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Wanna be troll
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Hey guys - Just thought I'd make a quick little DIY for 8th Civic, since I have not seen one on here on this topic. I had to pull my motor and tear it down since I thought my car was knocking. I had my pistons out, crank out, etc - just to find out that my AC Compressor had lived it's life and is now done for. lol.

Before we get started with this, I'd like to give you a little insight on the K20 Timing Chain Tensioner... It sucks, end of story.

After witnessing this myself (and from a post), I'd like to add this to the post to show that the K20 Timing Chain Tensioner is very prone to intermittent failure which can lead to your timing chain jumping teeth, which will un-time your motor and possibly break valves or seize your engine.

For a complete breakdown on how that is possible on the K20 Timing Chain Tensioner, please visit this link from Skunk2's website. For you guys who are boosted on the OEM tensioner, be careful!


Well... let's get started with this.

Tools Needed:
14mm Socket
17mm Socket
19mm Socket
3/8" Drive Ratchet
1/2" Drive Ratchet

Here is your crank. You're going to notice on the shortblock, that there is an arrow pointing down. This is basically used as an indication of your pistons being at TDC when timing. You're also going to notice that there is a punch mark (circular dot) gear that is connected to the oil pump as shown in the picture.

In order to set Cylinder 1 at TDC (Top Dead Center), the punch mark in the picture must be aligned with the arrow that is pointing down. To spin the crank, attach the 19MM to the crank bolt and rotate the crank until the crank is aligned.

For peace of mind, you can remove Cylinder #1 Spark Plug and take a very thin rod and place it down the area where the spark plug is seated. When aligning the punch mark and the arrow together, you will see that rod travel up and stop when aligned perfectly. Your piston #1 is now set to TDC.

Here is your timing chain. On the k20 series timing chain, you will see 3 blue colored links. These colored links are crucial to timing the motor. If they are not aligned upon start up, you will more than likely set off a timing code in which you'll have to do this whole process over. Just to let you know, if you pull your motor, these colored links will NOT be in the same position, but for timing purposes on an initial start up, must be in the proper location.

Next let's take a look at the Cam Gears. As you can see in the picture, the cam gears are NOT aligned properly. You'll see to punch marks that are NOT facing each other. The goal here is to get the cam punch marks facing each other. Why? When the punch marks are set to face each other, there is absolutely no pressure on the valves from the rockers, from the cams which means your entire Cylinder 1 is at Top Dead Center along with the Pistons which is what we want.

To get the gears to align correctly, you will be needed to use the 14MM socket and the 17MM socket. The exhaust cam gear (left) requires the 14MM while the intake cam gear (right) requires the 17MM. Go ahead and rotate the cams until they are aligned.

Here is what it looks like (BAD)


As you can see, the 2 blue markings on the Timing Chain MUST be ON the punch dots on the Intake and Exhaust side of the cam just as the above picture looks.

When the cams are aligned properly, the pulse plates MUST look as so. The arrows must be facing the red line in the picture, otherwise timing is not going to be as perfect.

Now that we have the cams in alignment, there is one more blue marking on the timing chain that must be in sync as well. If you look back to your crank, you're going to see yet another punch mark (This is not the punch mark that we previously timed). This punch mark must have a blue link on it as well.

Since the Cams will be aligned, it should be as simple as wrapping the chain around and getting that blue link on as so:

So with all the blue punch marks aligned with the cams and pistons, you're good to go. Seal everything up, put the timing chain tensioner back on, seal the timing chain cover well and put the motor back in or back together :p.

Any questions? PM me.
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