I HAVE A 1987 HONDA ACCORD CARBURATED AUTOMATIC

  • Tiny
  • ggmitch123
  • 1987 Honda Accord
  • 158,000 miles

I have a 1987 Honda Accord carburated, automatic. About 3 months ago it would misfire occasionally while driving, then it started to do it even when I was stopped, then about 2 months ago it just died and wouldnt start. It would backfire and spit puel out of the carburator. I had a mechanic check the timing and the timing is good. I changed the distributor with a used one from the junk yard, after that we started the engine and it ran good, so we put all the parts back on and then it would not start again.
I now know it is the 4th cylindar causing the issue. The car will sometimes start with all 4 spark plug wires on it, but will die quickly. The car will start and run on 3 cylindars. If I connect the 4th spark plug wire the engine will stop running. We replaced the head gasket and valve seals and cleaned all the valves.
My mechanic tested for spark with a spark tester and when the 4th cylindar spark plug wire is not connected to the spark plug the tester light will pulsate normally, however when the wire is connected to the spark plug the tester light stays on constantly.
I have changed the spark plugs, spark plug wires, distributor cap and rotor.
What could be the problem?
Thank you

Wednesday, October 31st, 2012 AT 9:48 PM

9 Answers

  • Tiny
  • KHLow2008
  • Expert
  • 41,938 posts

Check the engine compression. Check for vacuum leakages at the intake manifold.

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Wednesday, October 31st, 2012 AT 10:16 PM
  • Tiny
  • ggmitch123
  • Member

We already checked compression and it is good. I changed some of the vaccum lines but that didnt make a difference.
What is the bes way to check for vacuum leaks?

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Wednesday, October 31st, 2012 AT 10:21 PM
  • Tiny
  • KHLow2008
  • Expert
  • 41,938 posts

A vacuum gauge attached to the intake manifold would indicate the vacuum present. Spraying suspect vacuum leaking area with carb cleaner would change the engine idling.

Check the valve clearance.

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Wednesday, October 31st, 2012 AT 10:27 PM
  • Tiny
  • ggmitch123
  • Member

Thank you, I will try this.
Should I spray the carb cleaner with only 3 cylindars running? I dont think it will run long enough with all 4 plug wires connected.

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Wednesday, October 31st, 2012 AT 10:31 PM
  • Tiny
  • KHLow2008
  • Expert
  • 41,938 posts

Are you sure the firing order of the spark plugs are correct?
You might have only 2 cylinders firing which are usually due to a bad PCV valve.

With 3 cylinders you might not be able to notice any difference when vacuums are detected.

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Thursday, November 1st, 2012 AT 5:45 PM
  • Tiny
  • ggmitch123
  • Member

I am sure that all the wires are in the correct firing order. I can try replacing the PCV valve to see if that fixes it.
Thanks

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Thursday, November 1st, 2012 AT 5:49 PM
  • Tiny
  • KHLow2008
  • Expert
  • 41,938 posts

Use a circlip plier to clamp on the PCV hose and see if the idling improves. Hose is at center of intake manifold and is an inverted U-shaped hose.

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Thursday, November 1st, 2012 AT 5:54 PM
  • Tiny
  • ggmitch123
  • Member

Thank you.
Also, Im having another issue. My first mechanic stripped the key hole on my crankshaft for my harmonic balancer, we have tried many fixes that do not work. Im going to replace the crankshaft. Is this a somewhat simple fix? Can I just pull out the crankshaft after removing the crankshaft pulley? Of will I have to take the engine apart?
Thanks

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Thursday, November 1st, 2012 AT 6:11 PM
  • Tiny
  • KHLow2008
  • Expert
  • 41,938 posts

No, this is not a simple fix. Crankshaft replacement requires the engine to be taken out of vehicle and oil pan, oil pump, end seals etc to be removed.

How badly is the key way damaged?
On vehicle it might not be easy to repair but a few mig spot weld and filing it down to size might allow you to install the key.

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Thursday, November 1st, 2012 AT 6:20 PM

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