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K24Z3 Questions, stripped valve cover bolts advice

763 Views 28 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  Brotatochip
Forgive my noobness, I am new to this level of auto repair but I am trying to learn. I have a 08 accord EXL and decided to open my valve cover recently to do some inspection of the engine as I bought it recently. I checked timing and see if I have the updated VTC actuator (I have startup rattle). Turns out my timing chain tensioner is fucked, with something in it broken. Gonna replace it with a new oem part. Timing is slightly off, cam tdc has crank about half an inch off of tdc.When I was putting it back together, I rushed a little because I needed the car soon and stripped 2 valve cover when trying to torque it down (was tightening each one slightly going around all 6 bolts and didnt realise 2 were spinning).

So my questions are: Can I time the engine by setting cam TDC, taking timing chain off cam, setting crank to TDC, put chain back on cam, place in new tensioner, turning crank a few times to verify timing, readjust if wrong. I realise it likely wouldnt be perfect but would be better than what its like currently? I would also like to avoid taking off the timing cover if I can...

Another question is do i need to take off the cams down to the cylinder head in order to helicoil the threads? I tried looking up someone doing it on this engine and couldnt find basically any information. But it seems like it goes: remove camshaft bolts, take off both the top and bottom camshaft assembly, helicoil threads on cylinder head, reinstall camshaft assembly, then im good?

Let me know if these plans are wrong, again sorry for my noobness.
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Are the threads on the top of the post spinning or the ones in the head? I’ve had the first one happen a few times but not the second one. As for timing, I’ve not been able to make any timing adjustments without removing the timing cover, nor would I recommend trying since you may break more things in the process (which I have done).

in order to helicoil you need to remove the cam towers; I can’t in good conscience tell you to do otherwise. Would hate to see you mess anything else up by trying to do it the “easy” way (ask me how I know)
I actually havent checked if its the head or the post thats spinning. Could it be that the post has broken off underneath the valve cover but not in the head? I felt slight resistance when turning it so Id assume it was the head. I decided to not open it up again until I get the parts to replace everything so I can do it all at once. When I remove the cam towers, it seems pretty straight forward. Do I put rtv under the rocker assembly on the opposite side of the vtc?

About the timing, how could it break something? Not trying to challenge you, but is it just like a dont ask just do thing? I just see it as like its only like a half an inch of ccw rotation so like whats the worst that could happen as long as I verify timing a few times?

Thanks for the quick response!
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It's almost certainly not stripped in the head. Those bolts are much larger than the little 6 mm threads on the end for the valve cover. Pull the valve cover and replace the bolt with a new one, good as new.

How many miles are on this? You sure the timing chain hasn't stretched causing it to jump time? Might not be a bad tensioner.
Ok, will check the bolts when I open it up next. Not sure about chain stretch, and not really too sure how to check for that other than taking it off… but yes the tensioner is bad I believe. The lever that is supposed to face down is almost vertically up. Added pic for more context
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If you want a healthy engine you should pull the cover and do a full timing job. If your tensioner is bad you should check the chain AND the guides make sure there’s not a ton of wear. Do it once and have the that piece of mind that you’re not gonna have other issues. You can find cheep kits if it’s a beater and you don’t wanna spend the like 500$ on OEM parts
Looked up how to do the job, doesnt seem too bad, think im gonna do it. It just seems pretty time intensive and a bit intimidating cause I've never done something this involved with a car before. Guess theres a first for everything.
This would be a good indicator of chain stretch. I once had a '07 Accord with 280k miles on it (mostly highway). It jumped time and bent valves. The chain had stretched so much over time the tensioner could no longer keep it tight. The stretching was actually causing it to eat through part of the chain case.
It has 145k miles on it. Would like the car to last to 200k
That's not enough to have severe chain stretch in my opinion. Could be a failed tensioner as you mentioned.

What does that have to do with this thread?
Still just gonna replace it anyways and be good for another 100k miles, since I’ll need to take the cover off to time it again anyways
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So, I have another question on the stripped cover bolts. Pretty sure it’s just the nut and top of the bolt that’s stripped, but I can’t get the damn nut off it just endlessly spins. I managed to get one of the infinite spinners off but the other one just won’t move. Can’t even get a screwdriver under it to pry it up, and pressing up on the metal part of the gasket also isn’t working. How the fuck do I get this off? Doesn’t help that it’s the back left one which is harder to reach. I’m debating just bringing by it to a shop and having them do everything but I’m already pretty invested into buying the tools.
Got it off and replaced the bolts and nuts. Found a random drill bit on the car floor from the previous owner and used it and a screwdriver + hammer to absolutely obliterate the cap nut till it fell off. Thanks for all the help everyone :)
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