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Rattling near distributor housing

Old 08-13-2005, 12:44 AM
gkitf16's Avatar
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Default Rattling near distributor housing

Taking care of some maintenance for my '95 Civic LX D15B7. I've had a noise which seems to be coming from the area of the base of the distributor, been doing this for a long time. It is noticeable if you gently rev it just above idle, you hear a clattering/rattling sound from near the distributor base. If you increase rpm further it seems to become quieter. Not really heard at idle, just when speeding up from idle.

I pulled and inspected the distributor, no play in the shaft base, not leaking oil into the housing, no metal shavings or contamination inside, nice & pretty. Not sure if the shaft is riding in a bearing, or does it simply go thru a plain sleeve bushing & oil seal there? If it's a bearing, and it were going out, can it be replaced, or do you have to get a whole new dist? [sm=jawdrop.gif]Haven't pulled the shaft out of the body, gave it a good side to side yank, no looseness. Hopefully nothing there is going south on me, just don't understand this noise, want to know and correct the cause [sm=ummmmokay.gif].

I'm gonna have to remove the valve cover this weekend to replace the sparkplug seal grommets anyway, #3's leaking and gunking up the plug porcelain, occasional misfire and mileage is down, poor ignition there. Got a set of NGK G-Power's to complete the work, also got to check wires for resistance. Valve clearances need to be checked, been about 30K since last time. This is my 1st time to do this. Any special technique, fairly straightforward, mainly patience & finesse/careful adjustment?
Old 08-13-2005, 01:41 AM
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Default RE: Rattling near distributor housing

adjusting valve lash SUCKS the first few times. you will drive yourself crazy with it. my advice is to follow a manual EXACTLY. and the engine has to be overnight-cold to do it right.

as for the rattles, at 30k since your last adjustment, you shouldnt have too much audible noise from them, and im thinking it might be detonation. check the ignition timing ASAP. and try filling up with premium and see if it gets better.
Old 08-13-2005, 01:31 PM
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Default RE: Rattling near distributor housing

Just got done with the valve clearance check, waited overnight for stone cold. I ran a feeler thru each rocker, and they were all within spec, or less than .001" off, a few intakes were at .009", all the exhausts and the rest were about perfect, so I left them alone. Whoever did it last time did it right. No play anywhere in the valvetrain by feel, nothing loose. Timing belt looked good and was clean & dry. One major P.I.T.A. was right when I was getting started, I went to remove the plug wires. #3 grommet had been weeping oil into the tube, and the sorry rubber tube seal came off the plug wire stick (MSD 8.5mm set, too bad! [sm=boosign.gif]) and was left on the plug insulator down inside the rocker tube [sm=headbang.gif]. CRAP! So I finally found a pair of long tweezers and got the rotten thing out of there [sm=smiley4.gif]. Had to pull the valve cover first, then dig with tweezers. Otherwise, there was no way to get a socket on that plug ever until that rubber piece came out first. Guess the oil finally worked its way between the tube and stick. Ran a shoprag down each tube and cleaned them up real nice, wasn't really too bad. I've decided to replace with a fresh set of good-quality wires now anyway, now that the fresh tube grommets are in place.

The timing is OK, no ping at any time. I always burn 89 midgrade, it will ping a little on cheap 87 regular, I'm sure that's not an issue. New radiator, hoses and thermostat recently, temps are always on the money, never runs hot. I recall on my previous Civic, I eventually had to replace the distributor because of the same type of noise I described, think a bearing went bad. Is there any way to get replacement bearings or bearing/shaft set, w/o having to pay $$$ for a whole new unit? The electronics are still functional and could be swapped into a reman body with a fresh rotating ***'y. Maybe this is a regular problem for high-mileage Civics?

A few photos during the job. Not too bad for 139K miles? Most of it running Amsoil 0W-30 Series 2000 & filter. Change filter every 6,000 miles, drain oil every 12,000. Costs about the same as dino oil every 3,000 miles. Not a scratch on the cam lobes, like chrome, still looks like brand new, but it's original!

Old 08-30-2005, 09:59 PM
Join Date: May 2004
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Default RE: Rattling near distributor housing

[:-]dont want to worry you atall but i have a 95 delsol vti. always had a firm right foot but any noise investigated to extreem. i was driving to meet a potential buyer of my delsol when i began to hear a metalic rattle coming from the distributer end of the engine.and the temp. began to rise. my car ran exactly on half all the time under normal condition only rising when given a real hard thrashing (on vtech band max most of the time) when it would reach three quarters i stopped as soon as it began to reach red, let car cool topped up water and headed home,slowely. the rattle became very loud, stopping when clutch dipped, only to restart when released.
i managed to get 8 miles before, with a loud crack, the engine locked up. towed it home and began to check. firstly the cambelt,new and adjusted ok.removed sump to check big ends. all clean intact a seemed ok. removed gearbox,engine still locked up. removed crank with pistons in one block ok , number 4 piston rigid on crank, this was caused by a large piece of big end bearing from no 4 conrod being wedged between conrod and journal. bullet proof ? i dont think so . learning experience ? oh yes always check your rattles out and dont believe everything people tell you.
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