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Hello, I see it's been over an hour since you submitted your question, I'm going to go ahead and take a shot at your question unless you'd rather wait for Ivan.
The cylinder head Gasket on these is about as advanced a job as you could really do on your accord aside from rebuilding the transmission. Basically you're going to need to be comfortable with timing belt replacement, and the procedure to time the engine correctly. If you can hand that part the rest is a big job, but it's doable if you just take it one bolt at a time. Here's a basic rundown of what it takes, you're going to need to put the engine at top dead center, drain the coolant, disconnect the radiator hoses going to the head, remove the distributor, disconnect all the electrical connections to the head, unbolt the exhaust manifold from the head and slide it back, unbolt the intake manifold from the head and slide it back, you can leave the manifold on the head it seems easier, but it's harder to maneuver with the additional weight. Now you're going to want to remove the timing belt from the cam gear, then unbolt the cylinder head and remove it.
Once again, it's a big job, but if you have a service manual, a torque wrench, and patience it should be doable.
Thanks. I was analyzing my worst case scenario if I attempt this. I've watched a lot of YouTube and think it is doable. My worst fear is breaking a stud on either manifold, but especially the rear. I think I can do the belts with a little guidance. I know there are a lot of marks to line up and TDC isn't a problem. I have a good timing light from a previous repair on this car (replaced the distributor seal). I plan to replace the head gasket, the spark plug tube seals, valve cover gasket, both timing belts, the tensioner and manifold gaskets.
If I do break a stud isn't it easier to fix since I'm removing the head?
Saw the good video about the balance shaft belt and where to place a 6 X 100 bolt or screwdriver to make sure everything is copesthetic. I presume my non-VTEC has the same situation with removing the bolt which keeps debris out and then using the bolt. It's a 95 Accord LX with 208,000 miles.
Any particular brand of belts and head gasket you recommend? I'm thinking Fel Pro for the spark plug well gaskets.
OK. Should I remove the cam assembly first and then the head? Here's where I'm paranoid since I know you have to make sure everything is just right or bad news. Does the cam assembly have to be removed before I take the head to me milled?
I have good tools--IR impact tool, IR deep and shallow sockets, wrenches, etc. What about torque wrenches? I have a 25 year old Sears DigiTork (3/8" drive) and a a two year old 1/2" drive one I bought at AutoZone or Advance for about 70 bucks. I'm a little hesitant to use the old Sears one since it's pretty old. It can't be calibrated since it isn't manufactured any longer. I'm a little worried about the 1/2" one too-only 70 bucks. Should I buy new ones and any particular brand? Snap On was way to expensive for my occasional use.
Considering what I'm saving in labor costs that little tool is cheap even if I only use it once. I've seen different videos about how to remove the bolt and this I think is the best method. The Haynes says place a screwdriver in the flywheel--I see that as being a disaster. I broke one of the sleeves doing the lower ball joints so I can only imagine the torque on the bolt. I figure if the bolt is tough it will be the holding tool, long extension, long cheater bar, and my 230 lb frame. Wish I had a lift though.
OK, almost done. Where does the balance shaft retainer gizmo go? I didn't see it on a parts diagram on a Honda site. Do I need to replace the tensioner since I'm doing the water pump, pump seal, and belts? Does the Hi-Tac go on both sides of the gasket (thin layer)? Oh, found a nice Sears electronic torque wrench for 90 bucks.
OK, do I adjust the valves after I'm done also? I presume once I torque the tensioner to spec it adjusts to the proper tension between that and the spring.
OK, it'll take me a few weeks to get this underway. Putting in a can of Stop Leak didn't seem the way to go. I noticed that I was losing a pint or two of coolant a week with no obvious leak. I took it by a mechanic and he did a pressure test. When he added pressure the car would miss. I got the block test kit from NAPA and the liquid looked a little yellow.
Thanks for the help. I'll be back if I hit a snag.
A couple of questions. I pulled the oil pump pulley assembly (not the oil pump) and am replacing the large gasket. The old one was brittle and broke like a saltine cracker. Haynes and Chilton says to add some silicone to the ends of the threads when I replace. It also says to add the silicone (I have Permatex RTV black) to the face of the engine block then assemble. Is that necessary since it didn't have it originally? Shouldn't the gasket be enough? I'm supposing when I put the pulley back together that I should spin the pulley a few times to get it "balanced" and the timing marks should line back up roughly in the proper position. Oh yeah, I bought one of the 3/8" torque adapters for about 40 bucks and checked the accuracy of my old 25+ year old Sears torque wrench. Guess what, it's on the money after all this time.