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Honda Civic
Timing Belts and Chains

How do you change a timing belt on a 1998 Honda Civic four-door?


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2015-07-16 19:00:32
2015-07-16 19:00:32

you will need an engine hoist (or something to hold your engine up because you will need to take off the engine mount on the drivers side to get to the belt cover off, so go rent one at pep boys or somewhere, and pick up an instruciton manual on how to change the belt, otherwise you will get some incomplete instrucitons like i did

You will need 2 days off in which if you don't have your car, you're safe.

You need the patience of a madman.

You need the phone to call the towing company and an auto mechanic when you've had about enough of it.

You need to stop being cheap, and just pay a professional.

Being handy is cool, but this is one thing that it's just not worth it...

pay someone to do it.

I've replaced TB's on my 92 and 98 civics. Yes, it's not easy but it is doable if you're an above average mechanic. Obviously, i cant go into all the details in this answer but here are some things to beware of. The flywheel pulley bolt is extremely tight and cannot be removed without a pneumatic wrench. make sure when you put the A/C idler pulley back on you put it on the same way it came off or you'll be buying a new one when you crush the pulley trying to tighten it. be prepared to replace all the drive belts when you do this as they all have to come off anyway. also Honda always recommends replacing the water pump in conjunction w/ the TB which i did both times (the TB drives the WP and if the WP seizes after you've gone to all the trouble to replace your TB your screwed). IMPORTANT!!! DO NOT ROTATE THE CAM SHAFT AFTER PULLING THE BELT!!!! Get a Haynes Manual for your car and follow the directions and you should be good. You can save 2-300 bucks by doing it yourself. I also recommend using Honda parts for something as serious as this. One last thing, check your engine mounts because the last time i did this my mounts were in need of replacement and i didn't have them so i recommend buying them (if you can return them w/ no penalty) as the driver's side mounts have to be disconnected to perform this job and are fairly easy to replace once your in up to your elbows. Good Luck, your Humble Home Mechanic

I have done this about 5 times on 1980 and 1998 Civic. You will definitely need some patience otherwise pay to have this done. The hardest thing about this job is getting the crank bolt out. This is how I did it. You need to stop the crank pulley from turning while you are trying to remove the crank bolt. 1.Use a chain wrench to hold the pulley. (Wrap the pulley with an old belt first so the chain wrench doesn't damage the pulley). 2. Get a big breaker bar. My neighbor is a mechanic and with our combined effort we got the bolt loose, barely. Use a good quality socket that won't break while you are pulling with all your strength for obvious reasons! 3. Expect the small woodruff key to fall on the ground when you remove the pulley. Be ready for this and don't lose the woodruff key. The last time I did this, I used an electric impact wrench and it was so much easier.

Additional comments. The dipstick tube needs to be removed. A few drops of penetrating oil where the tube enters the oil pan helped. Grab the tube with visegrips and wiggle it out. Don't clamp down too hard with the vise grip you don't want to crush the tube. There is also a clip that holds the tube to the lower cover and the clip can be pryed off with a screwdriver. There are 6 screws in the lower timing belt cover it takes time and patience to get them all out. I had to remove the A/C belt tensioner to get full access to the timing belt cover screws. DO NOT move the camshaft or crankshaft once the timing belt is off! Don't disturb the cam or crank when wiggling the new belt on. A hydraulic bottle jack under the oil pan can support the engine from the bottom when the engine mount bracket is removed (engine hoist would be better). Put a block of wood between the oil pan and jack so you don't dent the oil pan. I used a punch to make some marks just in case I disturbed the crank pulley. I also used some white out to mark some positions. This took 12 hours the first time. Now, I can do it in about 5 hours. Do not rush!

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