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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 02 Sep 2006, 08:07 pm
Brandon Scarbrough
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Default 93 civic loss of power

My trusty car (210,000) miles, and has never been in the shop, died
while I was driving on the freeway the other day. I had it towed, I
told the mechanic I thought it was the distbutor. It turns out it was.


He turned out to be a real crappy mechanic. He left one bolt off of my
distrbutor, and the other 2 were so loose I could giggle the distrbutor
in my hand. I fixed this by tightining the bolts, and adding one that
was missing.

Ever since this awefule mechanic did this my car has lost tons of
power!! It used to be a zippy fun to drive car, now it just sucks, I
press the gas and literaly nothing happens for a second or two. If I
have the air conditioner on, the symptoms are even worse.

my questions are

1) What are some possiable normal causes of such a drastic loss of
power?
2) Could this be realted to the crappy mechanic's install of my
distrbutor?
3) any ideas on fixes?

I thought it might be a clogged fuel filter, I am in the process of
changing that out now, as soon as I figure out how to get the bolt
holding the filter to the firewall off without loosing my knuckles.
Any ideas would be great, I love this little car, I would hate to get
rid of it. I have had it since it was new, even through several new
cars I always hung on to this car.

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  #2 (permalink)  
Old 02 Sep 2006, 08:10 pm
Brandon Scarbrough
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Default Re: 93 civic loss of power

Sorry I forgot to add, this is a 93 civic, 2 door, EX.

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  #3 (permalink)  
Old 02 Sep 2006, 08:10 pm
Brandon Scarbrough
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Default Re: 93 civic loss of power

Sorry I forgot to add, this is a 93 civic, 2 door, EX.

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  #4 (permalink)  
Old 02 Sep 2006, 08:23 pm
High Tech Misfit
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Default Re: 93 civic loss of power

Brandon Scarbrough wrote:

> My trusty car (210,000) miles, and has never been in the shop, died
> while I was driving on the freeway the other day. I had it towed, I
> told the mechanic I thought it was the distbutor. It turns out it was.
>
> He turned out to be a real crappy mechanic. He left one bolt off of my
> distrbutor, and the other 2 were so loose I could giggle the distrbutor
> in my hand. I fixed this by tightining the bolts, and adding one that
> was missing.
>
> Ever since this awefule mechanic did this my car has lost tons of
> power!! It used to be a zippy fun to drive car, now it just sucks, I
> press the gas and literaly nothing happens for a second or two. If I
> have the air conditioner on, the symptoms are even worse.
>
> my questions are
>
> 1) What are some possiable normal causes of such a drastic loss of
> power?
> 2) Could this be realted to the crappy mechanic's install of my
> distrbutor?
> 3) any ideas on fixes?
>
> I thought it might be a clogged fuel filter, I am in the process of
> changing that out now, as soon as I figure out how to get the bolt
> holding the filter to the firewall off without loosing my knuckles.
> Any ideas would be great, I love this little car, I would hate to get
> rid of it. I have had it since it was new, even through several new
> cars I always hung on to this car.


My guess is that the mechanic used cheap aftermarket parts instead of OEM
parts when replacing the distributor.

But in all probability, the entire distributor did not have to be replaced.
If anything, it sounds to me like only the igniter needed to be replaced.
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  #5 (permalink)  
Old 02 Sep 2006, 09:51 pm
frank
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Default Re: 93 civic loss of power

well, not an expert, but i wonder if the spark plug wires are running
to the right cylinders . . . if mucked up, would definitely cause power
loss. - fj

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  #6 (permalink)  
Old 02 Sep 2006, 09:51 pm
frank
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Default Re: 93 civic loss of power

well, not an expert, but i wonder if the spark plug wires are running
to the right cylinders . . . if mucked up, would definitely cause power
loss. - fj

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  #7 (permalink)  
Old 02 Sep 2006, 10:24 pm
Brandon Scarbrough
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Default Re: 93 civic loss of power


frank wrote:
> well, not an expert, but i wonder if the spark plug wires are running
> to the right cylinders . . . if mucked up, would definitely cause power
> loss. - fj


Thanks Frank, that was my first thought. Any idea on the distrbutor
the wires go? Like spark plug number #1 goes into the the distrbutor
at . . . . I have looked around the internet for a diagram, but I
haven't had any luck yet.

It also seems to idle like crap, maybe the pcv valve?? I doubt it
though I have changed the oil on this car when it was due since it was
new.

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  #8 (permalink)  
Old 02 Sep 2006, 10:37 pm
Elle
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Default Re: 93 civic loss of power

1.
The three bolts that hold the distributor housing in place
also ensure the timing is "held" in place, too. You noticed
the bolt holes were oddly shaped for them, right? That's
because the timing is set by rotating the housing
appropriately, then tightening the bolts. I would start by
checking the ignition timing. Do you have a timing light?

2.
Were OEM distributor parts used?

3.
What parts of the distributor exactly were replaced (e.g.
housing, cap, rotor, igniter, coil, all?)

4.
When was your 93 Civic last tuned up (new plugs, wires,
distributor cap, rotor, timing check(!), air filter, fuel
filter, possibly new PCV valve)? Were OEM parts used?

Free online manuals for your car are linked at:
http://home.earthlink.net/~honda.lioness/id9.html

"Brandon Scarbrough" <brandon_scarbrough@hotmail.com> wrote
> My trusty car (210,000) miles, and has never been in the
> shop, died
> while I was driving on the freeway the other day. I had
> it towed, I
> told the mechanic I thought it was the distbutor. It
> turns out it was.
>
>
> He turned out to be a real crappy mechanic. He left one
> bolt off of my
> distrbutor, and the other 2 were so loose I could giggle
> the distrbutor
> in my hand. I fixed this by tightining the bolts, and
> adding one that
> was missing.
>
> Ever since this awefule mechanic did this my car has lost
> tons of
> power!! It used to be a zippy fun to drive car, now it
> just sucks, I
> press the gas and literaly nothing happens for a second or
> two. If I
> have the air conditioner on, the symptoms are even worse.
>
> my questions are
>
> 1) What are some possiable normal causes of such a drastic
> loss of
> power?
> 2) Could this be realted to the crappy mechanic's install
> of my
> distrbutor?
> 3) any ideas on fixes?
>
> I thought it might be a clogged fuel filter, I am in the
> process of
> changing that out now, as soon as I figure out how to get
> the bolt
> holding the filter to the firewall off without loosing my
> knuckles.
> Any ideas would be great, I love this little car, I would
> hate to get
> rid of it. I have had it since it was new, even through
> several new
> cars I always hung on to this car.
>



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  #9 (permalink)  
Old 02 Sep 2006, 10:49 pm
Brandon Scarbrough
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Default Re: 93 civic loss of power


Elle I hate to answer a few of these questions, the car has run so well
for so long a few things were never done to it.

1) 1 bolt was totaly missing, the other 2 bolts were only in by a few
of thier threads, atleast 1/2 way out. I didn't know those held the
timming belt in place. I do not have a timming light, however this
sounds like a good ddirection to go in, I may take it to a mechanic
that is decent and have that done right.

2) OEM parts were used, I just went and checked I see the word "honda"
on the distrbutor.

3) the whole thing was replaced. From what some one else posted that
may not have been needed and I probably just paid a few hundred dollars
too much. Oh well, I love the car whats a few $$.

4) It was tuned up at 80K miles. I know I know every one in here is
shaking thier head in disbeleif, the car seriously just always ran
perfect. I had a timming belt put on at 180K miles but I checked the
recipt and no other work was done at that time, except the usual water
pump.

5) The wires are original, so is the PCV valve. Thei air filter I just
changed today, along with the fuel filter. Well the fuel filter is
still fighting me but I will figure out how to get that darn clamp that
holds it to myfirewall off at some point tomorrow. As far as timming,
I think I may break down and take the car in to have that checked
because I literaly have no idea how to check it or adjust it, unless
anyone knows of a site that can tell me how to do it. I have another
car, I use this one to go back and forth to work, so it being out of
service for awhile is ok.

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  #10 (permalink)  
Old 02 Sep 2006, 11:11 pm
Elle
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Posts: n/a
Default Re: 93 civic loss of power

"Brandon Scarbrough" <brandon_scarbrough@hotmail.com> wrote
> Elle I hate to answer a few of these questions, the car
> has run so well
> for so long a few things were never done to it.
>
> 1) 1 bolt was totaly missing, the other 2 bolts were only
> in by a few
> of thier threads, atleast 1/2 way out. I didn't know
> those held the
> timming belt in place. I do not have a timming light,
> however this
> sounds like a good ddirection to go in, I may take it to a
> mechanic
> that is decent and have that done right.


Those (distributor housing) bolts do not hold the timing
belt in place. What they do is orient the distributor
housing so the motion of the camshaft (passing through the
housing) "triggers," if you will, firing of the distributor
wires (which in turn power the spark plugs at the correct
instants).

If you look up the procedure for setting the timing at the
online manuals I cited earlier, you will see discussion of
this.

> 2) OEM parts were used, I just went and checked I see the
> word "honda"
> on the distrbutor.


That's a very good sign. I am a cheapskate but learned the
hard way that OEM Honda ignition system parts last way
longer than non-OEM.

> 3) the whole thing was replaced. From what some one else
> posted that
> may not have been needed and I probably just paid a few
> hundred dollars
> too much. Oh well, I love the car whats a few $$.


I know it may seem that way, but from my experience with my
91 Civic and reading many reports here, a good Honda will in
fact go through an entire distributor (including the
expensive housing) about once every 150k miles or 12 years.
I know it was expensive, but you in fact very likely made a
good investment.

> 4) It was tuned up at 80K miles. I know I know every one
> in here is
> shaking thier head in disbeleif, the car seriously just
> always ran
> perfect. I had a timming belt put on at 180K miles but I
> checked the
> recipt and no other work was done at that time, except the
> usual water
> pump.
>
> 5) The wires are original, so is the PCV valve.


Whoa, those wires are old and are likely going to
detrimentally affect the life of your distributor's ignition
coil, for one.

You can get a multimeter from Radio Shack and make sure each
wire's resistance is less than 15k ohms. Or start by doing
the check described at
http://www.tegger.com/hondafaq/start...tml#leakywires.
Or, shoot, spend the $50 or so and get new OEM wires. Do not
go with aftermarket for the wires. You may notice a profound
difference as soon as you slap those new wires in place.

As for which wire goes where, OEM wires have lengths that
tend to correspond to the correct receptacles on the
distributor cap. Better, see
http://www.autozone.com/servlet/UiBr...3d80140ef6.jsp

As for the PCV valve: There are some checks you can do on
it, but for $15 or so, you can have a whole new one. I would
replace it. I replaced my 91 Civic's after 12 years. Found
the old one full of waxy buildup. My fuel mileage shot up
after I put the new PCV valve in.

At a minimum, buy a can of carb/PCV system cleaner, remove
the old PCV valve, and soak it in the cleaner. I now do this
about every other oil change with my PCV valve.

> Thei air filter I just
> changed today, along with the fuel filter. Well the fuel
> filter is
> still fighting me but I will figure out how to get that
> darn clamp that
> holds it to myfirewall off at some point tomorrow.


I remember that was tricky the first time I did it, too.
Gotta have the right sockets or combo wrench. The
super-dupber penetrating oil "PB Blaster" might help, too.
It's only around $4 a can at Autozone, Wal-Mart, etc.

> As far as timming,
> I think I may break down and take the car in to have that
> checked
> because I literaly have no idea how to check it or adjust
> it, unless
> anyone knows of a site that can tell me how to do it. I
> have another
> car, I use this one to go back and forth to work, so it
> being out of
> service for awhile is ok.


Not sure how adventurous you are, but I bought a timing
light for $15 from a pawn shop. Nothing fancy is needed.
Autozone etc. sell them for I guess around $30 and up. Ebay
always has several at good prices, too.

Just a few of the sites that talk about setting the timing:
http://search.ebscohost.com/ Login (for free) using the
username "lib" and the password "access." Click on "Auto
Repair Reference Center." This seems to have repair
procedures for all years but maybe the most recent. This
site's procedures load faster than Autozone's below but
otherwise appear to duplicate, word for word, the Autozone's
sites procedures (see below).

http://www.autozone.com Has Honda manuals for 1995 and
earlier. On the left, click on "Repair Info," then "Vehicle
Repair Guides." Click on car year, make, and model, etc. The
autozone site implies that its source for the Honda
procedures is Chilton's via Delmar, a publishing company for
automotive training guides.


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