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Honda Accord
Timing Belts and Chains
Honda Accord EX
Honda Accord LX

How do you change the timing belt on a 1989 Honda Accord?

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2015-07-15 21:22:41
2015-07-15 21:22:41

By taking it to the dealer. This is not a job for an amateur. Severe damage can be done to the engine if it is done incorrectly.

This is not a hard job, just a little time consuming. I have done a couple of them and have had no problems. The biggest problem I have had is getting the crankshaft pulley bolt loose. Other than that, just make sure you're on TDC and don't move anything. I will only use a Honda belt, they are much more heavier duty that a parts store one. One more thing, replace it before it breaks!

I believe there is a special tool for taking that bolt loose. Sometimes it's the special tools that make all the difference.

Ok, so you want to change the timing belt on your old Accord. This is a very time consuming project. I just did my 1991 EX with 162k miles-took most of the day with a couple of trips to the store.

Parts Required: You will need the timing belt ($40-50), the balancer timing belt($20-30), the power steering belt($15) and the serpentine belt($20)for the alternator and the AC. (You don't have to change the accessory belts, but you might as well since you have to take them off to get at the timing belt). Most people will also change the water pump during this project since everything is out of the way. If you see any leaks at any sprocket or pulley, you should replace the seal.

You will need at least the following tools: Air impact wrench to remove the crankshaft pulley bolt. I tried using a long breaker bar, but no luck. And don't get suckered with one of those cheap impact wrenchs with 200 Ft-lbs of torque-will never touch it, I took one of those cheapies back and I bought a air impact wrench with 900 Ft-lbs. You can also rent at NAPA or other tool rental places since you will only need it about 10 sec. Trust me on this, you want a good air impact wrench. I wasted a couple of hours with two trips to the Northern tool store across town.

Jack stands. You will need to jack up the front driver side and remove the wheel.

A good socket set with deep well sockets (metric of course)

A good set of wrenches (metric)10mm, 12mm, 13mm, 14mm,17mm-maybe others

There are plenty of books that detail the procedure, so I will only cover the highlights.

Jack up the left side of the car and remove the front wheel. Remove the spark plug wires, plugs and the valve cover. Loosen the accessory belts (there are nuts under the power steering pump that loosen the pump and the alternator, then you back out some tensioner screws) Remove the accessory belts. You have to remove the plastic shroud under the bumper-a bunch of 10mm capscrews. Set the engine at TDC on cylinder one by using a 19mm socket to rotate the crankshaft bolt. You must place a small jack with a wood block on top under the oil pan (the tire jack is perfect for this) Put some tension on the jack, but don't lift the car. This is to keep the engine from dropping when you remove the engine mount on the drivers(left) side of the engine. You must remove the engine mount to get the timing belt off. You need 17mm deep socket to remove the mounting bolt and nut. Remove the crankshaft bolt using the air impact wrench with a 19mm socket. Pull the crankshaft pulley off the crankshaft-it should come off without a gear puller. Inspect the crankshaft pulley to determine if the rubber bushing between the layers is still in good shape. These old pulleys can literally fall apart when the rubber wears out. A new crankshaft pulley is about $180 at a Honda dealer (that's what I paid-mine was shot). Remove the plastic cover that protects the timing belts from contamination. There are about 6 or so fasteners (10mm) that hold the cover in place. Note that usually one of the top cover fasteners is usually a unique length. The top half of the cover removes to the top and the lower half removes to the bottom. Now you have access to the timing belt or belts. Some Accords have a balancer belt in addition to the "timing belt". I usually mark the position of the gears with a Sharpie once I have at TDC, just to be sure I get in the right groove. Loosen the tensioner pulley(s) so you can get some slack in the timing belts and remove both the balancer belt which must come off first and then the timing belt. It is key that you keep the relationship between the overhead camshaft and the crankshaft the same. If you don't, you can damage your engine. If you are only off a tooth or two, you will probably be ok from damage, but your engine will run rough. The replacement timing belt goes on first. The balancer belt next. Tighten up the idler pulleys for each and make sure the belts fit tight. Make sure your marks still line up and you should be good to go. After I reinstalled the crankshaft pulley, I rotated the engine through several revolutions with the crankshaft bolt to make sure the engine had no binds or funny sounds. The marks should line back up when you get to TDC again. If not, you will need to retime, but I'm not going to help you there-check with Chiltons or Haynes. Basically reverse the steps above to finish the job.

It's a big job, that's why they charge about $500 to do it at a shop.

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