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Thread: Is it too late to rebuild?

  1. #1
    DX User temrinal's Avatar
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    Is it too late to rebuild?

    I was doing the oil pan gasket, and when looking into the pan after dropping it I noticed a very large amount of brass/copper colored shavings/flakes. After common sense and some forum reading, my bearings are toast. Though I donít hear any knock? The motor still runs but Iím worried it might not soon. I want to know if itís too late for a rebuild, and if I would have to get honing done. If my bearings are gone, what else might be toast? Iím guessing crank, which Iíve already factored into the price. Iím almost sure they went because the previous owners said they were only adding oil to the motor every 2 weeks, when really due to the leaks the motor needed it what seems to be every other day! TYIA!

    - a struggling 16 year old.
    '89 Honda Accord LX



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    conozo's Avatar
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    Re: Is it too late to rebuild?

    It does sound like bearings. If there is that much metal in the oil pan than it probably needs a proper rebuild but without looking at it we dont know. It may be easier and quicker for you to get a junkyard engine from a wrecked car car-part.com and swap it out.

    1988 Honda Accord LSDX-I

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    Re: Is it too late to rebuild?

    Quote Originally Posted by temrinal View Post
    I was doing the oil pan gasket, and when looking into the pan after dropping it I noticed a very large amount of brass/copper colored shavings/flakes. After common sense and some forum reading, my bearings are toast. Though I donít hear any knock? The motor still runs but Iím worried it might not soon. I want to know if itís too late for a rebuild, and if I would have to get honing done. If my bearings are gone, what else might be toast? Iím guessing crank, which Iíve already factored into the price. Iím almost sure they went because the previous owners said they were only adding oil to the motor every 2 weeks, when really due to the leaks the motor needed it what seems to be every other day! TYIA!

    - a struggling 16 year old.
    Since you have the pan off you might try and just put bearings in it. Its not that hard but from underneath its not that fun either.

    The only thing with Hondas is the bearing journals are color coded to the bearings by size and fit and you would have to figure all that out. In an old Chevy you just slap the same bearing in each journal and call it good.

    On the cheap when I was young we did this thing called a redneck rebuild or a Friday night rebuilt. You just take the rods caps off and change out the lower half of the bearings...and if its a 12 pack job your take off the mains one by one and do the lowers on those. It buys you a year or two depending on how much oil pressure you gain.
    1988 Lxi owner since August 1995
    336k miles running strong!
    Now running E85.

    Oldblueaccord <<< MY YOUTUBE PAGE!

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    Re: Is it too late to rebuild?

    Theres not really a "too late". Its possible the crank could be damaged, but if you did not hear an obvious knock it could be salvageable. I would say you probably need to hone it if you go that far (that means rings), there is probably some scoring on the cylinders.
    You can just put in bearings from the bottom too, but you better learn how to use plastigage and put the right size bearings in.
    How far you go really depends on how you will drive it.

  5. #5
    DX User temrinal's Avatar
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    Re: Is it too late to rebuild?

    Quote Originally Posted by ShiRen View Post
    Theres not really a "too late". Its possible the crank could be damaged, but if you did not hear an obvious knock it could be salvageable. I would say you probably need to hone it if you go that far (that means rings), there is probably some scoring on the cylinders.
    You can just put in bearings from the bottom too, but you better learn how to use plastigage and put the right size bearings in.
    How far you go really depends on how you will drive it.
    I really only plan to daily drive it for maybe a little less than a year, then B swap sometime next summer. Oldblueaccord mentioned if I swap out bearings only, it could buy me some time. Is it a better idea to do so and b swap later down the line, as I donít plan to use the A20 as my power train for all too long? Or would it not even last till next summer. Again, thank you all for the help! Itís greatly appreciated.

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    Re: Is it too late to rebuild?

    Quote Originally Posted by temrinal View Post
    I really only plan to daily drive it for maybe a little less than a year, then B swap sometime next summer. Oldblueaccord mentioned if I swap out bearings only, it could buy me some time. Is it a better idea to do so and b swap later down the line, as I donít plan to use the A20 as my power train for all too long? Or would it not even last till next summer. Again, thank you all for the help! Itís greatly appreciated.
    You never mentioned the miles but if you pull the bearings and none of the journals are scored up the motor could go a long time with a fresh set of bearings. There are alot of videos on line now how to do it with the motor together and in a car.

    Id pull the valve cover and look at the top of the motor also and see if the cam is ok.

    The only part I dont like is if its brass not copper then Im not sure what brass is inside our motors.

    EDIT: also to add I have no idea what bearings go for know days.
    1988 Lxi owner since August 1995
    336k miles running strong!
    Now running E85.

    Oldblueaccord <<< MY YOUTUBE PAGE!

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    DX User temrinal's Avatar
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    Talking Re: Is it too late to rebuild?

    Quote Originally Posted by Oldblueaccord View Post
    You never mentioned the miles but if you pull the bearings and none of the journals are scored up the motor could go a long time with a fresh set of bearings. There are alot of videos on line now how to do it with the motor together and in a car.

    Id pull the valve cover and look at the top of the motor also and see if the cam is ok.

    The only part I dont like is if its brass not copper then Im not sure what brass is inside our motors.

    EDIT: also to add I have no idea what bearings go for know days.
    The chassis mileage is around 208k, and the previous owners claimed a new rebuilt motor was put in. Obviously, I think different. I have a photo from when I did the VC gasket, cant see the cam much but I don't really remember seeing any scoring of the cam or flakes in the oil in the head. I am pretty sure its copper, not brass. Was just describing the color. If I could go with just buying new bearings (rod and mains), and some plastigage, it would be amazing. Again, thank you for your help all. Let's hope that I can throw some bearings in to hold over till I get that b swap going.

    '89 Honda Accord LX

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    DX User temrinal's Avatar
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    Re: Is it too late to rebuild?

    Quote Originally Posted by Oldblueaccord View Post
    You never mentioned the miles but if you pull the bearings and none of the journals are scored up the motor could go a long time with a fresh set of bearings. There are alot of videos on line now how to do it with the motor together and in a car.

    Id pull the valve cover and look at the top of the motor also and see if the cam is ok.

    The only part I dont like is if its brass not copper then Im not sure what brass is inside our motors.

    EDIT: also to add I have no idea what bearings go for know days.
    Donít remember any cam scoring when I did vc gasket, or shavings. Iím almost positive itís copper, but bronze was kinda the color. The body has 208 on it, but the prev owner claims new rebuilt engine. I call bs. Hoping I can get by till a b swap with main and rod bearings. Gonna buy the bearings (found main and rod set for 40$) and plastigage soon, wish me luck all. Thanks again for all the help. Any more advice or help would be greatly appreciated.

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    Re: Is it too late to rebuild?

    Quote Originally Posted by temrinal View Post
    I really only plan to daily drive it for maybe a little less than a year, then B swap sometime next summer. Oldblueaccord mentioned if I swap out bearings only, it could buy me some time. Is it a better idea to do so and b swap later down the line, as I donít plan to use the A20 as my power train for all too long? Or would it not even last till next summer. Again, thank you all for the help! Itís greatly appreciated.
    I would like to point out that the average b series is a sidestep in power... You might get a lot more out of what you got for a whole lot cheaper. A series spit fire and eat lunch.

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    DX User temrinal's Avatar
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    Re: Is it too late to rebuild?

    Quote Originally Posted by ShiRen View Post
    I would like to point out that the average b series is a sidestep in power... You might get a lot more out of what you got for a whole lot cheaper. A series spit fire and eat lunch.
    I plan to do a b16/18 LS-VTEC swap, streetable and FAR more aftermarket. I understand the a series can do a lot, but I would have to do a lot to make this little carbed a20a1 make 150~ numbers. With the LSV swap, I could easily make 200 numbers N/A. Once I start on all that Iíll probably make a write up.


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    Re: Is it too late to rebuild?

    Quote Originally Posted by temrinal View Post
    Donít remember any cam scoring when I did vc gasket, or shavings. Iím almost positive itís copper, but bronze was kinda the color. The body has 208 on it, but the prev owner claims new rebuilt engine. I call bs. Hoping I can get by till a b swap with main and rod bearings. Gonna buy the bearings (found main and rod set for 40$) and plastigage soon, wish me luck all. Thanks again for all the help. Any more advice or help would be greatly appreciated.
    I reread the book and the bearing code for the mains is stamped on the bell housing of the block, the way I read it....so unless you have the trans off I would just go with pastiguage. I think its the rod bearings that are stamped on a block ear. Good luck.

    There alot of videos online on how to do it youll get the picture.

    Also the oil leak on the front of the motor is almost always the oil pump.
    1988 Lxi owner since August 1995
    336k miles running strong!
    Now running E85.

    Oldblueaccord <<< MY YOUTUBE PAGE!

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    DX User temrinal's Avatar
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    Re: Is it too late to rebuild?

    Quote Originally Posted by Oldblueaccord View Post
    I reread the book and the bearing code for the mains is stamped on the bell housing of the block, the way I read it....so unless you have the trans off I would just go with pastiguage. I think its the rod bearings that are stamped on a block ear. Good luck.

    There alot of videos online on how to do it youll get the picture.

    Also the oil leak on the front of the motor is almost always the oil pump.
    Thank you for the help, greatly appreciated having people like you to keep the forum alive.

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