Erratic Stuttering

Fourth Generation Honda Prelude topics

Moderators: RedRacer, spiffyguido

White92
Prelude Enthusiast
Posts: 6
Joined: Thu Apr 25, 2013 9:52 am

Erratic Stuttering

Postby White92 » Wed Jul 31, 2013 8:48 am

Hi all,

I'm new to the board and new to imports. I have a base '92 5-speed. I've had it a few months. The timing was really off when I bought it, but I got that fixed asap. Then she's been driving fine until two days ago. All of a sudden I felt a moderate stuttering when trying to accelerate. It's worse in lower RPM's but it's still there in the higher RPM's, just not as bad. It almost feels like misfiring. The CEL has been on since I bought it, just haven't used the paper clip trip to run them yet.
The thing is, that it seems every other time I drive it now it does this. Yesterday morning I took a 30 minute trip and she ran fine. Parked for about 10 minutes, then had to go again. Ran like crap. Went to work, parked for 6 hours, left work, and she ran fine.

The idle has been high since I bought it as well. On start up it's around 1500. Yesterday when it was running like crap, I was at a stop light and it was idling around 400-500 at one point. I'm not sure what's normal.

I did stop at O'Reilly and troubleshooted with those guys. One guy suggested the TPS, another popped the hood and said the wires were shot. Other than the timing I haven't really popped the hood. The person I bought it from said he'd just replaced a bunch of stuff including the plugs and wires, but O'Reilly guy said no. So I did go ahead and purchase plugs and wires. Can't hurt. I'm going to start there.

Anyone run into anything similar?

Thanks!

User avatar
RedRacer
Moderator
Posts: 532
Joined: Sat Nov 19, 2005 10:38 pm
Prelude Model: 1995 Si w/mods
Location: Alabama

Re: Erratic Stuttering

Postby RedRacer » Wed Jul 31, 2013 5:50 pm

Welcome! Glad to have you here. Hope we can teach you and learn from you as well.

You're on the right track. Start with the easiest, simplest scenario, like plugs, and go from there. This is where I would start if I were you. And yes, had some erratic/rough running issues that were solved by simple fixes like cleaning plugs, changing a fuel filter, making sure the plug wires were on tight, etc.

I'd start with the plugs first. Get NGK plugs for your car. That is what it came with, that is what it is designed for and that is what will give you the best result. NGK ZFR6F-11 for your car. About 4 to 6 dollars (or maybe less) for each one. They're pre-gapped, but it doesn't hurt to check the gap setting on each plug anyway, just in case. Definitely get a tube of anti-seize lube and apply it before threading in the plugs. http://www.permatex.com/products/produc ... ant-detail

Try the plugs, drive it, see if there's an improvement. If not, then hit the wires, don't forget the coil wire as well, and while you're at it, go on and get a distributor cap and new rotor button as well. GET THE PLUGS, CAP AND BUTTON FROM HONDA! Do NOT put cheap, box-store ignition parts on your car. Yes, it cost more, but it's worth it in the long run. I've had Hondas for many, many, many years, and the only time I've ever run into trouble with repairs and maintenance, was when I cut corners and bought crap parts. If you want to save a few bucks, you can order everything from Majestic Honda, a Honda dealer who does mail-order out of Rhode Island. http://www.hondaautomotiveparts.com/aut ... Search.jsp (sometimes the savings are eaten by the shipping costs, so call and compare your costs for parts at your local Honda dealer w/ Majestic plus shipping and see if it's worth the savings or not.

If you need info or help on how to change the plugs, check out the great how-to vids that Spiffy has posted online for Prelude Driver. http://youtu.be/ML1IaeScmAE

White92
Prelude Enthusiast
Posts: 6
Joined: Thu Apr 25, 2013 9:52 am

Re: Erratic Stuttering

Postby White92 » Thu Aug 01, 2013 8:05 am

Thank you for your reply!

I did the plugs and wires yesterday and she's running beautifully! The plugs actually looked fairly new, so I'm suspecting it was the wires. NGK's were in there and that's what I put back in. The wires are Import Direct or something. They were the $40 set from O'Reilly. The distributor is new, but I hadn't noticed what brand it was. I'll definitely keep that in mind though. One of my plugs had oil all over it though. The one closest to the driver's side (#1?) The next two were just the ashy color, and the 4th had maybe just a touch of oil. Thoughts? Valve cover gasket?

My last car was a '94 Supercharged Thunderbird 5-Speed, so I am definitely not adverse to working on my car. That car was beast to diagnose and repair, and expensive to boot. But I loved her.

Thanks again! I'll be back after I pull my codes :)

User avatar
spiffyguido
Moderator
Posts: 2196
Joined: Fri Nov 11, 2005 2:55 am
Prelude Model: 1991 SE-SR
Location: Alberta, Canada
Contact:

Re: Erratic Stuttering

Postby spiffyguido » Sat Aug 03, 2013 8:02 pm

The oil on your spark plugs could be due to a leaky valve cover gasket. Not the main gasket, but the little gaskets that isolate each spark plug channel from the valve cover. We can help you get a part number if you're not sure which ones I'm referring to.

White92
Prelude Enthusiast
Posts: 6
Joined: Thu Apr 25, 2013 9:52 am

Re: Erratic Stuttering

Postby White92 » Sun Aug 04, 2013 7:58 am

A part number would be great!

User avatar
RedRacer
Moderator
Posts: 532
Joined: Sat Nov 19, 2005 10:38 pm
Prelude Model: 1995 Si w/mods
Location: Alabama

Re: Erratic Stuttering

Postby RedRacer » Sun Aug 04, 2013 11:36 am

Majestic Honda online parts (great dealership mail-order parts in Rhode Island) has it listed in their catalog as "Gasket B" pt# - 12342-PT2-000 ----> http://tinyurl.com/luewze7

As well, Sons Honda out of south Atlanta, same number, 60 cents cheaper ----> http://tinyurl.com/mh9nws5

Question though - is the oil on the top of the plug or the bottom? I'm getting from your description, it's bottom - and that could be from leaky valve guides or even worn pistons, which you would know.

Oil around the top of the plug or pooled in the plug-socket-well is more likely due to these O-rings failing.

Is the car blowing blue/cloudy smoke in the morning when you first crank or when the engine is cold?

Suggestion - I had these O-rings fail on my Prelude and decided to replace them..... wasn't paying close attention and messed up the valve cover gasket when reinstalling the cover, crimped it in the corner and didn't know I had done it and ended up throwing oil all over the place.

SO - be REALLY careful in handling/removing and reinstalling your old valve cover gasket, or go ahead and order a new valve cover gasket too, just in case. If you don't need it, then great - you'll have it for surplus next time you DO need it. If you DO have a problem, then you have supply on-hand.

Also, go on and get 4 of these O-rings and replace them all, leaking or not. If one is leaking now, the others are soon to follow.

User avatar
spiffyguido
Moderator
Posts: 2196
Joined: Fri Nov 11, 2005 2:55 am
Prelude Model: 1991 SE-SR
Location: Alberta, Canada
Contact:

Re: Erratic Stuttering

Postby spiffyguido » Tue Aug 06, 2013 9:47 pm

Pro-tip for valve gasket work: A few small dabs of grey permatex do a very good job of holding the gasket in its groove during installation, and it peels right out when you need to replace the gasket. Plus, Honda actually suggests that you put a dab in the sharper angles of the valve cover gasket mounting face to get a really good seal. This just means a tiny dab (half the size of a pea) in each right angle that is at the base of the cam end caps.

White92
Prelude Enthusiast
Posts: 6
Joined: Thu Apr 25, 2013 9:52 am

Re: Erratic Stuttering

Postby White92 » Sun Sep 29, 2013 11:07 am

RedRacer wrote:Majestic Honda online parts (great dealership mail-order parts in Rhode Island) has it listed in their catalog as "Gasket B" pt# - 12342-PT2-000 ----> http://tinyurl.com/luewze7

As well, Sons Honda out of south Atlanta, same number, 60 cents cheaper ----> http://tinyurl.com/mh9nws5

Question though - is the oil on the top of the plug or the bottom? I'm getting from your description, it's bottom - and that could be from leaky valve guides or even worn pistons, which you would know.

Oil around the top of the plug or pooled in the plug-socket-well is more likely due to these O-rings failing.

Is the car blowing blue/cloudy smoke in the morning when you first crank or when the engine is cold?

Suggestion - I had these O-rings fail on my Prelude and decided to replace them..... wasn't paying close attention and messed up the valve cover gasket when reinstalling the cover, crimped it in the corner and didn't know I had done it and ended up throwing oil all over the place.

SO - be REALLY careful in handling/removing and reinstalling your old valve cover gasket, or go ahead and order a new valve cover gasket too, just in case. If you don't need it, then great - you'll have it for surplus next time you DO need it. If you DO have a problem, then you have supply on-hand.

Also, go on and get 4 of these O-rings and replace them all, leaking or not. If one is leaking now, the others are soon to follow.


Thank you! Yeah, the oil is on the bottom & she burns quite a bit of oil.

Sorry for the ridiculously late reply. Life got busy.




Return to “4th Generation 1992-1996”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 5 guests