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I have a 98 base prelude and it was burning almost 2 quarts of oil a week so I decided to fully rebuild it. I bought an entire rebuild kit, a spare head, and a skunk 2 intake manifold. I tore it down and rebuilt the motor then when I start it the car is just blowing white smoke, and after the motor goes through its warm up cycle the idle starts to jump up and down from about 1400 to 2000 RPMS. I need help figuring out this issue and fast. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
 

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sounds like coolant
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does the smoke have a smell?
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the used head, was the surface checked on on the head and deck of the block?
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Might need to have those surfaces checked and a new headgasket
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You can try to run a block test through the coolant system. There is a chemical based tool that pressed onto the rad where the cap would go. The fluid in side the tool will change colors from blue to yellow/green in the presence of exhaust gases. Its not always accurate but in the sense of testing negative may not mean youre in the clear. If it tests out positive then you can certain thats whats going on
 

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Discussion Starter #3
sounds like coolant
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does the smoke have a smell?
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the used head, was the surface checked on on the head and deck of the block?
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Might need to have those surfaces checked and a new headgasket
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You can try to run a block test through the coolant system. There is a chemical based tool that pressed onto the rad where the cap would go. The fluid in side the tool will change colors from blue to yellow/green in the presence of exhaust gases. Its not always accurate but in the sense of testing negative may not mean youre in the clear. If it tests out positive then you can certain thats whats going on
I actually didnt end up using the new head I used the my old one and it was fine before the rebuild thats why I can't figure out why its burning coolant
 

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the bouncing ideal can be alot of things, but if it is burning coolant, i'm betting that you have air in your system as well causing the idle to jump like it is. TPS, IACV, FITV, vac leaks, air in the coolant can all cause the idle to bounce like that.
 

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I checked all the vacuum lines, they're are no leaks - although he is using a stock TB on the Skunk2 IM, I thought there was something on the inside of the TB that needed to be blocked off but I can't remember for the life of me.


Right now the smoke is the major issue, the stock IM can always go back on last minute just to get the car running - and I believe there was some "grinding" noise as well, unless that issue was resolved since I last spoke with the OP.




Once a motor has been opened - i'll be the first to say i'm pretty useless. OP needs his car for work and is a new 'luder here in DE, so any help would be greatly appreciated.
 

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You separated the head from the block which means you should still check surface flatness. The surface maynot be the issue if you have things like reused head studs and improper torque sequence

Bouncing idle as others said are secondary issue. Find the issues to the white smoke and resolve will allow you to properly address that. You might feeled urged to try andu resolve the bouncing idle first but in my opinion you will not accurately diagnose that issue

You said you reused your head and rebuilt the motor due to burning oil. Were you certain the cause was from blow by? What about the head, was this rebuilt?

Where are you located? I imagine up north in new castle?
 

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There is a difference between burning coolant and leaking coolant. Burning means its in the chamber. The only way that really happens is through the headgasket. Do a leakdown test or a compression test

Sent from my DROID BIONIC using Tapatalk 2
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I reused the same head but I had it magnafluxed to check for cracks and make sure it was straight. I put cleaner valves, titanium retainers, and aftermarket springs in it as well. I also did all new valve seals. I thought about the issue with head studs. I bought new ARP head studs. In my small block chevy I had to put sealant on the head bolts becaus they went into part of the cooling system. Are hondas the same way? Cause I put nothing on the new head studs and i thought that might have something to do with the burning coolant.
 

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I reused the same head but I had it magnafluxed to check for cracks and make sure it was straight. I put cleaner valves, titanium retainers, and aftermarket springs in it as well. I also did all new valve seals. I thought about the issue with head studs. I bought new ARP head studs. In my small block chevy I had to put sealant on the head bolts becaus they went into part of the cooling system. Are hondas the same way? Cause I put nothing on the new head studs and i thought that might have something to do with the burning coolant.

98vtec is right if you are burning coolant then you will have coolant in the chamber.

You could possibly peek down in via spark plug holes into each chamber

Though I dont know of much that would cause white smoke other than coolant/water. I suppose some oils can burn white but I cant comment much there

I do know engines should produce white smoke initially due to using assembly lubes

I hope you did not put assembly lube on the piston rings.

You should use clean engine oil on your new head studs.

Improper torque and sequence will not seal the head down.



 

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Discussion Starter #10
I ran a compression test to try and diagnose what the issue is. Here are my results: #1: 210 PSI, #2: 205 PSI, #3: 210 PSI, #4: 220 PSI. Does anyone have any idea what my problem could be, or someone I could have fix this. I need my car back ASAP!
 

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I ran a compression test to try and diagnose what the issue is. Here are my results: #1: 210 PSI, #2: 205 PSI, #3: 210 PSI, #4: 220 PSI. Does anyone have any idea what my problem could be, or someone I could have fix this. I need my car back ASAP!

that does look good

I imagine you ran that comp test after the engine was warm right?

You could try doing 2-3 hard pulls up the street and pull the spark plugs to see how its burning. Make sure you have no oil coated plugs.

A leakdown test is more accurate for exposing a problem area and that is probably your next best test.

Does the engine run great? Besides that crappy idle that is.

And I dont believe I have asked yet, does it produce white smoke all the time? during start up? on throttle off throttle?

Keep an exact idea of where you fluid levels are now and before every time you run the engine.

If you really are burning any fluids you should be seeing a fluid level drop.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Yes it constantly blows white smoke. I dont want to run it very long cause there is grinding sound coming from the timing belt area.
 

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DOH! Grinding sound!?!?!!? thar should be noo grinding sound. YES dont run your rebuilt motor until you find out what is up!

Was anything reused for timing belt? Try turning the engine ccw with a ratchet and find that noise. Possibly a bad bearing on a pulley if the sound is external.
 

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Im pretty sure ive narrowed it down to the head gasket being bad. Im gonna go buy another one and replace it and see where im at. As far as the auto tensioner what should I do with that? I dont have the proper tool to install it and ive heard alot that they are junk and I should switch to a manual tensioner. How can I do that, and where can I get one?
 

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Im pretty sure ive narrowed it down to the head gasket being bad. Im gonna go buy another one and replace it and see where im at. As far as the auto tensioner what should I do with that? I dont have the proper tool to install it and ive heard alot that they are junk and I should switch to a manual tensioner. How can I do that, and where can I get one?

Sweet.

You can go H23 manual tensioner conversion OR you can buy the kstuned manual tensioner. The Kstuned tensioner is aftermarket but its essentially a direct replacement of just the auto adjuster. Check out Rosko racing in the vendor area. He has those in stock. Im not sure if your post count will hinder you.

And just for kicks. The tool you speak of, are you referring to the bracket holder used to hold the auto tensioner compressed while you get it in place? Its usually bolted to block right near.
 

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is that piece really on the block? I didnt see one anywhere.
Well its removable. There is just a convenient space where you can bolt down. Its only needed for when you install the automatic tensioner. I wouldn't sweat it though since you interested in going to a manual tensioner which is highly recommended.

If you did you want one though I am sure you can get one from the for sale section once your post count reaches 100+
You probably wont have any luck at a junk yard thats for sure.

You are looking for #25 "14540-P13-003" if I understand you correctly. You wont need it though.

 

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Did you have the time to redo the headgasket? I meant to state earlier to make sure you have the dowel pins installed. Those things can fall out sometimes. Im sure you have them since it would be a bitch to reinstall correctly anyway
 

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I had the company that sold me the head gasket refund some money. I bought a brian crower head gasket, and a gates high performance timing belt. I also ordered a manual tensioner from rosko. I hope after I reinstall all this it will fix my issue
 

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I had the company that sold me the head gasket refund some money. I bought a brian crower head gasket, and a gates high performance timing belt. I also ordered a manual tensioner from rosko. I hope after I reinstall all this it will fix my issue
You have it taken apart already though? You really should double check your head surface for warpage. Do you have a precision straight edge? You can just place the straight edge over the surface and shine a LED flash light over the head and look for the light poking under. Measure the gap with the same feeler gauge set you would use for valve adjustment.

With the timing belt out of the way spin the pulleys. Make sure they are moving freely without notchy movement.

You said something about a grinding noise that I didnt quite get. Did you get to the bottom of whatever that noise wass?

If you dont mind me asking where are you located? If you need help with things man dont hesitate and I can try to help when/where ever possible
 
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