Honda Civic/Del Sol 1996-2000

Belts

Print

Accessory drive belts used on the Civic and Civic del Sol models include two basic types: the flat multi-ribbed V-belt and serpentine belt. The flat multi-ribbed V-belt actually resembles a serpentine belt, however, unlike a serpentine belt, only the ribbed inner surface of the belt makes contact with the components' pulleys. Rarely, does the back of a multi-ribbed belt ride against an idler or tensioner pulley.

Multi-ribbed V-belts typically operate one or two accessories per belt, whereas a single serpentine belt can often times drive multiple the accessories. The flat multi-ribbed V-belts used on both the Civic and Civic del Sol models require periodic inspection and adjustment because the belts wear with age and are under tension and stretch over time. The serpentine belt is tensioned by a spring loaded tensioner assembly that keeps a constant tension on the belt at all times. As a serpentine belt wears and stretches over time, within a specified range, the tensioner automatically compensates for the wear and belt stretch.

INSPECTION



The maintenance intervals suggested by the manufacturer vary by time, operating conditions (normal or severe), and mileage. A good rule of thumb is to inspect the drive belts every 15,000 miles (24,000 km) or 12 months (whichever occurs first). On manually adjusted multi-ribbed V-belts, measure the belt tension at a point halfway between the pulleys by pulling or pressing on the belt with a known force and measuring how far the belt moves, referred to as the amount of deflection. Note that "deflection" is not free-play, but the ability of the belt, under actual tension, to stretch slightly and give. The specification for measuring belt tension includes the amount of force applied to the belt, and the amount of defection (movement) the belt should have when the force is applied. The amount of deflection varies depending on whether the belt is new or used. Although the manufacturer markets a specific tool for measuring belt deflection, a fisherman's spring scale capable of measuring a 22 lb. (98 N) pull and a small ruler can be substituted for this tool.

Inspect the belts for the following signs of damage or wear: glazing, cracking, fraying, crumbling or missing chunks. A glazed belt will be slightly brittle and perfectly smooth from slipping, and may exhibit a screeching noise when the engine is suddenly accelerated or first started. A good belt will have a slight texture of fabric visible and the surface should be soft and flexible. Cracks will usually start at the inner edge of a belt and run outward. A belt that is fraying will have the fabric backing de-laminating itself from the belt. A belt that is crumbling or missing chunks will have missing pieces in the cross-section of the belt, some times these chunks will be stuck in the pulley groove and not easily seen. All worn or damaged drive belts should be replaced immediately. It is best to replace all drive belts at one time, as a preventive maintenance measure.

Although it is generally easier on a component to have the belt too loose than too tight, a loose belt may place a high impact load on a bearing due to the whipping or snapping action of the belt. A belt that is slightly loose may slip, especially when component loads are high. This slippage may be hard to identify. For example, the generator belt may run okay during the day, and then slip at night when headlights are turned on. Slipping belts wear quickly not only due to the direct effect of slippage but also because of the heat a slipping belt generates. Extreme slippage may even cause a belt to burn. A very smooth, glazed appearance on the belt's sides, as opposed to the obvious pattern of a fabric cover, indicates that the belt has been slipping.

Both multi-ribbed V-belts and serpentine belts can be checked for wear by inspecting the physical condition of the belt. To check belt stretch on multi-ribbed V-belts, look at the amount of adjustment that remains on the sliding portion of the adjustment bracket, or the threaded portion of the adjustment screw. If the adjustment range has is at its fully extended portion, the belt should be replaced.

Serpentine drive belts should be inspected for rib chunking (pieces of the ribs breaking off), severe glazing, frayed cords or other visible damage. Any belt which is missing sections of 2 or more adjacent ribs which are 1 / 2 in. (13mm) or longer must be replaced. You might want to note that serpentine belts do tend to form small cracks across the backing. If the only wear you find is in the form of one or more cracks are across the backing and NOT parallel to the ribs, the belt is still good and does not need to be replaced.

To check belt stretch on a serpentine belt, look at the range indicator on the tensioner assembly. The tensioner arm has a pointer that is compared to a small rectangular reference block on the tensioner mounting bracket. If the tensioner pointer has reached or is beyond the edge of the inspection block, the belt has stretched beyond its wear limits and should be replaced.



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. An example of a healthy conventional "V" belt



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Deep cracks in a belt will cause flex, building up heat that will eventually lead to belt failure



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. The cover of this belt is worn, exposing the critical reinforcing cords to excessive wear

CHECKING BELT TENSION



A damaged drive belt can cause problems should it give way while the vehicle is in operation. However, improper length belts (too short or long), as well as excessively worn belts, can also cause problems. Loose accessory drive belts can lead to poor engine cooling and diminished output from the alternator, air conditioning compressor or power steering pump. A belt that is too tight places a severe strain on the driven unit and can wear out bearings quickly.


CAUTION
Always disable the power to the vehicle by disconnecting the negative battery cable before checking, replacing or adjusting the drive belts. Working with the drive belts requires placing tools, hands and fingers near areas of potential danger. In addition, the cooling fan could engage even with the ignition in the OFF position.

Multi-Ribbed V-Belts

To accurately check the belt tension of the multi-ribbed V-belts used on Honda products requires putting a known force on the belt midway between the longest straight distance between belt pulleys and measuring the belt's deflection. The specification varies depending on whether the belt is new or used. The manufacturer does have a belt tension gauge designed for this specific purpose, however a fisherman's spring scale capable of measuring 22 lbs. and a small ruler can be easily substituted. To use the fisherman's spring scale to pull on the belt requires that a small flat shaped hook be made to wrap around the belt and the small hook of the spring scale. A sturdy metal coat hanger is a good source for the needed hook. Use the spring scale to apply a force at a 90° angle to the belt via the metal hook and measure the amount of belt movement (deflection) with the ruler. To measure the belt deflection of a flat multi-ribbed V-belt proceed as follows:

  1. Note the radio security code and disconnect the negative battery cable.
  2.  
  3. Inspect the belt and determine the longest straight distance between two of the pulleys.
  4.  
  5. Determine the center point of the belt between the two pulleys of the longest straight distance between the two pulleys.
  6.  
  7. Attach one end the hook made for the spring scale to the center point of the belt and the other end to the spring scale and pull the spring scale at a 90° angle from the belt just enough to remove any slack in the hook.
  8.  
  9. Using a small ruler, place the ruler at a 90° angle to the belt, with the base of the rule aligned with, but not touching the non-ribbed side of the belt.
  10.  
  11. While holding the ruler stationary, pull the spring scale at a 90° angle from the belt, until the scale registers 22 lbs. while using the ruler to note the distance the belt has moved. This movement is the belt's deflection.
  12.  
  13. Compare the measurement with the following specifications to determine if the belt is properly adjusted.
  14.  
  15. Once the proper adjustment of the belt is achieved, remove the self-made hook, spring scale and ruler.
  16.  
  17. Reconnect the negative battery cable and enter the radio security code.
  18.  

Serpentine Belts

The serpentine belt tension and tensioner can be checked but they cannot be adjusted. An automatic spring-loaded tensioner assembly is used with these belts to maintain proper adjustment at all times. The tensioner also serves as a wear indicator. When the belt is properly tensioned, the arrow on the tensioner arm must point within the small rectangular reference area on the tensioners housing. If the arrow falls outside the range, either an improper belt has been installed or the belt has stretched beyond its wear limit. In either case, a new belt must be installed immediately to assure proper engine operation and to prevent possible accessory damage.

To check the serpentine belt tensioner assembly, look at the tension indicator on the tensioner assembly with the engine running. If the tensioner arm pointer moves excessively when the engine is running, the belt condition and the tensioner spring strength should be checked.

To check the tensioner spring strength proceed as follows:

  1. Remove the serpentine belt.
  2.  
  3. Remove the mounting bolts that secure the tensioner assembly to the engine.
  4.  
  5. Place two 6 mm bolts through the tensioner assembly mounting holes and clamp the two bolts into a suitable vise. Do not clamp the tensioner assembly itself.
  6.  
  7. Using a beam type torque wrench, measure the amount of torque required to move the tensioner in a counterclockwise direction. If the torque required to move the tensioner is less than 17 ft. lbs. (23 Nm), replace the tensioner assembly.
  8.  

ADJUSTMENT




CAUTION
Always disable the power to the vehicle by disconnecting the negative battery cable before checking, replacing or adjusting the drive belts. Working with the drive belts requires placing tools, hands and fingers near areas of potential danger. In addition, the cooling fan could engage even with the ignition in the OFF position.

Belt tension on multi-ribbed V-belts can be checked by applying a force on the belt at the center point of its longest straight span. The belt movement (deflection) is then measured to determine if the belt is properly tensioned. If the belt is loose, it will slip, whereas if the belt is too tight it will damage the bearings in the driven unit.

To tension a multi-ribbed V-belt there are generally three types of mounting and adjustment methods for the various components driven by the drive belt. These types of mounting and adjustment methods are as follows:



A pivoting component without an adjuster. This method, referred to as pivoting type without adjuster, is designed such that the component is secured by at least 2 bolts. One of the bolts is a pivoting bolt and the other is the lockbolt. When both bolts are loosened so that the component may move, the component pivots on the pivoting bolt. The lockbolt passes through the component and a slotted bracket, so that when the lockbolt's nut is tightened the component is held in that position. The component must be moved by hand, or by carefully leveraging it with a properly placed object such as a hardwood handle or suitable pry tool.
 
A pivoting component with an adjuster. This method of component mounting, referred to as pivoting type with adjuster, is designed such that the component is secured by at least 2 bolts, with one of the bolts serving as a pivoting bolt and the other a lockbolt. When the mounting bolts are loosened so that the component may move, the component is moved by turning an adjustment bolt. The adjuster is composed of a bracket attached to the component and a threaded adjusting bolt. After loosening the pivoting and lockbolts, the adjusting bolt can be tightened or loosened to increase or decrease the drive belt's tension. With this type of mounting, the component does not have to be held in a tensioned position while tightening the pivoting and lockbolts, because the adjusting bolt applies the tension to the belt.
 
A stationary mounted component with an adjustable idler pulley. This type of component mounting is referred to as the stationary type, because, the component(s) is (are) mounted in a stationary position without the use of pivoting or lockbolts. The drive belt tension is adjusted by moving the position of an idler pulley.
 

When checking or adjusting the multi-ribbed V-belts, note that the belt deflection specification varies from component to component, and changes if the belt is new or used. Note, the amount of force applied to the belts when checking belt deflection is 22 lbs. (98 N), however the amount of deflection varies depending on belt type and whether new or used. Refer to the following information for each model to properly check and adjust the multi-ribbed drive belts.

Alternator Belt/Air Conditioner Belt

The air conditioner compressor is mounted to the engine and cannot be moved, thus the belt is tensioned by moving the alternator which has two fasteners securing it to a bracket mounted on the engine. The lower lock nut and fastener are installed through a slotted bracket and the upper fastener allows the alternator to pivot.

To adjust:

  1. Note the radio security code and disconnect the negative battery cable.
  2.  
  3. Loosen the upper pivot nut and lower lock-nut.
  4.  
  5. Move the alternator by turning the adjustment bolt on the lower bracket. Turning the adjustment bolt clockwise increases the belt tension, conversely, turning the adjustment bolt counterclockwise will decrease the belt tension.
  6.  
  7. Tighten the upper pivot bolt and lower lock-nut and then check the belt tension.
  8.  
  9. If the belt tension is not within specification, repeat the previous procedures until the proper belt tension is achieved.
  10.  

If you are using a new belt, adjust the belt tension to the specifications for a new belt, then readjust to the used values after operating the engine for five (5) minutes.

  1. Using a belt tension gauge, adjust the tension of the belt to the following values;

    Used belt: 0.31-0.41 in. (8.0-10.5mm).
     
    New belt: 0.26-0.33 in. (6.0-8.5mm).
     

  2.  
  3. Once the correct tension is obtained, torque the bolts to the following specifications;

    Alternator adjusting bolt: 17 ft. lbs. (24 Nm).
     
    Upper and lower mount bracket bolts: 33 ft. lbs. (44 Nm).
     

  4.  
  5. Reconnect the negative battery cable and enter the radio security code.
  6.  

Power Steering Pump Belt

The power steering pump has two fasteners securing it to a bracket mounted on the engine. The upper lock nut and fastener are installed through a slotted bracket and the lower fastener allows the pump to pivot.

To adjust:

  1. Note the radio security code and disconnect the negative battery cable.
  2.  
  3. Loosen the upper lock-nut and lower pivot nut.
  4.  
  5. Move the pump by turning the adjustment bolt on the upper bracket. Turning the adjustment bolt clockwise increases the belt tension, conversely, turning the adjustment bolt counterclockwise will decrease the belt tension.
  6.  
  7. Tighten the upper lock-nut, lower pivot bolt, and then check the belt tension. If the belt tension is not within specification, repeat the previous procedures until the proper belt tension is achieved.
  8.  

If you are using a new belt, adjust the belt tension to the specifications for a new belt, then readjust to the used values after operating the engine for five (5) minutes.

  1. Using a belt tension gauge, adjust the tension of the belt to the following values;

    Used belt: 77-110 ft. lbs. (340-490 Nm)-all models except those equipped with the B16A2 engine.
     
    New belt: 143-176 ft. lbs. (640-780 Nm)-all models except those equipped with the B16A2 engine.
     
    Used belt: 88-120 ft. lbs. (390-540 Nm)-models equipped with the B16A2 engine.
     
    New belt: 170-200 ft. lbs. (740-880 Nm)-models equipped with the B16A2 engine.
     

  2.  
  3. If you do not have access to a belt tension gauge, refer to the following values;

    Used belt: Belt deflection should be 0.30-0.43 in. (7.5-11.0mm)-models equipped with the B16A2 engine.
     
    New belt: Belt deflection should be 0.20-0.28 in. (5.0-7.0)-models equipped with the B16A2 engine.
     
    Used belt: Belt deflection should be 0.41-0.55 in. (10.5-14.0mm)-all models except those equipped with the B16A2 engine.
     
    New belt: Belt deflection should be 0.30-0.39 in. (7.5-10.0mm)-all models except those equipped with the B16A2 engine.
     

  4.  
  5. Reconnect the negative battery cable and enter the radio security code.
  6.  

REMOVAL & INSTALLATION





Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. The lower left engine mount may have to be lowered to allow belt removal


CAUTION
Always disable the power to the vehicle by disconnecting the negative battery cable before checking, replacing or adjusting the drive belts. Working with the drive belts requires placing tools, hands and fingers near areas of potential danger. In addition, the cooling fan could engage even with the ignition in the OFF position.

If a belt must be replaced, the driven unit or idler pulley must be loosened and moved to its extreme loosest position, generally by moving it toward the center of the engine. After removing the old belt, check the pulleys for dirt or built-up material, which could affect belt contact. Carefully install the new belt, remembering that it is new and unused; it may appear to be just a little too small to fit over the pulley flanges. Fit the belt over the largest pulley (usually the crankshaft pulley at the bottom center of the engine) first, then work on the smaller one(s). Gentle pressure in the direction of rotation is helpful. Some belts run around a third, or idler pulley, which acts as an additional pivot in the belt's path. It may be possible to loosen the idler pulley as well as the main component, making the job much easier. Depending on which belt(s) being changed, it may be necessary to loosen or remove other interfering belts to access the being replaced.

When buying replacement belts, remember that the fit is critical according to the length of the belt ("diameter") and the width of the belt. The belt shape should match the shape of the pulley exactly. Belts that are not an exact match can cause noise, slippage and premature failure.

After the new belt is installed, draw tension on it by moving the driven unit or idler pulley away from the engine and tighten its mounting bolts. This is sometimes a three or four-handed job; and an assistant could be helpful. Make sure that all the bolts that have been loosened are retightened and that any other loosened belts have the correct tension. A new belt can be expected to stretch a bit after installation, so be prepared to readjust the new belt, if needed, within the first two hundred miles of use.

 
label.common.footer.alt.autozoneLogo