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#4526587 - 09/26/17 10:29 AM 1992 Accord. Timing belt and timing (off a tooth?)
RemingtonHill Offline


Registered: 09/13/17
Posts: 24
Loc: 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.

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#4526592 - 09/26/17 10:35 AM Re: 1992 Accord. Timing belt and timing (off a tooth?) [Re: RemingtonHill]
mk378 Offline


Registered: 09/27/15
Posts: 1414
Loc: 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.


Edited by mk378 (09/26/17 10:36 AM)

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#4526608 - 09/26/17 10:51 AM Re: 1992 Accord. Timing belt and timing (off a tooth?) [Re: mk378]
SubyRoo Offline


Registered: 06/08/09
Posts: 240
Loc: 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.
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#4526628 - 09/26/17 11:11 AM Re: 1992 Accord. Timing belt and timing (off a tooth?) [Re: SubyRoo]
SubyRoo Offline


Registered: 06/08/09
Posts: 240
Loc: 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
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#4526645 - 09/26/17 11:21 AM Re: 1992 Accord. Timing belt and timing (off a tooth?) [Re: RemingtonHill]
ARCOgraphite Offline


Registered: 05/17/09
Posts: 11964
Loc: 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?
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#4526648 - 09/26/17 11:26 AM Re: 1992 Accord. Timing belt and timing (off a tooth?) [Re: RemingtonHill]
ARCOgraphite Offline


Registered: 05/17/09
Posts: 11964
Loc: 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.


Edited by ARCOgraphite (09/26/17 11:27 AM)
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#4526659 - 09/26/17 11:39 AM Re: 1992 Accord. Timing belt and timing (off a tooth?) [Re: ARCOgraphite]
exranger06 Offline


Registered: 01/25/08
Posts: 3907
Loc: 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.
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#4526662 - 09/26/17 11:42 AM Re: 1992 Accord. Timing belt and timing (off a tooth?) [Re: SubyRoo]
RemingtonHill Offline


Registered: 09/13/17
Posts: 24
Loc: 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.

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#4526669 - 09/26/17 11:46 AM Re: 1992 Accord. Timing belt and timing (off a tooth?) [Re: RemingtonHill]
Bottom_Feeder Offline


Registered: 12/07/08
Posts: 3006
Loc: 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.

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#4526677 - 09/26/17 11:58 AM Re: 1992 Accord. Timing belt and timing (off a tooth?) [Re: RemingtonHill]
SubyRoo Offline


Registered: 06/08/09
Posts: 240
Loc: 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.


Edited by SubyRoo (09/26/17 12:02 PM)
_________________________
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#4526679 - 09/26/17 12:02 PM Re: 1992 Accord. Timing belt and timing (off a tooth?) [Re: RemingtonHill]
Jim_Truett Offline


Registered: 01/07/09
Posts: 277
Loc: 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.
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#4526698 - 09/26/17 12:29 PM Re: 1992 Accord. Timing belt and timing (off a tooth?) [Re: Jim_Truett]
RemingtonHill Offline


Registered: 09/13/17
Posts: 24
Loc: 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.

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#4526703 - 09/26/17 12:40 PM Re: 1992 Accord. Timing belt and timing (off a tooth?) [Re: ARCOgraphite]
RemingtonHill Offline


Registered: 09/13/17
Posts: 24
Loc: 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.

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#4526824 - 09/26/17 03:06 PM Re: 1992 Accord. Timing belt and timing (off a tooth?) [Re: RemingtonHill]
Kool1 Offline


Registered: 01/25/13
Posts: 906
Loc: 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.

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#4526850 - 09/26/17 03:47 PM Re: 1992 Accord. Timing belt and timing (off a tooth?) [Re: Kool1]
RemingtonHill Offline


Registered: 09/13/17
Posts: 24
Loc: 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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