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      Members Only Fluid Forum View   08/08/2017

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Jeremy airjer W

The little Honda that couldn't!

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My latest project was this 2001 Honda Insight. If your not familiar the Insight was one of the first Hybrids introduced into the American market. It is a two seater with a 1.0 liter 3 cylinder gas motor with an electric boost motor.

hondainsight.jpg

The customer complained of it overheating. An extended monitoring of the coolant revealed the signs of a head gasket failer. It just kept bubbling and would build pressure within half a minute.

The customer approved the repairs and off came the head. You can see the right two pistons in this picture are almost silver while the left one is black. The head gasket failure was near the right two cylinders. The coolant that made it into those cylinders de-carbonized the tops of the two pistons. Almost the same way that a pan gets deglazed.

headblock.jpg

The head was warped and the machine shop resurfaced the head. This is a vtech motor which means that some of the valves are only used when they are needed. Honda does this by driving a pin with oil pressure into the partner rocker that locks the other rocker to it. When they are locked together they both will open. When they are unlocked only one will work. The picture shows both exhaust valves open (red arrows) and only one intake valve open (yellow arrows). Only one intake valve is open because its parter rocker is not locked in.

Headvalves.jpg

The hardest part was finding parts! The guys at Honda where not really sure what we would need so they faxed us 7 pages of pictures and the guessing game was on. None of the parts where in stock and I found several other issues that resulted from the overheating upon disassembly. The #2 and #3 coils had melted and the assumed source of the leak which was a coolant port that had been displaced from the throttle body and incorrectly repaired by a neighbor of the customer.

Four days later I had enough parts to get the head back on the block.

headasmbld-1.jpg

Another four days later I had the rest of the parts I needed to finish the job.

headcomplee.jpg

All in all this was a really easy head gasket to do. The parts where a hassle but its running again and the customer is happy.

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Thats why its nice working on the "The Big 3" you need parts and you have them sitting on your tool box in 10 minutes wink

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That's because you rarely need parts for a Honda wink

I would have to agree on this one. My Mac Tool guy has a buddy that owns one of these. He has over 500,000 miles on it and has done nothing but regular maintenance!

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Quote:
the assumed source of the leak which was a coolant port that had been displaced from the throttle body and incorrectly repaired by a neighbor of the customer.

Apperantly her nieghbor had been trying to fix the coolant leak. It overheated one to many times. The import manufacturers build some incredible lang lasting engines but the are prone to failure do to extreme overheating and running out of oil like any other manufacturer.

Its to bad to because our MAC tool guy has a friend that has one of these with over 500,000 miles on it without any problems. They will last a lot longer when you keep them cool and lubricated.

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I remember working on some of the various Hondas I owned over the years. It almost seemed they were too confident the car wasnt going to break. there were some silly things you had to go through to do a simple job like replace an alternator or Thermostat.

the car that was the easiest to work on was my old Dodge Neon. It was almost like Dodge knew they were building a car that was going to break. The car was like a modern day Model T. Starter replacement took 15 minutes without even laying on the ground. cool

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I remember working on some of the various Hondas I owned over the years. It almost seemed they were too confident the car wasnt going to break. there were some silly things you had to go through to do a simple job like replace an alternator or Thermostat.

One thing I was amazed at on my Accord is the ease of changing the oil. On most newer cars, the filter is a silly widget to get at. Honda actually made it so you can access it from the front wheel well. Simple things make me happy smile

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