Annoying intermittant power loss

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Okay, this is really starting to bug me... this is the third '87 Accord in a row now that's had this problem (all carbed, first had A/C and P/S, second P/S and non-working A/C, latest has neither.
My first one was running great, really peppy, until I had a "fuel system service" done, and after that it seemed sluggish. Both of the subsequent cars have had the same issue: sometimes they're just "oomph-less" - bog down off the line, punching the gas accelerates only slowly, and pushing the clutch in for an upshift results in an immediate feeling of deceleration, almost as if something was dragging.
And then for no apparent reason, often after idling for a couple minutes, like at a long stop light, the power is just there - sharp off the line, hitting the gas at cruise puts you back in the seat at just about any speed/RPM, and it keeps coasting smoothly when the clutch is lowered.
I'd almost suspect a fuel delivery or ignition timing issue if it weren't for that "dragging" issue. I don't think it's the brakes; if they were sticking that badly they should be heating up as well, and they're not.
Anyone got any thoughts?
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I suggest you reconsider dismissing your idea of dragging brakes. Sounds right to me. Next time this phenomenon occurs... I would wait until it happens several times and then pull over... and go around and feel all four brake rotors. Obviously you'd be looking for one (or more) that is hotter than the others. You certainly could have a caliper that is not releasing properly. I have seen this happen intermittently on more than several occations. Just a thought...
Professor www.telstar-electronics.com
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Professor wrote:

Well... or sticky shoes on the back (drum brakes). I guess ideally I need to whip the thing up on a jack and make sure everything spins freely.
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Had a sluggish loss in power and loss of fire problem. All would be well after a restart. Problem turned out to be an intermittently clogged (nut & bolt catcher) screen at the fuel pump (tank) inlet. Replacing the pump/screen--all one unit at the time, fixed the problem. MLD
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MLD wrote:

Yeah, but on three different cars?
Besides, being carbed, a clogged intake filter shouldn't affect it in this way. In normal running it feeds off the float bowl; performance doesn't rely on constant pressure.
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well
(nut &

I agree that to happen on three (of your) cars seems unlikely and unusual--having said that "why do you think that auto companies have recalls? If you have a design problem eventually it will begins to show up in the field. In my case (and maybe or maybe not) your case it takes a long time for a screen to rust and clog to the point where it can intermittently effect fuel flow. If you saw what came out of my gas tank you wouldn't believe that it was a fuel filter. Have you considered looking at and/or changing the fuel filter that feeds the carb in the engine compartment? With respect to your comment re-fuel bowl---- if it is a fuel delivery problem maybe the float bowl is not getting filled with fuel, runs dry and when stopped has a chance to refill? Just throwing out some comments-- MLD
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Matt Had a similar problem with an '85 carburated, so here is one more idea(long-shot). Is there(or should be) a snorkel hose from the exahust manifold to the air cleaner in the '87?. If so make sure it's intact and in place, and that the blend air door in the air cleaner operates. in the '85 I had, the linkage form the blend door vacuum motor to the door got disconnected resulting in loss of power especially on humid days.
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snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

Not even in use on this car - it's disconnected and the breather lid flipped over to allow better breathing. Doesn't affect the issue. Hot or cold, damp or dry, doesn't matter - sometimes it'll run great right off the hop, sometimes sluggish at first and better later, sometimes it just never quite "wakes up".
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MLD wrote:

The only recalls on this car are for the fuel filler tube rusting out, and the seatbelt buckles having broken plastic bits. If there were going to be a recall on this, it should have been issued a long time ago on a 20-year-old design.

Nope. Low fuel flow and the float bowl not refilling would more likely manifest as sputtering and dropouts at high rpms. It doesn't do that at all - it's just an overall lost of acceleration power across the band.
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For the heck of it I Goggled "intermittent power loss Honda". Got lots of hits with many interesting reasons and causes. Some fuel pumps, rusted fuel filter, electrical (wires/plugs) etc. among them. A very hard one to find turned out to be the oxygen sensor. Quote from the write-up "Three days after the car first rolled in the shop, the problem was finally solved with a simple oxygen sensor replacement. Those darn intermittent." Suggest you try this path, might find your exact problem or at least something that will lead you to the solution. MLD

Accord
P/S,
system
only
immediate
off
up
intermittently
and/or
and
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MLD wrote:

The carbureted vehicles don't have oxygen sensors.
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Honda". Got lots of

fuel pumps, rusted fuel

very hard one to find

write-up "Three days

finally solved with

intermittent." Suggest you

something that will

The 1987 Accord most certainly does have an oxygen sensor. I thought so off the top of my head, because my recollection is that the oxygen sensor was a 1970s or so emissions control development (someone can google and nitpick away for details). www.slhonda.com 's parts site, under "exhaust manifold" confirms.
This may not be thee solution to the intermittent power loss problem, but I wouldn't disregard it entirely, either, especially if the car is using the original, almost 20-year-old oxygen sensor.
https://www.automedicsupply.com/ wants $32 + shipping for an OEM Denso sensor for the 87 Accord LX/DX. I used them for one a year or so ago. Good service. Best price for OEM by far. Packaging indicates this is a legit Denso sensor. Very easy to replace. Borrow an O2 sensor wrench from Autozone at no charge.
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Elle wrote:

Okay, put it this way: none of MY three 87 Accords have had oxygen sensors, including this one. Yes, I am quite sure about this, so don't tell me "Yes it does, you're just not looking hard enough." I got under the car with a Honda service tech while he told me where it SHOULD be on the first one, and there was nothing. When I finally went to another dealer service center, I was told by the service manager that most carb'd 87s DON'T have them.
So there you have it.
Given that the O2 sensor is supposed to measure the burn gasses and allow the ECU to compensate, I see little point in having once since there's no real way for the ECU to actually adjust the carb on these cars.
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sensor.
had oxygen

Site http://www.pauldesign.ru/honda/about.html indicates that this is indeed very possible. It says about the 86-89 Accord:
" ... [In the] USA several versions of the carbureted engine existed, which was modernized several times.... Depending on the region where the Accord was sold, the engines may have had slight differences such as the ECU adjustment depending on the gasoline available, the absence of the oxygen sensor etc."
Though let me duck and add, for the archives if not for you: You say you are looking under the car. From the online parts drawings, it looks to me like anyone seeking the oxygen sensor should simply be looking at the top or front of the exhaust manifold (depending on which 1987 Accord model you have). It should be pretty readily accessible just under the hood.
My 87 Civic manual has a drawing clearly labeled "exhaust manifold... 1984-1987 carbureted engine." The oxygen sensor is clearly shown on it, going into the top of the manifold (but not quite the same way the 87 Accord drawings show).
But I realize a Honda tech would have known what to look for and it would be darn near impossible to miss. So you must have one of these Accords that the site I link above says has no oxygen sensor.

enough." I got under

it SHOULD be on

that most

gasses and

once since

carb on these cars.
"Once the oxygen sensor detect[s] that the mixture is lean or rich, it will send a voltage signal to the engine management ECU computer, which in turn issues a command to the mixture control solenoid found in the carburetor to adjust the mixture before it enters the engine. This procedure assures that the engine will be given not just the best possible fuel economy but the lowest possible exhaust emissions as well." http://www.partstrain.com/ShopByDepartment/Oxygen_Sensor
The net has discussion at many sites of carburetors having input from the ECU to control emissions. Again, I don't know what the Honda Accord has exactly, beyond what the parts sites and manuals claim.
Good luck.
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Elle wrote:

I started there... the tech on the phone had me searching all the way back to the catalytic converter.

There are no wires going anywhere near the carb or anything attached to it on these three cars, either... how it manages air/fuel mixture is beyond me because there's no mixture screw either, aside from idle mixture.
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you:
parts
the
you
the
all the way

I understand. As long as one has some idea of what it looks like, it's really hard to miss, so, yes, you must have and have had Accords without them. I was mistaken, and the parts sites are misleading on this matter, etc.

having
know
anything attached to

mixture is

from idle mixture.
Tricky, especially since the carburetor may be the source of your Accord's problem. This might be an instance where owning a Helm factory service manual might be a great aid, I suppose. Good luck.
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Matt, I have personal experience with this. I too have a '87 accord that is carbureated.. I began intermittantly losing power. I initially replaced the fuel filter. It did not seem to make a difference. the problem got worse, especially at times of high fuel demand, such as when climbing a big hill. I looked on google groups for an answer. I found a posting that said that the 87 Accord was one model that had had some corrosion issues with the fuel filler hose that would clog the screen on the fuel pump pickup line. I bought a new pump, and screen (about $65). It completely resolved my problem. The pump is very easy to replace. there is a access hole behind the drivers side rear seat. lower the rear seat, and you will see it in the floor of the trunk.. hope this helps. Mike
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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

I guess it's easy enough to give that a look, but I still doubt it's a fuel issue.
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Matt Ion wrote:

my 1981 VW rabbit had one. the CIS injection system on that thing was completely mechanical, from what i remember. so i have NO clue what the O2 sensors purpose was. i remember stripping the threads on the exhaust manifold changing it, then driving it for months with just a bolt wedged in the hole in the manifold. made no difference in driveability.
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of
fuel
find
with
you
will
Didn't say that your car had or didn't have an Oxygen sensor. Just trying to give you some sense of what can cause your problem and some place to look for solutions. You're looking for help ands instead of being appreciative of what you're getting you tend to have a negative attitude instead. Good Luck (and good-bye) MLD

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