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1990 D15B2 cuts out while running -anytime

Discussion in 'Civic and CRX - EF' started by SiliconDoc, Sep 11, 2009.

  1. SiliconDoc

    SiliconDoc Banned

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    I have a nasty dying problem in a stock 1990 LX Civic Sedan.

    Has been well maintained for life, 120,000 miles - water pump and timing belt has been replaced multiple times, new tires, brakes, exhaust, head gasket etc.
    Was on the highway last week and it died at 65mph - towed and started diagnosing:
    1. No spark, replaced distributor - spark now good - starts and runs but cuts out
    2. Tested Main Relay, no solder cracks, tests good on all posts
    3. ECU/ECM/Computer throwing NO CODES
    4. CEL comes on 2 secs, get proper relay clicks
    5. Replaced OLD fuel filter, idle is good
    6. All main grounds cleaned and good
    7. All fuses checked OK
    8. Plugs and Wires good
    9. New exhaust and muffler no leaks
    10. oil and filter changed twice to clean engine
    ----
    New parts awaiting install :
    1. coolant temp sensor ( sends to ECU for gas mixture control)
    2. O2 sensor (recently replaced)
    3. air filter (recently replaced)
    4. radiator fluid and flush
    5. other assorted items like NGK V-plugs
    ----
    Here is the cutting out issue:
    After new distributor install I travelled 120 miles without a problem, but BEFORE that trip I had the oil changed twice and put Chevron Techron Fuel System & Injector cleaner in the 20 yr old gastank. On the way back @ about 140 miles total, it cut out/died on the highway. It would restart in neutral rolling - and hitting key - OR by pumping the pedal without touching the key. So when I got back I changed the Fuel Filter.
    Yesterday I ran around and it cut out 3-4 times in 15 miles or so of short trips.
    When it cuts out, all electric is still going, dash, lights, radio, etc - while rolling I can shift to neutral and restart, and it will restart - hitting bumps doesn't seem to cause it - there are no rough running or other warning signs, uphill or downhill, turning or not- doesn't matter, and amount of time it takes is random - outside temp doesn't seem to matter, nor does heavy fog.
    Sometimes restarting requires a little cranking by trying more than once or turning key all the way to off, or so it seems - not certain because the restart can be within SECONDS of it dying - then it might run for miles with no problem. It doesn't bog down just dies, although other times I can feel it/hear it cut out, so I pump the gas pedal and that MIGHT keep it going or not, but IF it "recovers" it runs fine.
    ---
    I'd just like to say WT* !?
    --------------------
    edit: 1.5 liter PGM-FI
    Q. Does saying it's probably the ignition switch sound correct ?
    Q. Would it likely be a weak fuel pump ? I mean that seems like NOT to me.
    Q. Perhaps the timing is a bit off ? That couldn't cause this weird issue - more like an electrical short I would think.
    Q. I've seen some threads say bad gas on similar but I drove 120 miles on the same tank of gas before it went into goofy cutout mode.
     
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2009
  2. RoughKnight

    RoughKnight Christmas Car

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    I had a similar problem with my old engine, thats why I decided to swap it. Quick question, lets say your going 120 on the highway, or 65-70mph at low rpm. When u step on it, does it shudder and die? Or at any time when u SMASH the pedal down does it shudder and die?
     
  3. SiliconDoc

    SiliconDoc Banned

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    No, it picks up good, revs and goes when I smash the pedal. I just finished installing new plugs (NGK "V" tip) and I did notice on the #2 and #3 black wire posts that go into the valve cover there were some white spots on the tube part (the outside of the black posts toward the larger end that go onto the plugs) - I cleaned them then added a little die-electric, just in case they were grounding out but that's a long way for the spark to travel I'd expect them to short at the wider tip area that is much closer to the engine walls.
    Anyway the plugs all looked pretty good - nice light tan - of all four, #2 was a shade darker on the procelain inside the plug tip, but pretty good, just a bit of dry carbon on the outer ring of the plugs. There's a slight tick sometimes on start up I suppose that's #2 valve clearance - once I get it not dying, I'll do the vavle lash or whatever it's called.
    I was "doing" 120 miles, not mph - I don't think she does much more than 95.lol
    Anyway, yeah it picks up and doesn't bog down.
    Funny thing is though if I pump the pedal 3-4-5 times when she starts to die she'll perhaps not quit then I get a large RPM rev and she jerks and takes off - it will "stay running" then wether I do that at highway speed or in town, even at start up idle, etc.
    So I kind of thought it might be fuel pressure....but...
    Perhaps it's one of those sensors or a valvy moving thing on the "carb" under the PGM-FI cover ? I've never had that off I, was reading about something not sure Idle Air Control Valve or such under there..?
    I don't have the timing exactly correct probably but it's close just took the center of the 10% distributor swing so it's probably off less than 5% if any- I can't see any mark on the flywheel pulley - even had the oil change guys look from underneath - anyway I guess up on the ramps then pull the shields and try to locate the dang marks - already had a timing light on it a couple times and just can't see em.
    Not sure if any of that helps - but to answer again what you asked - no it goes when I step on it, it moves right along. Weird, huh. Then slow or fast, high or low rpms, it just "cuts out" whenever. It's gotta be a short doesn't it ? Man, I don't know I guess the computer could do it somehow but there are no codes.
     
  4. RoughKnight

    RoughKnight Christmas Car

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    Can u point out certain conditions that are common? I.e. 4minutes into the drive, after it warms up

    does it throw a cel when it stalls?
     
  5. SiliconDoc

    SiliconDoc Banned

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    Nope, no CEL when it stalls (wait, no codes from ECU- I assume the check engine light lights up, but it doesn't stay lit), and as far as 4 mins into the drive - well I suppose I could say it takes about that to do it - but ya never know... I want to say "only when warm" but then it only does it every 10 or 15 or 1 or 3 or 1/2 mile - once cold on start yesterday = was def the condition because I had to crank 5 times to get going - reverse stall...
    Yeah so components warmed - no don't seem to need to be.
     
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2009
  6. reikoshea

    reikoshea HS Troll...And Mod Moderator VIP

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    im thinking its one of two things fuel injector clog or your fuel pump is starting to take a shit. had a suburban do the same thing on me replaced the fuel pump and voila. There was much rejoicing. Even if you hear the pump kick on you really dont know if you're getting good pressure.

    Prelude had a similar issue as well, and that was the main relay. The relay even looked good, but since i had replaced everything else, i replaced that too and it started working a lot better after that.

    have you let the car idle for a 10-15 mintues and see if dies just idling in the driveway?
     
  7. SiliconDoc

    SiliconDoc Banned

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    What would that tell me ?
     
  8. reikoshea

    reikoshea HS Troll...And Mod Moderator VIP

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    well im curious if it only dies with the engine under load. my initial response is the fuel pump, but if it's the fuel pump it'll die while idling and not under load. if it's the dizzy or the coil (can't remember if the d15b2 has an external or internal coil) it likely wont die until it's under load.
     
  9. SiliconDoc

    SiliconDoc Banned

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    No it will die load or no load, and the dizzy is new - so it sure had better not be that. I went on an errand (3/4ths of a mile) and it died going up a slight hill in the parking lot at 15mph. Restarted right away 3 times, died 3 times, 4th time it started as well and ran and I parked.
    Coming back it ran fine without a hitch, I even floored the pedal around a corner and took it up to 30mph floored, it responded well.

    edit: The dizzy has the coil inside, and the ignitor - and the 4 metal vanes and the "pickup" ( since I tested the old dizzy-coil and igniter tested good, I assume it was the "pick up" / there was no spark and replacing the whole dizzy got me spark/ - and having looked at it closely, it appeared the dizzy bearings wore and the 4 vanes started hitting the pickup and buzzed some very fine metal dust off themselves or the pickup and killed it. That part is not available for the dizzy as a replacement.)
     
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2009
  10. reikoshea

    reikoshea HS Troll...And Mod Moderator VIP

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    My gut tells me fuel pump. but i wont guarantee it.
     
  11. SiliconDoc

    SiliconDoc Banned

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    Hmm, ok, well since I added that Chevron Techron Fuel System & injector Cleaner on this tank of gas - I'm thinking maybe it has or is sending the gastank gum and junk through - that would explain you think... having added it then taken right away the 120 mile trip each way where it didn't give me trouble till I was coming back (after the car sat for ~6-8 hours) - perhaps the additive worked the gum loose then it started this low pressure dying thing ... maybe the crap is liquified in the gasoline that is in it and it's hammering the fuel pump - and if I drain her down good and run some more through... it might clear it up ? Could be a combo of the gum and gunk ? I know that stuff is supposed to make it better - but it is an older car, I've never run fuel SYSTEM cleaner in it before.
    What do you think, am I hoping for a change that likely won't come ? ;-)
     
  12. reikoshea

    reikoshea HS Troll...And Mod Moderator VIP

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    you never know. might try to completely drain the tank and then refuel and see how that works. cheaper than a fuel pump and it might help you determine if you really want to replace the fuel pump.
     
  13. RoughKnight

    RoughKnight Christmas Car

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    Nope, sounds like me like the main relay. Its the reason why I did the d15b swap lol i didnt' wanna pay the 70 bucks ahhahhaha

    Try it out, it should solve all your problems.
     
  14. gabe74gt

    gabe74gt New Member

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    This is a good thread. Thanks for more info.
     
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