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Old 13 Jul 2008, 05:42 pm
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Location: So. California
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Default 89 Accord timing and timing belt problem

I posted this to a Honda newsgroup and am not getting much. I guess there is something about not crossposting but I don't know how else to explain what's happening so I'll just post it here the same way ...
The timing belt went on my 89 Accord SEI. It's the 2 liter SOHC with auto trans. No damage to pistons or valves and put a new one on it. The problem is that now I can't turn the dist enough to get it to advance to the red timing mark, where it used to be. I did this job once, several years ago and didn't have any problems. I positioned the cam sprocket with the "up" mark up and the little mark on each side even with the top of the head. I have the crank at TDC. I made sure of it by checking the #1 piston's travel. The flywheel has, from retard side to advance side, a hash mark and a "T" next to it. That checks out as TDC. After that, there is about a half inch gap and then, what looks like the letter (G) .. another gap and then about 4 hash marks with the middle one red. After the red one is, what looks like the number "5". I assume that the one to the left of the red is the number "1", making it (15), for the number of degrease that it's supposed to be set before TDC. Anywhoo ... I can't get it to advance past the (G) looking mark which is way before the red one.
I tore it back apart and rechecked the cam sprocket and the TDC mark with tension on the belt by pressure from turning the crank in the running direction ... they are OK.

The procedure, according to the "Haynes" book, for setting ignition timing is to disconnect and plug the two vacuum hoses that go to the advance and
then set it to 15 BTDC, reconnect the hoses and you're good to go. I think that's
how I did it last time. Don't know why I can't duplicate it.

I got a hold of an Accord service manual and it tells you to set it at 4 BTDC with the hoses disconnected and plugged. There is no 4 degree mark. I guess supposedly, it's supposed to go to 15 afterrehooking the vac advance?
I replaced the vac advance a few years ago. I just checked it and it holds, with vac pump on either connection. It also mentions how to check for vacuum from the hoses and suggests that if not there, it might be a problem with the "Ignition control solenoid valve". To check that you are supposed to have the engine running and warmed up. Anyway, I have it torn apart with belt on and if I have to adjust the belt, now's the time.

It seems like, to be able to do it the Haynes way, I would have to move the cam sprocket a tooth. That's the only way I'll be able to get it to advance the ignition timing to 15 BTDC. Any help or thoughts on this would be greatly
appreciated. Thanks in advance
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