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James Matteu

1997 V6 Hesitating

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The Story

 

I pulled out into traffic and accelerated at wide open throttle up a steep grade to merge with traffic. During this acceleration, my engine briefly hesitated and the Check Engine Light (CEL) flashed for approx. one-half second and then stayed off. The hesitation was really brief, the motor seemed to return to normal as I merged with traffic. About one-tenth of one mile later, when stopped at a traffic light, my Tachometer jumped 1000 rpms for approx. one-half second. I turned the radio off. My radio is the stock head unit, but I wanted to be able to hear if my motor really was revving on its own; it was not. While stopped at this light, the Tachometer danced around: jumped 1000rpms, 2000rpms, 500rpms, etc. and then stopped. Each jump was followed by a quick return to a "normal" rpm reading. The Tachometer then stopped jumping, it seemed that it had returned to normal. While stopped at this traffic light, my motor never revved on its own. The traffic light turned green, and then I continued driving. I pulled onto Interstate-295. Shortly thereafter and while on I-295 moving at approx. 60-70mph, the Tachometer began its dance once again; it jumped 1000rpms, 2000rpms, 500rpms, etc. At no time did my motor rev or hesitate. Then the Speedometer began to loose power sporatically dropping to zero, then returning to whatever speed I was moving at. Then my Tachometer began doing the same thing, dropping to zero. At no point did my lights dim or did my engine rev "out of sync" with the speed I was moving. After about 5 minutes of "crazy gauges", my motor began to hesistate while my Tach and Speedo where dancing. This dancing and hesitation continued for about one minute before my ECU got with the program and began storing codes. Being that my V6 is OBD-II, where the OBD-II ECU constantly cycles diagnostics, the CEL would come on during the dancing and hesitation; then turn off when the dancing paused. As I continued driving, this dubious error was sufficiently frequent to trigger the ECU to keep the CEL illuminated; it would not turn off for the duration of my drive. I had all three kids in the car and pizza in the trunk, so I kept the gas pedal down to try and make it home, albeit moving at 40mph with flashing hazzard lights; the hesitation was so bad, the car would not accelerate past 40mph. About 4 miles from home the CEL began flashing, which meant whatever was wrong with the motor was putting the catalyst in my exhaust system at risk of damage. I pulled over to give the catalytic converter time to cool off. I opened my door and leaned out to look under my car and confirmed that the catalytic converter was glowing orange. The first thing that came to mind was a failing catalytic converter pluggin my exhaust line. After a quick cool down, I continued with my drive home; the hesitation continued as well but my CEL did stop flashing; the ECU would not warn me again of potential catalyst damage for the duration of my drive (phew!). I kept an eye on my rear view mirror to see if I was ejecting any chunks of catalyst; I was not. My car continued to hesistate all the way home.

 

The Car: bone stock 1997 Honda Accord EX-V6, stock exhaust, stock catalytic converter (original), and stock gauge cluster.

 

Troubleshooting

 

I pulled the following from the Engine Control Module (ECM):

 

Code 20

P1297 - Electrical Load Detector Circuit Low Input

P1298 - Electrical Load Detector Circuit High Input

 

Code 71

P0301 - Misfire Detected - Cylinder 1

 

Code 74

P0302 - Misfire Detected - Cylinder 4

 

Code 72

P0303 - Misfire Detected - Cylinder 2

 

Code 75

P0304 - Misfire Detected - Cylinder 5

 

Code 73

P0305 - Misfire Detected - Cylinder 3

 

Code 76

P0306 - Misfire Detected - Cylinder 6

 

The codes were stored in the order they appeared, as I have listed them above.

 

No blown fuses.

 

Electronic Load Detector

 

Black Wire: I grounded my meter to the chassis and verified the Electronic Load Detector (ELD) has a good ground connection via the black wire on the ELD connection; i.e. I measured <0 Ohms.

 

Black/Yellow Wire: Again with my meter grounded to the chassis, I found that my ELD receives 6.5 Volts with the key in the ON (II) position. This is the reference voltage and the Helms says it should be approximately 5 Volts.

 

Green/Red Wire: While idling and with my meter grounded to the chassis, I measured 6.1 Volts at the ELD going to the ECM via the GRN/RED wire. While idling and with the Headlights on, I measured 3 Volts on the same GRN/RED wire.

 

Based on the idea that the ELD receives a reference voltage and responds to changes in the current being drawn from the battery by reducing the reference voltage on its way back to the ECM, I decided to unplug the ELD and run the car without the ELD. My idea is that the ECM will see zero reference volts coming from the ELD and ramp the Alternator's output to maximum. I figured if the ELD was giving bad data to the ECM, this would be a way of bypassing the ELD system. It didn't work. I ran the car in my driveway. The alternator actually sounded different running at maximum. Unfortunately, tachometer was still jumping up, but did not dip down and did not cause random hesitation. Rather, when I tapped the gas pedal, the motor would sputter for less than one second and then respond with an increase in RPMs.

 

Then I connected my meter to the ELD input wire on my ECM to see what kind of readings the ELD would provide while the car is running; the test took 10 minutes. Here is the timeline:

 

Minute 1: ELD read 6 Volts with the key in the ON (II) position; this 6 Volts is the reference voltage the ELD receives from Fuse #4. I started the car, key in START (III) position, during which the ELD read 2 Volts during starting and rose to 3.5 Volts soon thereafter.

 

Minute 2: Still at 3.5 Volts.

 

Minute 3: Still holding 3.5 Volts, but needle begins to bounce slightly.

 

Mintue 4: I turn the A/C on, the ELD's reading drops to 1.5 Volts momentarily and then rises to 1.75 Volts.

 

Minute 5: ELD rises to 2.0 Volts, then falls back to 1.5 Volts as the A/C Compressor cycles.

 

Minute 6: ELD rises to 2.0 Volts and holds at this voltage steadily.

 

Minute 7: I tap the throttle which reved the engine up to 2500 RPMs, but did not hold it there. The ELD voltage jumped to 4 Volts and then drops back to 2 Volts as the A/C compressor re-engages. This is expected. The ECM turns the A/C compressor off during acceleration.

 

Minute 8: I turn the A/C off and the ELD reads 4 Volts immediately.

 

Minute 9: While idling, the car flashes the CEL and shuts off. I tried to pull codes, but none were stored. This was exactly what happened the other night, and had I had my foot on the gas, the RPMs may have not dropped so low that the car would shut off. I attempt to restart the car and cannot get it to start.

 

Minute 10: I note the following: Starter Motor sounded strong in the START (III) position. The ELD still read 6 Volts in the ON (II) position. I tried turing the key really slowly to START (III) and heard one click; turning the key the rest of the way got the Starter Motor running as expected. I noticed the lack of any "humming" coming from the Fuel Pump. I decided to check it out and ended this test here.

 

Ignition Coil

I found this on Yahoo! Answers:

 

Resolved Question

 

95 HONDA ACCORD TACHOMETER BOUNCES?

MY TACH BOUNCES AT ANY SPEED. SOMETIMES IT JUST SLOWLY COMES TO A REST AT ZERO. WHAT COULD BE THE ISSUE?

 

Best Answer - Chosen by Voters

 

you have an ignition coil that is breaking down. The ignition coil opens the primary circuit to 'fire' the spark plugs twice every engine revolution on a 4 cylinder engine. The input from the ignition coil discharges is sent to the tachometer that uses that information to calcualte how fast the engine is turning in revolutions per minute. the needle moves in response to that frequency calculation.

 

when the needle on the tachometer bounces the problem is with the source of the signal and that is the ignition coil. The coil is a winding of copper wire that transforms voltage from 12 volts to about 40k volts. any break internally will cause the flow of electricity inside the coil to jump paths to the closest ground. That's whats causing your inconsistent tach reading.

 

replace the ignition coil and you'll fix your tach. Don't wait too long because the tach is an early warning sign that the coil is failing and when it fails you'll be left stranded.

 

hope that helps

 

The Helms says the Ignition Coil should have the following resistance as read from the Ignition Coil power source wire:

ICM Power = approx. 0 Ohms

Primary Winding = 0.3-0.4 Ohms

Secondary Winding = 14-22 Ohms

 

My TEC Ignition Coil which is original to the car, read the following:

ICM Power = <0 Ohms

Primary Winding = <0 Ohms

Secondary Winding = 10 Ohms

Resistorized Tachometer Output = approx. 0 Ohms

 

I paid $64.99 plus tax for a BWD Ignition Coil and it read the following:

ICM Power = <0 Ohms

Primary Winding = <0 Ohms

Secondary Winding = 12 Ohms

Resistorized Tachometer Output = approx. 0 Ohms

 

I start the car with the new Ignition Coil, the car starts, idles, tach bounces up sporatically. I touch the gas and the tach drops and rises rapidly while the engine hesitates. The hesitation was able to stall the car eventually. If all that weren't enough, the speedometer also jumped at random, although that particular symptom is not accompanied by any hesitation; the speedometer misbehaves even when I am not moving. No Check Engine Lights this time.

 

Ignition Control Module

 

The Helms states that the Ignition Coil is to be tested before testing the Ignition Control Module (ICM). Since I already replaced the Ignition Coil, I figured it is okay to start testing the ICM.

 

I tested the Ignition Control Module (ICM) that is inside the distributor with the key in the ON (II) position:

ICM Power, YEL = 12.9 Volts

Ignition Coil Primary Winding Output Control = 12.9 Volts

Then I measured resistance between the ICM and the ECM, I found <0 Ohms.

 

Catalytic Converter

On a side note, while revving the motor, I could hear peices of the catalyst tumbling down my exhaust. I think I may have damaged my catalytic converter last night. I will need to look into replacing it once I have all this figured out. I am sure glad Duval County, Florida does not test emissions any longer.

 

Fuel Pump

Update: as of tonight, the car does not want to start.

 

The Fuel Pump has two wires going to it: one power wire (BLK/YEL) and one ground wire (BLK). I believe the ECM closes a switch inside the PGM-Fi Main Relay by providing a ground connection to the inductor associated with the aforementioned Fuel Pump switch inside the PGM-Fi Main Relay. So I probed the connection on top of the Fuel Tank but only read 0 Volts in the ON (II) position. So I measured voltage at the PGM-Fi Main Relay and found 0 Volts in both the ON (II) and START (III) positions. I also measured the output voltage going to the Fuel Injectors from the PGM-Fi Main Relay and found 12 Volts. When is the Fuel Pump supposed to be on? Is the Fuel Pump only supposed to run when the ECM sees a drop in fuel pressure, or is the ECM supposed to always provide voltage to the Fuel Pump at start up in addition to anytime there is drop in line pressure?

Next, I will relieve the fuel pressure from the line at the Fuel Filter in the engine bay and then see if the pump runs when I attempt the start the car. If not, I will bypass the PGM-Fi Main Relay and provide constant voltage to the Fuel Pump while the key is in the ON (II) position and see if this gets my car started. I will not run the car for long since I do not want to run the Fuel Pump constantly and risk over-pressurizing the lines.

 

ELD2007.jpg

 

ELD2008.jpg

 

Somebody help.

 

Please.

 

Turtlehead help, please.

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Thanks, I tried starting it this morning just to see if it would go. The car wouldn't fire, but the Starter Motor was fine and the Fuel Pump could be heard.

 

Now my battery is dying. I will remove the alternator and battery and have them both tested today.

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James,

 

Just replace the ELDU. Your battery may have been just fine, but if the ELDU starts going the it will put strain on the battery and ruin it. As far as your LENGHTY description of your issues on the road with the kids and the pizza, well, I can not tell you much. The CAT should not glow if there is not constriction. Thereby, I would then ask if you have an after market exhaust system post CAT. If not then I would think your CAT is/has failed, but it is always possible the baffles in the muffler have failed. I guess I would check for exhaust flow from the muffler.

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Furthermore, the ELDU works in conjunction with the alternator/charging system, if it fails or is failing it will reduce or cut off the electrical load to the ignition system thereby creating weak spark and the potential for missfiring. A completely bad ELDU will also cause the car not to start. Often times people see their lights dim and think it is the alternator when infact it is the ELDU causing the problem. This is common on the 98 generation Civics. Infact the dealer will usually have multiple in stock for them which tells you they are having problems with them on the Civics.

 

Additionally, I would take the CAT off and try and force air through it. If you can not get air through it I would start by replacing that first. A clogged CAT/exhaust will create too much back pressure and potentially cause the missfiring. Although I do not know why you are not getting a Code P0420??? I am guessing there is something else going on.

 

I guess I would also see if you can find a used ignitor for it and swap that out first to see if it starts.

 

Start with what you know is wrong (fix first) then clear the codes and drive. I know the ELDU's for the Civics are only 30 dollars or so. Check with Honda to find out what the part number is for your Accord then ask for the part number for the Civic, if the PN's are the same and the Civic one (same PN) is cheaper get that. If it is the same part why buy the more expensive one. You may also be able to jumper the ELDU to see if that fixes the problem (check your ETM).

 

Post back with your findings. It is good to see you back on the site. It seems like it has been a while since you last posted.

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...the ELDU works in conjunction with the alternator/charging system, if it fails or is failing it will reduce or cut off the electrical load to the ignition system thereby creating weak spark and the potential for missfiring. A completely bad ELDU will also cause the car not to start. Often times people see their lights dim and think it is the alternator when infact it is the ELDU causing the problem.

Running the car without the ELD did not resolve all the problems.

 

I have the circuit diagram in the Helms Troubleshooting Manual that I am working with, it shows the ELDU receiving a Ignition Input reference voltage from Fuse 4 (7.5A) and passing on a Load Output to the Engine Control Module (ECM). I thought the ECM takes the ELDU Load Output data [(Reference Voltage) minus (Induced Voltage Created by Current Leaving the Battery) equals (Load Output Voltage)] and uses this to control the Voltage Regulator using the Alternator FR Signal and Alternator Output Signal; see below.

 

 

 

ELD3001.jpgELD3002.jpg

 

 

 

You may also be able to jumper the ELDU to see if that fixes the problem (check your ETM).

I have not tried jumping the RED/GRN to the BLK/YEL. Once I get the car running, I will try that. Although, I have tried running the car with the ELDU unplugged: after measuring the ELDU's Load Output Voltage and seeing it drop as expected when various loads are put on the Battery (which should mean the ELDU is doing its job, right Turtlehead?); I unplugged the ELDU to see if my problem would go away (to see if the ELDU was bad despite passing all tests).

 

Based on the idea that the ELD receives a reference voltage and responds to changes in the current being drawn from the battery by reducing the reference voltage on its way back to the ECM, I decided to unplug the ELD and run the car without the ELD. My idea is that the ECM will see zero reference volts coming from the ELD and ramp the Alternator's output to maximum. I figured if the ELD was giving bad data to the ECM, this would be a way of bypassing the ELD system. It didn't work. I ran the car in my driveway. The alternator actually sounded different running at maximum. Unfortunately, tachometer was still jumping up, but did not dip down and did not cause random hesitation. Rather, when I tapped the gas pedal, the motor would sputter for less than one second and then respond with an increase in RPMs.

I don't think Honda wants the ELDU to be sold seperately, and I have been unable to find anyone selling new ELDUs that can replace the one I have. Honda has the ELDU screwed to the Engine Bay Fuse/Relay Block with a Security Torx Screw. Honda sells the Fuse Block (ELDU included) for $332.

 

Turtlehead, do you think it is worth it to find out what size Security Torx Screw is on my Fuse Block so I can remove the ELDU and swap it for another? ...Despite passing all tests? There are many Accords in our local salvage yard and they all have their Fuse Boxes, replacing the ELDU with a used one wouldn't be a problem; dropping three notes on a new one is a much harder pill to swallow. Having passed all the ELDU tests, replacing it kinda seems like blaming a hot day on the thermometer. I figure either: the ELDU is bad, the ECM is bad, or there is something drawing more current from the Battery than the ECM expects.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Additionally, I would take the CAT off and try and force air through it. If you can not get air through it I would start by replacing that first. A clogged CAT/exhaust will create too much back pressure and potentially cause the missfiring. Although I do not know why you are not getting a Code P0420??? I am guessing there is something else going on.

I agree. I think that the hot Catalytic Converter is a symptom of a problem rather than a cause. The Check Engine Light (CEL) began flashing only after the car hesitated at highway speeds for a good 10-15 minutes. I figured each hesitation dumped unburnt fuel into the Catalytic Converter.

 

 

 

 

 

I guess I would also see if you can find a used ignitor for it and swap that out first to see if it starts.

After this problem started, I replaced the Ignition Coil. There was no change.

 

Ignition Coil

The Helms says the Ignition Coil should have the following resistance as read from the Ignition Coil power source wire:

ICM Power = approx. 0 Ohms

Primary Winding = 0.3-0.4 Ohms

Secondary Winding = 14-22 Ohms

 

My TEC Ignition Coil which is original to the car, read the following:

ICM Power = <0 Ohms

Primary Winding = <0 Ohms

Secondary Winding = 10 Ohms

Resistorized Tachometer Output = approx. 0 Ohms

 

I paid $64.99 plus tax for a BWD Ignition Coil and it read the following:

ICM Power = <0 Ohms

Primary Winding = <0 Ohms

Secondary Winding = 12 Ohms

Resistorized Tachometer Output = approx. 0 Ohms

 

I start the car with the new Ignition Coil, the car starts, idles, tach bounces up sporatically. I touch the gas and the tach drops and rises rapidly while the engine hesitates. The hesitation was able to stall the car eventually. If all that weren't enough, the speedometer also jumped at random, although that particular symptom is not accompanied by any hesitation; the speedometer misbehaves even when I am not moving. No Check Engine Lights this time.

 

Ignition Control Module

 

The Helms states that the Ignition Coil is to be tested before testing the Ignition Control Module (ICM). Since I already replaced the Ignition Coil, I figured it is okay to start testing the ICM.

 

I tested the Ignition Control Module (ICM) that is inside the distributor with the key in the ON (II) position:

ICM Power, YEL = 12.9 Volts

Ignition Coil Primary Winding Output Control = 12.9 Volts

Then I measured resistance between the ICM and the ECM, I found <0 Ohms.

 

 

 

Post back with your findings. It is good to see you back on the site. It seems like it has been a while since you last posted.

Will do. I have been sooo busy with being laid-off and fixing the Accord. After I got the oil leaks fixed, the Puerto Rican flag license plate started to fall off the front of my car, I found a bolt missing on the bracket. I removed the flag until I could order another bolt. Ever since the flag came off, my radiator hoses have burst, my security system stopped working, my fog lights blew a fuse, and now the car will not start. I felt the flag information was germane to my problems since you referred to my motor as a voodoo-six; could have some kind of Puerto Rican voodoo in that flag that was holding the car together. Perhaps I should put the flag back on the car and see if it starts right up :happy: .

 

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Unfortunately over the years of working with my good friend and Honda Master Tech (certifiied), I have learned that when dealing with electrical issues there are certain things that are worth testing and certain things that even when they test out OK with a multimeter are actually bad. I really don't have the time to explain it, it is just a simple fact of life in the shop.

 

The number one thing I would start with to get the car running would be go to the salvage yard and get the ignitor out of one of the cars (ICM) and swap that with the one in your distributor. I think over the past three years I have replaced atleast a dozen of them or more. While you are there I am guessing you have an external coil pack, might as well grab that too. They should not charge you anything, or atleast nothing over 5-10 dollars since you can get a new one for around 70 dollars (if it is like all the other accords of that generation, but I am not sure on the V6).

 

Actually you can/should check your tach signal from the ingitor (ICM). The reality is though I would just replace it with a used Honda one. Do not go aftermarket with this item. One from a low mileage one in the yard is better. I think the ignitor even in the 4-cyl is the same. On many generations the ignitors were the same (kind of like the PGM-FI main relay). Start there, be sure you do not put your distributor back on 180 degrees off and see if that gets the old bird running. If you replaced the coil with an after market one, I would put your old one back on assuming that because it did not help fix the problem it probably was not bad.

 

While you have the distributor off and the ignitor out look for signs of rust powder/dust in the sub-assambly. If there is rust dust then your sub assembly might be bad, thereby replace both.

 

If I had to bet on one item to replace first it would be the ignitor (possibly the sub-assembly as well).

 

Post back with your findings. BTW the ignitor should only take you about 15 minutes to get out. I would take yours with you to the yard that way if you find one in a 4-cyl you can compare. They should both have 4 wires leading to them and one or two screws (philips head #2) that hold them in the sub-assembly).

 

Good luck.

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Thanks, I will pick up an Ignition Control Module (ICM) while getting the Electric Load Detector (ELD) at the salvage yard.

 

I will put the old TEC Ignition Coil back on as you suggested, but once I have this figured out, I will see about putting the BWD Ignition Coil back on since it's secondary coil had 2 more Ohms than the older TEC Ignition Coil. I figured more Ohms means longer windings or cheaper winding material. Either way, I hadn't planned on tossing out the TEC, just in case.

 

Actually you can/should check your tach signal from the ingitor (ICM).

In my V6, the tachometer signal comes from Ignition Coil, not the Ignition Coil Module, see below. I don't have a Test Tachometer to hook up to the Test Tachometer Connector. I was going to get a new one from TAS after everything else was fixed since the OEM face has been starting the bubbling thing for quite some time.

 

 

ELD4.jpg

 

 

As far as removing the ICM, as soon as my distributor cap comes off, the ICM is right there, see #6 Igniter Unit P/N 30120-P06-005 below. The part number for the Hitachi V6 ICM is the same for the 4-cylinder Hitachi ICM.

 

Oil-Leaks.gif

Edited by James Matteu

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You can still check your tach signal. You need a test light to check for weak tach signal. They don't tell you in the books....

 

And as you figured out the ignitor for the 6cyl vs. the 4cyl is infact the same as I expected.

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You can still check your tach signal. You need a test light to check for weak tach signal. They don't tell you in the books...

AWSOME! Thanks!

 

I still need to find a Security Torx Bit Set.

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Also, as far as the torx bit size goes, just size it with a regular torx bit (they are all the same i.e. there is no metric or english like allen heads or bolts). Then if you have a cordless drill you can carefully drill out the security nub in the middle and use a standard torx or bring a flat head screw driver that will fit snug in the torx head (then use an adjustable wrench on the flat head to apply pressure to loosen the bolt). The other way you can do it is if you can get a cutoff wheel in there cut a slot in the head and use a flat head screw driver.

 

Craftsman should sell the security torx bits, but they will be expensize (even through them, let alone what Snap-On, Matco or Cornwell charge). Since this may be they only time you use them I would try one of the methods above.

 

I guess if you are going to the yard for an ignitor then it would not hurt to get the ELDU. I would probably be faster just to take the entire fuse panel and deal with taking the ELDU out later (assuming it is in the underhood panel where the Civics are).

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I took some putty and shoved it into the Torx screw, then measured the impression with my micrometer: it is a T-20 Security Torx Screw, a/k/a T-20 Torx TR; TR for Tamper Resistant.

 

I would rather buy the whole Fuse Block from the salvage yard than look for a T20 TR. I will buy a T-20 TR on the internet so I can have one on hand since a quick google search revealed that Honda uses this T20-TR in other places on my car.

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Would you like me to tell you how to check for a weak tach (a.k.a. bad ignitor ICM) signal on your car (with a test light) or figure it out on your own? I know you like to figure things out so I thought I would ask. Test light method will tell you more then a multimeter method as the book will describe!

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I was thinking the light will flash, but a weak signal would make for a dull light and a strong signal would make for a bright light. As such, the test light seems to only be able to show the amplitude of the tach signal. Without a Test Tach, I don't see how I can check the frequency of the tach signal. So yeah, tell me what I am supposed to see.

 

I just got back from the salvage yard.

 

For $80, I picked up:

A Fuel Pump from a 1996 Honda Accord LX with 150k

A Hitachi Ignition Control Module from a 1998 Honda Accord EX (F23)

A Fuse Block from a 1997 Honda Accord EX with 130k

A Main Relay from a 1997 Honda Accord EX with 130k

A Tachometer and Speedometer from a 1997 Honda Accord EX with 152129

 

I came home and swapped in the Relay and turned the key to ON (II), but heard no Fuel Pump. I turned it to START (III) and the motor did not start. I plugged mine back in and pried the cover off the "new" one. The board looks good, but I will probably rebuild it later and replace my Main Relay.

 

I will work on this tomorrow, when I have a test light.

Edited by James Matteu

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To "he" dubble "ll" with the frequency of the tach signal. If the light glows dull while cranking replace the ignitor. Regardless, if the tach signal is good it glows bright, if it is weak it glows orange or not at all. You must have the test light grounded, the coil elctrical connector unplugged and probe the correct wire. It will flash as the car is cranked over and the color of the light can tell you a lot. This is why I was telling you that there are some things that we will test with a multimeter and there are some things we will not. This is a test light job.

 

I am just trying to help you out here, and possible have you learn something.

 

Disconnect the connector at the coil (assuming you have an external coil), you should have a blue wire leading into the conntector? If not let me know and I can re-group on that. Ground out a test light and confirm the light is grounded by touching the + terminal on the bat (it should light up). While having someone crank the car over touch/hold the test light to the connector for the blue wire (if it flashes bright then good, if it does not flash or flashes orange then you have a weak tach signal) meaning you have either a bad ignitor or there is something else happening prior to that point within the electrical circuit (make sure the battery is good/charged as that could lead to a false positive).

 

This is one trouble shooting item that I bet a lot of people wished they had known.

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I do have a blue wire coming from my external coil. I pick the test light up today.

 

The Honda battery is 10 days old, so I am good there.

 

I'll let you know how it goes.

Edited by James Matteu

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Here is the latest:

 

This morning, I installed my new Fuel Pressure Gauge. I jumped the Fuel Pump at the PGM-Fi Main Relay and turned the key to ON (II) with a Multimeter connected to the power supply going to the Fuel Pump. I got 12.5V at the Fuel Pump and it came right on: put 42psi to the Fuel Filter; spec 40-47psi. I tried starting the car and it would not turn over. I did notice that the PGM-Fi Main Relay started clicking like crazy.

 

I pulled out my new test light and started the probing the PGM-Fi Main Relay with the key in the ON (II) position. I got a bright light from the Main Relay's primary coil's power supply (Fuse #2 15A Fuel Pump). Then I probed the Main Relay's Ground Connection, wire #3, the big black one. As soon as I touched it, the relay clicked and the test light came on bright. I double checked the conductivity with the chassis, it was less than zero ohms. I put a paper clip into #3 wire's slot and aligator clipped it to the wire I was using to ground the multimeter. The car started right up. No bouncing tach, no jumping speedo.

 

Now I have to figure out why my Main Relay has a poor connection to ground and find out if this problem is shared by other systems sharing that ground.

 

Any suggestions are appreciated.

 

Worse comes to worse, I solder in a new large gauge wire to the Main Relay to provide a proper connection to ground.

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Never mind, I traced the ground to a loose bolt on the top of my transmission. I had removed it to change the Coolant Temp Switch I broke while changing my rear main seal. Apparently, I forgot to torque it down. I tightened the bolt and now the car is fine. I had combed over the entire motor looking for something that looks out of place, but missed this one bolt that was just loose enough to let a ground wire wiggle.

 

Thanks Turtlehead.

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The ground that was loose was ground #101, it grounded the:

 

Transmission Control Module

PGM-Fi Main Relay

Engine Control Module

Engine Coolant Temperature Switch

Engine Oil Temperature Switch

Vehicle Speed Sensor

Primary Heated Oxygen Sensor Sheild

Counter-Shaft Speed Sensor Sheild

Mainshaft Speed Sensor Sheild

Secondary Heated Oxygen Sensor Shield

CKP Sensor Shield

TDC/CYP Sensor Shield

 

Needless to say, without a ground, some of these systems went haywire. I guess everytime the wire wiggled, the car went nuts.

 

Here is ground #101:

 

ELD5006.jpg

 

ELD5005.jpg

 

ELD5004.jpg

Edited by James Matteu

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