The New Year has come and I am doing a rebuild on my CX (D15B8). I assume someone has taken this on. I know it is popular to retrofit the D15Z1 motor in and up convert to VX when taking out the motor. But I have a love of simplicity, and the CX is nothing if not simple (comparitively).
Any recommendations? Advice? Things to look out for? Final pleas to put the VTEC-E in? I am open to any and all conversation.
I just rebuilt a 1987 D series engine and here are a few things to consider:
1. Have a valve job done when you do the rebuild and get the block checked to make sure the deck is still flat (mine needed to be milled because it had a hump in the middle). Don't leave out the oil control jet (a little brass restriction plug between the head and block)
2. Make sure you price the bearings before you start the rebuild. Honda offers about 5 different sizes of their engine bearings- each is .0005 thicker or thinner. This makes it possible to get perfect clearances on all bearings, but, the bearings are much more expensive. I bought a set of aftermarket clevite bearings, but they were somewhere in the middle of the sizes offered by Honda and even though the crank miked OK- I ended up having to buy some bearings from Honda to get the correct clearances on a few journals.
One more thing- the Honda bearings are sold/priced by the HALF shell.
Hopefully your bearings are still good and all you need are piston rings. I paid about $60 for a set of Hastings aftermarket rings and was happy with the quality.
One of the reasons I am doing the rebuild is I think there is no oil getting into the head, so I will be sure to look out for the oil control jet. How much did the Honda bearings cost? Bearings on the half shell, eh?
I saw the photos of your pistons on your garage page. It looked like you'd been using them to cook!
My bearings were about $16 per half shell from the local dealer- they were $8 per half shell from hondaautomotiveparts.com- you can check prices there- they do sell sets (both shells) for some engine, but not mine.
Considering that low-mile, JDM engines can be had for $500-600, it really doesn't make sense to do a rebuild.
I would get anything OTHER than the 8 valve abomination. Some ricer may give you his swapped out DX engine for free. You may even pick up some FE from the added power getting you up to cruising speed faster, particularly if you live in a dense populated city built on hilly terrain.
I am considering the DX engine... not the VX. I just think there are too many little details doing a CX to VX switch. I haven't done an engine swap or rebuild in a long time, and I want simplicity. I have zero interest in power. I have heard that the DX engine with the CX/VX transmission can get incredible mileage. If I am not mistaken that guy who did all the aeromods has a DX engine/CX tranny combo. Why the animosity toward the CX motor, suspendedhatch?
Tear the motor down and have the crank checked, mark everything to indicate the exact position it was in when torn down.
If the crank checks out OK, you can replace the bearings, if they need to be replaced. Best way is to check the part number on the bearings so you can get the exact match. If the crank needs to be turned then you just use a regular set of undersize bearings.
The Japanese car manufacturers went a step further and used several different sets of standard bearings to get to a closer tolerance in their factory motors. Machine shops turn and bore the bearings and block to fit the bearings you provide, which you can check with plastiguage.
If you were getting no oil to the head, you may have damage to the head itself, which may put you over the top as fas as just buying a nice used motor.
Definitely go for a machine shop that has a good reputation, and make sure the head and block are not badly warped.
If it was my car I would probably go for the used engine, because the parts and shop work will cost that much and its probably less risky, especially if you had oil delivery problems.
I am not afraid of spending a few bucks if the end result is an engine that will go another 150k+ miles at 45+ mpg.
The reason I am doing it is it definitely needs a new clutch. The compression is low. Power is off, seems to be getting hot, but not reading as hot (Temperature Sending Unit reading low), just a whole bunch more problems. I think the water pump AND oil pump are shot or weak. I think the prior owners failed to maintain, so maybe there are blocked oil passages. It had a new head put on 30k miles ago and I think they did a bad job of it.