Opinions Wanted 91 CRX - How Bad Is This? Head Gasket and Block
First off my car is a 91 CRX DX 5 speed with about 111k on the odometer and is originally from Arizona.
I know nothing of the previous maintenance history. Therefore I am doing a timing belt / tensioner / water pump / head gasket (it was leaking and blowing smoke). I also plan to do a lot of the hoses while I have it all relatively accessible.
I got around to pulling the head off today and found a few things that I would like some information / opinions on if you guys know anything about it.
Facing the car this is on the left hand side of the head. As you can see it is full of crud.
This is what the block looked like :
This is what the head looked like :
How bad is this? In all of my research that I did before I always ran across pictures of blocks that looked many times cleaner that my Hulk-ish green and sh*t brown block.
Someone has used Bar's Stop Leak, and apparently lots of it. This is very nasty stuff. People think you can just buy a bottle of this crud and pour it in the radiator to fix a leak and it doesn't do anything negative?
You can try to clean as much of the crap off with rags, garden hose, fire hose, etc. You can replace the nipple on the head for the heater hose (it has a hex on it) if it is rusty. After you re-assemble the engine, install a radiator flush kit and flush it for a good while, until you see the mud stop coming out. Fill it back up and run it for a few weeks. Re-flush. Do this until you see no more brown coming out. God knows what your heater core looks like on the inside.
I would also replace ALL of your hoses that transport coolant. You'll also want to flush out the small things that get coolant - IACV, FITV, etc.
Check for external leaks. Somebody was using StopLeak for a reason. You don't even want to think about what your radiator & heater core look like.
2000 Ford F-350 Super Cab Pickup
4x2, 6 speed manual
Regeared to 3.08:1
4 inch suspension slam
Aero mods: "Fastback" fairing and rugged air dam and side skirts
Stock MPG: 19
Summer MPG: 27.0
Winter MPG: 24
Since its a honda, id seriously consider just dropping a new engine in.
Since any old Honda D-series has an equal chance of blowing a head gasket, I think just cleaning up this motor and head and installing it correctly with a new gasket wouldn't be a bad option as long as everything else on the motor minus the head gasket is in good shape. Otherwise, just get a new motor that is known to run well.
On the never-ending quest for better gas mileage...
I would take the head to a machine shop and have them hot tank it and resurface the head. I had the machine shop do a valve job on my HF when I did it and the total was about $200. Mine didn't have the rust on it, but came back looking new. The nice thing about this is that I gave it to them with most of the old HG stuck on the head and didn't have to worry about cleaning any of that crap off.
You've got a bit of work ahead of you to get the sealing surfaces on the block clean. Looks like your old fiber HG came apart and is stuck all over the block sealing surfaces. I spent a few hours with a wire brush on a power drill getting this stuff off, trying to be very careful not to only remove the old HG and not any aluminum. I stuck sections of rags into the oil return passages, the waterjacket, and cylinders to keep all the crap flying off the wire brush from getting into the engine. I then cleaned the cylinders with an oiled rage.
You might want to get a straight edge and measure the block to see how flat it is. I didn't and am losing a tiny bit of coolant each week and have a bad feeling my new HG is leaking and may have to do it all over again.
What type of head gasket did you put back on your motor? Did you go with the original style fiber type or did you go with the new multi-layer steel (MLS) type?
I had ordered the OEM fiber type and then later found a Honda bulletin stating that this type of gasket was faulty and should no longer be used etc. I returned that one and then ordered the new recommended head gasket and matching head bolts from Honda.
I am leaning more and more towards bringing the entire head to a machine shop. I've tried cleaning it and it will take hours and hours and I don't think that I will be able to get it anywhere near the smoothness that is required. I was looking at the head today and noticed some pitting as well in a couple of spots.
I didn't realize they made a multi layer metal gasket for the D series and used a fiber one. Maybe I'm going to regret that. My Integra had a MLM gasket and there was none of the mess you have with it.
If you get a straightedge, you could try measuring the block to see how flat it is after you clean the gasket crap off of it. I know I wouldn't be dying to pull the thing out.