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5th Gen Prelude - Need some help, advice, or.. something..

 
Old 02-27-2019, 07:10 AM
  #1  
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Icon4 5th Gen Prelude - Need some help, advice, or.. something..

I have some questions, and I'm probably going to sound like a complete dunce, but I promise I understand the gist of all of this.. my husband has me so confused due to his own confusion, that I need some affirmation or guidance or something with our situation, lol.

We bought our 1999 Prelude 2.2L DOHC VTEC in the summer after our Hoopty as we lovingly called it, (older sonoma pickup), had a clutch issue and we just simply needed a vehicle. My husband has always loved the prelude, we got it for a couple hundred bucks off a guy who was sick of it sitting in his driveway and simply didn't have the patience or time to deal with it. Now I understand why. Anyways, none of what he didn't want to deal with is our issue, oddly enough.

A little bit ago now, I was driving on the highway here in BC, within the city mind you, and we were stopped at a light. I heard a belt squealing, and noticed our car seemed as if it was idling oddly, but my husband assured me it was buddy next to us. Sure enough, as soon as he turned off our heat, the squeal stopped, and the light turned green. Within a couple of moments, before the next red light even, the steering felt odd, I felt something snap and hit me in the butt under the car, and something was making an awful racket under the hood. I turned off onto a side road, promptly parked and shut it off, and my husband did some inspecting. After some colourful language, a really nice man helped us push it off the road with the armstrong steering and the car off (we never tried to start it again at any point, even up until now), and we waited for a tow, head in hands as we now knew our crankshaft pulley (harmonic balancer) had come loose, snapped the Alternator belt (I'm assuming that's what I felt hit me in the butt under the car), and obviously needed to be replaced. After the car was towed to our inlaws, the fun began.

My brother in law is a heavy duty mechanic, and has owned tons of Honda's in his time. He was "helping" my husband assess the damages, though, I don't know that he did anything other than frig everything up. The timing belt didn't snap, and seemingly has no damage oddly enough. Nothing except the pulley was out of place, damaged, or anything. And the woodruff key, of course. Fine, after much extensive searching we got a replacement pulley brand new, and a new woodruff key. The brother in law left the belt on, pulled the old woodruff key out of its slot, and upon trying to put the new one in, it wouldn't go in. It was sticking out about half an inch, perhaps slightly less. The old one was inside there flush, and he says it's supposed to be how the old one was. So, he apparently started very gently and slowly turning the cams with a wrench, over time going further and further, back and forth. Nothing he did lined anything up and could get that key in. At this point, he decided he'd had enough, cited that he had no idea, and left. Really nice hey?

So.. to make a long story short, the car sat for a bit at the inlaws, and was eventually towed home. Here's where I guess the confusion comes in, at least for my husband and now subsequently me due to his confusion and us having completely different ways of learning things. I can read and know things. He is hands on, or video oriented. So, timing belt is still on. There seems to be some slack towards the back of the car, (towards the drivers seat), around the 2nd balance shaft. ALL timing marks line up perfectly when we're at TDC, even the crank seems to look like it lines up as well, but, this damn key won't go in still. It's still sticking out that give or take half an inch. And, our flywheel isn't on the white TDC mark, it's at the F (which is Fire, correct? For the ignition timing?). I've said for weeks now, take the belt off and basically redo the timing. Since you're in there that far, replace all your seals, belts (obviously we had to replace the ps and alt belts regardless, but, why not the timing belt if you're taking it off anyhow?), blah blah, and since the t belt and water pump roughly have the same lifespan, replace that as well. He's argued for weeks, but I think is on my level now at least in this regard.

But, why would everything (and I'm talking crank, balance shaft to the oil pump, cams arrow up etc) all line up at TDC but the flywheel, which essentially should be your crank as well, be at the F and not the white line? It is possible our timing skipped without the belt breaking, or the belt got stretched during the few seconds the pulley was having its fun? Am I missing something here, or is this just a matter of doing the timing, since the crank appears just fine, as does everything else? Is this key situation normal? I've read numerous times that it does stick out a small amount, as it goes into the slot on the pulley as well, and my husband has stated that the new pulley seats in just fine, but he doesn't want to do anything if the flywheel is at the F, because that makes no sense. At first it seemed like the timing was 180 degrees out, but, I guess he turned the crank a couple of revolutions and checked things again when he lined it all up and cylinder 1 was at TDC for the compression stroke, and the only thing out is that dang flywheel.

I feel like I'm missing something. I swear I'm not a moron, just a girl who has been made to read a kajillion things, about a kajillion possible situations, and is now totally brain farting. I feel like a bobble head. I'm sick of this car at this point (lol, she's beautiful and she's fun.. but my goodness.. enough already!) and want it off the jack it's on, and back on the road or if it's screwed or unfixable within our budget or abilities, out of my driveway and life at the very least. He hasn't allowed us to purchase a new vehicle because his baby can be fixed, and I'm sure it can be. I'm just.. at a loss right now. I don't even know what to search for at this point.

So.. help? I'm sorry for the long post. I type like I talk and think, and my brain is just running in circles at this point. Bah! If you need more information, please just ask and I will gladly supply it to get back on track with this. There's a few pics we've taken over time of various things, though, they're not the best quality as we took them on our phones and mostly in the dark I believe (since this is getting tackled after work most days). I appreciate any help, so much.

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Old 02-28-2019, 10:20 PM
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Default Re: 5th Gen Prelude - Need some help, advice, or.. something..

Do you know about the cars maintenance history? Whats been done before and when?

Have you done compression and leak tests?
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Old 03-01-2019, 05:30 AM
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Default Re: 5th Gen Prelude - Need some help, advice, or.. something..

So all of this because the woodruff key wouldn't fit? Pictures can do wonders for people to give you a hand, all we can do is picture your problem and offer solutions that probably won't help you at all. Start with a smaller more focused description of the problem and add some pictures to it.
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Old 03-01-2019, 06:30 AM
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Default Re: 5th Gen Prelude - Need some help, advice, or.. something..

I would strongly suggest replacing the timing belt, especially if you don't know the history of the car. For all you know, it could be old enough to snap at any given moment and bend all the valves.
The key won't go in because when he removed the old key, the crank gear spun on the crankshaft, making the slot in the crank gear not line up with the slot in the crank anymore. If you replace the belt, while the belt is off, just rotate the crank gear on the crank until the slots line up, and slide the key in all the way. I don't remember if the balance shaft gear uses the same key or not, so you may need to do the same with that. Also, don't reuse the old timing belt tensioner, buy a new one. Technically you can reuse the old one, but it seems nobody knows how to properly compress it without damaging it. I do, but nobody ever listens to me, and usually end up breaking it anyway. A lot of people will tell you not to use the stock auto tensioner and to buy an aftermarket manual tensioner. You can do that, and they do work well, but it really isn't necessary if you buy an OEM tensioner and not a junk parts store brand one.
If you don't want to replace the timing belt, you can still get the key in, assuming the balance shaft belt does not share the key. Just need to look inside and spin the crank either direction until the slot in the gear lines up with the slot in the crank.

As for the flywheel marks, the F you're referring to is not an F. It's actually just 3 parallel lines, where the middle line is slightly longer. These are the ignition timing marks, and represent 13* 15* and 17* BTDC. The TDC mark is the single line a little further up on the flywheel.
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Old 03-09-2019, 02:46 PM
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Default Re: 5th Gen Prelude - Need some help, advice, or.. something..

Like I said, I could supply pics if someone needed them, thanks!
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Old 03-09-2019, 02:48 PM
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Default Re: 5th Gen Prelude - Need some help, advice, or.. something..

Sorry for the late reply, I was ill and this got shoved to the side. Oddly enough, when we buckled down to tackle this, we got everything lined up with the timing belt still on. Hubs is installing the other 2 belts right now that needed replacing, and we'll see if it runs.

Thank you so much to everyone that commented and messaged
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