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My little rexy that might

Got a problem with your stock CRX? This is where you should start.

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My little rexy that might

Postby Yogiscrx » Wed Apr 19, 2017 8:46 pm

Hi all. Long time reader, new member, and a long time fan of your collective works. For my first post i feel i must quickly get to the heart of the matter. I have an 89 crx si which recently needed a new distributor, a water pump, and the head gasket the pump ruined. Before this it had smoke issues so it also needed rings and valve stem seals. I decided that since i was going to have everything apart i might as well change the bearings as well. I bought a gasket set, seals, rings, and bearings. i installed everything according to several threads and how to's and she seemed to go together like butter until i hit a long time speed bump due to one of my head bolts stripping the block threads on reinstall. A month later i put her back together and brought her back from the abyss for about 35 minutes. She started on the coughing side of concerned but quickly shrugged it off and ran so smooth. With a capitol SMOO. I decided to take a drive to check her out and i did notice at first that she didn't really want to put torque to pavement as before. After a few minutes i noticed white smoke and a smelled something out of a car i have never smelled before. Very odorous like melted plastic and burnt belt mixed with hot death. Shortly after i noticed the smoke the oil light came/stayed on even though it is not low. Then the engine acted like i downshifted until it shut down at 20mph. This happened a couple more times before she got home. Upon arrival she started screeching which quickly hit five pings before i could turn the key. I let it cool off and did run the car two more times for about 10ish seconds and the noise was a lessened screechy noise with no ping. I started pulling everything apart and when i got the timing belt i turned the engine by hand which has confirmed it is a lower end screech that is very quiet until i can hear/feel the compression build up then release(i was in a hurry with plugs in). Right at the hardest peak is when noise gets way louder, toward nails on a chalkboard, as the turn gets easier back to smooth church mouse squeaky in comparison. That is essentially where i am at on this project until i get the time to work on her this weekend.

Given what i have described i was hoping for some diagnosing the possibilities and how F'd i may be. From what i have read so far i may have spun a bearing/s and/or my oil pump went out and lack of oil may have fried my crank and in turn my engine. Sorry to feel like i have to ask but i am more of a book mechanic who researches/books his problems and have never had much luck as a vehicular diagnostician. Before anyone feels the need to ask i installed standard rings/bearings and a few of the rod bearing faces were "flaky" worn. i did follow the torque specs for everything. The laundry list is as follows: New battery, distributor, plugs/wires, water pump, timing belt w/pulley, rings, rod bearings, asst. new gaskets and seals, cleaned the gummy fuel injectors and a nicely lashed rebuilt head with new seals. Thank you for your time reviewing my shame.
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Re: My little rexy that might

Postby raffaelli » Thu Apr 20, 2017 10:01 am

Couple of thoughts for the built you didn't mention: deck the head? valve job? Did you keep a log of the clearances during the build?

Sounds like your problem could be a couple of things:

Poor clearance between the bearings and journals.

Poor ring gap.

Based on the low oil pressure light, I would go with bearing clearances of the two.

Pull the pan, pull the caps, inspect for damage. Stick a peep scope in the plug holes to see idf the rings are scoring the walls. You may be able to see this from the bottom.
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Re: My little rexy that might

Postby 4drSpankR » Thu Apr 20, 2017 10:32 am

raffaelli wrote:
Pull the pan, pull the caps, inspect for damage. Stick a peep scope in the plug holes to see idf the rings are scoring the walls. You may be able to see this from the bottom.

This. It sounds like either the wrong size (thickness) bearing was used and once it heated up it's causing the rod to bind (screech) on the crank OR it moved. A spun bearing sounds like a rod knock, which wasn't in your very descriptive (well done!) story. My advice, remove the pan and bearing caps as posted above.
1991 HF - previously '90 B18A1 now '97 B18C1
1989 Si - running parts car/gone
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Re: My little rexy that might

Postby Yogiscrx » Thu Apr 20, 2017 8:49 pm

Well i am sad to report that i busted her open and found melted pieces of metal where shiny new main bearings used to reside. The best i can tell is that my mess was caused by a very faulty torque wrench that welded the two middle rod bearing nuts on 2 and 3 and nicely left the main girdle at around 32 ft of torque; however, it was dead on spec for the head bolts. I bought a new torque wrench but it is not gonna fix the past or the fact that my middle main bearings both fell out on their own upon rotation. The main squeak was obviously coming from the mains and once those were out i found that the rod bearings had their own squeal pitch due to the lack of lube. Another noteworthy thing is that only the girdle side were torn up on the other four main bearings but i doubt it matters. Also my rings and cylinder walls are perfect and it makes no squealy-round sound with the bearings out. :-)b
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My little rexy that might

Postby Myriad » Mon Apr 24, 2017 11:06 am

Another way to check for damage is to tear into your oil filter, literally. It's messy, but it'll tell you if you need to strip the block to rid it of metal splinters.

Anytime you replace the bearings or piston rings, you should do a break-in process. Pushing a rebuilt engine before it's broken in can over-wear the piston rings and bearings.
I got a new shell, just need to stop driving the DX so I can work on it.

I've got a filter for my mouth, it just isn't a good one.
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Re: My little rexy that might

Postby Dave_Darling » Mon Apr 24, 2017 12:16 pm

If bearings get trashed, you really do want to clean out all of the oil passages in the whole engine. Nothing worse than having the scraps from the old bearings take out the new bearings...

"Mango Bango", 1990 CRX Si -- Sold on 10/01/11, with over 227,000 miles.

VTEC is Honda's "select a cam profile on the fly" system; VTECH is a crappy phone.
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