1997 Honda Civic EX Timing Belt ReplacementBy
Thanks Jeff ) When replacing the timing belt of a 1997 Honda Civic EX with a 1.6 engine there are a few things you will want to do while having the front section of the engine torn down. The first thing is to make sure you buy a quality OEM ( Original Equipment Manufacture ) Replacement Timing Belt.
I cannot stress that enough. The last thing you need is a timing belt breaking due to the saving of a few dollars. I highly recommend buying a complete 70,000 mile kit that has everything in it ( ie. belt, water pump, seals ect. ). this will save you a lot of time and millage when trying to collect everything up. Meyers sell's one of the best kits I have seen for Honda Civics.
When replacing the timing belt ,replace the water pump, belt tensioner and even the front main seal while you are in there. Check your serpentine belts for any damage or cracking and splitting. Now would be a good time to change them out. It will save you a lot of time and money down the road if you do everything in one shot.
When setting the timing during belt replacement, it is critical that you set the camshaft marks with the pointers on the cam sprocket with the marks on the back plate or engine head and that you see the word " UP " on the sprocket. Next check the timing mark on the bottom at the crankshaft sprocket.
I use white out to help lighten the mark to make it easier to see. You should see a small arrow on the oil pump housing. Be very careful not to move either sprocket very far to the left or right because valve damage could occur. These engines are referred to in the Auto industry as " Interference Engines " which means to say that they zero clearance between the valves and the piston tops. So if the timing belt breaks, you pay for a new valve job and possibly piston replacement.
Thats why it is very critical to change the belt no more than 70,000 miles. In fact I recommend changing it at 40,000 just to be safe. After you get your timing belt on, its always a good idea to slowly rotate the engine a couple of times and then check your upper and lower marks to see if they have moved on you . Make sure they are as close as possible and then tighten the tensioner bolt down . One more thing. When installing the front main seal, its always a good idea to put a small coat of oil on the lip of the seal so it doesn't tear on start up.
I hope this has been helpful to you and if you have any feed back about this, I would like to hear it. And remember if you have any questions to consult your repair manual. Chiltons and Haynes make some really good ones. If you get lost or need a question answered, just click on the contact us tab and leave me a comment and I will do my best to answer it and if this article has been helpful to you then please click on the coffee cup icon below to help us keep this site running. Thanks. Jeff