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

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Old 07-01-08, 02:04 AM   #1 (permalink)
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JDM install update ....and a critical question

Okay!!! My son and I FINALLY got the JDM engine installed in the 89L sedan ...its been a year and five months in the doing ....but its done! It was a pretty straight forward job on this one (my first swap): used the old intake system on the JDM engine ...swapped the rear rocker arm cover, as required, and also had to use the front exhaust manifold from the old engine, and a couple of other components. But it was a relatively simple process. Took a long time because of waiting for some parts, and waiting for my son to get time to help me. It really is a two-man, and sometimes three, job. Also replaced all the motor mounts (used, from ebay), distributor cap, plug wires, air cleaner and had to replace the power steering / speedometer input unit on the tranny. We broke off one of the tiny inlet pipes ...couldn't find a suitable replacement unit, but in my quest, I discovered that the equivalent unit from the 90-93 Integra has the same, interchangeable top plate. So, I bought one (ebay, $35) and swapped the top plates!! The Integra unit itself is almost identical, but about an inch shorter.

So, over the last two days, we got the tranny re-attached, and the engine lowered back into the engine bay; everything attached. No problems from that perspective. I put in new 5w-30 oil, new Honda ATF, and new Honda coolant ...squirted oil into each cylinder ...and put in new OEM spec spark plugs.

And then fired her up!! Started almost immediately ..lots of blue smoke from the oil in the cylinders ....a little noisy from the dry hydraulic lifters ...but it smoothed out quickly ...a bit of surging on idle. Then, it stalled!!

Damn!! We figured it was just stale gasoline (it had been sitting for 17 months), so we prepared to pump out the remaining gas in the tank by removing the fuel line off the filter, and pumping the gas into a gas can. However, turning the engine over would not pump any gas thru the filter. Acura shop manual says the first thing to check is the main relay ...which sends starting voltage to the fuel pump. We followed the checking routine in the manual ...checking the circuits WITHOUT the relay connected. The fuses are good, but we got very low voltage from the circuit ...and VERY STRANGELY got reversed polarity on one circuit. VERY ODD ...considering the car ran initially. So ..we went back to the fuel pump, and applied 12 volts directly to the fuel pump ...and it pumps fuel!!

So ...we're kinda stumped. Summary: car ran on initial startup. Then fuel stopped flowing due to lack of power to the pump (fuel filter is not plugged) ... seems to be reverse polarity at the main relay connecter (not in the relay itself). Any suggestions???
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Last edited by digger89L; 07-01-08 at 02:09 AM. Reason: clarification
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Old 07-01-08, 01:38 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Interesting....you sure everything got hooked up correctly too right? No connectors plugged backwards (although I dont see how that would be possible on the plugs involved)....since it ran at all, it seems that things have indeed been done at least 95% correctly...

Have you tried switching her out with a second main relay?

I'd say go through your main connectors on the passenger's side of the engine bay again to be sure everything is correct, then check the necessary sensors and vacuum connections to be sure nothing is loose or forgotten....

Then maybe think about switching out the main relay to rule out the little guy itself....

No ECU codes btw?
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Old 07-01-08, 03:14 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Yes ....I've double-checked all the connections and hoses, etc. Thankfully I have the 90LS sedan to compare with ...I have a spare Main Relay, and it checks out okay ...put that in: no difference. Also did the jumper routine on the main relay plug, and it makes the fuel pump work: so I know the wiring from there to the pump is good. The ECU seems to be problematic: no codes at all. Is there a chance the ECU somehow got fried?? Is there a way to make the ECU throw a code when the engine is not running, or won't start? We also checked the fuel injector resistor (swapped it to the 90LS and it still started) ...and we're now checking the power at the injectors themselves. Any other suggestions? Please keep 'em coming!!! Thanks!!
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Old 07-01-08, 04:05 PM   #4 (permalink)
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When you switch to II on the ignition, you should see one quick flash of the ECU that would indicate that its working correctly....if you DONT get that flash, or if you get one long never-ending red LED, then youve got a bad ECU....

However, I dont know if that is the case...you could try disconnecting like the TW sensor or TDC sensor and try cranking the car to see if it throws you those codes

Very stumping....the fact that the polarity at the main relay is reversed is definitely throwing me for a loop
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Old 07-01-08, 06:10 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Was thinking there's a fuse box relay for the fuel pump as well. But, not sure.
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Old 07-02-08, 12:23 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Well ...its running now ...but we don't exactly know why!!!

There was no ECU code ..it appeared completely dead. We tried the "pull the fuse" reset, no luck. So, we took the ECU out of the 89L, and put it in the 90LS (don't really know if they are interchangeable?) ...and in the LS we got the "ok" code ...meaning the ECU is working. Another dead end. So we put the ECU back in the 89L, and now we get the "ok" code there too!! ...hooked up the original Main Relay, and with the ignition key on, we could hear the fuel system pressuring up ...hadn't heard that before. So, we tried starting it, and it fired right up! Still don't know how we "fixed" it ...as we just sort of unplugged things and plugged them in again ...no reasonable explanation for the engine starting initially, then not starting at all. We've started and stopped it numerous time since, with no problems. Now we're getting the "flashing S-3" on the dash ....tranny issue, right??
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Old 07-02-08, 01:32 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Awesome!!

Yes weird indeed

Yeah check the TCU for a code
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Old 07-02-08, 05:31 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Somewhere, there's an automatic fuel (pump elec) cutoff (required in USA) for accidents. Seldom is this a factor, but have heard of them kicking in unexpectedly at times. Wondered if your ECU perhaps got stuck in that mode. Just thinking out loud here, don't know anything for sure.

As Sam stated, the S3 blink indicates a Code on the TCU.

btw, the 90LS and 89L ECU's would not be interchangeable in automatics. They're different due to the TCU interface to the ECU since the TCU has input from two speed sensors at the transmission (in automatics). But, if they're both manual transmissions, they may be interchangeable. Not sure about that part.
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Old 07-02-08, 06:14 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Thanks for that info. Not too sure about the fuel cut-off issue. I have the Acura Service Manual for the 89L, but not for the 90LS. (Both automatics, by the way). Not too sure what happened with the ECU ...pulling the fuse didn't seem to work as a "reset" ...perhaps installing it in the 90LS served to reset it. We did not actually "start" the 90LS with the 89L ECU in it ...we just plugged it in and turned the key on, to check for the "ok" code (one red light). I figured out right away that the two ECU's would not be interchangeable ...as the ECU on the 90LS has an extra 10 pin port on the opposite end to the other ports, with a green plug ..uses only 3 wires. No idea what this is doing ...airbags, perhaps? (89L does not have airbags ...90LS has driver-side airbag)

The TCU code is "4" ....indicating a speed sensor problem. Not too sure where to go with that .....
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Old 07-02-08, 11:45 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Does the speedometer work?

Both Code 4 and 9 on the TCU tend to occur when the speedo is jumping around or not working at all.
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Old 07-03-08, 01:48 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Could it be a conflict with the Integra part you got maybe?

Also, the airbag has its own computer (under the stereo i believe...)
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Old 07-03-08, 12:42 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Come to think of it, I never even noticed that the speedometer wasn't working!! ...I was so excited that the engine was running!! It appears that the speedometer cable is not fully plugged in ...and any of you guys who have had this experience will know how much fun it is to get down in there to try to finesse that plug and clip into place. I'll report back when I've got it properly seated. That seems to be the most reasonable explanation, as everything is plugged in, and the transmission was working fine on the old engine. I did remove a couple of the shift solenoids to check if they needed cleaning (they didn't ..after 380,000 kms, that's quite remarkable!!!) ...and I'm pretty sure I didn't mess anything up when I re-installed them. I didn't acutall use the Integra speed sensor / speedometer drive unit ...I only used the "top" of it, which is identical in every way to the Legend one.
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Old 07-03-08, 11:49 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Well ...that was easy!!! It was simply a matter of plugging the speedo cable ALL the way into the speed sensor unit! Problem solved! Thanks for the suggestions from all you "deep thinkers"!!

You know, I'd forgotten how sweet it sounds to have an engine that starts at the flick of the key ....and NO LIFTER TICK!!!! AMAZING!! Can't wait to get plate on the car and take it for a shake-down run!!

My plan now is to do some body-work on the 90LS, get a paint job, and put it on the market. The 89L is my first love ...so I'll also do some body work on her too, and drive her for a couple of more years.

Again, thanks to all the forum members for your support, encouragement and input!!!
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Old 07-03-08, 11:54 PM   #14 (permalink)
 
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Great work digger ...I'm glad it all worked out for you!
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