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need rough running help


97DX

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i'm new to honda engines and have a few issues with my girlfriends 97 civic dx, no mods, that about a week ago started running extremely rough.

 

it has a bad rough idle and wants to and does stall when warmed up. it has zero power at the bottom and top end and i hear a rattle (maybe from predetonation?) under heavy load. also the trans doesn't want to shift at the top of third gear, have to let off a little to let it shift then get back on it right away to try and gain speed again.

 

i checked for codes and had one for the ckp sensor and 02 sensor 1 but no check engine light. i cleared those and about a day later check engine light finally came on and had code for rich running condition.

 

i have replaced the fuel filter, plugs, air filter, map sensor, fuel pressure regulator, and drained and filled the tank with new fuel trying to track down what the f could be the cause.

 

i am beating my head against the wall on this one and have come to a point where i have no more ideas. any suggestions or thoughts anyone might have would be greatly appreciated. thanks

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find someone with the same car(96-98 civic N-VTEC) , and try a different distributor. if your getting that bad of spark knock , theres somin going on with timing. CKP is crank position sensor , its in the dizzy , and can cause these kinds of problems. most times , when a dizzy or should i say CKP goes bad , there is no check engine light on at all , or a different code comes up. the reason the tranny is shifting funny , is cause its not sensing the load it normally would with the engine giving full power. also , just for craps and giggles , and since its free , check your itming and make sure thats all good. pop valve cover and top timing cover off and set the crank to TDC , see if the spoke of the cam wheel with the UP arrow on it , is pointing , ahhhhh , up , lol. theres also little hash marks 90 each way that line up with head surface.

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hey thanks for the info, i will look into that today for sure. if i can't find someone with a non vtec motor to swap parts from is there anyway to visibly tell if dist/ckp is failing? also if that isn't the problem would a plugged cat cause the same symptoms? thanks again

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ok, couldn't find another n-vtec distributor to swap into car but did remove the cap and inspect. couldn't find any visible problems but that's not to say the ckp sensor isn't failing.

 

took off the valve cover and timing cover and checked timing, it's right on at tdc.

 

anyone have any thoughts on how i could check the catalyst? i'm going to try to get a scan tool and see if i can get live data readings of the o2 and ckp sensors but if those come up ok i wanted to look into the failing cat possibility. i believe hondas have quite a bit of problems with those???

 

thanks for the help and any additional info i could use

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