Pinging noise on 98 civic after valves ajustment

Hi all, I recently replaced timing belt/water pump on my wife's 98 civic. I also ajusted valves clearance as well. After taking the car for its first ride, my wife complained about a pinging noise that I
immediatly validated. I checked back the belt job - everything was fine. I also did the valves clearance ajustement another time to make sure everything was done well. So it is.
What happened here? Any help will be greatly appreciated, thanx.
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By any chance does the noise go away after the car is warmed up? Is it more like a ticking noise?
If so, all is well. It just means the valve lash is adjusted on the large side, rather than the small, which is preferable. If the valve lash is too small, a valve may overheat and burn.

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Unfortunatly, the noise does not go away when engine becomes warm. Not sure about the ticking sound, it is not ''rpm syncro'' and it only appears under load (when accelerating)
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Please check your repair manual and tell us whether or not your car has a knock sensor.
You need to reset the timing.
Check these items:
It may be related to the spark plug wires or the spark plugs.
You may have a vacuum leak.
It may be related to the EGR valve.
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It does have a KS. I dont think plugs or wires could be involved, since the problem atrated immediatly after the belt/valves job
How do you reset timing? this is a new interresting element to me;
It may have a vacuum leak, ill check for it as soon as the car gets back here ;)
Thanx alot
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You need a timing light. Hopefully, the instructions should come with the timing light. If you have a repair manual, there may be instuctions in the manual on how to adjust the timing. Perhaps someone could post the URL of a website that provides instuctions on how to set the timing. Perhaps you could ask one of your friends to show you how to do it. It's really easy. Jason
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The Chilton's manuals for Honda autos have the instructions for setting the timing.
Jason is correct that after a timing belt job, one is supposed to check and adjust as necessary the timing.
Here's a nice overview, with photos, for setting the timing on an older Honda. Much or all of the steps should be the same for a 98 Civic.
http://www.norcalcrx.org/ht.html#ignition
Also, the 97 Civic manual at http://www.honda.co.uk/car/owner/workshop.html may replicate the steps for a 98, but no guarantees. It's at least worth reviewing.
I bought my timing light on Ebay for about $15. Nothing fancy is needed.
Not sure this is behind the pinging. I'd be a little concerned it was coming from the water pump, whose bearings make a high pitched cheap-cheap noise, for one, if they are near failure.
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Elle, Thanks for your excellent post. You always seem to provide really great advice. Keep up the great work. We appreciate it. I have learned a lot from your posts and the posts of the other mechanics. Jason
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snip

Oops. I shopped Ebay, where timing lights move very fast, but not being fast enough, I ended up happily buying an old Craftsman timing light at a pawn shop for $15. The pawn shop owner let me check it out in the parking lot, first.

Likewise, Jason. I'd forgot that, of course the ignition timing (the one adjusted by twisting the distributor housing) can be affected with the installation of a new timing belt.
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Elle, You are welcome. Keep up the great work. I wish that I knew as much about the electronics related to engine controls as you know. I was a mechanic's helper during those years (1960's) before they had all of those electronics. It was easy to be a mechanic in those days. I have a great amount of respect for the new generation of mechanics. The only draw-back is the excessive cost of testing equipment. Back in those days, almost everyone did all of the mechanical work on their cars--that's not true in these days. Jason
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I suspected you were one of those long-time automobile engineering enthusiasts.
I bet you can diagnose carburetor problems like there's no tomorrow.
OTOH, just comparing my 91 Civic's bare-bone electronics to, say, the 2006 Civic's electronics is frightening! My attitude with my 91 Civic's electronics is replace, don't repair. Anyone who reads my site's igniter exploration, where I thought a certain resistor might be a capacitor, might have suspected this. :-)
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That is probably the way that most mechanics do it. For example, I doubt if very many mechanics would be able to repair the ECU. It would be much easier to replace the ECU than repair it. One of the mechanics from my generation is of the opinion that the car companies made the new cars in such a way that people now have to take their cars to the dealership's shop and pay for the repairs instead of being able to do their own repairs of mechanical problems. I doubt if he was correct. However, it's true that most people are no longer able to repair their own cars. I don't even have the expensive test equipment that I need to make any repairs. You are fortunate to work in a shop that has the expensive test equipment. Jason
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Thanx alot for the links. I am pretty familiar with the timing light procedure. I thought it was electronicaly controlled or something like that. Ill check for that too. Thanx alot again.
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doozcoopey wrote:

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Keep in mind that changing the TB shouldn't throw the ignition timing out by more than a degree or two. If you find that it's out about 10+ degrees, you can be sure the new belt is not timed correctly (cam timing), or the OLD BELT was not timed correctly, and somebody previously adjusted the ignition timing to compensate. Telltale sign: The distributor should sit in the middle of it's adjustment 'range'. If it's all the way to one side, something's really wrong.
Since you mentioned water pump, I mentioned AIR in the system (and heater core). The computer may 'compensate' for a wrong temp reading by changing timing and fuel-air mix = ping.
'Curly'
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doozcoopey wrote:

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Sounds like your timing is incorrect. Computer will do that if your coolant is not absolutely full, or the timing was reset without putting the service jumper on. Fill reservoir to MAX, per the owner's manual and see if it gets better next day (then refill reservoir to MAX again). No tap water.
'Curly'
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The coolant may not be full as i also replaced the water pump. Why the computer would retard/advance ignition because the coolant is not full? What about the timing reset without the service jumper? fill me! thanx alot all, I now have 3 good points to check: vacuum leak, timing degree and coolant level! Im closer and closer ;)
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well, coolant was good (engine is running for a week now) ans no vacuum leak. I didnt check for timing because my timing light is dead :( It was an old thing anyway. But as you said earlier, my distributor is right in the middle of it's adjustment range. so no big issue. So im starting over :(
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