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93 Civic HB SI
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Discussion Starter #441
Praying for better results with the JE

You'd likely freak if you knew what gasket I'm forced to run on the ZC because of lack of availability.
Composite for you? Are there no other options out there, or are they just hard to come by/expensive?

Yeah, hopefully the JE lasts a bit longer before fatigue.
 

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Formerly weebeastie
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No other options. Graphite coated in Copper Spray. Cometic makes them, I wasn't willing to take that plunge (not because of money). HKS used to make them, and they were fantastic. Golden Eagle reportedly makes one, but haven't been able to source one form them or anyone else. Maybe JE makes one, never checked with them.
 

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Discussion Starter #443
Took the B stuff to machine shop this morning. Had my machinist run his straight edge over the head surface to make sure warpage wasn't an issue.

He confirmed what my straight edge showed. Couldn't slide a .0015" out from under it any which way you positioned the straight edge. Head isn't warped, yay!

Gonna put it back together this weekend.
 

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Discussion Starter #445
the B is going to be n/a ? low boost?

good to hear the straight edge works..
I think the B will end up mostly stock on low boost, rings gapped for turbo application.

The most expensive things I need to do on it are going to be clutch/flywheel, and the trans rebuild. I should be able to get by with about $5-600 in the engine, but trans/clutch will be close to 2K when all said and done.

Hoping that the D lasts for at least a year or so on lowered boost/timing!
 

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Discussion Starter #446 (Edited)
She's back!

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16-17PSI, 11 degrees total timing at that pressure WOT. We'll see how long she lasts with this JE Pro Seal.

I was really surprised that the JE has a stopper ring layer! No other gasket, not even the Cometic has one. The stopper ring is a layer of stainless with a pinch fold around the chamber edge, almost performing the same duty as an oringed block, to give that part of the seal a really high tension bite point. Stopper layer tech:

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Hopefully it works out well! Will be doing lots of pulls over this next week (weather permitting) to really stress this gasket, and OCD checking my overflow tank along the way.
 

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Discussion Starter #447
So I brought the car to work today, and gave like 4 people rides in it.

Overall impressions were good, the HG is holding up well. It's still fast as f!

When I got home, I grabbed the stethoscope to listen to the block, head, trans, etc to make sure everything still sounded good, because there was this noise around 3-4K while cruising. Timing belt tensioner was a bit too tight.

I loosened it to readjust tension, reset it, and went to tighten, and it kept tightening, and tightening, and tightening.... the freaking tensioner bolt threads stripped out in the block!

"#$>,%#(

Thats not too bad of a fix and I honestly thought about just helicoiling it when the engine was out last time, but now it looks like i have no choice lol, it's just much harder to do now in the car.

Other than that crap, the car was a ripper today! I don't know if it's just that I don't notice fast cars when I'm driving my truck, or if the civic just brings out the inner competitor in other drivers no matter what they are driving, people ALWAYS try and pull against this car! Doesn't matter what it is, everyone tries, and so far no one has been able to touch it.

Just today, I walked an M5, a mazdaspeed 3, another BMW 5 series, some kind of convertible Maserati, a Chevy Tahoe with what sounded like a supercharger in it, more WRXs, an A4, it never stops! By the top of 3rd, I'm lengths ahead. It is definitely a fun street car, that will probably get me in tons of trouble haha.
 

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Formerly weebeastie
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Had that happen on an old A6 one time. Had the weird noise, loosened then tightened the tensioner and literally the boss for it broke off. Really pissed me off. That was early on for me in Honda's. Pretty sure that one was a p29 build d16a6.
 

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Discussion Starter #450
Finally got around to pulling the front cover off to start to fix the tensioner.

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I had to cut some old drill bits down to make them shorter to fit in there, shes toight:

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Also cut the oil filter open to inspect the filter media for any particulate. No particles. (y)

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There was a little bit of very very fine silver glitter in the oil when draining, but as to be expected being the break in oil. This was the same oil I used to dyno the car on, and performed almost 100 pulls after the fact, so it was ready for a change!

It started raining, so I had to stop for the night. Will put her back together and rip some more tomorrow! Hopefully I finish at a decent time, I really want to get in some ripper videos to share!
 

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Discussion Starter #451
I want to make some better videos, but I need to rig up a better camera mount system haha.

I took a ripper video on my way home today, but the video is so crappy, it buzzes like crazy around 3-4K rpm and you get zero sense of speed. Its like playing a racing game, the speedo says 100mph but it looks like you're taking a walk!

Gotta fix that haha, in one section I almost touched 100 passing this stupid camry who wouldn't let me in, but it looks sooo unenthusiastic and simple, meanwhile my adrenaline is pumping like crazy, so I need to figure out how to make videos feel like you're sitting in the car. I foresee some research lol.

Anyone got any tips? I'm terrible at making videos
 

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Discussion Starter #456
It's been a while since I've posted, lots of stuff happening lately. Car is good though.

I didn't post the tensioner repair images further up in the thread, just realized. Using drill bits with pliers is my favorite thing (can you sense the sarcasm):








The car slowly but surely started having the same issue again that it had while on the dyno in SC. Symptom was breaking up under load around VTEC crossover when the boost really started coming in. This was also tightly coupled with the tach bouncing and seizure activity.

It took me some time to properly diagnose it, but was able to trace the issue with my oscilloscope and driving the car every day to work for about a week. Each day I would stage the scope leads to a different set of inputs/outputs, to hopefully catch a glimpse of the gremlin that might lead me to the root cause.

With a low amp clamp coupled around coil ground lead (had to make a longer wire from the ICM, leading outside of the dist, then back inside to the coil negative) so I could watch the current ramp profile of the coil charging behavior. This is where things got weird. I noticed that the ramp profile was clean and normal during idle and cruise, but under boost and higher RPM, the current peak would begin to drop, then randomly the charging profile was less of a curve and more of a striaght ramp. Basically the coil wasn't able to charge properly during it's on-time, and randomly wouldn't reach peak current fast enough in the primary, so when the primary turned off, it had less magnetic field energy available to collapse over the secondary windings, leading to weak spark output during those times.

This was also confirmed through primary side waveform analysis... I could visually see the peak KV drop off, and even outright misfires when synced against the TDC sensor in the distributor. The misfires were random, coil charging behavior was random, some pulls did it while others did not.

Good news was that all of my distributor position sensors (TDC, CKP and CYP) all generate AC voltage properly, and none of them were dropping out, all the way to the ECM. ICM signal from ECM to the ICM was also good and consistent during the problem (checked at the ICM), so the ECU was receiving rotation sensor inputs and attempting to properly command the ICM, so those circuits were proved out as being part of the issue.

This lead to the issue being ICM coil driver output related, coil related or power/ground to the ICM/Coil related. I decided to try and stress test the distributor ignition components on the bench, in and around the RPM area that the problem was most prevalent, 4-5000 RPM.

To find out how fast I would need to pulse the ICM/coil, simple maths and engine theory knowledge are required:
  • 5000 revs per minute at the crankshaft, divided by 60 to determine revs per second = 83.3 RPS crank
  • Thats crank speed, so divide by 2 to find camshaft RPS = 41.65 RPS cam
  • Within one revolution of the camshaft, there are 4 firing events, one per cylinder, so multiply cam speed by 4 (since there are 4 firing events per cam revolution) to find ICM/coil driven frequency = 166.6 Hz
So I needed to turn the ICM/coil on and off at 166.6 times per second to simulate the conditions on the car at 5K. Easy peasy :)

This was testing the PWM setup between 4 and 5K RPM, at around 140hz:



Nothing during my testing showed out of ordinary, coil amp ramp and firing KV looked beautiful on the bench, even at 7.5K RPM, 250Hz (I've experienced 200 Hz on AC with my TIG welder doing aluminum work, but that extra 50 cycles per second sounded like an alien coming in to land lmao).

That's when it hit me. Before all of this, I did run 3 full lengths of 10 gauge wire from the battery ground post all the way up to the engine, with each one getting a ring terminal and attached to the valve cover, distributor case and the thermostat ground bundle, to try and remedy the misfiring, thinking it was a ground issue. Then it hit me, could it be the power circuit?

Instead of trying to replace things one by one to trace the root cause, I had a pretty good idea of how to remedy things. As long as ICM and coil received proper power and ground, it appeared that things worked correctly. I figured now was a good time to go ahead and just convert the civic to external coil. I've had some old Prelude parts laying around for just this purpose, including a coil, ICM, coil noise condenser and distributor cap:






Bench tested the Prelude ICM and coil first, before installing to the car. It all seemed to work well.

Went ahead and ran dedicated power, fuses and grounds to the Prelude ICM and coil, completely bypassing the car harness for those things. The ICM stays on when given power and ground, so I now have to regularly use my master disconnect switch. The only thing I still used in the engine harness was tach signal wire and ECM to ICM driver signal wire.

Without a good place to mount the coil (since this was more or less just a test) I put a rubber strip against the side of the coil and ziptied to the strut tower brace lol.






Testing and initial proof of concept:



I electrical taped everything up for testing, and drove the piss out of it. ZERO misfires and NO tach seizures!

Feeling satisfied, went ahead and made the install more or less permanent. Still don't have a good place to mount the coil, but I kinda like it on the strut tower brace lol:




Oh yeah, I also installed these quick release bumper elastics. For some reason, my bumper fasteners that hold the bumper to the fender keep vibrating out of the hole that is in the bumper, or just outright loosen themselves. This gets rid of all the stupid fasteners and is vibration proof lol:




Update over :)
 
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