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Rod Bearing Replacement 97 Honda CR-V Pros and Con

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  • #581743

      97 Honda CR-V AWD
      B20B4 engine 185K miles
      Auto Tranny

      Getting a knocking noise from the engine at start up. Goes away after a few minutes. Does not sound like valvetrain ticking, but more like a rod knock. Cannot isolate the noise to a particular cylinder as I disconnected the harness from each fuel injector with no noticeable difference to any cylinder. Makes me think it is not a rod bearing, but seems to come from the block and it is a pretty clear knock. Thinking that I can check rod bearing clearance with plastigage (while in the truck) and possibly replace the rod bearings (while the engine is still in the truck) to see if that fixes the problem. My theory is that the bearings are not too bad and the multi weight oil (Castol Syntec 10w-30, with a little straight 30W to reduce engine knock) thickens as it heats up, helping to control the knock. I would like to replace the rod bearings in the truck before it gets worse and we are looking at removing the crank to have it ground for new bearings – or spinning a bearing and trashing the crank. The noise seemed more noticeable after I changed the timing belt, water pump, tensioner, crank and cam seals back in August. Did not have the belt tight enough the first time around, despite following instructions, so I am worried the brief time it ran was extra hard on the rod bearings since it ran pretty rough. Tighten the tension on the belt and it runs fine. Also, worried that the two camshaft bearing caps I removed (DOHC) to do the seals may have been torqued too tight. Will try to check tomorrow.

      Wondering if there are any other ideas as to the cause?

      Also, wondering if there is any feedback on replacing the rod bearings without removing and servicing the crank. I have done complete rebuilds, but never replaced rod bearings like this scenario. Worried that this may make the situation worse since they will not be wear-mated surfaces. If the crank is too bad, I may not bother, but the question then is – what is too bad?

      J Dogg

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    • #581798
      college mancollege man

        For me if your not going to have the engine done professionally your wasting
        time and money. I would do an engine swap with what you got.

        EricTheCarGuy 1EricTheCarGuy

          I have a real issue with using oil other than what is recommended for the vehicle. Especially on an OHC engine. Using thicker oil starves the top end of oil at start up causing increased wear. Now, instead of a rod knock, you now have a loose valve train as well. The only time I recommend thicker oil to cure engine noise is when you know you’re going to replace the engine. That engine takes 5W 30 and that’s what you should put into it.

          As for replacing rod bearings in the vehicle. You might reconsider this. You can’t just purchase a standard sized Honda bearing. They are color coded by thickness. In order to put bearings in a Honda engine you need to measure the journal thickness and the rod bore and subtract the 2 to find out what clearance you have. You then plug the numbers into the available bearing sizes and select the correct size for EACH bearing. It’s a little more involved than people thing.

          That said, make sure you’re timing belt is tight. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen people get it wrong on a B series engine. And when it is wrong, it makes a heck of a lot of noise. If I were you, I’d pop the valve cover and see if the timing belt is loose. If it is, tighten it up and see if the noise is still there. If it’s gone, put the correct oil in the engine and move on with your life. Much easier than messing with rod bearings.

          Good luck and keep us posted.


            It’s not likely that the rod bearings are noisy with a cold engine. They usually make noise when the engine is hot and the oil has thinned out. Check the timing belt for correct tension as Eric explained but I think it’s more that the piston clearance is excessive causing your knock. I would continue to drive it but just don’t beat on it when it’s cold.

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