I've had another poorly Civic bought to me. This one has like a heavy tappetty sound to it, which initially I diagnosed as either valve clearance issue or some other valve train issue. Owner thought it was bottom end, but when I was listening to the engine using a stethoscope it sounded like it was coming from top of number 1 chamber. So my advice was that the only way to check the issue out was to first have a go at setting valve clearances and if that doesn't work start stripping down the engine. So we got the car in started working on it and we can see that the car as been worked on already. We get down to checking the valve clearances and we find that they is practically no clearance been set at all, ie its zero. Your suppose to do valve clearances on a K series engine only when its stone cold, so I don't know if someone did them when engine was hot or they just set them to zero due to lack of knowledge. Clearances for K20A2 are : Intake - 0.21 to 0.25mm Exhaust - 0.25 to 0.29mm With the valve clearances set correctly, we start the engine and can hear a marked improvement of like 25% less tappety noise then there was before. As the issue was still present we were left with no choice but to start to stripping the engine. Still suspecting a top end issue we started stripping engine in situ (as opposed to pulling engine out of car). Time for some pics :- We made way more progress than this but I've got to shoot now, I'll update the thread in the evening.