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Discussion Starter #1
As I wrote in a previous tread “Do not use WD-40 to clean the EGR Valve” I still support this theory. Sorry if I repeat myself, however I would like to summarize my knowledge and experience. Hopefully someone will be able to benefit or at least understand how the EGR Valve performs. Couple of months back as a newbie I had the bad experience using WD- 40 as a solution to my jerkiness as we all experience at one point in our Insights. All I did read was buying a new one or cleaning/soaking the EGR valve in WD- 40 for over a night. I truly believe this is NOT the solution to our problem, instead it might worsen the hesitation of the car due to the oily stuff that WD- 40 contains. Once the WD-40 penetrates into the potentiometer /pot/ inside the valve /the top black plastic part/ that’s were the problem gets worsen. In the following FIVE steps I tried to explain how to clean or repair the EGR Valve.

First step Clean EGR Plate
Second step Soak EGR Valve
Third step Open Repair EGR Valve
Forth step Open Repair EGR Valve / cutting the wipe by 5mm/
Fifth step Drilling A Hole / update on the hole/

FIRST:

I do recommend you clean the EGR plate and then attempt to clean the EGR Valve or Repair it. The EGR Plate is know to trap a lot of the carbon from the bad gasoline. As I recall in my ‘86 and in my girls ‘88 Accord manuals, Honda do recommends 91 or higher octane that means premium gas. I drove mine for over 200K never had carburetor or engine problems. I think that the Insight’s ‘00 manual also do recommends 90 octane or higher. Higher octane therefore better and complete burn in the chamber and less gas/carbon to deposit in the emissions. To remove the EGR plate you need to unbolt five bolts 12mm. The upper 3 are easy to work on the lower two are the though once. Here are my pictures of mine EGR Plate full with carbon deposit.

Imageshack - 00001egrvalvehondainsig
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After cleaning my EGR plate there was still hesitation and jerkiness occasionally.

SECOND:

You can try to clean by soaking the EGR Valve as many insightcentral.net readers and tread posters did, however I do not recommend using WD-40 again because of the oily stuff that the WD-40 contains. Before I continue I would like to thanks DEVIN1955 who did shipped and supply me with his used EGR Valve for this demonstration and experiment. Also thanks to RETEPSNIKREP check out his tread and study the pictures he has posted: He was my best inspiration to try to fix internally the EGR Valve.

http://www.insightcentral.net/forums/modifications-technical-issues/11346-egr-valve-unveiled-some-repair-ideas.html

You can see that the pot is getting contaminated with debris and instead being cleaned we add more oil with WD-40 and reduce the contact between the pot wiper/brush and the carbon path/track.


THIRD:

You can try open the EGR Valve and repair it as I did. Find a thin regular screw driver and work around the EGR Valve till the metal bracket comes out.

Imageshack - 00010egrvalvehondainsig
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Once you start pulling the pot/black plastic part on the top be careful with the o-ring because it is very weak and it might break or fall a part as RETEPSNIKREP did.

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Pull little harder and the valves wires will pop out and separate from the pot. Letter just solder some wire to the pot with the valve and you are good to go. Once the pot is in your hand you don’t have to drill any holes as RETEPSNIKREP suggested because the lower part of the pot is attached by epoxy.

Imageshack - 00013egrvalvehondainsig
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Here is top view of what it looks like and you don’t have take a part any thing else.

Imageshack - 00015egrvalvehondainsig
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Next eight photos are to show you the groves in the carbon path where the wipes were moving up and down.

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After examining the carbon path clean it with CRC can “QD Electronic Cleaner” that can be purchased at Wal-Mart for $4.67 + tax.

Imageshack - 00025egrvalvehondainsig

Next seven pictures are showing the wipe so you can see the dirt on it.

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I though for a long time what to do and how to fix the EGR Valve cheaply.

FORTH:

To fix the EGR Valve I suggest: cut the wipe by 5mm to make it shorter so the wipe will have brand new unused tracks.

Imageshack - 00033egrvalvehondainsig

As you can see the marked grooves are only about 35% from the whole carbon path in the pot. The portion above the marks is nice and untouched. Once you’ve done the above you can reassemble the valve and you are good to put it back in the car. I would like to say after the repair DEVINS1955 95K miles used EGR Valve performs very good and smooth without any hesitation

FIFTH:

You can try to drill a hole on the top of the EGR Valve to improve cleaning by spaying solution in to the hole and exercise the valve up and down for better cleaning. Big thanks to MIKEMO he got around and figure out how to reach the pot without taking it a part by drilling a small hole on the top of the valve using 3/32 a drill bit. Now I suggest drilling the hole not in the center but a bit further from the center. In the outer center.

Imageshack - 00034egrvalvehondainsig
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Good luck and keep us posted with your solutions, experience and experiments.

Credit: Insightcentral.com, RETEPSNIKREP, DEVIN1955, MIKEMO
 

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Awesome post...love the pics. I also like your idea of repositioning the wiper.
Have you considered adding a 'padding' resistor inline to electrically displace the wiper on its' track? This might be quicker and easier.
 

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I would think that "shortened" wiper would now have a totally different resistance and alter the "map" of EGR operation. This is unless the system can "learn" what the real position is during warm up "readiness check". Nice job on the pictures.
 

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ASFAIK the wiper position is not an absolute value in the ECM, so moving the wiper on the track should be fine within reason. The EGR pot is not a high precison device and manufacturing tolerances would make an absolute position system quite flaky IMO.

You can't add a resistor to the end of the track for the same reason as the ECM learns and the position is relative to valve opening and feedback it gets from others sensors.

So even of you added a 1k resistor to the end of the pot, I expect it would still work on the worn part of the track. Moving the wiper to a virgin portion of track seems the best way.

I had not thought of cutting the rod which is a good idea if a little permanent!!
So long as the pot still retains enough travel, return spring pressue and wiper contact pressure it should work OK.

We may have now sorted the old EGR issue. Well done it will save us all $200 every few years! :)
 

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The more I looked into it the more brilliant this repair becomes. Indeed during the "readiness check" (felt as a stumble after 1-2 min driving from a cold start) the EGR valve is commanded open and the ECU takes note of the amount of lift that results in a "stumble" and as a result the EGR feedback is calibrated during that check.

Brilliant job insight1
 

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Insight1,

Thanks for all the work you did, in dissecting the EGR valve and related 'variable resistor'.

First of all, the geometry of the pot was not what I expected. The 'linear' parallel tracks were a surprise, but make sense as to the function of the pot.

Now to my question:

The presumption is that keeping WD40 or other 'lubricants' out of the pot is a good thing, right? But I can't help wondering if the presence of some type of lubricant may help elongate the life of the carbon tracking material that is deposited in a very thin layer on the printed circuit board.

As you made very clear in your pictures, the wipers only move over a small portion of the carbon track. Would having some type of liquid to act as a lubricator actually help the track to last longer? Since the wiper movement is so slow, maybe a specialty grease would help? Anything that still allows electrical contact with the carbon track, but reduces sliding friction would be a benefit.

Jim.
 

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Since the wiper movement is so slow, maybe a specialty grease would help? Anything that still allows electrical contact with the carbon track, but reduces sliding friction would be a benefit.

Jim.
Dielectric grease comes to mind but I think any sort of grease would just move out of the way unless the entire cavity was filled to make sure that it was still in the area. I don't think it's the sliding friction as much as how much pressure those little fingers dig in.

To make them less 'sharp' or doing something to them so they don't push as much pressure might extend the life before those deep grooves develop but then it might not have enough pressure to provide good contact which would be another problem possibly created by the solution. It would be a trial and error solution no matter what we try.
 

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It looks like one could skip total "dissy" and op instead for drilling-cleaning and shortening the "push rod" 5mm.:)
 

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Hitech,

Based on your linked article, it does appear that several lubricants do help to preserve the carbon tracks of the studied variable resistor:

Aliten N
Wikson 30

Both lubricants did show an improvement over the dry surface.

Jim.
 

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Insight1
At the bottom when you cut the wipe it has a hole. Did you fill in the hole with something such as apoxy or you left it the way it was.
 

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EGR valve

I think I may have something to add to this thread... I also had this problem a year or two ago. Cleaning did not fix it. After learning the cost to replace the EGR valve, I figured what the heck and took the old one apart. I also noticed the black material stuck to the contact fingers.

Now I have worked in electronics for many years (I am an EE) and I have never seen a variable resistor slider contact that looked like this! Normally the fingers are bent so they are smooth and do not gouge into the resistive element. Think of sliding a spoon back and forth along a flat surface... it won't tend to dig in if you do it bowl side down rather than tip side down. This picture (from the original posting) shows it perfectly:

fingers

After looking at it, I am highly suspicious that the contact pieces are attached upside down (or perhaps bent the wrong way). This would mean that the EGR contact design has been defective from day one. Acting on this suspicion, I carefully bent the fingers around so they presented a smooth rounded surface to the resistive element. I used a pair of needle nosed pliers with a worn gripping surface so I didn't scratch the contact surfaces... you could also cover the pliers with tape or something for this operation. In the process, the fingers were slightly bent so they did not track exactly in the worn part of the resistive element. Cleaned up all the surfaces with contact cleaner and re-assembled.

It has been working perfectly ever since! :cool:

If I am right, perhaps Honda should fess up to this and issue a recall? I tried to call this to their attention, but got nowhere with the dealer and could find no way to do such a thing on their web site... :-? Oh well, it definitely seems fixed now, and I bet it never happens again.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Ok here we go again with another update on our EGR Valves. Thanks to PGREAVES we can turn over the EGR Valve wipes so they can transform into a spoon shape. We don’t need the sharp side of the wipe to scrape into the carbon path. Of course, do not take a new working EGR Valve a part just to fix the problem as mention. Now I suggest instead of using pliers to bent the wipes, simply remove the metal holder with a tiny screwdriver and the wipes come out easy.

http://img35.imageshack.us/img35/7237/00038egrvalvehondainsig.jpg

Once the wipes are free use your fingers to turn them over and you are good to go. Put them back and good luck.

http://img2.imageshack.us/img2/5909/00039egrvalvehondainsig.jpg

http://img195.imageshack.us/img195/3400/00040egrvalvehondainsig.jpg

Please report your experience, that is how we all learn, save and improve.

Thanks
 

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Well, I have been dealing with the jerking a low throttle for a while now. I did the EGR soak in wd40 and cleaned the EGR plate.

Both made a slight difference but neither fixed the problem.

following the information in this thread I took the EGR valve apart expecting to see wipes that would be covered in crud. Mine were actually quite clean.

but since I had taken it apart anyways I flipped the wipes around and put it all back together. so far I have noticed very little if any bucking/jerking. I have only driven about 30 miles around town but it seems like just flipping those around fixed my problem.

also here is some info I got from honda to make sure the bucking is from the EGR:

DTC P1163 Set; Surging, jerking, bucking between 20 and 60 MPH
A faulty EGR valve in an M/T-equipped '00-03 Insight can cause a DTC P1163 (!/F sensor [sensor 1] slow response) to set, the car to surge, hesitate, jerk, or buck between 20 and 60 mph, or both to happen.

To check if the EGR valve is the culprit, unplug its 6P connector and test-drive the car. If the surge or hesitation goes away with this connector unplugged, test A/F sensor 1. If the sensor is OK, then replace the EGR valve and clear the DTC.

With the EGR valve connector unplugged during your test-drive, the ECM/PCM will set DTC P1491 (EGR valve insufficient lift) and the MIL will come on. Make sure you also clear that DTC
 

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It is good to know how the honda guys deal with our EGR problem. I never took the car to them for that matter, but good to know, thanks MTGEEKMAN.
 

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Nice thread, with some good information.
I have also been working in electronics for most of my adult life, and have opened and cleaned hundreds of pots of all types. I never saw a sharp wiper contact on any of them, they all have rounded ball shaped contact ends.
I suspect that the fingers may have also worn down, which is why they do not have the spoon shape?
 

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Can I assume that steady low throttle cruising is where the EGR valve gets most use, and say town driving with a lesser regard for throttle control would use it less?
If that is correct, then it is the peeps who put many motorway miles under their belts that are going to see EGR problems more often.

My 2001 MT car is suffering at 80,000 miles! The first owners 54,000 miles are an unknown, but the rest are gentle frugal highway motoring at about 55 mph. If this is going to happen quite often then I think the suggestion of the erstwhile Mr Perkins to perhaps fit a complete new linear pot outside the standard valve body may be a better long term answer, especially if the system self calibrates to the new pot...and given that new ones are super cheap from your local component supplier I think I will try to go this route.

I will go re-read the retepsnikrep chronicles to get his suggested pot values, but was wondering if anyone has measured the values a new EGR valve gives out at each end of it's stroke, and can tell me how long the stroke is.

 

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Discussion Starter #20 (Edited)
Here we go again in the search to improve or rather fix it cheaply our EGR Valves. In my quest to find some relatively economical and alternative improvement starts at the junk yard. After all the junk yard is like a Disneyworld for adult males despite the fact that pretty regularly I see females or could be she males, who knows? As I was waking one day through the import section I decided to look at the domestic as well and specifically GM models. At first I thought I saw a giant Insight, it turn to be Pontiac Aztec. I looked at the engine bay and there it was, an EGR Valve very similar to our valves. The ring that holds the top black part is very easy removable from the bottom part compare to our insight metal ring. I took the valve and looked the year the car was made, it was ‘00 model. After examination and testing at home the GM EGR Valve potentiometer was identical to ours about 5K ohms. With little fabrication such as shortening the pot wipe with about 5mm and little soldering I did attach the GM pot /top black part/ to our solenoid valve /bottom metal part/. I can proudly say it work just fine. As I said previously the GM and Honda Insight and many more cars EGR Valves are made by WELLS company. On the top of the GM Valve says made in Mexico. What a rollercoaster with this EGR Valves? Good luck, and keep us posted with your results.







 
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