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98 civic was driving then wouldnt accelerate while driving

While I was driving, I was shifting into 4th gear and it wouldn’t accelerate, I would give it gas, shift into every other gear, and no acceleration, MPH gauge stayed at 0 while giving it gas and in every gear I could shift into while going about 40-45mph but still no acceleration. I pulled over and shut off the car, popped the hood and noticed one of the distributor plugs came off. I plugged it back in, then noticed the plug wasn’t getting a good connection. this didn’t seem to be the problem and re-assembling and fixing the plug to get a good connection after plugging back in. I tried to turn over engine, engine would sound like it would want to turn over, but did not turn over. 5 speed converted transmission B-18 motor from automatic transmission. I’ve always smelled a strong odor of gas everytime I start it and was driving it. Not sure at all what the problem is??? I tried push starting it, I checked all drive axels and assemblies of clutch and shifter. no signs of any problems. HELPPPPP!!!

So let’s get this straight.

You installed an engine for an automatic transmission vehicle into a vehicle with a manual transmission?

If so, did you also swap out the Engine Control Module?


How long have you owned this beast?

How many miles on it?

How old is the timing belt?

no my cousin bought it off some guy, I don’t really know too much about it, but it was swapped from an automatic trans to a manual b-18 and yes the ECM was swapped I’m assuming…?

Timing belt I’m assuming as well is in good condition and I think theres like 170k miles on the motor…

owned it since last Wednesday… FML!

There’s no engine swap involved, right? The only change to the engine compartment configuration was that an automatic was swapped out for a 5 speed manual. And this problem only started long after that swap occurred, right?

Ok, given all that … hmmm … are you sure it isn’t the clutch that’s slipping? When you give it gas at 40 mph in 4th, does the engine rpm go up like you’d expect, but the vehicle speed doesn’t increase? If so, that’s likely a slipping clutch problem. Easy enough to fix, but a lot of labor involved so sort of expensive.

I’m not sure what you mean by “one of the distributor plugs came off”. ??? I’m assuming a 98 Civic uses a conventional distributor where there’s 4 spark plug wires goint from the dizzy cap to the spark plugs. If one of those fell off, you should really notice that big time. Are you saying you didn’t notice a really rough idle and missing during accelerations? If so, whatever fell off must not have been a spark plug wire. Maybe you can elucidate this point further, as it is likely related to the cranks but won’t start problem you are having currently.

Engine was running, you shut it off, plugged something into distributor, now it don’t run.

Have you tried unplugging it?

You Assume the ECM has been changed.
You Assume the timing belt has been changed.
You Assume the car is safe to drive with a fuel leak.
You Assume the clutch is OK.

Somewhere between the engine and the axle nuts something is broke, transmission is probably going to have to come out.

Start with the basics. Turn over means crank, it does not mean start. pop off the distributor cap and see if the rotor is turning when you crank the engine. If it does, your timing belt has not broken. Next, pull a plug wire and see if you have spark. If you don’t know how, harbor freight has a very inexpensive spark checker that you put between the wire and spark plug. get the straight one. Since this is fuel injected I think you should take it to a mechanic to troubleshoot aftre that.

You really can’t assume stuff like this, because especially with the timing belt, if you’re wrong you will assume yourself straight into a destroyed engine. If there are no maintenance records available, then the only safe assumption is that none of the required maintenance was done, and you need to change the timing belt right now because it’s about 80,000 miles overdue.

BTW to the rest of the people reading this, it’s an engine swap. The '98 Civic did not come with a B18. It sounds like the donor car was an automatic.

If you’re smelling a strong odor of gas, then you either have a fuel leak, you’re running rich, or a cylinder isn’t firing. If the engine was smooth before all this started, then the third choice probably isn’t right.

A fuel leak is possible, but I’d guess you’re running rich, and I’d guess a possible reason for that is that whoever did the swap missed an oxygen sensor connection, or broke it, or put in a ZDYNE or Hondata ECU and failed to tune it properly.

Do that long enough and you’ll end up with a plugged cat, which can cause the car to stop running right, if at all.