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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey gang -

Long time lurker here on Piloteers. We have an 07 Pilot with 130K that we purchased new. We were just ready to hand it over to our 16 year old son for his first car, and while driving it a few weeks ago I had a sudden rapping that turned into a bad roughness. Only drove a few miles and pulled over for a tow. Our Honda-specialized mechanic found that the #5 plug had disintegrated and was ingested into the cylinder. The coil is melted and he scoped the cylinder and thinks there may be scoring and possible piston damage (hard to tell clearly). Suggestion was to scrap the car, as his estimate to replace the engine would likely be greater than the car's value.

I'm somewhat handy and enjoy tinkering. Preliminary research seems to indicate that an engine swap is a big project that requires a lift, better left to the pros. Since my alternative is to basically junk it and probably get a few hundred bucks, is there anything that you'd suggest that I try since I've got very little to lose here.

Would pulling the head make sense to try to get a better look at the damage? Is this practical for a weekend mechanic? Anything else to try?

Thanks so much. It's been a great car and still otherwise in fantastic shape. Hate to send it to the junkyard until I've exhausted all options.

-Jim
 

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Just an option and this is assuming that the car has been maintained and is in generally good condition, consider buying a used engine or have the engine rebuilt. Then you have a safe and reliable car for your 16 year old for probably less than $4,000(?). While you may only get a couple hundred if you send it to the scrap yard, the car should be worth more than that.
Personally, I'd pay to have them look and get a full picture of what the damage is. Then you can decide what you want to do. I'd just hate to scrap it with the possibility that the damage was minimal.
 

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I had a similar issue, with sparky no. 5 no less, but it didn't appear to be as far gone as your situation. That's why I'll often recommend to check and retorque spark plugs to spec as a maintenance item on these vehicles.

Name That Engine Noise (Video) - Solved

Now, swapping the engine, if that's what you want to do, looks easy and inexpensive when Scotty does it, and he does suggest just going with a reman, and I would agree.



It all depends on your level of proficiency and confidence, whether you DIY it or just toss the job to the pros, in which case shop around and get more than one quote.

And welcome from out of the shadows. :)
 

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If the vehicle is in good shape outside of the engine damage, it may be worth to get a used engine from a savage yard and replace it. ( There are a lot of good used motors out).
It’s at least worth an estimate. What type of motor is it.( VCM or Non-VCM)?
 

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Hey gang -

Long time lurker here on Piloteers. We have an 07 Pilot with 130K that we purchased new. We were just ready to hand it over to our 16 year old son for his first car, and while driving it a few weeks ago I had a sudden rapping that turned into a bad roughness. Only drove a few miles and pulled over for a tow. Our Honda-specialized mechanic found that the #5 plug had disintegrated and was ingested into the cylinder. The coil is melted and he scoped the cylinder and thinks there may be scoring and possible piston damage (hard to tell clearly). Suggestion was to scrap the car, as his estimate to replace the engine would likely be greater than the car's value.

I'm somewhat handy and enjoy tinkering. Preliminary research seems to indicate that an engine swap is a big project that requires a lift, better left to the pros. Since my alternative is to basically junk it and probably get a few hundred bucks, is there anything that you'd suggest that I try since I've got very little to lose here.

Would pulling the head make sense to try to get a better look at the damage? Is this practical for a weekend mechanic? Anything else to try?

Thanks so much. It's been a great car and still otherwise in fantastic shape. Hate to send it to the junkyard until I've exhausted all options.

-Jim
Have you seen the scoring of the cylinder wall? I'd do a compression test. These would be my determining factors. If the piston is actually damaged, that can be replaced without removing the whole engine.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Have you seen the scoring of the cylinder wall? I'd do a compression test. These would be my determining factors. If the piston is actually damaged, that can be replaced without removing the whole engine.
Thanks everyone! I appreciate the insight and advice shared. For both sentimental and financial reasons, I hate to just walk away from it. We've used this Honda shop for years (two generations actually) so I totally trust the mechanic. He didn't make a decision for me one way or the other, but reading between the lines I think that he was worried that I'd get into this for $1500 worth of additional diagnostics only to find that the damage was indeed terminal.

I do have the pictures from the borescope on an ipad, will try to upload them here in the next day or two. They're not great and I don't think we have any images that look back towards the valves, but I'd appreciate it you guys would take a look and let me know your thoughts.

-Jim
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Sorry, quick update. Tonight I came across a local 2006 AWD being parted out. 111k, engine is still in the car and I can see/hear it run. Guy is asking $575 and offered a 30 day warranty.

Even if my current engine is salvageable, I know I'll need at least a new head which I don't think is inexpensive. Any ballpark of what labor should cost to have a shop replace the engine? Trying to decide if it's worth dusting off the idea of just swapping engines and getting it back on the road.

-Jim
 

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Sounds like your lucky day. I'd go for it; that engine, if it checks out, is less than most "Oh, by the way we found this that requires attention," when you go to the dealer for a discount oil change and umpteen-point inspection. :)

I don't know what labor would be in SE Pennsylvania, so shop around, not just by price but by reputation. Of course, do it before you fork over the cash for the engine, and ask the place you choose to check it out first. Is yours AWD, too (i.e., non-VCM)?
 

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Jeeeze.... the toys some folks give their kids these days. Why back in my day I had to buy my first car. I used to drive it 5 miles to and from school in the snow up hill both ways and only two cylinders had spark plugs. The shifter was a rope with a handle tied to the transmission linkage. Don't even get me started on breaks. If that there kid wants a good car with all the parts working then let him learn how to fix the thing. Any man worth his salt can rebuild a transmission on his moms kitchen table and have it put back in, in time for her to serve dinner.

135699


On a serious note. Sounds like the way to get the Pilot out of the driveway and back onto the streets at a decent price. Plus you will have a parts supply for later if needed, well all except for that #5 piston.
 

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Eh I see no problem with parents giving their children cars especially. It lessens the parent's burden to drive them all over the place and with school and everything its hard to get a job at could ever accumulate enough money to buy a decent car.

Glad you found an engine to put in the Pilot, sounds like a pretty good deal. One suggestion, since the engine will be out, have them replace the timing belt and all of that stuff and then you won't have to worry about anything for a while.
 

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Glad you found an engine to put in the Pilot, sounds like a pretty good deal. One suggestion, since the engine will be out, have them replace the timing belt and all of that stuff and then you won't have to worry about anything for a while.
Good point, since even a good Aisan kit is a fraction of the cost of labor.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Jeeeze.... the toys some folks give their kids these days. Why back in my day I had to buy my first car. I used to drive it 5 miles to and from school in the snow up hill both ways and only two cylinders had spark plugs. The shifter was a rope with a handle tied to the transmission linkage. Don't even get me started on breaks. If that there kid wants a good car with all the parts working then let him learn how to fix the thing. Any man worth his salt can rebuild a transmission on his moms kitchen table and have it put back in, in time for her to serve dinner.
Ha, I couldn't agree with this more. My first car was a VW rabbit that we had that blew an engine. My dad and I pulled the diesel and 4-speed and replaced it with a gasoline engine and auto trans. I learned a lot about cars during that project, the biggest lesson being not to be afraid of a challenge.My very first though with this Pilot dilemma was "cool, let's replace the engine ourselves" thinking I'd give my son the same experience. But without access to a lift, I decided it was more of a project than I wanted to get into.

My kid will definitely know how to wrench on it and we're expecting him to contribute to the repair cost. Honestly, I need him to have a car to spare us. He found a great job for a kid his age but it's 30 minutes away - we currently drive him one day a week and wait there while he works. That got old quickly. I can't wait for the day that he can drive himself and I still have my car to run around in. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Eh I see no problem with parents giving their children cars especially. It lessens the parent's burden to drive them all over the place and with school and everything its hard to get a job at could ever accumulate enough money to buy a decent car.

Glad you found an engine to put in the Pilot, sounds like a pretty good deal. One suggestion, since the engine will be out, have them replace the timing belt and all of that stuff and then you won't have to worry about anything for a while.
Yep, my mechanic recommended the same. He also wants to do the rear main engine seal, plugs (lesson learned!) and fresh alignment as part of the process.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Anybody know of any gotchas with compatibility or any resources to check? Donor car is a 2006 AWD. Ours is a 2007 AWD. From the options on Car-Parts, it looks like the 2006 AWD is fine - I just can't use an engine from a FWD model.

Does this sound right? Anything else you'd look for when sizing up a donor engine? Obviously going to see what the oil looks like, listen for any strange noises or smoke, and generally make sure that the rest of the car seems to show wear that matches the 111k on the engine.
 

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Is yours AWD, too (i.e., non-VCM)?
Donor car is a 2006 AWD. Ours is a 2007 AWD. From the options on Car-Parts, it looks like the 2006 AWD is fine - I just can't use an engine from a FWD model.
That's why I was asking.

Good on you for planning to check the other things you mentioned, but if you've decided on a trusted mechanic to do the swap, have him look at it, too, before purchasing.
 

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Anybody know of any gotchas with compatibility or any resources to check? Donor car is a 2006 AWD. Ours is a 2007 AWD. From the options on Car-Parts, it looks like the 2006 AWD is fine - I just can't use an engine from a FWD model.

Does this sound right? Anything else you'd look for when sizing up a donor engine? Obviously going to see what the oil looks like, listen for any strange noises or smoke, and generally make sure that the rest of the car seems to show wear that matches the 111k on the engine.
Honestly you could also put the VIN of the donor car in Carfax and make sure the oil was regularly changed. But yes, 2006-2008 AWD are the same engines. Double check with your mechanic too. Then check again...
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
That's why I was asking.

Good on you for planning to check the other things you mentioned, but if you've decided on a trusted mechanic to do the swap, have him look at it, too, before purchasing.
Yep, after I read your comment I went back and all of the compatible engines on Car-parts were from AWD. Thanks for pointing that out. :)

I trust my mechanic fully but unfortunately the car's just far enough away that I can't easily get him there to check it out. Talked to the seller tonight and I'm going to try to go see the engine tomorrow.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Hey guys - Just wanted to check in with a quick update. Long story short, my Pilot is back on the road!

I found a local guy parting out an '06 with 84k. He sold me the engine for $575. It was still in the car and I was able to see it run, so I felt good about it. Ultimately had my mechanic make the swap and, on hindsight, I'm glad that I gave him the work as it looked like a pretty big job.

Everything went smoothly and it seems to be running great. Thanks to all here for the advice.

-Jim
 

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To quote The Bard, "All's well that ends well." :)
 
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