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How to Put the Timing Belt on a 1982 Honda Civic

The necessity for changing a timing belt on a 1982 Honda Civic is brought about because of belt stretching, rather than wear. Timing belts stretch to the point that the belt tensioner runs out of travel, and is no longer effective at tensioning the belt. Honda has identified this engine as an interference engine. This means the tolerances are so close that a timing belt failure would cause catastrophic damage. The pistons would hit the valves, and the belt must be installed spot on. Honda recommends replacing the timing belt every 60,000 miles or shortly before.

Tools Used: Floor jack, Jack stand, Lug wrench, Ratchet, Set of sockets, Set of wrenches

Put Timing Belt

Raise the driver's side of the car with the floor jack, and place the jack stand under the sub-frame. Lower the car onto the jack stand. Remove the wheel lugs with the lug wrench and remove the wheel. Remove the inner splash shield using a 10 mm socket. Place the floor jack under the engine oil-pan to support the engine.

Remove the accessory drive belts by loosening the tensioners with a socket and moving them away from the belts. Remove the top engine mount using a socket. Remove the top timing-belt cover using a 10 mm socket. Mark the spark plug wires and pull them out of the valve cover. Remove the hold-down clamps for the throttle cable using a wrench. Remove all the 10 mm bolts in the valve cover, and the cover itself.

Set the timing mark at top dead center. Look at the lower timing-belt cover directly above the crankshaft pulley. There are two vertical marks at the 12 o'clock position, and a mark in the form of a straight line cut in the crankshaft pulley. Turn the pulley with a socket clockwise, until the mark on the pulley is directly in line with the two marks on the cover.

Check the upper camshaft marks to make sure it is on the compression stroke on the No. 1 cylinder. The camshaft turns one time to every two turns of the crankshaft pulley. There are three marks on the outside teeth of the camshaft sprocket. There is one on each side of the sprocket at the nine and three o'clock position that should line up with the top of the cylinder head. The third mark is at the seven o'clock position, and should line up with a corresponding mark on the back timing-cover. If they are not close, turn the crankshaft pulley one more revolution and line it up again to the marks on the timing cover.

Remove the crankshaft pulley-bolt with a socket; remove the pulley. Remove the bolts in the lower timing cover with a 10 mm socket, and remove the cover. Loosen the timing belt tensioner with a wrench and push it away from the belt. Loosely tighten the bolt to hold it in position. Remove the timing belt.

Install the new timing belt by starting the belt on the side away from the tensioner, which is the left side. Place the belt over the crankshaft sprocket, and up around the camshaft sprocket. Make sure to stretch all the slack out of the belt so it is tight between these two sprockets. All the slack in the belt must be on the tensioner side. If it isn't, the other two sprockets will turn when the tensioner is tightened. From the camshaft sprocket, travel down the right side behind the water pump, to the tensioner and back to the crankshaft pulley. Keep pulling on the right side to keep tension on the belt. Keep your left hand on the top camshaft sprocket to hold the belt tight.

Loosen the tensioner bolt with the wrench and allow it to apply tension to the belt. Do not tighten it yet. Check to make sure the timing marks are still in position. Turn the crankshaft sprocket two turns clockwise and re-align the timing marks. If the marks are still in alignment, tighten the tensioner bolt securely. If the marks are off at all, even a half a tooth, remove the belt and do it over until it is correct.

Install the lower timing cover and tighten bolts. Install the crankshaft pulley and tighten bolts to 85 foot-pounds with a socket. Install the valve cover and tighten all the bolts. Install the hold- down clamps for the throttle cable and tighten. Install the upper timing-belt cover and tighten the bolts.

Install the upper motor mount and tighten the bolts. Install the accessory belts. Use a wrench to turn the tensioner bolt clockwise until sufficient tension is achieved. Install the inner splash shield and the wheel and tire . Tighten the lug nuts with the lug wrench. Raise the car with the floor jack,. Remove the jack stand and lower the car.

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