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Dan, Technician
Category: Honda
Satisfied Customers: 24574
Experience:  Independent Shop Experience, 2 Year Automotive Diploma, & Access to Information Database
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How can I fix the timing on my 1998 Honda Accord 2.3. I

Resolved Question:

How can I fix the timing on my 1998 Honda Accord 2.3.

I removed the Distributor and replace it, after that it does not start.
I replace it because It was not working. I did not do any marking before I removed it.
Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: Honda
Expert:  Dan replied 8 years ago.

Bring #1 cylinder to top dead center, then remove and reinsntall distributor. To get cylinder on top you can remove spark plug and take a long screwdriver, set it on piston and turn crank with wrench until piston reaches top of travel. Here are instructions to replace distributor, let me know if you have questions. Thanks


  1. Check the idle speed, and adjust it if necessary.
  2. Connect the PGM tester to the data link connector (DLC), and follow the tester's prompts in the"SCS" menu (see the Honda PGM Tester Operator's Manual).
  3. Start the engine. Hold the engine at 3,000 rpm with no load (A/T in [N] or

    , M/T in neutral) until the radiator fan comes on, then let it idle.

  1. Connect the timing light to the No.1 ignition wire, then point the light toward the pointer (A) on the timing belt cover.
  2. Check the ignition timing in no load conditions: headlights, blower fan, rear window defogger, and air conditioner are not operating. Ignition Timing: M/T: 12 °±2 ° BTDC (RED mark (B)) during idling in neutral A/T: 12 °±2 ° BTDC (RED mark (B)) during idling in

    or [N]

  3. If the ignition timing is incorrect, replace the ECM/ PCM. (Ignition timing is not adjustable.)
  4. Disconnect the PGM tester.





F23A1 and F23A4 2.3L SOHC VTEC

F23A5 2.3L SOHC Non-VTEC

  1. Disconnect the connector (A) from the distributor.
  2. Disconnect the ignition wires from the distributor ignition (DI) cap.
  3. Remove the distributor mounting bolts (B) then remove the distributor (C) from the cylinder head.


  1. Bring the No.1 piston to compression stroke TDC.

F23A1 and F23A4 2.3L SOHC VTEC

F23A5 2.3L SOHC Non-VTEC

  1. Coat a new O-ring (A) with engine oil, then install it.
  2. Slip the distributor into position.
NOTE: The lugs on the end of the distributor and their mating grooves in the camshaft end (B) are both offset to eliminate the possibility of installing the distributor 180 ° out of time.
  1. Install the mounting bolts (C), and tighten them lightly.

F23A1 and F23A4 2.3L SOHC VTEC

F23A5 2.3L SOHC Non-VTEC

  1. Connect the ignition wires to the distributor ignition (DI) cap as shown.
  2. Connect the connector to the distributor.
  3. Set the ignition timing.
  4. After setting the ignition timing, tighten the mounting bolts.


Dan and other Honda Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
how do i crank with a wrench, where do I set the wrench? Bring #1 cylinder to top dead center
Expert:  Dan replied 8 years ago.
You need to find wrench that fits crankshaft pulley and turn pulley until #1 piston is at top of cylinder. Also verify you have spark, good connections, and wires routed properly. Let me know what you find out or if you need more help. Thanks
Customer: replied 8 years ago.

Thanks. I will do this, when I get home from work this evening.

I will resume tomorrow morning.


Thanks again.

Expert:  Dan replied 8 years ago.
Sounds good. Thanks
Customer: replied 8 years ago.

can you tell me how to use the time gun/instruments. I have one and have not use it.


If you can, be as specific as posible.


This worked so far, I just need to know that if possible and will end happily this session.


Thank you.

Expert:  Dan replied 8 years ago.
To use the timing light you just connect one lead to #1 sparkplug wire, the other lead to battery positive and point the light at the timing mark to see where timing is set. Timing is controlled by the engine control module on thsi vehicle, so if it is off the ecm will need to be replaced. Let me know if you need anything else. Thanks