I've recently been doing some work on a 1998 Honda CR-V, with a b-series engine. This vehicle had a burned exhaust valve, which I've replaced.

After doing a rebuild and reinstalling everything, I'm hearing a lot of clatter from the engine; I've posted a recording of the sound here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=64znW-20Dxo

I know these engines have a reputation for being noisy, but I'm not sure if this sound is just normal valve clatter, or something else--in particular, I want to make sure that I don't have piston/valve contact. I've set the timing, and adjusted the valve lash when I put everything back together. Compression test shows 184, 174, 174, 179 dry.

One thing I noticed is that someone marked the cam gears with a paint pen, a few degrees from the "normal" etched TDC marks. When I put the timing belt on and set the timing, I used the etched marks. Is it possible for the cam gears to be out of alignment? I left them attached to the cams the entire time.

Any suggestions or opinions?


EDIT: I should also add: The sound doesn't appear to be isolated to a single cylinder; pulling the plug wires one at a time doesn't change anything.

EDIT 2: I can pull the plugs and rotate the crank manually through multiple revolutions--there is a point in the rotation where there is a very slight amount of resistance, which I assume is just due to compression. I don't know what piston to valve contact would feel like, would I know it right away, rotating the crank by hand?

  • Welcome to Motor Vehicle Maintenance & Repair! I'm not sure if the B series engine uses shims to gap the valve train. This might be an area of concern. Also, if you didn't realign the timing belt correctly, this could definitely be something of a concern also. – Pᴀᴜʟsᴛᴇʀ2 Oct 20 '18 at 13:25
  • No shims on these engines, and I believe the timing is set correctly, according to the markers on the cam gears and crank pulley. Checked with a timing light and things are lined up near perfectly. – lobsteropteryx Oct 20 '18 at 13:31
  • Not to nitpick your comment, but with timing, either it is set perfectly or it's off. There really is no "near" in the equation. Even one tooth off would be enough to cause valve train noise. – Pᴀᴜʟsᴛᴇʀ2 Oct 20 '18 at 13:32
  • Probably I was being unclear--if I manually rotate the crank to TDC, the crank TDC mark lines up exactly, as do the cam markers. When I said "near perfect", I was talking about adjusting the distributor/ignition timing with a light. I'm wondering if it's possible for the cam markers to be wrong--like if someone removed the sprockets and rotated them a couple degrees, then put them back on. – lobsteropteryx Oct 20 '18 at 14:01
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    The cam gears should be keyed in some way so it'd be impossible to if they were. It could be possible to switch the gears side to side or a gear from a different year was installed. If you're feeling resistance with the all the plugs out, it's not compression. If you're getting noise you need to re-inspect your work. You might want to hook up a vacuum gauge and see what it's doing. – Ben Oct 20 '18 at 15:37

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