Vacuum Acvance Stuck, 80 civic - how do I free it

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Old 12-30-06, 05:03 PM
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Vacuum Advance Stuck, 80 civic - how do I free it

The vac advance in my 80 civic is stuck. It holds a vacuum per the gauge. But doesn't advance when applying a vacuum. I used a screwdriver and was able to move it back and forth but it feels gummed up. I'm encouraged that with light to medium force I can get it to move back and forth but it feels as though it's a long ways from moving freely. The vacuum line appears to be clear. I'm not familiar with the workings of the mechanism. Would this be something I can spray with a cleaner and continue to work back and forth. Or, is the friction being caused somewhere deep down below? What technique would you suggest? I don't really want to pull the distributor cause I only have one of the off the shelf manuals . . . Plus, I'm afraid it will just lead to more $ and more problems.
 

Last edited by joepapa; 12-30-06 at 05:11 PM. Reason: mispelling
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Old 12-30-06, 07:17 PM
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I would first make sure the problem isn't in the vacuum module itself. There should a couple of screws holding it on plus a clip on the advance arm that goes from the diaphram to the advance plate inside the distributor.

If it is inside the vacuum module I would replace it rather than try to lube and free it. If it isn't, then the advance plate is the problem and that can be lubed with a penetrating oil/lubricant and worked back and forth to free it. I would use something with graphite or teflon as the lubing agent.

The advance plate would be up at the top of the distributor, just under the rotor.

Hope this helps,

Bob
 
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Old 12-30-06, 10:16 PM
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Thanks Bob. I was going to take the vac module off but one of the screws you mentioned is difficult to get to. Can I determine if the vac module is working correctly by simply slipping the advance arm off the clip and moving the arm back and forth. Should it move without much resistance at all?

I used some simple green and was able to free up the plate. It moves back and forth quite nicely now. Doesn't have that gummy feeling. However, while the resistance is nice, smooth and consistent, it seems like its a bit much for a vacuum to overcome; unless when the engine is running the force changes or is compensated for somehow. Any idea how many foot pounds it should approximate to? Feels like about 3 foot pounds to me.
 
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Old 12-31-06, 05:06 AM
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my 2 cents

I would not use graphite based lube and here is why graphite is is a great condutor of electricty and I am not so sure I would want that in the inner workings of my distribituer.
I would go with a non conductive type lube.
 
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Old 12-31-06, 09:01 AM
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You can check the module with the arm detached from the advance plate. Then simply suck on the diaphram tube (tasty). An engine puts out about 18 to 25 lbs of vacuum which you can duplicate yourself to activate the diaphram.

You should be able to get the advance plate to move freely, but it will take a regular lubricant to maintain it. In terms of the graphite lube it works well because once the carrier dries out the graphite will continue to lube the component. As far as its conductivity, there are a number of magnetos and distributor caps that use graphite in their terminals, primarily the center contact for the rotor. However, if you are concerned about its conductivity use the teflon lubricant or another high quality lube. There are a number of them at any parts store.

In terms of what it takes to move the plate, I couldn't state it in terms of foot lbs. I would just have to say it would move freely (taking the unmathematically easy way out)

Hope this helps,

Bob
 
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Old 12-31-06, 10:02 AM
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if you want real high tech

And if you want to spring a few extra bucks you can go to sears and get a hand held vacuum device that has a guage on it but you can do it with just the old way and suck on the tubing.
 
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