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Old 09-13-2014, 09:22 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Helping out another friend with her Honda

My friend called me two days ago, I messaged her back, but never read her response.

Her car died. When I finally learned that, I picked her up, took her to her car, and even thoughher Civic is ten years older than mine, I used the troubleshooting section from my repair manual to not accomplish anything.

Her battery was dead, but I could not jump it. I finally convinced her to allow me to tow her the short distance to Autozone and I swapped batteries so she could use her flashers. Then I used her car to jump mine.

Towing her was aggravating, but we made it without her rear-ending me. The gentleman at Autozone did some troubleshooting and told me to remove the distributor cap. It was cracked, the compnents were worn out, and oil covered everything. I tried cleaning up the oil and the screw holding the rotor fell out.

Screws are supposed to require screwdrivers, right? Not shop towels?

My friend paid $28 for a new cap and rotor and the gentleman installed them. He said there was a bad o-ring between the engine and the distributor, which required a great deal of effort to replace.

Exactly how much effort? How long before oil ruins the new one?


Last edited by Xist; 09-18-2014 at 05:03 PM.. Reason: Privacy
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Old 09-13-2014, 09:29 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Xist View Post
Two weeks ago, this young man was in a bind and this young lady got out of bed at midnight, got dressed, picked him up, took him to the E.R., tried to get him Power Ade, took him to Deny's, and then took him home at 4am.

In three days, I will delete everything up to this point.

My friend called me two days ago, I messaged her back, but never read her response.

Her car died. When I finally learned that, I picked her up, took her to her car, and even thoughher Civic is ten years older than mine, I used the troubleshooting section from my repair manual to not accomplish anything.

Her battery was dead, but I could not jump it. I finally convinced her to allow me to tow her the short distance to Autozone and I swapped batteries so she could use her flashers. Then I used her car to jump mine.

Towing her was aggravating, but we made it without her rear-ending me. The gentleman at Autozone did some troubleshooting and told me to remove the distributor cap. It was cracked, the compnents were worn out, and oil covered everything. I tried cleaning up the oil and the screw holding the rotor fell out.

Screws are supposed to require screwdrivers, right? Not shop towels?

My friend paid $28 for a new cap and rotor and the gentleman installed them. He said there was a bad o-ring between the engine and the distributor, which required a great deal of effort to replace.

Exactly how much effort? How long before oil ruins the new one?
Great amount of effort my ass, it took me 10-15 mins to pull my dizzy off and replace the O - ring on my 97 HX.

[Edit]: Is that you in the picture?

Last edited by Baltothewolf; 09-14-2014 at 12:54 AM..
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Old 09-14-2014, 12:54 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Xist View Post
I was afraid that someone would quote the picture that I wrote that I was deleting in three days.
Fixed .
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Old 09-14-2014, 01:09 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Chorizo - '00 Honda Civic HX, baby! :D
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Ten to fifteen minutes? I guess that I will be doing that soon. Thank you very much for that information!
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Old 09-14-2014, 09:37 AM   #5 (permalink)
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The distributor o-ring that seals to prevent EXTERNAL oil leaks is one o-ring (no moving-rotating shafts to seal). The seal that keeps the oil out of the INSIDE of the distributor is actually not an 0-ring since it has to seal a spinning shaft, much like the front and rear main oil seals on the crankshaft, but spinning at half the crankshaft RPM (cam timing).

I'm not even sure that internal seal is a serviceable component, most likely you will need a used or rebuilt distributor to fix a leak insde the distributor. The seal usually fails because the shaft bushings in the distributor are worn out and the shaft is wobbling, which wipes out the seal.

Trashing the guy at o'reillys reminds me of some of my customers who were politely invited to search elsewhere for a shop to work on their cars, maybe 5 out of 1500 a year.

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Old 09-14-2014, 09:47 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Honda Automotive Parts

External seal is part number 6. Internal seal requires purchase of distributor assembly, pressing off parts to remove the shaft. You could probably find a seal outside of normal parts channels, but then you would need the shaft bushings and possibly the shaft itself.

I might tackle that job if the distributor was on a 32 Duesenberg, but for anything where I could order a reman replacement, I'd pick up the phone, or go to a pick and pull and hope I got lucky and the one I grabbed (assuming there was one) was in better shape than the original.

The illustration is for a VX which changes nothing.

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Old 09-14-2014, 10:05 AM   #7 (permalink)
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LOL! I'm an idiot! I read that as oil getting on the OUTSIDE of the distributor and messing with it... Uhg I really need to sleep more. This is the second time today I read something wrong and made myself look like an ass.
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Old 09-14-2014, 04:05 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Chorizo - '00 Honda Civic HX, baby! :D
90 day: 35.35 mpg (US)

Mid-Life Crisis Fighter - '99 Honda Accord LX
90 day: 30.79 mpg (US)

Gramps - '04 Toyota Camry LE
90 day: 25.88 mpg (US)
Thanks: 7,050
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I hear good things about sleep.

So, if oil is getting inside the distributor, we need a new distributor assembly? I need to figure out if hers is five- or seven-pin, but car-part.com only shows any in Tucson--oh wow! It might be worth the trip! Majestic charges $511.97 and Autozone has rebuilt distributors for $190 and new ones for $200, but none in stock. O'Reilly and Pep Boys charge about the same, and Napa did not show anything.

I guess that we will just see how long the cap and rotor last. She acts like she is always repairing this car and sooner or later, she is just going to replace it.

I only know that she replaced the battery and starter, but she was talking about trying to purchase someone's minivan!

Thank you everyone for your input!
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Old 09-14-2014, 08:37 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Never consider learning about something as anything more than improving your knowldege base. I spent two weeks when I first started learning that plug wires could go bad. Also couldn't afford to buy a battery and just stuck the battery cables together and turned every bulb into a flash bulb with the 20 volt surge in power. Also tookalot of time buying USED bulbs from a junkyard.

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mech
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Old 09-14-2014, 09:23 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Show Low, AZ
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Chorizo - '00 Honda Civic HX, baby! :D
90 day: 35.35 mpg (US)

Mid-Life Crisis Fighter - '99 Honda Accord LX
90 day: 30.79 mpg (US)

Gramps - '04 Toyota Camry LE
90 day: 25.88 mpg (US)
Thanks: 7,050
Thanked 2,033 Times in 1,552 Posts
Purchasing used bulbs sounds tedious!

My friend also replaced her radiator. Today, a friend at Church asked me to look at her minivan, she said that she has been losing radiator fluid, and I told her to call me the next time she had a leak, but at the moment, she was topped off, without a puddle.

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