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George H.
George H., ASE Certified Technician
Category: Acura
Satisfied Customers: 18532
Experience:  ASE Master Tech 15+ years w/L1 Drivability certification
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ACURA MDA: 2003 Acura MDX 3.5. Changing time belt, timing marks

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2003 Acura MDX 3.5. Changing time belt, timing marks on rear cam about 90 deg off, do I force the cam to the timing mark?

Hello I will help you with your question,

If you feel like you are hitting something stop and turn the other direction. Better yet turn the crank so it is 90 degrees off, align the cam marks then bring the crank back to its mark. Turning the crank 90 degrees off puts all the pistons 1/2 way down in their cylinders.

You will have to turn the cam against the valve spring pressure and it does not want to sit on its mark due to that pressure. Have a helper hold the cam bolt while you get the belt in place to hold the cam in position.

Please let me know if that is clear and let me know what questions you have

Thank you

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

The crank is on timing mark and front cam is on timing mark (belt removed)

So you are saying to align rear mark and hold it - while under spring pressure?

If you can just turn the rear cam back to its mark against the spring pressure without having to force it like it was hitting something then yes you can do that. If you feel like the valves are hitting as you turn the cam stop and do not force it. Move the crank off its mark and then move the rear cam. It will feel stiff but should not feel like you are hitting anything. You will have to hold it in place until you get the belt on or you will find that it will stay about 1 tooth off its mark. I let it sit 1 tooth off and line up all the other marks the same amount so when I turn the crank it brings everything into alignment. In any case you will be checking by turning the crank through two revolutions once you get the tensioner on the belt to see that all the marks come back to their marks.

Let me know if that is clear

Thank you

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

So off set all timing marks, advance 1 tooth, then install belt normally, rotate two crank back to number 1 mark and verify everything aligns., you can contact me XXX-XXX-XXXX

Yes, that is correct, I am sorry but the only contact I am allowed is through this forum, please let me know if you have further questions

Thank you

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

how long do I have for this forum to be open, can I try this out and if i hit a snag, will I still be able to get ahold of you or do I have to start this process over? and thank you for your advice.

Your question is always open for you to post to. I am notified anytime you make a post to it so give it a try and let me know if I can help further, I am here for 6 more hours tonight and all day tomorrow.

Thank you

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Just going through the motions, off setting one tooth on all gears, it still requires a lot of pressure to hold on the mark, should I count the teeth on the rear cam and align the rest to match?

If you can get the cam to sit within a tooth or two you can see all the others that far off, it takes a little practice to judge how much the slack in the belt will take up as you slightly turn the crank to get all the slack to the tensioner side of the belt but yes you have the idea. You can use a helper to hold it right on the mark while you install the belt or you have to set it where it stays and align the others to match.

Let me know how I can help

Thank you

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

That was it, thank you


Glad you got it and please let me know if you have further questions.

Thanks for letting me know

George H. and other Acura Specialists are ready to help you

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