Integra - hard start in the cold

I have a 2/89 Acura Integra Hatch 1.8L 5spd. Man. 133k.

In cold temperatures (below 50F), with a cold soaked engine, it takes an excessive crank time (aprx. 30-50 cranks) to get the car to start. In extreme cases it takes so long to start, the batery drops too low to crank and I have to jump with my other car.

Rarely it will throw a DTC 1 (Air Fuel Ratio)

Less rarely, just before starting, the engine will ignite at key off just after cranking for a duration of 1-2 seconds and I can see exhaust escaping from tailpipe and intake at the same time.

Once the vehicle has started it seems to perform just fine.

Once the engine has warmed up, I can turn off and restart normally.

Engine performance is not my strong point and my first thought was the EGR valve, but this vehicle does not have an EGR valve.

I’ve thrown the following parts at the car with no resolution:

Plugs, Wires, Cap + Rotor (Needed anyway)

Ignition Module (Saw a TSB with similar symptoms)

Batery (Now has Optima Red Top)

Fuel Filter

O2 Sensor

Water Temp Sensor

Fuel Pressure Regulator

I’m not sure what part of this engine handles air/fuel at cold like an EGR does.

I’ve officially run out of ideas. Please help!

I can’t figure out what you’re thinking about the EGR. The EGR should be completely inactive both when the car is cold and when it is at idle (or just starting up).

Start by figuring out whether it is a spark (use spark tester or spare plug) or fuel problem (use some starter fluid). Then at least you cut the problem in half and have a starting point.

I admit I could be wrong about EGR Operation. I had always believed it added exhaust gas to intake air when the engine was cold to reduce emissions and that lack of presence of that air would cause the engine to rich out. Hence hard start when cold.

Spark is good. The entire system from ignition module to plugs are new and spark is present at every plug.
I’ll have to try starter fluid.
I can say for sure that rail pressure is correct and regulator is new. Which, if starter fluid works, points me to the injectors. Though I’m not sure if I’d have normal warm operation or starting with a bad injector.

The EGR does add exhaust to the intake to cool the combustion chambers and reduce NOx emissions. But it won’t do anything at all until the engine is at operating temperature and off idle. The only thing one could do is stick open but that would also cause it to run rough.

No matter I suppose since you said the car doesn’t have one.

Starter fluid doesn’t seem to help.

Update: Just had a breakthrough!
Started like crap this morning, had to jump it.

This afternoon, I started it to leave work and it threw a new code.
DTC 9: CYL sensor malfunction.
DTC description describes the CYL sensor as a Cylinder No. 1 position sensor. It is used to signal the computer as to the position of cylinder 1 so the computer can figure sequential fuel injection timing.
This could certainly be a cause to my problems.