I have a 95 del sol bone stock - adult driven - with a d15b7. 205k miles perfectly maintained, oil, t-belts (at 100k and 180k) etc. never overheaded, normally runs a bit cold actually. I was driving home and when I got to a stop light, the engine stumbled - very unusual. maybe like a dead plug or plug wire...so I limped it home. no engine noise, in fact if I got the engine over 3000 rpms, it would 'come to life' momentarily on all 4 cyls. The engine turned still very smooth, no noise...but just rough idle, obviously down 1 cylinder. So I parked it and checked the obvious stuff: all of the plug wires looked great, no signs of arcing. pulled the plugs, found the 2 outside cyls were perfectly dry, no fowling - normal. the 2nd cyl from the right was dry on the threads, but the firing area was oily...actually wet with oil. the third plug from the right had a little oil on the ceramic - presumably from a leaky tube gasket, but it had a clean firing area, no fowling. (by the way, the oil dip stick looks great, solid dark brown oil, no milky mix...coolant likewise is clear. With all the plugs out, I was going to test the compression so I had my wife turn over the engine a few times to clear the cyls before I put the tester in. when she did, oil was actually shooting our of the spark plug hole (2nd from the right) and hitting my hood. No water, just oil. So finally, my question: how likely is this to be a head gasket, and not something more serious like a hole in the piston or something else? I would hate to have to scrap the engine...Are there any other common causes I might look for?
Country: United StatesMake: HondaModel: Del Sol SYear: 1995Engine: d15b7
no fixes attempted yet.
Hello, thank you for choosing Just Answer. My name is XXXXX XXXXX X will advise you concerning your oily cylinder.The only ways for oil to enter a cylinder is through the head gasket, through the valve stem seals, or bypassing the oil control rings on the pistons. In a well maintained engine with 205K miles, any of these is equally possible. I suspect it will be the head gasket or the oil rings on the piston. A compression test is certainly in order. Typically, leaking valve stem seals will seep when the engine is sitting overnight and cause quite a bit of smoke from the exhaust upon start up. The end result is that the engine likely needs to be rebuilt. It served for 205K miles and expecting more is just wishful thinking, even with a Honda. By that I mean, they will sometimes last longer, but after 200K it is borrowed time. Even if the valve stem seals or the head gasket are the culprit, when removing the head, you get into the 'might as wells'. Rebuilding the top end of the engine without addressing the worn bottom end will just mean revisiting the job in the near future, the inverse is also true. My best advice is to clear the oil from the cylinder, clean and replace the plugs, and see if the symptom persists. If so, look into rebuilding or replacing. The good news is that the Del Sols are holding their value nicely (even appreciating). I think you will see the value of the car increase enough to outweigh much of the cost of the job. It seems like you know your way around a vehicle by the wording of your question. Perhaps this would be a worthwhile project for you to take on.I'm sure that is not the answer you were hoping for, but it is as honest as possible. In any case, I hope it is helpful. Let me know if you have any additional questions.Best Regards,Stephen
Thanks for the answer. Yes, I know the inevitable for 205k motor, but I had also heard that the headgaskets were know to gve some trouble. I've also heard someone say they just retorqued the head and symptoms were eliminated. I guess my though was that a headgasket is a reasonably cheap "what the heck" solution....if it were a common problem. Even if it only bought me another 10k or 20k....if I make the attempt and it doesn't help...then oh well. So first follow-up question: Assuming I pull the head, and see visible signs of headgasket failure, is it a futile endeavor to replace it and see what happens....the odds not worth trying?On the other hand, assuming as we have that it is a well cared for shell, is it practical to rebuild an engine these days. I have a mechanical background etc., but not familiar with overall costs...thinking valve seals, rings, rod bearings, gaskets, seals, tbelt fluids...maybe $600-$700 plus my labor and a few tools I might need to buy?I found that advance auto parts offers a remanufactured long block (from SDK) for about $1800 plus $200 shipping. I found a JDM (japanese used) motor for $900 + $200 shipping....and I found a local motor from our Honda scrap yard for about $500. I have a local honda shop that I trust - they said they would do the swap for $600 shop fees + normal replacement parts (gaskets, tbelt, water pump etc.). So my summary follow up questions:1) is it futile to replace the headgasket alone?2) if I attempt an in-car rebuild (replacing rod bearings from below, new rings/valve seals...would that be worth the attempt? do you have any horror stories? or, do you think i would have a decent chance of success if done right?3) Do you have any experience with JDM engines - they are supposed to be low miles etc...Thanks for the advice.
Relist: Answer quality.Good answer but I had follow-up questions. kind of need to know today...
Sorry for the delay in replying. I'm traveling and have limited internet access.Retorquing the head bolts is a good idea. I don't have high hopes for success, but the cost makes the effort worthwhile. Replacing the head gasket is a half measure at best. You would still need to have the head surfaced and it would be a waste of a trip to a machine shop to not freshen up the head at the same time. If you had 100K less on the engine it would be a more viable option.A rebuild is certainly an option, even if done with the engine in place. New rings, bearings, lapped valves and seats, well honed cylinders, seals, etc. goes a long way.I don't see a lot of value in the long block option. I'M engines have a good rep, but can be a problem due to the different electronics. I would look closer at a good, low mileage, used engine from the U.S.I hope that helps.