88 Accord Timing

Hello,
Could someone let me know the correct timing procedure for this car. My accord is a automatic and has the distributor with the two vacuum hoses
on it.
I tried per a Clinton manual and it indicates to remove and plug the two vacuum hoses on the vacuum advance ( I do have this on mine style of carb). However, if I remove the left one as you face the engine, it really runs bad. Prior to making any changes the timing light was on the first white mark closest to the timing light. I went ahead and timed it with the hoses attached and set the timing on the red mark per the manual. I suspect this is incorrect, however it does seems to run better. But I think it could run a little better if I got it correct. Have one red mark in the middle of two white marks for the timing marks.
Could someone please let me know if you have any ideas?
Thanks,
Terry
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Gabbie wrote:

I have an '88 Accord and I have always felt the directions for setting the timing to be a little confusing. It also doesn't help that the directions in my Haynes manual and the Factory Service manual don't jive.
I used the directions in the Haynes manual (which coincides with those in your Chilton manual) the first time I did the procedure and the timing was WAY off since I was setting it at 15 degrees BTDC(the red mark). Per the Factory Service manual, the timing should at 4 degrees BTDC with the vacuum hoses plugged although I don't ever recall seeing that mark.
You actually set it correctly. Keep the hoses connected and put your auto trans in gear (using the emergency brake to hold it) and align the pointer with the RED mark. That's IT.
I was baffled by this myself and I came to the conclusion that the folks at Haynes and Chilton misunderstood Honda's instructions. The only real reason to remove to vacuum hoses is to check if the vacuum advance is working properly..which is done with a vacuum pump gauge.
BTW, my '88 is still running like a top at 239,000 miles. I'm amazed at the thing.
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Hello,
Thanks for the information. What I can not figure out is if you disconnect the vacuum hoses, it runs so bad I don't think the timing light is even close
to any timing marks? It sounds like when my vac hoses were connect it was at 0 degrees per the white mark?
Wish the manuals would only cover one model etc. Its sort of a pain to make sure your're always following instructions for the correct model.
Let me know if you receive this ok since I have another questions for ya. I think you answered a previous email for someone else conerning idealing .
I'm at 193K.
Headknocker wrote:

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gateway wrote:

If you provide a valid email address then I will send you a copy of the timing procedure from the factory Helm manual. The manual discusses removing the vacuum hoses to check for the presence of vacuum on the #2 hose but then it shows in a diagram that the timing should be checked with both vacuum hoses connected (and while in gear for the automatic). However, it does say to plug the hoses so it's not entirely clear. It's been a long time since I've worked on one of these units so I don't remember the exact procedure that I used to follow.
Eric
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Hello Eric,
Thanks, I would really appreciate that.
gabbie73 at verizon dot net
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Hello Eric,
Let me know if you are unable to figure out my email addess. Just substitute the at and dot for the at symbol and period.
Gateway
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Eric wrote:

See, that's exactly what I said about that manual - the instructions are vague, contradictory, or just poorly worded - and I got absolutely shit on by the "experts" in here. Nice to know I'm not the only one who sees a problem here.
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Gabbie wrote:

I ran into the same confusion with the factory shop manual, Terry, and when I pointed it out as poor wording in the manual I got flamed no end.
In fact, you need to check the timing with the vacuum lines attached and the car at a proper idle (650-850rpm depending on the exact model). The part of the procedure that has you pulling them off appears to be only for the sake of testing that they have proper vacuum; the "outer" hose (farthest from the distributor body) I believe is operational only while the engine is cold, while the "inner" hose (labeled #2) is used during normal running.
See if these pages help any:
http://www.moltenimage.com/freebies/g3accord/engine_electrical/24-4.JPG
http://www.moltenimage.com/freebies/g3accord/engine_electrical/24-5.JPG
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Matt Ion wrote:

No, you're certainly not alone. The Factory Service manual is vague and not properly worded for this procedure. You have to read between the lines a little bit since they never instruct you to reconnect the vacuum lines after testing for vacuum. The Haynes manual's instructions are just flat-out wrong.. . I found out the hard way.
BTW, my '88 Accord passed NJ's inspection today with flying colors. It has never been remotely close to failing for emissions. The car just keeps chugging along.
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Headknocker via CarKB.com wrote:

I think the main source of confusion is in step 3: "Disconnect the vacuum hose(s) from the vacuum advance and, while the engine idles, check each hose for vacuum and plug the hoses." - I suspect it means to PLUG IN the hoses.

Mine's coming up this week... as soon as I replace the distributor with a leaky advance diaphragm. Wish me luck!
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Hello Matt,
Thanks for the links. Yes, this clears it up. A long time ago I was going to time it but did not pursue it due to the mistake in the manual. I knew I was probably on the right track since it did appear to run better after I went ahead and timed it anyway with the hoses attached. You would think a later version of the manual would have some corrections in them however, the one I looked at still had the same wording.
Regards,
Gateway
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gateway wrote:

This isn't related to the timing but it's something to know about the 86-89 Accords(if you didn't know already).
If your Accord won't kick down from fast idle then make sure to check out Frequency Valve C as it's a common problem. I had this problem several years ago and I traced it to Frequency Valve C. I bought a used one from Matta Motors for $40 and I was told it was a very common problem on the 86-89 Accords. Just a little FYI.
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Hello Headknocker,
Here this a uninstall/install procedure without any needed adjustment in replacing the Frequency Valve C?
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