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Discussion Starter #101
Hit the local salvage yard early today before the rain really started coming down.. only 2 pilots in the whole yard but a bunch of MDXs. I found this MDX just inside the yard with 90% of the teardown I needed to do for my research project already completed. More than 90% if I wanted to check the rear head but I wanted a clear picture of what’s going on in the head.
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7 minutes later I had it right where I wanted it.
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intake side dowel hole was empty, oil had drained out.. exhaust dowel hole was full of oil.. I looked around for a few seconds for something to absorb the oil, found a short piece of wire and plunged it into both holes.. sinks deep in intake(as expected) bottomed out very shallow on exhaust side.

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intake dowel depth..
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exhaust dowel depth...
Confirming that the exhaust rocker shaft is not actively oiled through the hollow dowel.

These are the hollow dowels.. they pulled free very easy, I didn’t have to waste $3 buying one at the dealer but I feared deforming them if I tried to reuse..
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Here’s a small picture dump of fun things I saw walking around.. I’ve always enjoyed the junkyard.

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These cars all got new brakes and then blew up their motors or lost a trans or whatever the case may be, but they weren’t crashed. The one car looks like full CPR (calipers pads rotors) and a hub bearing..

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necessity is the mother of finding some random trash to hold a hood open.. I’m especially fond of the radiator being used as a positive anchor for the club.

I have more but can’t attach them.. maybe another time... best part of the day.. I found $1.. just chillin in the mud.
 

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It's apropos to interject with the proverbial "One man's junk is another man's treasure."


I've seen much less artistically redeemable photography in some hoity-toity galleries.
 

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Discussion Starter #105
Thanks for the support everybody..

IrishPilotMender I saw in your pic the cats still attached to the y pipe.. did you loosen them down below or is there a way to yank the heads after only removing the 4 nuts that hold them to the head?
 

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Thanks for the support everybody..

IrishPilotMender I saw in your pic the cats still attached to the y pipe.. did you loosen them down below or is there a way to yank the heads after only removing the 4 nuts that hold them to the head?
I loosened the lower bolts. Its a bit of a wrangle but it is way better than the entire removal of the cat. Step 1 for rear cat removal is to remove pass front wheel, then drive shaft 😆 etc.. Although if you pull the heads and have any thoughts of replacing the cats in the future, I would do it while heads are off. I assume you will do the timing belt kit while you are there too?
If you really wanna help yourself out you could remove 1 or both of the cooling fans, gives you a lot more room to maneuver.
 

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Discussion Starter #107
I’m only doing the rear head so fans will stay in place.. I had originally planned to loosen the lower fasteners on the cat so good to know that’s a plan.. I was thinking maybe I could just remove the studs right out of the head, although steel studs in an aluminum head 14 years later might not go to plan.

Yes my Aisin tbelt kit will be here today after fedex trapping it in Chicago for most of the week. No plans to replace the cat, at this point I think I’ll be selling it pretty soon. I’ve overextended myself a bit financially and could really use the extra $$$.
 

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Discussion Starter #109
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what a shit show.
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found an extra injector lock under the intake, don’t know what to make of it.

this thing has been hacked on by a lot of people before me.. real shame. If I get through this I’ll get it right, little by little. I have some fears and reservations though.

I’m a little worried about the piston to valve clearance during VTec with the amount of milling the head needed. I spoke to the machinist about it and he thinks it’ll be fine. They are a very good machine shop so I’m rolling with it. I also don’t know how much the compression is raised on that bank due to the milling or how the ECM will reconcile that mismatch.

Note to anyone pulling the rear head in the future... commit to removing the entire harness. It’s a major pain but in the end it’s the only way so don’t waste your time trying to work around it.
 

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View attachment 141866
what a shit show.
View attachment 141867
found an extra injector lock under the intake, don’t know what to make of it.

this thing has been hacked on by a lot of people before me.. real shame. If I get through this I’ll get it right, little by little. I have some fears and reservations though.

I’m a little worried about the piston to valve clearance during VTec with the amount of milling the head needed. I spoke to the machinist about it and he thinks it’ll be fine. They are a very good machine shop so I’m rolling with it. I also don’t know how much the compression is raised on that bank due to the milling or how the ECM will reconcile that mismatch.

Note to anyone pulling the rear head in the future... commit to removing the entire harness. It’s a major pain but in the end it’s the only way so don’t waste your time trying to work around it.
If you work left to right with the harness, it will all flop nicely over near the battery area. You will pretty much unplug the entire harness,except the stuff linked to transmission. The extra time is worth spending to have a clean work space.
There must be a spec, given by Honda as to how much that head can be skimmed before causing issues. Crank her over by hand after you rebuild.
 

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Discussion Starter #111 (Edited)
Well I went the wrong way with it and went from the trans over the passenger fender. Now I know for next time. God I hope there’s not a next time.

I know to turn over by hand.. but that is without VTec active. My fear is this thing runs right up until it hits VTec for the first time. Hahahah we’ll see.

All the lower exhaust studs came out with the nuts so it is beyond loose down low.. I fought the top nuts but got them all, all studs stayed in the head. I pried the cat back off the head but can’t get it past the studs, even though it’s disconnected down low there is not a lot of movement in the manifold.

All in all was a fun day.
 

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Well I went the wrong way with it and went from the trans over the passenger fender. Now I know for next time. God I hope there’s not a next time.

I know to turn over by hand.. but that is without VTec active. My fear is this thing runs right up until it hits VTec for the first time. Hahahah we’ll see.

All the lower exhaust studs came out with the nuts so it is beyond loose down low.. I fought the top nuts but got them all, all studs stayed in the head. I pried the cat back off the head but can’t get it past the studs, even though it’s disconnected down low there is not a lot of movement in the manifold.

All in all was a fun day.
I did a headgasket with my buddy, on his Odyssey, his 4 children "helped", I was so distracted by them (and the mosquitoes) climbing in the engine compartment that I was a tooth off on the timing. It ran, but when he got to V-TEC RPMs the engine light came on. Ran the code, "cam sensor". Reset timing belt no issues. So I think the clearance is pretty good 👍.
Wish I could wrench with you to help out.
 

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Discussion Starter #113
I had that thought too.. people run a tooth off and don’t smash valves all the time but then I wondered if that’s 1 tooth retarded it would make complete sense, but a tooth advanced valves open early and kablamo???

Your support and shared experience is a lot of help.. this whole forum is a lot of help.
 

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Well I went the wrong way with it and went from the trans over the passenger fender. Now I know for next time. God I hope there’s not a next time.

I know to turn over by hand.. but that is without VTec active. My fear is this thing runs right up until it hits VTec for the first time. Hahahah we’ll see.

All the lower exhaust studs came out with the nuts so it is beyond loose down low.. I fought the top nuts but got them all, all studs stayed in the head. I pried the cat back off the head but can’t get it past the studs, even though it’s disconnected down low there is not a lot of movement in the manifold.

All in all was a fun day.
Just thought regarding the cat being difficult, loosen the lower bolts on the front cat too, that will give you the movement you need. (Assuming you didn't already and that you don't have the head removed already.
 

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Discussion Starter #115
Removing the lower bolts on the front cat was the ticket.. I thought it but didn’t do it before dark last night. Got the head off early this morning. Spent a lot of time cleaning the block and making sure to get all the coolant out of the headbolt holes. Stabbed the head on easy as pie the first time, didn’t like how one of the bolts went in.. felt like it was catching on the edge of the gasket... yanked the head getting oil from the bolts all over my nice clean head/block/gasket. Wiped it all down stabbed it again.. bolts started better the second time.
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Nothing obvious wrong with the intake valves..
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valve on the right has a weird ridge in it.. I feel like someone tried lapping a valve in, maybe after bending one and did a shit job. Picture doesn’t do it justice, I’ll eventually disassemble the head and get a better picture.
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New head is on
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I used new 12 point bolts.. 22ftlbs+ 90* 3 times came out to 146ftlbs seems crazy... never been afraid to tighten bolts before. I was thinking as they stretched the torque wouldn’t keep increasing but it did.

I have a lot of work ahead of me still but I’m on the other side of the project now. Plan on putting an hour in before work each day this week and will definitely be complete next Sunday.
 

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Tightening those headbolts was the scariest thing for sure. Definitely one of those times when you trust the process and keep going. I drew the head bolts pattern on a sheet of paper so I could keep track of which bolt I had Tightened and how many times. Good luck with the rest of the project. Looking forward to hearing the outcome.
 

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Discussion Starter #117
When South Main did the Ridgeline on YouTube he came up with about 123 ftlbs.. so the fact that mine settled at 146 scares me but I didn’t strip anything so forward march. Gonna get the new Tbelt on in the morning so I can turn it over by hand. Then I can adjust the valves. I could have done it in the bench but time was of the essence, I borrowed a really nice Snap-on torque wrench and have to have it back in the AM.
 

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Discussion Starter #118
Brought the bad head to work in case I got bored.. well I got bored.

Both intake valves are bent the carboned up one is more drastic. The clean won’t even show up on camera.
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The contact area where the valve meets the seat is worn very wide in one spot(that lip I thought I saw) and the seat itself is worn to match.. the 7 miles it ran well these imperfections must have found each other.

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When South Main did the Ridgeline on YouTube he came up with about 123 ftlbs.. so the fact that mine settled at 146 scares me but I didn’t strip anything so forward march. Gonna get the new Tbelt on in the morning so I can turn it over by hand. Then I can adjust the valves. I could have done it in the bench but time was of the essence, I borrowed a really nice Snap-on torque wrench and have to have it back in the AM.
Did South Main use the old head bolts? (I don't remember). Would that effect the total torque applied?
 

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Discussion Starter #120
South Main used new bolts, he didn’t show the lubing process but it looks like he used the same red assembly lube that he used on the cam... I used some conventional 5w30 oil I had kicking around.

Wind chill in the low 20s this morning.. got the Tbelt on though.. couldn’t feel my hands or feet through most of it.
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To do list... Major things.. there’s a million minor things.

-Charge the rear cylinders with compressed air to ensure seal.. leak down test. No sense moving ahead if there is a problem with the head or gasket.
-Adjust the valves
-hook the Ypipe back to the manifold cats
-rerun the wiring harness
- hook up the coolant crossover manifold.. I pulled the tube from behind the water pump as well so I could do new Orings on both ends.
-fill with coolant and look for leaks.
-install injector bases (lower intakes) and injectors
-Crank the piss out of it before reinstalling fuel pump relay and check for oil flow up into the head.
-reinstall plenum

So I made a mistake that I got lucky on but I thought through how to deal with it if I wasn’t lucky. I reinstalled the cam gear and backing plate after the head was bolted down to the block. I did this for a couple reasons #1 there is a bracket that bolts to the head behind the plate #2 less to contend with getting the head lined up and in place. I failed to make sure the cam was in the TDC zone but got lucky and it was, it was in the area forward of TDC. I know from having that cam jump during TBelt changes that a little forward or back is passable.

On to the solution if you find yourself in the same spot but didn’t get lucky and have the cam fall in the safe zone. Yank the rocker shafts, this will ensure the valves stay closed while you rotate the cam into the correct position. Just make sure you don’t lose those little dowels that I detailed earlier in this thread.
 
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