Hi folks. I have a 1998 Civic LX. Just under 160K miles. Ran when I
Some background. I am not a novice home mechanic. Been wrenching my own
stuff for at least 40 years.
I have done a number of timing belts on older non interference volvo 740s,
never a problem, other than the
time I forgot to tighten the camshaft gear bolt.....8*))).
I decided to change the timing belt on the civic. Found and used a step by
step set of directions from one of
the civic forums on line. Pulled it all apart, changed the belt and water
pump and tension pully. I used a
mirror to align the two side marks on the camshaft gear with the head to
block surface. I aligned the crank
pully with the mark by the oil pump. I set the engine to TDC before
starting (at least I think I did, never
checked it against the distributor rotor), and made sure that I didn't move
the crank or the camshaft much
more than I needed to during disassembly, and always restored it to
I set the tension according to directions, and afterwards, it felt like it
was at the correct tightness.
I did unbolt the crank position sensor and let it hang, but I don't think I
disconnected it. Not sure at this
point. The clearance from the sensor to the crank was a bit more than my
thickest feeler guage, I think
.040" plus. I tried to set it back to this clearance during reassembly.
The car cranks over but never attempts to fire. I did check for spark, and
had a strong spark, but now
don't have spark. I believe I have fuel. I hear the fuel pump cycle when
the key is turned on, and the plugs
are wet and I smell fuel.
Compression is fairly even, something like 115 to 125 across the four
The car hadn't seen a tuneup in some time. Plugs were almost worn out, air
filter dirty, and when I pulled the
distributor cap, the rotor contact that sends the spark to each wire during
rotation is pretty nasty, along with the
plug wire contacts inside the cap. I scraped them all as clean as I could,
still no start.
All fuses in the fuse box are good.
I'm suspecting that maybe I have the belt 180 degrees out. Or, the crank
position sensor is bad, or maybe I broke
a wire to it during the work.
Another factor, although slim, is that I took between 1 and 2 months to do
this. I work a lot, and worked on this
nights and weekends when I could. So, the car sat, but that shouldn't have
caused any problems. The battery
was disconnected during this whole time. I also put a charger on it, just
in case it was giving the ignition system
a low voltage. I have seen no starts when a battery was weak.
I will be pulling the timing covers to recheck things, or at least the top
cover. Then I'll set the crank at the single
mark, verify that the distributor is at #1, and check the camshaft position.
Have I missed anything? This is my first honda, don't usually mess with
these things. From the directions I used
it's all basics, nothing magic. Either I broke something or didn't set
things correctly.... or some random part
broke on coincidence.
Oh yeah, when I first put the belt on, I rotated the engine by hand 6
revolutions, and encountered no interference,
and all the timing marks came up to the correct position. Also, before I
tried to really start it, I pulled all the plug
wires off and cranked the engine over for several revolutions thinking that
if there were a valve strike, that maybe
the starter wouldn't be strong enough to bend it versus the engine running
Sorry for the length, wanted to give all details......