Why my 87 1987 carburated Honda Accord wouldn't start

When I first got my 87 Accord LX auto transmission, carburated car, it wouldn't start. It had only 28,000 miles, so I knew it had to be something simple.
Here are the symptoms: 1. It cranked fine. 2. I checked for spark by removing a wire from a spark plug and holding it near the engine while cranking. It was fine. The distributor cap had some oxidation on the plugs, and I replaced the cap and rotor, but that didn't help. 3. Occasionally, if I hadn't tried for a while, I was able to get the car to run at around 3000 rpm, while in park, at full throttle. Within 30 seconds, the engine would sputter and die. 4. After many tries, I noticed a pool of fuel in the secondary carb barrel.
The problem was that since the car had sat for years, rarely used, the fuel in the bowl ate away the O-ring in the carb float valve. This caused the valve to be constantly "on", forcing pressurized fuel into a full and overflowing bowl. The overpressure overfed the jets and overflowed directly into the closed secondary.
The only cure was to remove the carburator, disassemble, and replace that O-ring. You can't do it without removing the carb. Once you've got the carb out, and you bought the rebuild kit, you might as well replace all the O-rings in there. The "rebuild" is easy; it's getting the carb off and on that's a big pain (due to close quarters and lots of vacuum tubes). Be sure to replace the carb gasket with a proper new gasket, and replace any cracked vacuum hoses.
Greg
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