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Discussion Starter #1
Ok so I am a huge american muscle GM enthusiast, I have 6 cars at the moment, you can see the list in my Sig. I have been looking for another wagon off and on for a little over a year. I finally found the right one for me. A '88 wagon RT so its 4wd. The car came from northern Virginia & I am in middle GA, we met in Columbia SC for the trade at right around midnight so I did not get to drive the car much... but the previous owner told me no issues mechanically..

Get it home & it really has an issue from around 1k RPM to 3k RPM. It bogs so bad the car just creeps up to speed, with the pedal to the floor the rpms increase very slow untill you get to 3K RPM then it clears up and pulls ok. You cannot run the AC in first gear because the car will stall unless you rev over 3000 RPM and slip the clutch to get it going, really sluggish in first/second at lower speeds. It seems to rev ok in neutral. I have pulled each individual plug wire and the RPMS drop so I am getting fire to all four cylinders. Previous owner says he recently ran a compression test which was good, but I can recheck this. It really seems to me like the timing is very off but I really know ZERO about these honda engines. I also cannot hear any vacuum leaks at all.

Hoping you guys can help me out with some things I need to start off with? I would like to also check the timing & check engine light but I do not know how to do either on this car. I have a shop full of tools and a 2 post lift but no idea how to diagnose this car.
 

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\/Your Mom Was Here\/
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Sounds like the timing belt is off by a tooth, my CRX did the same thing when I bought it, check the mechanical timing.

Set the crank pulley to "0" and look at the cam pulley (must remove upper timing) and it should be like this at "0" with the line on the cam pulley directly above the plastic arrow/notch in the cover (unless you got the cam 180'd out)

 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
Thanks for the reply BeerDrinkin, I will check that tonight. So get engine at TDC (which should be "0" on the crank pulley) & check the position of the cam pulley timing mark which in your picture is at 7 oclock correct?

I have downloaded the service manual so I hope that will help me out. Will report back this evening with my findings. How do I check the check engine light? It is not on but would like to scan it to see if there are any stored codes?
 

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EG Hatch
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You are correct about 7o'clock. There is a small arrow that will line up with the mark on the cam.
I'm not sure how the lock the ignition timing on this motor.. this may be worth a check though.. On 92-95 civics there is a green plug that is below the glove box, to the right, in front of the door, probably behind the carpet, maybe just above where the carpet ends, right by the column there.. you short out the plug and it will lock the ignition timing so that you can check it with the timing light.
 

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Asshole
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Check the condition of the plugs, wires, cap as well. I just fixed the same issue on my 94 lx but I also had oil leaking into the #3 plug tube due to bad valve cover spark plug tube seals.
 

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Brokedick Millionaire
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Cam can appear to be in time, but ignition timing impossible to get right = twisted cm gear.

Normally caused by the cam seizing from heat or lack of oil.
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
Ok, had limited time last night but was able to check the mechanical timing. At first I could not see the marks on the crank pulley so I rotated the engine by hand untill I got to TDC, put a long rod in first cylinder beside timing cover, watched the rod and stopped turning the crank once it was in the furthest "up" position. Cam gear looks right on, word "up" is at the top and two lines at 3 & 9 oclock are in line with the head surface, also the 7 oclock mark is lined up with the little tab under the pulley.



Ok so I have a question on this picture. This was taken @ TDC but the white mark did not line up with the timing sights on the cover.. does this look weird to anyone? Also how do I time this with the light, how would I know what is 18 degrees BTDC? in my V8 expirience there is a timing tab that has marks at every 2 degree interval.. dont see a way to know what ddegree im at with these marks.



Also noticed that one of the valve cover studs is broken, Where can I get a replacement? It is the rear one by the intake manifold, taller than the front studs.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Should be more like this...

Thats what I was thinking, maybe it was because I wasnt looking straight down on it will check again tonight. I cant see that mark being off, b/c there is no adjustment there...

Which mark do I need to look at with the timing light and how do I know when I am at 18 Degrees BTDC?
 

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My girlfriend's CR-V had a terrible bog, and I did plugs, wires, cap, and rotor, and that cleared it up. The rotor was pretty worn down, and there was corrosion on the inner posts of the cap. You can do a visual on those and see how they look, but it's not a bad idea to just replace all of that since you're unsure of their age. NGK plugs and wires. OEM cap and rotor.

Also, I haven't had this happen to me personally, but I have heard of clogged catalytic converters causing a low RPM bog. Maybe try some searching on that. Also you can try replacing your fuel filter, I've heard of that giving people trouble, but again, not me personally. But another cheap part that you would then be aware of the age/mileage.

Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Red is the 18*BTDC mark, forgot to mention it in last post.
Awesome, exactly what I needed to know.

My girlfriend's CR-V had a terrible bog, and I did plugs, wires, cap, and rotor, and that cleared it up. The rotor was pretty worn down, and there was corrosion on the inner posts of the cap. You can do a visual on those and see how they look, but it's not a bad idea to just replace all of that since you're unsure of their age. NGK plugs and wires. OEM cap and rotor.

Also, I haven't had this happen to me personally, but I have heard of clogged catalytic converters causing a low RPM bog. Maybe try some searching on that. Also you can try replacing your fuel filter, I've heard of that giving people trouble, but again, not me personally. But another cheap part that you would then be aware of the age/mileage.

Good luck.
I actually pulled the plugs last night & they look really good (& they are NGK), Also pulled each plug wire off while the car was running and got an equal amount of RPM drop, also visually inspected the plug wires at night and had no spark jump while the engine was running so I am confident the wires are good, Did not have time to pull the distributor cap but I will definitely do that tonight along with checking/setting the ignition timing at 18 degrees BTDC. Will also purchase and replace the fuel filter probably tomorrow. Good suggestion on the Cat converter I will maybe pull it and beat the material out of it (I do not have inspections here) tomorrow.

I have heard bad things about the 'fuel injection main relay' thoughts on this?

What fuel PSI should I have at the fuel rail?
 

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Asshole
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Your mechanical timing is wrong. Leave the catalytic converter alone. Find a guide for setting the mechanical timing.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
The mechanical timing is correct, had a honda guy verify it was right. Also changed the cap rotor wires and plugs. still same issue.

Any other suggestions? Im at a loss right now.
 
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