Honda Civic/CRX/del Sol 1984-1995 Repair Guide

Checking and Adjusting Timing

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See Figures 1 and 2

Honda recommends that the ignition timing be checked every 60,000 miles (96,500 km) and adjusted (if necessary).

On all Civic series engines the timing marks are located on the crankshaft pulley, with a pointer on the timing belt cover. All are visible while looking at the driver's side of the engine compartment. The timing is checked with the engine warmed to operating temperature-176°F (80°C)-idling in Neutral (manual transaxle) or Drive (automatic transaxle), and with all vacuum hoses connected.



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Fig. Fig. 1: Timing mark location on the timing cover and crankshaft pulley-1984-87



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Fig. Fig. 2: Clean the notches prior to setting the timing. This will make identifying them much easier

1984-87 MODELS



See Figures 3 through 6

  1. Stop the engine and connect a tachometer to the engine. The positive lead connects to the distributor side terminal of the ignition coil and the negative lead to a good ground, such as an engine bolt.
  2.  

On some models you will have to pull back the rubber ignition coil cover to reveal the terminals.

  1. Following the manufacturer's instructions, install a timing light to the engine. The positive and negative leads connect to their corresponding battery terminals and the spark plug lead to the No. 1 spark plug. The No. 1 spark plug is the one at the driver's side of the engine compartment.
  2.  



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Fig. Fig. 3: Connect the timing light to the No. 1 spark plug and the appropriate battery terminals

  1. Make sure that all wires are clear of the cooling fan and hot exhaust manifold.
  2.  
  3. Set the parking brake and block the front wheels. Start the engine. Check that the idle speed is set to specifications with the transaxle in Neutral (manual transaxle) or Drive (automatic transaxle).
  4.  
  5. If the distributor is equipped with a vacuum advance mechanism, disconnect the hose(s), plug it (them).
  6.  

At any engine speed other than specified, the distributor advance or retard mechanisms will actuate, leading to an erroneous timing adjustment.

  1. Point the timing light at the timing marks.
  2.  
  3. If necessary to adjust the timing, loosen the distributor hold-down bolt(s) and/or nut. Slowly rotate the distributor counterclockwise to retard the timing or clockwise to retard the timing while observing the timing marks.
  4.  



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Fig. Fig. 4: Turn the distributor counterclockwise to advance the timing or clockwise to retard the timing-1984-87 carbureted engine

Some models are equipped with two bolts, others are equipped with a bolt and a nut, which may be loosened to adjust ignition timing. If there is a smaller bolt on the underside of the distributor swivel mounting plate, it should not be loosened, unless you cannot obtain a satisfactory adjustment using the upper bolt. Its purpose is to provide an extra range of adjustment, such as in cases where the distributor was removed and then installed one tooth off.


CAUTION
Do not grasp the top of the distributor cap while the engine is running, as you might get a shock. Instead, grasp the distributor housing to rotate.

  1. To complete the adjustment operation, tighten the hold-down bolt, taking care not to disturb the adjustment. If equipped with a vacuum advance mechanism, unplug and reinstall the hose(s).
  2.  



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Fig. Fig. 5: Turn the distributor counterclockwise to advance the timing or clockwise to retard the timing-1984-87 fuel injected engine shown



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Fig. Fig. 6: To check the timing, rotate the distributor until it is within specification

1988-91 MODELS



Except CRX

See Figures 7 through 10



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Fig. Fig. 7: Location of the service check connector for 1992-95 models-shown is post-1993 model which also includes a 3-pin data link connector

  1. Start engine and allow to reach normal operating temperature (cooling fan comes on).
  2.  
  3. Remove the YEL rubber cap from the ignition timing adjusting connector. This is located at the rear of the engine compartment on 1988-89 models or under the right side of the dash on 1990-91 models.
  4.  



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Fig. Fig. 8: Location of the ignition timing adjusting connector-1988-91

  1. Connect a jumper wire between the BRN and GRN/WHT terminals of the connector.
  2.  
  3. Connect a timing light and check timing using the red timing mark.
  4.  



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Fig. Fig. 9: Aim the timing light at the crankshaft pulley-1988-91

  1. Timing should be:

    All Models Except Wagon-16-20° BTDC 675-750 rpm
     
    Wagon Models Except 1988 4WD-16-20° BTDC 700-800 rpm
     
    1988 4WD Wagon-16-20° BTDC 675-750 rpm
     

  2.  

  1. Adjust timing as needed, by turning the distributor counterclockwise to retard the timing, clockwise to retard the timing.
  2.  
  3. Turn engine off, remove jumper wire and install the rubber caps.
  4.  



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 10: Timing mark locations on the timing cover and crankshaft pulley-1988-91

CRX
  1. Start engine and allow to reach normal operating temperature (cooling fan comes on).
  2.  
  3. Remove the YEL rubber cap from the from the ignition timing adjusting connector, located at the rear engine compartment on 1988-89 models or under the right side of the dash on 1990-91 models.
  4.  
  5. Jumper the BRN and GRN/WHT terminals of the connector.
  6.  
  7. Connect a timing light and check timing using the red timing mark.
  8.  
  9. Timing should be:

    STD Models-16-20° BTDC at 675-750 rpm
     
    SI Models-16-20° BTDC at 700-800 rpm
     
    HF Models (Except California)-12-16° BTDC at 550-650 rpm
     
    HF Models (California)-12-16° BTDC at 600-700 rpm
     

  10.  

  1. Adjust timing as needed, by turning the distributor counterclockwise to retard the timing, clockwise to retard the timing.
  2.  
  3. Turn engine off, remove jumper wire and replace rubber caps.
  4.  

1992-95 MODELS



  1. Start engine and allow to reach normal operating temperature (cooling fan comes on).
  2.  
  3. Pull out the service check connector located behind the right kick panel.
  4.  
  5. Connect a jumper wire between the BRN and GRN/WHT terminals of the connector.
  6.  

Do not connect jumper wire to three pin Data Link connector on 1993 and later cars.

  1. Connect a timing light and check timing using the red timing mark.
  2.  
  3. Timing should be:
  4.  

All engine speed settings may vary 50 rpm above or below the specification.



D15Z1 engine: M/T-16° BTDC (RED) 600 rpm (USA) or 700 rpm (Canada)
 
D15B8 engine: M/T-12° BTDC (RED) 670 rpm (USA) or 750 rpm (Canada)
 
D15B7/D16Z6 engine: M/T-16° BTDC (RED) at 670 rpm (USA) or 750 rpm (Canada)
 
D15B7/D16Z6 engine: A/T-16° BTDC (RED) at 700 rpm (USA) or 750 rpm (Canada)
 

  1. Adjust timing as needed, by turning the distributor housing counterclockwise to retard the timing, clockwise to retard the timing.
  2.  
  3. Turn engine off and remove jumper wire.
  4.  

 
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