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Saturday, March 13, 2010

Born to be Mild - The Saga Continues


I took the left exhaust off and found - nothing! I even started the engine with open exhaust ports and more - nothing! Except a lot of noise of course. I pressure washed the inside of the pipes to see what there was to see coming out of the back. But again - nothing! Weirder and weirder. When I put it all back together it ran fine and spit out - nothing! So I guess the problem is solved even though I'm not sure why.

One clue might be that the emissions storage tank was full of a watery oily mixture. While I had the exhaust off I drained the system and got ~250cc of liquid (about a coffee mug full). Could this have been the source of the oil shooting out of the back of the exhaust? But, if so, why only on the left side?



Feeling confident that the problem was behind me I moved on to change the oil while the engine was hot. Good idea but bad for me. I lost my balance and leaned against the exhaust pipes.
Score: nylon jacket:0 - exhaust pipes:1
Now I get to scrape the jacket material off the pipes.

One of the first things they did at Honda School was have us tighten a bunch of bolts and then use a torque wrench to see how close we were to factory specs. By varying degrees we were all over-tightening the bolts. So it was no surprise that the oil drain plug was so tight that the aluminum washer was mashed into a mushroom shape. Where do these people come from? Why are they allowed to own wrenches?


The oil filter housing was worse. The bolt head on the end of the filter bolt was rounded off and it was so tight that even a large pair of Vice Grip pliers couldn't loosen it. Now Honda has to assume part of the blame here. Putting a 12mm bolt head on the filter bolt was definitely one of their worst ideas. It's too small for the application and too easy to round off. A shade tree mechanic with an open end wrench is a recipe for disaster. There were several after market bolts that used either a 14mm or 17mm bolt head to remedy the problem.

However, the previous owner took to the problem to new heights (lows?) by not stopping when things were going bad. The picture above shows what I had to do to get it apart. Ugly to say the least! Nothing like a 32oz hammer and a 3/4" cold chisel to have your way. Payback for my jacket! Luckily I had a used filter housing and bolt in the odd parts box to replace these with.

It should all be wrapped up today. It's going to be raining all weekend so no road test until Monday or Tuesday. More news then, Something new tomorrow.