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1992 Accord. Timing belt and timing (off a tooth?) #4526587
09/26/17 09:29 AM
09/26/17 09:29 AM
Joined: Sep 2017
Posts: 24
Austin, Texas
RemingtonHill Offline OP
RemingtonHill  Offline OP
Joined: Sep 2017
Posts: 24
Austin, Texas
I might be overly paranoid - I just bought the car and for preventive measure I immediately had the timing belt and water pump, etc., replaced. Shortly after, apparently the the distributor failed (car ran when it was replaced). Afterwards it had an idle problem, occasionally felt like misfiring at idle.

Took it to another mechanic who fixed an over tensioned timing belt (tensioner installed incorrectly) and adjusted the timing. Car still misfired at idle and now I heard pinging/detonation. Took it back and they adjusted the timing completely again. I asked if they thought the timing belt was off a tooth but they seemed to feel that adjusting the "mechanical and electrical components" of the timing was the solution. I also had them check for vacuum leaks (apparently none).

I'm still getting the occasional moment of roughness in the idle, though its very, very diminished. No pinging anymore.

Did they compensate for a timing belt being off a tooth by adjusting the timing? Part of the adjustment was the distributor. It was centered, but now you see in the image that it's rotated quite a bit from center.

The occasional roughness might be air in the coolant, or a bad idle (air?) control valve. (from my online research) I'm going to check those things too.

Car runs smooth and fine. Would it possibly run well if the timing belt was off a tooth?

Thanks.



1988 Acura Legend ~171K miles - MaxLife ATF, MaxLife Synth Blend, Liqui-Moly MoS2
1992 Honda Accord ~151K miles - MaxLife ATF, PP High Mileage.
Re: 1992 Accord. Timing belt and timing (off a tooth?) [Re: RemingtonHill] #4526592
09/26/17 09:35 AM
09/26/17 09:35 AM
Joined: Sep 2015
Posts: 1,592
USA
mk378 Online content
mk378  Online Content
Joined: Sep 2015
Posts: 1,592
USA
Valve adjustment, a valve too tight will misfire at idle.
The test jumper must be in place to adjust spark timing. Make sure your mechanic has actual experience on old Hondas.

Last edited by mk378; 09/26/17 09:36 AM.
Re: 1992 Accord. Timing belt and timing (off a tooth?) [Re: mk378] #4526608
09/26/17 09:51 AM
09/26/17 09:51 AM
Joined: Jun 2009
Posts: 256
Maryville, TN
SubyRoo Offline
SubyRoo  Offline
Joined: Jun 2009
Posts: 256
Maryville, TN
Originally Posted By: mk378
Valve adjustment, a valve too tight will misfire at idle.
The test jumper must be in place to adjust spark timing. Make sure your mechanic has actual experience on old Hondas.


+1 on this. Its normal for the valves to become tighter as they wear on these engines. I've never had the distributor adjusted full lock like that on any of the Hondas I've worked on when the timing is set correctly. The test jumper is located under the dash just jump it with a paper clip to set the timing. The timing marks will be on the flywheel should be a small rubber plug you remove to see them.


1999 Acura Integra GS-R 271K
1998 Honda CR-V EX 255K
2010 Mazda 3 52K
Re: 1992 Accord. Timing belt and timing (off a tooth?) [Re: SubyRoo] #4526628
09/26/17 10:11 AM
09/26/17 10:11 AM
Joined: Jun 2009
Posts: 256
Maryville, TN
SubyRoo Offline
SubyRoo  Offline
Joined: Jun 2009
Posts: 256
Maryville, TN
Still thinking but it was too late to edit my last post. You could remove the inspection plug so you can see the timing marks on the flywheel bring cyl 1 to top dead center then pull the valve cover to see if the cam is in the proper position.


1999 Acura Integra GS-R 271K
1998 Honda CR-V EX 255K
2010 Mazda 3 52K
Re: 1992 Accord. Timing belt and timing (off a tooth?) [Re: RemingtonHill] #4526645
09/26/17 10:21 AM
09/26/17 10:21 AM
Joined: May 2009
Posts: 12,283
N.H, U.S.A.
ARCOgraphite Offline
ARCOgraphite  Offline
Joined: May 2009
Posts: 12,283
N.H, U.S.A.
On very mild cams a tooth off will be barely noticeable. To get more top end power I retarded the cam on my 1.8L VW fox one tooth (easy to do) and I couldn't tell the difference.

Is the engine rated under 50 HP per litre?


2014 Nissan Rogue S CVT, OC#10 47272mi-QSUD10W30+5w20 Toughguard Filter; '17 Subaru Crosstrek CVT OC#2 ?? mi-SOA/Idemitsu 0w20 + SOA Filter
Re: 1992 Accord. Timing belt and timing (off a tooth?) [Re: RemingtonHill] #4526648
09/26/17 10:26 AM
09/26/17 10:26 AM
Joined: May 2009
Posts: 12,283
N.H, U.S.A.
ARCOgraphite Offline
ARCOgraphite  Offline
Joined: May 2009
Posts: 12,283
N.H, U.S.A.
Coil-in-cap honda distributers had a spate of cracked/crazed caps on the early 1990's. I got one from the factory NEW and got another from the Honda dealer, My car wouldn't even start on humid weather days. Actually it was my wifes Honda civic 1.5? or 1.6. Throttle body SOHC..

What a piece of garbage. engine was worn at 50K miles - all the rockers were eaten up by the rocker shaft and you couldn't get a good valve clearance. Dealer would do NOTHING.

Nice, NICE! chassis though. No front mac strut GARBAGE then back when Mr S.Honda was alive.

Last edited by ARCOgraphite; 09/26/17 10:27 AM.

2014 Nissan Rogue S CVT, OC#10 47272mi-QSUD10W30+5w20 Toughguard Filter; '17 Subaru Crosstrek CVT OC#2 ?? mi-SOA/Idemitsu 0w20 + SOA Filter
Re: 1992 Accord. Timing belt and timing (off a tooth?) [Re: ARCOgraphite] #4526659
09/26/17 10:39 AM
09/26/17 10:39 AM
Joined: Jan 2008
Posts: 4,023
Guilford, CT
exranger06 Offline
exranger06  Offline
Joined: Jan 2008
Posts: 4,023
Guilford, CT
Originally Posted By: ARCOgraphite
Coil-in-cap honda distributers had a spate of cracked/crazed caps on the early 1990's. I got one from the factory NEW and got another from the Honda dealer, My car wouldn't even start on humid weather days. Actually it was my wifes Honda civic 1.5? or 1.6. Throttle body SOHC..

What a piece of garbage. engine was worn at 50K miles - all the rockers were eaten up by the rocker shaft and you couldn't get a good valve clearance. Dealer would do NOTHING.

Nice, NICE! chassis though. No front mac strut GARBAGE then back when Mr S.Honda was alive.

This car doesn't have a coil-in-cap distributor. It has an external coil.


2006 Ford Ranger Sport
1992 Honda Accord EX
2004 Honda CR-V LX
1994 Ford Bronco XLT (project)
2011 Cadillac Escalade ESV (wife's)
Re: 1992 Accord. Timing belt and timing (off a tooth?) [Re: SubyRoo] #4526662
09/26/17 10:42 AM
09/26/17 10:42 AM
Joined: Sep 2017
Posts: 24
Austin, Texas
RemingtonHill Offline OP
RemingtonHill  Offline OP
Joined: Sep 2017
Posts: 24
Austin, Texas
Originally Posted By: SubyRoo
I've never had the distributor adjusted full lock like that on any of the Hondas I've worked on when the timing is set correctly. The test jumper is located under the dash just jump it with a paper clip to set the timing. The timing marks will be on the flywheel should be a small rubber plug you remove to see them.


Do you think having the distributor adjusted full lock should be a cause for concern?


1988 Acura Legend ~171K miles - MaxLife ATF, MaxLife Synth Blend, Liqui-Moly MoS2
1992 Honda Accord ~151K miles - MaxLife ATF, PP High Mileage.
Re: 1992 Accord. Timing belt and timing (off a tooth?) [Re: RemingtonHill] #4526669
09/26/17 10:46 AM
09/26/17 10:46 AM
Joined: Dec 2008
Posts: 3,116
Occupied Virginia
Bottom_Feeder Offline
Bottom_Feeder  Offline
Joined: Dec 2008
Posts: 3,116
Occupied Virginia
Tooth off on a timing belt is somewhat hard to do unless the installer hasn't a clue with they are doing. Tooth off on the distributor is another story and may explain why the adjuster is at full lock. Both should be easy enough to verify given some time and disassembly and a proper service manual.

Re: 1992 Accord. Timing belt and timing (off a tooth?) [Re: RemingtonHill] #4526677
09/26/17 10:58 AM
09/26/17 10:58 AM
Joined: Jun 2009
Posts: 256
Maryville, TN
SubyRoo Offline
SubyRoo  Offline
Joined: Jun 2009
Posts: 256
Maryville, TN
Well the distributor will only fit into to camshaft one way it has an offset notch to make sure of it. I could see the possibility of the cam gear being a tooth off when the belt was installed effectively advancing or retarding the timing depending on which way the cam turned. Its easy to tell if it is off if you don't mind taking of the valve cover. These engines have two marks on the cam gear that are set to 9:00 and 3:00 and the word "up" stamped into it so you don't get the gear upside down. If they did not use the jumper in the test plug under the dash it would try to constantly adjust while turning the dist. attempting to adjust the timing. Looking at the pic it looks like it is adjusted towards the radiator which I believe is retarding the timing.

Last edited by SubyRoo; 09/26/17 11:02 AM.

1999 Acura Integra GS-R 271K
1998 Honda CR-V EX 255K
2010 Mazda 3 52K
Re: 1992 Accord. Timing belt and timing (off a tooth?) [Re: RemingtonHill] #4526679
09/26/17 11:02 AM
09/26/17 11:02 AM
Joined: Jan 2009
Posts: 284
San Diego, California
Jim_Truett Offline
Jim_Truett  Offline
Joined: Jan 2009
Posts: 284
San Diego, California
It's actually not that hard to be off a tooth. You can inspect it by removing the side cover on the head. Set the crank to TDC and see where the marks on the cam sprocket line up with the head. You will be off around 9 degrees on the cam if it is off a tooth IIRC. That would be one reason for the distributor to be maxed out like that. It is keyed to only be inserted one way. Can't be off a tooth. You can force it in 180* out, but that usually results in breakage. The other possibility is a lousy aftermarket distributor. In my experience they are all junk.


2008 F250 6.4 PowerStroke 49k
2005 Honda Pilot 248k
1963 Nova SS 84k
2015 Civic Si 32k
2013 Mahindra 3016HST 99hrs
Re: 1992 Accord. Timing belt and timing (off a tooth?) [Re: Jim_Truett] #4526698
09/26/17 11:29 AM
09/26/17 11:29 AM
Joined: Sep 2017
Posts: 24
Austin, Texas
RemingtonHill Offline OP
RemingtonHill  Offline OP
Joined: Sep 2017
Posts: 24
Austin, Texas
Originally Posted By: Jim_Truett
The other possibility is a lousy aftermarket distributor. In my experience they are all junk.


It is a new aftermarket Amazon distributor I paid about $75 for, so it might very well be lousy, and I have considered that possibility (and advised the new mechanic of this as well hoping they considered it their diagnosis).

The original mechanic was one I found off next-door website. He very well could have installed the belt wrong. He's the one that screwed up the tensioner/tension.


1988 Acura Legend ~171K miles - MaxLife ATF, MaxLife Synth Blend, Liqui-Moly MoS2
1992 Honda Accord ~151K miles - MaxLife ATF, PP High Mileage.
Re: 1992 Accord. Timing belt and timing (off a tooth?) [Re: ARCOgraphite] #4526703
09/26/17 11:40 AM
09/26/17 11:40 AM
Joined: Sep 2017
Posts: 24
Austin, Texas
RemingtonHill Offline OP
RemingtonHill  Offline OP
Joined: Sep 2017
Posts: 24
Austin, Texas
Originally Posted By: ARCOgraphite
Is the engine rated under 50 HP per litre?


It's 2.2L and 125 HP.


1988 Acura Legend ~171K miles - MaxLife ATF, MaxLife Synth Blend, Liqui-Moly MoS2
1992 Honda Accord ~151K miles - MaxLife ATF, PP High Mileage.
Re: 1992 Accord. Timing belt and timing (off a tooth?) [Re: RemingtonHill] #4526824
09/26/17 02:06 PM
09/26/17 02:06 PM
Joined: Jan 2013
Posts: 911
California
Kool1 Offline
Kool1  Offline
Joined: Jan 2013
Posts: 911
California
I remember a Honda Accord came into the garage I worked at and the owner complained that the vehicle was low on power. He told me the timing belt was changed a few thousand miles ago. I saw that the distributor was set like yours where it was maxed out in adjustment. The owner told me that he brought the vehicle to a garage the day before and they tried adjusting the timing. I could see file marks where they ground away part of the distributor housing to advance the distributor further. I took off the timing cover and set the engine to TDC. It was apparent that the timing belt was a tooth off. I disassembled and realigned everything which allowed the distributor placement back in the normal range with timing set and the customer was good to go.

Re: 1992 Accord. Timing belt and timing (off a tooth?) [Re: Kool1] #4526850
09/26/17 02:47 PM
09/26/17 02:47 PM
Joined: Sep 2017
Posts: 24
Austin, Texas
RemingtonHill Offline OP
RemingtonHill  Offline OP
Joined: Sep 2017
Posts: 24
Austin, Texas
Originally Posted By: Kool1
the owner complained that the vehicle was low on power.


It's hard for me to judge whether it's unusually low on power. My other car is a more powerful V6, but this Honda certainly isn't very fast by comparison, but performance is adequate albeit not as powerful as I remember my parents 1990 Accord EX was back in the early '90s, but that was a long time ago.


1988 Acura Legend ~171K miles - MaxLife ATF, MaxLife Synth Blend, Liqui-Moly MoS2
1992 Honda Accord ~151K miles - MaxLife ATF, PP High Mileage.
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