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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ok well, I can see the light at the end of the tunnel now, my car is a new rotor away from getting out on the street (as far as I know...). So here's the story...
Two weeks ago, Saturday, during my last run at autocross, my engine started making bad noises, and I ended up towing it up to the shop, it would die when revved and sounded like a dropped valve. I pulled the head to take a look, and everything was fine, so I pulled the whole motor out. Took the caps off all the rods to inspect the bearings, still nothing wrong, so I reassembled the whole thing, thinking maybe the timing belt just slipped a couple of teeth and sounded bad. There had been oil on the timing belt from a new valve cover leak. While the motor was out, I got the chance to clean it up and clean the bay up, and I took the tranny off to look at the clutch. I'd never seen it, and the previous owner told me it was relatively new. Reinstalled the tranny, and it seemed a little hard to get together, but I didn't really know what it should have felt like, so I forced it together. I put the whole thing back into the car, which was fun because I was working alone, and the leveler on the hoist broke and dropped the motor about six inches before it caught. I almost lost my brake booster/master cylinder from that. So I got it back in and it wouldn't start, the starter was moving really slowly. A few hours of playing with it made me realize the clutch wasn't working. It felt normal, but wouldn't disengage the tranny, so I thought something was binding on the clutch/flywheel that was making the starter work hard and not letting the clutch disengage. All this happened with a lot of time in between, as I have other things going on, though I tried to spend every free minute working on the car. Monday night I got back to it, put the car up on the lift and pulled the tranny. At this point I had picked up my new clutch/pp and flywheel, so I was prepared to replace them if I needed to. I tried for 2 hours to get the thing off the motor, and it wouldn't come. I ended up unbolting the pressure plate from the flywheel through the starter hole. The center of the clutch had broken off from being forced in, and was on the engine side of the clutch, stuck on the input shaft, so I couldn't pull the tranny off. I had to break the rest of the clutch disc and use a puller to get the center piece off, the whole job was 10 hours from start to finish. After I got it together the clutch still didn't work, but this time the pedal stayed on the floor, and the TO bearing didn't touch the pressure plate. Waited some more, and on wednesday night after work I pulled the tranny and realized I had installed the new clutch backwards! That time it only took a few hours to do the whole job, and I had a little help. I tried to start it up but the timing was a little off, and I was tired so I ended up waiting until thursday to start it. I adjusted the timing and it started up perfectly, with a little tick as if the valves weren't adjusted right. I took it for a slow run around the parking lot, trying out the new clutch (which is really heavy). I got up to about 3000 RPM and heard a loud bang, then the oil light came on. I immediately shut down the motor, and coasted down a little hill into the shop, leaving a trail of oil. I popped the hood and saw oil all over the right side, and there was a big hole in cylinder 1 on the front and the back of the block. After a very depressed night, I decided I was going to just replace the whole motor, and friday morning I got up at 7am and borrowed stef's HF to go down to RI to pick up an A6 block and Y8 head from d16z6rex. It was nice to drive a CRX for a little while, it was really slow, but I got great mileage. When I got back I got right to work pulling the old motor and getting the new one in. I picked up a y7 dizzy and a P28 with a few conversion plugs from the yard, and a friend of mine who's parting out a DA gave me his A1 pistons, as long as I agreed to help him pull them and help him sell some parts. Getting the broken motor out was easy, and then I got to work prepping the Y8 head and tearing down the new block. The old motor was toast. Piston #1 seized the wrist pin and broke the rod, it punched the two holes in the block and the rest of the rod destroyed everything in it's path, the cap assembly at the bottom was gone completely, and the piston kissed the valves (not sure yet if they are actually bent). I got the block all set, bolted the intake manifold to the new head, and basically got everything ready on the car while my friend pulled the head on the DA. It had been running on 3 cylinders, reading 0 compression in #3. We discovered that a quarter of one of the exhaust valves was missing, but the pistons were in great shape, there wasn't even much carbon at all on the skirts. Getting the pan off took over 3 hours. a few of the studs/bolts were seized, I spend 2 hours straight on my back in a puddle of coolant and oil trying every tool I could think of in the shop to get them out. It was hell, I haven't been so frustrated on car since... well since I couldn't get the tranny off. We ended up pounding an 8mm socket on it around 6am, and finally got the pan off and the pistons and rods out. I cleaned them up and then we both went home to get some food for about an hour, and headed back up. He left to go watch the autocross I was missing and I tried to get the pistons into the new block. They wouldn't go in, after hours of trying I was still blaming the ring compressor. I finally got smart and checked the gap... wrong rings! I got some other rings and got the pistons in finally yesterday in the afternoon. After a few little breaks and some trips down to the autocross, I got the whole engine bolted together. I had a hell of a time getting the Z6 timing belt to go on, at least I know it won't slip now. I took a few hours off and went out to get some food with a few of my friends, leaving the motor sitting in front of the CRX, waiting for me to put it in. Around 11 or 12 we got to it, it was the easiest EF motor install ever, even the rear mount didn't give me any problems. While I was putting it in with one friend, another was soldering my OBD1 coversion harness together. We finished getting the motor together, the radiator and bumper reinstalled, all the wiring, fluids, etc, around the same time the harness was done. Tried to start it and the timing was off, and adjusting that belt was a pain. We decided to go out and get some breakfast, so around 6 we went to a diner to eat. At this point I had been up for 48 hours, and I was falling asleep at the table. I came home and slept from about 8 until 2, then got back up to the shop. After setting the timing, I was stupid and didn't start the car, instead I wired up the Y8 dizzy, and tonight I was working on that. After I read a guide on HT with the wrong info, and had to resolder a few of the wires, I still wasn't getting any spark. We broke out the multimeter and went through everything, and found that the rotor is bad, it's worn away just at the contact point in the middle so that it won't give any spark. In the morning I'm getting a new rotor and running the last wire... VTEC. I still have a few trimming and cleaning things to do, but HOPEFULLY, after 16 days, my CRX will be back on the road, with a little more power and a younger motor.
Sorry for the huge post, but I needed to vent about it, it's been a long weekend and I'm finally getting close to driving my CRX again. I'll get some pics up of the old motor, it's pretty bad, and I'm sure I'll have some raving about the new motor.
 

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Congrats, you win the longest post award! Sorry to hear about your initial troubles, i know how that is. But if it wasnt for problems, we wouldnt know how to do anything!
 

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Quite a saga, good luck with the finishing touches and getting everything ironed out. I don't mind a long post, in fact I enjoy reading them...but fer Chrissakes dude, PARAGRAPHS. My brain was getting lost in that screen-sized sea of text.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Yeah so... the rotor and cap didn't fix it. I rewired the whole harness myself tonight, he made some mistakes, but still nothing. See the post in the other forum... I'm getting really frustrated, I'm so close I can smell it... oh wait, I was cranking the motor with no plug, must be smelling fuel...
 

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thus the posting with no paragraphs, either that or lack of sleep :p

I hope it comes together, never working on this I have no clue where to tell you to go, but it seems like your in the right direction. Have you quadruple checked your grounds?

Let us know how it runs... this is the engine I want to build, so I want to know what to expect :p
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I got the rest of the plugs at the yard today, VTEC, VTEC pressue switch, and the coolant temp sensor plug that broke. Wired it all up into my harness, no more CELs.
[new paragraph]
Autozone gave me the wrong rotor, and I went in to get the right one, and they said it was the right part. I showed them the old one, and still they told me it was the right one. I returned it and went to NAPA, where they brought out two rotors and told me there were two dizzys for the EK Civic. They also gave me a discount for being in school!
So I went back to the shop and installed the new one, and now it seems that the battery is dead, great. Two weeks of trying to start and sitting I guess are too much for a yellow top, only has 11.3 Volts. I'm waiting on the battery to charge, and then it *should* start.
There's a trip with my schools sports car club (the one that does autocrosses) to a local dragway tomorrow. I don't want to drag, but I may go to get some high octane fuel and weigh my car. I'd like to see how it feels when I can actually advance the timing.
 
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