Electronics Repair (sci.electronics.repair) Discussion of repairing electronic equipment. Topics include requests for assistance, where to obtain servicing information and parts, techniques for diagnosis and repair, and annecdotes about success, failures and problems.

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
  #1   Report Post  
Posted to sci.electronics.repair
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 34
Default Checking ignition in 1990 Honda Civic Si, 1.6 liter.

Hi,

A 1990 Honda Civic Si, 1.6 liter here.

The engine starts fairly easily. It begins to falter as it warms.
After driving for 10-15 minutes it's barely running. If the engine is
shut off or stalls, it won't restart until cooled to ambient.

With an old mechanical distributor I would remove the cap with high
voltage wires all connected. Rotate the crank shaft until points are
closed. With the inside of the cap facing up, place a coin between
the center contact and a spark plug contact, not touching both.
Switch on the ignition. (Not the starter of course.) Then lift the
points open with finger nail or screw driver tip. The spark should be
visible jumping via the coin. The spark at each plug is easily
checked by shifting the coin.

In the Honda distributor, no points are visible and high voltage is
created in a module inside the cap. No external coil as in the old
style ignition.

Can the coin test be done with this type of disributor?

Thanks, ... Peter E., Pender Island, BC
  #2   Report Post  
Posted to sci.electronics.repair
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 151
Default Checking ignition in 1990 Honda Civic Si, 1.6 liter.

Whether there is a visible coil or not, there is a coil, AKA "Ignition Control Module". A thermal fault in these devices is not uncommon, and the typical failure-mode (after 30 years). About a US$55 part, or so. That being written, do you have a spark when the system is hot? You can verify that rather easily by pulling any given sparkplug wire (at the plug), installing a spare plug, grounding said plug and checking for a spark by running the starter for a few seconds. Or, if you have an old-fashioned induction timing strobe, seeing if it will fire (with the wires connected).

No spark, suspect the ignition module.
Good Spark, suspect the fuel filter, fuel pump or fuel system. Old fuel filters will often flow fine until the dirt particles pull back into the elements under suction. So one attributes the failure to ignition... A filter is about a US$35 ordeal.

Be systematic as repair-by-substitution is expensive.

https://shop.advanceautoparts.com/p/...ntrol%20module

https://shop.advanceautoparts.com/p/...=fuel%20filter

Peter Wieck
Melrose Park, PA
  #3   Report Post  
Posted to sci.electronics.repair
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 96
Default Checking ignition in 1990 Honda Civic Si, 1.6 liter.

On Thursday, January 28, 2021 at 9:25:52 PM UTC-5, Peter Easthope wrote:
Hi,

A 1990 Honda Civic Si, 1.6 liter here.

The engine starts fairly easily. It begins to falter as it warms.
After driving for 10-15 minutes it's barely running. If the engine is
shut off or stalls, it won't restart until cooled to ambient.

With an old mechanical distributor I would remove the cap with high
voltage wires all connected. Rotate the crank shaft until points are
closed. With the inside of the cap facing up, place a coin between
the center contact and a spark plug contact, not touching both.
Switch on the ignition. (Not the starter of course.) Then lift the
points open with finger nail or screw driver tip. The spark should be
visible jumping via the coin. The spark at each plug is easily
checked by shifting the coin.

In the Honda distributor, no points are visible and high voltage is
created in a module inside the cap. No external coil as in the old
style ignition.

Can the coin test be done with this type of disributor?


Coin? No, but you can still check spark much easier than that. But...

I had friend's Honda do the same thing yours is doing, and it was a bad fuel pump that stiffened up as it ran. Put a gauge on the Schrader valve (fuel rail) and see if the pressure holds.

If the fuel pressure is good and you want to check ignition, pull a spark plug when the engine is cold (leaving it connected to the ignition wire) and ground the threaded part. Have someone crank it over and watch the spark. Repeat again once the car is hot and see if the spark stays a nice fat blue spark or if it's now a weak yellow spark or no spark. If the spark is strong when the car is hot, it's not ignition.

If it's ignition, you can buy a rebuilt distributor that includes the coil, pickups, and electronics, any of which can cause ignition problems. A distributor assy will cover all bases.
  #4   Report Post  
Posted to sci.electronics.repair
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 261
Default Checking ignition in 1990 Honda Civic Si, 1.6 liter.

A 30 year old car that won't run hot sounds like fuel to me rather than spark.

You can check spark easily so I guess you might as well, but not at the distributor. check it at the plug, or even at the spark plug wire boot.

Remember anything you take apart in a car that old may break either uninstalling or reinstalling. (speaking from experience)

You did check the fuel line for a hot spot that might vapor lock, right?

  #5   Report Post  
Posted to sci.electronics.repair
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 32
Default Checking ignition in 1990 Honda Civic Si, 1.6 liter.

In article ,
says...

Hi,

A 1990 Honda Civic Si, 1.6 liter here.

The engine starts fairly easily. It begins to falter as it warms.
After driving for 10-15 minutes it's barely running. If the engine is
shut off or stalls, it won't restart until cooled to ambient.

With an old mechanical distributor I would remove the cap with high
voltage wires all connected. Rotate the crank shaft until points are
closed. With the inside of the cap facing up, place a coin between
the center contact and a spark plug contact, not touching both.
Switch on the ignition. (Not the starter of course.) Then lift the
points open with finger nail or screw driver tip. The spark should be
visible jumping via the coin. The spark at each plug is easily
checked by shifting the coin.

In the Honda distributor, no points are visible and high voltage is
created in a module inside the cap. No external coil as in the old
style ignition.

Can the coin test be done with this type of disributor?


Check the main relay. It is a well-known failure point in Civics/CRXs of
that vintage. I used to have a 90 CRX Si (same engine as the Civic Si),
and went round and round with a local shop replacing all manner of
electrical components until finally discovering that the main relay was
the culprit.

https://honda-tech.com/forums/honda-...-3/car-starts-
dies-when-warm-2119566/

https://honda-tech.com/forums/honda-...91-3/checking-
main-relay-pics-2535047/

--
Dave


  #6   Report Post  
Posted to sci.electronics.repair
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 34
Default Checking ignition in 1990 Honda Civic Si, 1.6 liter.

Jan 29, 2021, 3:23:38 PM (2 days ago)
Put a gauge on the Schrader valve (fuel rail) and see if the pressure holds.


Haven't found a Schrader valve.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Schrader_valve
Is it hidden inside something?

Dave Garrett 3:39 PM (1 hour ago)
Check the main relay. It is a well-known failure point
in Civics/CRXs of that vintage.


The Haynes manual has almost nothing about the relay.
It's under the dash? In the engine compartment?

Thanks, ... P.

  #7   Report Post  
Posted to sci.electronics.repair
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 151
Default Checking ignition in 1990 Honda Civic Si, 1.6 liter.

So we have established that it is not ignition, but fuel related? Have you _ever_ changed the fuel filter in 30 years?

Fuel-pump relay failures are seldom (not never) thermal. Once they latch, they tend to be fine.

Peter Wieck
Melrose Park, PA
  #8   Report Post  
Posted to sci.electronics.repair
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 16
Default Checking ignition in 1990 Honda Civic Si, 1.6 liter.

On 01/02/2021 12:32, Peter W. wrote:
So we have established that it is not ignition, but fuel related? Have you _ever_ changed the fuel filter in 30 years?

Fuel-pump relay failures are seldom (not never) thermal. Once they latch, they tend to be fine.

Peter Wieck
Melrose Park, PA




OK

This is just an observation, from a man who has never owned a Honda car

In the normal course of events, if a car starts from OK from cold, and
then doesnt want to start when its hot then it might be caused by the
mixture being too rich - like as if the choke is stuck on (for those of
us old enough to remember what a choke is)

I have experienced this problem a few times on various petrol engines,
and its usually something to do with a thermostat somewhere - so maybe
something in the system thinks that the engine is still cold ?

My instinct tells me that if its got enough fuel to start and run when
its cold (and needs more fuel) then its not likely to be a problem with
the fuel filter.

Probably of no relevance whatever in this case, but just may be worth
thinking about ...

AT
  #9   Report Post  
Posted to sci.electronics.repair
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 151
Default Checking ignition in 1990 Honda Civic Si, 1.6 liter.

My instinct tells me that if its got enough fuel to start and run when
its cold (and needs more fuel) then its not likely to be a problem with
the fuel filter.


Patient: 1999 VW Eurovan Camper - VR6 engine. 72,000 miles.
Symptom: Started fine. Ran fine for about 20 minutes or the first hill. After which it would get progressively weaker, then stall.
Spark at start: Good.
Fuel Pressure at start: Good.
Spark hot: Good
Fuel Pressure hot: Poor.
Cause: Clogged fuel filter - OEM to the vehicle, I replaced it in 2012. Specs call for every 50,000 miles.
Action: Replaced the fuel filter. Problem solved.

Apparently, the within fuel filter when cold (not under pressure) contaminants will separate from the element and settle at the bottom of the can. Apparently, this allows enough fuel flow to get the engine started, even running for a while until the element reclogs and restricts flow.

Hence the suggestion.

Peter WIeck
Melrose Park, PA
  #10   Report Post  
Posted to sci.electronics.repair
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 16
Default Checking ignition in 1990 Honda Civic Si, 1.6 liter.

On 02/02/2021 20:47, Peter W. wrote:
My instinct tells me that if its got enough fuel to start and run when
its cold (and needs more fuel) then its not likely to be a problem with
the fuel filter.


Patient: 1999 VW Eurovan Camper - VR6 engine. 72,000 miles.
Symptom: Started fine. Ran fine for about 20 minutes or the first hill. After which it would get progressively weaker, then stall.
Spark at start: Good.
Fuel Pressure at start: Good.
Spark hot: Good
Fuel Pressure hot: Poor.
Cause: Clogged fuel filter - OEM to the vehicle, I replaced it in 2012. Specs call for every 50,000 miles.
Action: Replaced the fuel filter. Problem solved.

Apparently, the within fuel filter when cold (not under pressure) contaminants will separate from the element and settle at the bottom of the can. Apparently, this allows enough fuel flow to get the engine started, even running for a while until the element reclogs and restricts flow.

Hence the suggestion.

Peter WIeck
Melrose Park, PA


as I said

Probably of no relevance whatever in this case, but just may be worth
thinking about ...

AT


  #12   Report Post  
Posted to sci.electronics.repair
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 34
Default Checking ignition in 1990 Honda Civic Si, 1.6 liter.

On Monday, Feb 1, 2021, 4:32:24 AM (6 days ago), Peter Wieck wrote,
Have you _ever_ changed the fuel filter in 30 years?


My mother was the original owner and drove it until a few years ago.
The fuel filter could have been changed; I don't know. The user
manual calls for replacement every 96 Mm (megametres). Will change it
now and test again.

So we have established that it is not ignition, but fuel related?


Pulled the cable from plug 1 and connected an old plug. With just a
little cranking the engine started on 3 cylinders. Ran fairly well
for several minutes. The spark was absolutely visible. Yellow rather
than blue. As the engine heated it began to falter. Quit after about
10 minutes. Behavour entirely similar to what I reported originally.
Three cylinders quit a little sooner than four.

Feb 6, 2021, 9:08:20 PM (10 hours ago) Dave Garrett wrote,
Sorry for the delayed response. Should be under the dash near the
fusebox. Here's a thread with pictures that is specific to the CRX but
I'm fairly certain that most/all of the info contained within is
applicable to the Civic Si as well.

https://www.crxcommunity.com/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=56535


Good thanks. After installing a new filter and testing, will resolder
the relay. This car might still be running in 2050. Electric drive
conversion kit? Run on ethanol then? =8~)

Thx, ... P.
  #13   Report Post  
Posted to sci.electronics.repair
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 151
Default Checking ignition in 1990 Honda Civic Si, 1.6 liter.

Without being snarky - and specifically based on your intention for this vehicle to run forever, a truly admirable ambition:

Let's be systematic.
a) You have confirmed a weak spark - yellow, and failing over a short period of time.
b) You have completed a maintenance task that while perhaps not 100% necessary is at least not a wasted effort - replacing the fuel filter.
c) Re-soldering the fuel-pump relay lugs is a good thing, again even if not absolutely necessary in hindsight - although if it cures the issue - all the better.
d) Next step would be the ignition control module/coil/distributor system. You may test the coil separately:

https://honda-tech.com/forums/attach...cture_3395.jpg

Or, purchase a complete assembly with all of it either new or reconditioned. I would hate for you to have to do more than what is necessary to effect the cure. Either way, a weak spark does suggest a coil - about a $15 ordeal from Amazon.

Peter Wieck
Melrose Park, PA
  #14   Report Post  
Posted to sci.electronics.repair
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 96
Default Checking ignition in 1990 Honda Civic Si, 1.6 liter.

On Sunday, February 7, 2021 at 11:03:41 AM UTC-5, Peter Easthope wrote:


Pulled the cable from plug 1 and connected an old plug. With just a
little cranking the engine started on 3 cylinders. Ran fairly well
for several minutes. The spark was absolutely visible. Yellow rather
than blue. As the engine heated it began to falter. Quit after about
10 minutes. Behavour entirely similar to what I reported originally.
Three cylinders quit a little sooner than four.




You didn't follow the instructions properly. The steps were to look at the spark when it was cold and running well, then looking again after it crapped out. By running the car with the plug in the cylinder disconnected, you were pumping unburned fuel into the cat - which is why I worded it as I did. Pumping unburned gas into the cat is a fine way to melt it down in minutes. Hopefully this didn't happen.

"As the engine heated it began to falter."


What began to falter?? The engine, the spark, both?
  #15   Report Post  
Posted to sci.electronics.repair
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 151
Default Checking ignition in 1990 Honda Civic Si, 1.6 liter.

Mr. Easthope is insisting on an non-linear approach, sadly. Which will lead to needless frustration and many blind alleys.

Let's start over with what we know right now:

a) The fuel filter has been replaced.
b) The main relay does not affect the spark. But re-soldering it is not a bad thing.
c) Parsing what was written by Mr. Easthope +/-4:32 am on February 1, 2021, when cold the car presents a yellow (weak) spark, when hot, no spark at all.
d) No spark at all pretty much eliminates a fuel issue as the primary culprit - and given the new filter, even that is unlikely.
e) Leaving spark.

So, in a linear (logical) fashion what could cause a thermal fault that causes a weak , then no spark?
a) Coil - thermal faults are exceedingly common in coils. If the coil is OEM, that becomes the first suspect.
1. Coils are cheap. $15 or so from Amazon.
2. Coils are easy to install - perhaps 15 minutes on a bad day, with the correct tools and good light.
b) Ignition Control Module - not so cheap ($26 or so) and a little fussier to install.
c) Distributor Module - From as little as $90 to as much as $200 - and as you suggest, covers all the bases. Requires a certain amount of care to install. I am not sufficiently familiar with Hondas to know if timing is an issue with a new distributor, or if it is all via the Hall-sensor. There is a Hall Sensor, so I suspect the latter.

Best of luck, Peter! Looks like you are going to need it.

Peter Wieck
Melrose Park, PA


  #16   Report Post  
Posted to sci.electronics.repair
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 96
Default Checking ignition in 1990 Honda Civic Si, 1.6 liter.

On Tuesday, February 9, 2021 at 12:33:10 PM UTC-5, Peter W. wrote:

c) Parsing what was written by Mr. Easthope +/-4:32 am on February 1, 2021, when cold the car presents a yellow (weak) spark, when hot, no spark at all.


Peter Wieck
Melrose Park, PA




I'm not sure that's what he meant!

Here's his quote:

"With just a
little cranking the engine started on 3 cylinders. Ran fairly well
for several minutes. The spark was absolutely visible. Yellow rather
than blue. As the engine heated it began to falter. Quit after about
10 minutes. Behavour entirely similar to what I reported originally. "


"As the engine heated *it* began to falter." That "it" could mean either the spark began to falter or the engine did...

  #17   Report Post  
Posted to sci.electronics.repair
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 151
Default Checking ignition in 1990 Honda Civic Si, 1.6 liter.

Sequence-of-tense and basic grammar dictate that "it" is the engine that is faltering. After which presumption begins. Therein lies the danger.

Point being that in a technical discussion, words matter. "But you know what I mean...." does not apply. All we know is what is written. Mr. Easthope is not pursuing this problem with either rigor or logic. All we can do is be clear and concise in what we suggest within the limits presented.

Peter Wieck
Melrose Park, PA
  #18   Report Post  
Posted to sci.electronics.repair
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 633
Default Checking ignition in 1990 Honda Civic Si, 1.6 liter.

On 2/10/21 6:08 AM, Peter W. wrote:
All we can do is be clear and concise in what we suggest within the limits presented.


This UseNet, that will never happen.


--
"I am a river to my people."
Jeff-1.0
WA6FWi
http:foxsmercantile.com
Reply
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules

Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Paint Code for Honda Civic Alloys [email protected] UK diy 5 October 11th 13 04:33 PM
Honda Civic 1.7 vtec Automatic madiekd Metalworking 0 February 25th 10 01:26 AM
OT - Finally - A Man's Honda Civic J T Woodworking 1 December 18th 07 05:52 PM
4 questiones about an old honda ignition system. mm Home Repair 2 November 11th 06 02:59 PM
wire the harness from the pioneer to the honda civic 2001 jenashurst Home Repair 3 April 21st 06 09:52 PM


All times are GMT +1. The time now is 11:27 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Copyright ©2000 - 2023, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright 2004-2023 DIYbanter.
The comments are property of their posters.
 

About Us

"It's about DIY & home improvement"