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00 Civic Coupe
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Discussion Starter #1
I've been trying to work the kinks out of my build for a little while now, and the biggest issue I have been having is the head gasket. When I got the car tuned, is was tuned to 24psi. It was pushing coolant on the dyno (I realized that after I got home) but I don't blame my tuner for that because I think I installed my head studs incorrectly. It wasn't pushing enough to notice while it was on the dyno. So, I replaced the head gasket and ran it at 14psi. It was fine, but I wanted to turn it up! It held 18psi perfectly, so I left it there for a while. I had to send my turbo to get it looked at because of an oil leak, so the car was down for a month or so. When I got it up and running again, everything checked out. I was planning a trip to the drag strip that weekend so I turned the boost up to ~23psi, just to see what it could do. Bam. Pushing coolant again. It sprayed liquid all over the engine bay. So, I replaced the head gasket the next day and just decided to not turn it up past 18psi, since it had held it well in the past. I drove the car for a while, not really beating on it and there were no issues. Last night I took it out for a spirited drive up the mountain (still at 18psi) and wouldn't ya know...coolant all over the engine bay! This is getting incredibly frustrating. I currently work on the car more than I drive it. Does anyone have some suggestions on what I should do to keep a head gasket on this thing? My plan was to replace the gasket and take it back to the tuner and have it remapped with more conservative timing, and most likely a lower power goal.
My head stud torque sequence is 15--30--65--loosen 90 degree turn--then back to 65.
 

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Which studs do you have? I dont see them described, and being ARP is not the only brand out there, info helps.

Me personally, with studs that are stronger than the factory bolts, I would recommend torquing to 75.

BUT did you clean the holes out and run a bottom tap down to ensure threads are 100% clean?

As for headgaskets, if the block and head were prepared, a simple metal multilayer gasket should work great.

If not sure surfaces are good (or not sure worked over properly) use a composite gasket like some factory SOHCs had (usually older models)

If everything is buttoned up nice and tidy, there is no damage, and studs each have good clean torque, it ultimately doesnt matter what gasket is on there though



EDIT clicked your build, I see ARP's on the list.

definitely go beyond 65 lb/ft. 75 is to try. BUT you really need to make sure threads are clean when you are torquing that high
 

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00 Civic Coupe
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Discussion Starter #3
They are ARP studs. I did not run a tap into the threads. When I pull the head this time,

I'll do that for sure. I'm also going to bring the head to the engine shop to have them

resurface it, just in case it is a little off.
 

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Classic Man
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16,355 Posts
You are putting bad gas in it, or it needs a retune. Its detonating. Assuming you verified the head and block are true before you even put this thread up, obviously. :p
 

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Two men shy of a group
99 civic sedan ex
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1,312 Posts
I wouldn't go over what arp recommends on torque and if I did it would only be by like 5 ft lbs, I believe d16y8 studs call for 60 ft lbs and arp calls for 3 steps but most everybody online says to do it in two steps like 15 ft lbs straight to 60ft lbs. Have you checked the block and head for straightness or just slap a new gasket on?
 

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could try a little home de-carb of the motor.

turn the boost down of course, but get it fully warm, grab a clean old spray bottle of clean water, and do a steady medium spray (mist) for a good 4-5 minutes while at 2-3k rpm


carb buildup over time could have this similar effect
 

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1992 Civic Si
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True but carbon buildup typically isn't an issue on built motors since they're so clean to begin with, super low miles, and well maintained.
 

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They are ARP studs. I did not run a tap into the threads. When I pull the head this time,

I'll do that for sure. I'm also going to bring the head to the engine shop to have them

resurface it, just in case it is a little off.
Yupn i was gonna recommend checking the mating surfaces for trueness.

Old school trick for the head, if you have or buy a true straight edge ruler, lay it on the block shine a flashlight from the back and see if you can see light from the front.

Gl.

Stratton.
 

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92 cx
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You never know, you could've warped out the block and head mating surfaces since it has blown a head gasket a few times. Whenever i do a head gasket since I'm pulling the head i always resurface it and have a professional check it before i run it or I'd be wasting my time and $
 

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Discussion Starter #17
As other have said, check and make sure the block and head are true.

Also I would ditch the block guard .

Also what plugs are you running?

Find a better tuner maybe
I'm going to have the head checked and possibly resurfaced at the engine shop and I'll use a straight edge on the block.

The block guard was installed before the cylinders were bored. Won't removing it cause an issue?

I'm using BKR9EiX I had originally used standard BKR7E, but it was experiencing misfires at higher boost levels when it was being tuned.

Have you tested the rad cap? I've seen more than one car that was pushing coolant because the cap held very little pressure. There's also a slight chance boost is pushing from manifold runner 4 into the coolant passage, especially if you're using a plastic gasket like Hondata that like to melt.
I have not tested the radiator cap.

I have my suspicions about runner 4, and I am using a Hondata gasket.
 

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Classic Man
Civic
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The factory service manual has all the details in it.

Funny thing, I read through the FSM on the shitter at work over a year or so, about 6-7 years ago.

Last few years Ive been going through actual training (ASE basically but the Canadian version) and that fuckin FSM taught me like 80% of everything a licensed mechanic knows! Its hilarious.



Basically run a machinist straight edge (this is a precision milled bar of steel that is perfectly flat) over the block at different angles and areas and use feeler blades to measure the amount of deviation in deck height.
 

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Civic and Accord
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i hade som old over tightend arp bolts, changed for a set of New and torque them to spec +5nm and oem head gasket. seams to helped me.
 
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