Timing Belt? Top Dead Center?

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  #1  
Old 11-07-09, 09:32 PM
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Timing Belt? Top Dead Center?

I have a 99 Honda civic, ex 1.6 SOHC. Why do I need to find top dead center to change the timing belt? Can't I just mark everything in any position and put the belt on exactly the same?

And if I do need TDC, can't i just find it by putting a straw in the spark plug hole, and cranking the engine by hand til the straw is at the highest point on compression stroke?
 
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Old 11-08-09, 06:56 AM
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TDC is where the timing mark will line up with the marks on the block & head.. Also if it's not in the right place, when you remove the belt, the followers on the cam may cause the cam to turn... I'd do it as in the book as shortcuts never work for me... Also someone told me that Honda's will bend valves if the timing isn't right?? Don't know for sure,, but do you want to take a chance??? Just some food for thought.... Roger
 
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Old 11-08-09, 08:03 AM
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Manual required here!!

I understand your thinking, but If you're replacing your timing
belt, then it can be worn out enough to have effected your valve timing slightly. Using TDC you'll be giving your engine back it's original timing. You really need to get a manual and follow that, because it will also tell you what is necessary to make sure your camshaft is held in the right position. You can get a manual for a '99 Civic from the library by the way. A Chilton, which are more thorough. Reading through the instructions before you touch a single bolt can put you in the position of having the special tools that you didn't know you would need in order to do the job right and without hassle. Piece of mind -worth the price of admission.

Remember this isn't just an accessory belt you're replacing!!!
 
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Old 11-08-09, 08:18 AM
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If you pulled off the belt and slipped the other one on and nothing moved, it would be OK but risky. If anything moved and you had to go to TDC to set the valve timing, you wouldn't be able to move the cam/cams with the crank. That's where the huge problem is with an interference engine. In the process a piston could strike an open valve (usually an intake) and you have a mess.

The best way is to start with the crank at TDC and avoid a lot of problems.
 
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Old 11-08-09, 08:29 AM
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Is finding tdc really as simple as finding the compression stroke, then lining up the crankshaft pulley mark with the mark on the block? Thats it done?


Will my straw method work?
 
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Old 11-08-09, 09:01 AM
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Did I mention get a Manual?

Yup. Done
You will still possibly need a timing pin to position and lock that camshaft into the correct relation to the crankshaft. Yes your goofy straw method would be accurate IMO since you could observe the straw peak and then dip and could even move the crank back and forth and watch it bob up and down a little bit before moving onto the next step. Are you concerned that you will not be able to find the index marks?
Now how 'bout getting that manual and save yourself some guess work?! Maybe Autozone will have the procedure online for your car.
 

Last edited by mickblock; 11-08-09 at 09:02 AM. Reason: forgot to answer 1st question
  #7  
Old 11-08-09, 09:06 AM
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Yes to the first question. Find compression stroke = pull plug, put finger over plug hole = compression, then align the timing marks.

If you have a distributor pull off the cap and when the rotor aligns with the terminal for the plug wire, that would be compression. Then align the timing marks on the crank.

The straw method will tell you what the position of the piston is in the stroke, but you still have to have the compression stroke to work with - it's a four stroke = two times up the cylinder - once on compression and once on exhaust. Then you still have to align the timing marks for the TDC to get the valve timing right.
 
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Old 11-08-09, 09:37 AM
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cool thanks very much. I'll just align the timing marks. I have about 50 pages of several timing belt change articles printed of the internet. Definitly have documentation to back me up. Its just each article used a different method of finding tdc, and it was confusing me. The timing belt change seems very simple as long as no bolts snap. Thanks for your quick and helpful advice!
 
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Old 11-08-09, 04:16 PM
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Just to reiterate what hopkins already mentioned; that is an interference engine, aka valve-bender, so a broken or incorrrectly in$talled belt will cau$e valve damage.
 
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Old 11-10-09, 07:03 AM
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It was a piece of cake. It took me about 8 hours but I wasn't rushing myself one bit. Other then being time consuming, everything was really easy. Nowhere near as scary as I was expecting. Thanks all
 
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