83 Civic 110k no power

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  #1  
Old 12-31-06, 06:36 PM
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83 Civic 110k no power

This 80 civic with 110K is a new car to me. It failed smog. NOx was three times too high and timing was off (retarded) by 20 degrees. Took it to a shop I trusted and had the carb rebuilt and timing adjusted. After the carb rebuild and the timing adjustment it passed smog but the NOx was at the maximum allowed.

Believe it or not, when the timing was off by 20 degrees the car ran fine on the road. It didn't idle well, but once it was warm it ran well. However, after the carb rebuild and the timing adjustment it now idles fine, runs fine, but has a terrible lack of power going up hills.

If the timing belt were off by a tooth, would this cause us to get false readings when setting the timing? For instance, if the belt is off by a tooth and the timing light says the timing is correctly adjusted, could it in fact be off?

Also, could the EGR valve affect power? How about the Vacuum advance? When I pull the suction line off the vac advance the hose is sucking air and the engine speeds up. Does this mean the vac advance is working or simply that I am receiving vacuum through the line?

Finally, is there something called a carb vent bowl that could be affecting the power? I read an article where, on a newer Honda Accord, the guy had the same problems, and found out it was his carb vent bowl that had a diaphragm leak.

Sorry about all the questions. Thanks for your insights!

Mark
 
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  #2  
Old 12-31-06, 07:21 PM
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Most Japanese have a distributor that fits in the rear of the cam and only goes in one way by design........and the manufacturer gives some, but not a lot of adjustment for timing. If the timing belt were off a tooth or 2, and you were using a timing light, you would not be able to align the timing marks on the crank for base timing.................
Now.lack of power.......With a timing light , AFTER checking base timing at idle. Remove the vacuum advance and plug the hose. Raise the engine RPM and check centrifugal advance.........10-20deg or so.........THEN re install the vacuum hose and see what TOTAL advance is.......
 
  #3  
Old 12-31-06, 07:27 PM
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When you/they set the timing the spark at the #1 cylinder is set relative to the position of the crank, which is where the timing mark is. so if the timing is set properly the timing of the spark isn't off. However..... if the timing belt was in fact skipped by one tooth, the valve timing would be off and that would affect the performance of your engine, usually significantly. They can also be worn to the point of making a difference. The retarded setting of 20 degrees is a lot to be off. It's an indication someone had messed with it unsuccessfully.

The EGR valve, if working improperly, can affect performance quite a bit. You would notice it most at idle and fuel mileage. They usually leak to the open side or stick open, letting too much exhaust into the intake.

The timing advance if working improperly would affect performance significantly. It would be robbing the engine of about a ten to fifteen degree timing advance, depending on the engine.

The speedup when you pull off the vacuum line is normal. It effectively leaned the fuel air mixture = higher RPMs.

The carb vent diaphragm I couldn't comment on, but I'm sure we have some guys here that are well versed on those things.

Hope this helps,

Bob
 

Last edited by marbobj; 12-31-06 at 07:52 PM.
  #4  
Old 01-01-07, 06:59 PM
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Hey guys, if the timing was off by one tooth and you retarded the distributor so much and set it with a timing light so the marks appeared correct, wouldn't it actualy run at idle but have NO power what so ever during acceleration ?

Just as if it were off one tooth in the other direction and had to advance the distributor to set the timing it would overheat and ping and knock like crazy but would have lots of power.

I don't know if that is possible on this make but I did do it on an early '70's vintage Buick 350 when I was off by one tooth on the distribtor.

Hence I did have to correctly install the distributor if I wanted to drive the car.
 
  #5  
Old 01-01-07, 07:08 PM
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On a buick or chev .or for that matter most GM engines with dists, you could point the rotor anywhere you wanted........On the Honda, the distributer has a sorta blade out the bottom, that is offset so you can't put it in 180 out.....It only goes in one way..........Now, the adjustment slots only allow so much movement so if the belts off..........there isn't enough play to bring the timing marks in
 
  #6  
Old 01-01-07, 07:09 PM
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If the timing belt is skipped by one tooth on the belt timing gears, you can still set the timing of the ignition so it would actually be correct. The problem wouldn't be with the ignition timing but with the valve timing which would be retarded. That would seriously affect performance. The same thing would apply if the belt was improperly installed and was one tooth advanced. The ignition could still be set to specs, but the valve timing would be off.

Just added in reference to Wrench's last post: With the indexed distributor shaft as you've described, the amount of adjustment on the distributor would be the deciding factor on whether the timing could be brought to specs. In this case at hand I'm not sure how the timing has proven to be 20 degrees retarded without a timing belt issue.

In terms of the distributor drive tooth being rotated one way or the other it wouldn't affect anything as long as you could turn the distributor base enough to set the timing to specs. This is talking in terms of an engine with the worm gear drive on the distributor.

Hope this helps,

Bob
 

Last edited by marbobj; 01-01-07 at 07:20 PM.
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