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Old 05-05-2009, 08:46 AM   #1
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Question honda civic crx head issue

i recently bought a 87 honda civc crx and ordered a remanufactured engine, and up untill a few days ago i was geting fairly good milage rufly 35-40 when driveing at 55 . but now i am knoticing very high runing temp and a drop in milage and presure in the cooling system. what can i do to fix this?
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Old 05-05-2009, 09:35 AM   #2
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Do you have the 1.5 liter engine with a carb or is it fuel injected?

It sounds like it may need a head gasket. These are the classic symptoms of a bad head gasket- running hot- coolant bubbling out of the overflow bottle. And the engine won't suck coolant out of the overflow bottle as it cools off (so the rad is always a little low even if the overflow bottle is full). I know- my 87 civic's 1.5 liter engine did the same thing 2 years ago...

Other less drastic possibilities are a plugged radiator (since the weather is warming up it is having trouble getting rid of the heat), an air bubble in the cooling system- the best way to burp your car is to remove the upper heater hose where it attaches to the thermostat housing. Just pull the hose off until coolant flows out the heater core side of the hose. Or it could be a bad thermostat- be sure you burp it as described above once you replace it.

How long has it been since you put in the reman engine? Many reman engines have a heat tab on the head that melts when it overheats- this voids the engine warranty. If the heat tab is still OK and the head gasket is bad, you may be able to get some money from the re builder. If teh rad wasn't plugged, thermostat wasn't bad and you didn't have any leaks to cause an overheat condition- they either didn't torque the head down properly or it was warped when they installed it.

If it ends up being a head gasket- replacing a head gasket is a pretty complicated job- not for the beginner. Expect to sped about 8 hours if it's your first one and take the head to a machine shop so that they can check to see if it is warped and mill it flat if it is. Use a felpro brand head gasket- they are reinforced in teh center where headgaskets fail on this engine.

The only good news is that these Honda cylinder heads seldomly crack.
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Old 05-05-2009, 09:59 AM   #3
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the engine is a 1.5 carb. i installed the reman in dec of last year. when i installed it i also checked for blockage in the rad and put in a new t stat. where would i look for the heat tab at? and if it is the gasket do you have any idea how much this repair would cost?
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Old 05-05-2009, 10:11 AM   #4
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The heat tab will likely be under the top timing cover. Loosen the valve cover bolts and remove the two bolts that hold the upper timing cover on. You will need to pull the valve cover up about a half inch in order to pull off the upper timing cover (it has a lip that goes under a lip on the valve cover). The heat tab will be a little bigger than a nickel and will have a dark gray "bull's eye" like center about half as big as the whole tab.



If the dark gray stuff is smeared or gone- it means that it has been overheated. Unless steam ever came out of the hood, it is likely OK.

The parts and machine shop work to do a head gasket will be about $80-$100 if you do the labor yourself. For a mechanic to do it right (he must check it for warpage) it will likely be $300-600 (that's my guess- I do all of my own mechanic work).
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Old 05-14-2009, 01:16 PM   #5
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well everything turnd out to be ok. after going to Suchcks Auto store, My friend luke asked me some questions and said the same thing you did. but he said before i go and start tearing into it to change the t stat, and check agian. sure enough when i did i found the t stat was covered in some black sandy looking material and when i tryed to open it by hand it took nearly everything i had to do so. when i replaced it i bought a 180 degree and put that in, then i burped the system like you said and took it for spin, everything has been going good. i havent had any more issues since then.
Erik i thank you kindly for your service and wealth of infromation, and the push it the right derection.
Josh
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Old 05-14-2009, 03:03 PM   #6
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You are welcome- glad to hear you are back on the road!
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