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Tach fluttering above 4k

6106 Views 18 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  bittles110
Sorry if this has been discussed previously, but I can't find it.

Anyways... Drove home to NW Oregon and back over the weekend, and maybe 450 miles into the trip (600 each way) my tach started to bounce... I admit I was going a bit fast, but in 5th at about 4200rpm and up the tach would flutter a bit higher than the motor and fall back to where it is supposed to be. It did the same thing the entire way back home. I didn't hear any misfiring, and I've used Chevron or Shell for the trip (5 tanks). I also dumped in some Chevron FI Cleaner for the return trip, with no change.

My first thought is the igniter I have been hearing about...or some sort of electrcal gremlin. BTW, what does the igniter do?

Any thoughts?
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It could also be a faulty wire or connection. I had a lose connection for the wire inside the distributor that goes to the tach. I cleaned the terminals off and connected it securely and the problem went away.
bittles110 said:
BTW, what does the igniter do?
The ignitor has two jobs. First, it acts as an interface between the ECU and the ignition coil, switching power to the coil off and on (triggering a high voltage pulse to a sparkplug) when signaled by the ECU. Second, it splits off the ignition signal to drive the tach.
Alrighty guys, thanks for the info. I'll look into it tomorrow.
mine used to do it all the time... but since i replaced the ignitor it only occasionally does it when the engine is cold, or at really high RPM. :?
Sorta related...

Well a few days ago I was hearing some squeeking noises coming from the dizzy, and asked a honda guru what he thought. He confirmed what I also thought... dizzy bearings about to blow up. This morning I'm sitting in the drive thru lane at McD's before work and it died. Couldnt get it to start, so I pushed it across the parking to work. Pat, the honda guru, fixed it while I worked with spare parts from his house, and I drove it home. No more fluttering so far, although I'm not exactly sure what he replaced. Now throwing Codes 4, 8, 9... Crank Angle, TDC, and #1 CYL position.

Any thoughts? Can I fix this tonight?
First try reseting the ECU by removing the Hazard fuse from the main fuse box (engine bay). Then check to see if you are still throwing any codes. Did he actually remove the distributor from the head?
Yes he did remove it from the head. One minute he's under my hood, the next my dizzy is in pieces on the bench. The next, it's back together. I was looking on the Resource and found this statement by bobski:

"The no low end/strong high end is typical when your cam alignment is off by a tooth. Take the distributor cap off and check for red dust inside - that's a sign of a failing/failed distributor bearing. Failed bearings can seize, holding the camshaft still and causing the timing belt to jump a tooth. Failing bearings can also produce alot of heat from friction which can in turn melt the distributor rotor, resulting in a no-start condition."

Exactly as it was inside my cap, and the bearing that I saw come out of my dizzy was locked up... So I am now thinking that the cam is out of time... Will check in the morning with a timing light...

Also interesting to note: When cold, the motor did not want to idle normally...It would be fine then die, catch itself, then die again. If I held the throttle up, I could keep it going. Once it warmed up though, everything was like normal. Could this be the ECU retarding timing during warmup, and compounding the cam timing issue?

I'll try resetting the ECU before I start tinkering with stuff... Thanks guys.
See less See more the 88 workshop manual, it gives a red timing mark and a white timing mark... the red one is the 18*BTDC mark correct, so then is the white one the TDC mark?
Ah, silly me... Leaving useful information laying around that place. :)
There should be 4 timing marks actually (at least there are on later models) - A cluster of three, the center of which being 18° and the two surrounding marks ±2°. The remaining TDC mark should be off on it's own. I think the 18° mark should be red, and the rest are white.
A seized distributor bearing doesn't necessarily mean your cam jumped a tooth - It takes alot of force to do that. Once the bearing has started to fail, friction will build up as metal dust acts as an abrasive, accelerating the wear process and further distorting the parts of the bearing. Eventually the building friction can reach the point of making the timing belt slip, but you may have removed the distributor before that happened.
Ah so! Excellent... well i'm assuming something happened because of the codes, and I will check nonetheless. I shall report back here with my findings. Thanks for the picture 88DXCRX!
Well... resetting the ECU did nothing, I had the codes back in a minute or so. Upon shining the timing light on the crank pully, I saw that the TDC mark was 2 inches or so the the left of the pointer at around 1500rpm. I never did see the red mark. And if I'm thinking about this right, the motor spins like a tire does when moving the motor (at that engine speed) is firing ATDC by quite a bit. Comments, suggestions?
Check your cam timing. ^_^
The red mark should be further to the left (counter-clockwise) on the pulley, assuming it still has it's paint... It may be too far around the pulley to see.
Yes, the motor spins counter-clockwise when looking at the crank pulley... The crank pulls on the long streight run of the timing belt.
So I checked the cam tonight...lined the motor up at TDC with #1 on compression stroke and checked the lines/marks on the cam gear... All seemed well, with the lines running parallel to the top of the head. (NOT parallel to the ground though) Seems as though a brand new dizzy will need to be purchased...
I had to purchase a new distributor just a month ago or so. Can't go wrong with Flying Pat the Distributor King. He has a Sponsor Post on in the Performance Marketplace.

I had kind of the same problem where my tach would bounce like crazy on the highway. It would just die at a stop sign but would start right back up again. Since installing the new Distributor the Rex has been purring like a kitten.
Installed a remanufactured dizzy tonight... a Beck Arnley one. It was like $230 including markup through work. Runs perfect now. Did almost forget about the little jumper you are supposed to jump when you time it... But it's all better now. How much is a new/reman dizzy through Distributor King?
I think I paid $159 plus two day shipping. The thing I liked about Distributor King is that it is a new distributor and not remanufactured. I still need to convert my MSD Cap and Rotor and external coil to the new distributor some time soon. Plus it came with a lifetime warranty.
Wow... I got hosed on that deal. Next time my dizzy dies, I'll be hitting up the King.
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