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98SH Stock - Seeking advice from the experienced.

 
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Old 02-26-2011, 07:10 AM
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98SH Stock - Seeking advice from the experienced.

Just bought a 98 SH from a friend, and I'm currently working on any and all mechanical issues that I can identify, but the issues seem to be increasing as I have more work done.

It's in really good shape, and to me, runs well, though I have no point of reference for that. But it sounds real nice, just a little too much vibration from the engine, I think. It is stock, no mods, and currently has 158K miles.

Here are a couple of problems I've identified with the help of a mechanic that I don't know whether to trust anymore. More on that later...

A disclaimer: I am not automotively experienced. I understand general theory, and I understand how an engine works, but I really know nothing about sensors, electronics, suspension systems, etc. Since I bought this car, I'm really interested in learning. I've been devouring these threads since I found them. I am also obsessively paranoid about this car now - I'm sure some of you can understand.

Compression in the two cylinders on the driver's side (I don't know cylinder order) are at 120psi, and the other two are at 90. I understand this is not good. I've found that around 150 is good, and that a variance of more than 5% between cylinders is bad. The mechanic that I've been working with recently did a valve adjustment (among other things), and now the car is spewing white smoke. So head gasket, but I'm pissed because it wasn't doing that before he adjusted the valves. Also, he didn't test the compression after the valve adjustment, which makes me wonder about this guy. Again, I'm paranoid - I don't know who to trust.

I'm currently monitoring my coolant level and my oil for indications of coolant leaks for that. How quickly and how badly could I damage my engine while driving with it producing that white smoke? I'm tapped out for cash for about a month now from all the other things I've done recently.

Other things I've had done...

  • Cleaned fuel injectors
  • Replaced plugs (with Autolite platinums - will have to correct that later.)
  • Timing
  • Oil Change
  • Looked inside the cylinder head - very clean
  • Had a gaping hole in the intake hose(!) - he fixed that
  • Replace air filter
  • Replace PCV valve
  • Cleaned throttle body
  • Replaced fuel filter
  • Replaced O2 sensors
  • Valve adjustment
  • Cleaned catalytic converter
  • Replace valve cover gasket
  • Replace distributor cap and rotor

So the check engine light is on, and the code I'm getting is P0172 Bank 1 (which I learned is the only bank) too rich. I have 2 weeks left on my movement permit, and I think I'm going to have to cheat, because that CEL is automatic fail.

My mechanic told me he 'cleaned' the airflow sensor, and I learned today there is no airflow sensor. WTF? So essentially, I don't know what this guy did or didn't do, and how well he did it. He's been working on my girlfriends Maxima for a long time, and seems to do alright, but for Christ's sake, he dropped one of those clips that hold the plug wires together down into the engine compartment and acted like it was no big deal. He didn't even TRY to look for it. I looked for it for 15 minutes. Never found it. When I came to pick up the car, he's like, it's done here you go, and as he's lowering the hood, I notice the hose clamp for the connection to the PCV valve is off, and I'm like hey fu@%&r, WTF? Sorry had to rant.

And I got some front end chatter starting out in first gear. Fixed that pretty much by driving better. Still, it's the original clutch, going to have it replaced ASAP.

Sorry this is such a long post, hope someone reads it and gets back to me. Just a week and a half of pent up concern.
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Old 02-26-2011, 11:59 AM
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Re: 98SH Stock - Seeking advice from the experienced.

If your getting white smoke and low compression you probably have a blown head gasket. Driving it longer will just do further damage. Pull the spark plugs and check to see which cylinder it is doing it in. The plug in the bad cylinder will be spotless as the antifreeze is steam cleaning it when it burns off. I would recommend finding a reliable technician, and having the engine rebuilt at this point. Driving it any longer will just do further damage. Check your oil as well to make sure it isn't leaking antifreeze internally as well.
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Old 02-26-2011, 06:24 PM
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Re: 98SH Stock - Seeking advice from the experienced.

Maybe he didn't do the valve adjustment correctly. It's really easy to check if you have some minor tools.

This reminds me of when my mom took her car to jiffy lube for an oil change and they put oil in her coolant resiovr. I thought she had a blown head gasket but it when i drained the radiator and oil there wasn't either mixed. SO it was just some dummy who put it in the resivor. Since then I do everything myself and I mean everything mechanically.
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Old 02-26-2011, 06:34 PM
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Re: 98SH Stock - Seeking advice from the experienced.

I can at least help with your P0172 code. I had the same code for about a year when I bought my bb6. I could not find out what was causing it and replaced the o2 and the map sensor. (By the way when he said he cleaned out your airflow sensor he probably cleaned the map sensor which is manifold air pressure sensor. It does the same thing as a maf.) These didnt do the trick so a guy I was taking my vehicle inspector liscence test with suggested the FPR Fuel pressure regulator. It was like 40 something from autozone and it cleared the code. So my advice would be to check the FPR for your code at least.

The front end chatter you have will be helped by a new cluch/flywheel but to make it go away completely I would suggest new motor mounts.

As for the smoke... my bet would be on the head gasket... but you might need new piston rings by the sound of the compression test.
Also just so you know (if you didnt already) the h22a4 (or any h series for that matter) has a FRM lined block. This is a Fiber Reinforced Material that coats the cylinder walls. FRM was meant to help reduce heat in the cylinder but it also makes the walls super slick which will allow some oil to bypass the piston rings into the combustion chamber. The h22 will naturally burn a little oil under fast accleration and when downshifting. But if you have a constant billow of white smoke out the tailpipe its probably the head gasket.
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Old 02-27-2011, 04:21 AM
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Re: 98SH Stock - Seeking advice from the experienced.

Someone told me today that the exhaust and intake manifolds are inter-cooled. He did clean the throttle body, and looking at how the throttle body is connected to the intake manifold, he may have removed the intake manifold to remove the throttle body. If he simply damaged the intake manifold gasket, then this could also cause white smoke, could it not?
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Old 02-27-2011, 04:28 AM
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Re: 98SH Stock - Seeking advice from the experienced.

Quote:
Originally Posted by s13carr View Post
These didnt do the trick so a guy I was taking my vehicle inspector liscence test with suggested the FPR Fuel pressure regulator. It was like 40 something from autozone and it cleared the code. So my advice would be to check the FPR for your code at least.
Yeah, FPR was the next thing we were going to try. Do you know if there are specific O2 sensors for upstream and downstream, or are there simply different part numbers for the same part?

Quote:
The front end chatter you have will be helped by a new cluch/flywheel but to make it go away completely I would suggest new motor mounts.
I've eliminated the front end chatter just by driving really easy, but if it keeps it up, I'll probably need motor mounts eventually.

Thanks for the input.
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Old 02-27-2011, 04:40 AM
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Re: 98SH Stock - Seeking advice from the experienced.

I don't think the exhaust is cooled.

If we are on the same page with the intake having a leak where the antifreeze travels to cool/warm certain sections I would think it could get mixed with the intake air that's being pushed to the chambers. I can't say for certain but that could make sense.

If you download the manual for the car it has the service steps to test the fpr, fuel pressure, iacv, egr, all kinds of testing procedures so you can test before dishing out $$$
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Old 02-27-2011, 06:12 AM
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Re: 98SH Stock - Seeking advice from the experienced.

Hey dude, where's a link for that manual?

I found a mechanic that is a little more on my level, and says he'll take a look and present me a plan to correct the problems I'm having, on a cost/time basis. I like that... a PLAN. As for me, I couldn't do tests right now. I don't even own a wrench. I'm afraid if I touched anything, I'd just eff it all up. This mechanic says he'll let me hang out and he'll teach me stuff as he does it, which I thought was pretty cool.

And yeah, that's another thing... Having some mild idle fluctuations so it's time to look at the EGR valve anyway.
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'98 SH, Stock. No mods... yet.

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Old 02-28-2011, 11:47 AM
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Re: 98SH Stock - Seeking advice from the experienced.

"Do you know if there are specific O2 sensors for upstream and downstream, or are there simply different part numbers for the same part?"

Yes they are different parts with different part numbers. I know at least one difference is the length of the wire connectors. Make sure you replace the pre cat and after cat O2's with their coresponding part numbers.
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Old 02-28-2011, 08:29 PM
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Re: 98SH Stock - Seeking advice from the experienced.

wow, dont listen to anyone who tells you exhaust and im's are intercooled. please.

you DO NOT need to remove the IM to remove the TB.

white smoke IS NOT caused by a damaged IM gasket. its caused by coolant getting into the combustion chamber and could be caused by a number of things, bad headgasket, cracked block, cracked head, etc. check to see if the proper amount of antifreeze is inside the radiator and the overflow bottle. also check to see if antifreeze has contaminated the engine oil. you can look at the engine oil dipstick, or look at the under side of the engine oil filler cap. if the oil is contaminated with antifreeze, it will have the appearance of a chocolate milkshake.

there are 2 o2's for our cars, one on the header(primary) then one after the cat(secondary) both have different part numbers.

here is a link to download the helms...
SpoonerTuner.com - Free downloadable Honda Acura Factory Service Manuals by HELMS
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