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Successfully got rid of Notorious ''Hesitation'' issue PLEASE READ!!

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Old 12-03-2013, 02:29 PM
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Icon7 Successfully got rid of Notorious ''Hesitation'' issue PLEASE READ!!

Hi all!

Greetings from Ireland!

I am the proud owner of a 93 OBD1 JDM Si VTEC BB4 Prelude, with 179,000 miles that I know of! Bought it back in August of this year with the notorious ''Hesitation'' problem almost all 4th Gen's suffer from. Got it for a scandalously low price yet all it needed was TLC and some troubleshooting on the electrics. Everything else as it should be, luckily, considering that it is a 20 year old car.

Parts that have been replaced by the last owner in recent times:
  • Brand new Distributor
  • Brand new Fuel Pump
  • Brand new PGM-FI Main Relay
  • Full Timing Belt kit including Balancer Shaft belts and Tensioners

Cosmetic work that has been done by previous owner:
  • Full respray in original Pacific Blue Pearl (Very fresh clean body)
  • Arches redone and rust free

Parts that I have replaced in the last 4 months:
  • Denso Platinum Plugs
  • NGK Blue Silicone Spark Plug leads
  • Denso o2 Sensor
  • All Alternator internals including Voltage regulator and Brushes
  • All Injector Seals including micro filters
  • Changed Oil to Mobil 1 with new Oil filter
  • All fuses under Dashboard (Corroded looking)
  • Standard air filter removed and K&N performance panel filter fitted

Works that I have carried out:
  • EGR Valve thorough clean
  • IACV ( Idle Air Control Valve) Clean
  • FITV (Fast Idle Thermo Valve) Clean
  • Air Conditioning Compressor removal (Huge Hole underneath!)
  • Air intake resonator assembly removed from behind front wheel arch
  • Thoroughly inspected all Vacuum lines and all intact
  • Bled Coolant from Thermostat bleed point while Engine HOT, vital you do this properly as it can cause all sorts of funny problems if air is in the system
  • Recalibrated TPS (Throttle Position Sensor) though not out of spec much

The Alternator was the original from 1993 so it was screwed, nothing internally working and hanging on by a thread! I highly recommend getting yours refurbished as it makes a huge difference to the cars running, however not resolving the Lumpiness and boggy sensation fully.

So the hesitation persisted after doing all of this which lead me to believe there was an intermittant electrical issue especially when the car got up to normal operating temperature. I decided during the week to inspect the fusebox located in the Engine bay and to my surprise I came across the following ''Factory assembly flaw''.

Underneath the actual Fusebox there is a black cover clipped onto the top section. Removed this and noticed what I thought at first were burn marks or Electrical arching marks. However it is in fact ''Di-Electric'' Grease Honda used back in the day to Waterproof the metal connectors. This very grease is ''non conductive'' meaning it does not allow current flow if it is smothered on Metal surfaces. I unclipped each harness plug to find every Metal pin caaaaked in the stuff! It was also browny/black with the dirt that had accumulated over the years which further worsens the cars ability to transfer current from the Male to Female connectors in this very location.

So I went to my local Electronics store and bought a can of ''Electrical contact cleaner'' for 6 euro. Got home from work the same day and proceeded to clean out all the Di-Electric Grease from under the Fusebox terminals. I used a few Cotton Buds doused in the Contact cleaner to remove all of the gunk and let it dry for about 30 minutes.

Put everything back together (2 minutes) and took the car out for a run.
The difference is night and day, Car goes like stink, has all of the Torque it should in every gear at all RPM's! Shocked by the result and thrilled that the car no longer runs in a constant 50% mode I drove it hard for about 30 minutes to really warm things up and still the car pulls like a Train!
Turned car off and on a few times and still goes like it should, loaded the electrical system with all accessories on full whack, car still has all of its power.

Day 3 and the Hesitation is still gone, no issues whatsoever with lumpiness or boggy throttle response. Car spins the wheels into 3rd gear if I dont lay off the pedal. Happy days!

I cannot recommend highly enough that you do this, my car is restored to its former glory without ever going near Valve adjustments or playing with the distributor. Make it a priority this weekend and I guarantee you will be smirking all the way to the redline!

Please note that I am not a Mechanic or Electrician just someone with a few very select tools. I regularly thought of selling up but the thirst for a solution to my problem won in the end. How bad!

One thing I will be doing is getting a special Sealant to waterproof and dustproof the underneath of the fusebox, especially now that each connector is bare metal to metal. I recommend the same to anyone who plans to remove the Di Electric Grease.

I hope this procedure helps cure all of your Hesitation problems like it did mine. Sorry for the lack of pictures I had the work done before I wrote this thread.

Best of luck,

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Old 12-03-2013, 10:16 PM
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Re: Successfully got rid of Notorious ''Hesitation'' issue PLEASE READ!!

Very nice man! Glad to hear the car is back to where it should be and nice find and fix! Would have never thought of that myself :P
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Old 12-04-2013, 08:06 AM
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Re: Successfully got rid of Notorious ''Hesitation'' issue PLEASE READ!!

Please do an update after a couple of months.

I have a bogging that comes and goes. May try this at some point. But will put back at least a little fresh die-electric grease instead of leaving it completely dry. Condensation is big deal where I live.

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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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Old 12-04-2013, 01:28 PM
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Icon14 Re: Successfully got rid of Notorious ''Hesitation'' issue PLEASE READ!!

Thanks, Day 4 and the car still drives like it should.. Ya I agree with resealing the connectors again it is a must to avoid condensation and water from resting on the terminals. Going to use a modern technique for this though. It would be great if we could get another positive result from doing this simple job..
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bogging, hesitation, lumpy, rough, slow

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