undertorqued and slipped on its adjustment.
I didn’t know they would make noise. My engine defenitly wasn’t making any odd noises like that, from what I can remember. I was very careful torquing everything down in sequence especially with the head bolts and bearing caps but it’s possible I could have left the tensioner loose.

side note/rant : I went to work today and couldn’t find my feeler gauges to check valve lash as mentioned above. so I bought a new set from advance auto. Also I bought an oil drain pan and carb cleaner. I made a list of basic things all youguys recommend me checking as follows. Thanks for all the ideas!

Checklist
Verify engine timing is correct. Pull upper cover to check.
  1. Check valve lash adjustment
  2. Drain oil and check for metal chips in oil…
  3. Spray carb cleaner down spark plug holes and see if rings hold or if it gushes out that might indicate failed rings.
  4. They think it’s either bent valves or bad rings. I bet it’s rings
 

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Discussion Starter · #21 ·
Hey, you know what you should do? Check the timing belt.........


LOL, just thought I'd also join the band wagon


But seriously, if the tensioner let off and it slipped immediately while cranking you'd have this problem. I had a tensioner bolt actually break off one time. The actual block broke. You likely don't have that issue, but pull the upper timing cover and line it up to see.
I’ll check valve lash since the covers alreadyoff and check valve timing next. Gotta grab my electric impact from work today too.
 
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