Introduction: Replacing the Timing Belt (Honda Civic 1999, D15B Engine)

The timing belt on my JDM 1999 Civic (D15B Engine) is due for replacement. My car uses a 103 tooth, 24mm wide belt. I purchased a Gates 5409XS Belt off Amazon.

The usual safety precautions apply to this job:

1. Handbrake Engaged and rear wheels chocked.

2. Safety Stand to support the front of the car.

3. Unplug the Battery (yes my battery weighs 3lbs and is literally plug and play!).

I left the transmission in park for this task. A can of CRC Powerlube was used on all bolts/nuts involved to make life so much easier.

I have a 40inch long 3/4inch drive breaker bar plus 3/4inch extension and 17mm socket to remove/install the crankshaft pulley bolt. This tool is invaluable to handle the most stubborn bolts/nuts including wheel hub nuts!

Step 1: The Components and Torque Values.

This page from the manual identifies all the components for this replacement operation.

Step 2: Remove the Accessories Belts and Timing Belt Upper Cover.

The power steering belt, reservoir and pump came off first. The pump and reservoir must be lifted up and out to rest on the left headlight bracket (the reservoir bracket can be removed to provide more access). This gives the world of room to work on rest of the engine. The air conditioning and alternator belts all need to come off also. Using 10mm, 12mm and 14mm sockets and spanners, this was easy to do (the AC belt is the trickiest to get out though). The AC idler pulley and bracket came off also.

The head cover came off next by removing the spark plug wires and accelerator cable bracket. The cover was safely put aside with its gasket and bolts. I put the engine oil dip stick aside with the head cover.

Using a 17mm deep socket and ratchet, I rotated the engine anti-clockwise to get the camshaft arrow pointing UP. Turning the engine is extremely easy.

The Timing belt upper cover is held by two 10mm bolts. The oil dipstick and holding clip had to be removed along with these bolts. I made sure to clean the cover with degreaser and allow to dry while continuing with the next stage.

Step 3: Remove the Crankshaft Pulley, Engine Upper Mount Bracket and Lower Cover.

The Honda crankshaft pulley tool is essential for removing the pulley. It costs 50USD on Amazon. This and my breaker bar/extension bar/17mm deep socket 3/4inch drive were all used to easily remove the crankshaft pulley bolt. I used a safety stand to support the end of the extension bar to give me leverage to turn the bolt.

The pulley, woodruff key, bolt, backing plate all came out and were safely put aside. I used degreaser to clean the pulley to ensure good belt grip after the job was done.

At this point I used the safety jack to support the front of the car. The OEM jack is used with a piece of wood to support the oil sump pan. Three 17mm nuts were removed to take off the engine mount upper bracket.

The lower cover is held by six 10mm bolts and takes a little patience to remove due to very tight spaces involved. Once removed I used degreaser to clean the cover. I took out the backing plate for the Crankshaft Pulley.

I used a metal marker to mark the camshaft pulley and the outer surface of the timing belt. I did the same with the crankshaft sprocket (my jdm civic does not have any mark on the Crankshaft sprocket to tell me where is TDC). I made corresponding marks onto the new belt at the identical locations.

Due to the fact the timing belt covers' gaskets were deteriorated, I used silicone adhesive to stick them back into the grooves. No one sells replacement gaskets for timing belt covers, how sad.

Step 4: Removing the Timing Belt and Comparison.

Once the tensioner bolt was loosened, the belt came off easily. It is crucial not to turn the camshaft or crankshaft after the belt is off. Luckily turning either is difficult by hand without tools.

Once the old belt is off, I make marks on the new belt to ensure exact placement on the crank and cam. Metal marker is safe on the outer surface of the belts. I numbered the teeth to make sure I had the right belt and also to put the cam and crank marks I had made on the old belt.

The old belt is in pretty good condition however since my car has an interference engine, a proactive approach can literally save the engine.

I made sure to clean the camshaft pulley with rubbing alcohol and a paper towel.

I included a pic of the degreased and washed timing belt covers. I used silicone adhesive to ensure the gaskets stay in their grooves.

Step 5: Installing the New Timing Belt and Accessories Belts.

Once the belt was on as per Honda instructions, I put back the crankshaft pulley with its bolt and tightened it. I had to do this since the so called bolt hole cover is fragile due to its age. I made 6 revolutions anti-clockwise then followed the tensioning procedure from page 6-18 in the Honda manual.

There is an access hole in the lower cover to slacken or tighten the Tensioner Pulley. You can see the 14mm socket jammed into that hole. I put back the cover with black silicone adhesive to keep it on place and water tight.

I put back all the remaining belts.

Step 6: Closing Up.

The head cover went back on and all the bolts were torqued. The engine mount upper bracket was installed and torqued. The accelerator cable bracket and spark plug wires went back in place.

I fired up the engine and she worked just fine! Bit quieter too.

All in all, this took me 6 hours to do.