Mazda MX-6 Forum banner
1 - 20 of 46 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
897 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ok, I'm ready to start tearing in to change the piston rings and head gasket that need replaced.

Car is in the garage, right front jacked up, wheel off.

What do I need to check over before removing belts? Should I leave the timing belt on until I get the camshaft out? I've heard that sprocket is hard to remove, and may require bumping with the starter to get it loose. I don't have an impact wrench ): The other belts can come off though, correct? Don't need PS, or A/C, or alternator if for some reason I do need to start the car.

Correct position for the camshaft?:
As best I can determine, the arrow is lined up exactly with the mark on the housing.


Any other things I should be checking/setting before I remove the valve cover, etc?

I'll be changing piston rings and all the gaskets along the way, of course. So once I start removing parts...I won't be turning back :)

If I can manage, I'll try taking pictures of the whole process. I could take video instead...wouldn't that be different, edit it down to a 1 hr how-to (or...how-not-to).
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,257 Posts
yeah but its still awesome
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
7,327 Posts
1.)Buy Mazda Factory Workshop Manual and follow the instructions step-by step for removing the cylinder head. You need to plan what exactly you're planning on doing ("changing piston rings and all the gaskets along the way" is a bit vague).

will your video be anything like Paris Hiltons? hers was kinda grainy
lol! :p
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
897 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I take it you guys won't be satisfied until I blow my car up.

I just thought that a big job like this should be tackled with both the book and any advice I can get from someone that's done it before.

Seems all I've gotten in response lately about my project has been negativity. Thanks a heap. I suddenly realize I'm the only one not born with innate mechanical knowledge. I should just take the car to some guy that couldn't pass 9th grade to have my car worked on.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
50 Posts
I have done this job three times in the last 6 months on my 89 PGL. Second time is much easier, if that is any consolation.

My suggestions are to get a box of sandwich bags and whenever you take something off, put the parts together in a sandwich bag. Mark it with a marker if you like - or not. But worst thing is to mix up parts so you have problems putting it back correctly. I would loosen the crank center bolt with the engine in reverse. There should be enough resistance to get it loose. I did not have any problems with the cam bolt, but I have air tools.

Loosen the intake and exhaust mainfolds and push them back from the head and then take the head off. Much easier to just leave the manifolds in the car. One time I took all the parts off the head before removing it, the second and third times I left the ends on and just pulled the distributor out and took the timing belt off. To get the oil pan off I used a thin putty knife and a hammer. Drive it in the end by the crank and then move it along and drive it in again. Make sure to go between the pan and windage tray, not the windage tran and block because there are two more bolts inside the pan that hold the windage tray on.

Make sure you keep the pistons in order as taken out. Also, I would jack up the car on both sides and put it on jack stands. You are going to be on your back under the engine so you need good accesss. Remove the passenger side frame to get the oil pan out. You can just remove the bolts and nuts and let it hang down - that will give enough room.

Good luck. If you have problems post back and I will be glad to help.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
897 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks for the advice, and the offer. I thought of the sandwich bags when reading the write-up on here for rebuilding the head. Fortunately, we have 2 boxes of bags...and no other use for them. I have a big box that I have started bagging, labelling, and storing them. Might be a chore sifting through to find the right bag, but at least I know it's there and labelled.

I'm also taking pictures as I go, for reference later, or if I have a problem along the way.

I haven't found much info on the piston ring replacment on here, so that's going to probably be the toughest part. I'm sure I'll be asking questions when I get to that.

GTRAFF, did you use dealer parts, or another company? I'm hoping for somewhere online that I can order from cheaper than the dealer, but knowing that it's the right part is iffy without prior experience.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
4,040 Posts
Illswyn said:
I take it you guys won't be satisfied until I blow my car up.

Majik wants it done right -- that's why he recommended the Mazda Shop Manual.

If you prefer, you can listen to people on here, but some of them will tell you things that they don't know for fact. And you, not having the manual, will not be able to recognize the thue tech from the bsers.

I'm with Majik, if you're serious about doing it right, get the manual. If you just want to get it done, ask around here.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
897 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I do appreciate majik's advice to get a shop manual. I've had one for months...been looking in it as well. I'm not doing this completely blindly, relying solely on this site. But the book assumes that the person is a Mazda mechanic, not a garage mechanic. I don't even qualify as that :p

I don't think I'm asking for frivilous information, it's quite relavent, and not beyond the scope of this site. Seems there's a lot of effort put into making this into a joke; put that effort towards helping. I can assure you that I'd be doing the same if our situations were reversed. I've tried helping on here when I can.

The video idea was only brought up because it's possible, because we got a new camcorder last year, and until recently didn't know how to get it to record directly to the computer. I could just as easily record to a tape, then record the tape to a CD. Yes...it has night vision. Works quite well, though I don't know how it would look compressed small enough to fit several minutes into a manageable download file. Probably explains the "graininess" of the "other" video. Mine would have far less nudity too. :lol:
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
4,040 Posts
Illswyn said:
Mine would have far less nudity too. :lol:
I get aroused at the sight of full floating piston pins :D
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
50 Posts
I used importperformanceparts.net for my parts the first time. I just got a Top-Line re-ring gasket set and also ordered the rings and bearings from them. When I did the job the second time (long story - basically I screwed up and put the 2nd compression ring on upside down) I made the mistake of reusing the rings and head gasket. Yeah, I knew better but talked myself into trying it because I had only run the car a hundred miles or so. Wrong!

So, the third time was to fix the mistakes from the first and second time. I just needed a head gasket which I got form EuroPartsDirect.com for $8.93. Also ordered my rings from them and I have to say they were made in Japan and I liked the design of the oil control ring expander better than the top-line ones from importperformanceparts.

Finally, I found an engineer on the internet that states that IF YOU ARE NOT BORING the cylinders then DO NOT HONE them. Lots of scientific ASTME testing was done that proved that it needlessly removes metal and that no matter what advice you get - cast iron rings seat just fine if you do not hone.

I tried that the third time and all seems well. Very little oil consumption (expect a little til things break in) and compression is fine. I am just throwing this out - make your own decision. Most manufacturers say hone no matter what. The Hastings site has lots of tips and they say to hone but they are also talking about boring first so who knows?
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
4,040 Posts
Feel the top outside edge of a brand new top compression ring. Now feel the top outside edge of a high-miler used one.

The used one is not nearly as square. It has a small radius on it.

Now look down your used cylinder, see the little bit at the top where rings don't touch? At the bottom of that unworn ridge is the slightly larger worn section of the cylinder. At the margin between the worn part and the unworn part is a small radius that matches the one on the top of the old top ring.

If you put a new (square) ring on your piston and not rebore/hone, the top edge of the ring bashes into the radius near the top of the cylinder, playing havoc with the ring lands on your piston and maybe breaking a ring.

If it were mine, I wouldn't put a new ring in a used/worn cylinder.

But it ain't mine.
 
G

·
hello,
I think you will have some fun with this. I just did my head gasket on my 1992 MX6 and it is now leaking around the outer edge of the headgasket. I really don't understand. I had the head machined and got a new felpro headgasket. When I got it all bolted together and torqed down it started to leak around the outer edge.

One question for the guru's here or anyone with a REAL shop manual. In the haynes manual I have found 3 different torque specs for the head bolts. One is 59-64 cold, another is 69-72 warm, and the third is just 69-80. Which is right? Or is there another setting other than these three I should be using?

Thanks and good luck.

Shaun
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
897 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I have a real shop manual...I even posted pictures of it on here to give the stock # to someone. And I've posted several times that I got it on eBay for less than a Haynes Manual.

Sucks that you had the head milled, put on a new gasket, and it still leaked.

I'm not sure just how you'd be re-installing the head on the car with it still warm. The manual is showing 59-64 ft-lb in the section for assembling the cylinder head, but it doesn't list 3 sets of numbers. Maybe all 3 numbers are correct, but I don't know what that 3rd (69-80) is for.

I'd suggest just making sure it's cold, and using the "cold" number.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
50 Posts
When I replaced my head gasket the second time it leaked. That gasket was the asbestos kind. Felt very slippery to the touch and soft. The third time I got the $8.93 gasket (see above) and it was of different composition. More like regular gasket material. I made sure I cleaned the head and block well with acetone to remove all grease and oil. No leaks. I torqued to 62 pounds warmed it up and let it cool and rechecked. I believe the range in my shop manual was 59-64 pounds.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
897 Posts
Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I drained the oil and radiator fluid today. Also jacked the car up further, as I realized with the stands I have it on, it's a tight fit under the car still. So I raised it some more.

I'll be buying some more stands too. I don't like the ones I have, they have a handle that turns to lower the stand. That's BAD. I should have returned them when I realized what kind they were. I'd rather have the kind with a pin that pushes in, and has to be pulled out to lower the car. It just looks far too easy to bump the handle, and have the car drop.

Did you use Europartsdirect.com for all the seals and gaskets, or just the head gasket and rings? I'm going to wait until I have it apart to start ordering parts.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
934 Posts
Good luck on your project! I am facing a headgasket replacement soon for my GT. Tax return time I'll be buying all my new parts.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
4,040 Posts
Illswyn said:
they have a handle that turns to lower the stand. That's BAD. I should have returned them when I realized what kind they were. I'd rather have the kind with a pin that pushes in, and has to be pulled out to lower the car. It just looks far too easy to bump the handle, and have the car drop.
If those are the kind I think they are, they're much more difficult (something approaching impossible) to budge the handle when there's a load on 'em
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
897 Posts
Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Actually, that's probably true. But I don't want to find out the hard way, ya know?

I've spent the last couple hours trying to unbolt the intake manifold...any advice on that? Any way to move the throttle body out of the way to get to the bolts? I'm having a heck of a time getting the lower bolts, only have one left, but can't seem to find any way to access it. And even then, I don't think it'll move out of the way, is there some support I need to loosen to let it move?

Same with the exhaust manifold. I've got everything but that pipe in the front (on the right) unbolted. Having trouble finding a tool to loosen it with.

I'll go skim through the head rebuild post...maybe I can get some more info on there for disassembling.
 
G

·
First off, remove the bracket that is bolted to the back of the intake manifold and either set it carefully aside, or chuck it in the garbage out of frusteration (As I did heh). With that out of the way you have enough room to use a 3/4 rachet with two extensions (I like using a straight extension mated to a wobbler, but if you don't have one just use two straights). Removing the fuel line, carbon canister, EGR valve, and brake booster line helps to get access.

Then, just reach around with your hand. Its a bit of a pain, but its possible.

I usually use either a large crescent wrench, or a pair of vice grips on the EGR tube going from the right side of the exhaust manifold into the intake manifold. Spray that puppy down liberally with PB Blaster a good hour before you try though.

Don't forget to unbolt the clamp that holds the downpipe, and to undo the bolt that holds the turbo onto its support bracket. With those off you should be able to let the manifold rock back off the head.

Good luck.
 
1 - 20 of 46 Posts
Top