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Go Back   REVscene Automotive Forum > Technical Discussion > Maintenance, Engine & Driveline Tech

Maintenance, Engine & Driveline Tech This forum is brought to you by The Speed Syndicate (TSS) in Burnaby.
Discussion of maintaining your engine, transmission, differentails, rear ends, and mods associated with "driveline" parts..

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Old 08-18-2009, 08:37 PM   #1
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TDC required when changing timing belt?

hi fellas, so this weekend im changing the timing belt in my 03 civic si. The ghey haynes manual states that I need to bring the engine to TDC before starting... on a distributor-less engine not a quick task. Now, this got me thinking, If I ignore this instruction, and instead once all the engine front covers are off, wont I be able to bring the engine to TDC by rotating the crankshaft, aligning the pointer arrow and noting the camshaft pulley "top or up" mark is in the "up" spot? Isnt that TDC?

I dont want to buy a compression gauge if I dont need to. Is the manual creating more work for no reason?
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Old 08-18-2009, 08:41 PM   #2
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once the upper timing cover is off you can rotate the engine to TDC because you can see the cam gear. or you can take off all the covers, put the crank pulley bolt back and rotate the engine to TDC because theres markings on the crank and block as well. that's what you're asking right? oh yeah, be careful when you take the upper timing belt cover off, the connector for the cam sensor is behind it! you sorta have to pull the timing cover out a bit then unplug it. stupid design.
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Old 08-18-2009, 08:59 PM   #3
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^thanks. Yeah thats what I was getting at - if the crankshaft sproket is aligned to its little mark and the camshaft sprocket is at the "up" mark then you gotta be at tdc, right?

one other thing, as I recall you can only rotate the motor countercloclwise (as seen from front) so how can you rotate the motor with the crankshaft pully bolt, wouldn it unscrew the bolt instead?(of course after I have removed the bolt it initally to get the pulley off, and then put it back in.
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Old 08-18-2009, 09:03 PM   #4
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yup, that is very much correct sir. i'm assuming the manual shows you how to tension the belt too?
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Old 08-20-2009, 09:20 PM   #5
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Quote:
i'm assuming the manual shows you how to tension the belt too?
hmmm not really. IS this when you install the new belt, you put a wrench on the camshaft pully and tension the belt a bit - then you loosen the nut on the tensioner pully and it takes up all remainng slack? Just like this guy does..http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KIzcttirhts

check out 8:40 of the video
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Old 08-20-2009, 09:30 PM   #6
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Hmm I'd change the camseals as well if I was doing the timing belt/water pump.
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Old 08-20-2009, 09:35 PM   #7
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yeah i have a new cam seal as well crank seal that came with my timing belt replacment kit. I plan on installing them too if its not too much a headache. Friday night, just me, a few beers and the garage stereo.
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Old 08-20-2009, 10:16 PM   #8
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usually i put the belt on (the tensioner side has all the slack, the side without the tensioner is tight like in the video) and i turn the crank 2 or 3 teeth forward and loosen the bolt for the tensioner. BUT if i remember correctly, the spring on those civics are pretty strong and you don't need to turn the crank 2 or 3 teeth. i can't remember off the top of my head, its either those civics or preludes. if the belt is too tight, it will whine when the car is running.
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Old 08-21-2009, 01:24 AM   #9
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these civics use a slightly different tensioner than other honda's. They have a dampner built into it. The instuctions in the manual are bit confusing to read. You're suppose to use a pin to hold back the tensioner as you tighten the bolt. then pull the pin. Or something like that. I forget.
I dont do it that way. I don't bother undoing the bolt for the tesioner. i push the tensioner back against the spring, slip off the old belt, then slip on the new belt and release the tensioner. Some other guys use a large pick and undo the spring, slip the belt off and on and pick the spring back into place.
Might need a new lower tbelt cover too. One of the eyelets for the bolts (to the right and above the crank pulley hole) often breaks off.
Preludes use an auto tensioner. Not sure if i can recall hearing them whine. Cause i don't think they can be over tighten with the auto tensioner. I can hear them flapping about when the tensioner leaks and gets weak.
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Old 08-22-2009, 04:23 PM   #10
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holy shit what an episode. I invested about 7h and the job is done. First challenge was having to lift the valve cover up about 1" to remove the upper timing cover. The valve cover was getting hung up on a unknown part that I had to wrestle with.

Next major challenge was dealing with the tensioner. I never read the last thread ^ but it would have been a good heads up. You can't lock the tensioner in the slack position using the mounting nut. The manual showed using a 3mm pin to lock the tenioner in the slack position - big problem here was the two plates that had the pin hole in it didnt even come close to lining up - all through the travel of the tensioner (about 3/4"). I said fuck it with the pin approach and I ended up using a pry bar to push the tensioner full slack, then I could barley peel the belt off.

SO naturally getting the new one on was even tougher as I had to apply force on the pry bar to hold tensioner open and put belt in place. Had to call in the wife for backup.

After all this BS I made the call not to replace the crank/cam seals as I was getting worked up. I started to pry them out with a friggen flathead but figured I would do more damage to the seal gland than was the benefit of a new seal. I think you need specialty seal tools to get them out and press them in without murdering them. Current seals werent wet or weeping anyways...

I dont do these major jobs often but when I do its tense as I'm worried im potentially fucking things up but when all is behind your're stoked the job as done and $500 is in my pocket.

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Old 08-22-2009, 06:47 PM   #11
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^ In order to take the seals out you need to get a pick tool or if you're really cautious you can drill some holes in and pull it out like that But that's if you're cautious

But good job on getting the work done!
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Old 08-23-2009, 11:24 AM   #12
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so... potentially devastating news. This morning I checked under the car for leaks and sure enough there was a small puddle about 3" in diameter. I figure one of thwo things has happened:

1. When i pulled the water pump off i didnt drain the block so a bunch of coolant pissed down the engine front... and overnight the reminants of this coolant formed said puddle.

2. I didnt use any RTV sealant on the new water pump WHen I pulled the OEM one off I looked at the o ring and there was no sealant used. I figured these o rings were bomber and no rtv was required. Sure enough the haynes manual does recommend it. Faaaak! Shoulda used it just for the insurance.

Moving forward, assuming I have a water pump leak, my options are:

1. Re-do entire water pump /timing belt install and use RTV
2. Is there a cooling system additive that hunts down these leaks?
3. ???

Am I a complete meathead for not using RTV? I feel a little sick inside
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Old 08-23-2009, 12:27 PM   #13
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Just out of curiosity, was it oem water pump?
The o ring is "bomber." I NEVER use RTV or any type of sealant when there's an o ring. I'm assuming it's just left over coolant that wasn't cleaned off.
On a side note...there's a sensor on the end of the crank. I had an experience where that sensor was unplugged when the water pump was replaced. when the old pump was removed, coolant splashes everywhere. Some got into the connecter of the sensor. The senser get plugged back in later with coolant still in it (unknowingly) and sets engine light after a few days. Just had to clean out the connecter and all was good after that.
Moral of this story was, coolant gets everywhere when pump is removed. Hard to clean all of it off. Also dont just unplug that connector when doing a pump, but remove the whole sensor and put it aside
I would just drive the car the next few days and monitor your coolant level, and keep an eye out for more puddles. You should know after a day or two if there's a leak
And when removing cam and crank seals, a simple flat head screw driver works
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Old 08-24-2009, 08:39 AM   #14
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Well it seems I was panicking a bit... drove the car in today and there was no coolant leaking, so I may be in good shape. Also good to know that I didint fubar the water pump by not using RTV.

Quote:
On a side note...there's a sensor on the end of the crank. I had an experience where that sensor was unplugged when the water pump was replaced. when the old pump was removed, coolant splashes everywhere. Some got into the connecter of the sensor. The senser get plugged back in later with coolant still in it (unknowingly) and sets engine light after a few days. Just had to clean out the connecter and all was good after that.
Sure enough my check engine light is on, quite possibly due to this same reason. How did you clean out the connector and plug it back in? Wouldnt that take alot of work to get both upper and lower timing covers off? Think it will dry out on its own if I leave it?

thanks.
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Old 08-24-2009, 04:23 PM   #15
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Before you take anything apart, make sure the connector that goes through the upper t-belt cover is plugged in. I have forgotten that one the odd time. But the engine light would've tripped immediately after starting the engine.
The lower sensor doesn't have to be removed to clean out its connector part. Just unplugged. I sprayed a bunch of brake clean in it and blew dry with air. I don't think i remove the covers to unplug it. I may have even left the crank pulley in place too. Can't quite remember. Antifreeze is too slimey. Would take an awful long time to dry on its own.
You'll need to scan the ecu to see whats causing the light and to clear the light.
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