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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I thought I had this fixed. I was wrong.

Symptoms:
-only happens when engine is cold. Very cold.
-after it warms up, everything works perfectly.
-at cold start, there is no spark until I stop cranking the motor (it only catches right after I let go of the key).
-car takes many tries to start. Leaving a friends house tonight I almost drained a good battery trying to start it.
-the weird one... once it started, but made a weird loud noise doing it. I looked down, and my boost/vac gauge is just about pegged. On the RIGHT side. No turbo, no supercharger, my foot's on the gas (throttle is open) and I'm getting darn near 15 psi (FIFTEEN, that's not a typo) in the manifold. I shut it down within 3 seconds but it still left me looking at a CEL on the way home. Friend called me from inside the house wondering why my car sounded like "a retarded 3-cylinder snowmobile," to give an idea of the sound.

So far I've replaced dizzy cap, rotor, and spark plugs. Wires are known good. Tomorrow I am going to take a blind guess and change out the ignition coil (condensation when cold?). Its near a hundred bucks but I need this car to run.

I also get to pull my bumper and make sure my little manifold backfire didn't burn my intake's filter to a crisp.

If anyone has further ideas, please post.
 

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This is going to sound dumb ... But maybe take a hair dryer to your dizzy for like 3 minutes and then try it. Who the knows if this will work but its worth a shot right?
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Had the dizzy in the house for hours today replacing the ignition coil. Put it on the car and tried to start it up--- no difference at all.

I'm so lost and confused. I'm down to dizzy base, fuel system, ecu...
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Alright! The blizzard finally let up.

Pulled the dizzy off the car and took in inside (nice and warm) to replace the coil. I pulled the old coil, found a spot where it had been arcing through the housing to the dizzy. Good. Installed my $102 Honda coil.

Looked around, saw the cam position sensor. WTF.



So far I attempted to dry it out and shoe-goo'd the cracks. I don't want more water freezing in there after all. The car still starts crappy but at least it doesn't backfire up the mani (at least not yet).

Man I don't want to spend money on a new dizzy.

vid...

clicky
 

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i sometimes, when i try to start my car when its cold, and i dont let the CEL go off it will start up with a random misfire. it sounds like a old subby, but still starts just fine. ive tried everything to correct it. bu i fond that it clears its elf just by running until warm, an then i give it a little extra throttle.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Well, multiple tanks of gas, many long trips later... still doesn't start right.

Lemme throw something out there--

What would make the car NOT have spark only when the starter is cranking?
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Lucky me, it got cold again. Cold enough, for TA-DAAAAA intake manifold backfires again! Yup, it happened again today. Didn't have the camera grrrr.

In any case I am hoping to catch this on video soon so all y'all know why I used this boost gauge on a naturally-aspirated car.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Cam timing, known good
Sticking intake valve... wouldn't put it past it, had one lock to a vtec lifter once
Compression, long time ago, was ok and even. Probably time to do it again
Leakdown, don't know how

Still don't know why there is zero current in the plug wires anytime the starter is cranking and the motor is cold. Honestly I think it's an electrical gremlin. It never tries to fire until after I release the key.
 

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Still don't know why there is zero current in the plug wires anytime the starter is cranking and the motor is cold. Honestly I think it's an electrical gremlin. It never tries to fire until after I release the key.
A poor ground at the t-stat housing can sometimes cause odd troubles. You could try jumping it to the negative battery cable to see if it makes a difference.
 

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The t-stat ground is for the fuel injection. Has plague the best of us. Did you check the igniter?
 

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How about the "IGNITOR"? Have you replaced that ever? Its the little resistor looking thing inside that distributor that should have 2 bolts holding it on from the outside. With 3 wires plugged into it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Just checked the STARTER SIGNAL fuse under the dash. It's good (oh I was hoping for it to be blown...)

Can't find the ignitor in any service manual. I see crank position sensor, which I have the procedure to test now, as well as an ignition control module.

click here for exploded page
 
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