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87 civic sedan idle/stalling problem

Discussion in 'Civic and CRX - EW' started by 87civvygal, Feb 21, 2008.

  1. 87civvygal

    87civvygal pre senior

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    hey everyone,
    i've been reading quite a bit lately here trying to figure out my civics problem.
    i have a 1987 carbuerated 1487cc civic sedan model. D15a2 engine, i think, i cancheck for sure... i got it for $200. 2 years ago. it had been wrecked and had front end damage. my dad and i fixed it with a donor car and it ran well for a while. the usual tune up stuff has been done. new cap, rotor, plugs, wires, filters, etc, valve adjustment, ....
    its my work car and i really need it. it runs fine except for idling. it either idles too low, or too high or not at all! i found a split in a vacumn hose and that helped with the erratic idle. but when i pull up to a stop light and push the clutch in, the engine immediately dies. it doens't do it all the time. it never dies when it is cold. i can let off the gas and coast tillthe last minute and the engine will run fine as the rpm's drop, but as soon as the clutch is pushed in, WHAM, engine dies! seems to be mostly when it is warmed up. i have a new coolant temp sensor i'm going to try tomorrow. i've also read where this could be an oxygen sensor problem. i could change this if i can get my old one out but how do u get it out? theres no room between it and the manifold cover to get a socket on it. is there a special tool just for this sensor? i've also squirted some carb cleaner into the air control valve and have carefully checked as many vacumn hoses as i can. i've checked the linkage and it seems to be okay. there does seem to be alot of corrosion that builds up on the positive battery cable. green crap. if that is related in any way. i've spent hours on this thing and about ready to give up. but i like this little car and it still gets good mileage. it runs perfect at every other speed but idle! and it always starts right back up easily after stalling. ggrr!i've never had such an intermittant problem. any ideas would be so appreciated!
     
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2008
  2. Celerity

    Celerity Well-Known Member

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    Hey


    an O2 sensor rarely, if ever, "goes bad". When the sensor isnt' working, then that means it is not returning a voltage of .05 to .19 to the ECU. Should this happen, you will get a Check Engine light, or "Sensor" light. (Or Lambda if you're in Canada)

    Speaking of location, are you at high altitude ?
     
  3. 87civvygal

    87civvygal pre senior

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    no check engine lights or sensor lights have come on. i did find the ecu. it is above the fuse box underneath the steering wheel. i haven't taken it out or popped thecover off cuz i'm not sure how to and not sure if it even shows codes on it.
     
  4. Celerity

    Celerity Well-Known Member

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    Nah, don't worry about it then. That "computer" does nothing more than tell you if the O2 sensor is giving voltage, and that there is no vacuum leak.

    That car is MISERABLE for vacuum leaks. but seeing how it's only occasionally, I'm not sure what to check. Could by EGR, but I'm not strong enough in that evaluation to tell you to buy a new one.

    Um.... Gimme more details. Weather, how it is in rain, what altitude you ARE at, what kind of gas you're using, does it stall with or without the headlights, does the electricity also go off,




    OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO OOOOOO holy shit ! You'll LOVE this !





    Do you have a lot of keys on your keychain ?
     
  5. 87civvygal

    87civvygal pre senior

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    altitude is about 50 feet. florida..... i run 87 in it. i've tried 93, no difference. the headlights stay on when it stalls.... a few times when i've washed it , i'll have trouble starting it. i do have an entire spare parts car. one year later model. some things match up, some things don't ... ask me how i know! :)
    would a fuel pump cause this problem? i don't know enough about them to know if they only pump fuel at idle or all the time or whenever...
    my coolant level is fine. i've bled the system.
    swapped gas caps too. i do get a whoosh when i open the gas cap. this stalling happens at any fuel level in the tank...
     
  6. Celerity

    Celerity Well-Known Member

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    ok, But I'm totally serious about the keys.

    If you have a dangly keychain (With two or more rings on it, basically) take all the keys off, and use the Civ key by itself.

    Tell me if it gets any better.

    A fuel pump could cause the problem, but it will cause the problem when you're just driving down the road too. It won't wait for the clutch to be activated before it dies.

    I'm signing off for the night, I'll be around tomorrow.
     
  7. 87civvygal

    87civvygal pre senior

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    alright. hey thanks. and good nite! i have only 1 key on the key ring but it has a built in thermometer on it so i can see how dang hot it is here!
     
  8. Celerity

    Celerity Well-Known Member

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    The weight of keys, or long keys that touch your legs can cause issues with this generation. Everything is perfect for excessive wear on the connector on the back.

    I don't even know where the fuel pump is on this car, but I think it's electric. There are a few ways to find out - of course, you can turn the key and listen for the sound, or just trace the fuel lines from the filter on the firewall. This pump rarely goes, it's low pressure and pretty reliable.

    Also, check to see if the cables on the carb are tout. The clutch cable comes pretty close. Check to see if the clutch cable is clipped in all the way (From the driver's firewall, through that beefy clip, around the engine to the arm on the transmission). If you're in an area that's low dust, I would also try to drive around without the air cleaner (But this is up to you, you CAN do damage if you suck in dirt from the engine bay or otherwise)

    Finally, with the car off, operate the carb with the cover off. See if the choke binds up, by working the throttle cable with your hands. If you see the butterfly closing slowly, or occasionally not at all, then it may be suspect. WD40 will do the trick.
     
  9. 87civvygal

    87civvygal pre senior

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    interesting about the keys. i thought u were pulling my leg! :)

    the fuel pump is right under the hood. very easy to get to. i don't hear it click when i turn the key. i'm just glad its not in the tank like some are.

    i will recheck the linkage and especially the clutch cable like usaid. i did have to tighten up and adjust the linkage a while back.
    i'm getting to be a pro at getting to the carbs!
    after work i did get the coolant temp .sensor changed. one of my prongs on the old one was busted off. maybe this was the problem. ha! i should be so lucky. but i'm getting ready to go grocery shopping and will test it tonite.
    woo hoo. friday nite grocery shopping! only cuz i am down to nothing..... and i'm hungry!

    thanks so much for all your help. i'll let u know later if things are better,.....
     
  10. Celerity

    Celerity Well-Known Member

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    Ok, because I'm really running out of ideas here.
     
  11. 87civvygal

    87civvygal pre senior

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    not much better. forthe first few minutes and few lights i thought it was fixed... then it started stalling again. then idled perfect down my dirt road and while i opened the gate....
    seems to not "catch" on "something" at around 900 rpm's when it stalls. when itdoesn't stall it drops to 900 and then drops a hairline below it then pops back to 900 to idle.
    iv;e got to look at the linkage again and while it is doing this and see what is going on. i'll get a friend or my dad to sit and do the gas pedal. i'd like to obseve what the linkage is doing when the rpm's drop like a dead weight and stalls...and waht it does when it doesn't stall out...
    do u know if there is a sensor responsible for keeping the idle from dropping like that? do sensors intermittantly work?
    i read in one of the questions from 2004 that stalling problems could be due to a leaky manifold gasket or throttle body gasket. i don't know how to replace either but that may be in the future.....
     
  12. D15Beater

    D15Beater HNFTuning

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    D15a2??? Has carbs...sounds like you have a carbuerator problem.Could be a vacumn leak though, that model has more vacumn lines than any other honda ive ever seen. You should google red pepper racing. My old crx was mpfi so i dont really know to much about the carbed version. I garantee youll find your answer over on that forum. Im 95% sure youll figure it out.

    Red Pepper Racing
     
  13. Celerity

    Celerity Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, I forgot about the RPR card.

    And yes, Check out the Vacuum routing in the manual. It's a big black blob with tentacles coming off it. It's ridiculous.
     
  14. 87civvygal

    87civvygal pre senior

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    i checked all the vacumn hoses. so many hoses, so little time! jeez. what was honda thinking? only found one hose that was suspect. i also checked out and read quite a bit on RPR. thanks d15beater. that was helpful too. i also found more info on hondacivicwagon.com , but not enough to help with the idle/stalling. i've bought a factory manual off ebay so i can'twait to get it and read. maybe some clues to the carb will be in there. i know chiltons or clymers really do not go into the carb much....
    thanks for all your help. i'll keep u posted on what happens.
    i'm also considering a different carb. thats a new thread now! :)
     
  15. 87civvygal

    87civvygal pre senior

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    bi checked all the vacumn hoses. so many hoses, so little time! jeez. what was honda thinking? only found one hose that was suspect. i also checked out and read quite a bit on RPR. thanks d15beater. that was helpful too. i also found more info on hondacivicwagon.com , but not enough to help with the idle/stalling. i've bought a factory manual off ebay so i can'twait to get it and read. maybe some clues to the carb will be in there. i know chiltons or clymers really do not go into the carb much....
    thanks for all your help. i'll keep u posted on what happens.
    i'm also considering a different carb. thats a new thread now! :)
     
  16. Celerity

    Celerity Well-Known Member

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    Different carb is a nightmare too. If you go with a different .... forget it, I'll post over there :)
     
  17. 87civvygal

    87civvygal pre senior

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    my civic isn't stalling anymore! :)now its decided to idle at 3-4k...... the only thing i did different was add some sea foam carb cleaner this am. i've driven about 35 miles. i can tap the accel pedal a few times and it will bump back down to 1000-1250 or so. when i push in the clutch to shift the engine races to 3-4 k.... something new! hey at least it is not stalling. now i'm not sure what to do!
    :eek:
     
  18. D15Beater

    D15Beater HNFTuning

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    try the idle screw on the side of the carb, has a spring on it, i going towards a vacumn leak though
     
  19. domorex86

    domorex86 New Member

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    im happy that this thread is up. im having a similar problem with my fuel injected si. at first it idled too high..2k rpm! i lowered it by loosening that screw. then it began too idle too low. so i raised it just a tad bit. it doesnt do it all the time. i do hear a funny rattling sound around where tank is.
     
  20. Celerity

    Celerity Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, that's because the throttle cable adjustments are TOUCHY.
     
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