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Discussion Starter #1
Hey guys! So I recently picked up an 01 zx2 for $300 from a kid who thought that the engine was blown. I figured worst case scenario I could get my money back for parts/scrap metal.

So right off the bat it had a crank no start scenario. So I went through all my initial checks and found the water outlet/thermostat housing missing along with the ECT and the sender. I also found low compression on 1 2 and 3. So I went and picked up an ECT and threw it in just to see if it would start, but no dice. So I went ahead and did a cylinder leak test on #1 and found that it was losing 70% into #2. I figured that there was no sense in testing further as the head needed to come off anyhow.

The kid I got it from told me he had no clue what happend "it just died one day" judging by what i found when i pulled the head i cam safely assume he was lying about the lack of symptoms. Check NJ out the pics and you'll see what I mean.
The car had to be running like crap, probably for a while..
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Pretty good close up pictures. I had a tiny crack like that between my valves on my CVH engine and took a chance and ran with it. For the first few months the cooling system was getting pressurized, but after that it settled down and has had no problems, for about ten years now.

Edit: I see what looks like severe porosity in the aluminum between the valve seats in one of the pictures , which does look terminal.

You can probably get a good rebuilt head off of ebay reasonably priced.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I actually just order a used head off ebay last night for 150 bucks. Depending on its condition I'll either put it in as is, or rebuild it myself.

I cant decided if I want to replace my cams or not. They ran the oil pretty nasty, and there are some scoring Mark's in one journal on both cams... I think I'm just going to risk it for now.
 

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The wife's Honda had a couple rocker arms come loose, making deep gouges on the cam lobes. I decided they were high performance oil grooves and accepted them, but replaced one broken rocker arm.
No problems.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
The wife's Honda had a couple rocker arms come loose, making deep gouges on the cam lobes. I decided they were high performance oil grooves and ignored them, but replaced one broken rocker arm.
No problems.
Lol. I like it.
The only problem I can see it causing in my case, is that it could cause low oil pressure, and if the vct works off of oil pressure that might not be good. But I'm gonna roll the dice anyways
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Are you sure your journals (bearing surfaces) are damaged, and not the cam lobes?

Also, won't the used head come with camshafts etc.?
The used head doesnt show it with cams and the description says you get what is pictured. Which doesnt make a lot of sense as it still has valves, and lifter buckets, so maybe I'm misunderstanding.

Yeah my journals are damaged but the lobes looks pretty good, comparativly.

The pictures actually make it look a lot worse then it is. But you can feel the grooves on both of the very end cam journals.
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Discussion Starter #10
i would say that motor is a boat anchor at this point... horribly over heated. cant recover from that....
Normally I would agree because the signs are definitely all there.
The block and pistons and everything else visible with the oil pan off looks sound. When I did my leakdown test there was absolutely no detectable air passing by the rings. I think it will be just fine once I get the new head on.
 

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So it occurred to me that there's no way the grooves in the cam could be grooves, unless they were running fast orange for oil.. which it almost was...
So I consulted a friend who is knowledgable about it. He said that the chances of that being grooves was almost 0 due to the fact the the much softer aluminum is never going to damage the much harder metal of the cam and that it's likely aluminum that has melted onto the cam. Which is easily removable with muriatic acid. So I took some super fine Emery clothes to it and sure enough they're ridges, not grooves.

As far as crackingnrhe cast iron manifold goes, you'll notice that it's only on the #2 exhaust pipe. Its definatly been hot, but the engine will be fine with a new head because when air enters through a crack like that, as the exhaust valves open there is still a partial fire in the cylinder. The extra air forces the fire to go lean, causing a sort of blow torch effect at the exhaust valves and seats. Rarely if ever does it get hot enough to to damage to the block, but can sometimes break the rings as they get brittle from the extreme heat.
 

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Is this an illusion, or is there a visible groove in this journal?



If you can polish the journals to get them smooth and afterwards they measure within tolerance, the cams should be usable, no?

But I think you really should have gotten a complete head, it probably wouldn't cost much more.
Can you send a message to the seller and ask about including the cams for a bit more money?
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Is this an illusion, or is there a visible groove in this journal?



If you can polish the journals to get them smooth and afterwards they measure within tolerance, the cams should be usable, no?

But I think you really should have gotten a complete head, it probably wouldn't cost much more.
Can you send a message to the seller and ask about including the cams for a bit more money?
It's an illusion. I explained it in the post above yours. Basicly it's not groves in the journal, its aluminum ridges from the head. Easily removed with muriatic acid(which eats aluminum, but not steel).
I verified this with Emery clothe so fine it feels like actual clothe. I'll post pics again once I get it all cleaned up.
 

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Doesn't look like aluminum deposits, it looks like maybe the side of an oil hole, but pictures can be deceiving. It's only on the left side of the journal too.
Anyhow, thorough cleaning and polishing with very fine emery paper will tell you if it's within service limits.

Muriatic acid will dissolve steel, just much slower than it will dissolve aluminum. But more importantly, the fumes will cause surface rusting of any steel parts in the area, so don't use it indoors! (The voice of experience)
 

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I always appreciate automotive carnage pics. Thanks. I probably would have gotten a rebuilt head and new exhaust manifold and hoped for the best.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
I always appreciate automotive carnage pics. Thanks. I probably would have gotten a rebuilt head and new exhaust manifold and hoped for the best.
That's essentially what I'm doing. Just rebuilding a used head myself to save roughly 200 bucks.
Its easy once you know how.
 

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" Just rebuilding a used head myself to save roughly 200 bucks.
Its easy once you know how."

It's easy grinding valve seats and replacing guides?
 
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