92 Accord won't start but will run

I have a strange starting problem on a 92 Accord. When I try to start it it cranks just fine but refuses to start as if the fuel or ignition system is off. However sometimes while trying to start it it randomly
will stumble(fire as if it had a lot of drag) and then it will run fine without skipping or stalling. I have already fixed the fuel pump relay and can see that gas is reaching the injectors okay. I'm wondering what actually changes between 'starting' and 'running' that may cause this problem. If I let the car warm up then stop it, it will usually start after cranking for 5-6 seconds.
Thanks
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Ignition switch? The car is known for having ignition switch failures.
When you say the fuel pump relay do you mean the main relay located under the dash by the steering column(a double relay)? If not the original main relay is known for developing cracks in the solder joints. Replacements probably have the problem solved.
On 9 Jan 2007 06:51:23 -0800, snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

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Yes. I had that problem where it wouldn't fire at all on warm days. I resoldered the joints on the relay and it worked fine. This newer problem is different in that the engine stumbles for a second or two before actually starting(when it does start). I'll look into the ignition though.
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On 11 Jan 2007 06:50:23 -0800, snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

Also take a look inside the distributor car for any oil or orange/red dust (seal and bearing failure).
I have a '91 DX (105,000 miles) and have changed the main relay (problem similar you previous problem), the distributor, cleaned the EGR runners (1/3-1/2 clogged), but have not touched the ignition switch yet. The distributor was creating a very intermittent problem for my wife. I would test drive the car when she complained that it ran funny at slow speeds and almost stalled at times but it ran perfect for me every time. I did notice it once and immediately got the check engine light. When jumping the connector under the right side of the glove box I got three error codes.
Two of the codes were for sensors inside the distributor (crank angle and maybe TDC?). When I opened the distributor cap I found orange dust and some oil inside. No wonder it didn't want to run correctly! I replaced the complete distributor with a used one from a car salvage yard ($175 the bastards). I couldn't turn the shaft of the distributor by hand when it was out of the car so it was very close to getting stuck and needing a tow.
Six months later an intermittent stumbling problem occurred when the car was warm and under load at low RPM's. I couldn't find that problem right away either. I changed plugs, wires, tried the old coil, cleaned EGR passage way runners (also a somewhat common problem) and even the ECU ($175 used Internet car parts place). But none of these things fixed it the problem. I learned later that ECU's rarely go bad in Honda's.
Then I bought a used complete distributor off EBay for $50 out of desperation which solved the problem. It must have been the electronic stuff inside the replacement distributor that was caused the problem. It's been good for about three years now.
Let us know how you make out.
P.S. It is still the best and most reliable car I've ever owned.
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see what you're getting at.
When you say it "run[s] fine" once started I assume you also mean it has normal power and idles when you come to a stop without any trouble. If so, this suggests to me one of two fuel problems; the engine could be flooding because of leaky injectors or the fuel pressure in the rails could be bleeding off. Try this test: crank the engine for about a second, let off (ignition in the "run" position) for a second or two and then try to start. If that works reliably the problem is that the fuel pressure is bleeding off. It could be a leaky injector or a leaky check valve on the fuel pump. Apparently ECUs get confused when the engine doesn't start quickly and they start adjusting the injection over a wide range. I've had a car (Nissan) that simply wouldn't start no matter how long I cranked unless I bumped the starter first. That was only a problem when I had opened the fuel rail, but it had me going at first!
If that doesn't work, hold the accelerator wide open while trying to start. If that gets the engine started (may take several seconds) the engine is flooding because of leaky injectors. Flooding will produce black smoke out the tailpipe when the engine starts but it may take an observer to see it.
In either case, adding a bottle of fuel injector cleaner couldn't hurt, may help either condition.
Mike
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Michael Pardee wrote:

Yes. I haven't noticed any particular loss of power since this problem started however I did notice this problem came on gradually. For about 3 weeks before, starting the car in the morning took 1-2 seconds longer. I had a habit of only engaging the starter for a certain amount of time instead of until the engine started and that didn't work anymore.

I read about this in another FAQ. I cycled the pump 8 times before starting and no luck.

This worked. It also caused unburned fuel/air to come out of the intake. The next 4 times I started the car I floored it until it fired then started normally and it ran fine. However the fifth time it doesn't want to go. If the injectors are leaking I am concerned about hydrolock although I suppose most of the fuel will flow back into the intake manifold. Would a faulty fuel pressure regulator cause this?

I'll give it a try. Thanks for all your help!
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