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head teardown, honda service dept. qualified?

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head teardown, honda service dept. qualified?

 
Old 05-24-2004, 08:09 AM
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Default head teardown, honda service dept. qualified?

I know I should not have to ask this question, but I have read a lot of "knucklehead" threads. Do you think my chances of a local Honda serivce department getting this procedure right are pretty good, or do I need to start looking for a specialist? I am not a mechanic and have no idea how complicated a procedure this is or what I should be expecting in service costs.

"The only true way to tell if an S2000 motor has been damaged from an over-rev (besides the obvious!) is by pulling the cams and inspecting the valve spring retainers and clips. This is the weak point in the motor and the retainers will 'dish' and the valve will start to slip lower and lower (evident by the end of the valve stem not sitting at the proper height relative to the retaining clip) until you drop a valve and destroy the engine. This is inevitable if the retainer is distorted and it will only be a matter of time before you drop a valve. The inspection takes about an hour to two hours more than a valve adjustment (depending on the experience level of the technician) to accomplish and you can get them to do a leak-down test at the same time (much easier with the cams out)."

(thanks again to slipstream444 for providing this info to me)

Short story, I hope to purchase used soon, and will be adding this to my "checklist" before buying. Based on feedback I will move on to my local boards and try to find someone in the atlanta area. I started here to take advantge of the larger membership base. Thank-you.
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Old 05-24-2004, 08:33 AM
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so yer gonna hav esomeone pull a head to INSPECT a used car?

That's gonna be 8 hours labor at $70 an hour. I think it's a little anal myself. Just listen for tapping in the valvetrain.

I think they should be able to do it. The KEY to the whole thing is making sure they torque the bolts when putting the head on...MANY overlook this. I had my GSR motor put together at a dealer and the camshaft seized after a few miles...torqueing is KEY.
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Old 05-24-2004, 08:39 AM
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actually, to look for the "dished" retainers, simply pulling the valve cover is all you need to do (the RED part).

there, you can see the retainers. Any Honda dealer should be able to do this without risk of wrecking anything
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Old 05-24-2004, 09:24 AM
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steven975,
Yeah, that would be me, a little anal. (been called worse, actually) This would be the last thing I would check if everything else is perfect before buying, so I don't expect having to do it more than once. If I go through with my plans to buy from a dealer and make said inspection part of the terms for sale I am hoping they can work with me on price. Plus if they screw up the job they can either fix it or keep the car. You stating this can be done by just pulling the valve cover is good news but can they still do a leak-down test?
If I get more feedback here telling me I am being excessive, I will reconsider, but $500 of inspection sounds better to me than $4,000 of repair if the cards don't go my way due to this engine being ready to die. However, some very respectible members have told me abuse is a difficult thing to detect and I don't want to waste money doing it if it is not beneficial. (Just not used to taking chances on something like this)
There is also that little voice in my head saying "um, maybe you should just stick to an Accord".

nah.

thanks
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Old 05-24-2004, 11:02 AM
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they don't need to pull the head. just the valve cover. the retainers are on top of the valves, in plain view. pulling the head is not recommended. just too many parts to break.

leakdown tests can be done with the engine together. they stick a hose in the spark plug hole and blow air in to see how fast it gets out. for compression, they measure the pressure in the cylinder. any mechanic can do these tests.

for these tests and inspections, I think you'll be under $100. MAYBE $150.
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Old 05-24-2004, 11:31 AM
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Taking this approach would be more likely to cause problems than find anything that wouldnt already be visible by removing the valve cover, sparkplugs, or listening to the idle.
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Old 05-24-2004, 08:48 PM
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steven975,
Thank-you for your continued input, that kind of money seems a small price to pay for a little extra insurance.

ImportSport,
re: the spark plugs, how could they look and what would this indicate?

This is also the second mention of tapping and, if I am understanding correctly, is caused by the valve stem dropping to the point that it loses contact with the cam temporarily (which is not normal) and making a tapping sound as it resumes contact when the cam rotates back around, yes? I was also under the impression that a leakdown was primarily used to check the seal between the piston rings and the cylinder wall, which may be bad due to scoring. Is it also used to indicate the valve not completly closing due to the aformentioned retainers? I probably don't need to understand but I can't help being curious. If you or anyone else has the patience for this, I thank you.
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Old 05-25-2004, 06:27 AM
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the tapping is the rocker arms tapping on the valves. when the valves are out of adjustment, there is a space between the arms and the valve top...when the cam engages the rocker arm, it audibly taps the valve.

the problem with the valve being out of adjustment is that it is too far down, and possibly partially open, meaning that the cylinder won't seal and you lose power. it is a very easy fix, though; just adjust the valve If the valve gets too far out of adjustment, you could smack a piston!

also, if the retainers are "dished" you'll get tapping. if they are dished, they MUST, MUST be replaced.

the plugs should look brown to VERY dark brown. they should NOT look white or wet. that indicates that the engine is too lean or rich.
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Old 05-25-2004, 07:48 AM
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steven975,

Thank-you, I truely appreciate you taking the time to explain.
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