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dlb 02-18-2013 08:05 PM

civic vx: how to advance distributor one tooth?
starting checking out my project vx today and checked the timing. it was a little retarded but the dizzy was advanced as far as it could go so i removed it, planning to simply advance it one tooth on the cam gear like i've done on my old toyotas. imagine my surprise when there was hardly any dizzy shaft, and no gear but rather a key that mates to a female receiver in the head. so i have no idea how to, or if i can advance the dizzy by a "tooth" since the receiver will only accept the key in two positions, one of which would be about 180* off. can anyone educate me on this?

thanks in advance.

Rusty94cx 02-18-2013 08:52 PM

Fix timing belt that is off.

Ryland 02-18-2013 09:42 PM

Was your timing sprocket lined up with the top of the head or with the timing marks that are on the head?

dlb 02-18-2013 11:36 PM

a worn out and/or slipped timing belt was the only thing i could think of too. however, i didn't remove the upper timing belt cover because it looks i would have to remove the valve cover to do that, and am not sure if valve cover gasket is reusable--didn't want to dig too deep into it without knowing what to expect, and i needed to have it back together for use tomorrow.

so am i correct in saying that this is an almost foolproof dizzy, and that a slipped or improperly installed timing belt is the only possible cause for the ignition timing being so far off?

Ryland 02-19-2013 08:39 AM

The valve cover gasket is reusable, if you do have to replace that gasket it's cheap and easy but you often have to replace it every 15-20 years because the rubber drys out.

When you do have the valve cover and timing belt cover off you will see the marks on the cam sprocket/pulley and normally those marks line up with the top of the head, on the VX is NOT the case, there are instead two small arrows cast in to the head that most people don't notice.

97-civic-ex 02-19-2013 11:02 AM

The distributor can not be installed 180* off. The slit is not centered. If you try to install it 180* it will snap the ear off the cam and you will need a new cam. Make sure you play close attention to that to avoid issues. If it feels like you are forcing it in,... it is probably 180 out.

dlb 02-19-2013 08:36 PM

no worries about installing the dizzy correctly. i was very careful because i wanted to mark sure i didn't wind up off a tooth (a la my old toyotas) so it was kept in position and i had no trouble reinstalling it.

ryland, are these the arrows you are talking about?

they are on the lower timing cover but they are the only arrows i could see. i can't tell which marks on the cam sprocket are supposed to match them though. i assume the portion of the pulley marked 'up' goes to the top, and the line that is located counterclockwise to the 'up' lines up with the arrow on the left. however, there is a second line on the pulley and i can't see what it should line up with. any ideas?

sorry if this sounds confusing. it's difficult to describe these things clearly.

Ryland 02-20-2013 10:02 AM

Yep, those are the arrows you want to line up with, I forget what the 3rd mark is used for but you want the up mark up and the two lines lined up with the arrows while the crank shaft pulley lines up with the lower timing mark.

some_other_dave 02-21-2013 05:05 PM

If you can dig up a copy of the workshop manual, it will tell you definitively which marks should line up with what. Different models use different marks.

Did you remember to short the service connector when checking the timing? There should be a connector that you plug a wire into (or even a paper clip) that tells the car's ECU not to fiddle with the timing so you can accurately check it and set it. Your results will be off if you don't do that.

I am used to earlier-generation Hondas (like my old 1990 CRX) so my advice may be out-dated for the VX. Hopefully it's not all that different.


Rusty94cx 02-21-2013 05:44 PM

You are correct there is a service connector pass side. The FSM is available on Honda Hookups. Good luck. There are also 3 marks on the harmonic balancer 0 15 20 I think.

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