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Old 10-16-2000, 07:42 PM   #1
Scooby Newbie
Member#: 1905
Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: Howell, MI USA
Post Any gearheads? (long high mileage PM questions)

I have a '91 Civic Si(1.6L) with 204k miles(mostly highway) that I want to do some PM to take care of it for another 100k... it has treated me well.

1) Is there an interval for wheel bearing replacement? If not, how do I check to see its okay? My car shudders(total body and steering wheel) a little while driving, but i think that is from the possible flats or imbalance I put into the old tires when I let the car sit for 4 months over our Michigan winter... I will replace tires soon. It does shudder medium-hard when braking though. I think the original brake rotors are the culprit, although I haven't checked for runout and parallelism. Could this be a bearing thing also?

2) I need to replace my oil pan gasket(leaking oil). Is there anything(wear wise) on a 200k motor that I can look at internally while I have the oil pan open?

3) With a 200k motor, should I get a compression test to forewarn of any impending problems(i.e. rings, etc.)? Can I do it myself and if so, what tool/gauge? Can it be rented or loaned by typical parts shops... is that practice common?

4) I had alot of difficulty with engine starting problems a few months ago that ranged from: a) plugs, b) entire distributor assy replaced(reman.), and then c) original plug wires replaced. In the last instance it just wouldn't fire, but the wires seem to do the trick right away, because everything I scoped with my Fluke(according to Chiltons) said the ditributor assy was okay. Just the other day I thought the problem was recurring when it started, but soon died. After gassing the hell out of it while holding the key on START, it finally fired with alot of grey smoke. I've noticed alot of vacuum in my tank when I go to fill up(i.e. fuel cap is hard as hell to remove and you can hear the vacuum vent to atmosphere!). Also... although the idle RPM is stable, when I do stop and go driving the idle frequently drops VERY low after coming to a stop, but never(so far) dies. Should I get a fuel pressure test and do I need to replace a fuel filter, or some valves, or that charcoal filter thing-a-ma-doodle?

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Old 10-16-2000, 08:07 PM   #2
Scooby Guru
Member#: 114
Join Date: Jul 1999
Chapter/Region: MWSOC
Location: Wichita, KS and Whoring, OT
'03 Evo, Rice White
'01 Erion CBR 929


Don't bother with a compression test unless you know what it's supposed to be. Have a leakdown test performed, and if it's significantly over 10% in any one cylinder then it's in trouble.

With the oil pan off the crankshaft endplay (thrust) can be measured. Significant thrust means the bearings are worn.

Fuel filter is probably way overdue for replacement. I can't hardly believe you had the stock plug wires on there for all 200k. This stuff is in the owner's manual and aftermarket service manuals too (like Haynes). Replace and inspect according to the published schedule...

IMO it's a 200k mile Honda. A 200k mile anything is going to be worn significantly, and another 100k isn't guaranteed no matter what preventive maintenance you do. Stuff wears out, even on Hondas.
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Old 10-17-2000, 01:39 PM   #3
Matt Monson
Scooby Guru
Member#: 832
Join Date: Jan 2000
Chapter/Region: RMIC
Location: Teh Ghetto Garage, CO
99 2.5RS, '85 911
'73 914 and 2012 BRZ


I have had a few Hondas that I have run up to 200k and am willing to lend a few thoughts.
1. I doubt it is the wheel bearings. They seem to be pretty durable, though I managed to crush one on a fire road( along with breaking the control arm, knuckle and a few other parts). Have you ever changed the struts? That is my first guess. Second guess is steering and suspension bushings. I would also suggest resurfacing the brake rotors; I generally have done this around 150k.

2.What Colin said.
3. A Chilton's/Haynes manual will tell you how to test the compression. On a D16 anything above 160 psi or so is fine with no more than about 15psi difference between highest and lowest. Some people will allow lower pressures, but when you can buy a repacement engine for $400 or so, why compromise on the performance( If you have swap questions, send me a PM, and I will turn you on to the world of Hybrids...)
4. Replace the fuel filter, replace the distributor and be warned that your starer is probably going to be on the list down the road. These are all standard wear and tear that again i have done around 150k to prevent a stranding out in the middle of nowhere. As for the idle, might just need a tune-up/adjustment or another common issue with Hondas is the injectors need a good cleaning. First step is gum out or slick 50, next step is to pull them and truly clean them manually.
Hope this helps.
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Old 10-17-2000, 01:42 PM   #4
Scooby Specialist
Member#: 52
Join Date: Jun 1999
Location: Naperville, IL
2005 Legacy GT
98 BMW 540i LS2/T56


Mmmmmmm..... Hybrid.

That is the way to go. Or just replace the motor, Honda motors are cheap and fairly eassy to replace.
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Old 10-17-2000, 01:53 PM   #5
Steve E
Scooby Newbie
Member#: 300
Join Date: Sep 1999
Chapter/Region: NESIC
Location: New Milford,CT US
2002 WRX
Aspen White


Maybe before you do the oil pan gasket run some of that "5 minute motor flush" stuff through there and then wipe the pan out nice and clean before you put it back on. At least that will get as much junk out of the oil system as easily possible. As for the shaking, ball joints is a good try. Or the struts too. Check control arm bushings to see if they are cracked/worn etc. CV joints could also be the cause. While you are in there, at least check the CV boots for cracks etc. The fuel filter check is a good idea. I wouldn't bother with the compression check. Reason is, if you find one cylinder that is out of spec., what are you gonna do about it? With 200K, probably nothing, so don't waste your time. We have a '89 Galant with over 200k miles on it and one thing that made a big difference was to remove and clean the intake plenum and throttle body. There was a lot of carbon build up in there due to the venting that is plumbed into the TB. We put a little breather filter on the vent so we got rid of that problem. Also, flush the radiator really well and go with new coolant (If you haven't recently). I am not sure if you can, but you can pull those wheel bearings apart, clean them, and re-pack them for safety's sake. They might be sealed though. And finally, you can't beat properly scheduled oil changes!! Hope this helps.
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Old 10-17-2000, 03:17 PM   #6
Scooby Newbie
Member#: 1905
Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: Howell, MI USA

Thanks alot guys!!!

I'm not crazy. I don't expect to get the car back to factory condition... just enough PM to make it 75% reliable for another 100k.

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