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Old 02-23-2010, 08:22 PM   #1
PatrickGSR94
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Default Why is my VTEC solenoid valve leaking?

This is a result of further inspection after this thread: http://www.honda-tech.com/showthread.php?t=2732064

This is the oil I'm seeing dribbling down the front of the block and trans bell housing.

Click the image to open in full size.

I looked closer and could definitely see oil on the bottom of the VTEC solenoid valve housing. I just installed a new valve gasket w/ screen the other day, due to leaking, but now it seems worse. I would say the previous gasket/screen was only on there for a couple of years.

This shows the oil on the valve housing.

Click the image to open in full size.

Looking closer at the solenoid portion, I don't see any oil coming from the solenoid gasket area.

Click the image to open in full size.

Click the image to open in full size.

Click the image to open in full size.

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Click the image to open in full size.

Did I just completely botch the install? Or could the gasket be defective? Helms calls for 8.7 ft-lbs on those 3 housing bolts. I might have taken them to 10 ft-lbs. Could over-tightening cause the housing to leak? I re-installed the housing tonight and was careful to go only to 9 ft-lbs on my Craftsman Digitork torque wrench (it was either 8.5 or 9 so I chose 9).

It only leaks when the engine is running so we'll see how it looks after I drive to work tomorrow.
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Old 02-23-2010, 08:58 PM   #2
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Default Re: Why is my VTEC solenoid valve leaking?

is problem the cam seal above it
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Old 02-23-2010, 09:32 PM   #3
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Default Re: Why is my VTEC solenoid valve leaking?

i have this same leak, and cant find out where it is coming from...
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Old 02-24-2010, 03:57 AM   #4
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Default Re: Why is my VTEC solenoid valve leaking?

Quote:
Originally Posted by b20vtec turbo View Post
is problem the cam seal above it
It is not the cam seal. There is no oil at all around the cam seal, especially since I just replaced it the other day also. No oil coming from the distributor, either. It's definitely coming from the VTEC valve. Anyone else have an idea?
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Old 02-24-2010, 04:53 AM   #5
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Default Re: Why is my VTEC solenoid valve leaking?

Looked again after I got to work this morning, and the oil leak seems even worse than yesterday. Looks like the oil is in fact coming from the gasket between the VTEC valve and the solenoid, the one that's never been replaced in 287K miles.

When I had the valve components off the car on Saturday, I tried to clean up the housing with some brake cleaner. I did not separate the solenoid from the valve housing. Could this be the reason the oil leak seams worse, the fact that I sprayed brake cleaned on the housing?
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Old 02-24-2010, 05:07 AM   #6
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Default Re: Why is my VTEC solenoid valve leaking?

it could be. i would replace the o-ring in the pressure switch, and the gasket for the solenoid.
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Old 02-24-2010, 05:18 AM   #7
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Default Re: Why is my VTEC solenoid valve leaking?

oh crap, #25 in this pic right? I didn't even think about that!

*calls up Carland Acura to get it added to order*

Click the image to open in full size.
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Old 02-24-2010, 06:06 AM   #8
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Default Re: Why is my VTEC solenoid valve leaking?

#25 and #14 while you're at it.
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Old 02-24-2010, 07:51 AM   #9
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Default Re: Why is my VTEC solenoid valve leaking?

yeah 14 is what I ordered today originally, and then I called and had 25 added. I'm thinking #14 is the problem, but who knows. Both parts are original, 16 years old with 287K miles on them.

I replaced #12 this past weekend, which had only recently been replaced 1-2 years before. Guess that wasn't the problem.

I'm guessing the #15 pressure switch just unscrews and screws back in, similar to the coolant temp sensor?
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Old 02-24-2010, 07:59 PM   #10
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Default Re: Why is my VTEC solenoid valve leaking?

In for results, I have the same leak but not as bad as you. I've replaced valve cover gasket, cam plug and solenoid filter/gasket. Don't know where the leak is coming from.

EDIT: checked out #14 on my car and that sure enough was the case. GL with yours!

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Old 02-26-2010, 12:22 AM   #11
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Default Re: Why is my VTEC solenoid valve leaking?

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I'm guessing the #15 pressure switch just unscrews and screws back in, similar to the coolant temp sensor?
Yup.

I have yet to see a leak come from the pressure switch on a vtec engine. Dont know why. But in your case, Id change that O ring just to be sure.
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Old 02-27-2010, 02:30 PM   #12
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Default Re: Why is my VTEC solenoid valve leaking?

Well I got the parts in today and installed them - the o-ring and the gasket/filter under the solenoid. I drove up and down the street outside my neighborhood and when I got back, it appears it's STILL leaking!

It's definitely still coming from in between the VTEC solenoid and housing, but it could be just the residue from the oil I applied to the gasket itself before installing it. I'll have to drive it again for a longer distance to be sure.

I did torque the bolts with my wrench set to 10 lb-ft. Helms calls for 8.7 on those bolts, but I was using a socket with a long extension so I set the wrench to 10 to account for torque loss.

I don't get it. The water pump has a similar type of gasket and the same size bolts, and I've never had issues with coolant leaking from there. Why would this still be leaking with a brand new gasket on it? So in the past week I have replaced #8, #12, #14, #25, and the distributor o-ring, and yet oil is still leaking.
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Old 02-27-2010, 03:56 PM   #13
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Default Re: Why is my VTEC solenoid valve leaking?

possible the aluminum housing of the solenoid is porous? (bad casting from the factory) and it took 287k miles for it to warp or crack and leak??

replace the whole solenoid??
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Old 02-27-2010, 04:54 PM   #14
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Default Re: Why is my VTEC solenoid valve leaking?

eeesh I hope not, new one is $250 I did not notice any cracking when I had it apart.

I wouldn't think it would be considered a "bad casting" if it's lasted this long.
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Old 02-27-2010, 06:17 PM   #15
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Default Re: Why is my VTEC solenoid valve leaking?

im sure you can find a used one for cheap....they hardly ever go bad so finding a good used one which will probably have much less miles than yours should not be an issue.
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Old 02-27-2010, 07:23 PM   #16
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Default Re: Why is my VTEC solenoid valve leaking?

Time to bust out the Hondabond
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Old 02-27-2010, 07:56 PM   #17
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Default Re: Why is my VTEC solenoid valve leaking?

jus put an LS in it, haha

i would really jus replace the whole soleniod.
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Old 02-28-2010, 04:59 AM   #18
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Default Re: Why is my VTEC solenoid valve leaking?

I dunno, kinda skeptical of putting any liquid sealant on the gaskets due to the possibility of gumming up the valve or clogging the filter screens or whatever.
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Old 02-28-2010, 09:15 AM   #19
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Default Re: Why is my VTEC solenoid valve leaking?

i had the same problem i just replaced the vtec gasket the rubber gasket with the filter and it was fixed
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Old 02-28-2010, 04:39 PM   #20
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Default Re: Why is my VTEC solenoid valve leaking?

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i had the same problem i just replaced the vtec gasket the rubber gasket with the filter and it was fixed
Yeah there are 2 gaskets with filters, and I've replaced both of them. I don't know for sure if it's still leaking or not, will have to check after driving to work tomorrow.
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Old 02-28-2010, 04:47 PM   #21
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Default Re: Why is my VTEC solenoid valve leaking?

Seems that a lot of the solenoids have leaking problems. I just replaced all the gaskets in mine and it fixed the leak I had as well.
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Old 02-28-2010, 09:08 PM   #22
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Default Re: Why is my VTEC solenoid valve leaking?

Id remove the unit and clean it VERY well with brake cleaner. Inspect it for small cracks or anything like that with a magnifying glass. If you've found nothing, check for a warped mounting surface on the solenoid side..check flatness (glass table works nicely), of course remove the gasket first. Last resort, clean gasket itself, along with the head surface with brake cleaner to remove all traces of oil, then apply a very thin film of hondabond to gasket surface. As long as you're careful and use the HB sparingly, you wont get any of it in the filter/solenoid assembly/head. Ive actually done the last step before with great results.
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Old 03-01-2010, 03:51 AM   #23
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Default Re: Why is my VTEC solenoid valve leaking?

Alright cool. May have to try that one night this week.
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Old 03-01-2010, 05:14 AM   #24
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Default Re: Why is my VTEC solenoid valve leaking?

Arrived at work this morning and took a look, and it appears to not be leaking NEARLY as bad as it was, i.e. no oil running down the front of the block or transmission.

However, I could still see/feel a small amount of oil residue at the separation between the VTEC valve housing and the solenoid, where the #14 gasket above goes (the one I just replaced on Saturday). I guess I'll just continue monitoring it this week and see what happens.
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Old 03-01-2010, 07:25 AM   #25
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Default Re: Why is my VTEC solenoid valve leaking?

I have this same leak. I pressure washed all the oil residue in that area so if it leaks again I can see where it's coming from. It seems to have been coming from the vtec solenoid so I've been driving without letting vtec engage. So far, no oil is present. Been like that for 4 days now. I'm going to drive and engage vtec today. If oil appears, looks like i'll be swapping out those same gaskets...

You should degrease that entire area so if oil leaks again, you can follow the trail.
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