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Old 11-06-2018, 06:52 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Auto to manual help

just finshed doing a auto to manual swap in my 1998 acura el. not getting any power to the starter, any help is appreciated. i know there is some wiring that needs to be done. i left the auto shifter plugged in and in park and still no start.
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Old 11-06-2018, 09:17 AM   #2 (permalink)
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How far did you go with wiring harness changes? Did you change the engine/transmission wiring harness or dash harnesses to match the manual setup? Going from the auto to manual engine/chassis harnesses removes a lot of wires, but also adds some different ones. The possibility of pin mismatches/changes or missing required components could be possible.

I don't have the wiring schematics for your car available, otherwise I would post up the starting/charging system schematics. I don't want to send you the ones for a civic EX or SI D16Y8 because I don't want you to use the wrong schematics if wiring did change between these cars. I doubt it's different, but you should get the correct schematics to be sure.

If you went as far as swapping the dash harness to make the clutch lockout switch functional, you may need to install the Starter Cut Relay to the fuse block to make the circuit work as designed. It may not be installed to the fuse block by default if it was an automatic version.

Use a test light or a multimeter to test and see if the starter is receiving it's 12V signal when the key is turned to START and the shifter is in park or neutral. Your starter could have been on it's last leg, and it gave up after you started messing with things. It's unlikely as these starters last a long time, but I've seen strange things such as this before. These types of issues will start to make you second question life itself and why the universe decided to f*** with you on this particular day lol.

If it doesn't have start signal but you know the start system functioned before, use schematics and start tracing back. Let me know how far you went with wiring so far.

If you didn't change any wiring at all yet and the starter doesn't function but it did before, something is most likely unplugged/pinched/fuse popped etc. I've seen guys accidentally pinch the wiring harnesses between the flywheel housing and the block during reinstall, causing all kinds of weird symptoms on initial startup. Double check everything you've touched.

Last edited by drtalon123; 11-06-2018 at 09:29 AM.
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Old 11-06-2018, 10:46 AM   #3 (permalink)
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basically i swapped the engine and tranny, came out of a manual acura el. my automatic car now has a 5 speed engine 5 speed transmission 5 speed harness. and 5 speed ecu, stil running the interior automatic harness. im going todouble check my grounds when i i get a chance. also the starter does has some wires that are frayed at the bottom, ( previous owner must have done something there). but im almost positive it has something to do with the saftey neutral wiring. usually the dash should light up P D4 D3 and N but it doesnt (did befor). i dont want to cut the automatic harness and start wiring the car to think its in park if i can byspass doing that. which i tried it when the automatic shifter was still plugged in and stillnothing. i could wire a push start temp to get the car started but i would like a oem type look and feel with this swap
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Old 11-06-2018, 11:48 AM   #4 (permalink)
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You're on the right track, you need to get schematics to point you in the right direction to figure out what part of the circuit is affected.

The cluster lights not working is related to what's going on. You need the PRNDL lights in the cluster to come back. I'm not sure where the safety/neutral switch/range position switch is on those cars, if it's transmission mounted or shifter mounted. At the range switch connector, you should be able to false-jump the park/neutral bridge to get past this. It is related to the safety/neutral switch in some way then. You should be able to start it afterwards if you can get the P or the N to illuminate.

I'm glad you know you can still get the car started manually by jumping the starter solenoid over to power to crank the engine over. At least you're not stuck not having a car to drive.
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Old 11-06-2018, 02:02 PM   #5 (permalink)
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im really not sure where to look to fix this issue, not in need to get the car running fast this was a little project ive been working on for a bit just picking away at it. but cant get the starter to kick in. battery was weak, gonna give it a full charge. this car has been sitting for two years mind you im sure that may have affected something possibly? i did have to change out the ignition because the old one was fucked. all cluster lights work, except the PRND. the only thing i can think of , is there was one plug under the hood by the clutch master that the manual harness did not have. not sure if that even has anhthing to do with it or not but nothing is plugged into it.
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Old 11-07-2018, 06:13 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Clutch safety switch?

Car won't start until it is bypassed or plugged up and working.
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Old 11-07-2018, 06:13 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Do you have the clutch safety switch that is mounted to the firewall area?
A lot of people bypass them but if you don't have one or it hasn't been bypassed then that could be the cause.
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Old 11-07-2018, 06:13 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by BeerDrinkin View Post
Clutch safety switch?

Car won't start until it is bypassed or plugged up and working.
Damn you Beer!!! lol posted right as I did.
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Old 11-07-2018, 11:57 AM   #9 (permalink)
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i have the sensors that are on the clutch pedal itself. there are two there, one i beliieve is for the cruise control which im not worrieed about and the other is for the clutch saftey. but i left the auto shifter plugged in so the car would think its in park befor i started the wiring part of the swap. atleast thats what i read online. i havent tried just wiring the auto shifter harness ( two thick black wires connected together) .i wanted to get the car running and all that good sstuff first but im not getting any signal to the starter from the key. i havent tested anything with a meter yet. besides the auto shifter harness. and as i stated in another message the PRND lights on the cluster arent illuminating anymore , which they did befor i started the swap when everything was still auto. i might just wire up a psuh button and say fuck it. but id really like the car to start with the key lol.
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Old 11-07-2018, 12:03 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by SeanEL1.6 View Post
and the other is for the clutch saftey.
Did you plug the harness connector into it? If you're running the 5spd harness the car wont start without either the connector jumped or the connector attached and the clutch depressed.
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Old 11-07-2018, 12:10 PM   #11 (permalink)
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there is no connector in this car for the saftey clutch becasue its auto and has a auto interior harness
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Old 11-07-2018, 12:24 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Time to start checking for continuity along this circuit. See attached diagram.

I'd start at the ignition switch and work your way toward the starter.
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Old 11-07-2018, 12:43 PM   #13 (permalink)
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sweet thanks, as soon as i get the chance to check i will give you guys an update. thanks for all the input guys
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Old 11-07-2018, 03:49 PM   #14 (permalink)
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do you guys think it has something to do with the factory alarm system? i got looking online and the circuit for the starter wiring is different from a car that doesnt have an alarm in it. looking more and more like a push start fix .
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Old 11-07-2018, 07:38 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Damn, I don't know about that one. I know that the EL's and the Civic's are pretty much the same, but because it's Acura (the "luxury" brand) it may have had a factory alarm on it but I can't say for sure without the proper schematics.

If you believe the alarm is factory and NOT aftermarket, it may well have a lot to do with your issue. Mind you, even if the alarm WAS activated, you should still have PRNDL indicators in the cluster working.

Without looking at the schematics for that exact car, you can't tell what kind of anti-theft style the car has as there are a few types:

1. Starter lockout style (prevents the starter from engaging), less secure system

2. Fuel cut style (prevents the injectors from pulsing and fuel pump from turning on), more secure

3. Combines styles 1 and 2, as well as disabling ignition. Much more secure overall.

If it's style 2 or 3, you'll never get it to start even if you jump the starter. You will have to provide the ECU the correct unlock sequence for starting, something only service information (or Google) could tell you.

I do know that in 98, "certain" honda's used transponder keys and 2002+ honda's began the trend of laser cut keys combined with radio transponders. Those lockout systems caused civic theft rates to plummet compared to their older counter parts.

I highly doubt that the 98 EL's came with any more sophisticated security than a standard civic (don't quote me, I could be terribly wrong). Schematics for YOUR car are the only way to know for sure OR you could share with us what your key looks like and I could tell you right away if it does have factory anti theft.

Why don't you buy a subscription for your car at www.alldatadiy.com ? AllData sells yearly subscriptions to a single vehicle's repair information for like $25 bucks, and it's all accessible online instead of a paper manual, etc. I have 4 subscriptions for certain engine/transmission information, just not for the EL.

With access to the correct schematics, we can walk you through where to look/what to do to get the car started. Also send a picture of your key if you do buy schematics!
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Old 11-08-2018, 11:58 AM   #16 (permalink)
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it does indeed have a factory alarm, i was poking around the car today a little bit, deicided to cross the starter solenoid over with a wrench, got a qauter turn. battery is dead. gonna have to wait till next paycheck to grab a new starter. the wires on this one were melted when i took the starter off the car. gonna just wire in a push button once i get a new starter and call it a day untill i figure it out. thanks for all the help and ill keep an update here
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Old 11-08-2018, 12:12 PM   #17 (permalink)
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1. Starter lockout style (prevents the starter from engaging), less secure system
I'm guessing this would be it if it does have an alarm, seeing as the starter isn't kicking over. You could still use the diagram i posted to check where you lose continuity (it'd probably be where it routes into the alarm control module to break the signal to the starter). If you bypass the module you will see power to the starter solenoid.
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Old 11-08-2018, 12:25 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Why don't you buy a subscription for your car at www.alldatadiy.com ? AllData sells yearly subscriptions to a single vehicle's repair information for like $25 bucks, and it's all accessible online instead of a paper manual, etc. I have 4 subscriptions for certain engine/transmission information, just not for the EL.
Do you have a subscription? I had a browse through and it looks like pretty good info.

I still much prefer flicking through paper manuals though, especially when i'm actually working on the car.
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Old 11-08-2018, 02:56 PM   #19 (permalink)
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i dont have a subscription but i wouldnt mind having one or even a haynes manual , i tried finding the modual for the alarm system befor with no luck. but im sure if i dig a little deeper into the dash it will show up.. thanks for the help again.
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Old 11-09-2018, 04:43 AM   #20 (permalink)
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gonna just wire in a push button once i get a new starter and call it a day untill i figure it out.
So you can't figure out how to read one of the 100 guides other people have made but somehow you're going to 'wire in' a push button and expect it to work?

It's 3 wires that go together and if it's not starting after that you have other problems a button isn't going to fix.
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