How to Replace a Honda Timing Belt


This procedure covers the 1984 through 1995 Honda Civic 1.5, VTEC 1.5, Civic 1.6, Civic 1.6 VTEC, CRX 1.5, CRX 1.6 and the Prelude 2.0. It is recommended that the timing belt is replaced every 60,000 miles because these are so-called "interference" engines in which a timing belt failure would very likely be a catastrophic event. The way the engine is designed, the valves would not have sufficient clearance to avoid hitting the pistons should a failure occur. This would result in bent valves, holes in the pistons or both.

Things You'll Need

  • Floor jack
  • Jack stands
  • ¼-inch drive ratchet
  • Set of ¼-inch drive sockets
  • ½-inch drive ratchet
  • Set of ½-inch drive sockets
  • Set of wrenches
  • Raise and support the front of the vehicle on jack stands. Move the floor jack under the engine oil pan and raise just enough to touch the oil pan. Remove the left wheel and tire using the ½-inch drive ratchet and a socket.

  • Remove the inner splash shield, using the ¼-inch drive ratchet and a 10 mm socket. Remove the accessory belts, using a wrench to loosen the tension on the accessories. Unbolt the top engine mount using the ½-inch ratchet and a socket. Remove the mount. Remove the top timing belt cover using a 10 mm socket.

  • Pull the spark plug wires out of the valve cover in preparation for removing the cover. Mark the wires if necessary so they can be replaced in the same position. Remove the bolts in the valve cover using a 10 mm socket, then lift off the valve cover.

  • Turn the crankshaft pulley counter-clockwise until the indentation in the crankshaft pulley lines up vertically with the timing mark on the timing cover. Check the camshaft sprocket timing marks. The word "UP" should be straight up on the sprocket and a mark at 7 o'clock on the sprocket should line up with the corresponding mark on the head. If the cam does not line up, rotate the crankshaft one more time and it will line up.

  • Remove the crankshaft pulley bolt with the ½-inch drive ratchet and a socket. Remove the crankshaft pulley. Remove the lower timing belt cover by taking the bolts out with a 10 mm socket.

  • Loosen the timing belt tensioner with a wrench and move it away from the belt by hand. Loosely tighten the bolt to hold the tensioner in place. Remove the timing belt.

  • Install the timing belt in a counterclockwise direction starting with the crankshaft pulley. Make sure to keep all the tension on the right side opposite of the tensioner. Loosen the tensioner and allow it to apply tension to the belt and tighten the bolt with a wrench.

  • Install the crankshaft sprocket temporarily and turn the engine two revolutions counterclockwise and re-align the marks on the crankshaft sprocket and the camshaft sprocket. If the marks do not line up, remove the timing belt, line the marks up and re-install the timing belt again. Re-install all remaining parts in reverse order of removal.

Tips & Warnings

  • Do not turn the camshaft with the belt removed. Do not turn the engine by the camshaft. Do not turn the engine backwards, only in the normal direction of rotation.


  • AutoData Timing Belt Book; AutoData Publications; 2001
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