89 Accord timing belt problem?

The timing belt went on my 89 Accord SEI. It's the 2 liter SOHC with auto trans. No damage to pistons or valves and put a new one on it. The problem
is that now I can't turn the dist enough to get it to advance to the red timing mark, where it used to be. I did this job once, several years ago and didn't have any problems. I positioned the cam sprocket with the "up" mark up and the little mark on each side even with the top of the head. I have the crank at TDC. I made sure of it by checking the #1 piston's travel. The flywheel, or whatever it is that has the marks, has, from retard side to advance side, a hash mark and a "T" next to it. That checks out as TDC. After that, there is about a half inch gap and then, what looks like the letter (G) .. another gap and then about 4 hash marks with the middle one red. After the red one is, what looks like the number "5". I assume that the one to the left of the red is the number "1", making it (15), for the number of degrease that it's supposed to be set before TDC. Anywhoo ... I can't get it to advance past the (G) looking mark which is way before the red one. I tore it back apart and rechecked the cam sprocket and the TDC mark ... they are OK.
The procedure, according to the "Haynes" book, for setting ignition timing is to disconnect and plug the two vacuum hoses that go to the advance and then set it to 15 BTDC, reconnect the hoses and you're good to go. That's how I did it last time. Don't know why I can't duplicate it.
I got a hold of an Accord service manual and it tells you to set it at 4 BTDC with the hoses disconnected and plugged. There is no 4 degree mark. I guess supposedly, it's supposed to go to 15 after rehooking the vac advance? I replaced the vac advance a few years ago. I just checked it and it holds, with vac pump on either connection. It also mentions how to check for vacuum from the hoses and suggests that if not there, it might be a problem with the "Ignition control solenoid valve". To check that you are supposed to have the engine running and warmed up. Anyway, I have it torn apart with belt on and if I have to adjust the belt, now's the time.
It seems like, to be able to do it the Haynes way, I would have to move the belt a tooth. That's the only way I'll be able to get it to advance the ign. timing to 15 BTDC. Any help or thoughts on this would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance
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Forrest wrote:

then you have the cam timing wrong. you need to re-time it.
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jim beam wrote:

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Yep, and changing the ignition timing doesn't fix the real problem . . Sorry.
'Curly'
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Thanks for the reply, but I'm not trying to change the timing to fix the problem. I have the cam sprocket aligned using the two dots, one on each side, that are supposed to be even with the top of the head. I used a 1 inch wide putty knife ...... laid it down flat on the head surface and against each mark. I got them exactly even with the top of the head. I used a homemade manometer to check for TDC on #1 cyl, and it lined up with the mark on the flywheel. So, it's set properly, according to the Haynes book. The way I see it is, that I have to move a tooth over to be able to get any more advancement on the ignition timing. Now, one tooth on the crank equals two on the cam .... or .......... try one on the cam, or ... is it the same ...? If it's all aligned ... and it is. Why the problem?
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after initial installation of the belt, you must rotate the crankshaft counter-clockwise to check the cam timing tighten the tensioner and re-check the timing
good luck
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wrote:

Been there, done that. I even drove it around before taking it apart again. All marks line up, while turning the crank in the running direction, which tensions the belt properly, and still can't turn the distributor enough, toward the advance direction, to set the ignition timing to the red 15 degree mark. It maxes out about half way between TDC and the red mark.
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Forrest wrote:

then you're either timing to the wrong mark, or your timing light is set wrong. done right, the marks absolutely line up, absolutely 100% of the time.
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did you adjust valve clearances after installing the belt? if so, did you notice any anomalies? the exact belt replacement shoud result in no deviation in valve clearances
if all is well, then i'm sure the vac advanced diaphragm is faulty
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