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honda prelude 1997 engine cranks but won't start

Old 03-08-2019, 08:31 PM
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Default honda prelude 1997 engine cranks but won't start


At first my car started stalling but I was able to restart it. This happen 3 times. I have replaced the PGM-FI main relay, then the fuel pump.

Now the car would crank but it won't start.

Did some troubleshooting:
I just replaced the fuel pump so I know that's good and I can also hear it hum when I turn on the ignition key before I start the car. The car has gas about 1/4 on the gas meter.

I checked for sparks on the spark plugs no spark. Checked the spark on the coil output no spark. I checked the hot wire for the coil after turning the key to ON it has the 12v I couldn't check the trigger voltages. I took the coil out and checked resistance across the primary coil. I forgot the resistance reading but I compared it to a new one and it was the same. The secondary was also in spec at I believe it was 17k ohms. I also tried to replace it with a new coil and still did not give spark. So, I put back my original coil back.
I replaced the Ignition Control Module (ICM). Before I replaced it I compared it to the new one by checking the resistance across the terminals and it was significantly different. After replacing it now I have spark from the spark plugs. But still would not start.

I checked the compression of the engine. I got: valve 1 = 210 psi, 2 = 230, 3 = 260, 4 = 210. I think this is OK right? valve 3 is kind of high compared to the other 3 but I know for sure it has compression.

I also tried to spray starting fluid in the air intake but still no start.

I checked the spark again I noticed that the spark color is orange not blue. So, maybe it's not strong enough? What can cause this?

I also made a mistake earlier I removed the spark plug cables off the distributor and messed up. I forgot which way they connect. But I have tried many different combinations and still can't get it to start.
This is what I have now: looking at the engine from the front of the hood the valves are 4,3,2,1 . So, spark plug #1 is on the right side or the driver side.
Looking at the distributor: top left = 2 , top right = 1, bottom right = 3, bottom left = 4. Here is a picture of that:

I have checked the battery and made sure it was charged.
So, this is what I have done and I am kind of out of ideas. I made sure there is gas, spark, and compression.

Please help!

Thank you,
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Old 04-11-2019, 02:26 AM
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Default Re: honda prelude 1997 engine cranks but won't start

Originally Posted by TimiK
quick what to do list

usually these things fix bad idle or/and hesitations:

- new spark plugs & wires
- new distributor cap & rotor
- new air/fuel filters
- clean injectors/iacv/egr/fitv
- bleed the coolant
- new pcv
- adjust valves and ignition
- adjust idle from tb's screw and throttle cable
- check does sensors work properly: map, iat and tps (and try calibrating tps)
- then check wires, connectors and hoses, check grounds
- check ICM and ignition switch (there was 5th gen repair call for this also)

-check o2 sensors and vacuum/exhaust leaks (check all the seals - IM/header/TB gaskets, injector seals, maybe even buy valve cover gasket set...)
-check timing. after that: double check timing
-is engine light on? check error/engine light codes
-clogged cat might you give some trouble as well (usually when driving) - check cats condition

if none of these seem to work - do compression and leak tests
and if you have chipped ecu and youre running it just with basemap, it might not work as well than properly tuned one

those are basic maintenance as well.

Last edited by TimiK; 04-11-2019 at 08:34 PM.
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Old 04-11-2019, 05:41 PM
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Default Re: honda prelude 1997 engine cranks but won't start

Do you have any trouble codes stored?
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