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Old 01-10-2014, 10:34 AM   #1
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Default Valve Adjustment and Oil on Spark Plugs 93 Sol

I just have a few questions before I go ahead and start my work on this issue. My 93 Sol d15b7 has been working pretty good for the most part. My only issue has been some valve ticking that I've wanted to get rid of. Recently though I pulled my plugs just to see how they were doing and I found some oil on my plugs and one of them was soaked. I had the gaskets replaced like 2 months ago. I was reading around and found that there are some gaskets under the valve assembly.

So here is what I wanted to do. I want to go ahead and take the valve assembly off and replace those gaskets down there then put it back together. After that I would do the valve adjustment and replace the plugs. Is that about right?

On that note though does anyone have the torque specs for the bolts under the valve cover?

Thanks.
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Old 01-10-2014, 10:56 AM   #2
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Default Re: Valve Adjustment and Oil on Spark Plugs 93 Sol

Just so you know, the bottom plug tube seals will allow oil into the spark plug tube, not the combustion chamber.

So if you mean the electrode area of the spark plug was soaked with oil that wouldn't be the lower tower seals (the ones under the rocker arm assembly). That usually indicates either bad valve seals or your piston oil rings are shot or both. All of those are a bit more labour intensive and is best done with special tools for the job(s).
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Old 01-10-2014, 01:07 PM   #3
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Do you have any idea how much one of those jobs might run?
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Old 01-10-2014, 06:30 PM   #4
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Okay just wanted to give a bit more info. When I pulled the spark plugs out it was the spark plug in cylinder 2 that was wet with oil. There was a small amount of oil on the spark plug wires (the part the goes into the spark plug tube). There is no smoke coming from the exhaust and it hasn't given me an engine miss or a code for it.
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Old 01-11-2014, 04:31 AM   #5
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Old 01-11-2014, 12:14 PM   #6
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Default Re: Valve Adjustment and Oil on Spark Plugs 93 Sol

to replace piston rings a friend at a local shop said they charge $1800 with about 800-900 being parts. i just recently rebuilt my brother engine and transmission from his 99 civic and we spent $1400 but that included labor for rebuilding the transmission, getting the valves tested and replacing 3 of them, and getting the block machined
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Old 01-11-2014, 12:18 PM   #7
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Default Re: Valve Adjustment and Oil on Spark Plugs 93 Sol

if the oil is on the top of the spark plugs, it can be the seals on the valve cover that seal around the spark plug tube
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Old 01-11-2014, 10:57 PM   #8
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Well at that price I could just get a new engine and do a swap instead. I didn't check if the oil was in the tube and got on the electrode when I took it off so I guess determining where the oil is would be a good place to start. Either way it isn't like changing those lower seals is hard or expensive so I think I will give it a shot and see if the situation improves.
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Old 01-11-2014, 11:27 PM   #9
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Default Re: Valve Adjustment and Oil on Spark Plugs 93 Sol

Quote:
Originally Posted by notoriousg View Post
to replace piston rings a friend at a local shop said they charge $1800 with about 800-900 being parts. i just recently rebuilt my brother engine and transmission from his 99 civic and we spent $1400 but that included labor for rebuilding the transmission, getting the valves tested and replacing 3 of them, and getting the block machined
BAHAHAHAHAH I would have told them to get fucked! $800-$900 in parts is a ******* joke for a ring job. Bottom end gasket kit, $50. OEM bearings at list price, $112 for rods, $145 for mains. That's list, though - no one pays list. List for the ring sets, $166.48. Once again, list. Head gasket, $41.88. Valve cover gasket, $40.02. Again, list for both of those. $555 and some change TOTAL. Hone job, assuming the walls aren't damaged, $50 at your local machine shop. Round it off to a nice, even $600 for all parts AND machine work. If a shop told me it would be $900 just for parts for a ring job, I would tell them to suck a fat dick.
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Old 01-12-2014, 09:20 AM   #10
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Default Re: Valve Adjustment and Oil on Spark Plugs 93 Sol

Did you figure out where the oil was coming in from?

Last edited by Skryblz; 01-12-2014 at 11:21 AM.
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Old 01-12-2014, 10:08 PM   #11
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I have been at work all weekend from 8am to midnight both Saturday and Sunday so I haven't had the chance to look at it. I will do a closer inspection tomorrow and post pics.
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Old 01-13-2014, 10:10 AM   #12
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So I looked at the plugs this morning and the main culprit (cylinder 3) had oil but it seemed to be accumulated around the part were the ratchet grabs onto it. Is it possible the leak is around there and is slowly leaking down to the combustion chamber?
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Old 01-13-2014, 10:21 AM   #13
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Default Re: Valve Adjustment and Oil on Spark Plugs 93 Sol

No, if oil could seap around the threads then gases from the combustion chamber would be comning out the top of your head. Oil on the electrode means oil in the combustion chamber.

So you have both lower tower seal issue (allows oil on the top of your spark plugs [wire side]) and either valve seal or oil control ring problem (allows oil into the combustion chamber) or possibly really worn bearings so it splashes excess oil onto the walls, more than the oil rings can scrape off (less likely).
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Old 01-13-2014, 11:00 AM   #14
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Well in that case do you think I would just be better off getting a new head? I had been toying around with the idea of doing a mini me swap. It seems like it would cost around the same and I would have a newer, better head as opposed to just patching this one up
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Old 01-13-2014, 12:46 PM   #15
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Default Re: Valve Adjustment and Oil on Spark Plugs 93 Sol

That's up to you.

I don't think valve seals are that difficult if you have the tools, mainly the puller, and air compressor and spark plug attachment (to keep the valves up without springs and retainers) and the seal installer. All can be done without pulling the head.

You could change the tower seals, upper and lower and do the valve seals for pretty cheap and just some labour. Do a bit of driving and see if you still get an oil fouled #2 spark plug. If you do, then you know the bottom end needs work and doing a mini me is pretty pointless.

Just my two cents.
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Old 01-13-2014, 12:53 PM   #16
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This car is my DD so I'm not really looking to make it into a race car. The whole mini me thing is just so I can have a newer head. I only mentioned it because I thought that the leaks where happening in the head but you are saying it might be happening on the bottom end?
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Old 01-13-2014, 02:22 PM   #17
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Default Re: Valve Adjustment and Oil on Spark Plugs 93 Sol

It could be from either or both, you have to rule out one to find out if it's the other.

The easiest being the valve seals. If you still have oil in the cylinders then it would be bottom end issues.

Process of elimination.
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Old 01-14-2014, 08:09 PM   #18
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Okay I think I finally get you. So I am gonna go ahead and but some new valve seals and hope that the oil burning is on the top half of the motor. Now the question becomes this, I don't have an air compressor so doing the replacement means that I would have to remove the cylinder head right? I looked at a bunch of threads and most people wanted to do it with the head still on. There was talk about using a nylon rope to keep the valve from falling down but I think that I would find it easier to take it off and work in the comfort of my home instead of being bent over the engine bay.

So if I was to take the head off could I do it with no air compressor or nylon rope?

Can I buy the parts off something like rockauto or would OEM be preferable?

Should I replace the lower spark plugs seals at the same time just to be sure?

Thanks a lot!
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Old 01-15-2014, 04:29 AM   #19
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Old 01-15-2014, 09:10 AM   #20
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Default Re: Valve Adjustment and Oil on Spark Plugs 93 Sol

Yeah it's quite a bit easier to do it with the head off, just keep extreme good tabs on your valves, you do not want a valve going into a different valve hole. A trick is to take a box lid and punch holes in it in the layout of your 16 valve head, when you pull a valve you put it into the corresponding hole in the lid. Then it's easy to put each valve back into it's corresponding hole/guide. The valves are seated to their seat so mixing them up causes all kinds of leaks unless you reseat ever single one of them.

Really on Honda, OEM is the best way to go for most things, very few parts are ever made to spec and that's why they don't usually last as long as OEM.

As for tools, I'd suggest spending the 60 bucks on the valve spring compressor that has the bar you attach to the head, it will speed up removing your valve springs and installing them being you got 16 to do at once.

The other tools you will need is the valve seal remover with slide hammer and the valve seal driver. With that you will be all set to make short work of your valve seals.

And yes since you will have the rocker arm assembly off, definitely change your lower tower seals they are only a few bucks each with the exception of #3, it's a special figure 8 seal and runs a couple bucks more but still cheap.

Then you also have to replace your head gasket being you are pulling the head, get the D16Z6 head gasket being it's a MLS gasket, also since you are pulling the head you should send it to the machine shop to test for flatness and have them make sure it's has a really low RA value (super smooth) for the MLS gasket.

That will give you a lot more life for your engine, the graphite gaskets used on the D15B7 has a tendency to blow being they aren't as durable but fill higher RA groovings in the head so are more tolerant.

It's the head gasket replacement/cleanup and block cleanup why people want to do the valve seals with the head on the car.

If you don't want to do the machine shop for the head, then stick to the D15B7 graphite gasket. Don't forget to clean up your head bolts and dip the threads in oil before putting them in. It's best to replace the bolts with new OEM ones but some people will reuse (not Honda recommended).

Hope this info helps.
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Old 01-15-2014, 12:36 PM   #21
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Man that was actually really helpful. I'm gonna tackle all of this next week, probably around Wednesday since I get paid on Friday and I wanna make sure I have everything I need before hand. I'm really looking forward to this actually since it will not only hopefully fix my leak and make my car run better but will also give me a chance to learn all about the cylinder head. I'll probably post again when I get to it. Thanks again for the tips man!
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Old 01-15-2014, 04:52 PM   #22
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I'm about to order the stuff I need for this job but I just wanted to post a pic of the parts list to make sure I have the right stuff. In particular I wanted to make sure I have the right head gasket (going the z6/y8 route) and the head bolts.
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Old 01-16-2014, 10:08 PM   #23
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Okay it wasn't mentioned in this thread so I figured I'd post it here just in case. Wouldn't it be smarter to do a compression test? If the compression is good the it would more than likely be the valve seals. If the compression isn't good but improves with oil then it would be the piston rings more than likely right?

I don't wanna go through all the trouble of replacing the valve stem seals if that isn't even the problem. I really hope it is though! Is this a good way to check?
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Old 01-17-2014, 09:28 AM   #24
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Compression test results
Dry: 190 185 195 195
Wet: 210 240 210 235

Seems like good results I think. I am wrong if I think the piston rings are good on my engine based on these results?
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Old 01-17-2014, 10:48 AM   #25
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Default Re: Valve Adjustment and Oil on Spark Plugs 93 Sol

Compression test only show how the piston rings are doing, not the oil scrapers and also if the valves are sealing. if compression is low you still usually have to do a leak down test to determine if it's valves or rings. Neither test indicates problems with valve seals. Valve seals don't have anything to do with compression, just keeping oil out of the valve guides and combustion chamber.

However, you usually can see puffs of smoke from the exhaust after idle on take off or on deceleration I think when valve seals are bad. That's when the oil tends to pool the most in the head. Something like that. Do a little google searching for symptoms of bad valve seals. Someone more experienced may have some good pointers on determining it.
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