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Ghosty

Concerto Concerns

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It's probably worth starting a thread on my journey to MOT. 

As some of you will recall, I have something of an affliction to 1990s Hondas and Rovers.

I've had quite a few: 

35927170366_e9b7ef9a12_b.jpgUntitled by max_burton, on Flickr

41539409314_1e1a7f1071_b.jpgIMG_0912 by max_burton, on Flickr

42674290432_0c9f62d0b0_b.jpgIMG_0968 by max_burton, on Flickr

43659053980_85c7495233_b.jpgIMG_1355 by max_burton, on Flickr

IMG-1532.jpg

and the only ones that haven't needed head gaskets are the Prelude and the white 416. 

This time three years ago, I'd just finished rebuilding the head on my first 216. 
I've missed having a Honda in my life, and I've been missing my R8s too. My 306 just wasn't doing anything for me, it was less than comfortable and for an estate, it just wasn't good enough at being an estate (especially coming from my 850). I wanted a change and figured a large hatchback would be as good a car as the 306, so why not go back to my roots? I'd been having thoughts of 216GSIs and Civic 1.5i VTECs since before I got the 306. 

There's one configuration of R8 that never came with a Rover badge, and that's a twincam automatic hatchback. All 216GTis are manual, only the 416 had an optional auto, and they usually came with leather interiors that I'm just not that keen on. 
So one day a couple of weeks ago, a mate sends me an eBay link, and, well, fuck.
Concerto 1.6i-16. 

Twincam automatic hatchback. With velour seats like a GSI spec R8. In the same colour combination as my old 416. The early beige interiors make R8s wonderful, warm airy places to be. Supremely comfortable too.

Er, I could do with that. I called up the seller who was in Diss, and sounded like a proper Norfolk country bumpkin. All he knew is that the radiator leaked, but it ran and drove. It'd been 'traded in', to where I don't know but I wonder now if it was a scrappy. It sounded like an easy enough fix so I went for it.

£460 later (Honda tax dodged), I have this: 

s-l1600.jpg

(Those stickers are a bad sign).

 

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Now, as the car needed a radiator to run and had no MOT, it wasn't to be a collection mission. 
So I was put in touch with a nearby Concerto apologist, who has a mint but slightly scene twincam, and a G-plate pre-production model. He took delivery of it for me, and fitted a new radiator to it. 

Around this point, the Peugeot sold. 
Five hours later, I get a message. 

image.thumb.png.7cc3d2d887232e7fd0e05c1010d55346.png

 

aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA

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So, for the fourth time, I've got a HGFd D-Series. 
However, I'm told the car is clean and solid, but the car won't lock so a new set of locks have been fitted.

I'd been looking around the internet and found a few old for sale ads for the car. 
I'd also been told that a few years ago it'd been extremely well cared for, in a no expense spared sort of manner, but the owner had been forced to sell it as her elderly father who she regularly needed to cart around couldn't get in or out of it. 

She'd paid for welding, brake calipers, a cambelt, rear trailing arm bushes - everything that a Honda of this age would generally need had been done, the receipts with it proved. 


Since then it'd been owned by some JDM yo!! monkeys, one of them inexplicably painted one of the E30 rep wheels gold (?), one of them binned the rear wiper for scene points. and clearly another drove it til it cooked and binned it. 
I found an old Gumtree advert from while it was still clean that mentioned it needed a new windscreen, and it was for sale for £950/swap, and stated 'gearknob not included' as it had one of those JDM dildos. On an auto....????
The ad was dated last January,  wanky stickers in the eBay ad had appeared since then. It was driven until the MOT ran out in September, then sold and it's sat since. That's where this story starts.

So, I got it recovered here, as fuck 2-3 weeks and ££££££££££ waiting for it to be repaired to an unknown standard, and then I have to go and collect it.

This turned out to be a very good idea.... 

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So, the next morning, I go to look what in the ever living fuck I've bought. 

First things first, wanky stickers can FRO. 

20200204-111715.jpg

So, what's the damage? 
 

  • HGF.
  • Driver's door card removed as door lock replaced
  • Ignition barrel worn out; key removable with car running and no steering lock. Spare barrel provided
  • when the original gear lever was replaced, it wasn't done properly so the car can be slammed into R and P whilst in motion
  • headlining mouldy
  • no radio; however the ISO plugs on the loom are intact!! 
  • A pillar trims are off, one is bent and both have damaged trim clips
  • Bonnet won't close
  • boot needs slamming to close
  • rear wiper AWOL
  • someone painted one of the wheels gold, the other three are black
  • exhaust too loud
  • gearbox cooler pipes corroded, need replacing

But it's comfy, rust free, relatively clean, and HGF aside it's reasonably usable, but all these things will be sorted before I start using it in earnest.

The driver's door card can easily be refitted when I have the space to do it (need to move the Jag to do so safely).

Ignition barrel - how hard can it be? 

gear levers I've messed with before so I can investigate if that's broken

mould is easy to clean

radio is just waiting on an ISO adapter to sling in my spare radio

A pillar trims: it turns out someone had the windscreen replaced (I referred to an ad above that said this needed doing). Unfortunately they fucked the trim clips.

bonnet: just needs adjusting. It's been previously removed and resprayed to a good standard, at the same time the rear arches were welded

boot: same again, adjustment

wiper: I'll find one

wheel: rattle can

Exhaust: someone just deleted the rear silencer. New one ordered.

transmission cooler: replace metal pipe with 3/8" high pressure hose. TADTS 

 

So, into the garage. 

20200204-121243.jpg

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Without any further ado, it's time to start stripping the head. 

Rocker cover off:

20200205-110825.jpg

Contaminated oil, that's no surprise. Also, the valve clearances are the slackest I've seen, so I'll be doing the stem seals before I set those. 

Rad out, expansion tank out, dizzy out, cam sensor out, intake out, all the pipes off the head, etc. 

I get to the point of taking the belts off, and this is the big end pulley:

20200205-154341.jpg

The car had a cambelt about 10-12k miles and four years ago, but it's having another anyway, along with the water pump. I've got to have the cams out so might as well. 
Dad suspects when the cambelt was last done, some monkey had a chain around the pulley.

That pulley is just horrible, and also, the timing mark is in the wrong place with the cams locked TDC. That was weird. 

~wavy lines~

Remember the white Civic? 
Well, this time last year I was driving it on the M62 after doing its head gasket when it pressurised and shat all its coolant out. If it wasn't for the services a mile up that thing would have died on a smart motorway, either from being crashed into or a warped head. I'd have chosen warped head. HARD SHOULDERS ARE NECESSARY FOR SAFETY. FUCK SMART MOTORWAYS. 
I didn't trust the engine anyway so that's when I put a 1.6 VTEC in it. 
Never scrapped the old D14 though as I didn't have time. 

Thank fuck:

20200206-104713.jpg

because that's useful. 
Rattle gunned it off, and the one on the car. 

The one on the Concerto was missing its woodruff key, and had slipped. WTF? 

20200206-120725.jpg

The pulleys are identical, but the Japanese made D14 pulley is significantly lighter, which is a nice little bonus. That can go on the Concerto, with its key.

The old engine also yieded a dipstick, to replace a welded rod:

20200206-132745.jpg

20200206-132823.jpg

 

and this threaded insert which goes off to the heater matrix, as the old one was full of some sort of clag. That coolant temp sensor looks pretty fresh, too.

20200206-133429.jpg

20200206-133528.jpg

 

After some fucking about thanks to minor Rover/Honda design differences, the fuel rail and inlet manifold is off. Tomorrow, with the removal of an engine mount and the cambelt, the cams will be off and following them, the head. 

20200206-153816.jpg

 

 

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1 hour ago, Rod/b said:

If the heater matrix outlet is full of emulsified oil there’s a good chance the matrix will be too.  Have you checked its not blocked?

I'll check when the head's off. 

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Good work. It's great to see this thing being rescued and given another chance.

Could the clag be kseal or the like? A good flush will help and maybe run it with a dishwasher tablet or two in the system when it goes back together. 

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22 minutes ago, Sir Snipes said:

So what's your ratio for D and K Series vs HGF? 

Never had a K as there's no automatic K series car I'd have really. 

4 HGFd Ds, two single cam, two twincam. 

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Great work there GhostRider. I would certainly rate you nowadays as a skilled fiddler of these fine machines and I can certainly get with anyone who starts by tearing off that wanky sticker. Keep up the good work!!!

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9 hours ago, Ghosty said:

Now, as the car needed a radiator to run and had no MOT, it wasn't to be a collection mission. 
So I was put in touch with a nearby Concerto apologist, who has a mint but slightly scene twincam, and a G-plate pre-production model. He took delivery of it for me, and fitted a new radiator to it. 

Around this point, the Peugeot sold. 
Five hours later, I get a message. 

image.thumb.png.7cc3d2d887232e7fd0e05c1010d55346.png

 

aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA

Did you take it to the chap that has that blue one with the grey banded steels? I think his name is Charlie or something. That's a cool car. 

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Yep, that's Charlie. 

 

Early start today.

 

20200207-091915.jpg

Water pump cover off, the dodgily applied pulley has been eating it.

20200207-094509.jpg

One cam out.

20200207-100549.jpg

Two cams out.

 

At this point I found that the head bolts were hand tight. 

 

The head came off instantly, with no resistance. One of the dowels is even damaged. 

20200207-102015.jpg

20200207-102009.jpg

 

Yep, that's gone. 

20200207-102229.jpg

Now, the good news is the head isn't warped. 

The bad news: 

 

received-794487357692245.jpg

 

It's pitted to absolute fuck. Most of the holes are around 1.5mm deep but one of them is 3.5mm deep or thereabouts. 

Can this be fixed with aluminium epoxy? I think it's a bit deep to get it skimmed. Assuming it hasn't been already.
Or do I need a new head/engine?

 

 

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That head might be fine. Yes its pitted due to someone not putting enough antifreeze in it or whatever. But is the pitting on an area that needs to seal anything? From what I can tell from the picture, it doesn’t seem to be, the pitting corresponds with the exposed water jacket round the wet liners. It might not matter at all.

Get your new gasket and sit it on the head to check exactly where all the sealing beads are and see if any of them fall on any pitting. If not, I say clean it all up and chuck it back together and ignore the pitting.

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