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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey everyone... A friend of mine recently picked up a '92 Integra GS with a blown motor (the crank was seized from what I can tell). He replaced the block, head and intake manifold with one from a '91, using the '92 distributor, wiring harness and injectors. After replacing the cap, rotor and tossing in a new battery, it fired right up... though it had a slight studder at idle, so we replaced the sparkplugs which didn't help. It was also throwing codes 9 (CYP sensor) and 41 (O2 heater)
Anyway, he drove it around for an hour or so without any problems and was on his way home when it sputtered a little and died (he said he was accelerating, shifting from 1st to 2nd).
I took a look at it this afternoon and found it had good fuel pressure but wasn't getting any spark as checked with a timing light and visually (the replacement cap was one of those bling'n clear ones). Over the course of a few hours we checked all three distributor sensors and their wiring (355 ohms ± 1 ohm, no shorts to ground), the ignition coil, replaced the spark plug wires (new aftermarket), replaced the ignitor unit (new aftermarket) and checked the ignitor unit wiring. I tried using my ECU (P28) in his car and checked his ECU (PR4) by plugging it into my car, showing the ECU to be fine. The grounds are solid and I didn't find any blown fuses. After reinstalling his ECU and cranking for about 10 secs, it spit out the code 9 again.
We're going to try to find a salvage distributor tomorrow, but if that doesn't fix things, I'm at a loss for where to turn next.
 

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I'm not sure how much is similar, but my friend has a stock 90 integra GS (B18A1) and she was having a similar problem. I didn't check for codes in her case, we just ended up replacing the ignitor, twice. It turned out that the dizzy cap was slightly the wrong size and causing the ignitor to arc and burn the contact out and melt plastic. Try a new ignitor maybe, or like you are going to do, a whole different dizzy. And also I'm sure someone will say check the grounds, you can get all sorts of weird codes with a bad ground. Make sure they are all solid and getting a good connection.
 

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Not sure if this holds any validity but in the example of using a civic obd0 distributor on an obd1 head, the slot in the camshaft is indexed differently causing ignition timing issues if not ghettofabbed correctly. This may be a contributing factor in your case. If you had the obd1 intake camshaft in hand, it'd be easy enough to remove the valve cover and compare it against the obd0. However, it doesn't explain your not having spark. Parts substitution is your best friend in a situation such as this Tristan. My gut says funky dizzy.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Update: Apparently when my friend first got the car, the distributor cap was damaged and the rotor was loose (the screw had fallen out), thus the initial replacement cap and rotor. As a long shot, we tried replacing the ignition coil with one from a Civic (same part number). No effect, though in the process of replacing it, I finally noticed that the CYP sensor and rotor tips were damaged. It looks to me like the loose screw must have gotten wedged between the two, chipping the rotor and deforming the sensor tip. This at least satisfies me with reguard to the code 9. I took out the distributor shaft / bearing / sensor rotors assembly (OBD-1 distributors are supprisingly easy to service without the torx screws and gobs of threadlock) hoping that maybe the TDC sensor was also messed up, causing the no-start. Everything looked fine back there. :?
We searched 6 salvage yards but no replacement distributor was to be found, so we ordered a rebuilt one... Should be in tuesday or wednesday. I kinda want to swap in all the internals from a Civic distributor, but I'm not 100% sure it all bolts together and don't want to waste money (as if we havn't done that already) on a salvage distributor.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Yet another update: Installed the new distributor and the car started up. The problem now is that the engine sounds like a lawn mower and backfires occationally. I guess the timing is off somewhere... With the distributor set as far retarded as it will go, the pointer seems to only reach the most advanced timing mark while the engine is cold. Once it warms up, the timing gets even further advanced - it looks like about twice the distance between the timing marks and TDC.
We looked at the cam/crank timing. It looked like one cam was off a little, so we loosened the tensioner, slipped the belt off, set everything to TDC again (TDC mark on the crank, both cams "up" with their index marks facing eachother) and re-tensioned. Didn't help.
We may take a shot at swapping out the camshafts tomorrow... Does anyone know for sure that the cams are infact different?
 

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hmmm I guess my suspicions about the obd1 dizzy on the obd0 head might hold some validity afterall.

My ghettofabbingness ways would have me loosen the t-belt tensioner, slip off the belt, rotate the intake cam sprocket clockwise one tooth, reinstall belt, and be done with it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Still working on it. Swapped in the OBD-1 cams and adjusted the valves today. The spark timing seems to be right now, but it still sounds like a lawnmower and backfires a little when you open the throttle. Going to try fuel injectors and possibly the filter tomorrow.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
OK... '92-95 Civic injectors had no effect. Tried my 'Z6 map sensor with no effect. Tried swapping the throttle body (another '90-91). We did a compression test and got 192±5 psi across the cylinders.
Turns out the timing is still off. I tried messing with the static timing - first by advancing (turning it clockwise would be advancing it, right?) the intake cam a tooth, then tried it with the crank retarded a tooth. Both more or less fixed the spark timing, but the engine ran much worse overall... I had to open the throttle just so or else it would try to stall out. It reved fine over about 2500 rpm, but getting up there took about 20 secs of careful throttle modulation.
So, I set the static timing is back to stock and tried swapping the whole intake manifold (the car's original '92-93 manifold) to no effect. The spark timing is still over advanced, it backfires up the intake about half the time you open the throttle and backfires out the exhaust at random intervals. It's not throwing any codes.
In fact, the only thing that has changed is that it's now producing smoke from the exhaust when the engine is reved over about 2k. It didn't smell like oil smoke so I can only assume it's coolant.
Could all this have been caused by a bad head gasket? Is it possible the over-advanced timing killed the headgasket? Could it be a carbon buildup issue?
The engine may get returned monday or tuesday.
Thanks for the help.
 

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Whoa your timing is off.
And I don't mean the dizzy.
I'd set EVERYTHING at TDC and go from there.
gl and take your time.
 

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rexman said:
Whoa your timing is off.
And I don't mean the dizzy.
I'd set EVERYTHING at TDC and go from there.
gl and take your time.
Top dead center refers to the position of the crankshaft with regard to cylinder number one. Valve timing could be right on the mark and with the wrong camshafts, ignition timing can still be off as in this case. What I'm saying is that you cannot just set "EVERYTHING at TDC and go from there" if you are using mixed matched parts. In fact, he was at TDC to begin with but that didn't help the situation. The right camshafts is what did.
 

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All I was suggesting was to start a process of elimination.
He obviously has some kind of timing problem.
You never know what someone has left out or forgot to mention while explaining their problem. Checking the timing is very easy to do and would rule out the possibility of the tbelt jumping a tooth. <---Has happened to me before while cranking @ start up.
Another thing is to make sure you thoroughly research a "frankenstein" build before you begin to avoid these kind of problems. :wink:
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
rexman said:
Another thing is to make sure you thoroughly research a "frankenstein" build before you begin to avoid these kind of problems. :wink:
... Except we're not doing a frankenstein swap here. We're replacing a '92 B18A1 with a '91 B18A1. When the problem started, the only non-stock components on the '91 B18A1 were the distributor, fuel injectors and wiring harness. I've set and reset the static (cam/crank) timing about 6 times now... Not once has it jumped a tooth.
 
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