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Discussion Starter #1
1997 dx auto

ran perfect earlier today

has been running fine for quite awhile now


spark is there
fuel is there (smell it)
fuel pump sounds strong
compression was fine 2 months ago

last weekend made a 1k mile round trip while playing mobile mechanic for some military friends

has NEVER failed to start in the last 12 months



-as of NOW
-cranks, no start, not even a slight "almost" fire.

motor is not freely spinning, so still has some compression (its dark and cold goddamnit)

no hissing, no hoofing, no womping noises

-all 4 cylinders produced spark from a spark tester
-all 4 injectors are clicking during attempting starts
-full throttle start for fuel cut has no effect on anything

WHISKEY
TANGO
FOXTROT


help a brother out
 

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Discussion Starter #2
found a new set of spark plugs laying around, threw them in. the current plugs were flooded with gas.

new plugs did nothing, not a single difference.

swapped in a known good ecu, no change

Im giving up for now. no overnight shift for me. Ill have to fuck with it in the morning. prolly will yank the timing belt cover off to be sure it has not jumped timing, as I do not own a timing light
 

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Discussion Starter #3
well, my boss said have a longer weekend (sunday and monday nights off are my weekend)

Im narrowing it down to distributor issues or timing jumping.

Hopefully not timing jump, I dont have a timing belt in front of me. But I can get ahold of a distributor tomorrow if my buddy is in town
 

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Brokedick Millionaire
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What gas are you using? Speedway?

Do a compression check FIRST!

Below 120 psi = no combustion due to lack of compression.

I quit using Speedway gas because in EVERY Honda I used it in the rings would hang up and have a dead cylinder or three until it started hitting and able to run.

Old MSDS Sheets

Speedway/Thorton = 100 ppm additives
Marathon = 250 ppm additives

Both had the same base stock....
 

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BATSLOMAN GIVES NO FUCKS.
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4,104 Posts
stay warm. check timing, check grounds
 

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Discussion Starter #6
will need to grab compression tester.

Kwik Trip gas up here is all filtered and I try to use the exact same station.

Been running gas from the same station all weeek ( topped offf tuesday evening)

Thanks guys.
 

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Love the Civic
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1,817 Posts
Im with Slo, mine ran sweet for three years, moved the ecu slightly and that bitch died on the fly, thankfully on a surface street this time. Was grounding out the harness in the position I stuck it in. I chased my ass for a week and moved the ecu and the car started, my point KISS.

If its the original dizzy, or suspect, pop the cover off, just three little screws, and look for broken or flaking wires going to the triggers.

You say you smell gas, but a fun trick I do in cases of emergency, or ones that need an emergency.....loosen the bolt at the end of the fuel rail opposite your incoming fuel line. It should spray like a bitch when you try and crank, dont need to say it but I will, dont loosen it too far, or is it very far....either way.

All stuff you can do without the $20 timing gun(or borrow AutoZone's), or a compression tester, just need a wrench and screw driver.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
new ecu is just hanging, I moved it around a bunch

Ona whim, I threw the 19 year old OEM ignition control module back in, she fired up, died, stuttered, big fuel smoke cloud, and she fired back up, and she is running nice and smooth.

tax refund time, grabbing a brand new OEM distributor. Tired of aftermarket parts failing so goddamn much on our civics

EDIT TL:DR SHE IS FUCKING RUNNING AGAIN!!!
 

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Love the Civic
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Nice, nice, nice, yeah I get the OE electrical parts were possible now and have not suffered yet.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I have slowly expanded my list of OEM-only parts over the years. Its fucking pathetic how aftermarket companies claim same or better than OEM, yet have NEVER outlasted the shit.

looking right at you AC-DELCO, BWR, WELLS, JP, etc..
 

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Classic Man
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I always keep a complete spare distributor in the back of the car.


The teg, had spark, all four cylinders, but not at the right time. ICM was buggin out like you. I ended up having issues with the distributor again right after. Ended up tossing that one out and putting a "new" one in.
 

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Cheap electronics usually dont last quite as long, but in my experience the bigger issue is they usually done tolerate heat as well.

I have only used 2 cheap aftermarket honda dizzys, but I took both of them apart to check them before installing. Both had SUPER shady (read making 0 contact) thermal paste between the ICM and dizzy case. Gave both a little more thermal paste and made sure they were tight and in correctly and neither has failed yet.

Not sure how much if any it helped with such a small sample size, but that sort of thing is better safe than sorry with cheap electronics.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I lightly scuff the mounting surfaces with 800 grit by hand just enough to create visual patterns, then I install with artic silver 5 thermal paste

its just the chinese $20 ICM's dont last for any real length of time.

this last weekend the car was on for over 12 hours in 2 days, I think that is what killed it. Not heat, but just extended operation time (power running through it)


Ive put 100k miles on ebay garbage ICM's before, and now Ive killed one in under 10k miles.


Never again.
 

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Prelude, Integra DB9
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Our old Accord went the same way.
"Known good" coil pack, "known good" ICM etc etc: nothing. New OEM distributor: brilliant.

Paying Honda prices is not always comfortable, but I shall do so as often as I can in future, especially where the electrics are concerned.
 
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