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CivicOfKnight 06-02-2019 05:11 PM

Civic VX EGR ports / Passages cleaning
Hello all. Iíve been experiencing some issues with my 1995 Civic VX (California). Buckle up because Iím about to throw as much detailed info as I can about it...
Iíve had the car for about a year and had about a 75% chance of getting a code 12 CEL the moment my car warmed up to normal operating temperature. I had a dinky little Haynes and it wasnít too much help with the EGR. I cleaned it out with no change but it didnít seem to affect too much so I never paid much attention. Funny thing is if I turned off the car and turned it right back on the code wouldnít pop anymore. Iíve got the stock D15Z1 engine with everything else stock (minus the down pipe and missing all the resonator boxes just before the air cleaner box)
Anyways hereís some background.. Iím moving to Arizona soon so I went through the California to federal conversion stuff (read that gem right here: canít show links because I havenít posted enough. Will post later.) I got my hands on an eBay bidded Canada ECU (P07-C00) for less than $50 which to my researched understanding is essentially the same as the American Federal one. I also built up the harness as exactly done in the attached forum. Lastly I got myself a brand new NGK/NTK 5 wire O2 sensor.
After finishing up I took it for a test drive and all worked well.
However, the next day I went to drive across town and as soon as my car hit that normal operating temperature I started getting some considerable bogging when Iíd try to accelerate after coasting for a short time. I no longer get a CEL, but ONLY once itís warm and after I coast at any speed in any gear for a second or two I will hit that bogging as I try to maintain that speed or slowly accelerate. If I push down harder I will break through that bogging and suddenly surge. Additionally, if I wait long enough Iíll surge just a bit as if there was no issue.
So, I did some research and got my hands on a shop service manual. I started following the trouble shooting tree but my multimeter is toast so I ordered a new one... then I stumbled on various forums with people talking about the same issue. Soooo I jumped into taking off the intake manifold to clean out the EGR ports. However I canít find any detailed forums that go into exactly how they did the whole process. I also got lucky and found a great condition CVC valve and EGR control solenoid in a 92 VX at a junkyard so Iíll be trying those out. Iíve followed the troubleshooting steps for the code 12 in the service manual since I feel they are most likely connected.

ANYWAYS what Iím asking is 2 things. Has anyone come across a detailed forum or ďhow toĒ for drilling and plugging the intake manifold for Civic VXs? My intake manifold was severely dirty so Iím thinking that this could be the issue. But since Iím fully into it has anyone seen and fixed issues like this? I should have played around more with unplugging the EGR and the O2 sensor.. but I didnít. Any chance it could be that ECU?
Thanks for the help!

CivicOfKnight 06-03-2019 02:27 PM

So... Iím going through and cleaning all that I could on the air intake. I got my hands on another VX intake that looked significantly cleaner than mine did. Iím going through and cleaning off all the gasket gunk as well as all the stuff thatís been hiding underneath the intake I couldnít get to before.
I have another question: Iím assuming thereís a certain degree of shuddering from the lean burn right? What is a ďnormalĒ amount for the VX? Iíd say mine is excessive but Iíve also never driven any other VX besides mine.

California98Civic 06-03-2019 06:36 PM

I've never owned a lean burn vehicle. But all the guys on here and elsewhere that have talked about how you can often feel when the car goes into lean burn. So I don't think it's odd that you feel it. But I suspect that what you're describing is maybe an excessive feel. I think that, given that your code 12 was for the EGR system and that it is not recurring since you clean the EGR, you must have solved that problem. But perhaps you had two problems confounded together. So you're left with this second issue for which you're not getting a code.

Some parts of your posts I cannot understand. Are you saying that you're still using the California ECU even though you've otherwise converted to a 49-state lean burn system? If so, I have to imagine that would be your problem right there.

If you have not cleaned out the EGR ports as thoroughly as you could have, or if you have some kind of intermittent failure with the solenoid or other parts of the system then that seems like a reasonable suspect.

At any rate, you should search carefully on this website using the search function in the upper left-hand corner. I searched for cleaning EGR passages I found a number of hits. A good one is this one from an old member who was always really thorough with his vehicles. He had an HX, but I would imagine most aspects of the lean burn system on the HX are the same as they were on the VX, except for the codes and the sensors. But I'm just guessing. Here is the link:

CivicOfKnight 06-04-2019 01:10 PM

Thanks for the reply. To clarify I have a Canada ECU (P07-C00) that, to my knowledge, is functionally the same as the Federal ECU. I’m running that ECU along with a homemade harness with a NTK 5 wire wide band O2 sensor. Once I’m past the 5 post limit I’ll post the link I followed because it’s pretty good and very detailed.

I do feel mine is excessive. Unfortunately I don’t know anyone that has owned a lean burn vehicle like mine so I can’t get anyone to test drive it. I’d be less concerned if I could at least maintain speeds. For example, If I try to maintain 55 I’ll quickly drop down so I’ll try to compensate only to have the engine sputter for a bit further dropping my speed before it suddenly surges back to life and I’ll gain speed well faster than I intend to. Then it’s a bit of back and forth from there... so maintaining 55 is more like bouncing between 50 and 60 constantly.

I saw that link and used it to clean my EGR. It looks brand new now. Early in that link he mentions he cleaned the passages themselves which would be on the intake manifold. From what I’ve found, the Civics after 96 had EGR passages on the intake manifold that were easily accessible. On my intake manifold there are 5 or so small spots that look like “welded caps” on the top of the intake just to the right of the EGR valve. I’ve seen people talking about how they drilled and either tapped those out or made caps for them, but I’ve found no good forums detailing the process.

Worst case scenario... I have two air intakes now so I could give it a shot and if I fail then at least I have another? �� if i do I’ll be sure to post about it.

CivicOfKnight 06-04-2019 01:17 PM

1 Attachment(s)
Hereís a picture of what mine looks like. These are the ďcapsĒ that get drilled out and tapped or capped.

I forgot to mention, my VX has a pretty solid 35 mpg per tank average and has been steadily declining from the low 40s from when I first bought it. That seems to be related to EGRs from what Iíve read. And considering I keep getting that light... just seems to be all related.

CivicOfKnight 06-05-2019 11:53 AM

Found a link! This ones a lot like mine. Iím at 4/5 posts and canít post links yet.. sooo yeah

Iím gonna work on taking the same course of action as the first link. Again, my intake was VERY dirty so Iím expecting to see a good deal of carbon build up and an increase in gas mileage (hopefully!) Iíll post back when I do

CivicOfKnight 06-05-2019 11:54 AM

Here’s the Cali to Fed conversion:

Here’s the intake mod link: How to clean your EGR Ports on 88-91 Crx HF - Fuelly Forums

California98Civic 06-05-2019 06:37 PM

I suspect your ECU. There were some differences between Canadian and US fifth gen Civics and some were electrical. The most important might have been that the Canadians seemed not to have the "Electric Load Detector," while the US version did (according to a guy on honda-tech who seems to have owned both CDM and USDM Civics). You have installed a Canadian ECU which will not "know" your car has an ELD. I would wonder what kind of havoc that might play with car functions. Maybe nothing, but I would seek a proper USDM ECU if this were my car.

Piotrsko 06-06-2019 10:43 AM

Im going to add: connectors and grounds. A can of contact cleaner worked wonders for the Ranger

turbothrush 06-06-2019 07:32 PM

Iíve got 2 vx civics and over the years I have found that some 5 wire wideband O2 sensors are just smoother going into leanburn than others. I have one O2 that is really rough so I keep it as a spare. Once in leanburn they all seam to give the same mpg as per the mpGuino.

Regarding the egr. Pretty sure itís for emissions not mpg. Just make sure itís not leaking and not suck in the open position. The vx only uses egr over 2500 rpm when accelerating quickly then changing gears.At least thats how both my cars work..If you have an emissions test you may need it to pass.

If they are still available you could look at getting a MPGuino.. Should be able to hold leanburn down to 43mpg in 5th gear . When it drops out of leanburn in 5th it will go to 27 mpg almost instantly and at the same time you get that extra acceleration and power . This can be used to tell you that the leanburn is working as it should.

I think all the vx civics were built in Canada. I didnít know that the ones sold in the U.S. had a different ecu from the Canadian vx. Hope some of this is helpful. Good luck!

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