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2G: Engine Miss over 3k RPM's

2700 Views 7 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  Kwicko
I need some advice guys. I posted this problem in another forum but so far nothing has helped.

Basically my engine has had a miss in it for almost a year. It originally started when the car overheated from a long trip. I drove it for about a month with the miss until it would no longer start. So a mechanic recommended that I replace the internal coil with an external. So I purchased the MSD Cap and MSD SS e-coil. It started right up, but it still had a miss at higher RPM's.

I then replaced the spark plugs which were pretty bad with Densos. The miss was still present so I then replaced the fuel filter and O2 sensor, that didn't help either.

I then took my unkle's advice and had the compression and timing checked. The compression was perfect. But I noticed that the timing was off a bit. Moving the distributor only moved the red mark further away. I couldn't move the distributor counter clockwise because it was already as far over as it would go. It looks as though some one has moved the distributor before.

So I am now wondering if this could be my problem. I was thinking about an article I read the other day about finding TDC on a Si. I wonder if the person that replaced the timing belt before me used the wrong method of finding TDC but instead of fixing it, they just moved the distributor. If this is the problem should I replace the timing belt or is the a way of adusting it without taking it off.

I'm thinking that if I get this fixed I might make my way up to Niagra. But until then it looks as though I will be driving my 96 Civic.

Thanks for any help,


Some info on my CRX
1988 CRX Si
161,000 and does not smoke
HKS Intake
Relocated Odessey Battery
Custom 2.25" Exhaust
MSD Cap and Coil
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Hmmm... The last time that my car started missing and backfiring was when the distributor was starting to go. The bearings were starting to wear and it would sometimes cause a bit of wobble that would make the rotor miss the contacts on the distributor cap. Do you ever notice any high pitch squealing or metal scraping sounds from that area of the engine bay?

The only other thing that I can think of is the possibility that something is slightly warped from the overheating, resulting in the same sort of effect at certain RPM's.
Well I am going to go ahead and replace the timing belt, water pump, and tensioner. I was curious if it is highly recommended to replace the tensioner because it is the most expensive part. Also is there any manufacturer I should stay away from when I buy these products. It looks as though the belt needs to be replaced anyway and if it doesn't help at least I know I have a new belt and water pump. Also is there anything else I should know about doing this?


I would say to use actual Honda parts for them. As for the tensioner, I can't really help you there...
I'm about to do the same job this weekend. (Not the tensioner though.) Bought the real Honda parts from for less than $90. Well worth it for genuine Honda.
I have to replace the tensioner on my's the last piece that seems to be preventing me from getting it up and running. Something appears to have bent the tensioner, so the timing belt keeps jumping teeth. However, before I can do that, I have to get that cursed crank pulley bolt out. LOL. I bought the tool that Kwicko mentioned, so I'll let you guys know how it works out.
Looks as though I am going to by from Majestic as well. Called my local Honda dealer earlier for a price on a part and I was blown away. I figured I would go ahead and get my AC working this summer by purchasing an AC pulley. So far I have found that no one carries it other then Honda dealers. Majestic had it listed for $33.00 but my local honda dealer wanted $75.00. I pretty much put the phone down right then and thought it would be better just to order everything at once from Majestic.

So the tensioner isn't required replacement?
"Required"? Well... it depends on what condition it's in. I've seen old tensioners that still spun freely, and newer ones that felt gritty. Basically, you have to KNOW that yours is good before you re-use it. In other words, if you can't afford the downtime, I'd say buy another just to be safe...

Honda genuine parts all the way, at least when it comes to water pumps and tensioners! I did mine at 123,000 miles, and used a "GAB" brand water pump. It looked and felt fine, it fit fine, and it seemed fine - for about 18,000 miles! Then it crapped on me when I was getting the car ready for my wife to go out of town. It started making a *little* squeaking noise, so I spent the better part of two hours checking and adjusting the belts, the A/C pulley, and replacing the alternator (had a good spare lying around), and it was still making noise. And getting worse, just sitting and idling! I finally tracked the noise to the water pump, and decided to drive home from my shop and work on it over the weekend - which necessitated me renting a car for my wife to take to her mother's. :(

By the time I got home (40 miles), the pump had already starting leaking out the weep-hole in the bottom of the housing. I ended up having to rent a tow dolly and tow the car back up to the shop that weekend, then had to tow it back home when I was done. All for a lousy $15 savings on the water pump!

Fortunately a friend at the Honda dealership hooked me up with prices on new parts. I went ahead and replaced the tensioner and t-belt at the same time, and he matched Majestic's pricing. Not a normal practice for that dealership, unfortunately, or I'd buy parts from them all the time.

Some parts I'll skrimp and save on, but from now on, not water pumps, timing belts, or tensioners!

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