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Old 10-15-2018, 12:28 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Engine not running right

I did a mpfi/obd1 conversion and swapped a z6 into my 90 civic wagon and the car runs but it just doesn't seem like its running right. Vtec doesnt engage and its a dog. I would figure like a 7-8 second 0-60 but raced my friends impala which is about a 9 second 0-60 and lost. It wasnt even close.

On the mpfi writeup, it says "You'll have to cut and move the wire that goes to pin C1(orange) over to pin B10, and move the wire from pin C2(white) over to pin B12. Don't get these two mixed up or else the ignition timing will be severly retarded.". Im not sure if I put them in the right spot or not, but if I didnt and it was "severly retarded", would it still run? And If i did do it right and switched them, would it break anything or?

If its not that, what else could I look into? The distributor I have, I had to convert to an obd2 plug(Thats all I had). Could mixing up one of them wires cause it to run poorly?

Also one last thing. I also put a new trans in when I put the engine in. The case was crack where the axles go from the previous owner not being nice when he removed them. So I just put the gears in my old case. The gears and synchros all looked good. Got it installed but the gears are really tight. Have to wiggle it around in neutral sometimes just to get it to take first. And to get it into reverse, you have to slam it in real hard. Same to get it out of reverse. Could this just be a linkage issue or internal?
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Old 10-15-2018, 01:50 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Just throw on a timing light and see?
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Old 10-15-2018, 02:42 PM   #3 (permalink)
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That is something i dont have
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Old 10-16-2018, 02:12 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Check mechanical base engine timing (cam to crankshaft). There is nothing that can be done electronically if mechanical timing is out of whack. Double and tripple check this if unsure.

If base mechanical is correct, verify base ignition timing following the procedure for your car in the service manual. You will need a timing light for this, get one if you don't. Double and tripple check this as well.

If both of those are correct and the engine idles somewhat decently, THEN start to look at electronic control circuits related to ignition timing.

Start there and see what you come up with for base engine.

Your transmission having 'tight gears' from the way you describe it sounds like the clutch disc may not be disengaging correctly. Make sure you have your clutch master cylinder linkage adjusted correctly, as well as having no air in the hydraulic circuit. Can you shift it through the gears easier when the engine is off? If so, the clutch disc is dragging against the flywheel from pressure plate not releasing spring pressure all the way. This causes the pointy teeth on the selector engagement sleeves to be unable to correctly wiggle their way into position, causing difficult shift engagement. This would also cause it to come out of gear hard as well, as their is still tension on the selector engagement sleeves while the engine is running.

If it is still hard to shift through the gears when the engine is off, suspect linkage issues OR internal issues.

Last edited by drtalon123; 10-16-2018 at 04:26 PM.
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Old 10-16-2018, 04:22 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Cam to crank timing was correct. And cant adjust timing with the distributor without the jumper plug. Or grounding out the d4 pin after converting to obd1. Which doing that should also do the flash codes for the check engine light but it didnt. After quite a while, I ended up pulling the ecu and looking inside and found a resister that had burst and some melty/burntness. So im going to replace the ecu and hope that solves all my problems(probably wont)
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Old 10-16-2018, 04:33 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Cam to crank timing was correct. And cant adjust timing with the distributor without the jumper plug. Or grounding out the d4 pin after converting to obd1. Which doing that should also do the flash codes for the check engine light but it didnt. After quite a while, I ended up pulling the ecu and looking inside and found a resister that had burst and some melty/burntness. So im going to replace the ecu and hope that solves all my problems(probably wont)
If you seriously suspect internal ECU damage, make SURE your wiring is correct at this point! You don't want to install a new ECU only to have it fry the replacement! ECU's don't just fry for no reason, they are almost always designed to PREVENT self destruction from people screwing with circuits!

To correctly check all your wiring at this point, since you are unsure if something is correct after following another thread, all you need to do is get the schematics for the car that your swap came OUT of. You need to take the time and trace EVERY wire at the ECU connectors to their intended location on the engine components.

For example, if viewing the diagram for the OBD1 engine says ECU connector pin 1 says it goes to distributor plug pin 4, use a multimeter and VERIFY this.

Do that for every wire leading to the ECU, tracing it back to the intended component pin. You want to make sure all signals/power/ground connections are actually ending up where they should. The schematic is your road map, just follow it and make sure the paths shown are actually correct on your setup.
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Old 10-16-2018, 04:44 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Hello guys was this the dual point to multi point swap? Don't want to just jump in and start saying stuff..but I did one and my car run sluggish till a local shop check my wiring and I believe he had to do some other wiring to the crank at the ecu? I could be wrong but just another idea? If you like it you can keep it.. if not just throw it right on back..lol
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Old 10-16-2018, 04:53 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I did recheck all the wires that were modified for the mpfi/obd1 conversion and it all was correct. I think it was fryed before I got it. The guy I got it from used it as a race engine(He claimed only a few pulls and that he was moving on to big better engines) and there was some sketchy wiring on it, everything was heavily siliconed, many many threads were stripped, had a spun rod bearing, cracked trans case, etc. He said it was 160k miles engine that ran good. So far, everything he said about it has turned out to be total crap. I will go and check the rest of the pins just to be safe and I plan to buy a new ecu from somewhere(hopefully) where it will have a warranty
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Old 10-16-2018, 04:57 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Slowlow510 View Post
Hello guys was this the dual point to multi point swap? Don't want to just jump in and start saying stuff..but I did one and my car run sluggish till a local shop check my wiring and I believe he had to do some other wiring to the crank at the ecu? I could be wrong but just another idea? If you like it you can keep it.. if not just throw it right on back..lol
Kinda, the car original had a d15b2(dpfi/obd0), I converted it to run a d16z6(mpfi/obd1). So a little bit more then a intake/dizzy/ecu swap
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Old 10-16-2018, 05:56 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I did recheck all the wires that were modified for the mpfi/obd1 conversion and it all was correct. I think it was fryed before I got it. The guy I got it from used it as a race engine(He claimed only a few pulls and that he was moving on to big better engines) and there was some sketchy wiring on it, everything was heavily siliconed, many many threads were stripped, had a spun rod bearing, cracked trans case, etc. He said it was 160k miles engine that ran good. So far, everything he said about it has turned out to be total crap. I will go and check the rest of the pins just to be safe and I plan to buy a new ecu from somewhere(hopefully) where it will have a warranty

Damn man, that always sucks picking up after someone else's hack job!

Good deal. As long as you are sure your wiring is correct, then proceed with caution! Hopefully your issues become solved.

Not sure if you have a purchase place in mind for ECUs, but Xenocron sells VTEC OBD1 ECUs for $210. They are run tested on a car before being shipped out. Not sure about warranty through them, but they are a very reputable company.
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Old 10-16-2018, 09:50 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Well I'll leave it up to the dr he seems like a pretty knowledgable guy I been out of the game for awhile. But would like to hear what the problem was if u get er done bro👍🏾
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Old 11-03-2018, 04:05 PM   #12 (permalink)
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ok ive replaced the ecu and the dizzy. It still runs like crap. Used a temp gun on the header and cyl 3/4 are running about 450 degrees, cyl 2 is about 380 and cyl 1 is at about 320. All of them are getting fuel and sparked. Check the timing, then double checked and then triple checked. Its right where it needs to be. Pulled the plugs and its burning really rich. Did a compression test too and cyl 4 is at about 105-110 while cyl 1 is at 90-95. Sometimes code 9 comes on sometimes it doesnt. Sometimes it goes into limp mode and wont rev past 3500. Tried a different throttle body aswell. Nothing has worked, only progress ive made is now the cel works. Sorry for unorganized mess. Running out of ideas what to do
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Old 11-03-2018, 05:53 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Code 9 is related to the CYP (Cylinder Position Sensor), that tells the ECU where cylinder number 1 is at when the engine mechanically timed correctly. A loss of this signal will cause limp mode type symptoms. To have an issue with this sensor on two distributors is like winning the lottery lol, verify wiring.

I know you said wiring was checked, you're sure about that right? Replacing components without making sure that the wires are routing signals from the components to the ECU correctly is just throwing money away.

Those low compression numbers can be caused by the running rich conditions, fuel washing the cylinders of their oil slick. Run the engine for just a few minutes to warm slightly. Pull plugs, pump a few squirts of engine oil using an oil can or equivalent into the cylinders. Disable fuel (unplug injectors) and ignition (unplug distributor). Crank over a couple times to distribute the oil within the cylinders (plugs still out)

Perform the compression test again, make sure you hold the throttle wide open so you have maximum air volumes reaching each cylinder and see if your numbers even out.

Specs for the Z6:

135-184 PSI (normal OK range, engine warm)
Maximum deviation between cylinders: 28 PSI

If your compression numbers are lower than 115 PSI on a warmed engine with a clean oil slick on the cylinders above the compression ring, you have an cylinder sealing issue somewhere. You can perform a cylinder leak down test with a leak down tester to diagnose how bad each cylinder is leaking, as well as checking for any kind of valve sealing issues. It will allow you to narrow down if piston-to-cylinder seal or valve-to-valve seat seal is compromised.

If the engine ran fine before you swapped it into this car, than the low numbers are most likely from cylinder wash from the rich condition. CHECK WIRING!!!

Last edited by drtalon123; 11-03-2018 at 06:00 PM.
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Old 11-04-2018, 01:42 AM   #14 (permalink)
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I tested the continuity between the ecu to the distributor plug and it was all correct. The previous engine didnt run great. Only put the z6 in cause thats all i could find after a month and half of looking. The distributor is the z6 one with a obd2 plug soldered on. I read something about shielded wires and they can get interference if you splice them. Could that cause issues like this?
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Old 11-04-2018, 11:20 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Distributor has an OBD2 plug soldered on there? I thought you were OBD1 in an OBD0 chassis? What is that thing doing on there? lol

Splicing shielding wires in the middle of their termination points "can" cause interference issues, but it's not likely. If the shielding wires are attached to "clean ground" or "sensor ground" per the schematic then any interference should be absorbed and cancelled.

If the shielding wires do not terminate where they should, and the wires are near a source of EMR (like an ignition coil), the shielding can actually enhance interference on a circuit near high EMR because the shielding acts like an antenna attracting EMF sources. Those interferences will not be cancelled if the shields are not terminating where they should be.

Shielding wires are for circuits that need clean transfers of signals (like the CYP, TDC, CMP sensors in the distributor). The ECU can account for a little bit of noise, but too much "can" cause signal distortion and make the ECU interpret things funny.

If the swapped engine ran like crap before, the possibility of actual mechanical issues like compression, etc. may be an actual thing. It's hard to chase electrical gremlins through a mechanical problem!

Hopefully you can get this narrowed down! If I was nearby, I would help out. It's hard to transfer my experiences through a keyboard lol!
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Old 11-04-2018, 01:29 PM   #16 (permalink)
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It is an obd1 in obd0 chassis. When i got the engine, the guy had a obd2 distributor on there with only one bolt. It came with the obd1 distributor too but the plug was cut off. So it was either buy a new plug and wait a week or just use the obd2 plug

By previous engine, I ment the d15b2 that i pulled out. I was told the d16z6 ran great but it had a spun bearing(+ lots more issues)so I dont really believe anything the guy told me

I did make a big break though today, along with some not so greatness. O2 sensor. Something so small wreaking havoc. I discovered two of the wires were backwards(all four are black so it was fun figuring that out!). I moved it up the pipe closer to the exhaust ports and its running a lot better.

Still a light miss, so i was going to put a spare coil in it just to see. After the cap was off, i noticed they weren't the same so I just put it back together. When I went to start it, nothing. No spark, but the distributor was getting power. I pulled it back out and tested the coil and its working so I think its the icm. Maybe next week
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Old 12-05-2018, 08:54 AM   #17 (permalink)
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Finally got the new distributor. Dropped it in and didnt even adjusted dizzy timing and it was already running way better then ever. No more codes, No more Bogging, No More mis. Runs fantastic!

Ive put 30 miles on it so far but the roads are terrible here right now. If we get a dryer day. Im going to rip it through the gears and see how it does. Pretty happy for my first engine swap/Major engine work.

Also something minor that makes me unusually happy. I cut the old obd0 timing/CEL jumper off, Added some wire and soldered it up to the ECU. Then routed it up under the dash along side the glove compartment. So its nice and hidden but super easy to get to
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Old 12-10-2018, 07:11 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Finally got the new distributor. Dropped it in and didnt even adjusted dizzy timing and it was already running way better then ever. No more codes, No more Bogging, No More mis. Runs fantastic!

Ive put 30 miles on it so far but the roads are terrible here right now. If we get a dryer day. Im going to rip it through the gears and see how it does. Pretty happy for my first engine swap/Major engine work.

Also something minor that makes me unusually happy. I cut the old obd0 timing/CEL jumper off, Added some wire and soldered it up to the ECU. Then routed it up under the dash along side the glove compartment. So its nice and hidden but super easy to get to
That's great man, glad you got it all fixed!

Before using ECU mods like Hondata/Demon2, I've done the same thing before with the 2 Pin Diagnostic/Service Check connector to check fault codes. Only difference is I extended mine to a spot in the center of the dash, running to a switch mounted cleanly on the dash.

One flip of the switch shorted the wires together so I could get blink codes anytime without having to hunt down a paperclip and that connector lol.
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Old 12-14-2018, 05:22 PM   #19 (permalink)
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That's great man, glad you got it all fixed!

Before using ECU mods like Hondata/Demon2, I've done the same thing before with the 2 Pin Diagnostic/Service Check connector to check fault codes. Only difference is I extended mine to a spot in the center of the dash, running to a switch mounted cleanly on the dash.

One flip of the switch shorted the wires together so I could get blink codes anytime without having to hunt down a paperclip and that connector lol.
A Couple hundred miles and its still good so far. However i did discover that the engine had a y8 cam gear on it. Did a little looking and found out my old d15b2 had the same gear as the z6 so I put that on.

Only thing im not happy with is the trans/clutch. 1st-3rd are ok. 4th likes to pop out of gear. 5th grinds sometimes. Reverse is difficult to get into. Sometimes 1st just "disappears" and it has to be put into 2nd and then 1st comes back. Clutch slips a bit at higher rpm shifts but not to supprizing on a older stock clutch

I didnt even think of using a switch, I may just have to do that now lol
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