advice on installing timing belt and wate rpump

i was on the expressway yesterday in my '88 honda civic sedan and it lost power and then shutoff. the timing belt stripped out and i'm hoping a valve
didn't get bent. today i'm planning on installing a new timing belt and water pump and need to know the easiest way to tell if the pistons are at TDC top dead center. also does the water pump require any kind of sealant? all advice is appreciated. Thanks.
-jeff
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Jeff wrote:

cover off and check valve lash. if any measure a big gap, the valve is bent and needs to be replaced. that requires head removal.
for the rest, buy the honda factory workshop manual from helm.com. it tells you exactly what to do every step of the way, including the critical procedure for correct tensioning of the timing belt. you'll also need a pulley wheel holder so you can remove and re-torque the pulley wheel belt. google this group for piecemeal info on belt change and go to tegger.com for info on tools, belt change, general good stuff.
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: i was on the expressway yesterday in my '88 honda civic sedan and it lost : power and then shutoff. the timing belt stripped out and i'm hoping a valve : didn't get bent. today i'm planning on installing a new timing belt and : water pump and need to know the easiest way to tell if the pistons are at : TDC top dead center. also does the water pump require any kind of sealant? : all advice is appreciated. Thanks. : : -jeff : Think about replacing your thermostat too, but TEST IT BEFORE YOU INSTALL IT.
Paul
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To check for valve damage, see the following thread and groups.google via www.groups.google.com :
http://groups.google.com/group/rec.autos.makers.honda/browse_thread/thread/49f352a52113ec87/15097157335e59a7?lnk=st&q=%22by+hand%22+valve+damage+group%3Arec.autos.makers.honda&rnum=7#15097157335e59a7
If the valves do not appear to be damaged, then the biggest impediment to changing the timing belt is often freeing the crankshaft pulley bolt. One needs either an industrial grade, very high torque air impact wrench or a special "pulley holding tool." Lots of folks here report the easiest route is to take the car to your local mechanic and have him/her use their serious impact wrench to free it up. Then snug up for the short ride home. Tip the mechanic $15, say.
Resources on how to break free a Honda pulley bolt: http://www.tegger.com/hondafaq/cranktool/index.html
http://home.earthlink.net/~honda.lioness/id6.html
You can start on this, maybe, then check back here for more input on other points.
Free online manuals that can help a lot: http://www.honda.co.uk/car/owner/workshop.html (try the 88-91 CRX manual for your Civic).
www.autozone.com Follow pointers to repair guides specific to your 88 Honda. It will give the exact torque spec for the pulley bolt, for one, when you re-assemble everything.
You should change the "front" (actually the right side of the engine as you stand at the car's front and look down at the engine) crankshaft and camshaft oil seals while you're doing this.
To help others, do you have any idea why your timing belt stripped? Age? Miles?

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hold on, on all the super careful advice because i'm buying another car anyway and i am just getting the parts installed but want it done right and test the car out. if it acts up and a valve is bent it will run terrible but i'm confident that's not the case. i just need to know about the TDC question and what to look for. i'm not replacing any pulleys and i don't think the water pump requires any sealant but it might help. i'm not replacing the tensioner either for the timing belt. it was leaking antifreeze onto the timing belt and that caused the slipping. get back with me with info. thankyou.
-jeff

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Jeff wrote:

a lack of empirical experience tends to breed false confidence.
your original post mentioned that you were driving on the freeway when the belt broke, this is a worst case scenario. the engine died with the transmission in gear thus it will keep spinning for a few rotations and the pistons will kiss the valves since theyre no longer in time.
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Once you get the crank pulley off, the timing belt cog has a TDC mark on it. The cam pulley also has an alignment mark on it. You line the two up properly (and I mean PROPERLY) and Bob's your uncle.
You do need to make sure TDC is compression, which means both crank and cam marks have to line up at the same time.

No, but you do have to take them off when replacing the timing belt, hence the other posters' admonishments.

Do not put sealant on the water pump flange. Just scrape smooth and use a new gasket.

You have to if it's worn. If you skimp on stuff like that just to keep your sale costs down, remind me never to buy a used car from you.

What? If it was leaking bad enough to make the belt jump, either the belt was too loose, it was too old, or you were using silicated coolant.
--
TeGGeR

The Unofficial Honda/Acura FAQ
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