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Thread: Source for a cylinder head

  1. #1
    LXi User AC439's Avatar
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    Source for a cylinder head

    So I have done many many things to try to eliminate the 2k vibration to no avail. (To recap - the 2k vibration starts after I re-tighten head bolts a while ago)

    I even have the head gasket changed again but still not resolving the issue. When I last pulled the head out, I checked flatness and it was fine. But I did not know (still don't know) enough to do valve seat\stem seal etc. After many months of troubleshooting and replacing quite a number of things, I came to the conclusion that the head is probably the cause of the problem. And I was the one that messed it up when I re-tighten the head bolts since the vibration starts right after re-tightened the bolts. I suspect I might have cause a hairline crack somewhere or distorted the valve seats. But the head was checked flat during last pull.

    Eventually I want to fix the head, either get a reman one or take it to a head shop. I have found one locally that has good reviews, but I don't know how much they will charge for a complete job (valve seat, pressure test, stem seals etc). The reman one is about $400-500. But I have to assume the reman head has been restore correctly (its mail order so I can't check before getting it).

    So which is the better way ? Take it to a local shop ? or order a reman ? Or anyone has a good spare A20A3 head to offer (wouldn't hurt asking)?

    -AC



  2. #2
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    Re: Source for a cylinder head

    I would search on ebay and car-part.com ; I bought a head w/ valves rockers and a cam for 130 shipped, cleaned it up and home, lapped the valves by hand (1-2 hour job), took it to a machine shop to get decked and pressure tested for 60 bucks, and have a clean fully functional head for under 200$
    Cracks are rarely repairable unless they are in a lucky spot that is repairable; I was told my old head which had a hairline crack was toast by every shop because the crack was somewhat close to a valve seat, not even touching.

  3. #3

    Dr_Snooz's Avatar
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    Re: Source for a cylinder head

    I would take it in for a pressure test before doing anything else. Before you do that, it wouldn't hurt to do a compression test and leak down test at the least. You might also consider getting an oil analysis for a more complete picture of what's going on inside.
    Dr_Snooz

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  4. #4
    LXi User AC439's Avatar
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    Re: Source for a cylinder head

    I should have done a compression \ leak down test. I have no tools for that....I can borrow tools from autozone but I have no air compressor for the leak down test.

    If I take the head out for a pressure test, then I might as well let the head shop restore it. Thing is I don't know how much I should be expected paying...I may have to talk to them and find out.

    Car-part.com does show many available but if I get one, I will pay the head shop for test first before install. Advantage is the down time will be minimized. Otherwise, the car will be torn apart sitting there till the head shop fix the original head (I'm afraid they will have to order seals etc so it may take some time)....

  5. #5

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    Re: Source for a cylinder head

    If you're going to get into the nitty gritty like you are, then you have to tool up. A leakdown tester from Harbor Freight is $50. A compression tester is $30. A compressor is $60. For under $200 you can be confident. You're going to spend a lot more than that to pull the head and have it tested. Consider what you've already spent on this issue and the tools start to look cheaper still. For me, I'd much rather spend money to have a garage full of tools and a car that runs well, than to have no tools, scrap the car because I couldn't fix it and end up with a big loan on a car I don't like. That's the worst possible outcome for me.

    Don't buy tools over groceries or rent, of course. Just realize that tools are an investment worth spending. Best part is that once you have them, they're free the next time you need them. Most importantly, you end up with the tools and knowledge to help others.

    Worst case, buy the tools used and resell them on Craigslist when you're done. You might even make money on the deal.

    Get creative. There is always a way.
    Dr_Snooz

    "I like to take hammers, and just break stuff, just break stuff." - Beavis


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  6. #6
    LXi User AC439's Avatar
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    Re: Source for a cylinder head

    With my situation, getting tools is a problem. Not much in terms of financial sense but have a wife that will certainly disapprove. I can sneak in small tools but a compressor cannot be hidden under the shelf without being noticed. If I have a compressor, my life in fixing cars would be a lot easier. I may have to dig around to pay for a leak down test. But I certainly can rent a compression tester and measure all 4 quick before taking it for a leak down test though....

  7. #7
    LXi User InAccordance's Avatar
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    Re: Source for a cylinder head

    Sounds like you need a new wife, not a cylinder head lol.

    Kidding of course.
    Originally posted by ShiRen:
    Nice car or not, nobody likes losing a race to an old 4 door Honda.

  8. #8
    LXi User AC439's Avatar
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    Re: Source for a cylinder head

    Quote Originally Posted by InAccordance View Post
    Sounds like you need a new wife, not a cylinder head lol.

    Kidding of course.
    LOL, not going to happen. We just celebrated our anniversary yesterday.

  9. #9
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  10. #10
    LXi User AC439's Avatar
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    Re: Source for a cylinder head

    Thanks, will surely check this option. Just have to look at the code on the head to make sure its the right fit. I know carb and FI are not quite interchangeable. Rebuild shops may not know this.

  11. #11
    LXi User AC439's Avatar
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    What the hell is PJO ?

    I found out that Ebay seller has a shop in Clearwater FL. Its about 110 miles away. I checked their google reviews and its only 3.2 stars. I'm kind of hesitate to buy from them due to this low rating.

    One thing I have not been able to find out is "What the heck is PJO?" (I searched but cannot search here with 3 letters, I also searched google) The seller shows a pic of the head and it says PJO on it. I checked my car and it is also stamped PJO. Since I never have a carb head, I cannot tell if this PJO stamp is just an arbitrary letters which may also be stamped on a carb head. I hate to buy something and find out won't fit the hard way. So my question is - is the PJO stamp only on FI head ?

    There is a head shop nearby which has a very good review on google. I may go ask and check them out and see if it would be a better option and let them rebuild it.
    Last edited by AC439; 05-30-2019 at 03:43 AM.

  12. #12
    LXi User InAccordance's Avatar
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    Re: Source for a cylinder head

    PJ0 is the head design with the evenly spaced intake ports. They are oblong with a hump on the top. They are used on the a20a1 and a20a3. Oh, and the fabled a20a4.
    They are interchangeable between carb and FI Accords. It's the same head. I even use an FI valve cover on my carb engine, works just fine.
    It was also used on the 2g Prelude SI and ONLY the SI. The Prelude carb head is a completely different design. That one has round intake ports.
    Edited cause I did remember one difference and that is the distributor mounting. The carb mounts using only two bolts versus the FI using 3. So like that listing says he has single and dual ear versions. Single is carb, dual is FI. Which btw, can be swapped out as it's only two bolts that holds that piece on. It's not a cast part of the head.
    Last edited by InAccordance; 05-29-2019 at 09:50 PM.
    Originally posted by ShiRen:
    Nice car or not, nobody likes losing a race to an old 4 door Honda.

  13. #13
    LXi User AC439's Avatar
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    Re: Source for a cylinder head

    Quote Originally Posted by InAccordance View Post
    PJ0 is the head design with the evenly spaced intake ports. They are oblong with a hump on the top. They are used on the a20a1 and a20a3. Oh, and the fabled a20a4.
    They are interchangeable between carb and FI Accords. It's the same head. I even use an FI valve cover on my carb engine, works just fine.
    It was also used on the 2g Prelude SI and ONLY the SI. The Prelude carb head is a completely different design. That one has round intake ports.
    Edited cause I did remember one difference and that is the distributor mounting. The carb mounts using only two bolts versus the FI using 3. So like that listing says he has single and dual ear versions. Single is carb, dual is FI. Which btw, can be swapped out as it's only two bolts that holds that piece on. It's not a cast part of the head.
    Thanks for info and I am a little surprised that I couldn't find this info anywhere. I was able to locate some pictures of the carb and FI heads so I can tell a some difference. Someone here (as I recall) said the carb head intake ports do not have that hump at the top where the fuel injectors needed to spray fuel.

    I will certainly reach out to the local shop to get some ideas about pricing for rebuild. Then I will decide which way I want to go.

  14. #14
    LXi User InAccordance's Avatar
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    Re: Source for a cylinder head

    Carb heads do have them.
    https://imgur.com/g29PlKI
    Last edited by InAccordance; 05-30-2019 at 04:20 PM.
    Originally posted by ShiRen:
    Nice car or not, nobody likes losing a race to an old 4 door Honda.

  15. #15
    LXi User AC439's Avatar
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    Re: Source for a cylinder head

    I am finally able to find more pics about the carb head and the FI head for comparison. Now I know the main difference.

    I am still unable to make up my mind about getting a reman head or take it to a shop for a rebuilt. Reman runs about $325 to $380 but not sure how much a shop will charge for a rebuild. There are 2 local head shops have good reviews and I like them. If I get a used head from a JY, I don't really know the condition of it except some visual checks and run a straight edge with feeler gauge. Other then that, I would not know the condition of valve seats or seals.

    So, is a readily available reman head desirable or better take the head to a reputable shop for rebuild ?

  16. #16
    LXi User InAccordance's Avatar
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    Re: Source for a cylinder head

    Personally I'd take it to a shop. At least then you can tell em exactly what you want done.
    Originally posted by ShiRen:
    Nice car or not, nobody likes losing a race to an old 4 door Honda.

  17. #17

    Dr_Snooz's Avatar
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    Re: Source for a cylinder head

    If your head is original and you know it's been relatively well treated, I'd rebuild it before getting something from the yard. I've had so many nasty surprises from junkyards.
    Dr_Snooz

    "I like to take hammers, and just break stuff, just break stuff." - Beavis


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  18. #18
    LXi User AC439's Avatar
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    Re: Source for a cylinder head

    Thanks. I think I'm also leaning towards rebuild. I can never sure what I will be getting from junk yard. I did try car-part.com and found some yards but they never reply to my inquiry so I don't like them.

    Mine is original and I know it is not wrap. But the valves need to be checked with valve stem seals, valve seats etc (I have no experience in this). I still have to do a compression test first. I hate the fact that I do not have compressed air available for leak down test....

  19. #19

    Dr_Snooz's Avatar
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    Re: Source for a cylinder head

    Quote Originally Posted by Dr_Snooz View Post
    Get creative. There is always a way.
    You should listen to this guy.

    https://www.homedepot.com/c/nailers_...ir-compressors
    Dr_Snooz

    "I like to take hammers, and just break stuff, just break stuff." - Beavis


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  20. #20
    LXi User AC439's Avatar
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    Re: Source for a cylinder head

    Quote Originally Posted by Dr_Snooz View Post
    Didn't think of that !

  21. #21

    Dr_Snooz's Avatar
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    Re: Source for a cylinder head

    Apparently, you've never been poor.
    Dr_Snooz

    "I like to take hammers, and just break stuff, just break stuff." - Beavis


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  22. #22
    LXi User InAccordance's Avatar
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    Re: Source for a cylinder head

    Quote Originally Posted by Dr_Snooz View Post
    Apparently, you've never been poor.
    Being poor and wanting to work on cars makes you creative lol
    Originally posted by ShiRen:
    Nice car or not, nobody likes losing a race to an old 4 door Honda.

  23. #23
    LXi User AC439's Avatar
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    Re: Source for a cylinder head

    I never consider myself rich...LOL

    I went to O'Rileys yesterday, spoke with a staff who owned few hondas and asked about his opinion. He did say the head shop I was talking about locally is a good shop and had done head job for him. He can also order a reman head for A20A3 and quote me a discount price as well. He said the reman uses new valves, guides and seals etc and only the housing is used for the reman process.

    So again, I am torn between these 2 options. I think I will visit the head shop and show them my wet/dry compression results and see what they say. I have yet to do a leak down though....... LOL

  24. #24
    LXi User AC439's Avatar
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    Re: Source for a cylinder head

    I lucked out today ! I was googling for compressor rental and a local liquidation warehouse popped up with a 3 gallon compressor for $32.

    So I played good husband and cleaned the garage and threw away some junks. I told the wife the compressor is cheap and not taking up much space.

    We went there and bought the compressor for $32 and a 1.7 cu ft mini fridge for $40.

    Next is to go borrow a leak down tester from autozone.....

    P.S. I just realized after I posted that there are no leak down tester loan from the typical auto parts stores.
    Last edited by AC439; 06-14-2019 at 10:12 AM.

  25. #25
    DX User Jacques's Avatar
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    Re: Source for a cylinder head

    I am also thinking of getting a rebuilt head from Clearwater Cylinder Head Inc.
    Has anyone in here used them before? They offer a 5 year warranty.
    I was under the impression that the Lxi had a different cam profile or timing from the carb. DX version. Anyone know? Are all the camshafts the same?

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