Honda Insight Forum banner

1 - 20 of 34 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
207 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Page 7-12 in the service manual (Engine Block/Block and Piston Inspection):

Piston Diameter: 71.977 mm - 71.995 mm Service Limit: 71.97 mm

Cylinder Bore Size - Standard (New): 72.000 - 72.020 mm
- Service Limit: 72.07 mm

Bore Taper Limit: (Difference between first and third measurement) not to exceed 0.05 mm/0.002"




I did all of my measuring in inches using a precision bore gauge placed in three areas of the bore; top, middle and bottom. I also measured all the three locations parallel to the crankshaft and 90 deg. from the centerline of the crankshaft. This is what I came up with.

(1)

All 3 cylinders measured round at the bottom and at the exact limit of 2.8354" (72.020 mm). I found this a bit odd since the block only has 37,000 miles on it and the bottom of the cylinders are like brand new.


(2)

Number 2 cylinder has a slight taper towards the top of an even .0005" beyond the standard limit of 2.8354". The same holds true for #3 cylinder. So, both #1 and #3 cylinder are at the max. limit at the bottom plus an additional .0005" of uniform taper as you reach the top of the bores.


(3)

Now for the bummer! #2 cylinder measures the same at the bottom as #1 and #3 and has a taper of .0005" at the top just like #1 and #2 when measured parallel to the crankshaft. When I measured #2 cylinder at 90 deg. to the crank centerline starting at the bottom, I started to see a taper that started at approx. 1/3 the way up the bore that steadily increased to .004" beyond the standard limit of 2.8354". #2 cylinder is slightly oval shaped above the first 1/3 of the bore. Not good!!


(4)

What caused #2 cylinder to become oval shaped at 90 deg. to the crank and wrist pin is still a mystery to me, but is definitely what was causing my piston slap on that cylinder. There are no signs of any visible abnormal wear.



I'm going to see about having the cylinders bored oversize to 72.250 - 72.270 mm per the specs in the service manual. I have access to a good machine shop, but I have my doubts as to whether they will want to attempt to bore the block since the crankshaft centerline is offset quite a bit from the center of the cylinders. Wish me luck!


I priced a few items at the Honda dealer today for reference:


complete engine w/o cylinder head -----------------$ 4052.33

engine block assy. (bare block w/o oil pan) ------- $ 1693.48

oil pan ------------------------------------------------- $ 389.51



I really should have taken my car in to Honda while it was still under warranty to try and resolve the piston slap issue, and I could really kick myself hard for not doing so. :evil:

If your engine is experiencing the same piston slap issue as mine and your Insight is still under warranty, DON'T DELAY and let your warranty expire like I did. :(
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
4,942 Posts
Curious Dave said:
All 3 cylinders measured round at the bottom and at the exact limit of 2.8354" (72.020 mm). I found this a bit odd since the block only has 37,000 miles on it and the bottom of the cylinders are like brand new.
"New" spec IS 72.000-72.020. Since very little wear tends to occur at the bottom of the bores and since all 3 of yours are equal its reasonable to conclude that its the original bore diameter.

Curious Dave said:
Number 2 cylinder has a slight taper towards the top of an even .0005" beyond the standard limit of 2.8354". The same holds true for #3 cylinder. So, both #1 and #3 cylinder are at the max. limit at the bottom plus an additional .0005" of uniform taper as you reach the top of the bores.
Wrong, standard bores may start at 72.020mm (2.8354")
The service limit IS 72.07mm (2.8395") so 2.8354 + .0005 = 2.8359 = 72.032mm. Ok your statement above is unclear. Even if you add another .00005 = 72.04mm (2.8364) then your _still_ below the service limit.

Curious Dave said:
Now for the bummer! #2 cylinder measures the same at the bottom as #1 and #3 and has a taper of .0005" at the top just like #1 and #2 when measured parallel to the crankshaft. When I measured #2 cylinder at 90 deg. to the crank centerline starting at the bottom, I started to see a taper that started at approx. 1/3 the way up the bore that steadily increased to .004" beyond the standard limit of 2.8354". #2 cylinder is slightly oval shaped above the first 1/3 of the bore. Not good!!
While the thrust sides of the bores will wear the most I am now confused as to your measurements given the mix-up in the second paragraph above. Ok so #2's thrust side taper is: 2.8354 +.004 = 2.8394 = 72.12mm (.05mm over the service limit .00197")

Curious Dave said:
What caused #2 cylinder to become oval shaped at 90 deg. to the crank and wrist pin is still a mystery to me, but is definitely what was causing my piston slap on that cylinder. There are no signs of any visible abnormal wear.

I really should have taken my car in to Honda while it was still under warranty to try and resolve the piston slap issue, and I could really kick myself hard for not doing so. :evil:

If your engine is experiencing the same piston slap issue as mine and your Insight is still under warranty, DON'T DELAY and let your warranty expire like I did. :(
Given Florida's consumer friendly laws and your relatively low miles I'd STOP now and contact Honda customer relations in writing with your findings. It may not be too late.

But even with a "new" engine, bored and measured by yourself and to exact spec, be ready for "Piston slap" (innaccurate term, and you verified it yourself by no visible abnormal wear) to recur in a few 10's of thousands of miles.

It has been NORMAL in Honda's for over 20 years now. Piston percussion (even with one dimension .002" over the limit) can require _dozens_ of 10's of thousands of miles before "failure".

Good luck.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
741 Posts
Curious Dave said:
I really should have taken my car in to Honda while it was still under warranty to try and resolve the piston slap issue, and I could really kick myself hard for not doing so. :evil:
That's very sad.
I'm very sorry to
hear about your engine.

It was educational though. I appreciate your sharing. ----- If this was my car I probably would not spend ~$5000 to repair it. I'd just drive it until the engine dies (like my dodge shadow), and then drag it to the junkyard (just like any other appliance).

And then I'd take the $5000 I saved, and look to see if I could buy a used car circa 2009.

But that's just me.
I tend to be very disposable
with my appliances (even cars).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
207 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
John and others,
Please pardon my mistake in paragraph 2. Cylinders 1 & 3 are obviously within the service limit. Cylinder 2 is beyond the service limit on the thrust sides by .004" but is within the service limit when measured 90 deg. to the thrust sides. The thrust side taper being in excess of the service limit by .004" reveals a slight oval shape above the first 1/3 of the bore. Cylinders 1 & 3 had absolutely no symptoms of piston slap. The piston skirt to cylinder clearance for standard OR new (I'm not sure what they're trying to say there) is 0.0002" - 0.0017" with a service limit of 0.002". This would indicate that cylinder #2 piston skirt has an extra .002" of clearance in the bore and is a loose fit.

John,
I'm a little curious as to what the difference is between piston slap and piston percussion as I am only familiar with piston slap. ?

I really don't want to hassle with trying to get Honda Motor Company to make things good for me. I've had enough headaches with my car as it is. :( , but I appreciate the recommendation. Personally, I've lived in FL for nearly 18 years now and I still have yet to be a treated like a real person by auto dealerships with the exception of a Toyota dealership where I've been purchasing Toyota parts since 1989. Not cars, just parts. :D The parts staff at my local Honda dealer were rather rude to me at first, but that seemed to change after I placed an order for Insight engine parts yesterday totaling $716.00. I guess money talks if you don't want poor service.

I initially ordered all of the parts that I needed to just put the engine back together and live with it, but I thought over the situation more clearly last night and decided to have the cylinders oversized for oversize pistons from Honda. The oversize is very slight, only 0.25mm (.010") and I spent most of the day today searching for a machine shop that could do the boring/honing. What a nightmare! The local automotive machine shop in my area didn't have the tooling to bore a cylinder under 3" in diameter. So I tried a reputable motorcycle shop that also shyed away from it. :roll: 3 shops that all said no-go with the 3rd shop recommending a place in Clearwater, FL that can hone the cylinders to the oversize spec.. I ordered 3 oversize pistons and ring sets from Honda today and the parts dept. staff was kind enough to take back and re-stock the stock ring sets that I had ordered at no charge. Two of the oversized pistons are on back order but the rings were in stock, so someone must be buying oversized pistons. ;)

Total cost to date for my engine overhaul parts: $818.62 The cost to hone the cylinders oversize should be around another $200.00. That's still cheaper than a whole new block assy. for $1693.48 plus the gasket sets and custom bearing inserts. I'll keep everyone updated.

Dave A.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
4,942 Posts
Curious Dave said:
...The piston skirt to cylinder clearance for standard OR new (I'm not sure what they're trying to say there)...
Machining tolerance. ;)

Curious Dave said:
John,
I'm a little curious as to what the difference is between piston slap and piston percussion as I am only familiar with piston slap. ?
"Slap" is when the piston is physically hitting the bore (usually along the thrust side, 90 deg to crankshaft centerline and the "impact" will be both visible and measurable. ;) Since your pistons don't have any visible physical (scuffing), you were not experiencing piston slap. Yes it's a _fine line_ for a definition. But disassembly and inspection always reveals the difference. An engine with true piston "slap" will have a very limited service life remaining. As you can probably imagine, compression on the cylinder(s) involved will rapidly deteoriate.

So is the .002" oval above std max bore on #2 the cause of the "noise" :?: Seems likely. The "argument" is that all Honda engines will develop a similar noise. Its not unusual for it to happen within the first 50,000 miles. What the remaining service life of such an engine is the issue at hand. For the many I'm familiar with its not a significant factor. In my experience Honda cylinder / piston / ring failure without cause (e.g. severe overheat, oil starvation, etc.) is an extremely rare event. The "noise" is common.

Please keep us posted as your situation develops :!: :)

Sincerely,
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,448 Posts
I just had a thought....

In your other post you mentioned your car is a 2003. Don't Hondas all carry a 5 year 60,000 mile drivetrain warranty? I would really at least see if you could talk to your local area warranty auditor for the dealer.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
207 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
My hesitancy stemmed mostly from the fact that all of the maintenance has been done by me even though I have all of the parts receipts from Honda to prove it. I guess I'm just a little bit stubborn when it comes to having to do battle with dealerships, especially when all of the routine maintenance was performed by me and not by the dealer while the car was still under warranty. Some of the higher-ups might see that as a perfect loophole for not wanting to make things right even though the owners manual clearly states that you will not void the warranty as long as you keep all of the receipts.

Just for the record, I used genuine Honda 0W-20 oil and oil filters right up to the point where the "noise" first became noticeable at approx. 26,000 miles. At that point, the noise would disappear completely after the engine reached full operating temperature. It wasn't until just beyond the warranty period that the noise started to become more prominent and clearly audible with the engine at full operating temp.. :roll: I'm still puzzled as to why only #2 cylinder changed shape and not the others.

Update: The oversize pistons are still on backorder. I have one in hand and still need two more. I got a call from the Honda parts department today stating that the pistons "have been released" and should arrive in the next day or two. Sheesh! Either a lot of oversize pistons are being sold or there simply isn't much demand for them. I'd be really interested to know how many oversize piston sets have been sold to date.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
207 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
On Second Thought

Just out of curiosity, who would I contact to discuss the "noise" issue? I'd rather not deal with any dealership staff, but I would be willing to speak with someone either over the phone or in person. Would I contact Honda Motor Company directly? I'm thinking that there's bound to be someone affiliated with Honda Motor Company that is aware of this problem. The out-of-round #2 cylinder that shows no visible sign of wear is proof of the pudding. I just need to find the right contact person(s) who can have a look for themselves and then ask them "does that ring a bell"? 8)
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
4,942 Posts
Well Dave...

You've already effectively burned some bridges behind you by not asking before disassembly. :?

The standard proceedure is:

1) The dealer
2) Honda customer relations (check http://www.hondacars.com or the number is in your owners manual)
3) The Honda District Service Rep.

[edit insert]In the above _order_. You'll likely get a cool recepetion "up" the ladder otherwise. [end]

The reality is that its probably too late. But since you weren't interested in a worst case scenairo before hand (they say no warranty) then I guess it really doesn't matter nor is it worth the effort to pursue.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
207 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
As much as I despise interacting with dealerships, I pretty much just told myself "Ahh what the heck, it's out of warranty so I'm just going to pull the engine and see what is wrong with number two cylinder". Big mistake! I had it pictured in my mind that the worst case scenario would end up being a worn cylinder, but I really was just hoping that it would be something simpler like a worn piston. Such was not my luck, unfortunately. I called Honda Motor Company and spoke with a customer service rep. this morning who would barely give me the time of day. She asked for the VIN number and told me that there were no recalls or service bulletins for my car. Then she asked me what sort of problem I was having. :roll: I explained that I was having some engine trouble and asked if there was someone that I could contact to discuss the issue. She then said that I should take my car to a dealer to have it inspected. I then kindly explained that my car was out of warranty and that the engine was removed and completely disassembled and that all I wanted to do was contact someone who could look at the block firsthand and acknowledge the problem. That went over like a ton of bricks with no such luck.

Anyhow, the block is currently waiting in line with an oversize piston and spec. sheet at a local machine shop to have the cylinder sleeves honed oversize. Here's the URL to the shop: http://www.mackhoning.com The owner's name is Dennis McCullough who is a very pleasent and straightforward kind of guy who is very honest and isn't out to make a quick buck. I spoke with Dennis about my concerns with being able to bring the number two cylinder back into round and that I needed a very precision piston-to-bore clearance of 0.0002"- 0.0017" with a 400 grit or finer finish and a 60 degree crosshatch pattern per the specs in the service manual. Dennis carefully examined the block and spoke with confidence that he could get the job done. I then reminded him that a new block from Honda is $1700.00. No giggling, no joking, just honest sincerity from him that he was well capable of doing the job. I then told Dennis that he was pretty much my last hope with the only other option being the purchase of a new block. "Don't worry Dave, I'll take care of it", he said. We shall see in a few days. :)

The worst case scenario obviously became reality for me and I learned my lesson well. :? All I can say to others is that if you suspect anything is wrong with your engine that seems similar to my experience, leave it alone and take your car straight to the dealer with no if's and's or but's.

A piece of technical info. that I forgot to mention earlier on: The number two cylinder is not only out of round on the thrust sides, it is also out of round clear to the top of the bore. This indicates that the problem isn't a wear issue due to both the fact that the piston rings don't contact the very top portion of the cylinder and the fact that there is no sign of visible wear. No ridge, no missing crosshatch. So what actually caused the cylinder to go out of round :?: :?: Hard to say at this point! The cylinder sleeve could have been defective from the start. The problem could be heat related......who knows! Definitely a mystery!

Here's some pix of my bare cylinder block:

http://s122.photobucket.com/albums/o270 ... r%20Block/


I hope the link works! This is my first time working with photo album sharing.
:D
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,332 Posts
The link and photos worked well. Thanks.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
207 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
I'm glad the link worked. I should have taken some close-up shots of the cylinders but there really isn't anything out of the ordinary that is visible. However, for those that are new to the Insight engine, look closely at the end shots of the block and you will see that the cylinders are offset from the crankshaft centerline. You don't see many engine designs like this.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
207 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
Update

Well, 13 days have gone by since I ordered and prepaid for the oversize pistons and they still haven't come in yet. Luckily for me, my Insight isn't my only car, but Honda doesn't know that. What do you guys and gals think? Should I contact Honda customer relations and complain that I don't have a car to drive and see what they have to say?
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
4,942 Posts
A valid point, but it needs to be posted in its associated thread (here).

Moved from:

"Insight Engine Rebuilders Beware!!" in Mod & Tech
(multiposted thread removed)

Curious Dave said:
For those that have been following my post concerning the rebuild of the engine in my 2003 CVT Insight, please be aware that oversize pistons (part# 13030-PHM-010) are virtually non-existant anywhere in the entire USA. I have been waiting for nearly one month now and still only have one piston. I contacted American Honda customer relations today to see if they could tell me what was holding up the show and also politely asked if they could tell me if any oversize pistons were in stock at ANY location throughout the US of A. They asked me for the part number and then stated that there are no pistons to be found .... anywhere. They also could not tell me if and when replacement oversize pistons would become available. The whole situation has me really ticked off with how Honda handles their customer relations. I can only hope that my engine block has not yet been machined for oversize pistons. The whole scenario has me really disappointed as my Insight will be without an engine if the block has already been machined for Honda replacement parts that don't even exist. I just wanted to post this info. to let other owners who may be planning an engine rebuild to be aware of this issue.

Take care everyone!

Dave A.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,631 Posts
Dave,

have you tried Majestic Honda?...They have an online parts catalog and seem to have a huge inventory....Give them a call before ordering to see if the piston is in stock. (800) 341-4113 - They are located in Rhode Island.

JoeCVT - Just your average CVT owner
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
4,942 Posts
Good suggestion Joe :) but any Honda dealer can query the national parts database. From what Dave wrote he's got the only one in existance :!:

I would "fault" Honda for only having one of the three needed for a set. Mistakes do happen. :|

Similar to another members roof panel "problem" posted several years back looks like there's gonna be a looong delay (several more weeks).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
207 Posts
Discussion Starter #19
Update

I picked up my engine block from the place that was going to hone the cylinders for oversize pistons today. I called the shop first thing this morning to see if they had started work on it in hopes that maybe it was still waiting in line. No such luck. The honing job looks great and the owner was nice enough to only charge me $50.00 total as opposed to $80.00 per cylinder. I even got a full tour of the shop as an added bonus. 8) The owner showed me the tooling that was used on my block that consisted of a hand-operated rigid hone and a set of 400 grit stones that he had to special order for the final finish. Dennis also said that he would be willing to make a fixture for one of his Sunnen CV-series vertical honing machines if there were more demand for Insight engine blocks. That would be nice, but I'm hoping that the demand won't become a reality anytime soon.

I started to get cold feet again this morning and was ready to go back to plan A, which was to re-assemble the engine as-is with new standard rings, my used standard pistons, and all new gaskets and seals. Unfortunately, the honing shop beat me to the draw and had already finished the honing job. So now I'm back to plan B again, which is to wait and see if the remaining oversize piston will magically arrive at the Honda parts department before the day that I die. :x I did receive a second piston today that was shipped overnight from Philidelphia, so now all I need is the third piston so I can get my car back on the road. I contacted the parts department at Majestic Honda with no luck. I will be hoping and praying every day and night that there is another piston out there somewhere. Typical Murphy's law! Some things just always seem to boil down to one final hitch that can take forever to be worked out. :(
Wish me luck on the third piston and I will post some pix of the honed block soon.

Dave A.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,819 Posts
Is faulting Honda on this really justified? Consider that the total production of Insights was 10-20 thousand. (The exact number should be around here somewhere.) Out of that very small number, what percentage do you think would need to be rebuilt with oversized pistons? Not many, I'd say. Indeed, I wouldn't be terribly surprised to learn that you're the first one to do it.

So you need a rarely-used replacement part for a low production engine, and are surprised that it's hard to find? It's a little late for the advice now, but with any machine work it's a good idea to have the replacement parts in hand before starting the work.
 
1 - 20 of 34 Posts
Top