B20 STUFF (THE SAGA OF MY FAMILY’S ’99 CRV) PART 4

B20 STUFF (THE SAGA OF MY FAMILY’S ’99 CRV) PART 4

Things have been pretty busy for me lately with all the projects i’m working on, (CRV, my brothers K swap civic, tinkering with my K swap civic, and trying to get all the parts ready for the B16 swap into my 4 door) but the CRV has priority since my dad needs to have a daily driver. I’ve been able to have his CRV for so long, since my Sister was in  Australia (where her fiance lives) for about 5 weeks and during that time my dad was able to use her car. Now though, she is back in the greatest country in the world (U.S.A) and my dad needs to giver her back the car. I’m usually only able to work on the CRV two days a week which are my days off, because of that it has made this simple project drag on for what feels like an eternity. As of now my Dad was able to secure another mode of transport that he will be able to use for a few more weeks while I finish off his car.

On the last post (part 3) I talked about prepping the new JDM B20b motor, installing all the new OEM parts, and what parts needed to be changed over from the blown USDM B20z. you can read all about that by clicking the link below

https://functiontheory.com/2020/01/b20-stuff-the-saga-of-my-familys-99-crv-part-3/

And, if you’re still interested in reading more you can check out the links below to part 2 and part 1.

B20 Stuff (the saga of my family’s 99 Honda CRV) Part 2

B20 stuff (the saga of my family’s ’99 CR-V) Part 1

In this post i’ll be talking about putting the motor back in the car, getting it running, and what problems I ran into.

Here’s where we last left off. The engine was all loaded in to the truck and ready to be transported back over to Ever’s house where the CRV was. Unfortunately, Ever’s garage is completely full of motorsports, so I couldn’t just drop the motor off at his house. This meant I had to drive around with the motor in the back of the truck for almost a week, until my day off when I would have time to drop the motor in the CRV.

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Once at Ever’s I got the new OEM motor mounts ready.

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and began to drop the motor in.

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But once I had dropped the motor in, after lining up the motor mounts I noticed that the motor was sitting at an angle leaning towards the left side of the car. As it turns out I needed to swap out the post mount from the JDM motor and use the USDM post from the old motor. I’m assuming this is because the motor sits lower in the engine bay on B20’s that have the “giraffe” style intake manifold.

This was a bummer because it meant that I would have to remove the lower timing cover to access the bolts on the post mount. I was even more frustrated because this meant I would have to pull the motor back out to be able to remove the crank pulley so the lower timing cover could come off.

I removed all three main motor mount bolts and began to take the motor backout. As I began to crank the leveler to make the engine at a slight angle so it would slide out of the bay (a must with an auto trans, unless you drop the motor out the bottom) I noticed that I would almost get away with just angling the motor a little more to gain enough clearance to remove the crank pulley.

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Luckily I was able to get the lower timing cover off without having to remove the upper cover, otherwise I would have had to remove the valve cover which meant that I would have to reseal it all back up when I put the valve cover back on.

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You can see how I was able to fandangle the engine just enough to slide the crank pulley off. If there had been a radiator I wouldn’t have been able to get the engine in the correct position to allow me to remove the pulley. (yes you can remove the pulley off once the engine is sitting in the bay. But I would have had to jack up the car to gain access to the crank bolt through the wheel well. However because I had the engine hoist still holding the engine up I couldn’t get the jack in front of the car, and because I was on an angle driveway I didn’t want to jack up the side of the car)

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Below you can see the difference between the two post mounts. The one on the left is the JDM B20 one (giraffe style intake manifold). The one on the right was the USDM B20 one that I needed to use.

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That’s much better, see how it sits level now (I didn’t manage to take a picture of it crooked because I was so frustrated that it wasn’t sitting level) Because I put the motor together at my house, I had the old motor at my house too. This meant that I had to drive back to my house to pick up the post mount from the USDM motor, the drive back to Ever’s to complete the installation.

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That’s how I left it for the evening. I would continue reinstalling, and connecting everything the next day.

Here are some more parts that I would be installing today. The part on the left is a new hood release cable. Previously he had broken his and was using small vise grips clamped on to the remaining cable inside the car. This was way to janky for me, in fact it was downright embarrassing.

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Here’s how it looked the next morning.

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New hood latch installed. I know it doesn’t look like much, but just imagine before there was small vise grips there. To install the hood release cable you will need to unbolt the hood latch from the core support and disconnect the cable. Next you will either have to remove the fender, or just take out the fender liner to access the clips that hold the cable. In the car, you will need to remove the dead pedal to be able to remove the plastic that covers the bolts that hold the cable release to the car. Once it’s all loose you’ll need to pull the cable through the cabin. Then just reinstall in reverse order.

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When I was first pulling the old engine out I snapped the rusted bolt that held the radiator stay on. The best way I could think to fix it was to drill it out and use a nutsert tool. For those that don’t know, a nutsert tool is the most amazing toll you’ll ever use.

See just to the right of the rubber hood stop, the bolt is snapped.

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Now you can see the nutsert. Basically it is a threaded “rivet” that allows me to use an oem bolt.

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Next I prepped the A/C bracket. This thing was super filthy before I cleaned it. Below you can see what some simple green, a nylon brush, and some elbow grease can do.  Now it looks almost brand new. (I even cleaned bolts too) I did this to the trans vibration bracket too, but I forgot to take pictures. (It to came out just as clean)

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Next thing was replace the old fuel filter with the new OEM one. To remove the old filter, put a wrench on the bottom of the fuel filter that is machined like a nut. (it’s a 17mm)

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Then put another wrench (14mm) on the hardline nut. Use the 17mm wrench to hold the fuel filter steady not letting it turn, while loosening (rotating) the 14mm nut on the hard line.

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Once you have broken it free, you can take a 10mm socket and loosen the X1 bolt holding the filter bracket tight.

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Once the X1 10mm bolt is removed you can now remove the bracket that wraps around the filter. Once the bracket is removed, you can manually loosen the 14mm hard line nut and pull the filter off. (fuel will leak out. this car hadn’t been started in over two months and it still leaked fuel)

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To put the new filter on just reverse the order of removal. The new filter will come with new crush washers that you should use to prevent any possibilities of leaks.

Below you can see the orientation of how the crush washers go. one on the bottom of the banjo fitting, and the other on top of the banjo fitting. Make sure you don’t leave the old washers on there, or it will most likely leak.

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Next it was time to put in the new spark plugs.

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Use the spark plug wire to conveniently remove the spark plug.

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Next you’ll run the wire harness back through the hole in the firewall and reinstall the battery. Connect the power steering high pressure line to the pump but don’t connect the reservoir yet because you will need the space to access reinstalling the A/C pump, and all the belts.

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You can see how the A/C pump is on now too.

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I also painted the header heat shield to make it look cleaner.

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The next issue I ran into that was causing me much frustration was putting the belts back on all the accessories. I had to make a few trips to the parts store to ensure I got the correct sizes because I was having the hardest time getting the belts on the crank pulley. As it turns out, the JDM crank pulley is slightly larger in diameter than the USDM pulley.  So again, I had to drive back to my house and get the USDM pulley.

It’s hard to tell, but the JDM B20 pulley (on the left) is larger than the USDM B20 one (on the right) This meant that once again, I had to remove the pulley. However it was much easier this time since I was able to access the crank bolt from the side of the wheel well. The pulley comes off without having to remove anything, and it clears the frame rail only just.

Here’s everything all reassembled.

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While the motor was out I deep cleaned the bay, and everything I put back in or on the bay got cleaned as well. (mostly just used simple green and a nylon brush to scrub everything before reinstalling) When I went to start the motor for the first time, it started right up with not one single issue. Again this is why I can’t stress enough why you should always buy your swap from H motors. Obviously before starting it make sure you have put all the fluids in (oil, ATF, and coolant) A completely dry auto B20 trans takes 6.2 quarts of ATF, but don’t forget that we put 1 quart in the torque converter before bolting the trans to the engine. This means that you will only need 5.2 quarts to fill it. The way Honda suggest checking the fluid level is to warm up the engine to full operating temp (when the fan kicks on) then leave the car in park, and on a level surface pull the dipstick and read the markings. Once I had driven the car about 50 miles I did a trans “flush,” which is just draining the fluid from the drain plug on the trans (bolt on the bottom of the trans under the car that a 4 sided socket fit’s in) This will only drain 3 quarts out, then replace with 3 quarts of new ATF (only use OEM Honda ATF) there is no filters or anything to change. Just simply remove the drain plug, drain, reinstall the drain plug when it stops dripping, then fill through the trans dipstick.(it’s easier than changing your engine oil)

Another issue I ran into, the hose coming from the heater core to the engine was leaking slightly so I had to replace that with a new one. I would not recommend doing this while the engine is in because its super frustrating, you should just do it while the engines out.

I’ve been driving the car now for almost a week, put about 250 miles on it, and everything is working perfectly. Now that it’s all back together and running it’s time to turn my focus on the aesthetics. I will be refinishing the headlights, detailing the paint, doing new brakes all around, putting new OEM wheels on, and fresh new tires. Hopefully the next blog post will be the final part to the series, and the car will look 10x better than when I got it.

I also replaced the radiator with an OEM style koyo (as much as i’m an OEM freak, I couldn’t justify the 400 bucks for a new OEM one.)

As the car sits, i’m so excited with how well it all works. It’s such a gratifying feeling to know that just a few weeks ago I towed this car to Vegas, it had a snapped timing belt and didn’t run (obviously). Now here it is all put back together running like a champ. Another thing that’s amazing is that H motors sells the auto trans for only 99 bucks, and it works better than the “rebuilt” one that was previously in the car.

I hope you’ve been enjoying the series so far, and that you have been able to learn some things. I also hope that I have inspired you to get out and start your own project so you can feel how good it feels when you’ve completed it. As always thanks so much for reading, and if you like what i’m doing don’t hesitate to share, like, or comment. Email Billy@functiontheory.com, Instagram @Functiontheory, or just comment on the post below. I would love to hear from you!

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