Timely Topics Archive

A Monthly Article for Vigor Enthusiasts (7/02)


Changing Your Vigor's Timing Belt

As most Vigor owners know, the 90K mile service is an expensive one. The main reason for its high cost is the replacement of the timing belt and water pump. This month, we'll see what's involved in changing the T-belt. Next month, when we return to the "Engine Systems" series with an article on the cooling system, we'll continue with the water pump.

The T-belt keeps the valves in time with the crankshaft, ergo, the name timing belt. If the engine timing is off (say the belt jumped a tooth on the gear), you'll notice a rough idle and a marked reduction in power. Note that this is engine timing, not ignition timing. If the timing belt breaks, you'll very likely be in for an expensive engine rebuild or replacement—the pistons will crash into the valves and either the valves will bend or break, the piston crowns will be destroyed, or both.

  Wire Harness


Engine Wire Harness


Removing the Belt

From the Top of the Engine

When your 2002 POY did this job, he removed the radiator to make more room. This is not necessary, and so we won't show that here. (Next month's cooling system article will show it, though.)

The first step is to disconnect the negative terminal of the battery. Next, remove the bolt that holds the engine wire harness (see photo at right) with a 10mm socket or wrench.

Then, remove the valve cover. (See last month's article, Adjusting Your Vigor's Valves for instructions).

From the Front of the Engine

Next, remove the power steering, A/C, and alternator drive belts, referring to the illustrations below.


Power Steering Belt Loosen the 12mm adjusting bolt on the power steering pump (left) until the belt is loose enough to be removed. Slip it over the pulley and remove it.

Loosen the idler pulley lock nut on the A/C pulley (right) with a 14mm socket. Then, loosen the adjusting bolt with a screwdriver.

A/C Belt

Power Steering Belt

A/C Belt










Alternator Belt

Alternator Belt

When the A/C belt is loose enough, slip it over the pulley and remove it.

Next, remove the alternator drive belt (right). Loosen the two bolts shown and then loosen the adjusting nut with a 12mm socket.

When the belt has been looseed enough, slip it over the pulley and remove it.

Now is a good time to set the engine so that the No. 1 cylinder is at Top Dead Center (TDC). See last month's article, Adjusting Your Vigor's Valves for instructions on how to do this.



Front Cover (Upper)  


Front Engine Cover (Upper)


Once the drive belts have been removed, the engine covers are next. First, the upper engine cover (the easy one).

There are 10mm bolts in the front of the upper engine cover (see photo at left).

Remove the two bolts and the engine cover can be lifted off.

The lower engine cover is is pretty easy to remove, too, but first you'll have to remove the dreaded crankshaft pulley bolt.

Removing the pulley bolt requires a strong 1/2" drive 19mm socket, a 1/2" drive breaker bar, and a long extension (like a piece of pipe). If your socket is of the "Made in China" variety, buy or borrow a good quality one. A cheap socket will either break (crack) or worse. It may round off the corners of the pulley bolt—and then, you'll have a heck of a time getting it off.

Before you can back out the pulley bolt, though, you'll need a way to keep the pulley fixed in place while you pull on the breaker bar. One method is to use a chain wrench. ViseGrip® makes a good one. Wrap the pulley with duct tape to protect it, wrap the chain around the circumference of the pulley, and that will hold it in place while you rap on the breaker bar with a large hammer. The chain wrench will want to slip, and it'll probably take the better part of a day to do it this way, so budget your time accordingly.

  Pulley Tool


Pulley Tool

The other method is to buy or borrow the special crankshaft pulley tool (shown in the photo at right) recommended by Honda/Acura. This is the route your former-POY took, and that shows why he was the POY—using this tool, it took less than ten minutes to remove the bolt.

The tool slips into the front of the pulley and has an opening through which the 19mm socket can pass.

Details follow on the next page.










  Home - • - Clubhouse - • - FAQs - • - Links - • - Timely Topics - • - About Us

 - Top -