'88 Civic starting problem

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Jim Yanik wrote:


If it can't pull any liquid in, there's nothing to offer resistance to the pump, is tehre?
Besides, the pump is out now, and the intake filter is clean.
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Matt, hold off until you know for sure that this is the issue. Posting as-it-happens is an invitation to severe -- and likely inaccurate -- speculation.
Your thesis is intriguing. I await the synthesis, empirically arrived at, of course...
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TeGGeR

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TeGGeR wrote:

Well, anyone who cares to speculate wildly and make fools of themselves are welcome to do so... :)

Buddy picked up another fuel pump from an '89 Civic but it proved to not fit the tank - the assembly projects straight down from the mounting plate, rather than on an angle like the one that came out, and hits the bottom of the tank. Back to the wrecker...
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Okay, quick update... new fuel pump in, took care of the voltage drop problem... now we're getting an ALMOST-start. It cranks, it tries to catch, it won't quite take off.
ECU gives a code 16 ("Fuel Injector System: defective circuit or unplugged / defective fuel injector".)
Both injectors appear to work when independently powered. Both injectors seem to click while cranking. Looking down the TB throat, there's definitely gas being fed in from the main injector - hard to tell if the aux injector is doing anything. Holding the choke open manually helps a bit, but it still won't quite "catch".
Lots of spark on all cylinders... firing order is correct as far as I've been able to determine without having found the EXACT manual for this specific car (1-3-4-2 clockwise from the bottom-left when looking straight at the top of the distributor cap). Getting regular "puffs" from the exhaust so there seems to be steady compression from all cylinders.
Odd thing is, the plugs appear dry when I pull them out, so they're either firing or not getting any air/fuel mix, which doesn't make any sense unless the intake valves aren't working... and if that was the case I'd think I wouldn't get the "puffs" out the exhaust, if it wasn't drawing in any air.
So near, yet so far away... *sigh*
Matt Ion wrote:

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snipped-for-privacy@moltenimage.com wrote in

Wanna take a second look at that Main Relay?
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TeGGeR

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TeGGeR wrote:

yeah, no kidding...
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jim beam wrote:

Do you have anything useful to add, or are you just here to be a nob?
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TeGGeR wrote:

Already did. All working fine. Came out of another working Civic, in fact.
Like I said, the injectors ARE working, they ARE spraying fuel (at least, the main injector is).
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So you've for sure got spark, for sure the igniton timing is correct, and for sure the ECU is driving the injectors correctly now?
Does the car start with a shot of ether?
A code 16 sometimes does actually mean a defective injector.
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TeGGeR wrote:

Heheheh, funny story...

Wanted to try that, but buddy didn't have any in the shop, and at that point we didn't have time to go pick some up.

That's what I figured, but they seemed to bench-test fine.
Anyway... buddy just called, he got it going: new plugs and a fresh battery and it fired right up. Apparently the Bosch Platinums that came in the thing were bunk, despite showing good soild spark when tested outside the engine(???).
Would be interesting to see if the ECU is still giving an error code. I'm wondering if it might have been stored from when the bad fuel pump was still in; I can see how the pump dragging down the voltage could affect injector operation, since all three are on the same circuit off the main relay, and the ECU might read the lack of input signal from the injectors as a "bad" unit(s). Or it may have even stored that code from when we tested the injector wiring with them disconnected? How long does the ECU hold codes?
So, another mystery solved... once again, I thank you all for your assistance, especially the masterful TeGGeR :)
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Matt Ion wrote:

So, once again Bosch does it again.
JT
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Someone ought to compile statistics on how many times non-OEM plugs have been reported here to be behind starting/running problems. It might make the case easier to argue.
Once again, another simple solution behind a major problem, too.
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Elle wrote:

Unfortunately, the Bosch reputation (regarding sparkplugs) ranks below that of Champion, a brand that I have avoided for many years.
I always use AC, MOPAR etc in my vintage cars.
Regarding modern tin, Bosch plugs fail easily. Let 'em get wet once, just toss 'em and start over again hopefully selecting another brand.
No Bosch for this guy (well, their wiper motors are ok..)
JT
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I put a set of Bosch Platinum-2 plugs in my 94 GSR at ~57,000mi,and it starts and runs fine.It's been about 2 months now. The old plugs looked OK.
How can new spark plugs be "bunk"? Were those the plugs that were in there when he acquired the car? Maybe old plugs,or gaps boogered? Maybe grease on the insulator?
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Jim Yanik
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Jim Yanik wrote:

They were the plugs that were already in the original engine, which HAD been running before we took it out. They were nice and clean and like I said, "bench-tested" fine. The plugs that came in the replacement engine were extremely fouled, which is why we swapped them out in the first place.
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So,the "new" plugs got fouled,too. Not the plugs fault.
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Jim Yanik
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Jim Yanik wrote:

Sorry, but I've seen numerous Bosch (plug) horror stories in a variety of makes/models of vehicles.
JT
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Jim Yanik wrote:

I've been running Platinum 2's in my '87 Accord for over a year now without a problem of a need for a cleaning - last time I checked them, they still looked near-new. *shrug*
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I used Bosch Platinums in an '84 Nissan 300 ZX I had, and they worked great. Good thing, too, because plug access was the pits. I tried the same style in our '85 turbo Volvo (against the recommendations of thre Volvo gurus) and it worked for a few months before the engine began to misfire. I removed the plugs and saw there were only holes where there had been center electrodes before. Huh.
Mike
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Jim Yanik wrote:

the problem i've had with bosch, repeatedly, is that one day they work fine, the next, the car won't start. you spend ages messing about trying to get the things to work, but they won't. although widely hated, i've had better luck with champion than bosch, even though construction quality on bosch appears better.
ngk are by far the best way to go. especially when you consider that there's no price differential. they continue to fire even, when the electrodes are melted to little blobs. amazing things. no idea why, but that seems to be the way it goes.
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