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Discussion Starter #1
I drove my car all over the place yesterday, down to Clairemont to eat pho then around town test driving cars for yucks, then drove it back home.

Then this morning when I'm trying to go to work, it doesn't start. I can hear the fuel pump going, and I smell a little gas when I try to flood it, so I guess it's the spark.

I figured it might be my ignition coil, which has been throwing a check engine light, and the tachometer isn't working, and I may have wired it backwards to begin with (oops). Though it was working fine (tach and all) until I had that shady shop change the clutch. Since then, I've had to wait until everything warmed up and the CEL came on before I could drive the car or else it would stumble and cough and all sorts of nastiness.

So I got another coil (another oil-filled canister coil, with internal resistor. This time OE replacement for an old Dodge or something, not Accel), wired it up correctly this time. Still no go.

There's a little oil under the distributor cap, but there's been more in there before and it hasn't caused any problems (o-ring is shot). I'm going to get some wire and make a new coil lead tomorrow.

Could it be the ignitor? I don't wanna know how much a new one would cost, so I'll go to work and see if the same one is in any other cars, and get a fistfull from the junkyard. One of them is bound to work :D

Any other ideas? I know I probably need a new distributor, but I wanna get all the cheaper stuff out of the way first.
 

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I pretty much had half of the problem with my 88. When I got home from work the other day, the car wouldn't start. I bought new spk plugs and wires and a new starter. When i installed the starter, it fired right up and the new plugs made it run smoother.
 

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why dont you follow the FSM tests on the parts BEFORE replacing them rather than just throwing parts at the car?
it could be a sensor in the distributor, it could be your ignitor, it could be the ground wire from the distributor to that sound supressor by the coil, it could be a bad sound supressor (the FSM says the vehicle may have a no start condition if that supressor goes bad...and I once forgot to hook that ground up and couldnt get the car to start)

it could be that screw came out of the rotor in the distributor and the rotors not spinning so there's no spark...maybe the timing belt broke, or skipped a few teeth.
if someone recently did a clutch and they spun the engine backwards while removing bolts from the flywheel, that takes tension off the timing belt, then they put tension back on it by spinning it forwards and you skip a tooth or 2

thats quite a few parts to throw at a car.

what was the code that you were getting? there isnt a code for the coil....

and you GUESS its spark? eek...why dont you pull one of the plug wires, stick a screw driver up inside it and hold it ~1/2" from the head...have someone crank it for you and see if there's spark
 

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Discussion Starter #4
code 8: ignition coil signal (at least for the carbed model)
bobnova told me that if i'm getting that code, and my tach doens't work, then the ecu isn't getting the tach signal from the coil.

The car ran fine until this happened. Power was the same as before the clutch job, and started just as easily. If it is the timing belt I'm going to push it to an open field, strip my parts, and set it on fire.
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
the main relay doesn't lock out the starter and radio and stuff? (fuel pump runs no matter what as long as the ignition is on because the relay is currently bypassed with a switch)

Oh. I also replaced the coil because it was leaking the insulating oil. The terminal and coil wire were wet, and when I took the oil and flipped it over, oil started dripping out. I'm assuming that's not normal.

I'm going to work to get a shopping list for the junkyard. Hopefully a lot of this stuff is shared among other older SOHC hondas. Won't have time to go to the junkyard until Friday. I just don't feel like it today (i have the Audi still) and I work thursday afternoon after class.

edit: Schweet. The ignitor for Hitachi distributors can be found in almost any 80's and early 90's Honda and Isuzu engine with a Hitachi distributor. Some older Nissan/Datsuns, too. The main relay is found in every Honda from about 1980 to 2001. Friday after work I'll run some tests and see what I need.
 
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