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Discussion Starter #1
Hello everyone,

This site has been incredibly helpful with maintaining my 2001 Odyssey EX. Recently I began to replace the timing belt (TB) and the other 105k items, as discussed on this site. Now I’m ready to install the new TB but my marks are not lining up with the marks on the pulleys…. Somehow something got moved.

Now I have no faith in my paint marks, so I would like to go with the sure thing…. Lining up the factory marks. The top two Cams were easy enough but the Crank is puzzling me. I can see the alignment arrow behind the crank pulley, on the surface of the belt housing. I can not see any marks on the crank pulley itself, except for a tiny molded-in arrow on the tooth above the keyway. Any factory paint marks on the crank pulley have gone away. The only thing that I’ve found to verify the little arrow and keyway are supposed to be aligned with the top is a video on YouTube.

Can anyone tell me if this tiny arrow is the correct factory marker to align with the arrow on the belt housing wall?

As you all understand, I want to be 100% sure the pulley positions are correct. BTW, this is my first timing belt.

See attached picture of Crank pulley and small arrow by keyway.

Thanks in advance,
Ken

2001 Honda Ody - 105000 miles
2006 Honda Civic - 67000 miles
 

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Discussion Starter #3
What got me into this problem

Before I took off the old belt, I marked both cam's belt, pulley and engine wall.

My mistake was only marking the belt and pulley on the crank. Stupid mistake....

Now with the factory paint marks gone, how do I get the Crank at TDC?
 

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Short answer, yes you've got it. The crank is at TDC if the Woodruff key on the crank sprocket is pointing straight up. The tiny arrow points to the key.

To be sure, you can put on the lower timing belt cover and put on the pulley (temporarily, don't put on the bolt), then line up the notches on the pulley with the mark on the timing belt cover.

Look at my post here, it has pictures of the tooth counts between sprocket pairs.

Link
 

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Discussion Starter #5
TDC at Key....

Originally posted by wormguy:
"The crank is at TDC if the Woodruff key on the crank sprocket is pointing straight up. The tiny arrow points to the key."

I have some doubts to the key being the alignment feature to the engine marker. I experimented with the dipstick method in finding the TDC for pistion #1. This where you insert the oil dipstick into the #1 piston and turn the crank to find cylinder low and high points (TDC). This is the conflict I've found. I turned the crank to get the dipstick the furthest out of the sparkplug hole and marked this spot on the dip stick. Then I turn the crank to align the key with engine arrow (12 o'clock) position. The dipstick ends up going lower into the cylinder. This conflict gives me doubt that the key hole at 12 o'clock position is TDC. TDC for any piston should be fully extended.

I found an interesting method of finding TDC with the compression/suction of the piston.

http://www.wikihow.com/Find-Your-Engine's-Top-Dead-Center-(TDC)
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I think I have a plan now

Ok, my head is out of my rear end now...

My plan is this:
-line up both cams with their factory "hard" TDC markings
-temporarily install lower timing belt (TB) cover, accessary pulley, and crank bolt

-use the "hard" crank markings on the accessary pulley rim and TB cover to find cylinder #1 TDC.

-double check the #1 piston is fully extended upwards with dipstick method

-triple check after the new timing belt is installed by hand turning crank two full revolutions for valve impacts and/or pulley alignments.


What do you all think? This would give me three methods of verifying #1 TDC...
 

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Using the accessory pulley method is by far the most precise. I'd go with that.
 

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Your own images show the alignment marks on the crankshaft sprocket and engine. My image was not taken for this purpose. It is skewed to the side because of the angle of the camera. If you lighten the image you can see the alignment mark on the engine. At least on my engine, they all line up. The Woodruff key is too coarse a means by which to align the crank, of course. I meant only to say that your images were consistent with what I saw. There is also a small arrow on the crankshaft sprocket, and that arrow and the one on the engine point towards each other when everything is aligned to #1 TDC.

I have no explanation for the inconsistency with your dipstick-piston test. Are you using the right piston? #1 is most proximal to the rear camshaft sprocket.

My engine was aligned in the manner described when I took off the old belt, and I made sure it was this way when the new belt went on, and there have been no problems. There was no evidence that the belt had been previously changed, and there were no symptoms beforehand that the timing was off in any way.
 

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The small arrow on the crank gear right above the key-way lines up with the small arrow on the block.

On a side note, it is not very safe to rotate any of these gears by themselves with the belt not on. This engine IS an interference engine and doing so can cause damage to the valve train. I speak from first hand experience on that, as I have had a cam gear slip on me. Which resulted in almost all valves needing replacement in that head.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Job Complete

Good News,

Using my plan posted above, I reassembled all parts and the van started perfectly. It runs great....:D

new parts:
-timing belt
-timing belt tensioner
-water pump
-cam seals
-crank seal
-passenger side engine mount (found completely debonded)
-thermostat
-coolant flush and replace
-dip stick o-ring
-many new bumper quick connects (they all break during disassembly)

Thanks for everyone's help.... :D
 

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While attempting to install my third timing belt/water pump (and all hoses and belts) on my 03 Odyssey, I ran into the crank pulley bolt issue for the first time. In the past it had always come off with my impact, no problem. So this time I used the "starter trick" I learned of on this forum. I barely bumped the key and the beast actually started! Needless to say, I'm no longer at TDC, but I was so excited that it worked, I kind of forgot about that UNTIL I got the first bolt out of the tensioner, the t-belt sprung loose, and the front cam pulley snapped back at least 20 degrees. Now I have no idea where it should be, and I need to time everything from scratch. (no, I didn't mark anything while at TDC...cuz I'd never had any trouble before). So...what advice do you have for getting both cams AND the crank in the right position before I put it all back together?
 

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There are timing marks for both cams and the crank. If you know which way the cam spun, turn it back slowly. Being careful to make sure there's no binding when rotating.
 

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Because I was in the wheel well removing the bottom tensioner bolt when it happened, not only did I not know which way it spun, but I wasn't even really sure which cam pulley it was! So here's what I did the next night: I removed all 6 plugs, (had I removed the plugs from the start, I would not have been in this pickle. of course, had I followed ALL the advice in this forum I wouldn't be in it either!) I put a screwdriver into #1, then gently moved the crank pulley back to a (hopefully THE) timing mark. I then moved each cam pulley, gently, slowly, until it was either at TDC or until I felt hard (non-valve spring) resistance. If the cam pulley wasn't where I wanted it and solid resistance stopped me, I would rotate the crank pulley a 1/4 turn, then go back up to the cam pulleys. Once I had everything at a TDC mark (a buddy showed up to hold the cam pulleys for me at this point - I highly recommend having a buddy!) we then put the new timing belt on. Then, keeping careful eye on the screwdriver sticking out of #1, we cranked the engine through about 6 (I wanted to be sure) full rotations, watching the marks each time, ensuring the #1 piston pushed the screwdriver all the way out each time the TDC marks lined up (and ensuring all three TDC marks were lining up each time that happened). I'm pretty confident except for this: is it possible for either cam pulley, or even the crank pulley, to be out of sync when lined up with the TDC marks? i.e. could one of them be at TDC position "at exhaust" while the other is at TDC "at intake?" In other words, does each pulley rotation represent a complete cycle? If so, I know I have it right, but if not...
 

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...oh, and I promise I will not only start at TDC henceforth, (which I did, prior to "the starter trick") but I will also mark my old timing belt before removal/mark the new belt before installation...and I will review this entire forum before my next one...should be around 350,000 miles by that point!
 

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This is where a check list helps. Marking the belts and pulleys make it easy to be assured of proper alignment. Also good to jamb a piece of soft wood behind the cam pulleys so they don't move.

As for your other question, if I remember correctly the cam pulley has UP letters in one spot then the lines to make it even with the top of the head. Assuming that is in the right spot then it can't be out of place. Hmm, maybe this is on a Honda 4 cylinder and the V6 is just a line in the casting.
 
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