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Please help!! H23a1 issues!!

 
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Old 12-06-2014, 04:23 PM
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Please help!! H23a1 issues!!

Hey guys, I'm new to this forum and looking for some type of help or input on my issue. I've been to multiple forums and nobody seems to know my issue so I figured why not come to a Prelude forum.

-Ok so I recently bought a 93 Accord with a H23A1 in it and it ran tough for a while before breaking down on me. To begin with, it's ALWAYS had starting issue since I bought it. So I did a tune up. (Spark plugs, battery, wires, cap rotor, oil change, coolant flush, changed all gaskets, cleaned throttle body, and intake manifold, cleaned IACV, switched all hoses for air and coolant.)

-Even after all that I've had a idle that surges from 1000-3000 when cold and 1000-2000 when warm. Not to mention the starting issue still happened.

-The car takes about 5-10 mins to start. Just keeps trying to turn over but won't unless I keep pedaling the gas. When it finally turns over it initially sounds weak with some popping sounds and will shut off if my foot isn't all the way down on the gas. Once the engine warms up it'll stay on but the idle will keep surging.

-Just a few days ago the car was running strong, I parked it and when I went to start it to go home nothing happened. No crank, no anything. Basically the car doesn't make a sound whatsoever when I turn the key to try to start it. However, everything else turns on fine. Windows go up and down, sunroof, radio, etc. Battery connections are strong.

**At this point I'm looking for any help possible. Other forums prefer to read my post then bash me for no reason, rather than help so I was at least looking for NORMAL responses. If anyone's had this problem or knows what the issue is can you please help me out?
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Old 12-06-2014, 05:08 PM
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Re: Please help!! H23a1 issues!!

Welcome to the coolest Honda forum ever invented. Back in the good ole days, the best talent from those other sites got sick of the BS and started this one.

Let's start with the idle surge.
PZ has a final idle thread.
the FINAL idle problem thread!!!!!
Is it idle surging when cold? Warm? You say always...
Cold is usually the fitv thingy. How to fix that is listed in the final idle thread. I'd reccomend you look for a vacuum leak first.
Now to the hard to start thing, a vacuum leak could cause that and cause an idle surge. I noticed you didn't mention the pcv was changed. Try that too. Could be your distributor is trying give out. Or the ignition module, or the coil. Maybe the fuel pump. But the h23 has an affinity for bad distributors after 150k miles.

All Gen. Prelude Service Manuals
^^ service manual download thread.
Another reason pz rules. A thread with manuals on a members drop box instead of some broken link. They are for preludes. But yours has the same engine and some other stuff as the 4th gen prelude.

Finally, the won't start thing. No nothing, aye?
If it's a 5 speed it could be the clutch safety switch. Automatic, it could be a similar issue with the gear selector. Or it could be the ignition switch has broken.

So with all that, tell us about your car other than it's an accord with h23. Like are there mods, how many miles, type of tranny...stuff like that. Does it use a lot of oil, smoke, etc. How well versed are you at finding electrical issues? Do you know a good mechanic?


I joined pz after buying a prelude because this place is the coolest site. Folks here kik@$$ and there's a lot of info. I had stumbled across it a couple years before buying a prelude after see-ing this site in a lot of search results, when working on other Hondas.

Sometimes I just have to call Freds 25 hour towing, give him $50 and have my favorite mechanic give it a look-see. No shame in that.
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welcome to site Carl
...is a golden car fax kinda like a golden ticket? Sure hope willy wonka didn't put any snozberries in your motor.
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Originally Posted by elspectro29 View Post
Only seen the first one, 15 years ago in theaters. Plan on keeping it that way. Get off my lawn.
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Originally Posted by Lindso View Post
I remember my first thread, asking what a noise was when I got going 110mph.
Pretty much got flamed for driving like a jackass and was told to slow down. And I'll be damned, slowing down fixed it.

God's Not Dead

Last edited by bykfixer; 12-06-2014 at 05:33 PM.
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Old 12-06-2014, 05:51 PM
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Re: Please help!! H23a1 issues!!

Haha well thanks for the welcome to the forum!!

Ok, so as far as air leaks go, I had myself and 2 friends who are currently mechanics search for some. They did a few tricks with starting fluid to see if they can find leaks and nothing changed. I actually haven't changed the FITV or pcv. I just tried to clean the pcv valve. The idle surge is happens when it's cold and warm. I'll definitely look into the other parts you mention.

And my Accord is my new baby haha. I actually bought it swapped which is usually a thumbs down for me but it was a good deal. It's bone stock with the exception of an intake bought from a local Autozone. The previous owner said the mileage is just a hair over 100k and the shell and tranny have 153k. As far as anything else, there's no oil burning, my levels have been the same since the day after I purchased the car. No leaks anywhere either.

For the future I'm looking at doing an all motor build. My goal is to get to about 250whp. I'd like to keep the h23 bottom end, add a h22a top, bolted to a f20b transmission. I've managed to get my hands on 3rd gen prelude seats (Which feel absolutely amazing) and install them in my car. At times I wonder why I just don't buy a prelude with all the parts I have.

I know of a few mechanics around town I can have take a look at it as well. It's always good to have a professional opinion as well. As you said, definitely no shame in that.
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Old 12-06-2014, 07:26 PM
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Re: Please help!! H23a1 issues!!

So you have the vtec h23. Ah. Disregard the manual. I thought you had the single cam type. S
Also disregard the dizzy gives out at 150k too.

Be sure to read the idle thread on how to tweak that fitv. It's easy, and works. Also beats the crap outta buying a new one at like $130+... In essence a wax plunger type thingy allows warm to activate it. The old wax over times leaks confusing the sensors in your idle system. You simply close it down to nearly closed and cold idle bounce disappears. Worked on my sons H23, which had both cold and warm idle bounce.
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Originally Posted by ogsmakdade View Post
welcome to site Carl
...is a golden car fax kinda like a golden ticket? Sure hope willy wonka didn't put any snozberries in your motor.
Quote:
Originally Posted by elspectro29 View Post
Only seen the first one, 15 years ago in theaters. Plan on keeping it that way. Get off my lawn.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lindso View Post
I remember my first thread, asking what a noise was when I got going 110mph.
Pretty much got flamed for driving like a jackass and was told to slow down. And I'll be damned, slowing down fixed it.

God's Not Dead

Last edited by bykfixer; 12-06-2014 at 07:29 PM.
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Old 12-06-2014, 08:02 PM
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Re: Please help!! H23a1 issues!!

No, I have the h23 non vtec. Kinda looks like the LS motor from an integra. I definitely have to take a look at that.

Do you think it can be timing? I've noticed there's a lot of play in my timing belt which worries me a little. I was thinking of what you said and looking at that, as well as tensioning the belt and checking to see if timing is off at all.
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Old 12-06-2014, 08:55 PM
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Re: Please help!! H23a1 issues!!

The belt could be the cause of the hard to start thing, yes.

But the 'don't do anything now' it aint.

After driving a 3g prelude (b20 or 21), that sohc h23 feels pretty torquey. H22 it aint. But it'll hold it's own in traffic just fine.
A while ago my son bought a 4th gen with that engine. I drove my ford ranger truck with a 2.3 (that hardly gets out of it's own way) to get the car. He didn't know how to drive a stick yet. So I drove it like 50 miles on a crowded interstate home and was very impressed with that 2.3 vs my mazda 2.3 boat anchor with a ford valve cover.

Definitely check that timing belt. Is it old? Um, err, uh, do you know how old it is?
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Originally Posted by ogsmakdade View Post
welcome to site Carl
...is a golden car fax kinda like a golden ticket? Sure hope willy wonka didn't put any snozberries in your motor.
Quote:
Originally Posted by elspectro29 View Post
Only seen the first one, 15 years ago in theaters. Plan on keeping it that way. Get off my lawn.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lindso View Post
I remember my first thread, asking what a noise was when I got going 110mph.
Pretty much got flamed for driving like a jackass and was told to slow down. And I'll be damned, slowing down fixed it.

God's Not Dead

Last edited by bykfixer; 12-06-2014 at 09:05 PM.
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Old 12-06-2014, 09:47 PM
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Re: Please help!! H23a1 issues!!

I'll make sure to add that to the list.

After taking the valve cover off the belt looks pretty new. The previous owner said it has and 10,000 miles on it. But from looking at the belt I saw nothing that concerned me.

But yes, this motor is impressive when you get on it. It seems to constantly pull and keeps me in my seat. Actually, I drove a Audi A4 2.0T with an upgraded turbo to go get the Accord. On the way back my friend drove my Audi and my Accord was right there with him the entire time.
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Old 12-06-2014, 10:12 PM
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Re: Please help!! H23a1 issues!!

Audi's are junk. Best way to tell a good car is to look at used car lots. The ones missing are the good cars. Notice all the Audi, VW's and Infiniti cars folks rave so much about.

Stick with the Accord until you get a prelude. Speaking of car lots, you mostly see modern Accords with auto trannies. The good ones are either still on the road or in junkyards from being crashed.
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Originally Posted by ogsmakdade View Post
welcome to site Carl
...is a golden car fax kinda like a golden ticket? Sure hope willy wonka didn't put any snozberries in your motor.
Quote:
Originally Posted by elspectro29 View Post
Only seen the first one, 15 years ago in theaters. Plan on keeping it that way. Get off my lawn.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lindso View Post
I remember my first thread, asking what a noise was when I got going 110mph.
Pretty much got flamed for driving like a jackass and was told to slow down. And I'll be damned, slowing down fixed it.

God's Not Dead
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Old 12-06-2014, 10:32 PM
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Re: Please help!! H23a1 issues!!

You know, in all honesty I enjoy older cars more than new ones. I like the new Accords but I've owned a 96 Accord with a boosted f20b and now this 93 and they're fun to drive. Honda's are laughed at and bashed at car meets where I live but man they're a blast to own, work on, and drive.
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Old 12-07-2014, 09:30 AM
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Re: Please help!! H23a1 issues!!

Yeah car meet crowds these days seem to be like that anywhere you go.
Buncha spoiled brats who follow trends. Duck 'em.

Getting harder and harder to find a crowd who enjoy the stoke of owning a pint sized sports car, regardless of brand or condition. It's either the fast n furious crowd of special olympics looking junk or old coots with their American muscle saying "get that rice burner outta here, we beat those bastards in WW2".

Heck, where I live, Prelude owners don't even wave to each other when driving down the road.

There are some genuine enthusiasts out there. Find the cat with the sleeper car, and you'll find a friend. He's the cat who spent hundreds of hours researching and thousands of dollars perfecting his work of art, which at a glance looks pretty much like any ole japanese sports car. He'll loan you tools, let you pick his brain and lend a hand.

Two pz members drove 5 hours to help my son do an H22 to H23 swap. They had both worked all day, arrived at midnight with their own tools, worked all night swapping parts onto the dohc h23, until sun up. To avoid invading his home, they stayed in a hotel until noon, came back and worked until midnight again. Back to hotel and came back on Sunday. All they asked in return was to have some ice cold throwback mountain dew for them. Some stuff wouldn't go together so they left. A few weeks later one came back with corrective parts, completed the assembly, then we sat the engine in the car and he left. Meanwhile the other guy who had to stay at home was texting every couple of hours and was there in spirit.

Neither one attends local car meets by the way.
One has 250+whp without boost. Yes you read that right. Motor twists 10k rpm's all day if need be. Other than wheels and exhaust tip it looks rather ordinary. If you look under it, or inside you'd see this is not any run of the mill satisfy the crowd car. The other has a car that other than being a bit lower and a vibrant muffler showing, looks rather ordinary, but is far from it. Amazing stuff under the painted to match cf hood and trunk, and everwhere in between.

Ok, rant over. Hope you get your car going soon.
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Originally Posted by ogsmakdade View Post
welcome to site Carl
...is a golden car fax kinda like a golden ticket? Sure hope willy wonka didn't put any snozberries in your motor.
Quote:
Originally Posted by elspectro29 View Post
Only seen the first one, 15 years ago in theaters. Plan on keeping it that way. Get off my lawn.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lindso View Post
I remember my first thread, asking what a noise was when I got going 110mph.
Pretty much got flamed for driving like a jackass and was told to slow down. And I'll be damned, slowing down fixed it.

God's Not Dead

Last edited by bykfixer; 12-07-2014 at 10:04 AM.
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Old 12-07-2014, 02:22 PM
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Re: Please help!! H23a1 issues!!

Yeah I know what you mean. All the kids with the mommy and daddy bought Subie's and Evo's. There's a good chunk of Honda guys around the town I live in. We do some cruises to NYC, dyno shops, Honda Day, etc. It's a fun time.

You know, that's pretty cool. Especially to find people willing to go outta their way just to help someone. Hard to find good people like that now a day.

But once the weather in CT cooperates I hope to get this issue resolved. Thanks for your help though. It's really appreciated.
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Old 12-07-2014, 09:30 PM
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Re: Please help!! H23a1 issues!!

Best regards. See ya in the spring.
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Originally Posted by ogsmakdade View Post
welcome to site Carl
...is a golden car fax kinda like a golden ticket? Sure hope willy wonka didn't put any snozberries in your motor.
Quote:
Originally Posted by elspectro29 View Post
Only seen the first one, 15 years ago in theaters. Plan on keeping it that way. Get off my lawn.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lindso View Post
I remember my first thread, asking what a noise was when I got going 110mph.
Pretty much got flamed for driving like a jackass and was told to slow down. And I'll be damned, slowing down fixed it.

God's Not Dead
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Old 12-08-2014, 10:23 PM
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Re: Please help!! H23a1 issues!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by bykfixer View Post
The belt could be the cause of the hard to start thing, yes.

But the 'don't do anything now' it aint.

After driving a 3g prelude (b20 or 21), that sohc h23 feels pretty torquey. H22 it aint. But it'll hold it's own in traffic just fine.
A while ago my son bought a 4th gen with that engine. I drove my ford ranger truck with a 2.3 (that hardly gets out of it's own way) to get the car. He didn't know how to drive a stick yet. So I drove it like 50 miles on a crowded interstate home and was very impressed with that 2.3 vs my mazda 2.3 boat anchor with a ford valve cover.

Definitely check that timing belt. Is it old? Um, err, uh, do you know how old it is?

Single cam h23? Never seen that before... typo, or does it exist?

Last edited by thisisgregg; 12-08-2014 at 10:26 PM.
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Old 12-09-2014, 02:52 AM
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Re: Please help!! H23a1 issues!!

Must be a typo, there was no SOHC H-series. There was a SOHC carbureted 3rd gen (104hp) but the rest of the B20's and B21's were DOHC, and the only SOHC 4th gens in the US had the F22A (130hp). I doubt anybody ever claimed any of the SOHC's as being "torquey" though. There was also a SOHC F20A 4th gen released in Europe... Damn. Wiki claims it had the same power as the F22A but with less displacement and lower compression, weird.

People don't give the H23 enough credit. Sure it didn't get VTEC but down low it has more get-up-and-go than the H22.
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Old 12-09-2014, 03:39 PM
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Re: Please help!! H23a1 issues!!

vacuum surging, i would first check to make sure all of your connections are correct using the vacuum hose diagram. then i would follow the final idle thread, and if that fails, then try bleeding your coolant. if there is air in the cooling system it can cause your issue, and its very easy to bleed. are there any open nipples on the intake manifold that have not been capped? sometimes people remove parts like the cruise control for example which run off vacuum, and never cap the nipple.

another thing ***check your grounds to your engine, and trans. if you have bad ground connections, it could cause some of your issues.

the no start/ hard start could be a combination of things. first i would check the voltage on your battery. if you dont know how (pretty simple...) if not then take it to an auto parts store that checks them for free. if the vacuum issue was not the cause then you need to move foward. get it to try to crank, if it does not crank then try tapping the starter with a wrench while someone is trying to start the car. if it starts while doing this, replace starter.
once you get it to crank then you can begin checking for other failures in your system.
you need 3 things to start and run an engine
air/fuel mixture
compression
spark

pretty simple to check each
rent a compression gauge at your local parts store (once you return it you get your money back, (all of it). also rent a fuel pressure gauge, and buy a spark tester, its a little spark plug tool that you can hook your wire up to make sure your getting good spark.

first do your compression test, theres videos all over the internet explaining this.
then do your spark test, you should disable the fuel system by pulling out the pumps relay before doing this test. again look up how to do a spark test

then if everything checks out, check your fuel pressure. you could have a very clogged fuel filter, or a malfunctioning fuel pressure regulator which is restricting fuel.

another thing to check is if your fuel pump and main relay are even operating. easy way to quickly check is to turn your key to on
for the main relay you will hear a click under the cluster area of the dash.
for the fuel pump you will hear it priming, sounds like a low pitch whine coming from under the rear seats, or if you put your ear next to the gas filler neck.

if your main relay is bad, it will prevent you from getting fuel, and from starting your car in general. some people say they hear it buzzing when having issues, or clicking while driving and experience drivability problems when it does.

hope you fix your issue. if you need any parts, i have tons of h23a1 working parts for cheap, if you still need any help feel free to pm me, ill give you my number and help you out further.

Last edited by ProjectPrelude95; 12-09-2014 at 09:55 PM.
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Old 12-09-2014, 06:42 PM
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Re: Please help!! H23a1 issues!!

^^ this is what sets pz apart.
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Originally Posted by ogsmakdade View Post
welcome to site Carl
...is a golden car fax kinda like a golden ticket? Sure hope willy wonka didn't put any snozberries in your motor.
Quote:
Originally Posted by elspectro29 View Post
Only seen the first one, 15 years ago in theaters. Plan on keeping it that way. Get off my lawn.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lindso View Post
I remember my first thread, asking what a noise was when I got going 110mph.
Pretty much got flamed for driving like a jackass and was told to slow down. And I'll be damned, slowing down fixed it.

God's Not Dead
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Old 12-09-2014, 09:47 PM
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Re: Please help!! H23a1 issues!!

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^^ this is what sets pz apart.
appreciate that bykfixer lol glad im the reason that sets pz apart from other forums lol jp
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Old 12-10-2014, 12:09 PM
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Re: Please help!! H23a1 issues!!

I'll definitely make sure to check all those things out. This weekend a few mechanics are gonna do tons of different tests.

Definitely appreciate all the help and possible problems. As far as all the hoses go, they're all in place. I plan on checking all ground wires, testing the starter, checking timing, etc. Basically a full search to get to the bottom of this.
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Old 12-10-2014, 10:50 PM
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Re: Please help!! H23a1 issues!!

Just remember this...
Too many cooks in the kitchen can lead to a big mess.
Somebody has to be the chef. As in make sure you guys take your time, think it through and perform tasks in an orderly fashion. Somebody (probably you since it's your car) should be the voice of reason.
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Originally Posted by ogsmakdade View Post
welcome to site Carl
...is a golden car fax kinda like a golden ticket? Sure hope willy wonka didn't put any snozberries in your motor.
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Originally Posted by elspectro29 View Post
Only seen the first one, 15 years ago in theaters. Plan on keeping it that way. Get off my lawn.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lindso View Post
I remember my first thread, asking what a noise was when I got going 110mph.
Pretty much got flamed for driving like a jackass and was told to slow down. And I'll be damned, slowing down fixed it.

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