changing timing belt

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Old 11-25-04, 05:56 PM
amp10000
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changing timing belt

I'd like to know how difficult is it to change out a timing belt and water pump in a 98 honda civic ex. Right now I have 109,000 miles the dealer said the belts supposed to be change at 105,000 I plain on changing it out this weekend. If anyone has ever done this before can you tell me what pit falls I should watch out for.
 
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Old 11-25-04, 08:11 PM
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I've never done a Honda but if you feel pretty confident of your mechanical skills and you've done waterpumps etc before it should be doable. You might want to try one of the car specific sites for the exact specs on timing marks etc.

One of the car sites I frequent is miata dot net, for owners of Mazda Miatas. At least as anal about their cars as the Porsche owner's club I was in before. But one thing about the Miata guys is willingness to try stuff even when they don't have any mechanical experience. Which brings me to my point. On the "garage" part of their site in the "timing belt" segment they have a "handy hint" that I've used twice since I read it. To prevent the chance of jumping time; instead of removing the old belt they suggest: SPLITTING THE OLD BELT WITH A RAZOR BLADE, RIGHT DOWN THE MIDDLE, ALL AROUND IT'S LENGTH. Pull off the front part, then SLIDE THE NEW ONE ONTO THE SPROCKETS TO HOLD THEM SECURE, then just cut off the old one.

Good luck

Frank
 
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Old 11-25-04, 08:17 PM
alexguzu
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it is expensive..

I think the timing belt is quite difficult to access.
The only thing I know is that you should be careful to align the marks on the cam shafts properly.
I checked the manual for my acura integra, and this operation is not very simple, I think I would rather do it with someone who knows how to do it.
Good luck, and let us know.
 
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Old 11-25-04, 09:28 PM
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that's a great idea Frank, -splitting the belt in 2 . I repair my 2 daughters cars (always Japanese unfortunately, and they never keep them more than a year) and have had to do timing belts a few times in the last couple of years. -gonna try this trick next time thanks.
 
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Old 11-25-04, 10:16 PM
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I have done several Hondas. After you are done you will think it was not as hard as you think it is when you are doing your first one. Problem # 1 is the bolt holding the harmonic balancer on can be very tight from the factory. Befor you start check to see if you can get it loose. My 1/2" impact usually will not get them off. It is right hand thread. You can't use the trick of putting a break over bar against the frame and bump the starter. Beacuse that will tighten it. You might have to remove the splash shield and take it to a shop with a good impact or the tool to hold the balancer. Have them loosen it and then snug it back up so you can go home.

Get a manual or Auto Zone may have instructions on their web site. Read and re read until you understand what you are doing and how to do it. It can be intimidating but if you are confident in your abilities you can do it.

If it is a two cam motor it can be trickey beacuse the valve springs will try to move the cams after you take the belt off. Be very careful that you don't get the timing off. I line everything up acording to the manual. Then to be safe I paint a dot on 1 tooth of each cam sprocket, each balancer sprocket, and the bottom sprocket. Then I paint a mark or line on the old belt matching the dots. Then I carefully transfer the paint marks to the new belt.

You will have 2 belts. 1 for the cam amd 1 balancer belt.

I like the idea of splitting the old belt in half. That won't work for the balancer belt as you have to take it off to get the cam belt on. You should change the water pump while you are in there. Maybe you could loosen the tensioner do the split belt trick. Then tie the belt with strong twine pulling it away from the water pump pulley. But I do not know if you will have enough room to get the pump out from under the belt. So you may not be able to use the split belt trick unless you are willing to leave the old water pump in there.

Hint: Some Hondas had problems with oil pressure pushing the front balancer seal out of the block. It will soak the belt and it will break. This can be very expensive as I believe all or most Hondas are an interference engine. Call Honda and see if they make a front balancer seal retaining kit for your engine. It is only about $4.00 or so. It is easy to install and can save you an engine.

I always carefully use a small needle fitting on my grease gun and grease the bearing on the tensioner while I am in there.

Be sure to follow the correct procedure for setting the tensioner. I was fooled thinking the spring for the balancer belt was to week because the balancer belt felt loose after it was tensioned. Trust the procedure. If the balancer belt is to tight it will wear out the front bores in the block. There are no bearings, the balancer shafts just ride in holes bored in the block.

Good luck.
 
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