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

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Old 07-12-09, 08:55 PM   #1 (permalink)
 
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Intermittent Starting Problem??/ :confused:

Hi all I'm new here and this looks like a great site w/ a wealth of info.

My Dad just bought a 90 Legend, and it runs and looks great. Only problem is it has a starting problem that only happens sometimes, happened maybe twice in the last month. It will not crank or anything. Battery seems fine b/c the headlights are on full power. My first guess would be a relay or electrical problem of some sort. I had this same problem on a 90 CRX and a new relay fixed the problem.

Before I go putting money into a relay, Anybody experience this or know what the problem might be?

Thanks
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Old 07-12-09, 09:15 PM   #2 (permalink)
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It could be quite a few things.

If it's an automatic it could be the shifter interlock. Try jiggling the shifter a bit in park and see if it starts then.

Another possibility is a bad ignition switch.

With the headlights working it isn't likely the battery or dirty terminals.

The main relay sometimes keeps Legends from starting but it wouldn't keep it from cranking.
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Old 07-13-09, 10:08 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I think a bad main relay WILL keep the engine from cranking over ....at least it did on my car. Another thing to check would be the igniter ...little black component bolted to the fender near the coil. The main relay is a Mitsuba RZ-0063 or 64 (Acura part 39400-SH3-003) ....most of the 88 -90 Honda products (Civics, Accords, etc.) used the same part, so it should be easy to find at a wrecking yard.
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Old 07-14-09, 10:07 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Check your grounds, too.
The age of these cars means most electrical connections need attention at this point.

The battery negative lead has three connectors. The one at the battery, one near the midpoint to the frame (under the battery tray) and the far end which connects to the block near the starter. Those connections tend to become corroded over time and should be cleaned.

There's a second, short ground cable which attaches to the frame near the passenger side hood latch and extends to the upper left bolt of the side valve cover on the engine.

You wont believe what a difference this can make in the entire electrical system, from slow windows to starting.
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Old 07-19-09, 03:43 PM   #5 (permalink)
 
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My wifes car has some of the same problems, and I'm not sure why. What happens is that when you go start the car, it turns over, but won't start. It's not every time, only some of the time. What's interesting is that if you look at the D1 on the dash, it will turn from red to green when ready. If the color is red, it won't start, but after turning the car on and off repeadily, it will cause the red to turn green, and it will start. I was thinking that it was a bad ignition switch or shifter interlok. What do you think? Sometimes if you jiggle the key, you will hear a pop and you can start the car.
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Old 07-19-09, 04:13 PM   #6 (permalink)
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The 'pop' is the Main Relay kicking in the starting circuit. Comes from under dash.

Haven't noticed the red/green shift, but the car won't start (will turn over) until the relay kicks in.

If you turn the ignition switch ON (not engaged) and wait a few seconds to hear the pop, I bet it starts every time. If you actually do have to jiggle the key to get the pop, then I would guess it'd be the ignition switch itself.

Remember, with the age of these cars, all electrical contacts (most of which are copper/brass) will have some corrosion at this point. Often a simple cleaning will clear up many electrical issues.

Another thing which can cause delayed starts is a loss of fuel pressure. This is common with the age of these cars. Fuel pressure is supposed to be maintained at all times, between starts. If it loses pressure, it has to rebuild well before the engine will start. Loss of pressure is most associated with fuel injector o-rings, but may be a gas cap.
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