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'97 Accord SE overheat

  #1  
Old 07-09-2013, 12:13 PM
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Default '97 Accord SE overheat

I've got a '97 Accord SE. Yesterday my son was driving and the radiator blew and the car overheated. Let the car cool and refilled with coolant and was able to get the car home. I replaced the radiator and hoses but now the car won't start. It sounds like its firing on one cylinder but refuses to start. The cel stays on constant. I tried to jump the obdII port but got no flashes from the cel. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks,
Brent
 
  #2  
Old 07-09-2013, 12:26 PM
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Check for timing belt broken by removing distributor cap and turning engine over while watching rotor. If rotor turns timing belt is OK.

Check for fuel/spark by attempting to start w/ starter fluid or throttle body cleaner (5 secs into air intake).

If no brief start, no spark is likely and must be diagnosed.

If it starts briefly, fuel flow is probably missing; main fuel relay or fuel pump.

You can crudely check fuel pressure by cracking banjo bolt on fuel rail after turning keyswitch on for 2-3 secs, then off. If you get a hefty spray, fuel flow is probably OK and injectors may not be working.

good luck
 
  #3  
Old 07-09-2013, 12:35 PM
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TexasHonda, thanks for the quick reply. I was kinda thinking timing belt too. When I went to try to start last night, the engine seemed to misfire and kick back. I'll pull the the distributor and check. I think I have good fuel cause I can smell fuel when trying to start.
 
  #4  
Old 07-09-2013, 03:52 PM
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Well, timing belt seems to be ok. I pulled the exhaust manifold and found oil running down the front of the block. Seems to be coming from below cylinders 2 & 3. The exhaust ports for 2 & 3 on the head were wet with oil also. I could also see oil pooled on top of the #2 exhaust valve. What do the experts think? Blown head gasket or cracked head? There was no milky oil when checking the oil cap. Advice?
Thanks,
Brent
 
  #5  
Old 07-09-2013, 06:07 PM
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It could be either cracked head or blown head gasket. Check oil and coolant for evidence of leakage/contamination. It could also be simply leaking valve cover gasket.

I would first check cylinder compressions to see if that explains no-start. If good compressions, solve the no-start and go from there.

good luck
 
  #6  
Old 07-09-2013, 06:24 PM
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I pulled the valve cover and that isn't the source of the oil on the front of the block. I looks like its coming from the head gasket area beneath the two middle cylinders. I added fresh oil to the engine last night and the oil leaking on the block looks brand new. That's got me worried that the head is cracked. Are these heads prone to cracking with a brief overheat? What's the best source for instructions on removing the head and replacing the gasket/checking the head or cracks?
 
  #7  
Old 07-09-2013, 09:06 PM
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I've lost a head gasket w/o overheating. No experience w/ cracked heads and we haven't seen any posts on this issue, to my recollection. I'm sure they must crack occoasionally, but must be rare.

OEM manual (see diy forum, Online Manuals post) provides good guidance on head gasket repair. It's not terrible, but a good day of work to install/remove.

Recommend OEM or Felpro gaskets (multi-layer steel). I used Felpro on my 94 ex and had no problems after seven years.

A good auto machine shop can check the head for cracks and refurbish (new valve stem seals, reseat valves, and shave head flat) head if not cracked. If cracked, check ebay and car-part.com for a used replacement.

good luck
 
  #8  
Old 07-09-2013, 09:59 PM
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Thanks, TexasHonda. I'm slowly getting everything removed from the engine that needs to be removed. I take it its easier to remove the head with the intake manifold still attached? One other question. How do you loosen the timing belt enough to get it off the cam pulley? I've watched a few Youtube videos and all I could find were ones to r and r the timing belt and water pump. That looks like a MAJOR operation. Is there an easier way to loosen the belt?
Thanks,
Brent
 
  #9  
Old 07-10-2013, 07:02 AM
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I'm not aware of anyone attempting to replace head gasket w/o removing timing belt.

It may be possible, if you can suspend the TB by clamping the belt slack w/ jimclip or similar to prevent misalignment of belt while disconnected. Looks like a significant risk of TB misalignment would still remain. Not worth risk IMO. Suggest to go by the book.

good luck
 
  #10  
Old 07-29-2013, 10:47 AM
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Well, update on the '97 Accord. I got the timing belt and balance belt replaced, along with new seals on the crank, cam, and balance shaft. I installed a new Felpro head gasket and got everything, finally, reassembled. The engine starts right up, good as new.....except for the cloud of white smoke pouring from the tailpipe. I'm ready to pull out what hair I have left. I guess I've got a leak in the head gasket that's letting coolant into one of the cylinders. I'm going to do a compression test and see if I can find the problem. Any other suggestions out there? I had the head checked at the machine shop after the overheat and he had to mill it a bit to get it flat, but he found no cracks. Everything was torqued down to spec, per the manual.
 

Last edited by cajun98; 07-29-2013 at 12:03 PM.

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