Mechanics

SI WILL NOT START AFTER HEAD GASKET CHANGE.

1990 Honda Civic

Well I recently changed the head gasket, oil pan gasket, intake manifold gasket, exhaust manifold gasket and put on a different cylinder head. The #1 piston is at TOP DEAD CENTER and all 4 sparkplugs are producing spark and getting fuel. The distributor is installed correctly and The damn thing should be cranking over and firing at the #1 but is not. I get in the car and try to turn it over and I get a whinding noise in the vacinity of the distributor maybe the starter. The engine tries to crank but it seems as the starter is engaging but not enough to crank the crankshaft. I have the timing set to were it needs to be. I do not know what else do to ANY THOUGHTS! NEED HELP!
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Hogan2k3
October 21, 2006.




I would seriously look at the timing and see if the engine can be turned over by hand. You can put a socket on the flywheel bolt and turn the engine over a few times. If the engine will not move I suspect the head and the crank are not aligned.
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Bruce Hunt
Oct 23, 2006.
Bruce,

I am able to turn the engine over. I have lined up the crankshaft drivebelt pulley to its timing mark and then lined up the crankshaft sprocket with its timing mark as shown in the Haynes manual I have. I turn the car over and I get back pressure from the exhaust like it wants to fire but just wants to backfire. I think my timing is off by one tooth. I am going to try it again and then check the ignitor coil in the distributor. I check everything else. I just really think the timing is not dead on. Thanks for the reply BRUCE!

Tiny
Hogan2k3
Oct 24, 2006.
One cog off either way will not really get it backfiring, but a few off will. Put a long screw driver in the #1 spark plug hole with the plug out of course and turn the engine until the screw driver is exactly at its highest point. That is TDC for the piston. Now line up the marks for the camshaft ensuring that you aren't 180 degrees off.

Bruce Hunt
Oct 25, 2006.
: ( Well I have tried everything I have read in both the haynes manual and chiltons manual. NO luck! Do you think it could be something with the distributor. Like the ignition coil or igniton module. I looked at each manual and the haynes manual says to line up the white mark on thr crankshaft pulley to the mark on the lower timing belt cover. And the chiltons manual says to line up the red mark whic id the center mark of the 3 marks that are together to the same mark on the lower timing belt cover. Which one do I use to set the timing up to turn the car over?

Tiny
Hogan2k3
Nov 7, 2006.
If the timing is close, on either side of the correct timing it should start.

Is there a code on the computer?
Look at the spark real close, very close, and answer this question. Is the color blue or orange?

One of the faults could be the distributor but I doubt that since you are getting spark. Another one that you were very close to in your work is the crankshaft sensor. There are actually two sensors on this wiring harness. They allow the car to spark and want to start but they throw the timing off so far that the car can't start. If you are sure that the timing is right, take a look for the codes. That should show up.

Bruce Hunt
Nov 7, 2006.
Well, When you talk about codes. You mean on the ECU correct? If so there are no codes. I turn the ignition to start an I get 1 blink meaning the ECU is working. I have no other codes besides the 1. I still need to look at the color spark. Last I checked the spark was BLUE. When I first put everything back togehter and could not get the car to start. I read out the the cranshaft sensor and TDC sensor which are the 2 connectors on the distributor. 1 is a 7 point connector and the other one is a 2 point connector. I read the resistance out and they were within the limits of the Haynes manual specs. I have no clue no more. I am very mechanically inclined just not that electrical savey. I will check everything over gain. I know this is probably a simple fix and I will feel stupid when I finally figure this out. If you have more info I would appreciate it. THANKS!

Tiny
Hogan2k3
Nov 8, 2006.
Going back to your first message, is the car now turning over normally with the starter?

Bruce Hunt
Nov 8, 2006.
That has not changed. I still get a whinning noise. But you can tell that it engages and the crankshaft is turning. Just that there is not combustion in the chamber to start the car.

Tiny
Hogan2k3
Nov 8, 2006.
Well I am still trying to get the car started. I hope you can help me some more if possible. I tried a different distributor and spark plug wires. I am still getting back pressure like the car is trying to start but it just does not. I do not know how else to explain it. I have the timing lined up like it is suppose to. The wires are on correctly. The distributor is on correctly and all electrical lines are hooked back up they are suppose to be. I f you can think of something and do not mind helping I would realy appreciate it. I put all this work into the car and I hate to just drop it off at a mechanics shop to pay a lot of money when I know I can do it myself. Atleast I thought I could. Thanks

Tiny
Hogan2k3
Dec 4, 2006.
You have sufficient power from the starter to start the car. You have spark at the plugs. You have fuel coming out of the injectors. The timing is set. You have checked the crank and tdc sensors. You are sure the wires coming off the distributor are positioned correctly and not off, as it is easy to be so sure you have them on right. You could rotate them 180 degrees and see if it fires. There is still a camshaft sensor.

Bruce Hunt
Dec 4, 2006.

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