How to Change the Front Oil Seal on a 1989 Honda Accord

The job of the front oil seal is to prevent oil from leaking out of the engine. Like most mechanical parts, the oil seal will eventually fail and must be replaced. The oil seal for a 1989 Honda Accord is located on the camshaft. Therefore, work must be done under the valve cover and the timing belt must be removed. With the correct tools, the job will take about three hours.

Tools Used: Adjustable wrench, Painter's tape, Socket set, Ratchet, Pencil, Phillips screwdriver, Oil seal, Clean rag, Assembly grease, Torque wrench

Change Front Oil Seal

Loosen the nuts on the negative ("-") battery cable using an adjustable wrench. Lift the cable off the battery post and wrap the connector in painter's tape. This prevents the car from receiving power in case the connector contacts the battery post.

Remove the nuts holding the valve cover in place using a socket and a ratchet.

Remove the spark plug wires from the spark plugs one by one by pulling the head of the wire up. Make sure to pull by the head and not the wire to ensure the internal wires do not get separated. Label each wire using a pencil and painter's tape. This ensures the correct wires go to the correct spark plugs.

Remove the spark plugs using a socket and ratchet.

Loosen the screws inside the distributor with a Phillips screwdriver. Lift the distributor up to remove it.

Turn the crankshaft to line up the pointer on the flywheel to Top Dead Center (TDC) of the compression stroke for the No. 1 cylinder. The crankshaft is turned using a socket and a ratchet and is accessed from a hole in the splash guard. TDC is marked on the cylinder.

Remove the bolts on the timing belt cover using a socket and ratchet. Remove the timing belt cover.

Loosen, but do not remove, the locking bolt on the belt adjuster to release tension on the belt.

Remove the timing belt. Inspect the timing belt and replace it with a new one during re-installation if necessary.

Loosen the screws on the rocker arms using a Phillips screwdriver.

Loosen the rocker arm assembly bolts to remove the rocker arm assembly. Loosen each bolt two turns at a time and in a crossing pattern to relieve tension evenly. Lift the rocker arm assembly to remove it.

Remove the camshaft by lifting one end out of place then pull the other end out. The camshaft is located on the cylinder head.

Remove the oil seal from the camshaft. The oil seal is located on the end of the camshaft.

Clean the camshaft to remove the old grease using a clean rag.

Apply a thin layer of assembly grease to the camshaft.

Install the new oil seal with the spring side facing the camshaft.

Replace the rocker arm assembly. Tighten the bolts with a torque wrench to 16 foot-pounds in the following sequence: Start with the middle bottom bolt, move to the middle top bolt, move one bolt to the left, move down to the bottom bolt, move two bolts to the right on the bottom, move up to the top bolt, move three bolts to the left, move down to the bottom bolt, move four bolts to the right on the bottom, finally, move to the top bolt.

Install the other components in reverse order they were removed starting at Step 10. Tighten the adjusting bolt for the timing belt to 31 foot-lb.

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