How to Replace The Timing Belt & Water Pump on a 1996 - 2000 Honda Accord EX / Prelude 2.3L (H23A1) Engine
On interference engines, it is very important to replace the timing belt at the recommended intervals, otherwise expensive engine damage will likely result if the belt fails.
Removal & Installation
1.Disconnect the negative battery cable.
2.Turn the crankshaft so the No. 1 piston is at Top Dead Center (TDC) on the compression stroke.
The No. 1 piston is at TDC when the pointer on the block aligns with the white painted mark on the flywheel for manual transmission or driveplate for automatic transmission.
3.Remove all necessary components for access to the rocker arm (valve) cover, then remove the rocker arm (valve) cover.
4.Ensure the words UP embossed on the camshaft pulleys are aligned in the upward position.
5.Insert a 5.0mm pin punch in each of the camshaft caps, nearest to the pulleys, through the holes provided.
6.Remove the upper and middle timing belt covers.
7.Support the engine with a floor jack below the center of the center beam. Tension the jack so that it is just supporting the beam but not lifting it. Remove the 2 rear bolts from the center beam to allow the engine to drop down for clearance to remove the lower cover.
8.Remove and discard the rubber seal from the timing belt adjuster. Do not loosen the adjusting nut.
9.Remove the lower timing belt cover.
10.There are 2 belts in this system; the one running to the camshaft pulley is the timing belt. The other, shorter belt drives the balance shaft and is referred to as the balancer belt or timing balancer belt. Lock the timing belt adjuster in position, by installing one of the lower timing belt cover bolts to the adjuster arm.
11.Loosen the timing belt and balancer shaft tensioner adjuster nut(s), do not loosen the nut(s) more than 1 turn. Push the tensioner for the balancer belt away from the belt to relieve the tension. Hold the tensioner and tighten the adjusting nut to hold the tensioner in place.
12.Carefully remove the balancer belt by sliding it off of the pulleys. Do not crimp or bend the belt; protect it from contact with oil or coolant.
13.Remove the balancer belt drive sprocket from the crankshaft.
14.Loosen the lockbolt installed in the timing belt adjuster and loosen the adjusting nut. Push the timing belt adjuster to remove the tension on the timing belt, then tighten the adjuster nut.
15.Remove the timing belt by sliding it off of the pulleys. Do not crimp or bend the belt; protect it from contact with oil or coolant.
16.If defective, remove the belt tensioners by performing the following:
A.Remove the springs from the balancer belt and the timing belt tensioners.
B.Remove the adjusting nut.
C.Remove the bolt from the balancer belt adjuster lever, then remove the lever and the tensioner pulley.
D.Remove the lockbolt from the timing belt tensioner lever, then remove the tensioner pulley and lever from the engine.
This is an excellent time to check or replace the water pump. Even if the timing belt is only being replaced as part of a good maintenance schedule, consider replacing the pump at the same time.
17.If the water pump was replaced, install a new O-ring and make certain it is properly seated. Install the water pump and retaining bolts. Tighten the mounting bolts to 106 inch lbs. (12 Nm).
18.If the tensioners were removed perform the following to install them:
A.Install the timing belt tensioner lever and tensioner pulley.
The tensioner lever must be properly positioned on its pivot pin located on the oil pump. Be sure that the timing belt lever and tensioner moves freely and does not bind.
•Install the lockbolt to the timing belt tensioner, do not tighten the lockbolt at this time.
•Install the balancer belt pulley and adjuster lever.
•Install the adjusting nut and the bolt to the balancer belt adjuster lever. Do not tighten the adjuster nut or bolt at this time.
Be sure that the balancer lever and tensioner moves freely and does not bind.
•Install the springs to the tensioners.
•Move the timing belt tensioner its full deflection and tighten the lockbolt.
•Move the balancer its full deflection and tighten the adjusting nut.
19.The crankshaft timing pointer must be perfectly aligned with the white mark on the flywheel or flex-plate. The camshaft pulley must be aligned so that the word UP is at the top of the pulley and the marks on the edge of the pulley are aligned with the surfaces of the head.
20.Install the timing belt.
21.Install the balancer belt drive sprocket to the crankshaft.
22.Remove the 2, 5.0mm pin punches from the camshaft bearing caps.
23.Loosen the bolt used to lock the timing belt tensioner. Loosen, then tighten the timing belt adjuster nut.
24.Turn the crankshaft counterclockwise until the cam pulley has moved 3 teeth; this creates tension on the timing belt. Loosen, then tighten the adjusting nut and tighten it to 33 ft. lbs. (45 Nm). Tighten the bolt used to lock the timing belt tensioner.
25.Realign the timing belt timing marks.
26.Align the groove on the front balancer shaft pulley with the pointer on the oil pump.
27.Align the rear timing balancer pulley using a 6 x 100mm bolt or rod. Mark the bolt or rod at a point 2.913 in. (74mm) from the end. Remove the bolt from the maintenance hole on the side of the block; insert the bolt/rod into the hole and align the 74mm mark with the face of the hole. This pin will hold the shaft in place during installation.
28.Loosen the adjusting nut and ensure the timing balancer belt adjuster moves freely.
29.Install the balancer belt. Once the belts are in place, be sure that all the engine alignment marks are still correct. If not, remove the belts, realign the engine and reinstall the belts. Once the belts are properly installed, slowly loosen the adjusting nut, allowing the tensioner to move against the belt. Remove the pin from the maintenance hole and reinstall the bolt and washer.
30.Turn the crankshaft pulley 1 full turn and tighten the adjusting nut to 33 ft. lbs. (45 Nm).
Both belt adjusters are spring loaded to properly tension the belts. Do not apply extra pressure to the pulleys or tensioners while performing the adjustment.
31.Remove the 6 x 100mm bolt from the timing belt adjuster arm.
32.Install the timing belt and rocker arm (valve) covers. Reinstall all applicable components. When installing the crankshaft pulley, coat the threads and seating face of the pulley bolt with engine oil, then install and tighten the bolt to 181 ft. lbs. (250 Nm). When installing the side engine mount, tighten the bolt and nut attaching the mount to the engine to 40 ft. lbs. (55 Nm), and the through-bolt and nut to 47 ft. lbs. (65 Nm). Remove the jack from under the center beam.
33.Connect the negative battery cable.
(Photo courtesy of: edmunds.com)