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The crazy thing doesn't run

Discussion in 'Civic and CRX - EF' started by stinky, Jan 1, 2011.

  1. stinky

    stinky New Member

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    I've got a '90 Civic and it died on my daughter the other day (about a week ago). I go get her and tow it home. At the break down spot, I check it and it has spark and appears to be getting fuel to the fuel rail. When I get it home...then next day it runs. It idles and sounds more or less fine. But, if you try to rev it, it dies and once it warms up it won't run either. Now, if you go behind it and listen to the exhaust, it sounds, and feels uneven, like it is missing.

    Now, I posted on a Chevy forum...the thread below. I get a response back that it is the main relay. I order a new relay, and it starts up, w/the old one. I blip the throttle and it revs like a Ferrari (when it is cold, and it was cold, 14 degrees). But, if you hold it down, it will die. If you hit it and the immediately release the throttle, it will rev and then go back to an idle. I switch the relays, and it does the same exact thing.

    I let it idle and check the spark, the spark seems fine. But, on the driver's end of the motor, the spark seems to pulse unevenly (I'm using a spark test light), but this could be caused by and uneven idle. Also, the driver's side of the car, end of the motor doesn't appear to be running as strong as the other end. When you pull a plug wire, the distributer end looses more RPM. Later on, it is starting to warm up a bit, and the idle goes down, and it doesn't run as good. Then, I try to rev it up and it dies. It won't restart, and right now, it is about zero out and I just followed the directions to test the relay (turn the key to on and it clicks, when the check engine light goes out it clicks, and then when you turn it to crank it clicks).

    So, I'm thinking that the FI is giving it a rich enough mixture, because it is so cold and once it warms a bit, it leans out and won't run.

    I'll check it for trouble codes tomorrow. I just found my manual. Also, the thread below was posted in August. It died on my daughter about 12/10-15, and in between it ran like a champ.

    What does yuh think is wrong w/the beast?

    08-13-10 09:32 AM - Post#1960433
    ON my '90 Civic, at times it doesn't start. So far, it has done it 3X in about 6 months.

    The first time, I drove it for 30 minutes, it sat for about 2 hours, and wouldn't start, we popped the hood, messed w/stuff, not really doing anything and 20 miuntes later it ran for a month.

    It did it to my daughter when she went into the gorcery store, and shortly afterwards, it ran for a month.

    It died on my wife in an intersection, shortly afterwards, it ran for a month.

    My kids left the lights on the other day...and I jumped it and then it wouldn't hardly start. Then, I shut it off, and went to re-start it, and it woulnd't hardly start...I mean I cranked it for 10 seconds, several times before it started. I shut it off, same thing, wouldn't hardly start. I drove it out of town, 400 miles, and it got 36 mpg.

    So, I'm thinking, that there was something wrong w/the spark when I jumped it (weak).
     
  2. hondafreak513

    hondafreak513 New Member

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    Sounds like its the ICM (Ignition Control Module) or the coil.
     
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  3. 95b16coupe

    95b16coupe New Member

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    I think it's an ignition problem too. I would start with checking stuff that doesn't cost anything to test. Check the timing and battery. When did you last do a tune up on it?
     
  4. dilbeckskate

    dilbeckskate infamous

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    I think its the ICM, and check your points
     
  5. stinky

    stinky New Member

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    Well, I took 95b's advice...I started looking at basic tune-up kinda stuff. I'd already pulled a plug and it looked fine. Then I looked inside the cap, then the rotor...which fell off in my hand.

    The rotor's retaining screw was gone. So, I went to the hardware store and got a M4 .7 screw...which matched the thread that I'd figured out by using another screw, off of the coil.

    Now, I talked to the guy that I got the car from. He just gave the beast a tune-up (which I sorta remembered and the cap, rotor, wires and plugs looked the part). He said that when he did the tune-up that the rotor was also missing the screw...and that he lock-tited the screw in place when he installed it.

    I did the same...more or less I tried superglue. One of my gun buddies says that it works for that, as a very strong lock-tite we'll see.

    I put the new relay on, and put the old one in the glove-box. I'm a thinking that I had 2 problems, hopefully the other one is related to the FP relay.
     
  6. hondafreak513

    hondafreak513 New Member

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    DON"T START IT take the distributor off and find that screw.. There are magnetic parts in side there and if that screw gets in the way you will have to replace the whole dizzy.
     
  7. stinky

    stinky New Member

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    Welllll, I looked in there for the screw and didn't see it. The angle of perspective stinks, but I was hoping to find it in order to re-use it.

    But, maybe you are correct, as my daughter drove it this am to college. I got a call, she was about 5 miles up the road and it died. She tried to re-start it and nothing.

    At about 9:30 or so, we'll go get it. It aught to be a pleasant experience. It was about 10 degrees this am when it died, and it won't be much warmer tonight when we get there.

    I'll post w/the results...
     
  8. stinky

    stinky New Member

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    I just got back. I put the cables on it ...instant light, she left the headlights on. No wonder it didn't crank very long, at 10 degrees, and it started in 3 secs or less. I looked high and low, and could not find a screw in the cap or hiding w/in the magnetic PUs. I'm assuming that wherever it was, that it fell out when I pulled it the last time.

    I drove it to town, another 5 miles or so, put 8 gals in it...started it twice, in what sounds like 3 revolutions of the crank (instantly) and came home and it did the same here.

    Still, why did it die and why didn't it restart?
     
  9. stinky

    stinky New Member

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    Well, this morning it won't start/crank. I figured that the bat was done, as the above deal makes at least the 3rd time that my daughter has left the lights on all day. I take it to Autozone and they charge it, it comes back nice and warm, w/a bill of good health. I install it and it cranks like crazy and fires up immediately.

    Then, I pull off the neg and lightly scrap it on the post...guess what, a spark. I have my daughter do the same and pull all of the fuses. I get to the heater fuse and when I pull it, almost all of the spark goes away. BTW, the farthest one to the right and on the top...last one to check. (about a month or two ago, it stopped working and the fuse was cold (as in not hot, no juice) I wired it straight from the main panel under the hood...but it is hot all the time, not keyed). So, I think that there is something wrong w/the relay, or something. At any rate, there is a short in the heater circuit...in technical terms, that circuit is messed up. I pulled the fuse and we'll see how it cranks tomorrow. The door was originally open. It was closed when I did the last check and it still had a teeny spark. I doubt that you would be able to see it in the day. The radio pulls juice constantly, and I don't know what else does. Hopefully that has solved it.
     
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