How long will my HF motor last? I am worried - Fuelly Forums

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Old 07-04-2007, 10:48 PM   #1
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How long will my HF motor last? I am worried

I burn about a qt every 750 miles. I still get 42~44mpg The motor has about 210k on it.

I bought it becuase it ran so good.. I knew it burt oil but didnt think this much.

This was done to it at 190k: head gasket, valve cover gasket, intake gasket, exhaust gasket, front crank seal, front cam shaft seal, rear main seal. timing belt and tensioner

I dont have the $$ to be rebuilding it right now (full time student) so I am wondering how long the motor will last in this condition. It seems to run perfect on the highway which most of my driving is. (30 miles to school) But intown driving it puffs some smoke and you can smell it too. Almost smells like it is running a bit rich too.

Can I get a year to a year in a half out of it until I finish school and get some money to rebuild this car or buy a new one? 25k Will it last 3 years? 60k?
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Old 07-04-2007, 11:03 PM   #2
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it probably runs well at highway speeds because your rings are shot and there is little resistance to the piston movement. Who knows how long it'll last, I've heard of cars using more oil, but whose to say if there'll be engine damage. Do what you have to do. I know it sounds stupid but how much is driving necessary to you? Are you living on campus?
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Old 07-04-2007, 11:09 PM   #3
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it probably runs well at highway speeds because your rings are shot and there is little resistance to the piston movement. Who knows how long it'll last, I've heard of cars using more oil, but whose to say if there'll be engine damage. Do what you have to do. I know it sounds stupid but how much is driving necessary to you? Are you living on campus?
no I live with my dad 25 miles or so from school
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Old 07-05-2007, 04:13 AM   #4
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Oil is cheap compared to a rebuild! Drive it easy and watch your plugs. Back in the bad old days I had a Vega that was driven 60 miles a day adding a qt. of oil each way! Lasted a year that way. A pipe was added from the crank case to the valve cover to try and recycle some blow by oil. Are you sure your not leaking oil at highway speeds? As long as you don't let the oil level get low enough to hurt the bearings you should be all right. You could also try going to straight 30 weight oil. Yes it will hurt your FE but whats more important right now! No that weight is not recommended anymore but you need to protect your engine.
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Old 07-05-2007, 05:08 AM   #5
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RickyD - just keep feeding it oil. With all the seals you replaced, you can probably bet your money it's the rings that are causing the oil consumption. Rings aren't so bad - it just takes time to tear the engine completely down. Then you take the block to a machine shop and have them check the bores. If all is well, you get them to hone the bores, throw a new set of rings (about $30) on your pistons, and put it all back together. If all is not well, a +0.25 bore and a new set of pistons and rings (about $190). Machining shouldn't be much more than $100 if you do all the assembly and disassembly.

But like I said before, in the meantime, just keep feeding it oil.
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Old 07-05-2007, 05:49 AM   #6
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One word boys, RESTORE! Go to the local auto parts store and put a can in every oil change!

Restore - engine rebuild in a can.

My friend used it in a 440 Chrysler for $hits and giggles to see what it did. When we took it apart we found blue streaks filling in the scratches in the cylinders. The stuff is blue in color. He used it in his catering truck for a year or so. His mpg went up and it went through less oil.
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Old 07-05-2007, 07:01 AM   #7
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I had an Si motor (D16A6) in my 'rex for a while that went through a quart of oil about every tank of gas (300 miles). I put around 30k on it like that and it was still running fine when I removed and sold it.
Restore does work, but it's not a permanent fix. My experience with it was that if you stop using it, the engine deteriorates back to it's pre-Restore condition. Give it a try and see if it helps, then decide if it's worth the extra ~$6 per oil change.
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Old 07-05-2007, 09:03 AM   #8
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Ricky D: Their are a couple of things. First, as long as you keep it full of oil and don't let it run low, it will run for a good long time.

Second, on the cheap, here is what you can do.

First, I bet that the valve guide seals were not replaced when the head gaskets and seals were done. These can be replaced with the head on the car, but it's a real pain. They can be replaced off of the car, but it's still a pain, just not a real pain.

Second, what you can do, without pulling the engine entirely, is to pull the head, pull the pan, remove the pistons, hone the cylinders, install replacement rings, install new rod bearings and reassemble. It will be a little money, but not a lot.

I've done this to two different Honda's and after I got done, they don't use hardly any oil and they run fine. The pistons may make a little noise but it doesn't seem to hurt anything and they run fine. I'm coming up on 100,000 miles on one of the engines, since I refreshed it, and it's running great.

If you want any further guidance, let me know.
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Old 07-05-2007, 11:12 AM   #9
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Put 10w30 with Lucas oil stabilizer in it your next oil change. It will help slow down the oil being burned off and make the valves quieter also.
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Old 07-05-2007, 11:26 AM   #10
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If it makes you feel better, when I was a young father in the Army I had a 72 Chevelle that would burn 4 quarts of oil every tank of gas. That's no exaggeration. If I drove through a valley on the interstate and looked back, it looked like I had just driven down a dirt road, there was so much smoke. On a trip from Georgia to Arkansas, it went though 22 quarts of oil. But, it was all I could afford, and knew a fraction of what I do now about cars. If I were in that same position again, I'd swing by the salvage yard and see about getting a take-out engine that would slide in place of mine for a few hundred bucks, or visit a rebuild shop.

If you want to keep driving the engine as is, I'd make sure the PCV system isn't clogged. The oil residue sucked in can build up and clog the PVC system, which will cause pressure to build in the crank case and force oil past the rings. A quick way to see if this is the problem is to get a vented oil cap (don't just leave the oil cap off, this can cause the oil loss to be sudden and messy, all over the engine), which will eliminate all crankcase pressure. If the oil loss goes away, this is the problem. The valve seals is the culprit if the engine smokes the first few miles after startup, when it sits more than 30 minutes. A ring problem can be diagnosed by doing a compression check, all cylinders should be close in compression. Do the first one dry, then squirt a little motor oil into the cylinder and do another compression check. If the compression is better with the oil in the cylinder, then the rings are the problem. Constant smoke is also a sign of worn rings. Keep in mind the catalytic converter will mask a lot of the smoke by burning it off before it can be seen, oil smoke is particles of oil in the exhaust that didn't burn off completely.

The Lucas and Restore, along with heavier oil, will slow or eliminate the oil loss but is by no means a permanent fix. You can go as thick as 20W50 if necessary, but this thick an oil will take power and economy away. Might get you through the time frame you want. You can also try Rotella 15W40, it's a diesel oil but it did slow the oil consumption on the wife's 89 Blazer she was using as a mail wagon from a quart a week to a 2 quarts per oil change. It had a 4.3L V6, and ran on the Rotella 2 years, then she landed a little white mail truck route and we sold it to the salvage yard.

Hope all this helps.
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