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Discussion Starter #1
Coolant leak into cylinder #5. Pulled the front head, on the gasket found the telltale spot of the leak from the coolant passage to the cylinder.

Pulled the other head, did a valve job, milled gasket surfaces. In the process of reassembling now. Thought some of you may want to see a few of the pics.

Front head was warped about 0.005", mostly on the exhaust side, center. Rear head was warped about 0.002", same. Seems to have lost clamping pressure in the areas between the cylinders and the exhaust side of the center cylinder.





 

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Discussion Starter #3
144k. Negative on overheat. Noticed misfire for a moment on start, cleared up with a throttle blip. Progressed to a check engine light and vtm-4 light with stored code for misfire cylinder 5. Found coolant on the plug. Pulled the head.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Here are some shots of the heads reassembled after the valve job and mill, and the tops of the pistons after cleaning them up.





 

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2008 Ridgeline RTS in Billet Silver Metallic
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That's pretty work!
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Fortunately the deck of the block is still flat. Just discovered the #5 bore on the thrust side is scuffed though. Doesn't show in the pics as it's the surface you can't see from that angle. Didn't notice until I had just about finished cleaning everything up to put the heads back on. Not super happy. The other bores seem fine. May have to pull the oil pan and pull that piston out the top to look. This may be short block time. Hoping maybe just replace that piston. We'll see.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
*sad trombone*

Scuffed skirts and bores. Block looks like I can probably hone it and move on with things. May have to put some new pistons in it.





 

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Sad trombone is right. What a bummer, especially after the head machining you paid for. :(

Odd that it was all three. What does the other bank look like?

Chip H.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I think I got what happened, unrelated to the head gasket.

This thing has had light piston slap when cold since I bought it a year ago. So the piston and bore wear seems to be old news.

The wear is all on the front bank, middle of the V, so the thrust surface. All those pistons, the oil holes are plugged up nearly solid with sludge, but only on the back side where the scuffing is. The front side, oil holes are still clear enough to move some oil. Rear bank pistons still pretty clear oil holes front and back.

The truck just didn't get frequent enough oil changes for whatever kind of oil was used in it. Piston oil holes plugged up, preventing good oil flow to that side of the skirt... and there you go. I think. I think this could have been prevented with better oil and more frequent changes.

I think I can get this squared away honing the cylinders, maybe replacing the front bank pistons, though may just buy all 6 since I'm in it this far already and they're not super expensive.

Engine's pretty yucky inside. I was kind of in need of a vehicle when I bought this, so didn't do my homework as well as I should have. Been running into what seem like the common issues...
 

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You've done great work on this. Sorry to see the issue that you've discovered. I was wondering about piston slap and then you answered that.

Makes me wonder if those with piston slap have a similar issue with plugged oil holes and scuffing like that. I sure would love to know the maintenance history on your RL and what kind of oil and filters it's seen.

From what I've read here, the consensus on piston slap is to keep on driving it and don't worry about it. Seeing the visual results in your case makes me question that advice.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
The truck came with a full dealer service history, oil changes when the maintenance minder said so, timing belt on time, etcetera, all right by the book.

I kind of suspect the long oil change intervals are fine if you use a really high quality oil, maybe not so much otherwise.
 

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The truck came with a full dealer service history, oil changes when the maintenance minder said so, timing belt on time, etcetera, all right by the book.

I kind of suspect the long oil change intervals are fine if you use a really high quality oil, maybe not so much otherwise.
Sad news for Ridgeline owners, yes it would be nice to find out the oil used in that motor.
 

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The truck came with a full dealer service history, oil changes when the maintenance minder said so, timing belt on time, etcetera, all right by the book.

I kind of suspect the long oil change intervals are fine if you use a really high quality oil, maybe not so much otherwise.
That's interesting. We have one member here who sold his 2006 RL sometime last year with something like 380,000 miles on it. Serviced by the dealer +/- the MM OCIs using dino oil. I think he frequently exceeded the 0% alert too. And Chicago area weather for all those years. Lots of starts on a cold engine in Chicago cold temps.

BTW, with that service history, your particular RL would have been compelling imo.
 

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Discussion Starter #15 (Edited)
It would be interesting to know what sort of bulk oil the dealership used. I had a car that I pulled the head to do some work around 300,000 miles, cleaned everything up at the time, then ran it to about 450,000 with 3-5k mile oil changes with Valvoline VR1 non synthetic, and it was still super clean when I'd pull the valve cover to set the clearances. This Ridgeline, not so much. Lot of varnish type oil deposits throughout the inside of the engine.

Here are some shots of when I pulled the oil pan a month or so ago with about 142k on it. This is with a year and about 15,000 miles of Valvoline full synthetic and Pennzoil full synthetic after I picked it up. And come to think of it now, I do recall seeing aluminum glitter since the first oil change I did, so the pistons have been scuffing for at least a year.





And this is after cleaning everything up with Lestoil, hot water, and a toothbrush. No solvents at all. A little slow, but works great.

 

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That's interesting. We have one member here who sold his 2006 RL sometime last year with something like 380,000 miles on it. Serviced by the dealer +/- the MM OCIs using dino oil. I think he frequently exceeded the 0% alert too. And Chicago area weather for all those years. Lots of starts on a cold engine in Chicago cold temps.
...........
Don't forget Speed.... that 380K mile RL saw a whole lot of highway driving.... 'could be the type of driving might have more to do with this than the type of oil used???

.........I think I can get this squared away honing the cylinders, maybe replacing the front bank pistons, though may just buy all 6 since I'm in it this far already and they're not super expensive............
If I was doing this much work, I'd not want to put 1 (or 3) new pistons in (with new piston rings) while the others struggled along with the old rings..... you might want to replace at least the rings all around, even if you do keep some of the old pistons (suggest you do the whole enchilada). You could see some minor difference in compression with those old piston rings vs. the newer ones.
And again, I think if I was in there with access, I'd hone 'em all as well. Just food for thought.... you're just talking about a little extra time & effort for the honing (presuming you're pulling the pistons to replace the rings)..... the pistons/rings will set you back a few extra bucks, but you might be glad you did.

How long are you planning on keeping this ride? ;)

BTW, you DID get the head inspected with dye-penetrant, yes?? (looking for cracks)
I only ask because we've seen a few '06s with cracked heads, which cause the misfire, loose plugs, and worse consequences eventually.
And I really don't recall seeing many cases of a pure head gasket failure here... (you may be the first??). I'm almost certain the cracked head has been more commonly reported here. I'd just hate you have you finish all this great work & reassemble, only to find you still have coolant making it's way into your cylinder.
 

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Don't forget Speed.... that 380K mile RL saw a whole lot of highway driving.... 'could be the type of driving might have more to do with this than the type of oil used???
That is true.

And I agree that at this point of disassembly, I think I'd do a complete rebuild as long as the block is sound and the head is clear of cracks (and the rest of the truck is in good shape).

I also wish p.. was my neighbor so I could observe this process. ;)
 
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Wow. Great work here. Very interesting to hear of the clogged oil passages for sure. Could this be attributed to years of cold weather with dino oil which is much thicker in cold weather as compared to full synthetic? My truck had dino dealer oil for the first 75k of its life with the original owner, but it was in Florida. No sub-freezing temperatures to suffer through. It's had Pennzoil Platinum or Ultra synthetic ever since then. I do get some clattering on cold starts in the winter time, but it does go away after it warms up. Is there any product such as Seafoam or similar liquid treatment that could break down these deposits in the passages or is the only way to clean them by dismantling the engine? I wonder if Honda would be interested to know this information, too. This should NOT be happening - especially to a truck that has oil changes done by following the MM.
 

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Back in the bad old days, we used to use a "motor flush" product ("five minute flush" etc.) to clean up things in an older motor prior to oil change (especially one of unknown maintenance history). Several companies still make these products (Gunk, CRC, etc.).

I would think an occasional flush 'might' work to keep those passages clear..... but as others have said, this shouldn't be necessary at all with good oil / filters & regular changes.

On a somewhat similar note, one of my friends in high-school had a '69 (or '68?) Chevelle SS with the 396ci V8.... it was always a bit loud in the top end (tappet noise). His Dad, who bought the car new finally looked deeper into it & found one of the rocker arm pieces was missing an oil hole (had just a dimple instead of the intended hole). Replaced the offending part & things straightened right out (noise gone). Trivial bit on how sometimes things are just hard to figure out.
 

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A product like Marvel Mystery Oil will clean those internal passages.

But it's not something you want to leave in there, so you'll include a can of it in an oil + filter change, run it for about 200 miles, repeat one more time ('cause the filter is full of gunk now), and then let it drain really well for a final oil +filter change. And run that oil for a short cycle (1200-1500 miles).

Chip H.
 
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