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Old 02-17-2012, 04:20 PM   #1
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Default V-tec Solenoid Gasket leak

Howdy people.. I bought a 1997 Honda Civic Ex a few months ago and it had oil all over the front side of the bell housing/oil pan etc etc. I just recently looked at the car after putting it on the road and I found the cause of the oil leak. It's the Vtec Solenoid Gasket. So I ordered one, replaced it and now it is still leaking. I checked for cracks/fractures on the back side of the head and the Solenoid Valve housing and appears to be none, at least nothing noticeable to my eye. I was wondering if putting on some type of sealant would help it from gushing out? I am out of options so if anyone could help out I would appreciate it.
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Old 02-17-2012, 04:24 PM   #2
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Default Re: V-tec Solenoid Gasket leak

Are you sure its coming from there
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Old 02-17-2012, 04:31 PM   #3
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Default Re: V-tec Solenoid Gasket leak

Op, did you make sure the cylinder head portion was clean? If it has gunk on it, it can cause leaks. Sanding that area with fine sandpaper is helpful.
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Old 02-17-2012, 04:43 PM   #4
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Default Re: V-tec Solenoid Gasket leak

Dc4 yeah I am sure. I can see it gushing out of there, moreso after i replaced the gasket. NV yeah I cleaned both the Solenoid piece and the head where they meet, I didn't sand paper it but I did make sure nothing was on either.
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Old 02-17-2012, 04:57 PM   #5
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Default Re: V-tec Solenoid Gasket leak

Did you tighten the bolts tight enough and install the gasket correctly
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Old 02-17-2012, 05:04 PM   #6
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Default Re: V-tec Solenoid Gasket leak

Gasket is on the same way the old one came off. Bolts are tight but not over tight.
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Old 02-17-2012, 05:09 PM   #7
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Default Re: V-tec Solenoid Gasket leak

Some kind of warpage maybe? I've not seen that before but your issue sounds odd!
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Old 02-17-2012, 05:21 PM   #8
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Default Re: V-tec Solenoid Gasket leak

Before I took the gasket off there was a steady oil leak as soon as the car was started. Now after changing that cracked gasket with the new one, it was still a steady leak but started to bubble-like out of it. Maybe buying the whole new assembly would fix it? I figured I would ask before I go spend more money than I should.
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Old 02-17-2012, 05:29 PM   #9
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Default Re: V-tec Solenoid Gasket leak

Just for curiosity sake, when you take it off lay it on a glass table with the gasket still in it to make sure the gasket is protruding enough, maybe defected?
I would then take gasket out and do same and see if there's a wobble or not!
I personally can't think of anything else!
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Old 02-17-2012, 05:36 PM   #10
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Default Re: V-tec Solenoid Gasket leak

Girlfriend would probably kill me if I used the glass table, but how about a sealer of some sort? Silicone possibly? I am unsure how much the whole vtec valve/solenoid costs to replace.
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Old 02-17-2012, 06:36 PM   #11
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Default Re: V-tec Solenoid Gasket leak

Same issue. I used high heat RTV and was very careful just to put a little on both sides of the gasket and a very thin coat on the head mating surface. Leak went away. The damn assembly is a few hundred OEM...
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Old 02-17-2012, 06:37 PM   #12
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Default Re: V-tec Solenoid Gasket leak

If it did warp and I bought another vtec solenoid valve would that fix the leak? Or could the head have warped from the heat making it so they do not go flush anymore? Sorry I am not as skilled with hondas as some are.
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Old 02-17-2012, 06:40 PM   #13
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Default Re: V-tec Solenoid Gasket leak

Pity, I believe when I called them it was 300 something. But if your leak went away with high heat stuff maybe I will go that route. I know using sealant/silicone type stuff is only a temp fix but I will take a temp fix over not being able to drive..
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Old 02-17-2012, 06:41 PM   #14
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Default Re: V-tec Solenoid Gasket leak

I never have run my engine hot. Its a daily driver and I take immaculate care of it. Seal cracked started leaking about a year ago. Replaced it. Still kept leaking. Bought another one, it kept leaking. I ended up using the RTV as I mentioned and the leak went away...
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Old 02-17-2012, 06:50 PM   #15
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Default Re: V-tec Solenoid Gasket leak

I am not sure how many times if any that it has over heated. I bought the car with 200k miles on it with a blown head gasket that I fixed. But I will have to try the rtv stuff. Do you remember what the name of the rtv stuff was called? How long did you wait after applying it before you started the car to see if it stopped?
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Old 02-17-2012, 06:56 PM   #16
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Default Re: V-tec Solenoid Gasket leak

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Originally Posted by SaltyDog017 View Post
I am not sure how many times if any that it has over heated. I bought the car with 200k miles on it with a blown head gasket that I fixed. But I will have to try the rtv stuff. Do you remember what the name of the rtv stuff was called? How long did you wait after applying it before you started the car to see if it stopped?
It was the high heat copper RTV from Autozone. I let it sit overnight. I basically put the rtv on, let it sit for about ten minutes, bolted it up hand tight and waited about another twenty minutes and then torques to specs.
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Old 02-17-2012, 06:59 PM   #17
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Default Re: V-tec Solenoid Gasket leak

Alright, I will give that a go. Thanks.
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Old 02-17-2012, 11:33 PM   #18
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Default Re: V-tec Solenoid Gasket leak

OR!!
That VTEC solenoid has two gaskets, one between the head and solenoid, and one between the top and bottom halves of the solenoid
Did you check that one too, or are ya sure it's the solenoid-to-head gasket?

If it IS the one between the head and solenoid, I'd be leaning towards defective gasket or defective solenoid at this point...I just wonder how badly the engine would have to overheat for the OUTSIDE edge of the cylinder head to warp like that...hrm, get a straight edge and check to see if somehow the solenoid itself isn't damaged or warped, as well as use that same straight edge and check the mounting area for warpage
Good luck!
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Old 02-18-2012, 05:57 AM   #19
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Default Re: V-tec Solenoid Gasket leak

Thanks Texas, I know for sure its the solenoid to head gasket. I will try the silicone way, if that does not work I will check into getting the new assembly.
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Old 02-18-2012, 06:24 AM   #20
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Default Re: V-tec Solenoid Gasket leak

If you didnt check surfaces with a straight edge then you cant know for sure its the gasket. Maybe it'll work for ya tho! Personally, I like to know for sure. Gl
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Old 02-18-2012, 09:14 AM   #21
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Default Re: V-tec Solenoid Gasket leak

With the straight edge, will you see a gap between the two if its warped? And if it is warped persay, would buying the whole new assembly be the way to go? Or silicone it to try and seal the gap?
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Old 02-18-2012, 12:42 PM   #22
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Default Re: V-tec Solenoid Gasket leak

You don't need high heat RTV, use permatex ultra grey or hondabond. Try that first, or as the other said could be the top triangle part that has a gasket as well.
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Old 02-18-2012, 04:47 PM   #23
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Default Re: V-tec Solenoid Gasket leak

I bought the high heat copper stuff before i drove to new jersey earlier, its not the top gasket as i can see it poor out from the side wall
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Old 02-18-2012, 10:31 PM   #24
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Default Re: V-tec Solenoid Gasket leak

I wonder...did you clean out the solenoid really well?
Just wondering if there could be enough crud in there to restrict oil enough that it takes the easiest way out; right through the gasket!
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Old 02-19-2012, 10:22 AM   #25
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Default Re: V-tec Solenoid Gasket leak

I Cleaned it as good as I could, unless theres more I can't see hiding.. But it was pretty clean.. The screen filter only had a dab of crud on it which I was surprised. I am going to open it back up after work tonight and see if I can look closer and add that silicone.. I just need a temp fix until I can get the whole new assembly.
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