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Old 11-29-2017, 11:47 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Civic VX trouble starting after spark plug change

Hola ecomodders, I've had my 95 VX since 2012. Early in 2013 I did a full tune-up and at the time put in some NGK ZFR5F-11s (service manual recommends for high RPM or hot conditions, I'm in New Mexico). It has run well, but recently I decided to do another tuneup and this time put in ZFR4F-11s (service manual recommends for normal driving). Now I'm having trouble with the car getting started. Once started it runs fine, but I've had to start it three or four times before it runs. The rest of the time you hear the starter and it starts to catch and then the engine dies.

The other variable is I made a SMALL adjustment to the ignition timing after changing the plugs (connect jumper under glove box, use timing light, turn distributor). I have double checked this a few times since and it seems fine.

Today I'm going to try swapping the old plugs back in to see what happens. Any VX gurus out there have suggestions?

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Old 11-30-2017, 01:15 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Did you advance the timing? I'm assuming that's what you did to change the torque curve to the lower RPM ranges.

Close the plug gap 0.005 lower (so if it's 0.045 put it to 0.040) and see what happens. When I advanced the timing on my 4Runner from 10 to 15 I had to close the gap 0.010 or I would get a rough idle and minor misfires at high rpm. Same story with my Miata. 10-12, 0.005 closer gap and 6000+ misfire went away.
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Old 12-04-2017, 01:18 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Thanks for the replies. I was just trying to ensure that the timing was set according to factory specs, not advancing it or anything like that. After adjusting it again -- and testing my plug wires, main relay, and main relay harness with a multimeter (all tested good) -- the car has been starting normally again. I'm guessing I screwed up the timing first time around. I can't imagine it would be off so bad that it wouldn't start, but I know the VX is a finicky beast. It definitely likes the new plugs and runs smoothly.

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