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Thread: Timing belt install issue

  1. #1
    DX User Dexterk20's Avatar
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    Timing belt install issue

    ***UPDATE

    i finally got the belt on without it moving from tdc. i have been working on cars for a long time but have never had this problem putting a timing belt on......well needless to say yesterday she started up with no problems. was a little rough but i knew that since i needed to set the timing on the distributor.

    Well the distributor was a bit off and the 1/2 inch of play was enough to set the timing correctly. So i had to pull the distributor out after setting TDC again and re insert it so the rotor would fall on the no.1 cylinder. The problem i am having is that it either falls after or before never on it. so the slight deviation we have to play with isnt enough and now i have a non running car again lol. cause now she wont start up lol


    any ideas. first carb and dizzy car but i know plenty about mechanics but this is a whole new ball game for me. I have the service manual and all

    ORIGINAL ISSUE***

    Hey everyone. Hope everyone is doing good.

    I have an '80 accord LX hatchback 1.8liter ek1 with a manual transmission

    I have been trying to install this forsaken timing belt now for about 3 days.

    I set the Tdc mark on the flywheel to the needle. The camshaft is also set to the needle. Now every time I slip on the belt the crank moves out of place moving the TDC Mark on the flywheel out of place.

    Has anyone gone through this headache and if so what was your solution. Also is there anyway to lock up the flywheel on the TDC mark to not allow it to move.

    The belt tensioner is on as well as the spring on the tensioner.
    Last edited by Dexterk20; 10-04-2014 at 04:11 PM.



  2. #2

    Dr_Snooz's Avatar
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    Re: Timing belt install issue

    It doesn't really matter if the crank moves, it only matters that the cam and crank are in sync. If you can line up the first few teeth of the belt in the right grooves on the cam and keep them there while you wrestle the rest of the belt on, it won't matter if things move around. To make sure you installed it properly, just put the crank back to TDC after the belt is on to ensure that the cam is likewise at TDC. The best practice is to confirm TDC on cam and crank both before and after installing the belt. It's easiest for me to put the belt around the cam wheel last. I can get a really good hand-hold and a lot of leverage there. Anywhere else, my hands are too squished or I can't really pull on the belt. I inch the belt over the wheel, bit by bit. It's the best way I've found.
    Dr_Snooz

    "I like to take hammers, and just break stuff, just break stuff." - Beavis


    1989 Honda Accord LX-i Coupe, 220k miles, MT swap, rear disc swap

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  3. #3
    LX User PDXAccord79's Avatar
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    Re: Timing belt install issue

    I do it by getting the engine at TDC then putting the belt around the crank pulley, then cam pulley, then around the tensioner. Give it a once around with a wrench once the tensioner is set to make sure it doesn't jump teeth and call it a day. Once you have the straight edge locked into teeth the pulleys can move as long as they move at the same time. It's a little tricky but after a few times you'll get it. Just turn it with a wrench before you turn it with the starter to make sure everything keeps alignment. Also it's easier to turn the engine with the plugs out but it's easier to set the belt with them in so remove them, set TDC, reinstall them, install the belt, then remove them again to spin the engine.

  4. #4
    LXi User Buzo's Avatar
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    Re: Timing belt install issue

    Quote Originally Posted by Dexterk20 View Post
    is there anyway to lock up the flywheel on the TDC mark to not allow it to move.
    Glad your car is manual, because putting your transmission in shift will certainly lock up the engine.
    When you are done remember to re-install the crank pulley's screw with an impact gun, or it may get loose.


    Power is nothing without control

  5. #5
    DX User Dexterk20's Avatar
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    Re: Timing belt install issue

    Quote Originally Posted by Dr_Snooz View Post
    It doesn't really matter if the crank moves, it only matters that the cam and crank are in sync. If you can line up the first few teeth of the belt in the right grooves on the cam and keep them there while you wrestle the rest of the belt on, it won't matter if things move around. To make sure you installed it properly, just put the crank back to TDC after the belt is on to ensure that the cam is likewise at TDC. The best practice is to confirm TDC on cam and crank both before and after installing the belt. It's easiest for me to put the belt around the cam wheel last. I can get a really good hand-hold and a lot of leverage there. Anywhere else, my hands are too squished or I can't really pull on the belt. I inch the belt over the wheel, bit by bit. It's the best way I've found.
    Quote Originally Posted by PDXAccord79 View Post
    I do it by getting the engine at TDC then putting the belt around the crank pulley, then cam pulley, then around the tensioner. Give it a once around with a wrench once the tensioner is set to make sure it doesn't jump teeth and call it a day. Once you have the straight edge locked into teeth the pulleys can move as long as they move at the same time. It's a little tricky but after a few times you'll get it. Just turn it with a wrench before you turn it with the starter to make sure everything keeps alignment. Also it's easier to turn the engine with the plugs out but it's easier to set the belt with them in so remove them, set TDC, reinstall them, install the belt, then remove them again to spin the engine.
    Quote Originally Posted by Buzo View Post
    Glad your car is manual, because putting your transmission in shift will certainly lock up the engine.
    When you are done remember to re-install the crank pulley's screw with an impact gun, or it may get loose.
    hey guys thanks for all your responses. i finally got the belt on without it moving from tdc. i have been working on cars for a long time but have never had this problem putting a timing belt on......well needless to say yesterday she started up with no problems. was a little rough but i knew that since i needed to set the timing on the distributor.

    Well the distributor was a bit off and the 1/2 inch of play was enough to set the timing correctly. So i had to pull the distributor out after setting TDC again and re insert it so the rotor would fall on the no.1 cylinder. The problem i am having is that it either falls after or before never on it. so the slight deviation we have to play with isnt enough and now i have a non running car again lol. cause now she wont start up lol


    any ideas. first carb and dizzy car but i know plenty about mechanics but this is a whole new ball game for me. I have the service manual and all

  6. #6

    Dr_Snooz's Avatar
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    Re: Timing belt install issue

    Did you check both cam and crank for TDC after installing the belt? Sounds like it's off a tooth.
    Dr_Snooz

    "I like to take hammers, and just break stuff, just break stuff." - Beavis


    1989 Honda Accord LX-i Coupe, 220k miles, MT swap, rear disc swap

    Shop manual downloads available here: CLICK TO VIEW

  7. #7
    LX User PDXAccord79's Avatar
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    Re: Timing belt install issue

    There should be two bolts on the dizzy: one that screws the bracket to the head and another that screws the bracket to the dizzy. Make sure your crank and cam are at TDC with the belt on then loosen the bolt that holds the bracket to the dizzy and drop it in. You'll want to adjust it so the rotor is on #1 while the part of the bracket that goes to the head is as close to center as possible. Once you have that tighten the dizzy to bracket bolt then install your bracket to head bolt and start it up. I believe the manual CVCC non-Cali needs to be at the +4 mark with no vacuum at idle. Check your manual for exact specs. You only need to move the dizzy enough to get it to +4 deg which should be a very minimal twist. You might also need to "wiggle" the crank a little bit to get it to drop in right. I've taken mine out a few times and never get it on the first shot.

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