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Thread: Problems '92 Honda del sol esi PLEASE HELP!!!

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2008

    Default Problems '92 Honda del sol esi PLEASE HELP!!!


    I'm new to the Honda scene, and just bought a '92 del sol ESI with 160.00 km's (approximately 100.00 miles). After I bought the car, I found out the guy that selled me the car screwed me bigtime with the motor. I came home with all fluids near to zero, including oil and cooling! I tried to contact the guy, but he does not respond to any phone, e-mail or voicemail.

    I am kind of a noob in repairing cars, but would like to become better. I would like to know what my options are in terms of repairing and costs. If not repairable, I am forced to sell the car. And for the time I have the car and it sits on the parking lot, I really love it and preferably do not want to sell it.
    I hope anyone can help me.

    What I have on the car:
    - Standard esi engine; D16Z6 (see picture)
    - Open air filter with aluminium tube (i think it leaks, since there is a cut in the tube at the throttle body side). I'm thinking of going back to stock airbox and filter.
    - A new radiator came with the car.
    - The car has been checked by a garage (an 'APK' as we call it in Holland; an obligated annual car check), which includes emission, lights & signals, brakes, dampers, windows, steering, chassis defects, wheels, tire profile, rust, water leakage, to name some aspects.

    The following things I noticed:
    - The radiator has been replaced with a new one (someone told me that this could mean that the engine got very hot with previouw one)
    - The temp sensor does not come up very high (maximum temp is slightly above minimum on the dash gauge) and takes very long to move up at all.
    - The engine uses a lot of cooling water and some oil, and is noticeable by the smell and lots of smoke coming from the exhaust. The car can be driven, but I am afraid I will be pulled over by the police since it smokes so much.

    What I have done so far:
    - I had the head seal replaced. I expected the head to be machined as well, but it seemed that was not possible due to valve clearance. So I think the head has been machined previously to the point that it is not possible anymore to machine it.
    - The spark plugs were renewed. I did not look at the colour of the plugs yet.
    - The timing belt is replaced.
    - Compression was good in all cylinders.
    - Before the head seal replacement, the engine was also not very economical; 5-6km's per liter (Honda spec is 13.3 per liter). Since the replacement it has become better (+/-9km per liter), but still not up to standard.
    - I replaced some leaking tubes for cooling water (one was already repaired, the other probably ripped during replacement of the head seal).

    What could the problem(s) be?
    - Can the aluminium block itself be crooked so that the head will not line up right, or is it maybe just the head?
    - Can the pistons springs or seals be leaking?
    - I think the temp sensor is broken, but have not checked it yet. If not broken, could this also mean something?
    - Can it be possible that some old oil and dirt is still in the exhaust, since it smokes so much? Does this need to be burnt out during driving, or should it all be replaced then?
    - Will it be cheaper to switch the entire engine instead of the possible repaires?

    I have been to numerous garages, and spoken to a lot of people but the stories are quite different very time.

    If anyone can help, I would be so thankful!
    Attached Images Attached Images

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2007


    BazZtarD - When the cylinder head was removed did you have it checked for cracks?
    Take the vehicle to a radiator shop and they can do a chemical test that will let you know if the head gasket is blown or possibly cracked.

    As far as the smoke use your Haynes manaul that you purchased to diagnose it. We give several examples. The vehicle should not continue to smoke after driving it for a while unless you have other problems.

    You can always do an engine swap but you need to make sure you deal with a good company.

    good luck, sounds like you have some work to do.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2008


    The head gasket is new, so that should not be the problem.
    Compression is good, so piston springs/ rings are not the cause.
    I did not hear the mechanic who changed the gasket talk about cracks in the head or the cylinders, but I'm not sure if he checked it...

    As I mentioned the head was not machined, due to valve clearance problems. The problem could be that the head is still crooked or leaking due to cracks or loose margins between valve components.
    The latter seems more logical to me because I get the feeling the smoke becomes less, when the engine warms up and components expand. In case the head is the problem, then replacing this is much cheaper than the whole engine.

    I'm concerned whether the block has cracks inside the cylinders, or that it is crooked due to excessive heat. Is this even possible with the aluminium Honda block? And can I easily check this without taking the engine apart?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2007


    bazZartarD - The block is the last place to look. If you have good compression the bottom end is in good shape (excluding bearings).
    Again take the car to a radiator shop and do the combustion leak detection test.

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