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checking crank bearings in car

  #1  
Old 08-05-2009, 12:51 PM
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Default checking crank bearings in car

96 accord 2.2 non vtec; 166K miles. I have the oil pan off and want to check condition of rod / main bearings. I worried about removing the bearing cap bridge as all main cap bolts have to be removed at once. How do you do this in the car?
 
  #2  
Old 08-20-2009, 06:52 PM
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Well, never got a reply; I suppose most people don't change crank brgs if there is still oil pressure. I tried the "Honda Tech on line" service, not so good. Takes about a half a day to get a response, had to give follow up questions several times; when I questioned his advice, he stopped responding. A great idea, but in my case, not very helpful.

Anyway, what I did was wrap a chain around main brg cap bridge, put drift through the links and tap with hammer to get bridge loose, while backing off main cap bolts a bit at a time, so the whole thing would not come crashing down. Main caps stayed in place in bridge. Rod and main brgs were worn; about what I would expect for 166Kmiles; crank OK.

When oil pan is removed, suggest spraying inside with WD40 or other moisture inhibitor after oil is cleaned from inside of pan, pan tends to rust right away; now you have rust in your pan because the inside of oil pans are usually not painted.

After studying the brg color chart for a good long time and quoted about $225 for rod/main brg set by Honda, went with "std" brgs from NAPA, about $90 with T'washers as well. changed rod brgs, plastigaged, all w/in specs.

When checking rod brg clearance with plastigage, do so with brgs dry, but DO NOT ROTATE CRANK. After checking clearance, lube brgs with assembly lube and retorque. With brgs lubricated, rotate crank just a little after each rod is torqued to make sure there is no binding. If there is any binding, it should be the one you just torqued. Make sure the notched brg locators are facing each other when reassembled. Also, mark rod caps before disassembly (1-4) to make sure they go back on the same rod. The markings on my rods were J1, J2. This is a big end rod measurement, not what cylinder they belong in. I use a number punch, but a center punch is OK. Caution: make sure to put a piece of rubber hose over rod cap studs, before pushing piston up, so you don't ding the rod crank journal! You may have trouble getting upper rod brg out with hoses on studs. You can remove hoses from studs when piston is pushed up into cylinder to make getting rod brg in and out, but BE CAREFUL not to ding crang journal with stud. After brg is changed, put hoses back on studs. To get rod caps loose, you can gently tap on studs with plastic hammer (put nuts back on studs).

Used Miller Tool # C-3059-A to remove upper main brgs (a Chrysler tool). It is a "t" looking piece that swivels, very nice. You put it in the crank oil galley hole turn crank clockwise and spin brg out; no chance of dinging crank with small screwdriver, which is what I used to do. Note, however, that there is no crank oil galley on #3 main journal, so you have to carefully tap brg with small screwdriver to get started, then turn crank clockwise, brg will come out. To get main caps off, put bolts (I used other bolts so I don't damage main cap bolts) into caps about one inch, hold them with one hand and tap on each bolt to free from block.

To install new main brgs, apply small amount of assembly lube to upper brg, then place on crank journal and slide brg up into block; if brg won't start in, loosen any main caps still in place and pull down on crank to increase clearance; brg should go in; if brg locator does not line up with slot in block, you can CAREFULLY pry brg over with a screwdriver to line up. I always kept two main caps loosely attached with sockets to take up some space, so crank wont sag too much. Main caps can't be tight,however, or it will be difficult to get top main brg to spin out and back in.

To use plastigage to check clearance, put lower main brg in dry, then torque main cap, then remove cap to check clearance. Plastigage is supposed to be measured dry, but you can't rotate upper brg on crank dry, so just don't use too much lube or it could cause plastigage reading to be less than it really is. DO NOT ROTATE CRANK with dry brg. After checking clearance, put a good amount of assembly lube on lower brg for assembly; OK to leave plastigage wax on brg; it won't hurt, in fact, you can scratch brg trying to get it out. My main brgs also plastigaged w/in specs; so much for brg color codes. I torqed main caps one at a time w/plastigage about 40 degrees from bottom, so weight of crank won't give false reading. Again, I had to use 1/2 drive sockets as spacers and washers to be able to tighten bolts without bridge in place.

I started to use shorter bolts from hardware store, CAUTION! I thought these were 10mm x 1.5 bolts; they are not; they are 11mm x 1.5, an odd-ball size. While tightening one cap bolt to check plastigage, it "slipped" like it had stripped. Lucky for me, block threads were OK, I just ran proper main bolts in and out to clean up threads. For final assembly, the online Honda tech said to put main caps in bridge and then install all five main caps at once; I questioned this practice, as it seemed too risky to connect all five caps from under car at once; afraid I might ding crank while trying to get started, or get cap crocked on sleeve while tightening. (This is when he stopped responding). I attached each cap to block with socket spacers and tighted only to snug, with caps seated in block (and assemby lube on brgs). Then, when all were in place, I bolted main cap bridge in, then tapped in with plastic hammer to seat on sleeves that protrude from either bridge or main caps, then tightened snug, then two step to torque specs. After each pair of bolts is tightened, (snug, and two steps to torque spec) check to see that crank will turn (just a little) to make sure there is no binding, or if there is, you will know which is causing problem.

A couple other cautions, make sure the #4 journal thrust washers have the side with oiling slots facing crankshaft. This is a common novice mistake to put thrust washers in backwards with oiling surface facing block. It will destroy crank if you do, because rotating crank face will not get enough oil. BTW, the new thrust washers were .002" thinner than the used ones. The used ones were good, so I re-used them. I did not check crank end float, but I figured if they lasted 166K and looked that good, why increase the end float by .004"? I also polished crank journals with 1000 grit paper, wetted with marvel mystery oil; they looked OK, but were shinnier when I was done. For mains I cut strips about 1 inch wide, oiled and fed them around top of journal, then moved back and forth for about 30 seconds; rotated crank 180 degrees and did other half of journal same way. For rods, you can wrap strip of paper around journal twice, then take length of rawhide boot lace, wrap twice around journal and move lace back and forth. If you do this, make sure you clean journals with brakeclean or other cleaner to remove any abraisives that came off paper. If there are scratches, or if you ding one of the jourals, you can start w/600 grit, then graduate to 1000 or 1200 or 1500. Again, make sure it is clean. There is some risk of some grit remaining in crank oil galley, but I have never had one come back, and have changed brgs and polished crank in car lots of times.
DONT FORGET oring in center of main cap brg bridge; I replaced mine; $3 from Honda, (an unusual taller than a regular oring)

New bottom end, new T-belts, w/pump, vavle adj, coolant, eng/trans oil, fliters, coolant hoses, all for around $350. I expect this will prolong engine for some time. Happy motoring!
Jim
 

Last edited by MillionAlfa; 08-29-2009 at 02:57 AM. Reason: forgot something
  #3  
Old 08-21-2009, 07:35 AM
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Wow, I can't read that all in one breath. I didn't answer the first one simply because I didn't know the answer.

If you want to break that up into paragraphs so we can read it, it might be a good candidate to move into the DIY section where it'll help other people.
 
  #4  
Old 08-27-2009, 12:30 AM
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Jim Blake,
I put into paragrahs and added a few other techniques. If you wish to move to another area of website, please do. Hope it is helpful. I was a BMC (MG, Triumph, some Jag, Jensens, Healys, Minis, etc) mechanic in the 70's. This is my first Honda.
The main cap brg bridge is a patented device designed to make the block more rigid; thus prolong the bottom end life. I read the patent while looking for info on google. Thanks.
 
  #6  
Old 09-02-2009, 10:41 AM
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Thumbs up Excellent Answer MillonAlfa

Thank You for giving that excellent answer to that member..Please feel free to come on in any time and join the post's..

WheelBrokerAng
 
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  #7  
Old 09-10-2009, 03:44 AM
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Originally Posted by SaGort View Post
Id have to agree with the dirt issue. Just because you have a freshly machined crank does not mean its clean and ready to install. It means that once you get it home its time to get some really hot, soapy water and scrub the crap out of all the oil passages. Same with a block, heads etc. The oil film on your journals can be as thin as .0005", so it doesnt take much to wipe a new bearing. Are you using tri-metal bearings? If not, cleanliness is even more important. Are you replacing the rod the bearing spun in?
My engine did not spin a rod brg. I just replaced the rod and main brgs and polished the crank. A rod with a spun brg would need to be replaced and the crank would need to be replaced or repaired and machined. These types of failures also send metal throughout the engine oil passages, which must be cleaned.
 
  #8  
Old 09-10-2009, 03:47 AM
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OK, thanks. and thanks for remembering my pilot bretheren, firefighters, police and all those who perished on 9-11.
 
  #9  
Old 09-10-2009, 08:30 AM
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Originally Posted by MillionAlfa View Post
My engine did not spin a rod brg...
SaGort is one of those 3-post wonder-bots who post anything that might not even relate to the thread. JUST so he can post all the stupid SPAM links that were in his signature then disappear forever.
 
  #10  
Old 09-15-2009, 10:34 AM
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Originally Posted by MillionAlfa View Post
OK, thanks. and thanks for remembering my pilot bretheren, firefighters, police and all those who perished on 9-11.

As YOU can see "I Shall Never Forget "
 
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