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2nd Gen - Tough start - no idle

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Old 02-11-2016, 11:57 PM
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2nd Gen - Tough start - no idle

I have a 1983 Honda Prelude 1.8L (dual carburetor). The number of hours that have been spent by so many (including three certified mechanics) to get this thing to idle on its own is immeasurable. Three times now I have seriously wanted to push this car into the river. My friend keeps saying "you've put so much time in it. You can't quit now". First off, I'm not a mechanic. I don't know much. I've taken over since the mechanics can't solve the problem. The facts: The car was stored for several (8 years) with limited intermittent driving until one day a few years ago it started to stall at stop signs. That owner (the first and original owner since 1983) had the car looked at by a mechanic who couldn't solve the problem. Hence, she sold the car. Enter me... yep, I bought it. I drained the fuel tank, changed the primary and secondary fuel filters (and air filter). I replaced the fuel pump (OEM-used) and the spark plugs (wires look good). We suspected a vacuum leak because acetylene at air intake and then propane at manifold/head had the car running smooth and solid (but rich). Next, pulled the carburetors and the intake manifold off. Four of six nuts I could pretyy much unthread with my fingers (as I struggled to be able to get at them), changed the gaskets (including EGR) and O-rings/siliconed up where appropriate and hooked up all the pre-marked vacuum lines. We're reasonably satisfied at this juncture that there are no more vacuum leaks. I've installed a brake booster vacuum switch (for some reason there wasn't one on the brake bosoter vacuum line) as well as a new ported vacuum switch that looked rough. The fuel pump as I think I mentioned was also replaced with a used OEM pump. Fuel is coming out of the fuel line. The car as I understand it calls for a pretty low 3 psi. Despite all these efforts, nothing has changed. Simply put, I have to pump the accelerator several times before I crank the engine to have a shot at getting it to start. Basically, when it sounds like it might start, I need to quickly and repetitively hit the gas pedal and then I can pretty much get it to start. However, after it starts running, I need to adjust (continuously) the pressure on the accellerator in order to keep the engine running. If I remove my foot from the gas pedal, the car will stall immediately and if I don't adjust my foot regularly and accordingly, the car will stall. Plugs have been replaced (yes, there is spark), oil and antifreeze have been changed and as I mentioned, two vacuum switches have been replaced. One of the three mechanic friends I have has insisted that the carburetors are not the problem. Another friend believes "maybe" the carburetors need to be rebuilt. He beleived this because when he plugged one carburetor with a rag, the car ran fine. Now in fairness, that was before I pulled the carbs and manifold and resealed them. I am truly exhausted from the numerous hours I have spent on this car and the cash I have laid out. The problem is that the car is in incredible shape. It was very well maintained by its original owner since 1983. It's a keeper IF it can get it to run. I'd be grateful to receive comments about what I might need to do. Thanks, Giggs
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Old 02-12-2016, 04:47 PM
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Re: 2nd Gen - Tough start - no idle

Is this regardless of outside temperature? And also regardless of engine temperature - you have to stay on the throttle to keep it going even when it warms up?
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Old 05-09-2016, 06:08 PM
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Re: 2nd Gen - Tough start - no idle

My 84 Prelude had the same problem. We got it to start on its own but with high rpms.
For me it was the carburetor, we had to adjust the flaps in it.(sorry i dont really know much of anything about cars)
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