1998 Honda Civic EX timing and engine leak question(s)? - Honda-Tech

1998 Honda Civic EX timing and engine leak question(s)?

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Old 03-15-2010, 10:36 AM   #1
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Default 1998 Honda Civic EX timing and engine leak question(s)?

Hi all! Nice to be here. I have a 1998 Honda Civic with 78K on it, original owner. Great vehicle, no problems... except for a few things. I hate a leaky car!!!

Anyways, I am pretty savvy on repairing older vehicles, engines, tranny, etc. but after looking at the Honda... well, I guess you need small hands...

Ok, here are my questions:

I plan on replacing the timing belt, drive belts, pump, etc. Should I also replace the tensioner, front cam seal, and front crank seal? I have always subscribed to if it ain't broke don't fix it, but I really do not want to tear into the whole thing again! Also, if replacing the front crank seal, does Honda recommend any adhesive to the outer seal lip? Does it have to be genuine honda sealer? Also, will I need to drain the oil, or is the oil line below the seal area (I just changed out the oil the other day - would hate to do it again!).

I also think that the alternator bearing is dragging, though I have no electrical issues, I will check that with the belts off. I guess I could take it to an alternator shop and have them replace the front and rear bearings.

Finally, and here is the big nagger of all... I have a leak that I believe is coolant. It seems to be starting at the rear passenger side of the head and working its way around the head lip to the front, and down. I can't make out if its the bottom hose or not. Is the intake water cooled? If it was an intake mani leak would it be following the lip on the side of the head? I would think it would be draining down the back of the engine - which no coolant or leaks exist! Its driving me nuts. Any thoughts on the leak would be appreciated.

Oops, one more quesiton... if I get the engine to TDC, with all the marks aligned, BEFORE taking the timing belt off, do I have to mess with timing? If so, I have one of the older timing guns that plug in line with the dizzy wire. I hope this will work. If so, which plug does it go off of, and what is the timing for a 1998 Honda Civic EX? Do I have to jump any wire harnesses (computer controls) before setting the timing? Thanks again!
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Old 03-15-2010, 10:53 AM   #2
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Default Re: 1998 Honda Civic EX timing and engine leak question(s)?

First questions,really it is up to you on seals and tensioner.I'm like you if not broke yada yada.I do t.belt and waterpump and if the tensioner is getting noisey then I replace it too.
Alternator is your chioce if you do end up having a problem.
As for the leak,clean the engine off and find a parts store that does loaner tools and get a pressure tester for the cooling system.With that you should be able to pinpoint the leak fairly quickly.
Timing marks all lined up should not need to use a timing light.
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Old 03-16-2010, 12:02 PM   #3
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Default Re: 1998 Honda Civic EX timing and engine leak question(s)?

****!! It looks like its oil again coming from the spool valve on the back of the head!!! I just replaced the gasket on this and thought it was taken care of. Gasket was like $25.00. This is the only thing I can think of that could be leaking oil, as I can see oil running to the front and rear of the head from this general location - unles anyone knows of another sensor, or part that is in this location that could be leaking oil?

Ok, so HOW do I seal this up so that it does not leak??? I checked the valve body and it is not cracked, so appearently the seal is not working correctly, and a call to the dealer puts a new spool valve at $350.00 (was thinking maybe the aluminum surface is tweaked). Does anyone know of any good sealers that can be gingerly placed over the gasket and the mating surface that will seal this up good and tight? Previously before I installed the new gasket I tried a little RTV but that did not work. Thoughts? Really need some guidance on this. Thanks!!!!
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Old 08-13-2011, 05:34 PM   #4
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Default Re: 1998 Honda Civic EX timing and engine leak question(s)?

My smog guy said you must bypass the computer before screwing with the timing and i have no idea how to do that.
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Old 08-13-2011, 06:41 PM   #5
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Default Re: 1998 Honda Civic EX timing and engine leak question(s)?

Originally Posted by cdan View Post
My smog guy said you must bypass the computer before screwing with the timing and i have no idea how to do that.
That is only for ignition timing, and you must jump the service connector.(peice of cake) You can use a paper clip.

For the timing belt, small hands DO help. lol

To set the mechanicle timing, you simply line up the mark on the crank pulley with the V shaped thing on the lower timing cover.

To set the ignition timing, you'll need a timing light. But you shouldn't have to do this unless you mess with the distrubitor.

You don't have to replace the tensioner. I didn't and all is fine. ( I did mine 2 months ago.)
if it spins freely doesn't make any noise or spin weird, your good to go.

For the crank and cam seal, again you don't have to. I didn't, mine wasn't leaking at the time so I left it alone. BUT, if you develop a leak down the road, your going to have to this all over again. Plus, pulling the cam out.

For the collent hoses, just get in there and take a look. If you think they are leaking, replace them. They aren't too expensive.

IF you set TDC before, you shouldn't run into any issues with keeping it there. You don't have to set it now, but I would! It makes it a lot easier when your all done, and all you have to do is check it, and re-essemble. When you do re-essemble, rotate the car over a few times, and re check the timing. (about 7 times, or more. What ever) And just insure the timing is still correct. It is quite easy to get these things off by a tooth. Remember ALWAYS spin COUNTERCLOCKWISE

The cam pulley has a UP mark on it. Make sure it's straight up. It's now at TDC. As I already said there is a mark on the crankpulley. All you need to do is line it up with the V mark on the timing cover. (crank is now at TDC)

It's really straiht forward, if your mechanicly inclinded you can do it no problem. Make sure to drain the collant. You'll also need to pull your plug wires, and your VC. So replacing the gasket is usally a good thing.

I think I covered everything
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