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Below is a collection of Jim Grant's Tech Tips sorted by Vehicle Make. These Tech Tips were answers to questions submitted to Jim by ALLDATAdiy.com users over the course of many years.
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  Jim Grant's Tech Tips

'89 Accord LX, Rough Running/Misfire

Q: I've had my '89 Honda Accord LX for six months now and I've spent a great deal on trying to locate a problem with a constant misfire. I've changed all ignition parts including the cap, rotor, wires, plugs, coil, and igniter. I've also cleaned the carburetor and changed the air filter and PCV valve, adjusted the valves and timing belt. The problem is that I can not properly time it since the mark on the flywheel seems to jump around. It won't stay still like it should. I've got it set to a margin on the mark settings but there is obviously something wrong. I'm looking towards an intake vacuum leak or a distributor fault. What are some ways to detect a fault without special tools? I'm sick of spending money on needless parts. It's getting to be a headache. This miss is also noticeable throughout the driving range.

- Ben

A: If the ignition timing is jumping around so badly that you have to assume average you may have just found the problem. I would suggest a close inspection of the distributor. Remove the distributor cap and grab the rotor and see what type of movement can be found. There will be rotational movement due to the mechanical advance, but there should be very little side to side play. If nothing seems out of place then remove the distributor and inspect the distributor drive and the bearing in the lower part of the distributor housing. Make sure the pin that locks the coupler and the coupler (the part that engages the cam) is not worn or loose. I have to trust when you say the timing belt is installed correctly that the tension is right. If there is a loose or worn distributor component it can create a variety of driveability problems. Stabilize the ignition timing and you'll likely have a better running engine.

 
     
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