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'[OT] Honda Accord question'
2008\07\26@212416 by Sean Breheny

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Hi all,

I thought that OT was the safest area for this if it is appropriate at all.

I have a 2001 Honda Accord DX, 4 cyl engine. A few months ago, it
began to have a rough idle at times. It would sometimes stall when I
came to a stop. I discovered that there were visible arcs around the
outside of the distributor cap. When I took the cap off, I found that
the rotor and the four contacts showed some corrosion and burning. I
replaced the cap, rotor, and gasket around the cap. I chalked this up
to simple normal maintenance (the car had about 96000 miles on it and
had never had these parts replaced). Around the same time, I replaced
the spark plugs and spark plug wires, too. The plugs looked fine with
perhaps a tiny amount of evidence of too high a temperature.

All was fine for about 2 months (3000 miles). Then the problem began
to happen again. This time I couldn't see any arcing outside the
distributor cap, but when I looked at the contacts inside, both they
and the rotor were again burnt. Cleaning them with a Scotchbrite pad
temporarily fixed the problem (for about 3 weeks), but it has started
to come back again.

I am somewhat at a loss to explain why this is happening. I checked
the battery voltage: is it 12.9V when the car is off and 14.3V when
on. These seem fine to me (I had a hunch that perhaps the charge
voltage was way too high and was overdriving the ignition module).

I have found very few FAQs and forum posts about this issue, and none
for my model year. The usual advice is that it could be any of the
following: oil leak into distributor, water leak into distributor,
distributor bearings damaged causing wobble of the rotor, charge
voltage too high, faulty ignition module, damaged plugs or wires. Some
of these I've checked into and found nothing, some I have yet to
really check.

Any ideas?

Thanks,

Sean

2008\07\26@214036 by Jinx

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Sean,

(completely dodging the question)

have you considered CDI ?

2008\07\26@220359 by jim

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Sean,

Check the resistor in series with the coil(s).  If it is shorted, it can
supply too much current to the coil, and therefore, output too high a
voltage for the aluminum contacts to handle.
Also, check the coil(s) themselves.  It (they) may be bad.   It's not too
likely because when a coil fails, it usually fails open.  But you never can
tell.

Finally, make sure the wires you bought are specified as replacements for
the vehicle, and not just
universal replacements.  They may be somewhat special wires.

I once had a 1979 Accord CVCC that had virtually everything unique about it.
You couldn't use parts for 78 and earlier, or parts for 80 and later.  It
was just unique.

Hope these suggestions are helpful.  When you find the problem, let us (me)
know.


                                                                       Regards,

                                                                          Jim




{Original Message removed}

2008\07\26@221234 by Sean Breheny

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Hi Jinx,

What is CDI?

The only two relevant wiki entries I found are for Capacitor Discharge
Ignition and Common-rail Direct Injection. If this is what you mean,
then I don't understand the question. Are you suggesting that I modify
my car in order to fix the problem?

Sean


On Sat, Jul 26, 2008 at 9:39 PM, Jinx <spam_OUTjoecolquittTakeThisOuTspamclear.net.nz> wrote:
> Sean,
>
> (completely dodging the question)
>
> have you considered CDI ?
>
> -

2008\07\26@225846 by Jinx

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> Capacitor Discharge Ignition

> Are you suggesting that I modify my car in order to fix the problem?

Well, yes and no. If you find that whatever is causing the problem is
going to be a big fix, replacing the ignition system may be an option

I'd expect that an Accord would not be difficult to get spares for the
original ignition system or a kit-set CDI to upgrade it

2008\07\27@002734 by Bob Blick

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Hi Sean,

It's pretty normal for the rotor and distributor contacts to have some
burning. Thet aren't "contact" contacts after all. But make sure the
center contact is good(usually a carbon contact).

Maybe your new plug wires are bad. Watch the engine running at night and
look for arcing.

Did you use real Honda parts or auto parts store parts? Japanese spark
plugs or an American brand which shall remain nameless?

Cheerful regards,

Bob

2008\07\27@003728 by Sean Breheny
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Hi Bob,

On Sun, Jul 27, 2008 at 12:27 AM, Bob Blick <.....bobblickKILLspamspam@spam@ftml.net> wrote:
> Hi Sean,
>
> It's pretty normal for the rotor and distributor contacts to have some
> burning. Thet aren't "contact" contacts after all. But make sure the
> center contact is good(usually a carbon contact).
>

Well, top be honest, I don't really know what to look for in
inspecting these contacts. However, what I can say is that the ones in
the replacement distributor cap/rotor now look very much like the ones
I removed after 95k miles. Also, cleaning them seems to fix the
problem temporarily.

I'm not sure what you mean by center contact. Do you mean the
spring-loaded button which contacts the center of the rotor?

> Maybe your new plug wires are bad. Watch the engine running at night and
> look for arcing.

I did so on one occasion while the engine was misbehaving at night. I
saw no arcing.

>
> Did you use real Honda parts or auto parts store parts? Japanese spark
> plugs or an American brand which shall remain nameless?

I used parts from Autozone. The spark plugs and wires are Bosch. I
don't remember the brand of the replacement disty cap and rotor.

Thanks for any help you can provide,

Sean


>
> Cheerful regards,
>
> Bob
> -

2008\07\27@090419 by Carl Denk

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Look carefully inside and outside the distributor cap and on the rotor
(yes the new ones) for carbon tracks (thin black like pencil tracks from
high voltage point to a ground). Don't ignore the fuel injection system.
This vehicle should have OBDII, has it been scanned, likely some codes
will appear. Could be a bad sparkplug or wire. Pull the plugs and look
at the color, should be light gray, if one or more is off color, suspect
that cylinder. Could be a sticking valve, check the compression. Go back
to basics, of proper operation, there must be a ignition source, proper
fuel mixture, and compression.

Had a 1976 Ford Bronco with a 351M V8. Before leaving on a trip from
Ohio to Florida, I changed the sparkplugs, rotor, dist. cap, and wires.
The engine quit suddenly between Daytona and Orlando Florida which made
me suspect electrical. Pulled the coil wire at the cap (center terminal)
checked for spark by cranking the engine, OK. Then pulled a sparkplug
wire at plug and checked for spark, no good. Had happened to bring along
the old cap and rotor (don't know why, just threw it in at last minute)
along. Replaced the rotor and she ran fine for another 70,000 miles or
so when we sold it. Total time on the side of the road, maybe 10 minutes. :)

Sean Breheny wrote:
{Quote hidden}

2008\07\28@045143 by Alan B. Pearce

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Along with the other items people have mentioned, how is the primary side of
the coil switched?

If 'conventional' points, have these burnt at all - typically if something
is wrong metal will migrate from one contact to the other. If this is
occurring check the capacitor across the points. Check that there is a tiny
amount of lubrication on the lobes of the cam, or that the material on the
moving contact of the points is a type that won't wear away on a dry cam.
There is typically a nylon piece that rubs on the multilobe cam to push the
contact, and if this wears the timing and dwell angle get affected.

If it is a transistor switch, it may have conventional style points or an
inductive drive to trigger it. There will still be some form of commutating
capacitor for the coil, connected across the transistor, or whatever other
semiconductor is used.

In both cases check the gap in the points is correct. having an incorrect
gap will put the dwell angle out, and this affects the both the timing and
spark quality. If an inductive pickup, check the timing hasn't moved. In
both cases an adjustment screw could come loose and allow the timing to move
from optimum.

2008\07\29@160159 by Mike Hord

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If you're in the US, pick up your phone and call

1-800-227-8255

Mike H.

On Sat, Jul 26, 2008 at 8:23 PM, Sean Breheny <shb7spamKILLspamcornell.edu> wrote:
{Quote hidden}

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