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Discussion Starter #1
I am approaching the 100K mark which according to the service manual means its time to adjust the valves. I am concerned about taking my car to any dealership. I just don't think the techs see them often enough to know the correct maintenance. (Consider all the overfilling of oil changes reported. I checked my local dealerships and they don't even have an air filter for the Insight in stock because they do so little maintenance on this model). This leads me to wanted to do all my own maintenance. So has anyone adjusted the valves on their Insight. How hard is it and what did you use for technical guidance? Have fun, RIck
 

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Hey Rick,

I have not done it (yet) on my Insight, but I did it on other Honda's.
The normal engines and vtec engines, it is pretty much the same.
Just do it when the engine is cold. The Insight's engine valves technique are not more differend than an engine of a Civic vtec-e.
The intake valves have a play off 0.007-0.009 inch. and the exhaust valves have a play off 0.008-0.010 inch., just use a feeler gage.
I wish I had a manual online for you, so you can see it.
There are TDC-marks on the camshaft-sprocket which have to allign with the cylinder head. Set the No: 1 piston first , rotate the camshaft sprocket 120 degrees and you get the second TDC-mark for the 3th piston, and after that rotate the camshaft-sprocket again for 120 degrees for the 2nd piston. Or...............just try to find somebody with a shopmanual.
Good luck :wink:
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Windmill,
Thanks for the vote of confidence. I think you are right in that I need to find some shop manuals so that I can learn how. I've done all my simple maintenance such as oil, filters, spark plugs, radiator etc. Now I would like to get smarter at the harder stuff such as brakes and valve adjustments. I'll have to practice on the Civic before working on the Insight. Have fun, RIck
 

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Hy Rick,

You can email my if you want to have some pages scanned from the Service Manual. I'll send them to you.It will need an email account that takes large files (maybe 130kb per page to be easily readable)

Valve clearance adjustment is 2 pages.
 

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maintenance

Rick:
Looks like I'll be in your area (NC) around the middle of June (Got Jury duty the first part). I'll bring along my shop manual and electrical manual for you to copy whatever information you want.

I will post the trip date, route, etc. information on the "turbocharged thread".
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Yves & Willie,

Thanks for the offers. Where did you get your shop manuals and do you think they explain things well enough for a novice? Perhaps I should just get one for my own use. I recently bought the Toyota Prius manuals off e-bay (2 volume set) and I got an Insight parts book off ebay but it just shows parts and their numbers without any maintenance info.

Willie I am in Greenville SC (at least on the Friday-Sunday portion of the week but I drive through NC every Thursday/Sunday) I'll keep an eye out for your trip itenery. Perhaps we could get an Insight gathering some time during your visit. I am sure many would like to see the little Red Rocket. Have fun, Rick
 

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Rick;
I got my manual from "Helms" right after I bought my INSIGHT in 01. IT IS WORTH THE MONEY. Very precise and exact with super pictures. Easy to read and understand. Also have the ELECTRICAL MANUAL from HELMS.

They are expensive, but worth it if you plan on being your own mechanic.

Greenville SC will be better as I have to make a stop in Tenn. then on to Augusta Ga.
 

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Rick Reece said:
Willie I am in Greenville SC (at least on the Friday-Sunday portion of the week but I drive through NC every Thursday/Sunday) I'll keep an eye out for your trip itenery. Perhaps we could get an Insight gathering some time during your visit. I am sure many would like to see the little Red Rocket. Have fun, Rick
I'm in NC. I just picked up a 2000 Silver Honda Insight last Friday. Still waiting to get tags for it... (long story). It's about to kill me to drive it more, you can only get so much out of driving it around your parking lot.
If I can work it out when you get a gathering, I'd love to meet some local Insight guys!! Rick I'd also be interested if you find a good place to get Insight work done around NC or SC.

bjordan
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Willie,
I will check out the Helms manuals. I like the idea of the pictures. The one you provided me 2 years ago for where to connect the vacuum guage helped a lot. I should be just over the 100K mark in June. If I can become competant at doing my own maintenance then I believe the manuals will pay for them self in service savings. Have fun, Rick

BJordan,
We had a small gathering in NC last year with 5 Insights in Greensboro. We had kicked around the idea of a gathering in Asheville with a little mountain driving along one of the senic routes. I believe one route had 200 and something waterfalls. Where in NC are you? Have fun, Rick
 

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Rick, as soon as I sell my BMW I'll be driving up to greenville to buy a Buell. Hopefully soon. If it works out I can stop by with my manuals. I've got the Honda manuals.

Willie, will you be driving down I-75 from TN to Augusta? If so I live just 2 miles from I-75 Calhoun Ga it about 75 miles north of Atlanta. I'd love to get a look at your car and the Helms manuals.
 

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Rick Reece said:
BJordan,
We had a small gathering in NC last year with 5 Insights in Greensboro. We had kicked around the idea of a gathering in Asheville with a little mountain driving along one of the senic routes. I believe one route had 200 and something waterfalls. Where in NC are you? Have fun, Rick
Sounds fun. I'm in Winston-Salem. As long as my work doesn't get in the way I'd be up for meeting. Mountain driving sounds cool
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Cakely,
I'm usually in the Greenville area Thursday night to Sunday afternoon. I have considered your muffler work and have thought about removing mine for a test commute. If Willie is passing through Atlanta perhaps at a good time perhaps we could get a mini-gathering. I checked out the helmdirect site and ordered the electrical and service manual. I noted they have training materials as well but I figured I would start with the manuals. Have fun, Rick
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Well I finally did the valve adjustment. I was surprised that they were so far out of spec. (I had to adjust 10 of the 12 valves). The gap on the 1st and 3rd cylinder valves was smaller than .05 inches (smallest feeler gage that I had). The 2nd cylinder only needed the intake side adjusted and then only a small amount. The engine sounded much better when I started it up afterward. I didn't realize the engine noise had changed that much over time. I guess the test on if I did everything correctly will come tomorrow when I drive back to DC. Thanks to all who provided the shop manual recommendations. Below are my tips if any other beginers are attempting this:
1. Many of the hoses running over the top of the engine can be moved to the side if you remove their holding clamps. Initially I disconnected them. This is not a good thing as the fuel line will dump fuel out. This wasn't necessary if you remove the clamp and push to the left side.
2. Use the camshaft to align the cylinders at the proper position. (In mechanic speak thats the thats the long rod that you see when you remove the upper housing. The manual mentions a 240 degree turn of the crankshaft or 120 degree turn of the camshaft but doesnt tell you how to turn. Being the mechanical wizard that I am I put the car in gear and pushed it to get the proper alingment. After a while I figured there had to be a better way. With this new perspective I finally figured out that the little black plug on the left side of the engine could be removed. This allows you to turn the camshaft with a 14mm socket. Wish the manual had mentioned this.
3. I probably spent the most time trying to get the adjustment correct on the 1st cylinder. I would get a nice fit for the .009 in feeler guage, tighten the locking nut but then find that the .012 guage would also fit. After a while I learned to use two feeler gages. Make sure the small one slides by but the larger one doesn't. Once you get it adjusted then tighten the locking nut and check one last time. This methodology worked a lot faster.
 

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Hey guys. We also have a loud ticking sound at startup and suspect the valves. Our Insight has 60k miles and I'm not sure we're up to doing the adjustment ourselves. Do any of you know how much Honda charges for such maintenance? We live in Florida so the hot weather might have accelerated the wear.

Also, we're used to replacing the spark plugs in our cars and would like to know about this in the Insight. We've had the engine cover off but can't find the spark plugs! :cry: . Also, I've heard that the spark plugs on the Insight need to be torqued exactly so they are orientated right in the cylinders. Can you give me some insight into this topic as well? Thanks.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
The spark plugs are on the back side of the engine. Also you will have 1 of 4 codes for your specific engine. If you look on the back side you will see either A,B,C, or D stamped next to the plug.
In regards to the valve adjustment Honda charged about 60-80 for doing it on a Civic. Have fun, RIck
 

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For anyone who has done the valve clearance adjustment: does the head cover gasket need to be replaced with a new one during reassembly, or can I reuse the old one? I don't see it in the manual and I'd like to know before I take it apart.
 

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Thanks Guys. Since I want to take advantage of the warm weather this weekend, I guess I'll try reusing the old one and see what happens.

Ever since I found out the local Honda dealer didn't even know the Insight had 4 different spark plugs, I decided to do most of the 105k service myself.
 

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Rick Reece said:
2. Use the camshaft to align the cylinders at the proper position. (In mechanic speak thats the thats the long rod that you see when you remove the upper housing. The manual mentions a 240 degree turn of the crankshaft or 120 degree turn of the camshaft but doesnt tell you how to turn. Being the mechanical wizard that I am I put the car in gear and pushed it to get the proper alingment. After a while I figured there had to be a better way. With this new perspective I finally figured out that the little black plug on the left side of the engine could be removed. This allows you to turn the camshaft with a 14mm socket. Wish the manual had mentioned this.
Pushing the car is how I've always done mine. Use a taller gear like 3rd and It's easy to do. It's one less tool you need.

Rick Reece said:
3. I probably spent the most time trying to get the adjustment correct on the 1st cylinder. I would get a nice fit for the .009 in feeler guage, tighten the locking nut but then find that the .012 guage would also fit. After a while I learned to use two feeler gages. Make sure the small one slides by but the larger one doesn't. Once you get it adjusted then tighten the locking nut and check one last time. This methodology worked a lot faster.
The trick tool is to use "go no go" feeler guages (sometimes called stepped feeler guages) instead of the plain ones. They have ends ground down (usually .002") so that you can set clearance just using one blade. Just adjust so the end of the guage fits freely but the main body doesn't.

Also don't loosen the lock nuts too much. Keep them as tight as possible while you can still turn the screw. Of course hold the screw to stop it from turning while tightening the locknut.

My old CRX recommended checking valve clearance every 15K miles. I did it every other oil change. (i.e. 10K miles) because it was so easy. Thank god honda sez to check the clearence on a cold engine.
 
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