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Thread: 1998 Honda CRV timing belt change - any shortcuts??

  1. #1
    Senior Member HondaSUV Senior
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    Default 1998 Honda CRV timing belt change - any shortcuts??

    My 1998 CRV is still on its original timing belt. Its been long overdue for a new belt and I now that the weather is a bit cooler I think I will attempt to tackle this project. I checked the timing belt thread on here and it looks like a very involved project! However, one poster commented that it only took him 90 minutes. I was wondering if there was a shortcut to this job (for example, not removing any bolts or parts unless absolutely necessary for belt and pump removal). I am able to set aside about 5 hours for this project (due to the lack of a garage, limited day light, and other obligations). Do you think its doable for a first timer without the use of power tools?
    1985 Honda Accord "The Reincarnated"
    1996 Acura Integra "The Lost Love"
    1998 Honda CRV - "The Tank"
    2003 Honda CRV - "The Beater"
    2010 Honda Pilot - "The Beast"

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    Senior Member HondaSUV Senior gqkris's Avatar
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    Shortcut is to take it to your mechanic lol

    My friend and I want to do it as in him telling me what to do but he's in dentistry so no luck. He's got all the tools and know how. Me=very little. Would have taken me all day and night lol

    Just got mine done today. The hardest part my mechanic said was the bolt was seized to turn the timing belt. Everything took longer than usual as with everything. Took him the whole morning and afternoon for

    timing belt
    water pump
    3 drive belts
    valve adjustment
    and all the gaskets and seals that come with the kit
    =$350 labor, I supplied $200 oem timing belt kit.

    Worth it IMO but i would have liked to learn how to do that stuff in the future but no time.
    Last edited by gqkris; 10-19-2011 at 05:51 PM.
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    Senior Member HondaSUV Elder 'Curly Q Links''s Avatar
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    The shortcut ??

    Air tools and a well-arranged shop.

    I seem to blow a 6 hour day, more or less because there's always one tool I haven't seen since I did the last TB.

    Just be sure you do your homework and have the 17mm deep socket, the 19mm for the crankshaft bolt, the crankshaft holding tool, a sharpie marker to stick into the Power Steering hose, a bungee cord to hold the timing belt tight, some gasket maker glue for the corners of the valve cover gasket, feeler gauges for the valve adjustment (set them loose), a new water pump and tensioner bearing, 6-point 14mm socket for the tensioner, fresh thermostat from NAPA, with gasket, HONDA coolant, air filter, maybe.

    You'll be doing the idle learn procedure, but wait two days for the cooling system to purge itself first.

    All this stuff is in the threads you should read through ahead of time..... Here's a couple of recent ones that popped up:

    New Timing belt problem

    Gen 1 WAY better heat with NAPA thermostat

    2001 Timing belt, 1 tooth off

    SEARCH for a couple of threads about 'harmonica timing' so you don't get things too tight.
    Last edited by 'Curly Q Links'; 04-07-2012 at 10:28 AM. Reason: added link, added emphasis
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  4. #4
    Senior Member HondaSUV Mentor
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    Something to consider: RISK and who assumes it, and how much there is to assume.

    If you do it, you assume the risk and since you have never done it before, there is quite a bit.

    If you take it to your local Honda mechanic, they assume the risk of parts failure and mistake in performing the job.

    I can do a timing belt, but I can assure you that my mechanic, a long time employee at Honda as a master mechanic, had done more timing belts in one week than I have done in my life. I'd rather pay the extra money and let him do it. It keeps me in the dealer's good graces for parts and give me peace of mind.

    Just something to think about.
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  5. #5
    Moderator HondaSUV Elder sgtsandman's Avatar
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    If you do it, being that it's your first time, make sure you have three days. It took me that long to get everything right. The third time, I had everything apart and back together in one day.
    Mike: Sgtsandman's 'V
    2011 Ford Ranger XLT, 4X4 5 MT


    1999 Honda CR-V EX RT4WD 5 MT



  6. #6
    Senior Member HondaSUV Senior
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    Quote Originally Posted by 'Curly Q Links' View Post
    The shortcut ??

    Air tools and a well-arranged shop.

    I seem to blow a 6 hour day, more or less because there's always one tool I haven't seen since I did the last TB.

    Just be sure you do your homework and have the 17mm deep socket, the 19mm, the crankshaft holding tool, a sharpie marker to stick into the Power Steering hose, a bungee cord to hold the timing belt tight, some gasket maker glue for the corners of the valve cover gasket, feeler gauges for the valve adjustment (set them loose), a new water pump and tensioner bearing, 6 point 14mm socket for the tensioner, fresh thermostat from NAPA, with gasket, HONDA coolant, air filter, maybe.

    You'll be doing the idle learn procedure, but wait two days for the cooling system to purge itself first.

    All this stuff is in the threads you should read through ahead of time..... Here's a couple of recent ones that popped up:

    New Timing belt problem

    Gen 1 WAY better heat with NAPA thermostat

    2001 Timing belt, 1 tooth off

    SEARCH for a couple of threads about 'harmonica timing' so you don't get things too tight.
    Thanks the links. After reading them I am leaning more towards paying to get it done. If the CRV ends up not starting after I took everything apart and put everything back together I would be slightly perturbed (lol). The other reply here says to set aside 3 days - so if a screw up happened the CRV can potentially be down for 1 week.

    Which begs the question... the 98 CRV is on its original belt, 78,000 miles on the engine, mostly driven less than 5 miles daily. What are the odds of the timing belt wearing out? I only need it to last as long as it takes to sell it (I really have no need for it anymore).
    1985 Honda Accord "The Reincarnated"
    1996 Acura Integra "The Lost Love"
    1998 Honda CRV - "The Tank"
    2003 Honda CRV - "The Beater"
    2010 Honda Pilot - "The Beast"

  7. #7
    Senior Member HondaSUV Elder 'Curly Q Links''s Avatar
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    'New Timing Belt' is the best piece of advertising you can post on Kijiji. People who are shopping for a Gen 1 KNOW to ask for the TB history. Mark the mileage and date under the hood in paint marker when you're done. Some Timing Belts come with a sticker in the box for that purpose.

    If you have your materials and tools in order, you won't take more than 8 hours, and that allows for doing some parts of the procedure twice. Start making a list.

    I always seem to schedule a trip into the CITY because I forgot I was out of something, or that I broke that particular whatever last time I did something major.

    Surely you are more organized and methodical than some of us......

    Man, I wish I had a reason to come to Dirty Jersey. I'd help you in the blink of an eye.

    .
    '97 CR-V. . . . . . '00 CR-V SE (leather) . . . '98 Odyssey V-Tec ! !
    --------------------
    First, read the Owner's Manual, then SEARCH, your Internet is STILL WAY faster than mine.
    --------------------

  8. #8
    FFNC Site AdminHondaSUV Elder Racoon's Avatar
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    Actually, you should be on your 2nd timing belt by now, since the change interval is in miles OR years.

    Your choice if you think you can sell it quickly, but please let the buyer know it hasn't been changed.
    Or change it, and then ask for more, making a point of saying it has a new timing belt!

    The Racoon

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    Milano Pink 1999 CR-V EX 5 Speed (Gen 1.5) - SOLD at 127,997 miles
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  9. #9
    Moderator HondaSUV Elder sgtsandman's Avatar
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    You also have to worry about the belt drying out and becoming brittle, not just wearing out. It's up to you on if you change it or not but I would recommend that you do. Most, if not all Honda engines are an interference design, so if the belt goes... Well, I'm sure you know that already.
    Mike: Sgtsandman's 'V
    2011 Ford Ranger XLT, 4X4 5 MT


    1999 Honda CR-V EX RT4WD 5 MT



  10. #10
    Senior Member HondaSUV Senior
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    Quote Originally Posted by Racoon View Post
    Actually, you should be on your 2nd timing belt by now, since the change interval is in miles OR years.

    Your choice if you think you can sell it quickly, but please let the buyer know it hasn't been changed.
    Or change it, and then ask for more, making a point of saying it has a new timing belt!

    If I change the timing belt myself (cost around $100) then the return on investment will be good when I sell the car. But if I have to pay $600 for someone to do it then it would be difficult to make it back. As is I will probably list the CRV for $4500 (no timing belt change). I can probably shoot for $5000 if it gets a new timing belt and WP but not much more since it also has an SRS light and the occasional ABS light too.
    1985 Honda Accord "The Reincarnated"
    1996 Acura Integra "The Lost Love"
    1998 Honda CRV - "The Tank"
    2003 Honda CRV - "The Beater"
    2010 Honda Pilot - "The Beast"

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