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david, Heavy Duty Repair Mechanic
Category: Honda
Satisfied Customers: 1500
Experience:  Certified Master Technician,Certified in diesel & gasoline engines
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How to replace a head gasket on a Honda Prelude Si 95

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How to replace a head gasket on a Honda Prelude Si 95?
Hi thank you for your question hope this helps.

Hi this not that big of a job the book give 6 hours to replace the head gasket.
You are asking for a lot of info for 9 bucks.

You need to remove the timing belt to remove the head so lets start there.
To remove the timing belt you need to remove the engine mounts. So you need a floor jack to hold the engine up.

Timing Belts and Covers
1990–95 4-Cylinder Accord and 1992–95 PreludeTiming belt
  1. Disconnect the negative battery cable.
  2. Turn the engine to align the timing marks and set cylinder No. 1 to TDC on the compression stroke. Once in this position, the engine must NOT be turned or disturbed. On DOHC Preludes without VTEC, hold each of the camshafts in the TDC position by inserting 5mm diameter punches into the alignment holes just behind each cam pulley.
  3. Remove the splash shield from below the engine.
  4. Drain the engine coolant. Use a clean container; cap or cover the container and wipe up spillage.
  5. Unplug the electrical connector at the cruise control actuator, then remove the actuator. Don't disconnect the cable; simply move the actuator out of the work area.
  6. Remove the belt from the power steering pump. Remove the mounting bolts for the pump. Without disconnecting the hoses, move the pump out of the way.
  7. Unplug the alternator wiring and connectors; remove the engine wiring harness from the valve cover.
  8. Loosen the adjusting and mounting bolts for the alternator and/or compressor. Remove the drive belt(s).
  9. Remove the valve cover.
  10. Remove the side engine mount support bracket, if equipped.
  11. Remove the upper timing belt cover.
  12. Support the engine with a floor jack on the oil pan (use a cushion between the jack and pan). Tension the jack so that it is just supporting the engine but not lifting it.
  13. Remove the side engine mount.
  14. Remove the dipstick and dipstick tube.
  15. Remove the crankshaft pulley bolt and remove the crankshaft pulley.

    NOTE: This bolt is one of the tightest on the entire car. The pulley must be held in place while the bolt is loosened. One trick is to wrap an old drive belt around the pulley to hold it steady — don't try this with a belt that is to go back on the car; it will be stretched or damaged.


  16. If necessary for additional clearance to remove the lower timing belt cover, remove the two rear bolts from the center beam. Slowly lower the jack and the engine until the clearance is gained.
  17. Remove the rubber seal from around the belt tension adjusting nut (do not loosen the nut). Remove the lower timing belt cover.
  18. On all models except Prelude with VTEC, lock the timing belt adjuster arm in place using one of the lower cover (6 x 1mm) mounting bolts.

    NOTE: There are two belts in this system; the one running to the camshaft pulley is the timing belt. The other, shorter one drives the balance shaft and is referred to as the balancer belt or timing balancer belt. Use a piece of chalk or a marker to place an identifying arrow on the belts. The arrow can identify the direction of rotation or the outer edge of the belts. The belts must be reinstalled so it moves in the same direction. Protect the belts from oil, coolant, etc. It's an even better idea to replace the belts at this point.



  20. Loosen the timing belt adjustment nut. Push on the tensioner to relieve tension from the balancer belt, then tighten the nut. Remove the balancer belt.
  21. On all models except Prelude with VTEC, loosen the lockbolt installed earlier and the adjusting nut. Push on the tensioner to release the timing belt, then tighten the nut. Carefully remove the timing belt. On Prelude VTEC models, remove the timing belt from the pulleys, then remove the bolts securing the auto-tensioner. Remove the auto-tensioner from the engine.

    To install:

  22. Check the position of the timing marks. The timing pointer must be perfectly aligned with the TDC (white mark) on the flywheel or flex-plate; the camshaft pulley must be aligned so that the word UP is at the top of the pulley and the marks on the edge of the pulley are aligned with the surfaces of the head. Additionally, the face of the front timing balancer pulley has a mark which must be aligned with the notch on the oil pump body. This pulley is the one to the left crank when viewed from the pulley end.
  23. Fit the timing belt over the pulleys and tensioner. On DOHC engines without VTEC, remove the 5mm pin punches from behind the cam pulleys.
  24. Except Prelude VTEC models:
    1. Temporarily install the crank pulley and bolt.
    2. Loosen the tensioner adjusting nut 1 turn, then tighten it. Rotate the crankshaft counterclockwise until the camshaft pulley has moved 3 teeth to create tension on the belt. Loosen the nut again, then tighten it to 33 ft. lbs. (45 Nm).

      NOTE: Always rotate the crankshaft counterclockwise when viewed from the pulley end. Rotating it clockwise will cause improper adjustment and possible damage.

    3. Tighten the lockbolt installed earlier to lock the timing belt adjuster arm. Remove the crank pulley.
  25. On Prelude VTEC models:
    1. Hold the auto-tensioner with the maintenance bolt facing up. Loosen and remove the bolt.

      NOTE: Handle the tensioner carefully so the oil inside does not spill or leak. Replenish with clean engine oil if any does leak. Total capacity is 14 fl. oz. (8 ml).

    2. Clamp the mounting flange of the tensioner in a vise using a cloth or blocks of wood to protect it. Insert a flat blade screwdriver into the maintenance hole. Place the stopper (tool number 14540-P13-003) or an equivalent clamp on the tensioner, then turn the screwdriver clockwise to compress the bottom. Be careful not to damage the threads or the gasket contact surface.
    3. Install the maintenance bolt on the tensioner with a new gasket. Tighten to 6 ft. lbs. (8 Nm).
    4. Make sure no oil is leaking from around the maintenance bolt, then install the tensioner on the engine. Make sure the stopper stays in place and tighten the bolts to 16 ft. lbs. (22 Nm).
    5. Remove the stopper.

On all engines except VTEC, the belt adjuster arm must be locked in place using one of the lower cover mounting bolts

Now removing the head most of this you will have already removed.

Cylinder Head

NOTE: The cylinder head temperature must be below 100°F (38°C); allow the engine to cool several hours if the car has been recently driven. Turn the crankshaft pulley so that the number one piston is at Top Dead Center (TDC) of the compression stroke.


  1. Disconnect the battery ground cable.
  2. Drain the cooling system.
  3. Remove the air cleaner and intake duct assembly.
  4. Label and remove the brake booster, PCV and charcoal canister vacuum hoses from the intake manifold.
  5. Remove the engine ground cable from the cylinder head or valve cover.
  6. Relieve the fuel pressure using the proper procedure. Disconnect the fuel lines.
  7. Disconnect the accelerator cable at the throttle body or carburetor. On automatic transaxle vehicles, also disconnect the throttle control cable.
  8. Disconnect and tag all the wire harnesses and vacuum hoses from the cylinder head, intake manifold and throttle body/carburetor. Disconnect the spark plug wires, then position them aside.
  9. Disconnect the upper radiator hose. Remove the heater hoses from the cylinder head.
  10. If equipped, remove the cruise control actuator. Do not disconnect the cable; move the actuator out of the work area with the cable attached.
  11. Remove accessory drive belts.
  12. Disconnect the inlet hose from the power steering pump and plug the hose immediately to prevent fluid leakage. Remove the power steering pump from the cylinder head and position it aside.

    NOTE: When the power steering hose is disconnected, the fluid will flow out. Cover the alternator with a shop towel to prevent the fluid from leaking into it.


  13. If the alternator is mounted to the cylinder head, remove it.
  14. Remove the power steering and alternator brackets if they are mounted on the cylinder head.
  15. Remove the distributor. Be sure to scribe a line relating the position of the distributor to the engine for easy installation.
  16. If equipped, remove the cylinder sensor next to the distributor.
  17. Remove the valve cover.
  18. Remove the timing belt.

    NOTE: Do not crimp or bend the timing belt.


  19. Remove the exhaust header pipe nuts and the header pipe bracket (if equipped). Pull the pipe away from the exhaust manifold.
  20. If equipped, remove the EGR crossover and air suction pipes.
  21. On Accords through 1989 and Preludes through 1991, the cylinder head can be removed with the intake and exhaust manifolds either still attached or removed. On other models, the manifolds should be removed first.
  22. On some engines, it will be necessary to remove the camshaft holders, camshafts and rocker arms to access the cylinder head bolts. If so, refer to the proper procedures in this section.
  23. Remove the cylinder head bolts in sequence (take notice of any bolt holes occupied by longer bolts). Failure to follow this procedure may cause the head to warp.
    1. On 1984–89 Accords and 1984–91 Preludes, work from the ends toward the center. Loosen each bolt about 12 turn each time and make several passes to release the tension evenly.
    2. On 1990–95 Accords and 1992–95 Preludes, follow the loosening sequence shown in the illustrations. Loosen each bolt about 13 turn each time. Repeat the sequence until all bolts are loosened.
Remove the cylinder head. The head may resist removal, even with the bolts out. Tap the edge of the head with a plastic or rubber mallet; lift the head straight up to remove it.

Remove the cylinder head gasket and clean the mating surfaces.
If applicable, remove the intake and exhaust manifolds from the cylinder head.

To install:

  2. Install a new head gasket on the engine, making certain it is positioned correctly. The cylinder head dowel pins and the oil jet must be in place. Refer to the illustrations if necessary.
  3. Install the head. Lower it straight down onto the block, aligning it correctly.
  4. Apply clean engine oil to the bolt threads and the contact face of the bolt head. Install the head bolts finger-tight.
  5. On all models except 1988–89 DOHC Prelude and 1992–95 Preludes with 2.3L and VTEC engines, tighten the head bolts following sequence A. On 1988–89 DOHC Preludes, use sequence B. Use sequence C on 1992–95 Preludes with 2.3L and VTEC engines.
    1. On 1984–89 Accords and 1984–91 Preludes, tighten the bolts in two passes. The first pass should bring the bolts to about 22 ft. lbs. (30 Nm). On the second pass, tighten the bolts to their final torque of 49 ft. lbs. (68 Nm).
    2. On 1990–93 Accords, tighten the bolts to 29 ft. lbs. (40 Nm) on the first pass, 51 ft. lbs. (70 Nm) on the second pass, then tighten the bolts to their final torque of 78 ft. lbs. (108 Nm).
    3. On 1994–95 Accords and 1992–95 Preludes, the bolts are also tightened in three passes. Tighten the bolts to 29 ft. lbs. (40 Nm) on the first pass, 51 ft. lbs. (70 Nm) on the second pass, then tighten the bolts to their final torque of 72 ft. lbs. (100 Nm)
  1. If applicable, assemble the intake and exhaust manifolds to the head. Use new gaskets.
  2. If applicable, install the cam, rockers and camshaft holders.
  3. If equipped, install the EGR crossover and air suction pipes.
  4. Connect the exhaust pipe to the manifold using new nuts.
  5. Install the timing belt.
  6. Install the valve cover.
  7. Install the cylinder sensor (if equipped) and the distributor.
  8. If applicable, install the alternator.
  9. Install the power steering pump, then connect the inlet hose to the pump.
  10. Install the accessory drive belts. Adjust the belt tensions.
  11. Install the heater hoses.
  12. Install the cruise control actuator if it was removed.
  13. Connect the spark plug wires. Connect all the wire harnesses and vacuum hoses to the cylinder head, intake manifold and throttle body/carburetor.
  14. Connect the throttle control cable and/or accelerator cable at the throttle body.
  15. Connect the fuel lines.
  16. Install the brake booster, PCV and charcoal canister vacuum hoses.
  17. Install the air cleaner and intake duct.
  18. Refill the engine coolant. It is recommended that the engine oil be changed whenever a cylinder head is removed.
  19. Connect the negative battery cable.
  20. Start the engine, allowing it to idle. Bleed the cooling system. Check the work area carefully for any signs of fluid leakage or any indication of the timing belt rubbing or slapping the covers.
Bolt loosening sequence on 1992–95 Preludes with 2.3L engines

Cylinder head bolt torque sequence A

Cylinder head bolt torque sequence B

Cylinder head bolt torque sequence C

I Hope this helps
Good luck
bonuses are appreciated

Edited by david on 3/9/2010 at 9:13 AM EST
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