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Old 12-13-2010, 02:44 PM   #1
rwheadon
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Default Valve Seal Replacement - On Car

If your Legend is using a little oil and you notice it puffing out smoke after long idle or even at takeoffs when you've been sitting in a line at the red light then you are probably a candidate for new valve stem seals. Doing the valve seal job with your motor out of your car is pretty straight forward and trouble free if you don't cut corners. This DIY will cover a more constricted and time consuming approach of replacing the seals with the engine still inside the engine bay.



I suspect this job is just buying time. By the time your valve seals are blowing enough oil to smoke I suspect the valve guides are worn as well, so the stems are going to rock against these new seals and they likely will wear prematurely, though I have no gauge of how long it will take to do so. My "gut" is that this repair will pull 30K - 50K which is 2 or 3 years for me... well worth the trouble as a DIY... and remember that is just my gut... I'm betting Matt, Grumpy or some others would have a better guess gauge.

I broke the work in half so the on-car job took me about 6 - 8 hours per side to tear down, replace, and re-assemble. I think that is a very liberal amount of time for anyone semi-accomplished since I've been stuck in low gear and nothing gets done in a hurry with me.

There is also a DIY here that byalegend put together using some different tools and a little different method.

Before I go any further I think it would be a good idea to show the following video. I am only replacing one seal in the video and the engine is on a stand... but if you just want to know if this is something you can do then this is the super easy intro version of the DIY. I am not very good at talking through what I'm doing... but you should be able to grasp what is happening just fine.



NOTE: 1 to 1.5 hours OFF THE CAR.

Parts List:
*2 VC Gaskets & 6 O-rings
*6 Rocker o-rings (between the rockers and the head)
*8 VC Grommets (if they are fairly new you can skip this, otherwise they have turned to concrete and you will need to replace them)
*24 Valve seals for your engine. (Honda has diff't for intake/exhaust, Felpro has only one type)
*2 fuel filter sealing washers.
*2 Cam seals
*2 Cam plugs

NOTE: If your fuel filter is overdue then this is a good time to replace it.

Tool List:
* printed/online instructions for torque on the rocker assembly per your year-model.
* spring compression tool 1
* spring compression tool 2
* spring compression tool 3
* 19mm, 14mm, 12mm, 11mm(deep) & 10mm socket/ratchet
* 14mm line wrench
* 5+ feet of 1/4" rubber vacuum hose
* 12mm & 10mm open end or flex wrench
* Long nose vacuum hose pliers
* Short & light hammer. (a cheap knuckle buster works fine)
* pocket magnet, telescopic is best. (the smaller the magnet head the better)
* 90 degree pick to dig hardened/stuck orings out.
* Hondabond HT

TOOL WARNING: I used 3 different valve spring compressors for the job due to various issues I encountered with space. The one that worked the best for the Legend's tight engine bay (90 degree tool) was perhaps the most treacherous of the three... but the only one that worked in such close quarters. I had to make some minor mods to all of my compressors, which I will cover here with some snapshots.


I needed to make some modifications to the long handle tool (90 degree handle).
* Removed the rocker cam and installed the bolt, this took about 1.5 inches or more off for better clearance
* The claw fingers had an angle that was far too aggressive, so I made it more into a 90 degree at the end where you hook the spring.
* The claw arms were far too wide for a couple of the rearward spring boxes, so I ground them down quite a bit into a narrower footprint.



You likely will be able to use power tools for your seal replacement, this is a luxury I didn't always have since my daughter was often asleep right above the garage.

My personal key to sanity on this job is to just get everything out of my way. I have no desire to take some sort of award for minimal invasion since that approach typically causes me to throw and break lots of things not related to the car. So let's get some things out of our way.
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* Your smoking 3.2 engine is probably ok... replace your valve guide seals before condemning it!

Last edited by rwheadon; 12-15-2010 at 07:07 AM. Reason: added the vid
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Old 12-13-2010, 02:49 PM   #2
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Default Get everything out of the way

Get everything out of the way:
1. Remove the battery, tray, and release the wire harness from the alternator bracket.



2. Remove the fuel filter and bracket


3. Take the engine fuse box loose and out of the way


4. loosen/remove all those little metal brackets on the left strut tower (facing the engine)
5. at the rear of the left valve cover there are several brackets you will want to get out of your way.


6. Remove the Intake tube and all associated baffles.
7. Get the cluster of connectors on right valve cover out of the way
8. pull the injector rail covers off
9. On the RF of the engine there are some vacuum hoses and a rubber tube that wrap over the TB cover, get them out of your way.
10. Disconnect the engine wire harness. (right there at your ABS reservoir) get a bungie cord and peel the wire harness to the center of your engine, over the plenum. (You will be disconnecting mounting points and connectors iteratively until it is loose and out of your way.)
11. Remove the ABS heat shield/cover.
12. Remove the ignition module
13. Take off the upper timing covers on both sides.
14. Set your engine to TDC.
15. Strap a nylon strip (zip tie) on each of the cam pulleys to keep the TB in place.


16. Loosen 3 12mm bolts one each cam pulley.(finger tight is fine)
16. Remove the 3 12mm bolts on your left cam pulley. Pull the left cam pulley off and remove the upper bolt holding your rear timing cover plate to the rockers. Bag the bolt and put your cam pulley back on, finger tight on the bolts right now is fine.
17. Remove the coil packs
18. Remove the spark plugs

NOTE: There may be other pipes/hoses that are in your way... go ahead and remove/reposition them like:
* Two bolts to loosen the bypass pipe on the passenger side valve cover
* One bolt holding the harness to the rear of the passenger valve cover
* You need to unplug the passenger side harness from the connectors at the ABS module and peel it back to the center of your engine to get it out of the way.
* O2 Sensor harnesses at the bottom of each valve cover, just pop out the rubber pieces from the bracket
* One bolt holding the wire harness bracket at the front of the driver's valve cover

NOTE: At this point your valve covers should be completely clear, anything remaining in your way of removing them needs to be taken off/repositioned.
19. Remove both valve covers.
NOTE: At this point your rocker assemblies should be fully visible and obstruction free. You will need to clear yourself some space on a table where you can work on/store the rocker assemblies upon removal. Double check that your timing is still at TDC.



Time to make the donuts.
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* Your smoking 3.2 engine is probably ok... replace your valve guide seals before condemning it!

Last edited by rwheadon; 04-05-2011 at 07:44 PM. Reason: a few extra notes
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Old 12-13-2010, 02:58 PM   #3
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Default Remove the rocker assembly

Remove the rocker assembly:
WARNING: DO NOT REMOVE ROCKER BOLTS FROM THE ASSEMBLY, DOING SO COULD CAUSE IT TO COME APART IN YOUR HANDS!
1. Loosen the 18 rocker assembly bolts and thump the assembly with your rubber mallet to break it loose. Now completely loosen (BUT DO NOT REMOVE) the rocker bolts.


2. Lift the rocker assemblies off of the head. Take care to keep the cam in place as much as possible. (The tie strap will keep your belt from slipping off the pulley)
3. At your work surface carefully remove ONLY the 4 12mm bolts from each rocker end cap (front / rear) and slide the end caps off. One of the end caps will still have 2 10mm bolts in it, remove those bolts. Take note of where each end cap goes and make sure any spring washers are left with the assembly, you don't want to lose them in your engine bay. DO WHATEVER YOU NEED TO DO FOR INSURANCE AGAINST PUTTING THINGS BACK TOGETHER WRONG... I just left things laying out in exactly the order they belonged.

^I was a near moron to remove those bolts... made more work for me.




4. Install the end caps back onto the head, this will secure your camshafts.

^ notice on that upper port that I had forgotten to leave the spring washer on my table... could have been lost easily.



5. Once the caps are bolted down you can remove the zip ties.
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* Your smoking 3.2 engine is probably ok... replace your valve guide seals before condemning it!
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Old 12-13-2010, 03:01 PM   #4
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Default Setting the chamber up for valve stem seal replacement

Setting the chamber up for valve stem seal replacement: (This section addresses one chamber, you will repeat it 6 times.)
You are now set up for being able to crank the motor around. Some people use compressed air to keep the valves from falling into the combustion chamber when springs are removed, I prefer not to endure the loud noises from my air compressor and have chosen a low tech method using vacuum hose coiled into the chamber.

1. Install the vacuum hose in the next cylinder with a piston starting it's trip up to the top. (I don't have a specific order I worked in... my gauge of the next candidate was with a 24" philips screwdriver to see which hole was deepest) Thread the hose in through the spark plug hole. Once the hose touches the piston you will start coiling it by twisting the hose (pick ONE direction) while pushing more in. When you have 2 or 3 feet of hose coiled into the cylinder you can move to step 2.



2. Turn the crank until the piston stops on your vacuum hose. (The crank will not turn any more)
3. Give the vacuum hose a gentle tug to make sure everything is snug.
4. Replace your seals. (jump to "Replacing the valve seals" Step 1.)
5. Back the piston off of the hose by going CCW slightly.
6. Pull the hose out of the chamber, it should come out easily.
7. Wipe the hose down to prepare it for your next cylinder.
8. Repeat for all cylinders being worked on.
9. Jump to "Finishing Up"

NOTE: In the 18 cylinders I've done so far (72 valves total) only one valve was slightly loose when I removed the spring.
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* Your smoking 3.2 engine is probably ok... replace your valve guide seals before condemning it!
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Old 12-13-2010, 03:04 PM   #5
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Default Replacing the valve seals

Replacing the valve seals:
NOTE: I have iteratively accumulated 3 valve spring compression tools. Every time I hit a point where one would not work I ran out and found a different type. See my tools section for the 3 types that ended up working for this on the car project. The one that I modified by taking the cam handle off was the only one I could fit in the tightest conditions... but due to precarious arm design it also shot a few washers across the room. If you are the "real man" type who doesn't use safety glasses then I suggest you swallow your pride and put something over your eyes for this job, I did get hit once.

1. Go ahead and set 4 seals out so you can keep track of your work, when they are gone then you are done with that cylinder.
2. Pick a spring and install the compression tool.


3. Crank the compressor down until you meet firm resistance. DO NOT OVER TIGHTEN OR THE ARMS WILL DISENGAGE AND YOU COULD END UP HUNTING FOR PARTS.
4. Using the pocket magnet retrieve keepers from the spring washer as you push the spring downward (away from the top of the stem where the keepers live). Put the keepers in a safe place.
5. Remove the spring and set it aside, do not remove it from the tool.
NOTE: After having one come loose while it sat on my table I began to set the compressed assembly on a towel and doubling it over.
6. Remove the old valve stem seal. I use long nosed vacuum hose pliers. (see tool section)



7. Clean the seat of shredded rubber pieces.


8. Apply a couple drops of oil to the valve stem.
9. Apply a drop of oil to the seal's hole where it rides the valve stem.
10. Gently start the seal onto the valve stem. Sometimes you have a guide to use for this and sometimes you don't ... just be careful and you will be fine.
11. Once you clear the groove on valve stem continue pushing down and onto the seat, you will feel a noticeable bump when the seal snaps into the seat.
12. With the 11mm socket and knuckle buster gently tap on the seal until you hear it bottom out. DO NOT become over zealous on the seal.


13. Re-install spring.
14. Install the keepers. I have no advice for you on this, it will either be easy or a pain for you. Watch the video at this post's beginning if you want to see me do it. Once you have the keepers in place you will want to keep pressure on them by lifting up on the compression tool.
15. Loosen the compression tool to relax the valve spring. Remove the tool when spring is fully extended upon the keepers.
16. Gently tap the end of the valve to make sure the keepers are seated.
17. With a sharpie make a mark on the spring washer so you know that one is done.
18. Move on to the next valve until you run out of seals you set out on step 1.
19. Jump back to "Setting the chamber up for valve stem seal replacement" Step 5.
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* Your smoking 3.2 engine is probably ok... replace your valve guide seals before condemning it!
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Old 12-13-2010, 03:06 PM   #6
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Default Finishing Up

Finishing up:
At this point we have a little clean up to do and you are done. If you are going to clean your tools up and store them then you are just past the 75% mark here.

1. Return your engine to TDC
2. Re-install the zip ties to keep your TB from coming loose on the cam pulleys.
NOTE: Steps 3 - 12 are one side at a time. You can do both at the same time if you feel comfortable with it.
3. Remove 3 bolts and ease the cam pulley off so the pulley is free of the cam.
4. Remove the rocker assy end caps from your heads and re-install them to the way you found them in "Remove the rocker assembly"
5. Turn the rocker assy on it's side (DO NOT TURN COMPLETELY OVER FOR RISK OF BOLTS FALLING OUT). You will see 3 thin orings... likely turned to concrete. Remove and replace them. Failure to do so will reward you with spark plug tubes filled with your favorite brand of motor oil.
6. Remove the cam and install a new seal onto it.
7. Apply Hondabond to the head where the end caps will seat, this is seepage protection.
8. Clean the seat (on head) where the cam plug and cam seal will rest. Apply a thin coat of hondabond. (more seep protection)
9. Install the cam (with seal) and cam plug
10. apply a thin coat of hondabond on the rocker assy where the cam seal and cam plug will rest.
11. Re-install the rocker assy as instructed in the manual. (Torque sequence)
NOTE: This is a floating rocker assembly, so you may need to flex/compress the assembly to get it to drop into place.
WARNING: BE CAREFUL NOT TO KNOCK THE ORINGS LOOSE.
12. Re-install the cam pulley
13. When done with both heads return to "Getting everything out of the way" and proceed in reverse order. (respecting your own notes along the way) Then you are done.

If there is something left off, unclear, or needing a visual on this DIY please PM me and I will try to get it worked in.

rich
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Old 12-14-2010, 06:51 AM   #7
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Very nice write up sir, I no I myself and thankful you have taken the time to DIY for all the forum members , thank you.
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Old 12-14-2010, 07:52 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 91KA7 View Post
Very nice write up sir, I no I myself and thankful you have taken the time to DIY for all the forum members , thank you.
thanks, it was really a pain and I was flying mostly blind. I did it a a little different and just figured it might come in handy to someone.

It made a massive difference to my HC readings for emissions, I posted them in my 3.5 swap thread.

rich
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Old 12-14-2010, 08:31 AM   #9
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good right up dude. if i wasnt gonna do a engine i would definitely use this. R'd up
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Old 12-14-2010, 11:57 AM   #10
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Nice DIY. It will come in handy for a lot of forum members.
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