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Old 10-13-2006, 05:44 PM   #1
Steel
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Replace, or re-ring?

That is the question.
I have a 93 civic with the D15 motor in it (SOHC no VTEC). I made the mistake of buying the car in the dark, while it was raining and i was in a rush (My Z34 heater core was leaking and i didnt want to deal with that 'ol chebby anymore) so i failed to notice that the car burns oil.

A LOT of oil. I'm talking a quart every 200-300 miles bad. I'm talking i smoke out everyone behind me every time I accelerate. I'm talking the back right part of the car gets black with soot within a couple of weeks.

I know it's not the valve seals (well they may be leaking too, but minorly in comparison) because it generally doesn't push out a huge cloud of smoke when i start up, rather it really smokes when i get on the pedal or i pull a high vaccum for a while then give it gas such as coasting down a long steep hill. Also, [what's left of] my oil looks like diesel oil after only a few miles - exhaust leaking into crankcase... so I know it's the oil control rings. Finally, i suspect that it's all four cylinders, becasue ALL of my sparkplugs ash up.

So. I gotta get this fixed. Not fun having to pour in a quart every three days (thought it saves time on oil changes, i only need to change the filter ) One of my former colleuges at wrok (I used to work at a Honda dealer, ironic no?) suggested that I pull the head, drop the pan, pull the pistons and rering them. Another one said i should just replace the motor with a junkyard donor. Either method will be a real PITA to do at home... So i was wondering what YOU guys would do.

Replace pros:
less messy
Harder to mess up
uhh... that's all i can think of
Replace cons:
more expensive
more labor intensive
chance of getting worse motor from boneyard

Rering pros:
Cheaper
less to take apart
chance to change out all my seals so no more oil leaks
rering cons:
My cylinder walls could be fuxxord, which would make it a waste of time
Easier to mess up. (rings have to be in certain position etc)

Egh i dont want to deal with this crap.
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Old 10-13-2006, 05:56 PM   #2
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Re: Replace, or re-ring?

change the rings, it's really not a pain to do at home. what's more, it's probably not every cylinder that's in need of new rings. do a compression test, find which cylinder(s) need(s) new rings and replace. it can be done in about 2-3 hours if you work at a decent pace.
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Old 10-13-2006, 06:29 PM   #3
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Re: Replace, or re-ring?

its the oil rings that are gone, not the compression rings, and they'res so much oil in the cylinders that a compression test is a moot point.... anyway i already did and they're all pushing 210psi.

And yes its all the cylinders. Somehow. Theres a *lot* of ash buildup on all the plugs (but #2 is the worst)
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Old 10-13-2006, 07:18 PM   #4
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Re: Replace, or re-ring?

Do you know how to (and have the stuff) to properly hone the engine? Everyone says civic engines are too cheep to rebuild, but I allways opt to rebuild rather then replace, unless I know the engine thats going in. $400 for rebuild, vs $300 junk yard with 150,000+ miles on it, in my mind thats an easy answer - assuming you have the knowledge, tools, ect to rebuild the engine.
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Old 10-13-2006, 07:29 PM   #5
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Re: Replace, or re-ring?

You forgot option 3.

Sell the crap Civic and buy a rotary.
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Old 10-13-2006, 08:05 PM   #6
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Re: Replace, or re-ring?

Then the burning oil will be normal.
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Old 10-13-2006, 09:49 PM   #7
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Re: Replace, or re-ring?

Ha yeah. If i had enough money to waste on a dorito-spinner, then i wouldn't be stuck with a 13 year old civic now would I?

Anyway, i don't have a cylinder hone, nor do i plan on being that extensive in the rering. Maybe use a glazebreaker on it, but that's all. Other than that, yes i have all the tools neccesary to take the motor apart. I just know that once i start it, i know SOME goddamn think will happen. Meh. I think i need a buddy for this.

*edit* and i need to do it soon. its starting to get cold out.
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Old 10-13-2006, 10:30 PM   #8
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Re: Replace, or re-ring?

I don't know your budget, but if it was me I'd bore out the engine and get some performance pistons (and all new rings of course). If it's done right, you're guaranteed to have the problem fixed. While the head is out, go ahead and clean and polish the valve seats and the associated plumbing. That'll help the motor run a little more efficiently, and I'd imagine that a smooth finish wouldn't collect as much carbon in the long run.
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Old 10-14-2006, 12:46 AM   #9
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Re: Replace, or re-ring?

used engines are so cheap, I'd say it would be rather silly to not go that route.

About the same amount of work, time-wise.

No promises that re-ringing it would completely solve your problems. The used motor might have problems, true, but I've always had pretty good luck with used motors. Most junkyards are pretty straight up on mileage and most do compression tests on the engines too.

If you get a japanese used motor, you end up swapping out stuff from the old motor to the "new" motor. I believe the 1.5L jap motor had a mechanical fuel pump flange you have to block off on the head....but nothing all that difficult. I just like getting an entire motor ready to go, instaed of having to swap everything over.

Of course, replacing the timing belt and water pump and valve cover gasket aren't bad ideas....
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Old 10-14-2006, 02:08 AM   #10
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Re: Replace, or re-ring?

Re-ringing your Honda in a driveway is easy and involves the lowest cost and the least amount of time. Harbor Freight has inexpensive ball hones that will work great for you. Timing belt and water pump will add to your expense but make sense for each option.
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Old 10-14-2006, 06:41 AM   #11
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Re: Replace, or re-ring?

Theres lots of room to drop the sump off and take the motor off in the car. So pulling out a piston or 4 to rehone isn't going to be hard.

I don't know its its less work than just swaping in another pre-predded 1500 though, they are very simple motors, and there really isn't a lot hanging off them.
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Old 10-14-2006, 10:09 AM   #12
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Re: Replace, or re-ring?

heh, the timing belt and water pump (and radiator) and valve cover gaskets were replaced already. And you cant really bore these cylinders out, nor am i goint to pull to block TO bore them out. So yeah maybe hone.
I've had bad experiences with shady junkyard woners that don't remeber you when you come to bring a shitty part back, so that's why i'd rather not go that route.

I'll buy a case of beer to whoever wants to do this for me
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Old 10-14-2006, 10:29 AM   #13
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Re: Replace, or re-ring?

one of the reasons I'm not endorsing the re-ring'ing, is because I've done this type of on-the-cheap ring job also. More times than I prefer to admit. Too often it doesn't fix the issue. Why depends on each situation. Sometimes the bore is too egg'd, or the piston is damaged, or the valve guides are shot. But there's nothing more frustrating than spending all that time doing a hack job, and have it just as bad as it was.

There is risks with either situation, no doubt. But with the level of consumption you're talking....that is a crap load. Something could be very fubar'd in there and it may not be obvious to the human eyeball
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Old 10-14-2006, 11:43 AM   #14
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Re: Replace, or re-ring?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steel
...you cant really bore these cylinders out...
If that were the case, honda wouldnt sell oversized pistons.
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Old 10-14-2006, 12:47 PM   #15
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Re: Replace, or re-ring?

Quote:
Originally Posted by UncleBob
But there's nothing more frustrating than spending all that time doing a hack job, and have it just as bad as it was.
I can think of one, putting new round rings in an out-of round bore and makeing it worse

Funny, Did anyone mention rebuilding complete engine? If the rings are worn out then so might the rest of it. How much is a civic worth vs. How much for the job?
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