The air conditioning has never worked since I got this wagon. I bought a TIF ZX-1 freon sniffer to find the leaks. The ZX-1 has had poor reliability. Two of them failed right out of the box. But it is very sensitive to freon leaks.

Here are some pinhole leaks on the condensor that the ZX-1 found. There were something like 6 of them along the top tube.

Engine compartment stripped.

The original condensor and all brass radiator. Both were replaced with brand new parts.

The knobs for my R12 gauge set cracked. So I did my standard carbon fiber and CA (superglue) repair.

Brand new condensor from MKO auto. $120.

The new all aluminum tig welded radiator.

Five 8mm socket head screws were removed to take the front section off of the compressor.

Here is the pulley, clutch and coil removed from the A/C compressor. Just a pair of snap ring pliers and a 10mm socket got these parts off. No puller required.

Fans on the new all aluminum tig welded radiator.

Here are the valves.

Removing the valve plate was easy with a flat bladed screw driver. There is the carbon shaft seal that needs replacing.

…And it’s snap ring.

Here is the new seal kit.

I’m trying to show the alignment pins are both offset to one side of the shaft. This makes it easier to get the plates back in place correctly.

The old carbon shaft seal on the left and the new one on the right.

I just used a large socket to push the new seal in. Contact should only be made around the perimeter of the seal so it’s not damaged.

The new seal and new snap ring.

From the top down. The old felt washer. Brass retainer. New felt washer.

The new felt washer installed. It fits snugly. Make sure it’s wet with refrigerant oil.

Gently and straight pushing the felt seal and brass retainer back in to position. I pushed it down to an exact dept of .XXX”. Originally it was at .XXX” deep.

See how the alignment pins are both offset to one side of the shaft?

The splines are very sharp on the ends.

This is 2″ wide packing tape being used to cover the splines to keep the carbon seal from being dinged up as it’s installed. This failed since it would not start into the seal.

The version worked. The ends were sliced with an exacto knife. Plus the tape did not extend down to the smooth part of the shaft. It only covered the splines.

Using a 1/4″ drive 3/8″ diameter socket, I gently increased the diameter of the carbon seal so it would fit more easily onto the shaft.

Needle nose pliers pulled the packing tape spline cover of with no problem.

The Accord wagon was leaking oil like it had a hole in something. Made stains on the pavement after sitting for only seconds. The engine also whined. One of the spark plug tubes filled up with oil. The previous owners had a local mechanic change the timing belts and water pump. Here is my exploration of the engine whine and the oil leaks.

Here is the rocker arm assembly removed from the engine. The o-rings at the bottom of the spark plug tubes were very brittle. This is why they leak. All of the bolts must remain in the rocker assembly to keep the whole thing from falling apart. So I never turned it upside down. The o-rings came out easily. The new ones are held in place by some narrowed areas around the o-ring groove. I oiled them up before I installed them.

Here is the camshaft end seal. This is where the massive oil leak was coming from. The oil was all over the back of the cam timing pulley and the engine case itself. It’s normally very dry and clean under the timing belt covers. Since I had to remove the rocker assembly to get to the o-rings, it made swapping out this oil seal a 3 second job.

Thee was a chunk of rubber missing from the lip of the oil seal.

Here is a view of with the cam and rocker assemblies removed.

Since one of the spark plugs was completely submerged in oil, I had to get all of that oil out before trying to remove the spark plug. I tried my trusty model aircraft electric fuel pump, but it was too slow. So I took my hand vacuum pump and attached it to a piece of 1/8″ diameter antenna tubing and cleaned out the spark plug hole. It took several fills of the tubing to remove all of the oil. But it did an excellent job.

See how wet the end of the engine is. This oil leak was really bad. That seal around the balance shaft I also replaced, although it did not leak. The seal came out with the twist of a flat blade screw driver. I found a video online where a guy named Eric the car guys, does this same timing belt swap. He charges $10 for the downloaded video. It was worth it! I learned a lot and had far more confidence going into a job I had never done before. Here is the link to his video.

Here is the crankshaft pulley removing tool that I got from Amazon. It holds the pulley still while you apply a massive amount of torque to the crankshaft bolt to loosen it. Eric the car guy shows a cool way to do the same thing without this tool in his video.

Here the crank pulley has been removed. See how oil soaked everything is??

I scrounged the junkyard for a replacement timing belt cover since mine had massive slices in it from the fan belt and crank pulley rubbing on it. It took that trip to the junkyard to discover that all of the Accords have at least some timing cover damage! I was surprised! So I ordered a new one from Honda. I always go to Majestic Honda online to get far better prices on Honda parts. I take their online price and show the dealer. They usually come much closer to matching it. This new cover was about $46.

Here is why all of the junkyard accords had damaged timing belt covers. They warp as they age!! This new one was very flat. The old one bulged out significantly. Mine was also missing the washer seal on the timing belt tensioner, which made it warp even more. Eric the car guy says to leave this washer off so people know you have been into that part of the engine. Don’t do that!! Make sure you put the washer seal back on so that it slows down the warping of the timing cover!!

While the brand new timing cover was sitting on the floor, I accidentally stepped on it. It broke off one of the mounting ears. Man was I pissed at myself! I used my tried and true method of repair ing plastic parts using carbon fiber strands and superglue (CA).

It’s hard to see the difference between the timing cover plastic and the carbon fiber since they are both black. But the repair came out strong.

The timing belt cover edge seals were old and oily. So I had to use masking tape to hold them in place while installing the new timing cover. There is a kit that comes from local auto parts stores for $100 that has the timing cover and edge seals. But I could not afford it. So I reused the old ones.

Preface: I worked on the EGR port clean out task finally on my 1991 Accord EX. I tried to used some 6″ pry bars that I found at the hardware store to keep from having to remove the fuel rail or the IAVC and the FITV. These tools did not work. The fuel rail, FITV and IACV needed to come out, if nothing else, so that they don’t get damaged, due to the force required to remove or install the egr plugs. No short cuts here.

Bigger pics:If you want to see any of the pics at full resolution, here is the url where I am keeping them. Any pic with a _1 is reduced in size for this thread. The others are full res. I wasn’t sure if it was ok or not to post larger pics. So I went with 640 x 480 shots.

Here are the links to the other helpful egr threads that I found. They all offer something. You should read them all.

No Carb cleaner!! I think using can after can of carb cleaner to dissolve carbon in the egr ports is very hard on the O2 sensor and the Cat. So I carefully used bailing wire for cleaning out the tunnels between ports and the ports themselves. Also a drill bit works great for cleaning out the clogged egr ports. Only use the bit by hand!! Don’t use a drill motor!! This style of egr port cleaning resulted in zero smoke coming from the tail pipe. The car takes about 5 seconds more cranking time because the fuel rail is empty and unpressurized. The car ran great the instant it started.

Slide Hammers: Bondo makes two sizes of slide hammer. Get the larger of the two. I could not get some of the egr plugs out with the small slide hammer. In this pic, I used the larger weight on the smaller slide hammer. Just buy the larger slide hammer. You will need the right size drill bit for the sheet metal screws.

Warning!! The screws that come with the slide hammers are crap!! They break easily. The head diameter of the ones you buy at the hardware store are too large and have to be turned down to fit inside the slide hammer collet, but are stronger. Mine broke while screwing them into the egr plug. The hole I drilled was too small. Size it right.

Make sure your slide hammer has heads on the screws. The ones that came with the large slide hammer had no head on them. Usually they are a Phillips head.

Your hood: Don’t use the Honda prop rod to hold your hood up. Find something else to hold your hood far higher than normal. Otherwise when you pull out an egr plug you can dent the bottom of your hood when the plug suddenly pulls out, allowing the slide hammer handle to hit the hood. I was not using that much force to pull out the plugs and I hit the hood twice.

Clean out: Get a vacuum cleaner and adapt a 3/8 inch outside diameter hose to it with duct tape. This works great for vacuuming out drill filings and loose carbon deposits.

Here is how I had to get one of the egr valve nuts off. Not much room. A socket with a swivel would not fit either egr valve nut. A 12 point 12mm wrench with leverage was needed. I have the egr plugs installed already.

Someone had replaced the egr valve and it’s gasket once before. The manifold surface was sanded smooth. Just a quick vacuuming out of both holes and the egr valve port was done.

Here is what I used to clean the egr valve itself.

First apply vacuum to the egr valve, to lift the pintle off of it’s seat. This allows the carb cleaner to do it’s job better. Ooops! I just said carb cleaner! Yes, this is where I used a little carb cleaner. But blowing out the valve while it was open removed all of the carb cleaner. This is in line with my goal to better protect the o2 sensor and Cat from being fouled with carb cleaner.

Pull the vacuum pump off of the egr valve a few times as well. It will help clean the seat off while the seat is still wet with carb cleaner. Scrape off any old gasket material from the egr valve and it’s seat on the intake manifold.

Here is a home made broken screw extractor tool. It’s just a piece of aluminum drilled at both ends so the sheet metal screw that the slide hammer uses, will thread into this nicely. Then the slide hammer threads into the top of it. That way a broken screw can be removed at the same moment an egr plug is removed.

1) Let the car cool off over night. It also allows the fuel pressure to drop in the fuel rail so less is spewed all over the engine during disassembly.
2) Loosen or remove your gas cap.
3) Remove return fuel line and vacuum hose from fuel pressure regulator, on the end of the fuel rail.
4) Pull the PCV valve and hose out of the valve cover.
5) Remove the 3 bolts from the FITV valve. This allows room so that the fuel pressure regulator can be removed with the fuel rail.
6) Remove the two bolts with a 10mm socket that holds the fuel injector wiring harness to the fuel rail. Then remove the 3 nuts that hold the fuel rail to the intake manifold. Remove the IACV electrical connector. Leave the wiring harness in place, but pull it out of the way a little, and lift out the fuel rail. Carefully lay the fuel rail over to one side so it’s out of the way. Watch out for the ends of the injectors!

7) Remove the 2 bolts with a 12mm socket that hold the IACV in place. Leave the coolant hoses attached to both IACV and FITV.

8)Gently pull both valves out of position and use something like bailing wire to hold them out of the way. This gives needed clearance for the removal and installation of the port plugs.

9) Now it’s time to start removing the egr port plugs. Mine were aluminum. Some are brass. Both are easy to drill out. Make sure you have several drill bits available. Getting the hole the right size is important so that the screw from the slide hammer goes in snug but not so tight that you snap the head off. See my note above regarding which size of slide hammer to use for egr plug removal.

10) The egr port itself is just a hole in the bottom of each passage. Getting every spec of carbon out is just not neccessary. This car had 207,000 miles and the ports were still only half plugged. This pic shows one of them cleaned out and ready for new plugs. A piece of bailing wire with the 3/8″ long end bent 90 degrees, worked great to clear out the carbon buildup above and below the small hole. Bailing wire used between egr ports worked well too. A drill bit twisted by hand worked great for cleaning the carbon out of the small hole itself.

Using the 3/8″ outside diameter hose duct taped to my vacuum, worked great as removing the carbon deposits knocked loose with the bailing wire. This tube reached the aluminum shavings that found their way onto the top of the intake manifold.

Have your EGR port plugs and egr valve gasket ready to go.

I found that taking this old bolt and making a shoulder on it to fit the egr plug, held the plug in place much better when the hammer hit the bolt. I found that using a 3-5 lb sledge hammer gently, gave me better install control than a regular 1lb claw hammer with lots of muscle. The first couple of tries without this tool sent a couple of plugs flying.

The egr plugs I got from Honda were in fact steel. This is a parts magnet holding itself and a plug against a steel beam in my garage.

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