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Not the typical idle issue?

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    #46
    Originally posted by johnl View Post
    That's a lot more than it should be. A slack belt is at significant risk of jumping a tooth (or more). It may be that the belt wasn't installed with the correct tension, or that the nut holding the adjuster pulley wasn't tight enough and the adjuster has slipped. It's very unlikely that the belt has stretched, these belts just don't stretch to any significant degree. I'd also have your mechanic check the balance shaft belt for tightness and correct positioning.
    Yeah, I can also slide it right off if I wanted to. I may bring it to Honda here in Berlin, they have some techs that have been working there since these cars were new. I really wish I had the competence to do it my self. I can do lot of other things, and under stand a lot about cars. But I know when to have an expert take over. I figure with a new belt and a new distributor my car will finally be fun to drive. I wonder if those times the car would all of a sudden feel fast was from the belt jumping back to correct timing?
    For the love of god, STOP putting H.I.D's in stock housings!!! Projectors ONLY!!!

    Comment


      #47
      Originally posted by 802cb7 View Post
      Yeah, I can also slide it right off if I wanted to. I may bring it to Honda here in Berlin, they have some techs that have been working there since these cars were new. I really wish I had the competence to do it my self. I can do lot of other things, and under stand a lot about cars. But I know when to have an expert take over. I figure with a new belt and a new distributor my car will finally be fun to drive.
      If the belt is fairly new then it's probably still OK to re-use. Do check the belt for damage, if any then replace it.

      A loose belt is very dangerous for the engine, if the belt jumps enough teeth then the pistons can collide with the valves when the valves are open, which bends the valves (and may also damage the pistons). Any timing belt problem needs to be addressed ASAP, even driving the car to the mechanics' workshop may well be risky.

      A belt change isn't hugely difficult, but it is a bit fiddly and time consuming. It's within the scope of a reasonably competent inexperienced amateur mechanic so long as you follow the instructions carefully. You have to be the judge of your own abilities though.

      Are you sure you need a new distributor? What makes you think so?

      Originally posted by 802cb7 View Post
      I wonder if those times the car would all of a sudden feel fast was from the belt jumping back to correct timing?
      That's my suspicion, but it's no more than a suspicion.
      Regards from Oz,
      John.

      Comment


        #48
        Originally posted by johnl View Post
        Are you sure you need a new distributor? What makes you think so?
        I'm not 100% , but I've been reading about how my type (internal coil) also houses a few things that I suspect might also be getting tired and worn out, and may be contributing as well to some of my performance issues. I also may just be used to faster cars? I wish I knew someone close to me that had the same engine A4 so I could drive it and compare. I dont plan on doing an engine swap for atleast 3-4 years, so I would like to make this one last and perform well and get a little more out of her. Basically the bolt on stuff, and tuned ecu. I want to focus most of my attention for this project on the body, and interior. Anyway, I'm getting off subject. I was going to ask, is there a way to swap to a external coil distributor? Oh yeah, and my seals are leaking on the distributor as well. Just a tiny tiny amount.
        For the love of god, STOP putting H.I.D's in stock housings!!! Projectors ONLY!!!

        Comment


          #49
          Originally posted by 802cb7 View Post
          I'm not 100% , but I've been reading about how my type (internal coil) also houses a few things that I suspect might also be getting tired and worn out, and may be contributing as well to some of my performance issues.
          That would be what Honda call the 'igniter'. I doubt it's causing a performance issue, the failure mode is usually works fine then suddenly doesn't work, at all. I've had two of these die, and that's how they went. They eventually wear out, and can also be damaged by excessive resistance in the ignition leads. My second one died only a week or so after the first one, when I checked the lead resistance it was quite high (well over what it should be). Replaced the leads and the igniter, and haven't had a problem since (famous last words...).

          Originally posted by 802cb7 View Post
          Basically the bolt on stuff, and tuned ecu.
          Personally I can't see much benefit in a 'tuned' ECU unless it's been tuned to work with other significant modifications, and then it really should be custom tuned to match whatever combination of things have been done to that specific engine. This will involve a dynamometer, and a clever man (or woman...) with a laptop...

          Originally posted by 802cb7 View Post
          I was going to ask, is there a way to swap to a external coil distributor?
          Probably, but probably not at all easily.

          Originally posted by 802cb7 View Post
          Oh yeah, and my seals are leaking on the distributor as well. Just a tiny tiny amount.
          The seals are easy to replace. Mostly it's just an annoyance, but it can have an unfortunate consequence. The oil is very likely to drip onto a coolant hose directly beneath the distributor (where it's not immediately obvious unless you deliberately look), and given enough time the oil attacks and softens the rubber. This has the potential to cause a blown coolant hose...
          Regards from Oz,
          John.

          Comment


            #50
            ok, Had my mechanic briefly look at the timing belt. He said the belt is fine and the slack is correct. My guess of 1 1/4 " of slack was wrong. He then said to check and see if after I line everything up to TDC the rotor is pointing at the #1 ignition wire. I did that, and it does indeed point at #1. I then looked at the timing mark on the flywheel and its right at the 15 mark. Isnt it supposed to be at the large white + mark if everything is lined up ? I also noticed I have a oil leak in the distributor and it seems like its been leaking for a while. Is it possible that this could be my issue, in some way? Or is there something I'm just over looking?

            Just a little recap here for people that have not read the entire post:

            Basically the car just doesnt seem that fast, I am unable to set a base idle, and car idles at about 900rpm. Every so often (for the most part after cranking the engine with the dizzy cap off) I'll get the performance I'm assuming these cars have. But it doesnt last long. I have trouble taking off from a stop it looks like i dont know how to drive stick lol. First gear WOT isnt very impressive, put it in second and car will bog down and pick up. there has always been this little skip at idle.


            What i've done:

            New NGK plugs
            New NGK wires
            New cap
            New Rotor
            Full, and bled cooling system
            All ground wires have been checked and cleaned
            Cleaned TB
            New air filter
            New PCV valve
            2 seafoam treatments (No I wasnt expecting that to fix the problem)
            Fresh oil change with can of engine restore
            Changed MT fluid
            Cleaned IACV
            Cleaned and adjusted FITV
            Timing belt was done by former long time Honda tech about 6 months ago
            Replaced termostat (yes I have checked and cleaned the ground on the housing)

            I just want to feel the power of this engine again. I've only been able to experience it a hand full of times. I've had the car now for 3 months.
            For the love of god, STOP putting H.I.D's in stock housings!!! Projectors ONLY!!!

            Comment


              #51
              Originally posted by 802cb7 View Post
              ok, Had my mechanic briefly look at the timing belt. He said the belt is fine and the slack is correct. My guess of 1 1/4 " of slack was wrong. He then said to check and see if after I line everything up to TDC the rotor is pointing at the #1 ignition wire. I did that, and it does indeed point at #1. I then looked at the timing mark on the flywheel and its right at the 15 mark. Isnt it supposed to be at the large white + mark if everything is lined up ? I also noticed I have a oil leak in the distributor and it seems like its been leaking for a while. Is it possible that this could be my issue, in some way? Or is there something I'm just over looking?
              There is a white mark that is also a cross shape, this is TDC. There are three more marks, one of which is longer and red (the middle of the three), this is 15 BTDC (I think the other two are 13 BTDC and 17 BTDC, but don't quote me...).

              If the base timing is at TDC then it's way retarded. When not in 'diagnostic mode' the ECU may not be able to advance the ignition enough to correct such a large retardation. From memory the base timing should be at 15 BTDC.

              The oil leak won't have any affect at all on performance, it's just a leak. Eventually the leaked oil will damage the coolant hose beneath it (if it's dripping onto the hose).

              You may or may not have other issues. Step one; get the base timing correct, see how you go...
              Regards from Oz,
              John.

              Comment


                #52
                Originally posted by johnl View Post
                There is a white mark that is also a cross shape, this is TDC. There are three more marks, one of which is longer and red (the middle of the three), this is 15 BTDC (I think the other two are 13 BTDC and 17 BTDC, but don't quote me...).

                If the base timing is at TDC then it's way retarded. When not in 'diagnostic mode' the ECU may not be able to advance the ignition enough to correct such a large retardation. From memory the base timing should be at 15 BTDC.

                The oil leak won't have any affect at all on performance, it's just a leak. Eventually the leaked oil will damage the coolant hose beneath it (if it's dripping onto the hose).

                You may or may not have other issues. Step one; get the base timing correct, see how you go...
                But in order to get the timing correct, dont I need to have the right base idle? 700 rpm? My car idles at 900 rpm no matter what I try. Adjustment screw is turned almost all the way shut.
                For the love of god, STOP putting H.I.D's in stock housings!!! Projectors ONLY!!!

                Comment


                  #53
                  Originally posted by 802cb7 View Post
                  But in order to get the timing correct, dont I need to have the right base idle? 700 rpm? My car idles at 900 rpm no matter what I try. Adjustment screw is turned almost all the way shut.
                  May be. But I suspect that in 'diagnostic mode' the ECU won't change the ignition timing from 'base', so if the base timing is X&#176; at 700rpm it will probably be X&#176; at 900rpm. However, I am making an assumption that may or may not be correct.

                  To check what the base idle is doing at different rpm (in diagnostic mode), you could remove the induction tube from the throttle body, then shoot the timing light at the timing marks at 900rpm, then with your hand choke off the air intake at the TB, and observe whether or not the timing changes as the rpm fall.

                  The engine should stall with the TB intake completely blocked (if it doesn't then there must be an air leak somewhere after the TB). You should be able to control the idle speed depending on how fully the TB intake is blocked with your hand. So, while using the timing light in diagnostic mode progressively block the intake while observing the timing. My guess is that the timing won't change as the idle rpm fall, but I could be wrong.

                  I also suspect that if the ignition is quite retarded (whether the 'base' timing with the ECU in 'diagnostic mode', or ECU adjusted in normal mode, i.e. as far advanced as the ECU may be able to 'correct' the incorrect base timing), then despite the idle rpm currently being too high already, the idle speed may well be significantly slower than it otherwise would be with correct timing (?).

                  If so then with the base timing correctly adjusted (and thus also with correct timing with the ECU in 'normal mode'), then the idle speed may well be significantly higher than the 900rpm you currently have now. If so then this might mean that retarded ignition timing may be masking what might be an even higher idle speed as would occur with correct timing?

                  If you find the base timing is wrong, then adjust it. If my previous speculation is correct (that idle speed may be 'artificially' lower than it would otherwise be due to retarded ignition timing), then with correct ignition timing the idle may well be higher than the already high 900rpm you currently have. If so then you would need to find the cause of the high idle speed, which will be an air leak at some point in or post TB.
                  Last edited by johnl; 10-26-2014, 11:39 PM.
                  Regards from Oz,
                  John.

                  Comment


                    #54
                    Yesterday I did a few things. I replaced the coil, and replaced the ignitor. I also checked for air leaks again by placing a piece of cardboard over the TB, the car did stall. So thats good. I also replaced the O-ring on the Dizzy. I did notice a slight difference with the new ignition parts, but nothing too crazy. I attempted a base idle again. Got it right where it should be, then did timing. Car still wants to idle high, and what strange is after getting timing back to 15* and driving around the car feels a little better but now my car feels like its going to die at stop lights . however, I can now take of from a stop without the car jerking and looking like I'm a newb to driving stick. dizzy is still turned fully to the right. I wonder, I know on other cars the coolant temp sensor plays a major roll in the operation of things. Especially on older VW's, I've had a new CTS fix tons of issues on older cars. Could this be my problem? I know VW guys that have spare CTS in there glove boxes cause they go bad all the time.
                    Here are some pics of where the car idles, and the timing, you can see that is right at 15* this is in 'diagnostic mode'




                    Here is a pic of the Distributor, see how I have to have it turned all the way to the right?


                    For the love of god, STOP putting H.I.D's in stock housings!!! Projectors ONLY!!!

                    Comment


                      #55
                      dont know if this matters but it just came to me. My throwout bearing is starting to go and I'm assuming my clutch is getting a little weak. Its still hold and doesnt slip up hill or anything. Just noticed the bearing is starting to make noise. This wouldnt have any direct effect on the flywheel and timing marks would it?
                      For the love of god, STOP putting H.I.D's in stock housings!!! Projectors ONLY!!!

                      Comment


                        #56
                        Originally posted by 802cb7 View Post
                        I also checked for air leaks again by placing a piece of cardboard over the TB, the car did stall. So thats good.
                        Yes, but it doesn't necessarily mean that there is no leak causing a high idle speed. it only means that if a leak exists, it isn't bad enough to allow the engine to idle with all other sources of induction air blocked off. An air leak could still be causing a high idle when the TB is unblocked.

                        Originally posted by 802cb7 View Post
                        I attempted a base idle again. Got it right where it should be, then did timing. Car still wants to idle high,
                        Which at least suggests that ignition timing was causing an 'artificially' low idle speed, which 'naturally' increases to higher than it should be when the timing is corrected to spec.

                        Note that the highest idle speed will typically tend to be achieved with the ignition timing a little too advanced, correct timing will usually cause the idle rpm to fall a bit below the highest idle you can achieve by rotating the distributor. Lower than spec idle can be caused if the timing is too retarded, or if advanced beyond the point at which highest idle speed occurs (keeping in mind that highest idle speed will most probably equate to the base timing being a little too advanced).

                        I still suspect an air leak, or perhaps the butterfly stop adjusting screw has been opened up a bit at some point. This screw shouldn't be used to adjust idle speed, but someone may have done so if the idle were too low due to blockage in the air bypass orifice (base idle air flow should only be adjusted with the slot headed 'plug' in the TB body), or, if the IACV were not correcting idle speed when parasitic drag is trying to lower idle speed (AC etc. etc.).

                        The butterfly valve should always be slightly 'cracked' open at it's most closed position. If not then the butterfly disc can stick shut when the TB casting cools down and contracts. However, it shouldn't be more open than this when 'fully' closed.

                        Originally posted by 802cb7 View Post
                        and what strange is after getting timing back to 15* and driving around the car feels a little better but now my car feels like its going to die at stop lights .
                        AC on or off? This suggests an IACV problem, i.e. the IACV isn't compensating for the drag caused by parasitic loads. If so then it's unlikely to be an IACV gasket leak, but more likely to be a faulty IACV or electrical connection (which should cause a CEL). It's also possible for one or both of the little screens inside the IACV to be blocked with crap (the screens can easily be seen when you take the IACV off the plenum chamber).

                        Originally posted by 802cb7 View Post
                        however, I can now take of from a stop without the car jerking and looking like I'm a newb to driving stick. dizzy is still turned fully to the right.
                        Distributor rotated clockwise all the way to the right (viewed from the right hand side of the engine bay) means that the timing is as retarded as rotating the distributor body can make it...?

                        You need to make certain that your base timing is correct, and move on from there if that doesn't fix the problem. I'm getting a little confused as to exactly where your base timing is. It wouldn't cost much to have an experienced mechanic check it for you...

                        Originally posted by 802cb7 View Post
                        I wonder, I know on other cars the coolant temp sensor plays a major roll in the operation of things. Especially on older VW's, I've had a new CTS fix tons of issues on older cars. Could this be my problem? I know VW guys that have spare CTS in there glove boxes cause they go bad all the time.
                        I can't really say, but I tend to doubt it...
                        Regards from Oz,
                        John.

                        Comment


                          #57
                          Originally posted by 802cb7 View Post
                          dont know if this matters but it just came to me. My throwout bearing is starting to go and I'm assuming my clutch is getting a little weak. Its still hold and doesnt slip up hill or anything. Just noticed the bearing is starting to make noise. This wouldnt have any direct effect on the flywheel and timing marks would it?
                          Not even an indirect affect.

                          Regards,
                          John.
                          Regards from Oz,
                          John.

                          Comment


                            #58
                            I've tried so many times to get base timing correct. Maybe I'm doing it wrong?


                            What do you recommend for base timing?
                            As for the butterfly adjustment screw it hasn't been touched, still has the yellow paint on it from the factory.

                            If you wouldn't mind explaining how to do the base timing that would be great!!!
                            For the love of god, STOP putting H.I.D's in stock housings!!! Projectors ONLY!!!

                            Comment


                              #59
                              Originally posted by 802cb7 View Post
                              I've tried so many times to get base timing correct. Maybe I'm doing it wrong?
                              That's what I'm wondering.

                              Originally posted by 802cb7 View Post
                              What do you recommend for base timing?
                              As I said, I think at this point it might be best to have it done for you by an experienced mechanic?

                              Originally posted by 802cb7 View Post
                              As for the butterfly adjustment screw it hasn't been touched, still has the yellow paint on it from the factory.
                              Maybe not, it was just a thought. That there is still some yellow paint on the screw doesn't necessarily mean it hasn't been touched.

                              Originally posted by 802cb7 View Post
                              If you wouldn't mind explaining how to do the base timing that would be great!!!
                              OK, from scratch;

                              Insert some metal wire into the blue female diagnostic plug. Bend the wire into a U shape and insert each end into each connection in the plug. This should cause a CEL. The ECU should now not 'interfere' with the base ignition timing no matter where it is.

                              The ECU will now also not attempt to change the idle speed to spec (by means of the IACV). Do all you can to get the idle to spec, as close as you can. If the idle speed is too low then adjust it at the slot headed TB plug. If significantly too high, then you could try the cardboard trick, i.e. place the sheet of cardboard (that you used earlier) over the TB intake, but punch a small hole in it to allow at least some air to pass through it. This may take some trial and error to find the right sized hole that will allow correct idle speed (it doesn't need to be exactly spec idle speed, but near enough).

                              Connect a timing light and start the engine. Shoot the light at the timing marks. If the pointer lines up at the red 15 mark then base timing is correct. If not then rotate the distributor until the pointer does point at the 15 mark. Note whether the idle speed increases or falls as the timing is corrected.

                              Remove the cardboard (if you tried this trick). Tighten the distributor. Now is a good time to find out whether or not idle speed actually does have any significant affect on the base timing; give the engine a small rev while observing the timing marks, if the base timing changes then this means that the base timing is affected by idle speed, if not then you know it isn't, and base timing can be adjusted even if the idle is a bit too high.

                              Pay attention to whether the timing is stable, at idle do the marks remain steady relative to the pointer, or do they 'scatter' each side of the pointer? A small amount of 'scatter' is not good but not all that bad, but if it seems a lot or very erratic then there may be significant wear in the distributor shaft bearings.

                              Remove the diagnostic plug wire. Re-check the timing to see if the ECU makes any change to the idle speed timing (it shouldn't, at least not at correct spec idle, but just to make sure the ECU hasn't 'learnt' any bad habits because of any incorrect base timing it may have previously had, I'd disconnect the battery for 10 minutes to reset the ECU, and check again). If you now rev the engine the timing ought to change significantly as the ECU adjusts it according to it's programming.

                              If the idle speed is too high with base timing correct then it's most probably an air leak problem, not an ignition timing problem.
                              Regards from Oz,
                              John.

                              Comment


                                #60
                                Originally posted by johnl View Post
                                That's what I'm wondering.



                                As I said, I think at this point it might be best to have it done for you by an experienced mechanic?



                                Maybe not, it was just a thought. That there is still some yellow paint on the screw doesn't necessarily mean it hasn't been touched.



                                OK, from scratch;

                                Insert some metal wire into the blue female diagnostic plug. Bend the wire into a U shape and insert each end into each connection in the plug. This should cause a CEL. The ECU should now not 'interfere' with the base ignition timing no matter where it is.

                                The ECU will now also not attempt to change the idle speed to spec (by means of the IACV). Do all you can to get the idle to spec, as close as you can. If the idle speed is too low then adjust it at the slot headed TB plug. If significantly too high, then you could try the cardboard trick, i.e. place the sheet of cardboard (that you used earlier) over the TB intake, but punch a small hole in it to allow at least some air to pass through it. This may take some trial and error to find the right sized hole that will allow correct idle speed (it doesn't need to be exactly spec idle speed, but near enough).

                                Connect a timing light and start the engine. Shoot the light at the timing marks. If the pointer lines up at the red 15 mark then base timing is correct. If not then rotate the distributor until the pointer does point at the 15 mark. Note whether the idle speed increases or falls as the timing is corrected.

                                Remove the cardboard (if you tried this trick). Tighten the distributor. Now is a good time to find out whether or not idle speed actually does have any significant affect on the base timing; give the engine a small rev while observing the timing marks, if the base timing changes then this means that the base timing is affected by idle speed, if not then you know it isn't, and base timing can be adjusted even if the idle is a bit too high.

                                Pay attention to whether the timing is stable, at idle do the marks remain steady relative to the pointer, or do they 'scatter' each side of the pointer? A small amount of 'scatter' is not good but not all that bad, but if it seems a lot or very erratic then there may be significant wear in the distributor shaft bearings.

                                Remove the diagnostic plug wire. Re-check the timing to see if the ECU makes any change to the idle speed timing (it shouldn't, at least not at correct spec idle, but just to make sure the ECU hasn't 'learnt' any bad habits because of any incorrect base timing it may have previously had, I'd disconnect the battery for 10 minutes to reset the ECU, and check again). If you now rev the engine the timing ought to change significantly as the ECU adjusts it according to it's programming.

                                If the idle speed is too high with base timing correct then it's most probably an air leak problem, not an ignition timing problem.
                                Wow, thank you very much for taking the time to type that all out for me. Thanks also for the help. I'll be sure to try this out tomorrow. I did mess around a bit with it tonight, ive just been following what my hayes manual says. I've noticed that turning the distributor makes no real difference in idle speed what so ever. Advancing it does raise the idle speed slightly but honestly not very much at all,Barely even noticeable. Idle screw all the way in and the car still will idle at around 900rpm. This is all while in diagnostic mode BTW. Also, when I move the Dizzy to the center (like its supposed to be) the 15* mark will move about a 1/2 to 3/4 of an inch up from the alignment mark .
                                For the love of god, STOP putting H.I.D's in stock housings!!! Projectors ONLY!!!

                                Comment

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