Engine rebuild durability?

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97 Integra automatic In 2006, at 175k miles the engine overheated and warped the head and caused head gasket leak, or the other way around I'm not sure. A reputable mechanic that many of my friends use rebuild the top end for $1k (about half is labor and half is part). The job include milling the head flat, measuring all dimensions and replace all gaskets and seal in the head. The head gasket was leaking between cyl 3 and 4 as well as between the cylinder and the coolant area. Now, at 250k, the same symptom is happening. I see engine idle stumble when I start it after a long drive (i.e. 20 mins and 5 miles local traffic), the first start will have rough idle for a few seconds and then it would go away until you drive a long distance and shut down again. Unlike the last time, this time the plugs seem to have normal wear, instead of green tint on the leaking cylinders. I am thinking about doing another rebuild because the car is still in good condition other than the engine: new axles just in, transmission shift good, paint is still acceptable (no more clear coat but not worn down to primer yet). Some has suggested not to trust that head and I should get another used head to start with a rebuild, and some say aluminum fatigue and I should just get another lower mile used engine instead. Any suggestion? I don't drive much these days so at the moment I don't see myself buying a new car, or see fuel economy benefit of driving newer cars.
 
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Originally Posted By: 901Memphis
Can't you just get a low mileage JDM swap in cali?
get a local pickup from hmotors, as long as its a simple swap, I would do an engine tear down, replace valve seals, head gasket, piston rings, and connecting rod bearings (if they look worn only) and then torque back to spec. obviously do a timing belt and water pump change while your at it. Swap it in and your good to go. Otherwise a pick n pull motor and tear it apart to see if it "looks" like it had any issue and then gamble on it that way.
 
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to answer your post question, sounds like that guy did a horrible job as your have reoccurring issues. I don't know how reliable or stout those integra engines are but the engines in the 96-current civic at least from my personal experience are bulletproof. I have rebuilt two D16Y7 (1 I own, 1 from the junkyard) they both run flawlessly so far.
 
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Originally Posted By: PandaBear
In 2006, at 175k miles the engine overheated and warped the head and caused head gasket leak, or the other way around I'm not sure. A reputable mechanic that many of my friends use rebuild the top end for $1k (about half is labor and half is part). The job include milling the head flat, measuring all dimensions and replace all gaskets and seal in the head. The head gasket was leaking between cyl 3 and 4 as well as between the cylinder and the coolant area.
What you're describing is not a full engine rebuild; that was just a cylinder head rebuild.
 
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You cant diagnose it like this. Just because it did this before does not mean its the same cause now. Is it loosing coolant? What is the compression? Leak down test? Proper diagnosis is key to a successful repair.
 
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<span style="font-family: 'Verdana'">Why did the engine overheat in the first place? You left out the most important part of the story.</span>
 
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Yah, at 250K more diagnosis is required. May also be wonky sensors. I would do a compression test for an overall view of the engine's condition. Any oil consumption? Leaks? Coolant? If the head wasn't retorqued after a few K miles, it might possibly need a new head gasket. The symptoms don't sound severe. Perhaps wait until the symptoms get worse.
 
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Originally Posted By: PandaBear
Some has suggested not to trust that head and I should get another used head to start with a rebuild, and some say aluminum fatigue and I should just get another lower mile used engine instead.
This.
Originally Posted By: PandaBear
I don't drive much these days so at the moment I don't see myself buying a new car, or see fuel economy benefit of driving newer cars.
What about the peace of mind benefit?
 
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I would get a reman head. Look on RockAuto. The large reman companies have lots of very expensive equipment and they can scrap any head or block that those not meet their initial standards.
 
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If it was me I'd buy a used engine then rebuild the current engine at my leisure to keep as a spare. It's a fairly easy swap and you can always sell the other engine down the road if not needed.
 
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Ummm.. Guys,,, everyone is over thinking this.. First you don't know if it is the same problem, or something new. you must do a step by step diagnosis of the problem. At 250k it could be anything. Getting 75k on a head rebuild is not bad. But, no one can fix this over the Internet. If you are unable to do it, get someone knowledgeable to look at it. It might be the headgasket, or it might be a sensor. A simple first check would be to pull the plugs and check the condition, then while the plugs are out, do a compression check. This basic testing will help to define if you have a mechanical problem, or something else. If the bottom end has been trouble free at 250k, then it will likely go another 50k or more without issues. The thing is, the car is 17 years old, there are so many possibilities for your symptoms. Good luck, Wayne
 
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With all due respect, you need to know not guess, a proper diagnosis will tell you exactly what you will do, imagine if you have gone to the doctor few years ago feeling bad and end up that you needed a pacemaker, now you go to the doctor with similar symptoms and the doctor says, well.. few years ago we put a pacemaker in, let's do that again and call it done, Will you accept that or will you want a full diagnosis first, perhaps is just a heartburn?. IMHO you should do a compression check and a leakdown test at the very least, there are some test strips that check for combustion residue in coolants, that will tell you if your cooling system has been compromised or not, another way will be to borrow a cooling system tester at any of the auto parts places and do the test to see if it looses pressure although that test will not tell you is it is leaking to the oil or combustion chambers. 250K miles is not "that much" for today's tech and lubricants if treated right and properly taking care of. Just my 2 cents
 
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Originally Posted By: mene
250K miles is not "that much" for today's tech and lubricants if treated right and properly taking care of. Just my 2 cents
One of the most logical thoughts I have seen on BITOG, I have personal cars with 256k, 342k...all they had were some oil changes and they were actually neglected a few times, still a quick oil consumption fix, and they run like new... as far as Toyota & Honda goes their engines are bulletproof from my experience, so this acura having 250k, I don't see it as a big deal, I have a feeling your engine is still repairable but then again it all depends on if your handy at that kind of stuff, if not I would personally go with a used engine from junkyard or HMOTORS (I have bought an engine from them in the past and it was fantastic).
 
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I agree with the above posts on finding out what is wrong. You could rebuild the head only to have the same problem because it was caused by a $15 sensor. Get to the bottom of the problem first and then come up with the plan to fix it.
 
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Your symptoms sound exactly like the 2002 civic I just worked on. The compression test was 190 psi across the board, but showed 95% leak down on 3 and 4. The gasket was compromised between 3 and 4 and also seeped coolant into the chambers when it was hot and pressurized. Do a leak down test and post up the results.
 
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