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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I recently bought an 08 Ody EX-l with 230,000 miles at an auto auction. It burns a fair amount of oil, and seems to be fouling the plugs, especially on cylinder #5. I sould like to do a ring job on the engine, and put new valve stem seals in. My question is, can this be done while the engine is in the vehicle? Looking underneath, it seems that it would be easy enough to drop the pan, and there seems to be plenty of room under the hood to remove the heads. Just wondering if anyone on the forum has done this, or am I crazy for thinking about this. I don't have the facilities to drop the engine.
 

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Hey Navy Chief, you have posted this in the wrong place. On the main page, look for sections devoted to the model year range you have (in this case 2005-2010) and ask questions there. Hint: that engine has variable cylinder management or VCM as it is referred to around here. There are ways to turn that off, thus stop a lot of oil burning and spark plug fouling without doing a ring job at all.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Hey Navy Chief, you have posted this in the wrong place. On the main page, look for sections devoted to the model year range you have (in this case 2005-2010) and ask questions there. Hint: that engine has variable cylinder management or VCM as it is referred to around here. There are ways to turn that off, thus stop a lot of oil burning and spark plug fouling without doing a ring job at all.
Hi egads. Thanks for the heads-up. Being a noob, I didn't realize there were model-year specific areas of the forum. As far as the VCM, I have seen a lot of posts about that, but since the engine is burning oil constantly, I'm not sure this is the problem since if I understand it, the VCM doesn't activate until the engine is at operating temp. I'll have to look into it a bit deeper.
 

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Assuming your cylinder numbering is correct, cylinder 5 isn't a VCM cylinder. VCM cylinders are 1-3 on the rear bank and cylinder 4 (passenger side front) on the front bank. The middle and driver's side front cylinders are 5 and 6.

Installing a Muzzling device will do a world of good if you're burning oil, especially if you're seeing any fouling on the cylinders 1-4. I'd install one and run it for a month or two and then reassess. Even if you end up doing a ring job on it you'll still want it as VCM takes out these engines even after the rings have been replaced. Ring replacement is only a temporary fix. I've seen numerous reports of the issues coming back after that fix.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Assuming your cylinder numbering is correct, cylinder 5 isn't a VCM cylinder. VCM cylinders are 1-3 on the rear bank and cylinder 4 (passenger side front) on the front bank. The middle and driver's side front cylinders are 5 and 6.

Installing a Muzzling device will do a world of good if you're burning oil, especially if you're seeing any fouling on the cylinders 1-4. I'd install one and run it for a month or two and then reassess. Even if you end up doing a ring job on it you'll still want it as VCM takes out these engines even after the rings have been replaced. Ring replacement is only a temporary fix. I've seen numerous reports of the issues coming back after that fix.
I wasn't sure what cylinders were affected by the VCM, but it does seem like #5 is the main one having issues. The engine was missing on 5 when I got it, and I put a new plug in. Now after driving it for less than 50 miles, I'm getting misfires on 5 again. I will absolutely get a Muzzler for after I do the ring job. There also seems be be a lot of valve noise coming from the front center of the rocker cover, so there may be an issue with the valve stem seats, but I haven't started tearing into things quite yet.
 

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You can't do it all from the bottom. You still have to pull the heads. Honda has been doing this for years when they re-ring these for the oil burning.
 

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Pretty sure it CAN be done in the car. Pull the heads, drop the pan. Unbolt the pistons from below and then push them up with a wooden dowel or similar. Then pull them out of the block from the top. Install with the compressor sleeve from the top, reboot on the bottom. I think there’s even a vid on YouTube of it.

sure, it’d be easier if the engine was on a stand, but it’s just moving from bottom to top for each cylinder... probably easier than dropping the engine and TM, and all the associated disconnects.
 

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Pretty sure it CAN be done in the car. Pull the heads, drop the pan. Unbolt the pistons from below and then push them up with a wooden dowel or similar. Then pull them out of the block from the top. Install with the compressor sleeve from the top, reboot on the bottom. I think there’s even a vid on YouTube of it.

sure, it’d be easier if the engine was on a stand, but it’s just moving from bottom to top for each cylinder... probably easier than dropping the engine and TM, and all the associated disconnects.
We’re not saying you have to pull the motor, we’re saying you can’t do everything from the bottom. You still need access from the top.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
You can't do it all from the bottom. You still have to pull the heads. Honda has been doing this for years when they re-ring these for the oil burning.
Yeah, I knew I would have to pull the heads, and planned on doing that. Just wanted to know what everyone thought about doing it this way. I don't have any way to lift the vehicle high enough to drop the engine.
 

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Yeah, I knew I would have to pull the heads, and planned on doing that. Just wanted to know what everyone thought about doing it this way. I don't have any way to lift the vehicle high enough to drop the engine.
I'm looking at having to do head gaskets at a minimum, and probably rings at the same time. There's a technical bulletin that is basically the instructions for replacing rings on the affected pistons 1,2,3, and sometimes 4. With that and the good service manual (blue, 2 volumes) you should be able to do it. I'll attach the bulletin. Make sure you have a quality torque wrench that is properly calibrated. Go with new head bolts. The service manual says they can be reused if micrometer measurements in spec. but for $50 for the set, it's cheap insurance to make sure you don't strip out the holes in the block.
While the head is off, I'd take it to a pro to evaluate valve seating and any machining that might be beneficial.

If you haven't adjusted the valves on the front head (4,5,6) you should try that before assuming it's rings on #5. Especially if you have valve train noise. Also make sure your PCV valve isn't clogged. It's an 80-100k kind of item. Cheap and easy as pulling the dipstick right beside it.

I think ring sets are like $50 per piston.... You should check compression on your cylinders before assuming it needs to be done. Actually, adjust the valves, then check compression. That'll make sure you at least don't have valves out of spec. and possibly throwing compression off.
 

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