Honda Accord/Prelude 1984-1995 Repair Guide

Timing Belts and Covers

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REMOVAL & INSTALLATION



1984-89 Accord and 1984-87 Prelude

See Figures 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 1: Timing belt and components used on 1984-89 Accord and 1984-87 Prelude

  1. Rotate the crankshaft to align the flywheel pointer to Top Dead Center (TDC) of the No. 1 cylinder's compression stroke.
  2.  



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Fig. Fig. 2: The crankshaft can be rotated through the access hole in the splash shield

  1. Remove the valve cover and upper timing belt cover bolts and the covers.
  2.  
  3. Loosen the alternator and remove the pulley belt(s).
  4.  
  5. On all vehicles with externally driven water pumps, remove the water pump pulley bolts, the belt and the pulley.
  6.  
  7. Remove the crankshaft pulley.
  8.  

Expect this bolt to be very tight. Make certain the vehicle is securely supported before applying force to the bolt; the amount of force required may cause the car to become unstable on the jackstands.

  1. Remove the timing belt cover retaining bolts and the timing belt covers.
  2.  



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Fig. Fig. 3: The lower timing belt cover can be removed from under the vehicle

  1. Loosen but do not remove the belt adjuster locking bolt. Move the adjuster (against the spring tension) to relax the belt and secure the adjusting bolt to hold the adjuster in the loosened position.
  2.  
  3. Use a piece of chalk or a marker to place an identifying arrow on the timing belt. The arrow can identify the direction of rotation or the outer edge of the belt. The belt must be reinstalled so it moves in the same direction. Carefully remove the belt from the pulleys without crimping it. Protect the belt from oil, coolant, etc. It's an even better idea to replace the belt at this point.
  4.  
  5. Inspect the teeth of the pulleys and sprockets, making sure the faces are clean and square.
  6.  

To install:
  1. Double check the position of the engine. The timing pointer must be aligned with the white mark on the flywheel; the cam pulley must be set so the small dot or the word UP is vertical and the marks on the edges of the pulley are aligned with the surface of the head.
  2.  



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Fig. Fig. 4: Be sure the engine is properly positioned. Note the UP mark on the cam pulley

  1. Fit the belt to the engine and slide it onto the cam pulley.
  2.  



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Fig. Fig. 5: Don't forget to install the timing belt guides

  1. Loosen the adjusting bolt slowly, allowing the adjuster to move against the belt. Tighten the adjuster bolt temporarily.
  2.  
  3. Install the lower timing belt cover.
  4.  
  5. Install the crankshaft pulley and key.
  6.  
  7. Adjust the timing belt tension. Loosen the adjusting bolt. Rotate the crankshaft counterclockwise until the camshaft pulley has moved 3 teeth. Tighten the adjusting bolt to 31 ft. lbs. (43 Nm).
  8.  



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Fig. Fig. 6: The timing belt must be properly tensioned to prevent early belt failure

  1. Install the water pump belt and pulley. Tighten the pulley bolts to 9 ft. lbs. (12 Nm).
  2.  
  3. Install the drive belts, tension them properly and secure the alternator.
  4.  
  5. Install the upper timing belt cover and the valve cover.
  6.  
  7. Start the engine, allowing it to idle. Listen carefully for any indication of the belt rubbing or slapping the covers.
  8.  

1988-91 Prelude

See Figures 7, 8 and 9

  1. Disconnect the negative battery cable.
  2.  
  3. Turn the engine to align the timing marks and set cylinder No. 1 to TDC on the compression stroke. Once in this position, the engine must NOT be turned or disturbed.
  4.  
  5. Drain the engine coolant. Use a clean container and cap it when full. Wipe up spillage immediately.
  6.  
  7. Support the engine with a floor jack on the oil pan (use a cushion between the jack and pan). Tension the jack so that it is just supporting the engine but not lifting it.
  8.  



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Fig. Fig. 7: Timing belt and components used on DOHC Prelude engines



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Fig. Fig. 8: Timing belt and components used on SOHC Prelude engines

  1. Remove the side engine support bolts and nuts, then remove the side mount. Remove the cruise control actuator if so equipped; move the actuator out of the way without disconnecting or kinking the cable.
  2.  
  3. Remove the splash shield from below the engine.
  4.  



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Fig. Fig. 9: Rotate the crankshaft counterclockwise until the camshaft pulley has moved 3 teeth, then tighten the adjuster bolt to the specified torque

  1. Loosen the adjusting nut for the power steering belt and remove the belt. Remove the adjusting pulley and the power steering pump. Move the pump out of the way with the hoses attached.
  2.  
  3. Disconnect the wiring at the alternator. Remove the alternator through-bolt; remove the mounting and adjusting bolts and remove the alternator and belt.
  4.  
  5. On cars with air conditioning, remove the compressor mounting bolts. Remove the compressor and belt. Do not disconnect the lines from the compressor. Position the compressor out of the way and support it with stiff wire.
  6.  
  7. On fuel injected vehicles, remove the ignition wires from the valve cover and remove the harness protector from the cylinder head.
  8.  
  9. Remove the valve cover.
  10.  
  11. Unfasten the crankshaft bolt and remove the crankshaft pulley.
  12.  

This bolt is one of the tightest on the entire car. The pulley must be held in place while the bolt is loosened. One trick is to wrap an old drive belt around the pulley to hold it steady-don't try this with a belt that is to go back on the car; it will be stretched or damaged.

  1. Remove the timing belt covers.
  2.  
  3. Loosen, but do not remove, the adjusting bolt on the timing belt tensioner. Move the tensioner off the belt and retighten the bolt.
  4.  
  5. Use a piece of chalk or a marker to place an identifying arrow on the timing belt. The arrow can identify the direction of rotation or the outer edge of the belt. The belt must be reinstalled so it moves in the same direction. Carefully remove the belt from the pulleys without crimping it. Protect the belt from oil, coolant, etc. It's an even better idea to replace the belt at this point.
  6.  

To install:
  1. Double check the engine position; it must be at TDC for No. 1 cylinder. All of the following conditions must be met: The timing pointer is aligned with the white mark on the flywheel or flexplate, the UP mark on each camshaft pulley is at the top and the alignment marks on each cam pulley are aligned with the edges of the cylinder head.
  2.  

On fuel injected engines, each of the camshafts may be held in the TDC position by inserting 5mm diameter punches into the alignment holes just behind each cam pulley.

  1. If using the same timing belt, install it so that it rotates in the same direction as before. Remove the punches holding the cams if they were installed.
  2.  
  3. Loosen the tensioner adjusting bolt, and allow it to apply pressure to the belt.
  4.  
  5. Reinstall the lower belt cover.
  6.  
  7. Reinstall the crankshaft pulley and key. Coat the threads of the bolt with light oil, but do not lubricate the face of the bolt which contacts the washer. On fuel injected engines, tighten the bolt to 108 ft. lbs. (150 Nm); on carbureted engines, tighten the bolt to 83 ft. lbs. (115 Nm).
  8.  

The chamfered side of the washer faces the bolt. Tightening of the bolt is best accomplished with the wheels blocked, the parking brake applied and the transmission in gear (manual) or in Park (automatic).

  1. Loosen the timing belt adjuster bolt. Rotate the crankshaft counterclockwise until the camshaft pulley has moved 3 teeth to create tension on the belt. Tighten the adjuster bolt to 31 ft. lbs. (43 Nm).
  2.  
  3. Install the valve cover and the upper belt covers. On fuel injected vehicles, reinstall the ignition wires and the harness protector.
  4.  
  5. Reinstall the A/C compressor and belt. Tighten the mounting bolts to 18 ft. lbs. (25 Nm).
  6.  
  7. Reinstall the alternator and belt.
  8.  
  9. Install the power steering pump and belt, tightening the bolts to 20 ft. lbs. (27 Nm).
  10.  
  11. Adjust the accessory belt tensions.
  12.  
  13. Install the side engine mount and the cruise control actuator if it was removed. Tighten the engine mount bolts to 29 ft. lbs. (40 Nm) and the nuts to 47 ft. lbs. (65 Nm).
  14.  
  15. Refill the engine coolant.
  16.  
  17. Connect the negative battery cable.
  18.  
  19. Start the engine, allowing it to idle. Check the work area carefully for any sign of fluid leakage or any indication of the belt rubbing or slapping the covers. Bleed the cooling system.
  20.  
  21. Shut the engine off. Reinstall the splash shield.
  22.  

1990-95 4-Cylinder Accord and 1992-95 Prelude

See Figures 10, 11, 12 and 13

  1. Disconnect the negative battery cable.
  2.  
  3. Turn the engine to align the timing marks and set cylinder No. 1 to TDC on the compression stroke. Once in this position, the engine must NOT be turned or disturbed. On DOHC Preludes without VTEC, hold each of the camshafts in the TDC position by inserting 5mm diameter punches into the alignment holes just behind each cam pulley.
  4.  
  5. Remove the splash shield from below the engine.
  6.  
  7. Drain the engine coolant. Use a clean container; cap or cover the container and wipe up spillage.
  8.  
  9. Unplug the electrical connector at the cruise control actuator, then remove the actuator. Don't disconnect the cable; simply move the actuator out of the work area.
  10.  
  11. Remove the belt from the power steering pump. Remove the mounting bolts for the pump. Without disconnecting the hoses, move the pump out of the way.
  12.  
  13. Unplug the alternator wiring and connectors; remove the engine wiring harness from the valve cover.
  14.  
  15. Loosen the adjusting and mounting bolts for the alternator and/or compressor. Remove the drive belt(s).
  16.  
  17. Remove the valve cover.
  18.  
  19. Remove the side engine mount support bracket, if equipped.
  20.  
  21. Remove the upper timing belt cover.
  22.  
  23. Support the engine with a floor jack on the oil pan (use a cushion between the jack and pan). Tension the jack so that it is just supporting the engine but not lifting it.
  24.  
  25. Remove the side engine mount.
  26.  
  27. Remove the dipstick and dipstick tube.
  28.  
  29. Remove the crankshaft pulley bolt and remove the crankshaft pulley.
  30.  

This bolt is one of the tightest on the entire car. The pulley must be held in place while the bolt is loosened. One trick is to wrap an old drive belt around the pulley to hold it steady-don't try this with a belt that is to go back on the car; it will be stretched or damaged.

  1. If necessary for additional clearance to remove the lower timing belt cover, remove the two rear bolts from the center beam. Slowly lower the jack and the engine until the clearance is gained.
  2.  
  3. Remove the rubber seal from around the belt tension adjusting nut (do not loosen the nut). Remove the lower timing belt cover.
  4.  
  5. On all models except Prelude with VTEC, lock the timing belt adjuster arm in place using one of the lower cover (6 x 1mm) mounting bolts.
  6.  



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Fig. Fig. 10: On all engines except VTEC, the belt adjuster arm must be locked in place using one of the lower cover mounting bolts

There are two belts in this system; the one running to the camshaft pulley is the timing belt. The other, shorter one drives the balance shaft and is referred to as the balancer belt or timing balancer belt. Use a piece of chalk or a marker to place an identifying arrow on the belts. The arrow can identify the direction of rotation or the outer edge of the belts. The belts must be reinstalled so it moves in the same direction. Protect the belts from oil, coolant, etc. It's an even better idea to replace the belts at this point.

  1. Loosen the timing belt adjustment nut. Push on the tensioner to relieve tension from the balancer belt, then tighten the nut. Remove the balancer belt.
  2.  
  3. On all models except Prelude with VTEC, loosen the lockbolt installed earlier and the adjusting nut. Push on the tensioner to release the timing belt, then tighten the nut. Carefully remove the timing belt. On Prelude VTEC models, remove the timing belt from the pulleys, then remove the bolts securing the auto-tensioner. Remove the auto-tensioner from the engine.
  4.  

To install:
  1. Check the position of the timing marks. The timing pointer must be perfectly aligned with the TDC (white mark) on the flywheel or flex-plate; the camshaft pulley must be aligned so that the word UP is at the top of the pulley and the marks on the edge of the pulley are aligned with the surfaces of the head. Additionally, the face of the front timing balancer pulley has a mark which must be aligned with the notch on the oil pump body. This pulley is the one to the left crank when viewed from the pulley end.
  2.  
  3. Fit the timing belt over the pulleys and tensioner. On DOHC engines without VTEC, remove the 5mm pin punches from behind the cam pulleys.
  4.  
  5. Except Prelude VTEC models:
    1. Temporarily install the crank pulley and bolt.
    2.  
    3. Loosen the tensioner adjusting nut 1 turn, then tighten it. Rotate the crankshaft counterclockwise until the camshaft pulley has moved 3 teeth to create tension on the belt. Loosen the nut again, then tighten it to 33 ft. lbs. (45 Nm).
    4.  

  6.  

Always rotate the crankshaft counterclockwise when viewed from the pulley end. Rotating it clockwise will cause improper adjustment and possible damage.

  1. On Prelude VTEC models:
    1. Hold the auto-tensioner with the maintenance bolt facing up. Loosen and remove the bolt.
    2.  

  2.  

Handle the tensioner carefully so the oil inside does not spill or leak. Replenish with clean engine oil if any does leak. Total capacity is1/4fl. oz. (8 ml).

  1. Make sure all timing marks are positioned correctly (as described earlier).
  2.  
  3. Align the rear timing balancer pulley (to the right of the crank pulley) using a 6x100mm bolt or rod. Mark the bolt or rod at a point 2.913 in. (74mm) from the end. Remove the bolt from the maintenance hole on the side of the block; insert the rod into the hole. Align the 74mm mark with the face of the hole. This pin will hold the shaft in place during installation.
  4.  
  5. Loosen the tensioner adjusting nut and verify that the timing balancer belt adjuster moves freely.
  6.  



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 13: The balancer shaft must be held in position during timing belt installation

  1. Fit the balancer belt over the pulleys. Remove the bolt or rod from the maintenance hole.
  2.  
  3. Temporarily install the crank pulley. Rotate the engine one turn counterclockwise, then tighten the tensioner adjusting nut to 33 ft. lbs. (45 Nm). Double check the positions of the timing marks and make sure they still line up. If not remove the belts and repeat the procedures.
  4.  

Both belt adjusters are spring-loaded to properly tension the belts. Do not apply any additional pressure to the pulleys or tensioners while performing the adjustment.

  1. Remove the crank pulley. Remove the lockbolt installed earlier on the timing belt adjuster arm. Install the maintenance bolt with a new washer. Tighten it to 22 ft. lbs. (30 Nm).
  2.  
  3. Install the lower cover, making certain the rubber seals are in place and correctly located. Tighten the retaining bolts to 9 ft. lbs. (12 Nm).
  4.  
  5. If applicable, raise the lower beam and engine into place. Install the rear bolts for the lower beam. Tighten them to 28 ft. lbs. (39 Nm) on 1990-91 Accords, 37 ft. lbs. (50 Nm) on 1992-95 Accords and 43 ft. lbs. (60 Nm) on 1992-95 Preludes.
  6.  
  7. Install the key on the crankshaft and install the crankshaft pulley. Apply oil to the bolt threads and tighten it to the following:

    1990 Accord: 166 ft. lbs. (230 Nm)
     
    1991-93 Accord: 159 ft. lbs. (220 Nm)
     
    1992-93 Prelude: 159 ft. lbs. (220 Nm)
     
    1994-95 Accord and Prelude: 181 ft. lbs. (245 Nm)
     

  8.  

  1. Install the dipstick tube and dipstick.
  2.  
  3. Install the side engine mount (refer to engine removal and installation for procedures). Remove the jack from under the engine.
  4.  
  5. Install the upper belt cover.
  6.  
  7. Install the side engine mount support bracket if it was removed.
  8.  
  9. Install the valve cover.
  10.  
  11. Install the compressor and/or alternator drive belt; adjust the tension.
  12.  
  13. Route the wiring harness over the valve cover and connect the wiring to the alternator.
  14.  
  15. Install the power steering pump and install the belt.
  16.  
  17. Reinstall the cruise control actuator. Connect the vacuum hose and the electrical connector.
  18.  
  19. Double check all installation items, paying particular attention to loose hoses or hanging wires, untightened nuts, poor routing of hoses and wires (too tight or rubbing) and tools left in the engine area.
  20.  
  21. Refill the engine coolant.
  22.  
  23. Install the splash shield under the engine.
  24.  
  25. Connect the negative battery cable.
  26.  
  27. Start the engine, allowing it to idle. Check for any signs of leakage or any sound of the belts rubbing or binding.
  28.  

Accord V-6

See Figures 14 and 15

  1. Disconnect the negative battery cable.
  2.  
  3. Turn the engine to align the timing marks and set cylinder No. 1 to TDC on the compression stroke. Once in this position, the engine must NOT be turned or disturbed.
  4.  
  5. Raise and safely support the vehicle. Remove the front wheels and the splash shield from below the engine.
  6.  
  7. Drain the engine coolant. Use a clean container; cap or cover the container and wipe up spillage.
  8.  



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 14: Timing belt and components used on the Accord V-6

  1. Support the engine with a floor jack on the oil pan (use a cushion between the jack and pan). Tension the jack so that it is just supporting the engine but not lifting it.
  2.  
  3. Remove the side engine mount.
  4.  
  5. Remove the belt from the power steering pump.
  6.  
  7. Loosen the adjusting and mounting bolts for the alternator and compressor. Remove the drive belt(s).
  8.  
  9. Remove the dipstick and tube.
  10.  
  11. Remove the crankshaft pulley bolt and remove the crankshaft pulley.
  12.  

This bolt is one of the tightest on the entire car. The pulley must be held in place while the bolt is loosened. One trick is to wrap an old drive belt around the pulley to hold it steady-don't try this with a belt that is to go back on the car; it will be stretched or damaged.

  1. Remove the upper and lower timing belt covers.
  2.  
  3. Loosen the timing belt adjustment bolt. Push on the tensioner to relieve tension from the belt, then tighten the bolt. Remove the timing belt.
  4.  

To install:
  1. Check the position of the timing marks. The pointer on the oil pump must be perfectly aligned with the TDC mark (keyway) on the timing belt drive pulley; the camshaft pulleys must be aligned so that the marks on the edge of the pulleys are aligned with the notches on the back covers.
  2.  
  3. Fit the timing belt over the pulleys and tensioner in the following sequence.
    1. Timing belt drive pulley (crankshaft).
    2.  
    3. Tensioner.
    4.  
    5. Front camshaft pulley (front side of the engine compartment).
    6.  
    7. Water pump pulley.
    8.  
    9. Rear camshaft pulley (firewall side of the engine compartment).
    10.  

  4.  

Make sure the timing belt drive pulley and the camshaft pulleys are still at TDC.

  1. Loosen the tensioner adjusting bolt to tension the belt, then tighten it.
  2.  
  3. Install the lower and upper covers, making certain the rubber seals are in place and correctly located. Tighten the retaining bolts to 9 ft. lbs. (12 Nm).
  4.  
  5. Install the crankshaft pulley. Apply oil to the bolt threads and tighten it to 181 ft. lbs. (245 Nm).
  6.  
  7. Rotate the engine clockwise 5 or 6 turns to set the timing belt. Loosen the tensioner adjusting bolt 180 degrees, then tighten it to 31 ft. lbs. (42 Nm).
  8.  



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 15: Rotate the engine clockwise 5 or 6 turns to set the timing belt

  1. Double check the positions of the TDC timing marks on the crankshaft and camshaft pulleys and make sure they still line up. If not remove the belt and repeat the procedures.
  2.  
  3. Install the dipstick tube and dipstick.
  4.  
  5. Install the side engine mount (refer to engine removal and installation for procedures). Remove the jack from under the engine.
  6.  
  7. Install the compressor and alternator drive belts; adjust the tension.
  8.  
  9. Install the power steering pump belt. Adjust the tension.
  10.  
  11. Double check all installation items, paying particular attention to loose hoses or hanging wires, untightened nuts, poor routing of hoses and wires (too tight or rubbing) and tools left in the engine area.
  12.  
  13. Refill the engine coolant.
  14.  
  15. Install the splash shield under the engine and the front wheels.
  16.  
  17. Connect the negative battery cable.
  18.  
  19. Start the engine, allowing it to idle. Check for any signs of leakage or any sound of the belt rubbing or binding.
  20.  

 
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