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Chillin'
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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
My engine was making a funky noise, so I thought it was a HLAs. I think it ended up being the tensioner on my waterpump. Anyways, there's two good threads that cover HLA Maintenance and Valve Cover Gasket Replacement that I used as a guide for this. I'm doing a compilation because most of the pictures aren't loading correctly. First get your parts and tools.
All sizes are in mm unless specified

Tools:


  • Ratchet Wrench
  • Torque wrench
  • 10 & 14 sockets
  • Short socket extension
  • Pliers or vice grips
  • 18 gauge wire, about 2 feet, stripped
  • Container for liquids
  • Jewler's philips screwdriver (not a flathead)
  • Permanant marker
Supplies:
  • FULL can of WD-40
  • New valve cover gasket ($15.00 @ Autozone)
  • Silicon RTV sealant, any color works ($3.00 @ Autozone)
  • About a half quart (.5 liters) of oil (what ever is already in the engine) Marvel Mystery Oil should work here too
Suggested parts:
  • PCV Valve ($5.00 @ Autozone)
  • PCV Valve Gasket (Just goto the dealer for this ~$5)
If you want, go raid the junkyard and bring back 12 HLAs from whatever poor F2 head you can find.

First, you have to disconnect everything from the valve cover. Unbolt the ground wire with the 10. Take out the PCV Valve (the gasket will be easier to get at later.) Disconnect the hose that goes to the air intake with the pliers and unbolting the clamp with the 10. Take all the spark plug wires out and your engine should look like mine below.
 

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Chillin'
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Discussion Starter #2 (Edited)
Next you have to take of the valve cover. It goes in a pattern. Or you can just look below for the order. Use a 10 and the extension for this. The rocker arms go in the same pattern. Be careful! You MUST loosen every bolt in order, then remover them in order. This rocker bar assembly is much more important than the valve cover and uses a 14. You will need the torque wrench to get them off. Loosen them all a little bit first, then take them off. If you're just replacing the valve cover gasket, don't touch the rocker bar bolts and skip down to putting the valve cover gasket on. Also, DON'T TOUCH THE HEAD BOLTS. They are the ones that are the lowest. They are in between the valve cover bolts and the rocker bar bolts. Thanks to FlySwat to correct me on the order.


 

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Chillin'
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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
Now that all the valves are closed, it's a good time to CLEAN! clean around where the valve cover goes and anywhere else you want. make sure you don't get anything in the head. If you do it will end up clogging either the oil passages or the oil filter. Here's my starting set up. Notice the crubs from the pizza. Those shouldn't be there. They magically appeared right before I took the picture. I had to clean them up again afterwards :D


 

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Chillin'
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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
Before you take the rocker arms off, use the marker and number one arm and letter the other. This way you can put them back in order. After you're done with this, you can take all the arms off the bar. Make sure the arms stay clean!


 

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Chillin'
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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
Now let's take the HLAs out. If you can't pull them out with your fingers, use a flathead. Put it in the groove and turn the screwdriver. The HLA will come out. When you're done, put the HLAs in a container of clean WD-40 or some other cleaner as you see fit. Do the same with the rocker arms if you can.


 

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Chillin'
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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
If you can, let the parts sit overnight. But if you can't, like me, just give them 15 min. Now get out the WD-40. Get one HLA and put the Jewler's screwdriver in the bottom. When you push a valve should move. Now squirt some WD-40 in there and then clean the rest of the HLA with it. Once you're done, try and squeeze the HLA with your hand as hard as you can. If the HLA squeezes, it's bad. Get one HLA from the 12 you took from the yard and throw it in with the rest of them in the bucket. Once an HLA passes, put it aside.


 

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Chillin'
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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
Take one of the rocker arms out. Get the wire and make it go though the rocker arm. There are 3 holes in the arm. The one in the picture is the most important to clean. Make sure nothing is in the hole. After you're done, you should be able to squirt WD-40 through the hole. The two other holes are circled in blue.


 

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Chillin'
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Discussion Starter #8
Now the cleaning of the HLAs is done. Since your valve cover is off, I'd suggest cleaning the outside of that too. If you can, get it sandblasted to get it extra clean. Make sure you wash out the whole valve cover with water and make sure it's DRY. I don't know how safe this is, but if you don't want to wait as long for the cover to dry, make sure the oil cap and PCV valve gasket are off the cover. Then put it across 2 burners of a gas stove. Put the two burners on low. If you're not carful, you can heat the cover to hotter than it gets from normal engine heat. Using the stove to make it dry quicker is not a safe thing to do. Now you can take the HLAs and Rocker arms out of the WD-40 and drip dry them.
 

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Chillin'
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Discussion Starter #9
Next you need to get all the rocker arm on the bars in the right order. Did the numbers wear off? That's okay. I'll tell you the correct order. If you noticed in the picture of the three numbered rocker arms, numbers 1 and 3 have a notch on the side and number 2 doesn't. Arms with a notch are considered "notched" and arms without a notch are considered "smooth." The first bar is for the intake and toward the back of the car. The second bar is for the exhaust and is toward the front of the car. When putting the bars together put each piece on the left of the bar and slide it all the way right; put the rocker arms so the "socket" the HLA goes in faces down like in the picture of the three arms. For the first bar all the rocker arms also have to face away from you opposite the picture of the three arms. The order of the first bar is: notched arm, spring, smooth arm; repeat 3 times. For the second bar all the rocker arms also have to face toward you like the picture of the three arms. The order of the second bar is: spacer, spring, smooth arm, notched arm, spring, spacer; repeat. Once you have everything on the bars, rotate them 180° so you can put the HLAs in. Put a little bit of oil in each up-side-down arm where the HLA was and insert the HLA with the HLA hole pointing down. Do this for every rocker arm.
 

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Chillin'
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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
Important!

This next step is a royal pain. Put the bar on the head, and start the screws. If you look below, you will see the rocker arm bar holder. The 2 circles are the areas that you have to watch on EACH HOLDER. The springs want to push the rocker arms onto the holder. If the arm is on the holder when you tighten the bar, the arm will not move. So you have to very carefully start one screw on one end, space out all the arms and/or spacers (the spacers can't be stuck on the holder either) and start the middle screw. Then do the same for the other half starting in the middle and ending up on the other end. Next start the two other screws that aren't in on that bar. If you have all five screws started and one of the arms and/or spacers is stuck on a holder, you're okay. If the screws are just started, you can probably just slide the arm/spacer off the holder. Now, tighten all the screws down hand tight. Do not tighten them as hard as you can with your hands, just until the screw is tight. Next, check all the arms and spacers. Do this by sliding them into the spring, away from the holder. If all of your rocker arms/spacers check out, go down to the next step. If not, you need to loosen up a few of the bolts on the bar, move it around and try again. DO NOT move to the next step until all your rocker arms and spacers check out and are not stuck!


 

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Chillin'
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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
Now tighten each bar with a 14 in the order below. DO NOT tighten the bolts super hard. Tighten them like one full circle after full hand tighten. Re-check to make sure none of the rocker arms or spacers are stuck on the holders. If you start the engine while one of the rocker arms is stuck, the cam won't be able to turn and the engine won't work. You might even snap your timing belt, or screw up your timing if the belt skips on the camshaft. Now get out the torque wrench. Use the 14 with it and tighten up the screws in the order below. The Mazda shop manual says 18-26 N·m (1.8-2.7m-kg), (13-20 ft/lbs.) I used the average of the minimum and maximum.


 

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Chillin'
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Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
Installing the Valve Cover

Clean around where the valve cover goes. Make sure it is dry. Then apply the RTV Sealant where it shows below. The back should look like the front even though it's hard to see the back in this picture. Basically start half way down from the top of the "hump" on the head, and seal down to the first bolt hole. Do this on EACH corner. Put the new valve cover gasket on the valve cover (and remove the old gasket if needed.) Put the valve cover on and hand start each bolt.


 

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Chillin'
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Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
Now hand tighten in the order below. Torque the valve cover on to about one third the torque of the rocker arm bar bolts, again in the order below. Now you can reconnect your ground wire, insert the PCV valve and gasket (if you removed them) and hoock them up. Also reattach the line to the air intake and the spark plugs. Now, fire up the car and let it idle for 5-10 min to let the RTV sealant seal up.


 

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Chillin'
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Discussion Starter #14 (Edited)
If there's anything that's wrong, omitted or just anything I need to know about, please pm or e-mail me so I can fix it. Always remember common sense. Test out the car before you drive it anywhere. Be easy on the engine and no boosting for the first 10 miles. Check to make sure everything is tight and that oil isn't leaking. Then take it for a spin around the block. Listen to the engine while warm while it's idling. I will not be held responsible for anything that goes wrong with your car, even if these instuctions are followed exactly.

If you have any comments or want to read other's comments on this project please goto this thread: http://www.mx6.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=77862
Thanks for tuning your 6!


 
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