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1999 3.0 CL valve question

 
Old 10-28-2018, 09:53 PM
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1999 3.0 CL valve question

Hi all. I am new to this forum so bear with me. We have a 1999 Acura CL 3.0 that we purchased new. I have changed the oil every 3,000 miles and it has 160K on it right now. It started burning oil recently. this last oil change I tracked it as a quart every 1,000 miles. The #4 cylinder spark was also fouled, but the rest of them looked good. I did a compression check and leak down test on all the cylinders.
Compression test (dry)
1 - 210
2
- 2103 - 210
4 - 210
5 - 200
6 - 210
Leak Down Test
1 - 7%
2 - 10%
3 - 7%
4 - 7%
5 - 10%
6 - 7%

Local machine shop said those were good numbers and that they usually did not have problems with those heads for the most part.

My question is
1. Can this be a vale seal leaking?
2. If so, can the repairs be made with out taking the head off.

Any help or links would be appreciated
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Old 10-30-2018, 08:42 AM
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Ive ran into the same issues with my TL, But from the Honda article Ive read, they state that a quart every 1,500 miles is considered normal. Things to check is the pcv valve, egr, and possibly a valve adjustment is due.
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Old 10-30-2018, 09:51 AM
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Thanks 90foxnotch. Did your TL smoke on first start and acceleration? Our CL is experiencing that as well.
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Old 10-30-2018, 10:20 AM
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No it did not, If yours is smoking on start up it is probably due to a leaking valve seal, fairly common in higher mileage engines.
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Old 10-30-2018, 04:05 PM
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Easiest way to tell if it's a valve seal: at first start, there will be a puff of blue smoke.
Another method: have someone drive behind you after the car's warmed up. On decel(high vacuum) the cylinder will pull in oil past the valve seal, and upon accelerating again, it'll shoot out a "poof" of blue smoke.

Your numbers are pretty good, although for a 20 year old car, I'd expect some valve seal wear. The J-series don't have the headgasket issues that most Hondas(B, D, F, and H series) of this era have, so the heads have probably never been off and reconditioned, especially with "lower" miles like your car does. It's not nearly as common to have to remove a head off a J as the pre- K-series 4 cylinders.

Check EGR(clean passages if necessary), replace oil cap seal(it's a $5 part from Honda), change plugs, and check cap/rotor. You may not be getting great combustion in that cylinder because of the valve seal leak. It's all cheap and easy, too.
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Old 10-30-2018, 08:24 PM
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Thanks Beanstune. Yes, I have smoke during those conditions. I am going to jump into this project soon, but was checking to see if it can be completed with the head on. I have seen some videos on other vehicles, but wasn't sure about this engine. I know this site is a wealth of information.
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Old 10-31-2018, 09:33 PM
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There's a couple of different options you have. The valveseals themselves are pretty flippin' cheap, but it's a bit of a process to get to them and you might as well replace a LOT of parts "while you're in there."

1. Pull heads and go through them, Probably more expense than it's worth, unless you really want to dump some cash into the car. At minimum, you're looking at a timing belt/water pump/tensioner(it would have to come off anyway so might as well replace it), headgaskets, head bolts, cam seals, valve seals, cam end plate o-rings, valve cover gaskets, coolant, oil, and probably some various o-rings and other gaskets related to the cooling system. It's really not that hard to get the heads off, but unless you have about a week to kill, the knowledge, tools, and skill set, I probably wouldn't even bother. You'd probably be looking at $500 just in parts. If you were to take it to a machine shop and have them do it, there's probably the cost of a valvejob, checking deck, checking guides, and the labor that goes with it.

2. Swap in a J35A4. Better heads, you'd basically be stuck using the crappy J30A1 cams(due to distributor), but it should be fairly plug and play. Probably RIP clutches in the trans from the torque though. That's kind of what I'm planning. It looks pretty straightforward, I think people have just been over-complicating it for this chassis,and it's not very well supported or documented. The general knowledge is there for it's platform mate(especially the 90-97 Accord), but it's a bit of a hodgepodge of a car, kind of a 'tweener' of the 5th and 6th gen Accords, and even the 5th gen Prelude shares some parts. Overall cost to J35 swap should be about the same as reconditioning the heads, but it'll probably take a bit more creativity and a LOT more junkyard parts. Good news is a J35A4 is stupid common(02-04 Honda Odyssey) and they're DIRT cheap.

Aside from that....There's certain "snake oils" out there that expand old valve seals over time(Lucas oil) to assist in preventing this. Took about 15K to resolve itself on a 4.7 Jeep Grand Cherokee I had(they're notorious for this), but it worked. Just poured in about half a bottle every time I did an oil change and it got to the point where it really wasn't noticable anymore. I know it's not a "fix", but it "worked"
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