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How tension my loose timing belt?

Engine Tech / Drivetrain


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Old 05-29-2010, 11:45 AM   #1
willowcairns
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Default How tension my loose timing belt?

Well after determining that my timing belt is too tight, i went through the process of adjusting the tension from what the manual says to do. After i tightened the adjusting bolt i thought i was all set but now it is way too loose and when i crank it the right side becomes loose and the right side becomes tight. When i crank it again the left side becomes loose and the right side becomes tight. I went through the process again and it still does that. When i push on the right side i can see the spring moving. Can some one please help on what to do?

here are pics of when the left side is loose



Now the right side is loose



Can anyone point me in the right direction?
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Old 05-29-2010, 01:03 PM   #2
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Is this a new timing belt? If so, are you certain you have the right one for your engine?

If it's a belt that's been on there for a while, then it sounds like either the tensioner isn't getting tightened back up correctly or the tensioner spring may be failing.
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Old 05-29-2010, 01:19 PM   #3
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It is a new belt i just put it in there a couple weeks ago and now it go it to where both sides have the same amount of slack
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Old 05-29-2010, 05:58 PM   #4
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One side (usually the "right" or back side) is always going to be a little more loose than the "left" (or front) side because of the way the motor rotates, that is a little too loose though. You're lower timing cover needs to come off, and you need to go through all of it and properly adjust it.

Set the tension, and rotate the motor over by the crank pulley bolt (counter clockwise) at least 2 FULL rotations, re-check your tension and re-check your timing marks. If there is still too much slop, then start the process over again.
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Old 05-29-2010, 07:47 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by PhntmSk8r View Post
Set the tension, and rotate the motor over by the crank pulley bolt (counter clockwise) at least 2 FULL rotations, re-check your tension and re-check your timing marks.
Just to add from my own experience, my Haynes manual recommends rotating it for 4 complete revolutions. I followed this procedure a few weeks ago and haven't had any problems.
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Old 05-29-2010, 10:57 PM   #6
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the car is sitting outside and i cant get it to a garage. can i just some how push the the pulley to make it tight again? until i can get it properly fixed again
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Old 05-30-2010, 08:27 AM   #7
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I wouldn't recommend a jerry-rig fix for a critical component.

How is it running right now? Good? Bad?
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Old 05-30-2010, 09:57 AM   #8
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not too good, the belt wobbles like crazy and it sounds horrible, But when i turn it on the slack equals out on both sides but it still doesn't sound good at all
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Old 05-31-2010, 09:40 PM   #9
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It really kinda sounds like you got one that was too long..

When I replaced mine the parts store "experts" said there are two belts available, a 103 tooth, and a 106 tooth.

Then again, I have a '93 with a B7.

Nonetheless, if all the adjustments in the world don't seem to correct it, I would compare part numbers with the old one. Of course the part numbers are most likely going to be different, but by Googling the part #'s or taking them to the store you may be able to find the specs and ensure you have the correct length / tooth count.

It's just a simple check you can make before you start tearing everything apart again.

If it's correct, then as VSP said, the spring may be worn past it's usefulness..
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Old 06-02-2010, 08:42 PM   #10
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Quote:
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It really kinda sounds like you got one that was too long..

When I replaced mine the parts store "experts" said there are two belts available, a 103 tooth, and a 106 tooth.

Then again, I have a '93 with a B7.

Nonetheless, if all the adjustments in the world don't seem to correct it, I would compare part numbers with the old one. Of course the part numbers are most likely going to be different, but by Googling the part #'s or taking them to the store you may be able to find the specs and ensure you have the correct length / tooth count.

It's just a simple check you can make before you start tearing everything apart again.

If it's correct, then as VSP said, the spring may be worn past it's usefulness..
In a prior thread it was determined that the "whine" coming from his motor after replacing the timing belt, was the belt being too tight. If it was really too long, it would be very obvious as you would not be able to get the timing set anywhere close to proper.
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Old 06-03-2010, 06:37 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by willowcairns View Post
Well after determining that my timing belt is too tight...
Whoops, I seemed to have missed that.. But,

Quote:
Originally Posted by willowcairns View Post
When i push on the right side i can see the spring moving.
Is that with the tensioner tightened?? Because I'm pretty sure it's not supposed to move..

Quote:
Originally Posted by PhntmSk8r View Post
In a prior thread it was determined that the "whine" coming from his motor after replacing the timing belt, was the belt being too tight. If it was really too long, it would be very obvious as you would not be able to get the timing set anywhere close to proper.
True. I would be inclined to say that you could install it and everything would look like it's supposed to as the tensioner should be able to take up the slack of a few teeth... But since the car runs fine then yes, an incorrect tooth count obviously isn't the culprit.

Maybe running the engine with belt over tightened stretched it.. That's if there isn't an issue with the tensioner and spring.
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Old 06-03-2010, 10:46 AM   #12
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First, it's unclear to me that the timing belt was ever over-tightened. There is possibly a separate problem. Nonetheless, here are the steps that I recommend to solve the current belt problem:

Verifying the mechanical timing
1) Remove the valve and upper timing belt covers, if you have not already done so.

2) With the transmission in neutral, rotate the crank pulley ONLY COUNTERCLOCKWISE at least one full revolution and then continue rotating until the cam pulley is perfectly positioned at TDC1 (see first diagram below). At this moment, now look down at the crank pulley to see whether it too is positioned perfectly at TDC1. If so, move to the next step. If not, the timing belt must be removed and properly timed.

Tensioning the belt
3) Remove the black plug in the lower timing belt cover to gain access to the tensioner bolt. Follow the steps in the second diagram precisely to properly tension the timing belt.






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Old 05-01-2012, 11:29 AM   #13
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what size socket does it take to adjust the belt tensioner. I cannot get the motor mount off ( tried to loosen bolt but it broke) so have little access.

Last edited by visa4428; 05-01-2012 at 11:31 AM. Reason: incomplete
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Old 10-01-2012, 12:34 AM   #14
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Use 14mm socket. One thing to remember is that after tensioning the belt you must tighten the tensioner bolt to lock it in proper position.
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Old 03-25-2014, 06:34 PM   #15
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Hi guys.
Sorry for digging out this topic of its grave.

I found this topic while googling for some more information to compare with my Haynes Book on how to change the timing belt.

This coming May I will be changing the timing belt in one of my civics.
I will be doing it myself because as far as I can see it seems to be a straight forward process, I got pretty much all the tools. The only thing that apparently can be a pain is to make the crank pulley bolt loose. I think I will be ok with my breaker bar, but if I am unsuccessful with my breaker bar I will be going to a store next to my house and will buy an air impact gun.

I will keep you guys updated!!!
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