Generally the cause is the headbolts. They are torque to yield, which essentially turns them into springs. Over time and heat cycles they loose their ability to maintain specified clamp load, and it's all downhill from there.I don't know what caused it, or maybe even age caused it, I'm the 2nd owner.
Please be wary of it, have been burnt in the past on an older Civic head - it was all 'perfect' by the seller, but was burning oil like hell after the installation and required no core.What year and model? Can you tell me e casting number on your front head? It looks like your rear head is RDJ18. I think the head I got from EBay is counterfeit, so I’m researching.
Just another day at the office.Update on this project - car is back in business so far, about 30 miles on it. We'll see how it lasts!
Took around 20 hours of work with a car lift in a garage. I would never attempt this outside, way too many steps. The car lift really only helps to take the exhaust bolts off, which aren't too bad. It also helps getting the timing belt components off and on with more ease. It can be tight down there with the car on the ground. I would say about 19 of the 20 hours the car was spent with the car on the ground. I stood on 2 of the pilot wheels in front of the car most of the time to make bending over easier.
Used OEM headgasket / OEM headbolts and oem miscellaneous seals. Started right up with no lights or anything, smoked for a little bit and then disappeared.
Power is back, runs good! Will give it some time to see how good!
Would I recommend this project to the average person? No. It's very very time consuming and takes a methodical process to make sure it all goes back together right. A lot of bolts, a lot of fasteners, a lot of parts, a good understanding of the car is needed BEFORE doing this project. If you don't understand how to do a timing belt, then don't do it. This is like a timing belt times 5 in time, complexity, frustration, etc. If you don't have a lot of tools and tool options, then don't do it. Some the bolts are hard to get access to and take creativity and good tools to reach. Order parts AFTER it's apart, because you're going to break stuff more than likely, like fragile sensors, find broken seals, etc.
Heads were machined at a machine shop at $60/head
I cleaned everything and went through 9 cans of brake clean. Don't attempt it without a factory service manual as you'll need a lot of specific torque specs. You'll need an inch pound torque wrench, a 25 to 250lb large torque wrench, a torque angle gauge or a digital one that does angle, a lot of patience and time. My biggest time saver was the Milwaukee Fuel 3/8" ratchet.
You don't really need a lift for the timing belt job, it helps for some covers, etc. but most of your time is going to be spent in the engine bay. You will need a strong battery powered or air impact and a double walled socket, along with a aisin timing belt kit.I know I'm getting too old. I have my own house/garage attached. NO lift. I have some nice ramps.
I'm contemplating doing the TB on my 08, and 15 when they need it next. I've worked on many motors in the past.
When it's time, I'll need moral support from 'the Piloteer Gang' if I attempt it though.
I do have a great independent shop that did the last one on my 08. Just more $$. than DIY