motor running poorly after timing belt change

Hi guys,
I replaced my timing belt, water pump, and tensioner today. First time I’ve done this, but I really researched the procedure beforehand and the project went pretty well. The crank pulley immobilizer tool was a godsend.

When I got everything back together, I started up the car and it seemed just fine. It totally seemed to be running correctly, and the idle rpms soon settled down to 750, so that was good. I let the car run for about 15 minutes while I cleaned up all my tools and stuff, and topped off the coolant, and bled the cooling system.

A little later, I go out to take a test drive, and something is obviously wrong. When I start it, it barely runs at first and has no power. I have to pump the gas pedal to get the rpm’s up to 1,000. The car will idle okay once the rpm’s work their way up to around 750. The motor sounds like it’s runnig the way it should (when it’s idling, that is). But the car is actually not even driveable, because the motor could bog down and barely run at any time when I give it gas. If I goose the throttle, I can rev up the motor, and it sounds okay doing that. But like I say, something is very obviously not right.

Re: the timing belt. I did the procedure by the book. Got #1 cylinder at TDC before removing the old belt (I’m absolutely positive that I did that correct, following my Haynes book, and used the wooden spoon in the spark plug hole trick). The crank was not disturbed after that, and I got the belt on the cam sprockets without too much difficulty (after diddling around with the cams a bit), and confirmed that the hash marks on the camshaft sprockets were lining up correctly after rotating the engine several times. Really, everything seemed just fine. I was confident the belt was on right.

I’m not real sure what is going on here. Any insights or suggestions would really be appreciated. Thanks.

Did you tighten the timing belt to spec when you did it? Either it jumped a tooth when you shut it off more likely the camshaft side.

If everything was fine during idling time it should of been good other than me thinking the belt got expanded as it turns and gets hot too, and if not tighten enough or to spec it could of jumped a tooth or so. ALso can be bad or worn parts that deals with spark or gas. Might want to look into the timing again.

Line them up on the cover and take off the valve cover too and make sure they are lined up. If all is good then maybe look into spark and gas now.

belt jumped a tooth.

That’s a major buzz-kill. I really hate the thought of taking all that crap apart again. Do you guys usually test-run the engine before putting the timing belt covers back on, and re-installing the motor mount and everything else? I’m just trying to think here how that might work. I guess the valve cover could be temporarily re-installed, and the alternator belt put back on for a test running. The one bright side of this is that the new water pump is already installed.

if it did jumped a tooth then i was right.

You have to know that only way if it had jumped a tooth is because the tensioner wasnt tight enough or u didnt tight it to spec or tighter so when it car gets warmup the part expand. Not that u can see it, but you get it. Well it happen to be when u turned off the engine it shifted. Usually the crank pulley gear side where the belt is on is very snugged so i would have to say chance are the camshaft side the marking is probably off. Recheck that part is the fastest and get back to us.

While engine was one first tempt it was fine because it catches and started up and gravity and rotation kept it in place.

If it aint timing problem its another thing.

I haven’t been able to check anything yet, I had to leave the car at my parents’ house, they lent me their other car. I don’t have a garage of my own and I use theirs when I need to do car repairs. And they live about 15 miles away.

But it sounds like it must be off a tooth. I did have the belt pretty snug. Is it just me, or does that spring on the tensioner pulley really not pull hard enough to get the belt tight? I got the belt tight by partially snugging down the tensioner bolt, and then tapping on the tensioner pulley with a long screwdriver and a hammer to get the belt nice and tight, and then fully tightening the tensioner bolt.

I think everyone is right and it jumped a tooth. Especially because of how you described you got the tensioner to tighten the belt. I’m at work, so I can’t check the Helms manual right now. However, the procedure for putting tension on the belt involves leaving the tensioner somewhat loose and turning the crank until the cam sprockets move 3 teeth and then tightening the tensioner to spec, it auto tensions. Don’t quote me on that because I’m going off the top of my head from when I did the timing belt on my B20 several months ago. If you leave me your email address, once I get home I can send that section of the Helms manual. You may be able to search and find the proper procedure for applying tension to the timing belt on these forums though.

just take off the valve cover, get one of your cams pointing up and confirm timing… i missed timing by one tooth and my car had no balls… it moved but no go…

Thanks. I searched and found a reference in these forums to the CORRECT procedure on setting the belt tension. If I understand this correctly, you get the belt on the way it should be, then (with tensioner bolt loose) rotate engine CLOCKWISE about 3 teeth, and the belt should auto-tension, and you can then tighten down the tensioner bolt. Sound right?

I’ll have another go at that frickin’ T-belt in a few days’ time.

The Haynes book says nothing about this 3-tooth business in the T-belt replacement write-up. Yet another example of how the Haynes book is often only about 90% accurate/helpful when it comes to explaining how to do something on the Integra. I really need to get hold of the Helms book.

i haven’t done a b-series timing belt yet, but i’ve done timing belts before and i remember having to rotate the engine a quarter turn and then torquing the nut on the tensioner… i guess 3 teeth would be enough…

That method sounds about right Duane. Helms is definetly the more reliable source than Haynes or Chilton.

Burfy, it might come out to about a 1/4 of a turn, but 3 teeth is a more reliable way of judging it. I remember I turned it past the 3 teeth and it almost automatically lost a significant amount of tension on the belt.

Manual Says Counterclockwise

I’m looking at the timing belt tension adjustment section of the manual and it says counterclockwise. Mine skipped a tooth when I turned the crank clockwise.
Instead of putting everything back together once the timing belt is installed, just put back the cover and the crank pulley first, turn it counterclockwise and make sure the crank pulley lines up with the marker on cover and the cam gears line up at TDC.

Hey guys,
OP here. Got the timing belt on properly today, and all is well now. :rockon:

Thanks for the advice; you guys are great. The belt was indeed off a tooth on the intake cam, I think. Man, that was a pain in the ass. But I saved myself around $400 by replacing the belt, water pump and tensioner myself, so I guess it was worth it.