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Old 12-01-2012, 02:33 AM   #11 (permalink)
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For what it's worth, take the distributor cap off and make sure the ignition rotor hasn't come loose on the end of the distributor shaft. It's happened a few times to me on my Hondas over the years, the little set screw backs off and the rotor gets sloppy. Leads to all sorts of weird random issues. Best part is it's free to check, so hopefully you'll get lucky and that's all it will be!

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Old 12-01-2012, 09:33 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Black and Green - '98 Honda Civic DX Coupe
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ecky View Post
Anyway, without a knock sensor, how would an OBD1 ECU figure out what a safe timing is? What else does it factor in?
I have a 1998 Civic, so I can sympathize with how badly they placed those timing marks. I struggled to get a view for a while. But this really could be the problem, so I'd recommend considering another try. Maybe that mechanic who put the engine in lost patience with the process too and just set timing by what sounded right as he adjusted the distributor? Check other simpler things first, then tangle with those irritating timing marks again. I also think that a couple degrees advance on the timing is no big deal. Just don't get greedy. 2 or 4 degrees won't hurt anything given how easily we drive these engines for efficiency. It'll give you very modestly more torque. When I was doing it, I could see signs of lean, hot burning on my spark plugs. But my engine is off a lot too. And my coolant temps are quite normal.

Good luck!
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See my car's mod & maintenance thread and my electric bicycle's thread for ongoing projects. I will rebuild Black and Green over decades as parts die, until it becomes a different car of roughly the same shape and color. My minimum fuel economy goal is 55 mpg while averaging posted speed limits. I generally top 60 mpg. See also my Honda manual transmission specs thread.



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Old 12-02-2012, 07:45 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Gaptooth (retired) - '00 Honda Insight
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So far 30 miles on a tank with injector cleaner + new plugs hasn't improved it, I've not been feeling well so I haven't checked the distributor or messed with timing yet, and the new O2 sensor hasn't arrived.
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Old 12-07-2012, 12:15 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Gaptooth (retired) - '00 Honda Insight
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90 day: 54.26 mpg (US)

Such Fit - '07 Honda Fit Sport
90 day: 41.27 mpg (US)

Connect - '15 Ford Transit Connect XL
90 day: 20.61 mpg (US)

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Replaced the O2 sensor tonight and took it for a drive, WOW I was missing a lot of power. Runs like a brand new car again.

I suppose it was probably causing the car to run lean?

The culprit:

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Old 12-07-2012, 11:19 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Wow. Congratulations! That looks like an indicator of unburnt fuel, no? If so I guess their could be unburnt fuel in the CAT too? In Cali emissions tests that would be an issue, but I don't know where you are. In any case, aren't deposits like that on a spark plug an indicator of running rich? Do you think just age and time crudded-up the O2 like this, or could there also be another issue, one that could crud-up your new sensor sooner than necessary?
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See my car's mod & maintenance thread and my electric bicycle's thread for ongoing projects. I will rebuild Black and Green over decades as parts die, until it becomes a different car of roughly the same shape and color. My minimum fuel economy goal is 55 mpg while averaging posted speed limits. I generally top 60 mpg. See also my Honda manual transmission specs thread.



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Old 12-07-2012, 11:42 AM   #16 (permalink)
Master EcoModder
 
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Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Vermont
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Gaptooth (retired) - '00 Honda Insight
Team Honda
Gen-1 Insights
90 day: 54.26 mpg (US)

Such Fit - '07 Honda Fit Sport
90 day: 41.27 mpg (US)

Connect - '15 Ford Transit Connect XL
90 day: 20.61 mpg (US)

K-sight - '00 Honda K-sight
Team Honda
90 day: 46.07 mpg (US)

Aerocivic - '92 Honda Civic CX
90 day: 64.49 mpg (US)
Thanks: 2,282
Thanked 2,044 Times in 1,278 Posts
My car doesn't have a CAT. When I bought it, a previous owner had already replaced the entire pipe. I have no idea how old the O2 sensor was or what it's been through, for all I know the original motor might've had a turbo on it that died, or was running a street tune. This car really was a mess, I'm putting it back together one piece at a time.

I think the car is running right now, but we'll see.

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