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Scrappersmum

Proud mom of an 89 honda

Hello everyone!

Proud new momma of an 88 Honda civic. He is my very first car, and I named him Scrappy. 1) Because I only paid 350 for him (young kid was wanting to throw him to the junk yard)
2) Since he is basically lived  loong past his prime, I consider him a definite fighter.

I am having trouble starting him up though, so I thought maybe you guys could help me out.

The last owner did an 94 JDM engine swap, but the car ran for 3 months without problems, but now the car wont catch. The original thought was the fuel pump was bad. Turns out it's not that. Thought it was the main relay, went out and bought a new one, wasn't that either. Everything on the car is practicly new, sparks, oil change, break, even had an alarm system in it (I dissarmed it thought, it was throughly annoying)

If you have any ideas as of what could be possibly wrong with him, I would love it if you could help. I would love for scrappers to roam the earth again.
Proper282

I'd check the conversion harness wiring and the distributor(ignitor, rotor).Glad to hear another sedan saved from the scrap yard
Scrappersmum

why do you think it might be the distributor?
cleanRENO90

Check for the three main needs for a car to run, and go from there.

Fuel, Spark, and Compression.
Also, check to see if the timing belt is intact.
89 LX SOHC ZC

Welcome could be as simple as the set screw in the rotor falling out but all of the previously mentioned items are very possible good luck.
Proper282

89 LX SOHC ZC wrote:
Welcome could be as simple as the set screw in the rotor falling out but all of the previously mentioned items are very possible good luck.


I had this happen... if it cranks and is getting fuel then spark(distributor) sould be the next thing I'd check
4dred6

welcome to the site  Wink
EF Sedan Enthusiast

Welcome to our little corner of the internet.  Do you have any pix?

I would triple check all of your grounds.
89ef2

Welcome. All of the above.
EF4lyf3

Welcome to the site! What is it that got you into the sedan way of life? we need pictures! Very Happy

I agree with these gentlemen, Target the main components that drive the vehicle. ignition, fuel, timing, power, grounds. Sounds to me like you might be a couple teeth retarded or advanced. Does the car sputter when cranking it? if so it could definitely be severely advanced. By severely I mean 2-3+ teeth off. Put the motor at TDC and check you cam position! Cool
Scrappersmum

we are going to see if the relays are bad, because the engine isn't skipping, and its cranking, the main problem is that its just not catching. I took tons of pictures but the resolution is to high for me to upload them on to this site, sorry guys. [/img]
Scrappersmum

I just went out and checked the sparks, and their in good shape. Battery was dead, but I had it charging in the garage all night last night. I really don't want to junk him, he is a handsome car. I'd hate to do him dirty like that. I will check the ground wires, the distributors more closely. Thank you guys for your recent input!

Scrappy will rise again!!! lol
EF4lyf3

Quote:
I really don't want to junk him


Ma'am, you really should not do this  sad lol

Now lets see here.  does the fuel pump prime? can you hear a hum when turning the key to the on position? also are the spark plugs ok? they shouldn't be fouled out but it is a possibility.
The relays woudnt be the problem because you obviously have power to crank the motor. Check that timing and see what that could be. IN FACT... check the spark plug wires and make sure they are in the right sequence. I can promise you that will screw things up when it comes to trying to start the car. try push starting the car as well... but for sure check to make sure the fuel is spitting. Pull the fuel rail off and prime the pump. if fuel spits out heavily then your good on that. If not then theres your problem... happy to help anytime.  as for the pictures. go to Photosbucket, upload them there and then copy the url from the right side of the picture and past it here. no need to put [img] either Smile
Scrappersmum

The fuel pump does prime, I can feel it when the engine revs. The plugs are in the right firing order.

But good idea about the spark plug wires being out of place.

here is a link for scrappy's photo shoot. http://s1331.photobucket.com/user/scrappermum/library/
EF4lyf3

its private Sad
4dred6

EF4lyf3 wrote:
its private Sad
Scrappersmum

Try it now, just tweak the settings.
4dred6

please don't junk it, the car is in amazing shape. its got lots of potential
Scrappersmum

I am not going to junk it. I just want him fixed up and ready to strut his stuff around town. I need help figuring out why it wont run.
cleanRENO90

Have you tried advancing ane retarding the distributor while cranking it? Its common for these to skip a tooth on the timing belt. If it skipped a tooth, that could cause it to just crank and not start.
Scrappersmum

Distributors fine. I might have to look into the fuel lines, and do a compression test.
4dred6

cleanRENO90 wrote:
Have you tried advancing ane retarding the distributor while cranking it? Its common for these to skip a tooth on the timing belt. If it skipped a tooth, that could cause it to just crank and not start.


Yep he's right, loosen the 3 bolts and have someone moving the dizzy while cranking.
Scrappersmum

The car starts when I put starter fluid in.
EF4lyf3

Quote:
I am not going to junk it


Thank the lord and all that Is holy...Hes a beauty!.

by the way did you go to school for automotive? how do you know your stuff? Not saying women are incompetent, its just rare to see a young lady taking interest in these lovely sedans...or am i wrong???
Scrappersmum

I will not lie and say I didn't have help. My boyfriend is an airplane mechanic, but he has left the task of fixing this car to me. My car, my problems is basically the result. lol

And I have been doing a lot of research to get this far. alot of running back and forth from this computer. He just tell me not to pull the engine. lol
Scrappersmum

My first reaction is to pull the engine and get my hands dirty, but as I keep reading about scrappy's family tree I find I don't need to go to those lengths to get him running again.
EF4lyf3

Awesome! I love the way you refer to him and the family tree thing lol. really personalizes the sedans.
Scrappersmum

Thank you. when I first got him, the kid put a lot of trashy decals all over him. while I was taking them off, I told old scrappy  I wouldn't dress him up or slam him like a cheap tramp. He would be respected and taken care of in my family. Especially if he was strong enough to last this long. Smile Me and my bf are a Honda/Subaru family. currently two subbies; one outback, and a forester out front. With two hondas as well; one 97 civic, and scrappy. Scrappy was happy as shit to see our driveway.
EF4lyf3

haha that's awesome. Are there any styles you have seen that you like on the site? I think they love to be slammed honestly. They are riding way to high stock Smile take a look at everyone's sedans and let us know what you want to achieve with scrappy.
Scrappersmum

nope, I like how he sits now. I am a 5'2 female, and prefer not to seem any smaller than I already am. Lol
cleanRENO90

Ok, so you're missing fuel.

You said that when you spray some starting fluid into it, it catches and fires?
Check and see if you've got a good fuel pressure regulator, check to see if your injectors are clogged. (you have 2) Make sure your fuel filter isn't clogged up.
cleanRENO90

check to see if you have fuel pressure at the top of the fuel filter by cracking the circled line loose.

tenkaracole

I bet it is the fuel pressure regulatar. Wink and where were you during mothers day! We would of had someone to say happy mothers day 2! Shocked  Oh well happy belated mothers day to you and your new baby! Wink
Scrappersmum

we just did a compressions test, and it was really low. First was 120, second, third and forth were in the 30's range.. what do I do now?
cleanRENO90

Scrappersmum wrote:
we just did a compressions test, and it was really low. First was 120, second, third and forth were in the 30's range.. what do I do now?


pull the head, and see if you have a blown head gasket, or buy yourself a new motor.
Proper282

[quote="cleanRENO90:55421"]
Scrappersmum wrote:

pull the head, and see if you have a blown head gasket, or buy yourself a new motor.


I wouldn't chance buying a used motor. Granted these are damn near bulletproof engines I would buy parts and rebuild it. For around $500-$600 parts and labor(if you put it together your self) you can have a fresh motor. And if you have everything ready you can assemble and drop it in the same day. Just don't go cheap on gaskets. It'll bite you in the ass eventually.

You've found the right place for info here. The folks here are probably the most knowledgeable/least judgemental and most helpful community on the web when it comes to Ef's.  

And +1 for the Subie family! I fell in love the day I bought my WRX. But was still very bummed to give up my sedan so quickly after the rebuild.
Scrappersmum

I think it maybe Carbon deposits keeping my values open. this was a rebuilt engine not to long ago, so I doubt its the head gasket.

This is basically what is happening to scrappy. http://honda-tech.com/showthread.php?t=2716414 and the reason I think it's carbon deposits.

I did find that the rotor screw was off and locked tight it back into place, and then put back in the fully charged battery for the compression test.
cleanRENO90

There's more of a chance you've got a bad headgasket, than carbon deposits on your valves.
Scrappersmum

Why do you think it's more of an head gasket problem, than a carbon deposit problem? I am learning as I go with this car so any background knowledge you have would be highly appreciated.
Scrappersmum

When I hold the gas pedal down, is my butterfly valve supposed to open? just curious? during the compression test the valve didn't open when the car was off, and I pushed on the gas.
4dred6

I think it has 2 the one inside does work with pedal, and the one on top works with vacumm
tenkaracole

If its a recent rebuild...i doubt its the head gasket, UNLESS they didnt get a good one or didnt replace it at all! Shocked One thing you must remember is that one mans rebuild looks different from someone elses! If i were you though i would start by checking your valves!! Cool
Scrappersmum

So I should hold off clear away carbon deposits by putting in the mineral spirit?
89CivicSi

are u gonna pull the head off to clean it?? u don't wanna use minerial spirits if head is still on, just like u don't wanna soak ur piston heads with carb cleaner to clean them that stuff can mess with ur rings, always wipe piston and use soft gristle brush. and for valves u can spray those with carb cleaner to and use bristle brush as well if needed.
cleanRENO90

From my experience, it sounds like the headgasket went, or the timing belt skipped and bent some valves. Even if the valves had deposits, you would be able to get it to run.
Scrappersmum

and that would make my compressions low? the HG, or the timing belt denting my values? Should I start looking into buying new values then?
EF4lyf3

It would be cheaper to buy a new head If that we're the case. I agree^^^ check the timing once again, also, like Reno was saying, if she's starts from stater fluid then you have a fuel issue. Filter could be clogged. That will only set you back about 15 bux at autozone. And how long has that fuel been sitting in that tank? Fuel loses octane after a while and will cause the car to either run very crappy or not at all.
Scrappersmum

What would be the best stuff the unclog the filter?
cleanRENO90

Scrappersmum wrote:
What would be the best stuff the unclog the filter?


New filter.
EF4lyf3

I don't think it's possible/worth the time. I'm guessing that's the original filter, so  24 years of build up is worth just changing the entire filter.
EF4lyf3

The filter is the circled item in the photo above. Just remove both of the bolts ( carful not to lose the banjo fitting/ brass washers) and remove the whole black housing which is the filter. You only need to drop the tank to remove the fuel pump which you said was good to go.

Injector clips are the green and brown clips. The brown clip is the one in the back of the manifold and the green is directly in front of the manifold right in the middle.
EF4lyf3



Been awhile since I been around dual point.

I believe the injectors are the green clip in the photo right under the red intake box

And the brown one is right above it. The green clip shows what it is connected to as in that circle looking sensor is the injectors. Find the brown clip connecting to the same type of sensor and that's the second injector.!!
Scrappersmum

how would I go about flushing the injectors?
Scrappersmum

Just checked the filter, its in pretty good shape.
EF4lyf3

How did you check it? Did you unhook the feed to motor side and see if you are getting decent fuel delivery?
tenkaracole

when you take it off...... this is going to sound weird! But put your hand in front of one side and blow in the other end! Shocked  if it is clogged you wont get good air flow through it! just DONT BREATH IN, and dont smoke soon after either! Shocked
Scrappersmum

I can't get the crank to move. I was trying to put the first piston in TDC but I couldn't get the crank to budge. all the pistons seem to be at all te same levels two. the starter also looks like it is still engaged. I pulled both the starter and the battery, rank still wouldn't budge.
Scrappersmum

yesterday when I did the compression test the car was cranking what could have happened?
89CivicSi

are all the plugs out? even if they weren't still should rotate. that doesn't sound to good.
Scrappersmum

yeah all the spark plugs were out, everything was unbolted, what should I do? I am stumped on this one guys.
89CivicSi

With Starter,plugs are out,car is in neutral, Try rotating the crank using a socket wrench. And if not, fear the worst. That's when u gotta drop pan and girdle and see if anything is froze up. But if all that is out like u say and its not budging, I fear its somethin with crank or pistons, hell could even be cam locked up, try removin timing belt an see if u can rotate it, should be real easy that way.
Scrappersmum

Its an automatic, the crank shaft wont budge with even a breaker bar.
89CivicSi

Ooohhh no Sad an it still can be put in neutral, won't budge if in park. But if its up off ground an in neutral an won't budge with breaker bar than that's a serious porblem than. Hate to say, scrappy's heart may have failed :'(
Scrappersmum

so there is nothing I can do?
89CivicSi

I've never had to deal with a block freezing up, maybe someone else here has but id replace it if its doin that personally
Scrappersmum

I don't understand, just last night the crank was puttering along but it wasn't starting. how could it have seized up since then????????????
89CivicSi

like I said could be crank and rod issue, or cam is locked up. remove timing belt from cam and try and rotate crank than. iv dealt with a cam freezing but never a block.
EF4lyf3

Block might be seized... If starter is unbolted the car is in neutral and all the plugs are out but no movement on the crank pulley then your motor must have seized due to head gasket being blown and water leaking into the piston area with no oil. Migh not seem like its possible but it is. These motors are near bullet proof but when you mix water, fast moving metal components rubbing up against each other creating serious amounts of energy and friction in any situation you will have problems. We could be wrong but it seems you might as well either get a new motor oooor spend the money and get it rebuilt for extra longevity. You said it was rebuilt in the past right? Well whom ever rebuilt it, it's a possibility they didn't rebuild it right.
Scrappersmum

i miss spoke, it was just a jdm engine swap.


F****KKKKKing Sh****t man.
cleanRENO90

Sounds to me like the person you bought it from, drove it for an extensive amount of time after the headgasket blew and caused the bottom end to mar the bearings from heat soak badly enough to cause it to ultimately seize. Quite honestly,  you're still not too far into the car to buy a jdm imported d15b, d16a, or a d16z, and swap it in. Just be sure you buy from a reputable importer who has a warranty that extends beyond a startup warranty.

Swapping a honda engine is incredibly simple.
89CivicSi

sure is, did mine in 3 days with school,a kid, mpfi swap,goin auto to manual. would have been 1 if didn't have other stuff to do and a baby sitter lol
tenkaracole

And correct me if im wrong but she could just put a USDM D15B2 in there! Of corse the engine she has now is most likely MPFI so im confused on how that would work? assuming she could use the MPFI parts from her current engine, it would be quick and painless swap right? Confused
89CivicSi

tenkaracole, go look at pics its dpfi.
tenkaracole

Oooh! my bad! hadnt looked at the pics! Embarassed  thought someone said that it was a jdm motor so just assumed it was MPFI! Embarassed  Sorry thats my falt! Sad
89CivicSi

An plus b2's are dpfi especially usdm
EF4lyf3

tenkaracole wrote:
Oooh! my bad! hadnt looked at the pics! Embarassed  thought someone said that it was a jdm motor so just assumed it was MPFI! Embarassed  Sorry thats my falt! Sad


No worries young padawan
Scrappersmum

cleanRENO90 wrote:
Sounds to me like the person you bought it from, drove it for an extensive amount of time after the headgasket blew and caused the bottom end to mar the bearings from heat soak badly enough to cause it to ultimately seize. Quite honestly,  you're still not too far into the car to buy a jdm imported d15b, d16a, or a d16z, and swap it in. Just be sure you buy from a reputable importer who has a warranty that extends beyond a startup warranty.

Swapping a honda engine is incredibly simple.


I think I am going to try and swap it with either a dd16y8, or d16z6.  just hunting for information on which is a better choice.
89CivicSi

Z6 would be eaiser for u plus its already obd1 as y8 is obd2
Scrappersmum

couldn't I just change out the long block for an 16z6, or 16y8. because all I need to potentaly change out is the cam shaft? and it not effect the ecu?
89CivicSi

Doesn't really work that way lol cam shaft journals are diff, an block hieght between the d15 an d16 are, plus would need a chipped ecu to get it to run right, would have to find a obd0 ecu which won't work. Its just easier to convert to obd1 or get a obd0 motor
Scrappersmum

lol. I see now, haha okay thanks for that major heads up, could have really wasted my money there.
89CivicSi

Ya id suggest if ur just tryin to get it for a dd, get the a6 an just add the extra 2 wires for mpfi, hell u could still run the dpfi with the a6. But not with the z6 or y8 since they are vtech heads. But if ur gettin a motor might as well swap over lol
Scrappersmum

yeah this is my dd. how many miles for the a6 should i be looking for when I'm searching for the motor?
89CivicSi

Well since they pretty much last forever depends on ur preference. Always wanna check it out before buying, meaning pop head off an check piston walls,an valves, yes means u gotta replace hg,but well worth knowin its new, rather than pondering when its gonna go or how old it is. So less could be good but could be bad at same time, plus odometer could have been swapped, seen that a bunch of times in arizona an here in louisiana.
tenkaracole

^^yes! make SURE you check it and replace hg! That is most likely what the guy before you didnt do! Smile
Scrappersmum

89CivicSi wrote:
Well since they pretty much last forever depends on ur preference. Always wanna check it out before buying, meaning pop head off an check piston walls,an valves, yes means u gotta replace hg,but well worth knowin its new, rather than pondering when its gonna go or how old it is. So less could be good but could be bad at same time, plus odometer could have been swapped, seen that a bunch of times in arizona an here in louisiana.


you mean the odometer was swapped to make it seem like the motor has less milage on it? Wow... Good heads up. Thanks.

What's a good tell-tell sign of that deceptive swapping?
tenkaracole

If any thing looks out of place it is most likely swapped! Also you have to go by the old saying if something looks to good to be true it most likely is.
89CivicSi

basically you wont tell with a odometer really, just gotta think that if it looks beat up a lil or enigine looks dirty as shit and od says it has 100k miles its more like 200k miles. its always eaiser to just pop off the head an look at piston walls, pistons tops, valves.
HondaJunkie

I would recommend a d16a6 block over the z6 or y8 those motors are notorious for spun rod bearings just my 2 cents.
EF4lyf3

Very true. Although they might be notorious due to the wrong people either building them or over revving them on low oil lol. The A6 block is truly one of a kind.  If broken in properly, that thing will drop some serious balls lol. It depends if you want V-Tec or not. V-Tec comes with a specific maintenance other than non-V-Tec. I guess I will jump on the wagon and say go A6!
89CivicSi

x2 Smile and with correct upgrades puts out enough to spank the z6 and y8  Twisted Evil (don't ask how I know,No I don't race Cool  )
EF4lyf3

89CivicSi wrote:
x2 Smile and with correct upgrades puts out enough to spank the z6 and y8  Twisted Evil (don't ask how I know,No I don't race Cool  )


true and hilarious at the same time..sucks getting the middle finger for no reason right?
89CivicSi

it does  Sad  im not a cheater just a fibber
tenkaracole

ROTFLMMFAO!!!!!!!!!!!!! At the last comment! OH MY GOD!LOLLLLLLLLLL! Laughing  Laughing  Very Happy
EF4lyf3

lmao
89CivicSi

I may have said I was dpfi an stock, but atleast half was true(kinda) technically im double dpfi  Wink an just not stock
EF Sedan Enthusiast

Back on topic people.
89CivicSi

ya so if you can find a d16a6 that would be a good engine, just make sure u grab the corosponding ecu to go with it
Scrappersmum

89CivicSi wrote:
ya so if you can find a d16a6 that would be a good engine, just make sure u grab the corosponding ecu to go with it


Where will the Ecu be?
Scrappersmum

HondaJunkie wrote:
I would recommend a d16a6 block over the z6 or y8 those motors are notorious for spun rod bearings just my 2 cents.


I have decided to go with a d16a6 block instead. It just makes waaaayy more sicne for my car.

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