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Old 01-12-2007, 09:54 PM
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honda 2.0 head gasket

Anybody have feedback on a leaky head gasket? This is an 86 honda accord and the symptoms are as follows; once the t-stat opens it heats up steadily(I turned motor off before 3/4 hot), open radiator cap when t-stat is open and there is a slight burp or pulsation of water visible, no visible vapor coming from tailpipe, no water in oil or oil in radiator. I haven't bought the combustion gas tester for the radiator yet. What are the odds of this being only a leaky head gasket? If it is probable that the head is cracked I'd probably look for another replacement motor. Any help??
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Old 01-13-2007, 08:42 PM
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Are the fans working?
Is the gauge reading correctly?
Is the rad stopped up?
Is the coolant clear or rust colored?
If it is overheating pretty quick,it is probably is a head or head gasket.

I had one years ago that would overheat,but if you held the engine at 2k it the temp would drop.It was the impeller on the water pump corroded away.
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Old 01-14-2007, 05:03 PM
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Honda headgaskets rarely go bad check the plugs for antifreeze/ clean look, if they are bone white, it is ither a cracked head, brand new plugs ( probably not ) or a headgasket faliure
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Old 01-14-2007, 05:21 PM
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I am not exactly sure I am understanding what your problem is. You are going to see water circulation with the cap off and the thermostat open.

If it is getting overheated, then you might have a radiator or fan problem. The car is 21 years old.

Today's gas, stark white plugs are not unusual. I just changed out a set 3 days ago that were stark white except for a small dot on the side of the ground electrode. .085 gap made them miss .... The car is perfect and runs like a charm at 250,700 miles. Ford 5.0.

If your fans are running, I suggest that you snatch that radiator off there, carry it to a radiator shop, and check the max flow in gallons per minute. I bet it is clogged. Check if fans are running fast enough.

RED = Good idea about the impeller.

Years ago I saw a Mopar plastic (yes) impeller come loose and move forward on the splined shaft, grinding the fins length about 1/2 off... It cooled in town, but got hot on the road.
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Old 01-14-2007, 09:05 PM
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Let me add a few bits of info. (Great feedback so far thanx. ), by pulsating water in radiator I mean the water level rises about 1/2 inch every couple seconds while idling, the fans don't kick on that I remember but will look again, the water does visibly move in radiator so I assume the impeller is functioning. It is using water with no leak that I can see. I will check plugs when I get a chance-- it is a second car and the weather has been freezing in Portland for a week now. Yes it does have anti-freeze. This is a replacement motor replacing a head gasket problem in the original, the symptoms are similiar so I probably jumped to a conclusion.
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Old 01-15-2007, 08:00 PM
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jerw55,Did you bleed the air out of the system?If you look on the thermostat housing there is a bleeder,use a 12mm deep well socket and with the engine off fill the rad with coolant until there are no bubbles.Close the bleeder,put the rad cap on and start the engine.Both fans should come on before the gauge gets to 3/4.
If your fans do not come on by the time it gets to 3/4.I would shut the engine off and by pass the fan switch to see if they come on.I think yours is on the bottom of the rad on the passengers side with two wires.Put a jumper between the two wires and see if come on.IF they still don,t come on,there is a fuse for each one and also a relay.
Another real quick test to see if your fan motors are ok is turn on the a.c. both fans should come on.
As far as the impeller on the water pump.I started working on Hondas in about 1993 or 1994 and I have only had couple like that.It is really rare.Keep us posted.
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Old 01-20-2007, 03:27 PM
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So I decided to clean the shop and put the honda in there to fix this problem. First I bled the coolant system as suggested, topped it off with straight water, this probabley diluted it to 25% glycol, and put the cap on. After running for about 5 minutes the gauge climbed to 1/2 way, the t-stat hadn't opened yet, and the fans had not come on. I bypassed the switch and they did come on so I wired a manual switch until I can get a free one (did I mention I pride myself on how little green I spend on this car-save it for the chevs). Took it for a test drive and it heated up to almost 3/4 and then took a dive like the stat opened and then climbed steadily back to 3/4, this cycle happened for approx 10 minutes of driving so I parked the pile. Maybe a sticky stat or clogged radiator? The cap was dripping slightly through the overflow, don't think that would effect pressure too much. I have heard that for every pound of pressure to the system you add 5 degrees to the boiling point, is this accurate? Thanx again for the help
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Old 01-22-2007, 12:03 PM
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If the head gasket were blown you'd either get water vapor from the exhaust or pressure in the radiator, which would constantly force water out. You could have a cracked head, which is more likely than a blown head gasket. A new T-stat is cheap enough though -- I'd try that first, and maybe a back flush kit. Could still be a bad water pump -- slipping and not flowing enough water, and could slip more when it gets hot.

You mentioned the radiator cap. More pressure will lower the boiling point, but I'd replace the cap with a new one of the same pressure rating first. The caps DO lose tension on the spring over time. Yours is 20 years old -- it's probably lost a few pounds, a replacement should fix that. None of what you describe should be caused by the cap alone, but it definitely needs replacing if original.
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Old 01-29-2007, 09:23 PM
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Redlightning, thanx so much for the advice, I bleed the system once before the t-stat opened and a number of times until no spurts or bubbles when it was fully warmed up. This did it, I put maybe 150 miles on so far and the gauge did not pass the halfway point. I was still losing water so I pulled my head out of my --- and reinstalled the overflow bag which I must assume is a recovery system since this stopped the coolant loss. One downside though, tonight driving home from work, after 55 miles the tranny woulnt't shift into 5th gear without double clutching and after a few more shifts it made a rattling noise while in neutral, I do have another tranny so that is going in this weekend. Thanx again, this site is invaluable.
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Old 01-29-2007, 09:43 PM
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It,s great to hear you got it fixed.The most common problem with these transmissions that I have seen are:The wrong weight oil used,or the axle seals leak and fifth gear gets starved.They take regular motor oil not 90w.
If your trans is making noise,it might be time for you other one?Or I have seen a the clutch disk come apart and make noise and intermittently cause the clutch to not disengage.
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