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Is my timing belt broken?

 
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Old 03-16-2017, 09:56 PM
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Is my timing belt broken?

Here's my story:

Driving on the freeway when all of the sudden the car just died completely... (smelled gasoline when it happened). Had it towed to my house.


The car makes a cranking noise, but doesn't actually turn over. I fully charged the battery. I checked for fuel to and from fuel filter. New wires.

When I got to the distributor and pulled the cap, I noticed that the distributor wasn't spinning when I attempted to start the car... I pulled the valve cover...

Even though the Timing belt looks tight and looking down I don't see it shredded (given I can't see all of it)... The camshaft pulley "UP" indicators are almost 180 degrees apart.

i66.tinypic.com/50fali.jpg

You can't see the up mark on one of them in the picture since it's pointing down.

Is my timing belt broken or it slipped? What would you do at this point? Other than a oil and break changes I haven't really repaired much else on a car.
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Old 03-17-2017, 10:37 AM
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Re: Is my timing belt broken?

If you posted pics I can't see them from my work computer. But if the distributor isn't moving when the engine is cranking then either your exhaust cam is broken or the timing belt is broken. Crank the engine over with the valve cover off and see if either cam turns. If you're worried about bending valves, don't. At this point you've already done as much damage as you can, and any valves that might bend already have. Either way you've got some head work in your future.
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Old 03-17-2017, 01:11 PM
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Re: Is my timing belt broken?

Thanks for your reply. I just always pictured that when a timing belt breaks and stuff in the engine gets bent out of shape I'd hear a loud noise, smoke, or something dramatic... this happened so quietly... Didn't realize that it could just be the exhaust cam by itself.

I don't have a garage to work on this right now, but would be willing to pay for an engine overhaul or something reasonable to get this baby back on the road. Any suggestions, I'm in Portland, Oregon? I suppose that a used JDM replacement is also on the table...
I've got the B21A1 in my car right now (original)


Not sure what the best image hosting site is to use with this board.

Trying to figure out how to crank the engine over. 19mm with extension, driver side by front wheel I read... didn't see an opening there at first look, .... going to take another look.

Last edited by Lude4ws90; 03-17-2017 at 01:13 PM.
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Old 03-17-2017, 01:46 PM
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Re: Is my timing belt broken?

Yeah, there usually isn't any real indication that you have a problem except that the engine stops running. But then it's a good thing there is no smoke or a loud noise. That would indicate more serious damage than a few bent valves. I had a belt slip on me once and the car just died while going down the highway. Luckily it didn't bend any valves, but I was still stranded several miles from town.

You're a little too far away to offer my garage or services LOL. I don't know anyone in Portland or what shops are there so I'm not gonna be any help in that regard. A used b20a is what I have in my 91 Si ALB. It's a good solution if you can still find one.

The opening for the crank pulley bolt is there, you probably still have the rubber plug in there. The hole is about 2 inches in diameter IIRC. I'm not sure if you can access the crank bolt if the left front wheel is on the car, but maybe if you turn the wheel all the way to one side or the other. I have always had the wheel off when doing that. Let me know if I can help at all.
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Old 03-24-2017, 08:16 PM
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Re: Is my timing belt broken?

The belt looks intact looking from the top... I suppose it is possible that the belt teeth are ground up by where the crankshaft is. Right now the Cams are about 180 degrees out of alignment. the exhaust cam is almost at the top and the intake is somewhere near the bottom.

I was going to disassemble and inspect the belt at the crank ..


Also, I am going to realign the cams and put a new belt on and just see what happens.

My question is once I take the belt off, does it matter which cam I spin which way to realign them? Counterclock wise right? Also, to spin one cam do I just spin it by the cam gear? Should I expect a lot of resistance? In a slim chance that there was no damage done internally already, I don't want to cause any...
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Old 03-27-2017, 06:26 PM
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Re: Is my timing belt broken?

When my timing belt slipped I first removed the belt. Then I rotated the crank by hand till no pistons were at TDC. Rotating the crank by hand will not damage any valves that may contact the pistons, but honestly, any damage has already been done. You can easily tell the position of the piston if you remove the spark plugs and insert a long screwdriver into one of the spark plug hole. Then rotate the crank while watching the screwdriver. You'll see it go up and down with the piston. turn it until it looks to be in the center of it's travel. When one piston at or near it's center of travel, the other three pistons will be close to their center of travel as well, giving you plenty of clearance to rotate the cam shafts. You can rotate the cams using a wrench on the cam gear bolt, or just turn the cam gears. My belt had slipped 270 degrees and no damage occurred to my valves. Hopefully yours will be fine as well if that's what happened to you.
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