89 Civic D15b 4 spd. High Nox fails Calif. smog - Honda-Tech - Honda Forum Discussion

89 Civic D15b 4 spd. High Nox fails Calif. smog

Old 10-25-2018, 06:58 PM
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Default 89 Civic D15b 4 spd. High Nox fails Calif. smog

Full service with new Cat, O2 sensor, filters air and oil change, new plugs. Told perfect running fuel air ratio readings with HC and NO but too high with Nox like 1,140 vs 799 max here in Calif.
Under the hood at the hood latch area a tag with Canada on it plus it has no EGR valve as read on the internet of a EGR plus its location.
No vacuum with an electrically controlled EGR unit to be found just an aluminum unit with coolant hoses attached to it at the "EGR location".
Now past due temp registration tag requiring a smog test. Failed test had almost 19* BTDC, retarded it to 14.25* BTDC. All other plumbing and air intake tubes are in place.
Any tips or clues on 8-88 production date Civic to pass a California smog? THX's.....~~=o&o>.....
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Old 10-26-2018, 10:51 PM
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Default Re: 89 Civic D15b 4 spd. High Nox fails Calif. smog

get an illegal smog
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Old 10-27-2018, 12:35 AM
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Default Re: 89 Civic D15b 4 spd. High Nox fails Calif. smog

Believe me acmoc that has across our minds several times here in good old Kalifornia.
Years ago when 60's era vehicles required smog tests I converted a Holley 2 barrel (pig carb) vehicle to throttle body.
Ran better, cleaner numbers (I have an old EPA 75 machine with scope) with better gas mileage but NO I failed the visual inspection. WTF??
Must reinstall the 2 barrel. Another vehicle in the 80's I was offered a "telephone smog" for $50 while the vehicle was kept in storage on blocks just send the vin and plate numbers over the phone.
Back to the future or present day now dealing with "Test Only" stations. One vehicle now requiring "Test Only" runs too clean with the performance chip, cam, ported heads, intake plus exhaust manifolds ported with high flow cats and a Borla cat back system. Go figure? It gets "tweaked" back TPS to a good running F/A ratio with a cold ram air ducting again. A two minute conversion. A 95 for a reason.
Thanks.....~~=o&o>.....
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Old 10-27-2018, 07:05 AM
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Default Re: 89 Civic D15b 4 spd. High Nox fails Calif. smog

You failed because your timing was too high. Set your timing to 16*, not 18, not 14.25, 16*.
You also gave almost zero usable information, posting a pic of your test results will make sure all the information needed is there for someone to help you.

There is no such thing as too clean. It's pass or fail.
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Old 10-28-2018, 08:13 PM
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Default Re: 89 Civic D15b 4 spd. High Nox fails Calif. smog

The engine may be running lean -- measure the fuel pressure.

Or the cat is bad.

As mentioned, definitely post the emissions sheet.
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Old 10-28-2018, 10:03 PM
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Default Re: 89 Civic D15b 4 spd. High Nox fails Calif. smog

+1 on the timing. Make sure it is dead on.
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Old 10-28-2018, 10:16 PM
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Default Re: 89 Civic D15b 4 spd. High Nox fails Calif. smog

Originally Posted by Chrisfrom1986 View Post
There is no such thing as too clean.
OP likely meant "too lean".
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Old 11-07-2018, 01:04 PM
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Default Re: 89 Civic D15b 4 spd. High Nox fails Calif. smog

Sorry for this late reply, I had health issues.
The Civic passed Ca. smog after resetting timing to 12* (smog tech suggestion) plus pumping up the front tires to over 55 psi. The Nox squeaked below the maximum allowed.
Since owning it it would randomly pop a "Code 4" and run in limp mode aka gutless low power. Flick the ignition on /off a couple times it would clear and run normal again.
Had replaced the bad Cat with MagnaFlow unit which fits like crap contacting the oil pan as well the two bolt flange to exhaust system a 1 1/2" gap, too short plus the
two flanges do not run parallel to each other, off by 7* to 8* angle difference, quality control????
This Civic from HELL, located a speedo cluster that had a tach as this Civic didn't have one.
Now the tack follows the the left blinker between blinks plus a "Code 4". Crank 5 seconds before it starts then dies after 3-4 seconds running.
Reinstalled original speedo cluster without tach, same problem starting with a "Code 4".
Installed a spare distributor, told it was a good one, nope same problem, "Code 4" , cranking a long time then runs 3 seconds and dies.
Any advice would be great as street sweeper and cops will tow in a couple days.
Too many hours and money spent to give up on this Civic from hell rescue, any clues??????
THKs everyone.
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Old 11-07-2018, 09:03 PM
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Default Re: 89 Civic D15b 4 spd. High Nox fails Calif. smog

Code 4 is crankshaft position sensor related. The sensor is in the distributor. You will need to check wiring and make sure all is good. I am not sure if you have to replace the whole distributor assembly to fix this. Someone else may chime i n.
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Old 11-07-2018, 10:37 PM
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Default Re: 89 Civic D15b 4 spd. High Nox fails Calif. smog

Originally Posted by arries289 View Post
Code 4 is crankshaft position sensor related. The sensor is in the distributor. You will need to check wiring and make sure all is good. I am not sure if you have to replace the whole distributor assembly to fix this. Someone else may chime i n.
We already installed a so called good spare distributor with the same results, crank for several seconds then fires up and runs 4-5 seconds then dies again. Repeated restarts with same results.
As with my the first thread question I stated the distributor was replaced with a good spare distributor from a 89 Civic being parted out.
Thanks, we'll be watching for any new replies on this forum.
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Old 11-07-2018, 10:45 PM
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Default Re: 89 Civic D15b 4 spd. High Nox fails Calif. smog

Originally Posted by arries289 View Post
You will need to check wiring and make sure all is good.
This^

Test both CKP wires for a short to ground or an open. If both wires are fine, replace the ECU.
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Old 11-08-2018, 10:18 AM
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Default Re: 89 Civic D15b 4 spd. High Nox fails Calif. smog

Originally Posted by muellersfan View Post
This^

Test both CKP wires for a short to ground or an open. If both wires are fine, replace the ECU.
Muellersfan, what kind of resistance readings should I have when testing the CKP sensor???
So far all I keep reading is Honda engines with the CKP sensor mounted externally at the crank shaft not the CKP inside the distributor like this 89 Civic 1500.
Then I could test with the digital meter to determine the condition of the two distributors in our posession.
THX bro, off to pick-n-pull asap if I had CKP resistance numbers to compare.

BTW which sensor is it in the distributor as there is one up top against the 4 lobes, yeah ignition trigger 4 cylinder I get it, below it a sensor at the bottom of the distributor against a plastic looking wheel with what looks like 20 long spokes near that sensor.
Resistance reading numbers with a good CKP sensor??????
again thanks.

Last edited by Sucks2bMe; 11-08-2018 at 12:29 PM.
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Old 11-08-2018, 11:57 AM
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Default Re: 89 Civic D15b 4 spd. High Nox fails Calif. smog

Originally Posted by Sucks2bMe View Post
Muellersfan, what kind of resistance readings should I have when testing the CKP sensor???
So far all I keep reading is Honda engines with the CKP sensor mounted externally at the crank shaft not the CKP inside the distributor like this 89 Civic 1500.
Then I could test with the digital meter to determine the condition of the two distributors in our posession.
THX bro, off to pick-n-pull asap if I had CKP resistance numbers to compare.
CKP = Crank sensor inside distributor

Your distributor swapping suggests the distributor is fine.

Therefore, test the two Crank/CKP wires the run between the distributor plug and the ECU plug.
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Old 11-09-2018, 12:20 AM
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Default Re: 89 Civic D15b 4 spd. High Nox fails Calif. smog

Originally Posted by muellersfan View Post
CKP = Crank sensor inside distributor

Your distributor swapping suggests the distributor is fine.

Therefore, test the two Crank/CKP wires the run between the distributor plug and the ECU plug.
Both distributors including one at Pick-n-Pull's today adventure all had the same resistance readings.
Two sensors each dizzy of 366 and 372 ohms, other connector readings 2.2K ohms each dizzy. It also starts right away vs cranking over several cylinders over compression.
Just for a laugh I primed the intake, zoom zoom until the prime was consumed.
Dog gone fuel pump relay under the driver's side dash randomly making contact when energized when cycling the ignition switch plus banging on it allowing the fuel pump to receive power.
Of all goofy things to happen.
Also removed the angled tin plate under the intake cover to the throttle body unit seems to allow the engine to run better as well now idles down lower at a solid rpm.
Wire color combinations at the distributor, no two the same working with three distributors.
Again thanks until next time with another problem as a sure bet this 1500 Honda from Hell will strike back again.
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