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How To: D-Series Cam Seal Replacement

Engine Tech / Drivetrain DIY How-To's



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Old 11-29-2009, 06:57 PM   #1
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Default How To: D-Series Cam Seal Replacement

So after finding a small puddle of oil under my car the other morning, I figured I better find out where its coming from. After finding my timing belt all greasy and shiny, I pin-pointed it to being the cam seal. So, heres how to replace one, on a D-Series engine. This was done on a D16Y8, but all D-Series engines will be the same procedures.

Tools Needed:
Standard set of Metric sockets
Ratchet
Flat head screw driver

Materials Needed:
Cam Seal
Valve Cover Gasket (optional)
Distributor O-Ring (optional)

First, loosen the lugs on the drivers side front wheel. Next, jack the car up, and secure it on jackstands. NEVER work on a car with just a jack holding it up. Finish taking your lugs off, and remove the wheel. The reason for removing the wheel, is to gain access to the crank pulley, so you can set the engine to TDC.

Using your 17mm socket and ratchet, set the engine to TDC. Make sure the white mark on the crank pulley is lined up with the marks on the lower timing cover. Also make sure the "UP" on the cam gear is at 12 o'clock, and the marks on the outter rim of the gear are level with the head.




Remove the plug wires, and either lay them in a way you'll remember which goes where, or number them somehow. Whatever way will make you remember which wire goes to what cylinder. Next, remove the 5 10mm bolts holding the valve cover down.



Remove the distributor by removing the 3 12mm bolts holding it to the head. (No pic of these, sorry).

Next, you'll want to loosen the 12mm bolt holding the cam gear to the camshaft. You may have to wedge a screw driver between the gear and the head, so when you turn the gear, it binds on the screw driver so you can break the bolt free. Do NOT remove the bolt. Just loosen it alittle.

Now you want to start unbolting the rocker assembly. Remove the 10, 12mm bolts, and the 4, 10mm bolts.



As you're removing the rocker assembly bolts, be cautious that the camshaft dosent come flying upwards. The cam should move alittle, but nothing that'll cause serious injury. Once all the bolts are removed, you may need to take your flat head screw driver, and pry the assembly up and off the head. Once you get it removed, move the whole assembly aside onto a rag or something of the like.



Now you should be lookng at something like this:



Now, you can either take a white sharpie or something of the like, a peice of tape, or something to mark on both the cam gear and the timing belt so you know where the belt should be on the gear. I didnt mark mine, because when setting mine to TDC before I started, I realized it was off a few teeth.

Tilt the camshaft up on the distributor size, and slide the timing belt off the cam gear. Dont spin the timing belt at all, that way when you put it back together, its easier to make sure your aligned.

Once you have the camshaft in your hands, go ahead and remove the 12mm bolt holding the gear onto the camshaft. Make sure you dont lose the key (mine stuck to the gear, so I just left it there).



No, grab your new cam seal. Compare them, to make sure theyre the same size and shape. You dont want to be using a seal that is too small or too big. If its too small it wont fit over the camshaft. If its too big, it'll leak.

New seal (orange) compared to the old seal (black). Notice how destroyed the old seal is. Hence why it was leaking.



Take some oil, and put some on the inner ring (where it meets the camshaft) so it goes over the camshaft easier. I just used the oil thats pooled up in the head. When you put the seal over the camshaft, make sure the inner lip doesnt fold up over itself. If that happens, the seal wont seal properly. It takes alittle trial and error at first, but it does fit over the camshaft.

Once you get the seal on, put the cam gear back onto the camshaft, making sure your using the key and lining it all up with the notch in the camshaft. Just finger tighten the bolt for now.

Now, heres the harder part of the project; putting the camshaft back in, so its still in time. Slide the camshaft back into place into the head, making sure you line up your marks you made before you took it out.



Once lined up, slide the camshaft back into place. Double check yourself by making sure you havent moved the crank pulley from TDC, and make sure the cam gear is aligned. The "UP" on the gear should be at 12 o'clock, and the marks should be aligned with the head like it was before you removed it.



Place your rocker assembly back into place. Make sure all the rocker arms (including the middle Vtec rocker on Vtec heads) are where they are supposed to be. This may take a few tries, but once everything is in place, the rocker assemby will sort of pop into place. Before just randomly tightening bolts, make sure you follow the correct sequence.



Once your sure every bolt is tightened properly, go ahead and tighten your 12mm cam gear bolt. You might need to use the screw driver again, but since your going the opposite way, you should be OK without it.

Go ahead and re-install your valve cover, and fire the motor up. If theres no more oil, mission accomplished. If it still leaks, you either didnt get the seal on properly, or your leaking from somewhere else.

Overall, its a fairly easy job. Takes about 1.5-2 hours, depending on how fast you work. Any questions, feel free.
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Old 11-29-2009, 07:18 PM   #2
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Excellent stuff .
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Old 11-29-2009, 09:31 PM   #3
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Outstanding write up.

I have two questions.

1) Is it also possible to remove the seal without removing the rocker arm assembly and the cam? Can't you remove the cam gear, pull the seal out with a corkscrew, and then carefully tap in the new seal with an appropriately sized socket? Nonetheless, your procedure seems very straightforward.

2) Are you worried that the timing belt should be replaced after its soaking in oil? And with oil also likely present on the water pump and crank gear, belt slippage seems to be a higher risk.
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Old 11-29-2009, 10:50 PM   #4
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Quote:
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Outstanding write up.
Thank you.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RonJ View Post
1) Is it also possible to remove the seal without removing the rocker arm assembly and the cam? Can't you remove the cam gear, pull the seal out with a corkscrew, and then carefully tap in the new seal with an appropriately sized socket? Nonetheless, your procedure seems very straightforward.
Im sure it is, but then you chance not putting the seal on properly. You would also have to then pull the timing belt off, unbolt the cam gear, and put the seal, gear, then belt back on. Hardest part would be putting the belt back on after bolting the camgear on. Its definately do-able, but IMO its harder that way.

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2) Are you worried that the timing belt should be replaced after its soaking in oil? And with oil also likely present on the water pump and crank gear, belt slippage seems to be a higher risk.
In theory, yes. The belt should be replaced. But Im on a budget, and Im not too worried about this motor. Its been overheated (by Xpl0d3r), and the camshaft is destroyed where it lays in the head (its all ground out). If I had more money, and really cared about the motor, yes. I would have replaced the timing belt, and cleaned up the water pump and crank gear.
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Old 11-29-2009, 10:59 PM   #5
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very nice write up! good job at takin alot of pictures!
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Old 11-29-2009, 11:29 PM   #6
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My old motor! What a cutie it was. And yeah, it overheated... badly. But I got that pizza delivered...! lol

I don't understand how the timing was off. I had it checked and rechecked by a mechanic lol. Then again, it was my ex girlfriends dad....

Nice write up man!
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Old 11-29-2009, 11:51 PM   #7
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sweet right up man. i love you civic.

quick question, is your valve cover powder coated? it looks super awesome painted blue.
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Old 11-30-2009, 12:02 AM   #8
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sweet right up man. i love you civic.

quick question, is your valve cover powder coated? it looks super awesome painted blue.
was painted from Jeff here on ClubCivic... I think his name on here was CivicEX13... came out amazing, I know.. he does AWESOME work.
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Old 11-30-2009, 03:28 AM   #9
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was painted from Jeff here on ClubCivic... I think his name on here was CivicEX13... came out amazing, I know.. he does AWESOME work.
sweet. i want to redo mine its a bright green but it looks weird cuz my car is black, IDK its just me but that cover color would look amazing IMO
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Old 12-30-2009, 01:24 PM   #10
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Bump. Can this get moved to the How To section please?
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