88 civic LX D15B3 timing marks

Discussion in 'Civic' started by Bryan Williams, May 27, 2011.

  1. I am looking for someone to verify the timing marks on my old civic's
    D15B3 engine before I put it back together. my manuals list many
    engines, but not this one specifically. the pointer on the crank
    shaft; no problem. I am wondering about the cam marks though. level
    marks horizontal seems to no want to line up when the belts on. I
    could be wrong though and just need to look at it again. I want to
    make sure this isn't one of those motors that use the mark on the
    bottom pointing down at an angle.

    Anyone had experience with this motor???
    Bryan Williams, May 27, 2011
  2. Bryan Williams

    jim beam Guest

    sounds like the belt's off a tooth. when set right, everything is
    exactly on.

    not the d15. if you want, you can use a mark against that pointer, but
    you'll have to scribe your own. it's 5.5° off the "d16" mark - approx
    the edge of one tooth. but even that's not a great indicator because in
    some cases, the plastic cover has gotten hot and distorts slightly so
    what you're pointing at won't line up exactly. that's not the case with
    the d15 - the metal head edges don't go anywhere!

    make sure you have the right marks on the crank - sometimes, because of
    rust or bad light under the hood, it's possible to mistake the crank tdc
    for the ignition timing marks.

    one more thing - don't over-tighten that belt. the cam bearing is just
    the soft aluminum of the head. over-tightening munches that cam through
    the head and tears will flow. follow the tensioning procedure in the
    manual to the letter. [if you're using a haynes "manual", advise you
    take it out to the back yard, pour gasoline over it and ignite. worse
    than useless.] make sure the tensioning pulley is free to slide - make
    sure it's clean and the bolt is not so loose it doesn't sit square.
    yes, that weak little spring is all the tension you need.
    jim beam, May 27, 2011
  3. Bryan Williams

    Tegger Guest

    You should have an "UP" mark on the cam pulley. The horizontal lines should
    line up with the head surface, not with the horizon.

    And when you line up the crank pulley, you sight the TDC mark from directly
    overhead. There are pins on the front of the timing cover that are used as
    Tegger, May 27, 2011
  4. Bryan Williams

    jim beam Guest

    if you have the covers and the main crank pulley off, there's also a
    pointer on the oil pump housing that lines up with a mark on the crank's
    tooth belt pulley. probably have to wipe crud off it, but it's there
    and quite handy.

    tdc on the crank pulley is the single mark, not the triple.
    jim beam, May 27, 2011
  5. Bryan Williams

    Tegger Guest

    It does make things simpler, that's for sure.

    In my area, the pulley rusts and the paint comes off. That can make it hard
    to find all the marks, and a surprising number of people miss the single
    mark that's off by itself. All the more reason to use the oil-pump mark as
    a startinmg point.
    Tegger, May 27, 2011
  6. You guys really came through, thanks! This is what I needed.

    I have it torn all the way down because I replaced the water pump and
    thus the belt too. The mark on the crank gear was not what I expected!
    Small and subtle, especially when dirty. I wasn't sure what I was
    looking at so I took it off and cleaned it, I kind of expected
    something more or bigger. Thats when I went back to the oil pump and
    uncovered the arrow that was also non existent due to black crud. The
    cam gear line up seems real straight forward.

    I think I had everything right, but I think I fell apart when it cam
    to putting the belt on. I think I was leaving some slack on the front/
    radiator side, and was introducing that tooth off problem but not
    seeing it until I tensioned it. Its all about the details... And then
    I started to second guess the relevant reference marks because of
    something I saw in the Haynes book. I have my Honda Service Manual for
    my 95 civic that I have used most of the time actually because it just
    seems to cross over because the engines really aren't all that
    different. However, it is specific for that 1995 generation and
    doesn't reference this 1988 motor directly. Thats where I got weird
    about it.

    So should I expect much of a difference when it comes to shining a
    timing light on that crank pulley? Should I expect the need for fine
    adjusting on the distributor, or maybe not out at all? I have never
    timed these Honda's. All the years I have owned many it has not come
    up until now. Looks like I have to jumper or short a connector at a
    module under the hood?

    You guys gave me great details. Especially on the tensioning part. I
    am a second guesser when it comes to tensioning belts. I just am.

    So it sounds like in my case: I line the gears up, put the timing belt
    on, seat it, tension it, rotate it, check tension, then, everything
    should still line up as original. When the crank pulley is on, the
    white stand alone mark should line up with the "gun" sights. With that
    lined up, it is TDC. In a perfect world the cam will lined up level
    with the top of the head at the same time. I'm pretty sure this is
    right but any feed back is more than welcome...
    Bryan Williams, May 28, 2011
  7. Bryan Williams

    jim beam Guest

    same engine family, same procedures.

    you should re-time it. when set correctly, the distributor should be
    pretty much dead center of its slots. start there and adjust
    accordingly. do when the motor is at normal operating temp.

    for the 88, yes, under the hood. it's near the driver side motor mount.
    use a paper clip. it's particularly important on the 88 for some reason.

    no. you line it up, put the belt on, rotate it three times, /then/ set
    the tension when the cam is in the position it states in the book. and
    the tension is done by the pulley spring, not you. only rotate the
    engine counter-clockwise from the pulley end.

    the tension pulley bolt can be finicky. unless you've already put it
    all back together, take the pulley off and wipe down the sliding surface
    of the block, and the back of the pulley. apply a little engine oil to
    make sure it slides right, then put back into position with the tension
    spring in place. tighten the bolt by hand so it keeps the face of the
    sliding surfaces square with each other without tilting, but is still
    free to slide. finger tight basically.

    then, when you've got the belt on, timed, and ready to tension, tighten
    the bolt with a ratchet and socket [preferably torque wrench!] and rock
    backwards and forwards on it slightly as you tighten. this is crucial
    because if the bolt is too loose, the pulley tilts and digs in at a
    position so that when as it tightens, it puts excess tension on the
    belt. and if you don't believe that excess belt tension can cause
    misery, go to a junkyard and look at some of the honda cylinder heads
    you'll find there. lots of tears.

    jim beam, May 29, 2011
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