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Thread: 89 Lx - i finally died, any ideas?

  1. #1
    DX User Archangel12's Avatar
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    89 Lx - i finally died, any ideas?

    Welp. timing belt snapped while running errands yesterday. wasn't driving hard nor did I ever. pretty sure a couple pistons got fairly intimate with my valves because it got left in gear for a second before I dropped it into neutral and rolled it into a parking lot.

    I could for sure rebuild the engine, i have an identical parts car with a blown head gasket so I can take some oem parts from that if needed along with a rebuild kit.

    I've kept her mostly stock besides an oem spec set of shocks and springs. I was planning to try to push her up to the 210hp range eventually, I have a spare car to daily so I have a pretty good excuse now to finally start working on her. I'm thinking about taking the rebuild route and just putting performance internals in while the engine is pulled but I'm also really considering the swap route too, I feel like rebuilding a 280k mi motor is pretty risky.

    Any ideas for the situation I'm in? I'm at a dead end with what I want to do.



  2. #2

    ShiRen's Avatar
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    Re: 89 Lx - i finally died, any ideas?

    Rewind time and change the timing belt?
    Not sure what ideas you are looking for, you're going to have to rebuild... or just straight up use the parts car engine. Imo a blown head gasket in an old Honda basically means "good engine" easy fix. Not much actually goes wrong in these engines unless you crack a head, spin a bearing, or cock a piston. Mileage is irrelevant, worst thing you might have to do is put new valves, guides, and seats in the head, change the rod bearings, or bore the block, which are all things typically done in a rebuild.

  3. #3

    Dr_Snooz's Avatar
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    Re: 89 Lx - i finally died, any ideas?

    A20 is non-interference. Replace the belt and keep driving. Unless you're looking for an excuse to do more, of course.
    Dr_Snooz

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


    1989 Honda Accord LX-i Coupe, 240k miles, MT swap, rear disc swap

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  4. #4
    DX User Archangel12's Avatar
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    Re: 89 Lx - i finally died, any ideas?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dr_Snooz View Post
    A20 is non-interference. Replace the belt and keep driving. Unless you're looking for an excuse to do more, of course.
    Pfft. I'm stupid. Totally thought that the A20 is interference. Basic rebuild and belt replacement it is. Thanks for the help man.

  5. #5

    ShiRen's Avatar
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    Re: 89 Lx - i finally died, any ideas?

    Wait... I totally thought it was interference. Maybe I'm losing it.

  6. #6
    DX User Jinnai's Avatar
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    Re: 89 Lx - i finally died, any ideas?

    I thought it was non-interference. I googled it and it seems no one can find a conclusive answer as to what happens when their belt breaks. I guess that means it would be good for the world in general for you to pull the head off and set some eyes on the valves so we know.

  7. #7

    ShiRen's Avatar
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    Re: 89 Lx - i finally died, any ideas?

    If it has never had a head gasket then now is the time

  8. #8

    conozo's Avatar
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    Re: 89 Lx - i finally died, any ideas?

    I have heard both ways after a timing belt breaks, some have bent valves, some are fine. I can tell you that mine is for sure interference but i have a performance cam and the head has been shaved a couple times.

    Id buy a new belt for $15 and put it on. Rotate the engine by hand several times to feel if you get any binding and if not fire it up.

    1988 Honda Accord LSDX-I

  9. #9
    DX User Archangel12's Avatar
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    Re: 89 Lx - i finally died, any ideas?

    Sounds like I'd be doing everyone a favor by checking if the stock a20 is interference or not. I'll break her open sometime soon, gonna be on vacation for new year's so I won't have any time until I'm back in early January. Will update as soon as I can. Yeah, I saw online that every engine honda built from 1984 to 92 or something like that was interference only and that's why I started the thread.

  10. #10

    conozo's Avatar
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    Re: 89 Lx - i finally died, any ideas?

    Also one other thing, if you put a new belt on and turn it by hand you will feel each compression stroke for each cylinder so that will give you a rough estimate if the valves are sealing too.

    1988 Honda Accord LSDX-I

  11. #11


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    Re: 89 Lx - i finally died, any ideas?

    Like Conozo said put a timing belt on it and do a compression test each cylinder before you put everything back on it.
    1988 Lxi owner since August 1995
    336k miles running strong!
    Now running E85.

    Oldblueaccord <<< MY YOUTUBE PAGE!

  12. #12
    DX User Archangel12's Avatar
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    Re: 89 Lx - i finally died, any ideas?

    Quote Originally Posted by Archangel12 View Post
    Welp. timing belt snapped while running errands yesterday. wasn't driving hard nor did I ever. pretty sure a couple pistons got fairly intimate with my valves because it got left in gear for a second before I dropped it into neutral and rolled it into a parking lot.

    I could for sure rebuild the engine, i have an identical parts car with a blown head gasket so I can take some oem parts from that if needed along with a rebuild kit.

    I've kept her mostly stock besides an oem spec set of shocks and springs. I was planning to try to push her up to the 210hp range eventually, I have a spare car to daily so I have a pretty good excuse now to finally start working on her. I'm thinking about taking the rebuild route and just putting performance internals in while the engine is pulled but I'm also really considering the swap route too, I feel like rebuilding a 280k mi motor is pretty risky.

    Any ideas for the situation I'm in? I'm at a dead end with what I want to do.
    Update:
    The A20 is non-interference. New timing belt, adjusted the dizzy to account for it, runs better than ever. Also replaced the sparklers, dizzy rotor, dizzy head, and wires. New gasket for the lower and upper timing belt cover as mine was pretty much disintegrated and a new valve cover gasket too. Compression is all good, valves are fine even after cranking the car over a couple times with the broken belt before I knew what was wrong.

    I can imagine that new valves can definitely make the engine interference but my stock example is not.

    My cold air intake from Weapon*R is getting delivered today and I'll be updating my project thread about it soon enough.

    Thanks for all the advice folks. Before I knew the accord wasn't interference I was heavily considering the big B swap.

  13. #13

    Dr_Snooz's Avatar
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    Re: 89 Lx - i finally died, any ideas?

    There's still time for that. Glad you were able to keep it running in the meantime.
    Dr_Snooz

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


    1989 Honda Accord LX-i Coupe, 240k miles, MT swap, rear disc swap

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  14. #14
    DX User fortekosakku's Avatar
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    Re: 89 Lx - i finally died, any ideas?

    Even if you dropped a valve or popped a piston hole, in the end, the only thing that really kills an engine is throwing a rod through the block. Better than ever is it? Good.

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