Good Aftermarket Distributor? / VMS Brand Opinions? - Team Integra Forums - Team Integra
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post #1 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-17-2016, 08:18 PM Thread Starter
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Good Aftermarket Distributor? / VMS Brand Opinions?

I'm looking for a good replacement distributor for my obd1 b18c1. Any recommendations? Anyone have experience with the "VMS" branded ones on eBay??

VMS Racing High Performance Polished Distributor Coil 92 95 Civic vtec Billet | eBay

Its pretty much the best sounding one I can find.. Billet housing, ball bearing shaft "guides" (bearing?), upgraded vms branded coil & rotor, and supposedly high quality hall effect sensors. So all in all, it sounds like it ought to be made better than the run of the mill china replacements. It doesn't say anything about the ICM tho, which tends to be a major problem with aftermarket units, but I'm thinking that, worse case scenario, I can buy an OE ICM for it, and come out at about the same pricepoint as I would if they still sold complete OE distributors thru Honda. $400 +/- (ouch!). Just wondering if it would be worth it.

Last edited by double b26; 05-17-2016 at 08:31 PM.
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post #2 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-17-2016, 08:59 PM
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I can't speak for anything except what I have personally bought/used, but I bought this complete distributor off this particular seller and it's been rock solid for almost two years now. Perfect fit, works great, and I'm not exactly easy on my car at all.

Current stock by him:

http://stores.ebay.com/onestopandsho...8C+distributor

Exactly what I bought:






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post #3 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-17-2016, 10:48 PM
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I have one under my hood, as does @ILxIntegra . They're good. X2/x3 for the suggestion above.

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post #4 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-17-2016, 11:16 PM
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Yep, for the $90.00 I've paid, I can't ask for better from a dizzy. My ICM crapped itself during the winter, replaced the dizzy with this. If Z can run his car just fine with it, yours will be good too.

Now if only they made good aftermarket IACVs...
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post #5 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-18-2016, 01:45 AM Thread Starter
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Definitely appreciate the input. So is there a certain manufacturer that makes these, or any obvious differences between it and all the others that look identical? I'm just a bit skeptical cause mine looks identical, and was also around $100. Different seller tho.

I'm actually on my third in total. First was on the car when I got it, and lasted another year or so before the bearing locked up. But up to that point, it worked fine.

Second was another ~$100 unit, and it started filling the cap with oil within a month or so. Pulled seals from #1 , but found that the seal seat had been milled down to the point where the seat metal was super thin and had hairline fractures in it. Layer on I found that the shaft length was slightly shorter than the others so the seal seat was milled by the manufacturer to make the shaft fit.

Third was yet another ~$100 job, which my car barely idled with until I compared the hall effect sensors and noticed they were misaligned, which I corrected. It works, but keeps going they ICMs, even with PC grade thermal paste. I've tested wiring and cleaned grounds, but didn't help any.

So I tried swapping part between them all to make one good one, but found differences in shaft length and crank key pin diameters, so long story short, couldnt get a good combo of parts to make it work. So I'm back to #3 , and have gotten to the point where I have a spare ICM from parts store with lifetime warranty, which I use to swap in when the ICM fails, then return the bad one to the store (all look identical), and put it back in my hatch for the next failure. Been repeating this process for quite a while now. Its gotten old at this point.

So anyway, that's the story, and why I've been looking for something that'll last, even if I have to get raped on the price
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post #6 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-18-2016, 09:28 AM
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The mechanics of the dizzys are well sorted and commoditized. They're all about the same. The coil and the ICM are where the durability comes from, and the grade that's used in the ones the three of us have seems to be a notch above the average.
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post #7 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-19-2016, 12:35 AM Thread Starter
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Yep esp the ICM from my experience. Let me ask, does anyone know of a good non-oe ICM? Because that seems to be my biggest problem at the moment.

I have a few ICMs from the various dizzys I've went thru, some black and some a tan or brownish color, but all seem to be the same low quality, and there are no identifying letters or numbers on them to see who makes them or anything. The one I bought was $50 at autozone (duralast brand), and just as poor quality as the rest have been. I also noticed that some of the duralast ones have been black and some have been tan/brown, so I'm inclined to think they're coming from the same factory as the ones in the junk distributors. I know that Napa often has higher quality parts than the 'discount' parts stores, so just wondering if they might have a better ICM also... Or if there's some other place that does. Any ideas about that?. I'm just trying to weigh my options before I decide on anything.
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post #8 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-19-2016, 09:40 AM
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The only ICMs I've ever bought that were any good came from Honda. With the associated pricetag.
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post #9 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-25-2016, 06:12 PM Thread Starter
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Yeah, that's what I've heard too.

Anyway, despite my apprehension, I took the plunge and bought the distributor that you guys recommeneded. Hopefully it holds up! I just ordered it today tho, so can't comment on quality or whether it works properly.

While I'm here, where are you getting your ICMs and coils from?. Only from Honda? I'd like to know of a good source just in case I run into problems later on.

Autozone screwed me on the ICM I bought from them because their counter boy didn't put the exchanged on under my name, so even tho I have the part in a duralast box, and its lifetime warranty, they won't exchange it cause it not in their system showing I bought it. The receipts they give you are 'burnt' on to the paper, not printed with ink, and as usual after a year or so, its faded out so bad that they can't read or scan the codes to find my purchase of the part that way either. So needless to say, I won't be going back to them for my parts needs.

Last edited by double b26; 05-25-2016 at 07:20 PM.
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post #10 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-31-2016, 03:35 PM
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This exact same distributor has been used successfully on 400+ RWHP Honda/Acura series engines with complete reliability.


that's a little concerning
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post #11 of 22 (permalink) Old 06-01-2016, 05:26 PM Thread Starter
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Im was just leary about it cause it looks the same as the rest, and still cheap, but im taking everyones word that its a good one. I got it installed and so far so good. There was a littke bearing chatter on first start, but it quickly went away.. Like 30 seconds after, and hasnt made any more odd noises. Cars running well, so im pleased with it. Thanks to everyone for the advise and assurances.

On another positive note, it fixed my weird timing issue too. That last dist wouldnt let me advance it enough to be in proper ignition timing.. Was fully advanced and still retarded, by a lot. Went thru all the possibilities with a fine tooth comb, several times, and everything always checked out. I suspected the distributor being the culprit from the get-go, but no one had ever heard of such a thing, so looked at everything else, but low-and-behold, my hunch was right. Its right in the good zone now (have it set at 2 degree advance), so im very happy about that!!
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post #12 of 22 (permalink) Old 06-10-2016, 08:38 PM
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Instead of getting a replacement, try to see if you need a ICM module or ignition coil. It's much cheaper going this route.
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post #13 of 22 (permalink) Old 06-12-2016, 06:20 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nvturbo View Post
Instead of getting a replacement, try to see if you need a ICM module or ignition coil. It's much cheaper going this route.
I needed a new one entirely. Last one wouldnt go in time. Had also swapped icms and coils more than once, but the icms kept going out after a short time too, and coils didn't make a difference. So idk what the deal was... just an all around pos. This new one that these guys recommended is still holding strong tho, so id recommend it too. If icm and/or coil ever fail I'm gonna buy OE ones from Honda to replace with. Tired of dealing with the cheap stuff that doesn't last, so just have to suck it up and pay the premium price
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post #14 of 22 (permalink) Old 06-12-2016, 08:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by double b26 View Post
I needed a new one entirely. Last one wouldnt go in time. Had also swapped icms and coils more than once, but the icms kept going out after a short time too, and coils didn't make a difference. So idk what the deal was... just an all around pos. This new one that these guys recommended is still holding strong tho, so id recommend it too. If icm and/or coil ever fail I'm gonna buy OE ones from Honda to replace with. Tired of dealing with the cheap stuff that doesn't last, so just have to suck it up and pay the premium price
All this time, I have only bought one aftermarket (non-Genuine Honda) distributor. I believe it was from eBay ....Distributor King if I'm not mistaken.
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