GSR not starting after changing ICM, fuel and spark present - Team Integra Forums - Team Integra
 
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-26-2019, 01:29 AM Thread Starter
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GSR not starting after changing ICM, fuel and spark present

Hey guys, so I've got something really weird going on with my GSR.

I had just replaced the ICM, although the donor was from an older D series I believe, but I heard it shouldn't matter. Got it all hooked up, went to start the car, and as soon as I turned the key all the way, all the power died and the starter didn't even try to engage. Just like a power outage. When I removed the key and tried to start it again, I couldn't even get accessory power. A few minutes of fiddling under the hood later while the key was in the ignition with the door open, I might've moved a battery cable or something and heard the beep warning from the cabin. Tried starting again, and exactly the same thing happened. At this point I put back the old ICM, which still worked, just happened to be giving me some trouble I believe. I still couldn't get any power, as the magic that happened before didn't happen again.

So I went to the fuses under the dash, found the ignition fuse, and although the fuse wasn't blown according to a multimeter, swapping it out fixed the power loss issue. However, instead now I'm having something stranger happen; every time I try to start it, the starter makes a very strange, loud screeching sound, not the typical cyclic sound of a good starter but a constant screeching until I let off the key. Also, every time, about a second into holding the key down, there's a single weird almost drum-like (or 'bass-y' water droplet) sound that I believe is coming from the exhaust; it seems like fuel and spark is fine from my tests, so maybe that's just a byproduct of fuel and spark being present.

Basically, I'm lead to believe something's up with the starter, but I really don't understand how changing the ICM in the distributor can cause what sounds to be a mechanical starter issue. Besides that, ECU? But again I'm not sure that would be causing the symptoms I'm having. Any leads and tips are welcome!
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-26-2019, 08:15 PM
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Perhaps the starter is starting to go coincidentally? I would just try swapping it.


The sound from the exhaust. Did you pump the gas pedal when you tried starting the car and was the engine hot? If so, you likely flooded the chambers with fuel that ignited on its way out instead of getting burned inside the chamber. That would be my guess.

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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-26-2019, 10:50 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Built_not_bought View Post
Perhaps the starter is starting to go coincidentally? I would just try swapping it.


The sound from the exhaust. Did you pump the gas pedal when you tried starting the car and was the engine hot? If so, you likely flooded the chambers with fuel that ignited on its way out instead of getting burned inside the chamber. That would be my guess.
Yeah so I did a bunch more testing today, including taking the starter out and testing it separately. It seems to be working fine, outside of the car at least. After putting it back in and still having no luck, I shorted all the different terminals on it separately and in different combinations, and it definitely is both shooting out the bendix and spinning. About the exhaust sound, no, the gas pedal wasn't down at all; however, when I pull the fuel fuse, that sound doesn't happen any more. That leads to the next strange thing; when I was doing this testing while attached to the engine, I noticed that if both the signal wire and main power wire to the starter were connected, that exhaust sound happened, implying the engine is turning, at least a bit. When only one (or neither) of the spinning or shoot-out was powered, it obviously wasn't engaging the flywheel at all, and no exhaust popping. That's the most confusing part for me; can it be that the starter is partially dead? Because from what I can tell, the sound I hear is it grinding on the flywheel, so I almost feel like maybe it's only shooting out half as far as it should or something.

I'm going to Pick n Pull tomorrow, looks like they might have a starter for it so that's my next move.
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-27-2019, 11:30 AM
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The starter appears to be working correctly only if no load is applied. Hence replacing it shall fix the issue. Let us know how it goes.

Last edited by Built_not_bought; 03-27-2019 at 05:58 PM.
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-30-2019, 03:32 PM Thread Starter
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The starter appears to be working correctly only if no load is applied. Hence replacing it shall fix the issue. Let us know how it goes.
Well, some bad news. I got a new (used) starter, from a manual Integra so it's definitely the right one, and I'm having the exact same problem.

So now I'm lead to believe my issue with the ICM caused some electrical damage elsewhere in the car; do you have an idea what possibly could've happened with that? I assume it's directly connected to the ECU, which worries me cause I'd rather not pay a ton for one of those. Or is this something I'm better off handing to an electronics expert at this point?

I appreciate your help Built!
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-01-2019, 04:45 PM
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Strange indeed. Check that all grounds are intact. You didn't happen to install anodized aluminum washers/chrome allen bolts around the same time you began experiencing these issues? These don't conduct electricity too well and can lead to strange things...

As far as ICM being the cause of the starter "grinding noise" sure seems to be unrelated. Usually a grinding noise is due to either a worn starter bendix, worn flywheel, the starter coming loose or it needs to be shimmed.
In some cases if the starter solenoid is faulty it may cause the starter gear to remain out too long which can cause the starter gear to grind against the flywheel after the engine has started. Also, when the starter is not properly aligned - the starter gear when extending out to engage with the flywheel may create too much contact with the flywheel and cause a very loud grinding sound. Since you already ruled-out the starter, assuming the replacement starter is legit, perhaps its caused by a faulty (prolonged) signal that activates the starter solenoid.

Last edited by Built_not_bought; 04-01-2019 at 04:49 PM.
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-01-2019, 06:25 PM Thread Starter
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Hey again. No new washers or anything like that since before this all happened. I see what you're thinking with the signal; I was thinking something was up with that too, but I did test the signal wire with a multimeter, and it seemed to let off the voltage after the key is let go of.

One new update today; more testing with the multimeter, but this time for resistance. I followed a short guide (from this thread: https://honda-tech.com/forums/acura-...e-draw-2934129) on how to test the starter motor amperage/resistance; even when the signal wire current is flowing with the bendix shot out, the resistance on my main starter connection to any ground (starter body, engine, car frame) is infinite. Or at least, near infinite, considering that I do still get a full voltage reading when set to DCV at the same probe points. And, when testing resistance from the starter body to basically any other ground on the car, there's ~0 resistance. Do you have any idea what this means? I checked all the ground wires too, nothing weird that I can see. This all points to a bad internal starter circuit in my eyes, but considering the replacement didn't work either.. I'm really stumped.

Oh, and one last thing that might mean something; I tested the resistance from the end of the disconnected starter signal wire to ground (no starter involved), and it read ~4.1k Ohms. Is that something concerning, considering it seems to still function properly with the bendix?
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-03-2019, 09:59 PM Thread Starter
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Well, finally some good news. Turns out I was looking in the wrong place; apparently, my starter was functioning, although it did seem to 'grind' less more recently. I took off the valve cover and took a look at my cam gears; one of them (the exhaust I think?) was literally off almost 90 degrees; I'm not sure how my valves didn't turn to mush, but I'm not complaining lol. I guess I'll have to tighten the tensioner, cause I'm assuming that's what caused this. I'm still a little confused on some things, but for now it seems to be running better than ever, so I can't complain. Thanks again for your help Built, I do appreciate your time and effort! Take care
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