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First Generation Legend (1986-1990) Discuss the 1st Generation Honda/Acura Legend (US 8

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Old 01-26-07, 02:46 AM   #1 (permalink)
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89 Legend wont start

Here is the story. Tuesday early morning driving to work doing around 75 all of the sudden car died. When I try to start it cranks but doesn't start. I have checked the spark and the fuel pump works. Have this happened to somebody before, any ideas what could be wrong?
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Old 01-26-07, 02:58 AM   #2 (permalink)
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what did you check

Hi, You did mention it cranks ok, so we can assume the starting system is ok.

fuel, compression, spark.

fuel, is there fuel reaching the cylinders ? plugs should reek of fuel

compression, if you have spark, then the cam is turning, the belt is good, likely you have compression

spark, test for spark at several plugs, not just the wire from the coil, a shorted cap will fire just one plug.

fuel or spark is my guess, you get to figure out which.

Jay
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Old 01-26-07, 03:05 AM   #3 (permalink)
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what happens if i lost compression? There is spark on all six plugs, now on the fuel i know it reaches the fuel filter under the hood but i don't know if it reaches cylinders i'll have to take out one of the injectors and see if i get anything there.
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Old 01-26-07, 05:02 AM   #4 (permalink)
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you go

Yeah, check the injectors, or just admire the aroma of a plug right after a failed attempt to start. A finding of 'very gassy' rather than 'somewhat gassy' should be noted. Wet or damp with fuel.

Loss of compression, well, not too common, until rubber timing belts were invented.... A loss of compression that prevents starting implies a serious engine fault that is affecting most or all cylinders. If it was caused by a bad valve it would affect one cylinder and the engine would start and run badly, same for cracked head etc. If the timing belt breaks the fun stops at all cylinders, the valves stop and the engine no longer pumps air. If the spark is getting to each cylinder the rotor is turning, which is turned by the cam, which is turned by the belt, so your belts are good, the force of compression appears to have remained with you.

If it helps, if the belt is good the cams will rotate, the valves will move up and down and the rotor will spin while the engine is spinning, peek down the oil fill hole and look for movement while the engine is turned over, none=bad, some=good, your belt is ok. If you are unsure then take off the distributor cap and watch the rotor, pray it rotates when the engine does. Replace the belt before it breaks.

I'm guessing fuel delivery trouble, not sure how common that is. Ignition trouble is probably more common.

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Old 01-26-07, 01:14 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I don't think it is fuel, not if your fuel pump is working. Usually a fuel problem will cause it to run progressively worse until it dies. If it suddenly died while driving at 75mph, I'd suspect timing and will address it from that perspective.

When it cranks, does it crank normally or abnormally, i.e., seems to crank unusually fast or cranks and sputters like it is trying to start?

If it cranks abnormally, chances are that you have a timing issue. The bad news is that if your timing belt has broken or slipped, then there's a good chance that your engine has sustained major damage from the pistons contacting the valves. BTW, loss of compression on all cylinders is indicative of a broken or badly slipped belt, as Jay indicated.

If your belt has broken, you can kiss your engine goodbye. If it has slipped, there's a small chance that it has slipped enough to where it won't start, but not badly enough to let the pistons/valves contact.

Another possibility is that something like a crank sensor has gone bad. If this is the case, your engine will be okay. Unfortunately, the crank sensor is under the forward cam gear and is a PITA to change - you have to retime the engine. If the crank sensor is bad, the ECU should code it (but the code could be bogus and it could be something else).

At any rate, I think I'd let my mechanic take a look it at. Good luck and let us know what turns up....
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Old 01-26-07, 06:05 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Thanks guys for all the help, I just got home so I'll go pay again with it.
Car cranks normally like it want to start, timing belt replaced at 200.xxx and now i have 211xxx so I hope its not belt. Now crank sensor thats something new ill have to look into that. what you guys think about fuel distributer relay could it have gone bad?
O boy i'm not ready for this
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Old 01-26-07, 06:31 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by legendtypeII View Post
Thanks guys for all the help, I just got home so I'll go pay again with it.
Car cranks normally like it want to start, timing belt replaced at 200.xxx and now i have 211xxx so I hope its not belt. Now crank sensor thats something new ill have to look into that. what you guys think about fuel distributer relay could it have gone bad?
O boy i'm not ready for this
The first thing I'd check at this point is the ECU to see if it is giving any codes. That should at least give you a starting point.

If by the fuel distributer relay you mean the main relay, I don't think so. The main relay has two relays - one powers the ECU and the second relay (among other things), and the second feeds power to the fuel pump. You say your fuel pump is okay, so I think I'd rule that out.

If you want to further rule out timing, I'd just remove the belt cover and make sure the belt doesn't have slack in it. Good luck...
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Old 01-26-07, 09:13 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Check your rotor make sure the screw did not fall out. HTH !!!
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Old 01-27-07, 12:17 AM   #9 (permalink)
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what rotor are you talking about i'm kind of lost here. The belt is ok its all at correct position. Any other ideas? How do you check ECU codes?
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Old 01-27-07, 12:22 AM   #10 (permalink)
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My old 87 Legend had a cracked distributor cap (hairline) which wasn't visible to the naked eye and the no start problem (random for me) was driving me crazy until I finally replaced it out of desperation. Then poof, no more starting problem. It wasn't until close examination of the old cap did I find the hairline crack that was causing the problem. Just a thought...start simple first, then work your way up to complex reasons...good luck.
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Old 01-27-07, 12:28 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ArizonaLegend View Post
My old 87 Legend had a cracked distributor cap (hairline) which wasn't visible to the naked eye and the no start problem (random for me) was driving me crazy until I finally replaced it out of desperation. Then poof, no more starting problem. It wasn't until close examination of the old cap did I find the hairline crack that was causing the problem. Just a thought...start simple first, then work your way up to complex reasons...good luck.
But i do get spark on all 6 plugs so this is out, but still thanks for the help. Does it mater how strong spark needs to be?
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Old 01-27-07, 02:28 AM   #12 (permalink)
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what rotor are you talking about i'm kind of lost here. The belt is ok its all at correct position. Any other ideas? How do you check ECU codes?
To check the ECU codes you first pull down the front passenger side carpet to gain access to the ECU. The ECU has a two LED display - red on the left and yellow on the right - you're worried about the red one. Turn on the ignition and observe the red LED. The number of times it blinks is the ECU problem code. For instance, if it is giving code 8, which is the TDC sensor in the distributor, it will blink 8 times rapidly, followed by a 2 second pause, then will blink 8 times again. Here are the codes for my 87 Coupe (I don't know if they're the same for yours:

1 blink: front oxygen sensor
2 blinks: rear oxygen sensor
3 or 5 blinks: manifold absolute pressure (MAP) sensor
4 blinks: crank angle sensor
6 blinks: coolant temp
7 blinks: throttle angle sensor
8 blinks: TDC sensor
9 blinks: #1 cylinder position
10 blinks: intake air temp
12 blinks: EGR system
13 blinks: atmospheric pressure
14 blinks: electronic idle control
15 blinks: ignition output signal
17 blinks: vehicle speed pulser
18 blinks: ignition timing adjustment

And it never hurts to double and triple check the simple things. The rotor that was mentioned is under the distributor cap, and a hairline crack in the cap can cause ignition voltage to arc to multiple plugs. I had it once on a 69 chevelle - it didn't stop me, but it turned my V8 into a very rough running 6 banger.

It does matter how strong your spark is. You should have a crisp blue spark, but that's often rather subjective when you're looking at it. Good luck...
Good luck....
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Old 01-27-07, 07:51 AM   #13 (permalink)
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I agree with others here, but you need to get some things done so you can tick them off hte list and move on rather than go around in circles.

Spark
Fuel
Compression

You say you have spark that is good enough for me. (I don't belive a spark related problem would just shut the car down on the highway)
Fuel, have you got plenty of fuel at the injectors? Pull one out so we aren't just guessing.
Compression, get a compression tester or have a compression test done. Very easy and then it can be ruled out.

Does your check engine light come on when you turn your key to position II and then go off after about three seconds?

My bet is fuel supply.
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Old 01-28-07, 07:42 PM   #14 (permalink)
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My bet is fuel supply.
^^^ I'm leaning towards this one meself! ...fuel delivery system could be restricted, check the FPR and the PR cut-off solenoid valve.
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Old 01-28-07, 09:32 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Thanks to those who helped me out here. So yesterday morning I decided to check my distributer cap and guess what I found a crack, well that wasn't the problem coz i still had spark well I decided to replace it anyways. When i took off distributer cap what I saw next was very interesting to me. I guess it got too hot in there and it the rotor melted so it moved like 90 digress so with timing belt set correct and spark at all cylinders but not at correct time car cant even start. After replacing everything i started the car and it works fine now, hopefully now i'll get better gas millage cuz like last month I got like 17 miles per gallon on legend and it ran like crap and 24 on vigor i use to get on legend 22 23.
Thanks for the ideas everyone now i'm off to bed got to get up at 1am for work
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