Seriously. I took the Honda out last night to try and figure out why the fuel starvation issue suddenly came back when I adjusted the timing. After removing the carb, adjusting the float, changing the air filter, and reorienting the carb the problem should have gone away.
But it hadn’t.
So I, I think quite reasonably, decided to put the timing back where it was before I adjust the timing. Not hard, I’d made a mark so I could do just that.
Ok... now it is idling like shit, but driving fine.
Makes sense, I guess, iirc I had to pull the idle way down when I adjusted the timing the first time. So I start cranking it up an irresponsible amount and it is still idling like shit.
Ok... lets just put it back to factory timing because this is weird and hasn’t gone well.
Still idling like shit.
At this point I feel like I’ve entered the Twilight Zone. No adjustment of the idle screw is helping, even though the mix had previously worked with both timings. Out of desperation I tweak the idle mix and suddenly the engine is happy as a clam, running a much leaner mix than before, and gained about 1000 rpm of idle... which it a different problem entirely. Also the idle is now hunting slightly.
Does any of that make sense? No.
If I’d somehow introduced a vacuum leak that would make it want to run rich, not lean. Or, rather, I would expect to need to richen up the mix, not lean it out.
Oh... and the distributor is no longer in the same spot as it was the last time I’d adjusted it.
And it still has the fuel starvation issue.
I know I’ll get this eventually and hopefully I’ll have learned something, but right now it feels like everything I do makes this car worse. Woe is me, woe is me, bellyache, bellyache, etc etc...
Alright... now that we have my sad sackness out of the way...
Time to throw parts at the problem.
If I were guessing, I’d say the two problems are unrelated. This new timing/ mix issue could be a lot of things, but my focus is on the ignition system. The fuel starvation, however, it probably all in fuel delivery.
The obvious thing I need to do is check fuel pressure and flow. There is no reason I am avoiding this, I just am. That will be tonight’s project. Depending on the outcome of that I’ll look into either adding an electric fuel pump, external fuel pressure regulator, or both.
I also just found out this car has a condenser, which is a surprise considering it has an electronic ignition. Either way, that was missed when I was doing the tune up. For $20 that seems like cheap peace of mind, though, again, not certain what the point of it is.
Related, this could be a bad or failing ignition module. Similarly cheap, I have one of those on order too. Throw in a new reluctor and that should be a pretty good refresh for the dizzy. Shaft play was in tolerance and the vacuum advance was working when I checked, so I’m going to pretend all is well there, for now. New complete assemblies are available for about $200 if it comes to that.
For good measure I’m also going to check valve clearances again. It has been ticking a bit lately and if one of the lock nuts worked its way loose, that could cause all sorts of problems.
I will get this, but I’ll be damned if I’m going to be happy doing it.