starting problems

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Junior Member
I just completed swapping a d16 from my 89 crx si into an 88 dx hb. evrything was fine for about a week but today on my way home the car sterted surging like maybe i had some trash in the fuel or something and then it died all togeather and it wont start.

when i got it home and looked closer at the motor my #1 plug was out about 3 complete rotations. I pulled all 4 plugs and replaced them then reinstalled and still have nothing. it spinns over fine just actslike its getting no fire. As soon as i get a lil daylight tomorrow i'm going to check to see if i'm getting fire to my plugs. my question is if i'm not getting fire to the plugs what do i check next or does anyone have any other suggestions? :worthy:
Just think about what you engine needs to run. If your not getting spark, figure out why. If you are getting spark then are you getting fuel? I f you turn over the engine without a plug in, you will get a blast of air and hopefully fuel.

If your not getting any spark..

1. Make sure the plug gap is correct ( this might give you a weak spark )
2. Check your plug wires for cracks or anything that might ground out the charge
3. Check your distributor cap for crack and the rotor for corrosion, signs of excessive arching and other stuff that doesnt look like it should be there.

I helped someone with his van cause it wouldnt start and there was a leaf in the distributor cap :blink:

4. If that doesnt work, somethings wrong with the coils or something deep down inside the distributor, i dont know much at all about honda ignition

if your not getting any fuel, usually the fuel pump is dead. loosen the service bolt on the fuel filter and turn on the key and see if fuel pisses out everywhere. That means your fuel pump works :D .

If your fuel pump isnt working :( check the fuel pump fuse. If its okay then you have to go prodding around at the fuel pump itself. Its under the back seat under a cover on to of the fuel tank.

Good luck
check the distributor. take the cap off- and make sure that pin thing is screwed in. Jeff's feel off his 4th gen, my buddy jeremy's fell of his crx a couple times as well. so its a pretty common problem, and an easy fix as well. thats where i would start.
It is also possible ,if your getting fuel and spark,we know you have compression because it was running fine,that your timing belt tensioner was a little loose and your timing went out.Check fuel and fire then check timimg.
I was returning a date home one night in the Sol and the same problem happened to me. it actually died in the middle of an intersection! :eek: so i finally got it home and took a look at it and my distributor seal was not set right. someof the gasket was hanging from the bottom of it. what had happened is it rained that night hard, the water seeped through the bottom into the cap and acted as a the sparks were going to the water, not the plugs. check (especially if you just changed the cap and rotor) the distributor to make sure the seal is on correct and the inside of your cap is dry and clean.
it could also be your coil....try getting a new coil if all else fails. if there is nothing wrong with your coil, you can always return it for your money back
Test the parts with a multi meter instead of spending the time and money,buying and returning stuff you don't need.Smarter not harder.Checking for moisture in the cap is a good idea though.
Ok i tested and i'm not getting fire to the plug so i pulled off the cap and it had a small amout of moisture in the cap. I'm dont have a multi meter and i'm about 20 min from a parts store and all i have is the BROKEN civic and a jeep that my roommate sunk in the mud for me last night so can i take the coil out of my old dx motor and put it in the si?

And if not how do i check a coil?
ok thanx again to all your help another honda is back on the road. I changed the coil off of my dx motor and it fired right up. went ahead and gave it new plugs,wires,cap and rotor also. well thanx again. Maybe one day after getting all this help from you i might be able to help someone myself...
Well i guess i spoke to soon because the car is doing the same thing again.

The car is surging(you feel it most when in 5th gear) and is idleing very low. I rotated the distributor to make the car idle higher and it did but now after driving it about 20 miles it didnt want to start back up when i turned it off and its idleing very low again.

Also the case on my distributor is VERY hott. any ideas???
Would you say it is hotter than it should be after being next to your motor running for 20 miles?Like I said before check your timing belt tensioner,maybe it is slipping.I don't think it would be going in and out so much that it would be doing this,but if you have fire,fuel,and compression,I don't know.Also if you were advancing your distributor maybe something is outta whack in there now.
i'm not sure if it means anything but when i connected the si distributor to the dx harness there were 2 white wires would it be doing something like this if i had the crossed or would it not be running at all??

the distributor is hotter than i think it should be but i dont think its any hotter than the valve cover.
I would think if the wires were crossed it would not display different symptoms,one or the other.Of course I don't know what those wires are,so it is impossible to say.Do you have a manual for the motor,I so check the wiring diagrams and see what they are.
i just mentioned the wires because i wasn't sure but the car ran fine for about a week so i don't think that was the problem. I have a haynes repair manual but its not much in the wiring department.

The only 2 white wires i see on the diagram that the book gives me says that the two white wires are the cylinder position sensor and the o2 sensor. i'm not sure if thats right but i'm going to keep looking through this manual and see what i can fugure out.
I've talked to a few people here and they are stumped,if you have all the elements for it to run,I don;t know what to tell ya.Do you have constant spark or only when you changed the coil?
the old coil was totally dead and had no spark when i changed the coil the car fired right up and ran fine for awhile but then started messing up again.
no all the plugs are firing and the car runs just wont idle very well and has a major hesitation. car almost dies when you pat the gas. I was thinking maybe the fuel filter is getting stopped up b/c the car was sitting for who knows how long and the gas was prolly pretty old.
Clean the fuel system,change the filter and check your timing.