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    Dewey's Avatar
    Dewey Posts: 4, Reputation: 1
    New Member

    Aug 9, 2005, 12:05 PM
    1988 Honda Civic Won't Start - Stumped
    Would not start, received from sister her boyfriend thought it was fuel pump. Replaced fuel pump (he was half way done when I got the car). Still wouldn't start without ether and high RPMs. Started checking systems, found he had replace the brake power booster check valve with a fuel filter? I installed correct unit. Still won't start. Sooo, pulled main relay resoldered connections and fully tested on bench with power - works great. Same results. Checked fuel pressure 75 psi directly from fuel pump, about 37 with regulator. Volume is about half pint in 2 seconds. Then replaced - ignition coil, capacitor, throttle body (uneven readings on ohmmeter), distributer and "fire control module". Verified cam/distributor/crankshaft timing - OK. Then checked compression, getting right at 155 in each cylinder. Replaced CPU - same results. Fires but stumbles and dies. I did get it running roughly once and the vacuum was very low (around 12in at about 2000rpms). Sorry for the long post. I am at my wits end! Please help! Thank you!
    CroCivic91's Avatar
    CroCivic91 Posts: 729, Reputation: 23
    Senior Member

    Aug 9, 2005, 02:35 PM
    Check vacuum lines. Perhaps one is connected at the wrong spot, messing everything up.

    Was the engine swapped from another car?

    Do injectors work correctly? Are spark plugs and spark plug wires OK? Do you get a spark every time you should? Does it miss a spark sometimes? Are the spark plug wires connected at the right "pin" on the distributor? Does ECU throw any error codes? Does the car have 2 or 4 injectors? Did you try cleaning the EACV (Electronic Air Control Valve)? Did you try pushing the gas pedal at about 20% while starting? I know Hondas don't need to have gas pedal pushed while starting, but if EACV is sticky, and won't give you extra air you need at startup, perhaps you might pinpoint it this way.

    I'm all fresh of ideas right now... will try coming up with something when you give me some answers.
    Dewey's Avatar
    Dewey Posts: 4, Reputation: 1
    New Member

    Aug 10, 2005, 08:30 AM
    Tests Completed
    Vacuum lines are OK. Engine was not swapped just stopped running. All spark plugs are connected correctly and sparking consistently. ECU flashes once when the key is turned on. So no codes. Car has four injectors - each tested OK with ohmmeter and each is getting pulses from ECU. Resistor packed checked OK as well. Gas pedal was tried from nothing to floored, seems to try the best (most firing) without hitting the gas at all. Will pull the injectors tonight and check for operation as well as the EACV valve. Thanks!
    CroCivic91's Avatar
    CroCivic91 Posts: 729, Reputation: 23
    Senior Member

    Aug 10, 2005, 02:19 PM

    This seems like one of those "ghost problems". Everything turns out fine, but the car just won't start.

    I don't get it. You get both fuel and spark, but the car doesn't run. Only thing that could be messing it up is timing. It's the ONLY thing I can think of. If ECU is working right, timing is the only thing.

    Are electrical connectors connected to injectors in correct order? I'm shooting in the blue here, but it's just dumb things that fall on my mind.
    Dewey's Avatar
    Dewey Posts: 4, Reputation: 1
    New Member

    Aug 10, 2005, 08:28 PM
    Injectors, etc...
    Pulled the injectors tonight, they were pretty dirty. Cleaned but didn't get a chance to re-install. Also pulled the EACV valve and it "seemed ok", but will check electrically. The plunger seemed to be very free and was easy to move. The timing seems to be okay, it will fire like it wants to start then stumbles and dies. Usually runs for about 0.5 to 1.0 seconds. It sounds (to me) like an old carburated engine when it's being started after it was flooded. A couple of really strong cylinder fires but it then dies. The only thing I can think of - my sisters boyfriend had dropped the tank to change to fuel pump (I know, I know). He had broke some of the vent lines and I put them back where I thought they should go but.. Can't find a diagram either. I know for a fact it's getting fuel and pressure. I really don't think the vent lines are the problem. If I figure it out, I will post. If anyone has any other ideas? It's got me stumped - fuel, fire, and an enclosed space = running engine. Still scratching my head...
    Dewey's Avatar
    Dewey Posts: 4, Reputation: 1
    New Member

    Aug 16, 2005, 12:16 PM
    Update - Fixed
    Started over and decided to retest everything. Verified the engine/cam timing and the distributor. Pulled injectors and watched them spray when engine was cranking. Checked spark to end of wires - OK. Decided to pull the spark plugs (all) and crank engine. Sparks were travelling up inside the spark plugs and were very intermittent! These were new Autolite plugs from Autozone! Replaced plugs and it started right up! A month of nighttime work is finally over! Thanks for the help!
    thebriggsdude's Avatar
    thebriggsdude Posts: 1,096, Reputation: 53
    Ultra Member

    Aug 16, 2005, 12:21 PM
    These won't platinum's? Were they, they seem to foul easy. Also they could've been gas fouled. That is if they were wet.
    CroCivic91's Avatar
    CroCivic91 Posts: 729, Reputation: 23
    Senior Member

    Aug 17, 2005, 02:54 AM
    Thanks for telling us the fix!

    Also, try to stick with Denso or NGK spark plugs on Hondas.

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