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Old 10-24-2012, 06:43 PM
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Trouble with timing belt installation

Hey guys, I've read every thread (or most threads) on the whole timing belt installation/manual tensioner installation, but haven't heard of anyone having this problem.

I had some significant oil leaks from my camshaft seals and balance shaft seals, so I decided to replace all the seals on that side of the motor, along with the timing belt, balance shaft belt, water pump, and also upgrade to the Kaizenspeed manual tensioner. For the most part everything has been fine. I have it timed correctly, and all the parts fit.

After adjusting the timing belt to the correct tension (in my best knowledge), I turned the motor over counter clockwise by using the bolts on the camshafts just to be sure the tension is evened out and everything is smooth. Everything feels great and it's all lined up, however the timing belt is "running out" about 1/8-1/4" off the tensioner pulley and the camshafts (off, as in away from the engine). I thought possibly I had it too tight so I loosened it, but it still is doing the same thing. If I were to install the balance shaft tensioner it would rub against the timing belt on the timing belt tensioner pulley (which I did install just to double check). Does anyone have any tips or help?

Forgot to mention it's a 98 Prelude H22.
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Old 10-24-2012, 09:16 PM
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Re: Trouble with timing belt installation

So you converted to manual tensioner?
Cuz one of the main reasons the t-belt slips off the cam gears is from a failing auto tensioner.
But if you converted to manual..... the long 4-5" bolt that both tensioner PULLEYS go on, make sure that's perfectly straight and not bent.




Also, I would highly HIGHLY suggest AGAINSTTTTTT turning the motor over from the cam gears!!!! You should ONLYYYY turn the motor over by hand from the CRANK!!!!!
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Old 10-24-2012, 09:22 PM
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Re: Trouble with timing belt installation

Yes I converted to the manual tensioner from Kaizenspeed. Expensive lil bugger, but makes more sense than the conversion kit.

I was thinking the same thing about the tensioner mounting bolt. I'll probably take it back apart tomorrow to see what I can find out. The original tensioner was working fine, and everything was straight when I took it apart. There aren't any big washers that I'm missing for the pulleys or anything, am I?

As for turning the motor over by the cam gears I'm not sure what difference it makes as it's all connected anyway...there's no more stress on it than if the crankshaft is pulling on the belt....

That and the fact that there's not really any way to turn the crank since the bolt hasn't been installed yet.
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Old 10-24-2012, 11:25 PM
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Re: Trouble with timing belt installation

So your timing belt is walking outward on the pulley? How does it line up on the cam gears onces it's doing that, it is still in 100% contact with them?


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Old 10-25-2012, 01:55 AM
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Re: Trouble with timing belt installation

definitely dont turn the engine via the cams lol...did you install the balance shaft belt? if i were you, id, take the balance shaft belt, balance shaft bearing and auto tensioner assembly off and inspect the bolt (bolt#30) that holds it into the block to see if its bent. reinstall the timing belt, and adjust the kaizenspeed tensioner to the appropriate tension and install the balance shaft bearing and balance belt again, then crank it 20x counterclockwise rotations AT THE CRANK to see if it still walking. i just did the timing belt and installed a kaizenspeed tensioner, you need to have the correct tension for the kaizenspeed tensioner, and also the auto tensioner assembly and the balance shaft bearing along with the balance shaft belt needs to be installed. mine doesnt even walk and sits flush with the cams, and when i fired it up it hardly had the supercharger whine. props to you for doing this job yourself.

if you have a crank pulley tool, you can put the bolt on the crank pulley and tighten it just enough to rotate it counterclockwise without it loosening the bolt. you will need the crank pulley tool, a jackstand and long extensions and the 19mm socket for the crank pulley bolt.

Last edited by mugenmaster; 10-25-2012 at 02:03 AM.
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Old 10-25-2012, 09:08 AM
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Re: Trouble with timing belt installation

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Originally Posted by CB900fer View Post
As for turning the motor over by the cam gears I'm not sure what difference it makes as it's all connected anyway...there's no more stress on it than if the crankshaft is pulling on the belt....

That and the fact that there's not really any way to turn the crank since the bolt hasn't been installed yet.

Turning the motor via the camshaft, means the only thing that's trying to rotate the entire rotating assembly (crank, pistons, rods, flywheel, and pressure plate, a total mass of around ~100lbs) is the TENSION of the timing belt, that's it.

Turning it via the crank, (via the crank pulley tool or tighten the bolt just enough to turn the motor) means you're PHYSICALLY rotating the entire rotating assembly, and the tension of the t-belt is only rotating the the cams and opening the valves, which is exactly how the motor normally operates; the crankshaft rotates everything else.
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Old 10-25-2012, 10:32 AM
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Re: Trouble with timing belt installation

Ok, all of that makes sense, thanks for the input guys.

This morning I decided to disassemble everything again, inspect everything, flipped the timing belt the other way to check for the possibility of the timing belt being tighter on one side from the factory, and then reassembled and it was doing the same thing. I checked the crankshaft gear to make sure it was seated properly, and I'm thinking it was just a tad out. It's a little better now, but not entirely yet.

So here's my logic: maybe when I tighten the tensioner it puts a little strain on the crankshaft gear and pulls it away from the engine ever so slightly (I was turning the motor over without having the balance belt, or the entire pulley assembly bolted onto the crankshaft). So now i'm in the process of putting it all together, tightening the bolt to make sure the timing belt/crankshaft gear stays where it's supposed to.

Now I just have to check out the manual to figure out how to line up the balance shafts...I've read plenty about it, but as several other people have struggled with, the rear balance shaft has several holes that my screwdriver fits into :/

As for doing it myself, it wasn't the most appealing idea, but I've done it before on my Turbo Coupe (which is more like a turbocharged tractor motor - super simple and roomy), and have done lots of work on my motorcycles and stuff. Was kind of wary at first, but everything else is going pretty smoothly. The worst part was breaking the crankshaft bolt (shops wouldn't do it because of "liability", but one of them loaned me the tool). I used a 28" breaker bar with a 2' pipe...when it broke loose it "cracked" so hard it sent a shock through the pipe and bruised my palm...it's still sore after 5 days :p
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Old 10-25-2012, 10:46 AM
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Re: Trouble with timing belt installation

if you are breaking the crank bolt using this method, it comes off with ease:



make sure the maintenance bolt (#19) is also in the correct position, you dont tighten this with a wrench, just hand tighten it so that it is in the correct seating position as well.




the balance shaft and belts are easy to do, there are marks on the block that indicate where the pulleys need to be lined. make sure you install the balance shaft retainer which was included in a recall to prevent the front balance shaft seal and oil from leaking. once you are finished, adjust the balance shaft bearing by loosening nut#33 and lifting up the bearing, there will be a lot of resistance to get it to the proper tension, so have a friend hand tighten the nut while you lift the bearing up (i used a crowbar to lift the bearing up)to get the balance belt to the proper tension.

Last edited by mugenmaster; 10-25-2012 at 10:48 AM.
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Old 10-25-2012, 10:55 AM
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Re: Trouble with timing belt installation

I have noticed the marks on the front balance shaft, and those are fine, but the rear doesn't really have any markings does it? I noticed a couple different indentations, but nothing clear to line it up with. Pix/illustrations would be awesome.

And yes, I do have the balance shaft seal retainer installed :)

As for the maintenance bolt, I believe that is irrelevant to me since I'm using the KZ manual tensioner, correct?
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Old 10-25-2012, 10:57 AM
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Re: Trouble with timing belt installation

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Originally Posted by CB900fer View Post
Ok, all of that makes sense, thanks for the input guys.

This morning I decided to disassemble everything again, inspect everything, flipped the timing belt the other way to check for the possibility of the timing belt being tighter on one side from the factory, and then reassembled and it was doing the same thing. I checked the crankshaft gear to make sure it was seated properly, and I'm thinking it was just a tad out. It's a little better now, but not entirely yet.

So here's my logic: maybe when I tighten the tensioner it puts a little strain on the crankshaft gear and pulls it away from the engine ever so slightly (I was turning the motor over without having the balance belt, or the entire pulley assembly bolted onto the crankshaft). So now i'm in the process of putting it all together, tightening the bolt to make sure the timing belt/crankshaft gear stays where it's supposed to.

Now I just have to check out the manual to figure out how to line up the balance shafts...I've read plenty about it, but as several other people have struggled with, the rear balance shaft has several holes that my screwdriver fits into :/

As for doing it myself, it wasn't the most appealing idea, but I've done it before on my Turbo Coupe (which is more like a turbocharged tractor motor - super simple and roomy), and have done lots of work on my motorcycles and stuff. Was kind of wary at first, but everything else is going pretty smoothly. The worst part was breaking the crankshaft bolt (shops wouldn't do it because of "liability", but one of them loaned me the tool). I used a 28" breaker bar with a 2' pipe...when it broke loose it "cracked" so hard it sent a shock through the pipe and bruised my palm...it's still sore after 5 days :p


Teh first time I cracked my crank bolt loose, I had a 6' cheater pipe, I was pulling it downwards (the end was over my head), and as soon as it cracked loose, the end of the pipe slammed down on top my head. Hurt like a mo-fo



And get a longer screwdriver (or bolt) to line the rear BS up. I bet the screwdriver is bottoming out so the base of the handle is touching the engine block, right?
Get a longer screwdriver, like a 6" shank, but same diameter shank. Than you'll KNOW when the tip of the screwdriver is hitting metal behind the BS (cuz the handle won't be touching the block), meaning the BS is lined up.
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But you need that scoop on the hood. Is it true that they're big enough to fit your lunch box and all your camera gear in it?

Last edited by twokexlv6coupe; 10-25-2012 at 10:59 AM.
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Old 10-25-2012, 11:44 AM
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Re: Trouble with timing belt installation

If you watch the arrow on the balance drive gear, every time you completely turn it around, it bottoms out in a different spot. 3 total spots to be specific. When I did mine, I kept rotating it until the screwdriver bottomed out with the arrow on the gear lined up with the dot that's located at about the 2:00 position. IDK if it will be fine in the other spots, but my motor is running smooth! It was a PITA trying to get the belt on and keep everything at TDC but patience is key.
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Old 10-25-2012, 01:29 PM
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Re: Trouble with timing belt installation

Yeah, I'm seeing some sort of arrow/indentation at 2 o'clock but the screwdriver seems to bottom in a different spot every time. And yes the screwdriver is long enough...i've also used a straight dental pick that is plenty long....it all seems so finicky, but I'll keep playing with it.

Thanks for chiming in 98vtec....yes I am turning it counterclockwise :) Hoping to get this thing done today.
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Old 10-25-2012, 05:00 PM
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Re: Trouble with timing belt installation

after reading this i think i stayed at a holiday express..
bookmarked for future use.
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Old 10-25-2012, 05:28 PM
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Re: Trouble with timing belt installation

Well, I'm putting it together as is. It is still walking off the cam gears a little bit, but it's not rubbing anywhere. It's close to the balance belt tensioner, but it still has some room. I enclosed some pix. I think it will be fine, what do you all think?
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Old 10-25-2012, 06:34 PM
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Re: Trouble with timing belt installation

crank it like 50x lmao, thats what i did and if it isnt walking anymore and settling then you should be good to go. i think the timing belt hanging off the cams like 1-2 mm max is okay, i was really paranoid and kept doing it over until it was flush all the way around. the position of the maintenance bolt #19 does matter though even if you have the kaizenspeed. this is the bolt that holds the auto tensioner assembly into the block through the water pump. you want it to be in the "functional" position and all you have to do to for this bolt is to hand tighten it clockwise and when you are done with everything take the wrench and tighten it only 1/2 a turn, not too much tightness okay. here's a video i made when i was doing this service and i thought it was walking but it's fine where it's at:


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Old 10-25-2012, 07:06 PM
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Re: Trouble with timing belt installation

Ok, if I could get some quick help....the final pulley (serpentine pulley)...is the area that mates with the bolt/washer supposed to be flush with the shaft? Because I can see about 1/4" of splines on the pulley before the actual shaft starts.
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Old 10-25-2012, 07:45 PM
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Re: Trouble with timing belt installation

im sorry i dont understand your terminology of "final pulley" aka serpentine pulley, i dont think there is anything serpentine on the h22a. can you refer this part on the diagram above so we can know what you are talking about?
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Old 10-25-2012, 10:13 PM
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Re: Trouble with timing belt installation

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Originally Posted by 98vtec View Post
you need to be rotating the engine counterclockwise btw.
Just go help him Blake, your in the same city after-all! hahah

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im sorry i dont understand your terminology of "final pulley" aka serpentine pulley, i dont think there is anything serpentine on the h22a. can you refer this part on the diagram above so we can know what you are talking about?
He's talking about the crank pulley.


Are you saying the pulley is sticking outwards too much? Or is pushed too far inwards?


There's one VERY funky looking washer that's supposed to go between the lower timing gear, and the oil pump. I think it might protect the front main seal from the gear. Did you remember to install that?
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Old 10-26-2012, 12:52 AM
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Re: Trouble with timing belt installation

Haha, yes the "washer" is on there. I didn't try to get it off, but it seems to be part of the lower timing gear.

As for the crank pulley, I'm sorry for the vague term, but I wanted to differentiate it from the lower timing gear and the lower balance gear.

And Blake already did help me...he gave me a few pointers before I started. Thanks again Blake.

Now what I was trying to say about the pulley is that it will not slide fully onto the shaft. There is about 1/4" of splines hanging off the end of the shaft. Upon closer examination though it looks as if it's always been that way because there is some light rust on that 1/4", and the rest is shiny where it has been in contact with the shaft. I don't think there's anything to worry about. Either way, it's all together now and it runs. It was late so I haven't had the chance to warm it up and bleed the thermostat yet, but I'll finish it up tomorrow.

Thanks again for the help guys.
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Old 10-26-2012, 09:45 AM
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Re: Trouble with timing belt installation

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Originally Posted by 98vtec View Post
If you need help, im between jobs atm. Got 2 weeks to kill

Wow, that's crazy- I just got laid off yesterday after 1.5yrs. At least it sounds like yours was in your own control. My company's production was crazy slow, now I got infinite time to kill
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Originally Posted by Brash View Post
But you need that scoop on the hood. Is it true that they're big enough to fit your lunch box and all your camera gear in it?
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