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Discussion Starter #1
Greetings all,
I have a '98 CR-V and yesterday on my way to the gas station it began shuddering and the CEL came on (flashing). As I was filling up I popped the hood and found that one of the plug wires was loose from the distributor. I probably knocked it loose checking the air filter the other day. I pushed it back on thinking I had fixed the problem but as I drove from the station to work (40 miles) the CEL continued flashing and there was a noticeable loss of power at lower rpms but at higher revs it seemed fine. I pulled my obd2 codes and had P0420 (which I don't believe is related to this issue) P0301, P0302, P0303 and P0300 which are all misfire codes. After I searched the internet for information about these codes I was afraid that I may have a burned valve. I did a compression test this morning and here are my results. Left to Right #4 151 #3 145 #2 151 #1 154. The car had only ran for two or three minutes before I took these readings. I checked the valve clearances on 11/19/2011 with 181,445 miles on the car and all were within limits. The car now has 213,301 as of this morning 2/2/2016. I guess my question is this. Since I have good compression when the car is almost cold is it plausible that the valves are getting too tight and leaking enough to cause a misfire at lower rpms as the car warms up to operating temp? Any thoughts or questions are welcomed.
 

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You comp readings are pretty good, so I think your problem is what I wrote below.
My guess is that the ignition coil is failing. It only takes a couple of seconds or much less to fry a coil if a spark plug wire is disconnected from the spark plug (and not grounded) or from the distributor and the engine is running.
What happens is that high voltage has no place to go so many times the ignition coil will internally short itself. On the older cars like 55 chevys, the coil would not fry. On the 1st gen CRV's they would.
Happens quite a bit on the 1st gen.
An aftermarket ignition coil will most likely work fine or you can shop for a Honda one.
Sometimes you can check the ignition coil by measuring its resistance on both sides , primary and secondary windings.
Primary Winding Resistance: 0.63 - 0.77ohms
Secondary Winding Resistance:12.8k- 19.2k ohms



http://www.aa1car.com/library/ignition_coils.htm
You can google for the proper resistance. If it is only off slightly, change it.\
Check out this link: http://easyautodiagnostics.com/honda/2.2L-2.3L/honda-ignition-system-tests-1
Even turning the engine over with the starter while trying to access the rotor screw can cause the coil to short itself if you don't pull its fuse or disconnect the low voltage connector at the distributor first.
If it turns out to be the coil, check to see if you need a new rotor and dist cap, just for preventive maintenance.
Buffalo4
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Just a quick follow up. I pulled my coil this morning. The resistance in the primary winding between + and - is 2.2 ohms. The secondary winding is 15.85K so it appears that my primary winding is faulty. I'm going to get a new coil, cap and rotor coming and I'll let you know how it goes in a few days.
 

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Another follow up. I received my new coil, cap and rotor today. I decided to check the resistance values of the new coil just for kicks before I installed it. For some reason today I decided to touch my meter leads together and I noticed that my meter didn't read zero as is should. I was reading 1.5 ohms on the 200 ohm scale with the leads touching and there is no adjustment to zero it. So the new and the old primary coil both read 2.2 ohms. 1.5 + (.6 to .7)= 2.2 ohms. Lesson learned? Always check to see if your meter is zeroed. I went ahead and installed the new coil, cap and rotor and went for a short drive. Within 1/4 of a mile I got a flashing CEL and a shudder so I returned home. I pulled my codes and had p0301 (verified) and p1399 (pending). Tomorrow I'm going to adjust my valves and see what happens. Wish me luck.
 

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Interesting, how noisy is the engine with regards to valve train noise?
 

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Yes, always zero your meter, esp when trying to read such minimal values. I should have mentioned that, esp when you said the resistance was 2.2 Ohms on the Primary side (normal 0.63-0.73).
Was it the #1 cyl spark plug wire that came off? Do a resistance check on that wire. If the wire was slowly coming loose in the dist cap, it was probably arcing and may have damage that end of the wire.
Since you did a valve adj around 30k miles ago, I doubt that is the problem, but doing another wouldn't hurt just in case one of the lock nuts wasn't tight enough.
You can also do a quick check of the overall condition of the spark plug wires by misting water on them with the engine running in a dark room or at night to see if you are getting some flash-overs.
Some of the 1st gen CRVs also had distributors that wore out.
But, for sure, don't just replace parts as it is expensive. Keep troubleshooting.
What is the condition of your spark plugs? Pull out at least the #1 plug and take a look at it.
The copper NKG V-power spark seems to work best in the first gen. I think it is NGK 2262 ZFR5F-11. (low cost : around $2.50/plug)
I believe that the change interval on those copper plugs is aprox 30k miles.
Some CRV owners had problems with Bosch spark plugs.
Is your fuel filter due for a change?
At least you now have a new dist cap and rotor. How did the old one look?
Remember, even using starter to turn the rotor to access its screw can short out an ignition coil if its fuse or the connector at the dist isn't disconnected first.
Buffalo4
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Another follow up. Sorry it's so long. I adjusted my valves this morning. None of them were excessively tight. only one intake and one exhaust valve was out of the acceptable range. I adjusted them all to the high side of the range. I set the intake valves where a .004" feeler gauge had drag and a .005" feeler gauge wouldn't go in. I set the exhaust valves where a .007" feeler gauge had drag and .008" would not go in. I cleared the codes, drove the same 1/4 of a mile and got the same shudder with a flashing CEL. I went ahead and drove it a few miles until it fully warmed up. When I got home I pulled the plugs, ignition fuse and fuel pump fuse and did another compression test with the engine hot this time. Here are my results.

left to right #4 151 #3 145 #2 151 #1 154

I checked my CEL codes and had p0301, p0302. p0304 and p0300 this time.

One thing I noticed was that when the car was idling in park there was no miss. If I step on the gas with the car in park there is a slight hesitation from 750 to 1000 RPM's then it is smooth with no miss at all between 1000 and 4000 RPM's I didn't rev it higher than that.
If i put the car in gear so that there is a load on the engine and step on the gas while holding the brake I get a noticeable miss and vibration at any engine speed.
To answer your questions Buffalo4 I don't remember which wire came off but I just checked them all and the ends at the distributor are fine. I have had the plugs out several times and they look pretty good. I may throw a set at it anyway. I always put NGK plugs in this car. I have changed the fuel filter but it's been a while. With the quality of gas today I doubt that's the problem but I'll keep it in mind.
The old cap and rotor were due for a change. There were a lot of crusties built up on the electrodes in the cap. I didn't see any carbon tracks in the cap where the spark was going where it shouldn't. I did notice while I was changing the coil that it looked like water may have been getting in under the distributor cap. I didn't see any moisture but the terminal screws and the coil itself were slightly rusty. I cleaned the terminals on the wires when I installed the new coil. I know moisture under the cap isn't good but are there any sensors under there that could have been damaged by moisture that could be causing my problems? .


20CRVEX13 The valves sound more uniform (if that makes any sense) after I adjusted them this morning.

Thank you both for your replies.
 

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OK, I went back and read your first post here.
I think you need to do a leak down check to rule out a burned valve.
A burned valve can still give a good compression check number since all you're doing is slamming the piston up to compress the air. Granted, your compression check numbers look good, I'd still do it just to rule out the possibility.
Having that one plug wire dislodged might have been all it needed to run hot on that cylinder.

Just as an anecdote here, we had an '83 Accord that we bought new. Great little car that I eventually ended up using to commute to work in once we needed a wagon for the kids. Anyways, it developed a miss and was fouling a plug with regular timing. It got to the point where I could only drive to and from work before it became impossible to drive any more, ie the fouled plug just quit working. Pulled it out, replaced with a new one and next day on the way home I took the car to Jackson Racing to see what they would say about it. They said it looked like the pre-combustion chamber seal had gone on that cylinder and asked if I'd ever overheated the car. No, I hadn't. Long story short, they replaced the seal and complemented me on how well kept the car was when I picked it up. Later, I was checking things out under the hood at work in the parking lot because it had developed a miss, again. I noticed that the dip stick was up against one of the spark plug boots and when I went to move it I got royally ZAPPED!
On investigating when I got home, I found the spark plug wire boot had a tear in it.
I replaced the wires and all was well after that. But, I think that shorted plug was the cause of the one cylinder running hot and causing the pre-combustion chamber seal failure.

All that being said, I think with careful deduction and elimination of systems, one by one, we'll get to the bottom of your miss. The leak down test will help in eliminating the valves as a cause. You can't eliminate the ignition system just yet as a worn distributor still could be a possible cause too, IMO.
 

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Many adj the exhaust lash at the high end of the limit because they tend to get tighter from sinking into the valve seat.
They adj the intake lash at the low end because they tend to get looser just from wear.
But as long as your are within specs, you are fine.
Try that 'misting with water' bit while it is idling.
Do a resistance check on your spark plug wires.
If the old spark plugs are nearing the change period, put in a set of the copper V-Power ones. (low price and they seem to work great, at least for the first 30k miles).
Other thoughts are a worn distributor, but you will have to Google to know how to trouble shoot it.
I know, that back in the 50's, you could just remove the dist and take it to a shop and they would bench test it for wobble, etc.
If it could possibly be he fuel filter or perhaps water in the gas, it wouldn't hurt to change that filter.
If it is due for a change, change it. If not?/??

Buffalo4
 

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Do more searching on the Internet for those codes or misfires.

http://honda-tech.com/acura-integra-6/codes-p0301-p0302-p0303-p300-p1399-help-1962862/

Leak down test should indicate whether you have a burnt exhaust valve.
Also: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9ppzvcdhQJE

Any chance that the connections on the igniter (inside the distributor housing and below the ignition coil) are loose or corroded?

Any other connectors that might have come loose while you were doing maintenance?

Check that low voltage connector that feeds the dist and is next to it.
I have heard that the crankshaft position sensor could be the problem. Check the connector to it.
A timing belt that is loose or has skipped a tooth.
Worn distributor.
Not sure if a clogged cat can cause misfires, but I know it can limit rpms.

Do the misting test for your spark plug wires.
Did you install the new NGK V-Power spark plugs yet?
Did you install a new fuel filter?
Are you losing any coolant?

Best of luck,
Buffalo4
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Hi Bufflao4
I did the mist test with water to the plug wires last night in the total dark and saw no errant sparks. The plug wires were changed in 2011 about 32k miles ago with the cap, rotor and plugs. The wires still look good but I do plan on ohming them out. I am due a timing belt on this car. the last one I put on was in 2007 at around 100k ago. Today I jumped in with both feet and pulled the valve cover again so I could see the timing marks on the cam gears. I set the crank at TDC by the single mark on the crank pulley (I understand the three marks on the pulley are for ignition timing) and I also pulled the spark plug and inserted a clean long screwdriver in the hole so I could see when the #1 piston was at TDC. The single mark on the crank pulley agreed with my screwdriver. The "up" arrows on the cam pulleys were a few degrees left of vertical and the alignment marks on these pulleys at three and nine o'clock were slightly off. I am thinking that my timing belt may have skipped a tooth and that is why I can idle fine but when the engine is put under a load and the spark advances it is too far out and it starts missing. I have already pulled the drive belts, engine mounts and power steering pump. My plan at this point is to go ahead and do the timing belt, crank and cam seals and water pump, set the timing correctly and see if that fixes my problem. It all needs to be done anyway. I was hoping to put it off until spring but such is life. I'm not losing any coolant, I changed the igniter 10/2012 16k miles ago for the infamous random dying and restart after a cool down so the connections there should be fine. I did replace the cat soon after the igniter failed because it destroyed itself because of the igniter failure. At this point I'll do the timing belt next week hopefully and I'll report back then. thanks!
 

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That sounds like you're on the right track. Good luck, hope it fixes the problem.
 

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If you still have the valve cover off there are 2 holes in the top of the cams you can stick a small drill bit into and see if they line up. That hole can be used to lock them at TDC. If both cams are still in time you should be able to get both drill bits in at the same time, though you might need to rock them back and forth slightly.

Also, mine had the distributor bearings go bad. I had it fixed at a shop, so not sure how they diagnosed it. My guess is you could shake the center shaft of the distributor? It was starting to idle rough and then got a CEL and a stall while slowly backing into the driveway. Low RPM/idle was a little rough sometimes, but higher RPM seemed to smooth out.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Thanks for the reply Shryp.
I had forgotten about those holes in the cams. It has been 100k miles since I did the timing belt last time. So this morning when I got home from work I set the crank at TDC by the mark on the crank pulley and I can drop a #23 drill bit (.002" under a 5/32") in both holes with no resistance. This seems to indicate that I haven't skipped a tooth on my timing belt. Like I said in my last post the timing belt and water pump are due so I'm going to replace them and see what happens. One thing I noticed in my distributor cap was this reddish brown residue and rust on the screws for the coil connections. I assumed that there has been some water leaking in at some point but after more Google research I have found that the Honda forums have nicknamed this residue "Red death" . Here's one link to one forum discussion about it.

http://honda-tech.com/forced-induction-16/very-fine-red-rustish-looking-dust-inside-distributor-cap-1222996/

I'm pretty sure after reading some of these posts and after experiencing my symptoms that my distributor has taken a crap. If it still misses under load with the new belt and tensioner then I'll replace the distributor.
Thanks for the input. I'll try to follow up on this next weekend.
 

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Discussion Starter #17 (Edited)
Buffalo4 wins the prize for the best answer!
After I replaced the timing belt, water pump, tensioner, crank and cam seals and all drive belts I still had my miss and hesitation under load. All of those items were due to be changed and I wanted to be sure base timing was correct and that my belt hadn't slipped so I changed them. After that the Idle was smooth and if I drove very gently I wouldn't get the misfire codes but as soon as I stepped on it I got the misfire again. So I went ahead and replaced the distributor with a new one from Ock-ray Auto-ay (Not sure if I can use their name on the forum but I love them) and I set the timing with my timing light. Also I replaced the plugs with the same NGK's that were in it (ZFR5F-11). Alas I still had the misfire under load. I then borrowed a fuel pressure tester from "the zone" and fuel pressure was right in spec. I then tested my TPS and it tested good. So at this point I decided to take another look at my spark plug wires (although they only had 30k miles in them and they were Bosch premiums.) I ohmed them out and I got readings within limits for all four wires. At this point I was beginning to get stumped. I had previously done the water mist test at night and didn't see any sparks. I pulled the plug wires off and took them in to work so I could check the insulation resistance with a tool we have called a megometer. As I was running the probe along the side of the piece that goes down to the spark plug the meter went nuts. After a visual inspection I saw the arcing on the spark plug boot. (Picture attached) It is very obvious if I had just looked for it but instead I ASS-umed the plug wires were good. (The wires did look good and passed the mist test and ohmed out good) but the #1 plug wire was faulty. So long story short...(too late).. I have solved my hesitation and misfiring issues with a new set of plug wires. All in all I probably spent between $300 to $400 fixing this issue myself. That includes a new distributor that I didn't need but now its new, and timing belt parts that were needed anyway. I think I still came out way ahead since I didn't pay anyone for troubleshooting. Thank you Buffalo4 and everyone for your replies. I really appreciate your input and knowledge.
Tom H.

View attachment 59209
Was it the #1 cyl spark plug wire that came off? Do a resistance check on that wire. If the wire was slowly coming loose in the dist cap, it was probably arcing and may have damage that end of the wire.


Buffalo4
 

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I didn't solve it for you, you did it yourself. :)
Strange that the Bosch Premium wire set did that.
Well, you put a lot of work into your CRV and I hope it continues to work well for you, :D
Buffalo4
PS:When you removed the spark plugs, did the #1 plug appear much different?
 

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This thread should go a long ways towards getting people to check EVERYTHING and not take anything for granted.
Thanks for filling us in on the results Tom H. .
 
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