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New engine, always has starting problem

 
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Old 12-15-2011, 07:44 PM
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New engine, always has starting problem

I bought an engine, H23A3 (3 means from Eurozone, so a European style Prelude), from Tiger Japanese.. I've read the forums, I know this is a horrible company to buy from. Then again, there's not many engine-selling companies out there with "good" reputations. Ever since I got the engine it had a "starting problem".. and by that I mean, the first problem was apparently something as simple as a "ground cable" being detached.

The shop fixed that problem, and I was happy to hear my engine start for the first time in who knows how many years.
When we swapped the engine in we had to keep the stock fuel injection system, because my car is equipped with THOSE parts and computer so I need that fuel injection system. So the engine is a European market engine sitting under an American market injection system and ECU.

Generally, my engine doesn't LIKE to start when it's warm or cool 100 F to 35 F.. but I recently replaced the coolant temp sensor, and while it starts better at those warmer temps, as soon as it hits 32 degrees it's just "not gonna start".

It cranks over and over and over.. then hits a cylinder, then over and over and over cylinder over and over and over and over...........

It's quite embarrassing because people tend to offer a "jumpstart" and it's not a jump I need because I have a powerful battery, brand new because the old battery died from this insanity it had to endure all its life.

It's a 1992 Prelude Si, I have to continue refilling the coolant but it won't start so I can work out the "airbubble" in the coolant system. I haven't checked much on the engine, but I do know it likes to puff out oil-gas mixture from the exhaust.

Also, my exhaust smoke is very smokey.. not exactly WHITE but just very dense. I'm guessing this is a rich fuel thing.

A lot of blue smoke comes out when it does finally start.
I'm GUESSING it's probably my valve seals... I'm thinking it's not my piston rings PURELY because the oil obviously sits on top of the pistons making it hard to start.. but then again, this is just a theory of mine.

I figure, whenever I can the right tools, I'm going to be checking the spark plugs visually, and if I can get an EGR valve gasket, I want to check the EGR valve for signs of oil and carbon.

Currently, the car is too... imbalanced to start.. Whatever is causing it to not catch and start, the new coolant sensor is causing the ECU to provide adequate fuel, so it's probably continuously flooding as I try to start it.

Will be excited to hear replies, thanks.
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Old 12-15-2011, 07:49 PM
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Re: New engine, always has starting problem

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Originally Posted by mbman88 View Post
It's a 1992 Prelude Si, I have to continue refilling the coolant but it won't start so I can work out the "airbubble" in the coolant system. I haven't checked much on the engine, but I do know it likes to puff out oil-gas mixture from the exhaust.
What I mean here is that I CURRENTLY need to refill the coolant because I recently replaced the coolant temp sensor. Not that I have a coolant leak or something. I've NEVER had a coolant problem during the time I've owned this. I NEVER have had to refill it.

1 more thing, it eats oil about 1 quart per 2 months. It's not much, but it's more than normal.
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Old 12-15-2011, 08:15 PM
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Re: New engine, always has starting problem

more things I've failed to mention:

sometimes, when I go to restart my car (warm) it won't start at all.. it literally doesn't catch at all no matter how many times I let it crank. I have to turn the key fully off and then on again to try and start it.

I have two sensors currently flagging: knock sensor and O2 sensor heater (the second O2 sensor on the exhaust. I realize the importance of the knock sensor, I have 1 but it's loose and kind of broken. It probably doesn't even work. But I don't think this would cause a starting problem as severe as this.

When my car is warmed up, now that it has its coolant sensor back, it prefers to idle... LITERALLY at 300rpms. I do not consider this healthy at all. 500 rpms is fine (the old engine would idle at 500rpms) but this is too low and I'm wondering if it has anything to do with my problem or if that's just a FITV adjustment.

Lastly, my car idles flawlessly at 1600 to 1800 rpms, I've noticed.
At 300rpms it REALLY likes to misfire.
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Old 12-15-2011, 09:22 PM
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Re: New engine, always has starting problem

I keep forgetting stuff. Maybe that's my problem...

Most of the time, in fact almost all of the time, it hesitates during acceleration.

This time, tonight, I finally got it started.. when driving I experienced NO acceleration hesitation or rev hesitation. Normally it does that.

I'm thinking it tends to do that after trying to start it after immediately turning it off (within 30 minutes)

I think this stuff all supports the theory that I need new Valve seals...

But until someone sees this and has something to say.. I will just wait.
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Old 12-16-2011, 12:46 AM
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Re: New engine, always has starting problem

Yes, you need valve seals due to oil seeping through them when it's off sitting at the neck of the valves, and it burns off as you start it up cold which puffs out blue smoke at cold start; not a good sign. Also, you mentioned that it burns oil between 3K of oil intervals which IMO might be your oil control rings going out, OR your valve seals maybe the cause of this oil consumption. Try using thicker oil? Also, check your engine grounds. I'm starting to think that it may be a bad main relay because you said it won't start once it hits 32 degrees.

All the engine needs to run is spark, fuel, and compression. Last, would be correct valve timing.
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Old 12-16-2011, 02:43 AM
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Re: New engine, always has starting problem

i agree^^^check your relay(under dash) this was hapenning to me a few days ago... after doig my head rebuild ... i ****ed up and mixed up the rocker arms.... after a valve adjusment now it starts right up :)
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Old 12-17-2011, 04:49 PM
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Re: New engine, always has starting problem

I checked the relay, I opened it up and inspected it visually after first confusing it with the Flashers relay. I did this about a week ago. I didn't find anything wrong with the solder points, also, about 2 years ago or so, when the car was in a shop getting checked out, they tested the Main relay by buying a new relay and then seeing if it worked and it still had the same issue.
Like I may have stated earlier, they found a loose ground cable and tightened it.

I notice, as I begin to start the car in the day, it won't start. if I come back to it after maybe an hour it will probably start, or I can at the very least make it start with throttle squirting (tapping the throttle lightly but continuously).

But yeah, almost positive it isn't the main relay. I suppose I should get it volt tested though to be sure.

Also, would anyone know where all the ground connections are??? Or a resource manual that might have that information.
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Old 12-18-2011, 12:09 AM
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Re: New engine, always has starting problem

pm'd you.
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Old 04-12-2012, 07:45 PM
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Re: New engine, always has starting problem

Update:

Because the weather is significantly warmer, generally my car always starts.

If anyone has anything to offer, please give a word..

I have an O2 sensor that needs to be replaced yet.. however, I've replaced the Knock sensor a while back along with changing the engine oil and oil filter, very much needed.

Just today I finished replacing the Fuel pressure regulator.. although it initially seemed to work a little better, it still dropped to 300 RPMs idle speed and when mildly slamming on the throttle it still cuts out significantly when revving higher.
Imagine, "VROO-CHOKE-OOO-CHOKE-OOO-CHOKE-OOOOOOOOOMMMM"

I have not driven it around yet.. but because this symptom is exactly as before I will continue explaining... that during normal operation when I will turn it off and go somewhere then come back to start it.. it will sometimes take many tries to start it.

Because of the earlier symptoms I might conclude that it could be a head gasket.. although I don't see any evidence of coolant problems, specifically low-coolant... or oily coolant..
When I open the oil-cap and sniff it does seem to smell too much like gasoline and not enough like oil... I wonder if this is normal or if it means I need new valve-seals.

Otherwise, the only other thing would have to be piston rings being shot... I could get that diagnosed with a compression test..
But how much would that cost?
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Old 08-25-2012, 04:25 PM
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Re: New engine, always has starting problem

I was wondering if this could be caused by rusty connections on the wires leading to the fuel pump... Also, because some random guy thinks it could be due to a rusty fuel tank... does anyone think my fuel pump could be sucking up rust particles and causing flow restriction? I would assume that because it's... a ..... Honda... that they did a decent job keeping fuel tanks reliable for as long as the estimated life of the vehicle under maintenance.
I was thinking of something else, though.. because the oil leakage problem isn't that big.... in fact it's not even noticeable. I put a quart in about every 3 months.... about the normal consumption of a vehicle. It's unlikely due to a significant internal problem. I was thinking that MAYBE the reason my cruise control is failing sometimes.. whereas most of the times that it is failing I can fix it by moving the clutch or going back into 5th gear which does the same thing... occasionally these methods completely refuse to alleviate problems. Maybe the Cruise control issue has something to do with vacuum problems which could also be tied to the fuel and hesitation problem... and starting problem that comes with this... along with the erratic flooding that occurs that causes fuel-air to flow out of the air intake.
hnnggg. This is getting annoying.
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Old 08-26-2012, 03:40 AM
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Re: New engine, always has starting problem

your normal idle should be at 750-830. 500 is still too low. try adjusting it by turning the screw on your throttle body. warm up the car to operating temperature, shut it down and disconnect the iacv then start the car, make your adjustments, shut it off, plug the iacv back in and reset your computer.
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Old 08-28-2012, 06:00 PM
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Re: New engine, always has starting problem

Do you think the IACV might need some cleaning? I was thinking I could take it off and clean it up, but could a dirty IACV cause an idle problem?
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Old 08-28-2012, 10:36 PM
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Re: New engine, always has starting problem

Iacv cleaning could work, but have you re-adjusted your FITV yet ?
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Old 08-28-2012, 11:13 PM
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Re: New engine, always has starting problem

No I have not. What exactly does the FITV do outside of a cold environment such as winter?
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Old 08-28-2012, 11:22 PM
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Re: New engine, always has starting problem

Real quick, I would just like to add that when I FIRST start the car, usually in the morning, I can drive the car like it never had this problem to begin with. When I accelerate it's full-open and no hesitation.. a feeling that's becoming rare and exciting when it happens... I shouldn't have this exciting feeling, this acceleration should be normal.
Reading up in the FITV, as far as I can tell it allows a vacuum leak for the sake of warming up.. so why is it "acting-up" when the FITV closes?
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Old 08-29-2012, 04:11 PM
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Re: New engine, always has starting problem

*** How-To*** Clean Your FITV aka Fast Idle Thermo Valve - Honda-Tech
This may explain down past the write-up.
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Old 08-29-2012, 05:24 PM
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Re: New engine, always has starting problem

hmmm, Okay so there is a common problem associated with the FITV and later, post-1996 models don't have this valve. Thank you. As soon as I can I am going to get to work on these possibilities, but I think it's slightly more important to get my ball joints replaced first. I am dangerous....
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Old 08-29-2012, 05:49 PM
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Re: New engine, always has starting problem

the FINAL idle problem thread!!!!!
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Old 10-10-2012, 04:06 PM
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Re: New engine, always has starting problem

How sad... I never managed to get to a 2nd page... oh well. Problem solved:

I remember someone on a different post saying something about a "tune up", getting the ignition system replaced, sparks plugs, wires, distributor, etc. I checked the spark plugs and they are all fine, to spec, I checked the Bosch wires and they seemed fine, and I checked the cap and rotor and those needed to be replaced. During the process of changing engines my dad may have changed the distributor cap and rotor, so that cap and rotor POSSIBLY had over 200,000 miles on it. I bought a new cap and rotor and some new spark wires (Ultra-8, I hear they are from Taiwan, better than Bosch, at least). Car starts fine again, cars running full throttle again, and I can accelerate under torque-heavy low-RPMs again.
Really I just finally got the money after fixing all the sensors to actually do something about this.. that's why it took so long. Thanks for everyone's help and I STILL have a slight idling problem, I've tested it and it seems to be either IACV (EACV) as it doesn't respond when the rear window heater is on, the headlights are on, or the blower motor or power steering are used... OR it could be the FITV ****ing everything up. I will clean those when I get a chance but at this point it's not causing a serious daily-driving problems.

VERY HAPPY TO HAVE MY CAR RUNNING ALMOST PERFECT AGAIN!!
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Old 10-10-2012, 04:15 PM
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Re: New engine, always has starting problem

Yo.. Im a newbie to the site... I got a 93 prelude s h23a1 with a busted head. instead of just buyuing a new or used head, I wanna convert it to VTEC. i need help on the how part.. Dont know if the h22 vtec head will fit my h23 block with no problems. Anyone knows of the swap???
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Old 10-10-2012, 04:18 PM
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Re: New engine, always has starting problem

I think you need to post this in the 4th gen section 4th Gen Honda Prelude - Honda Prelude Forum

I don't know how to do that kind of extensive swap. You'll need a new harness and ECU, though, to do that.
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