Horrible valve timing

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I recently recieved a '93 Civic Cx (gas prices suck) with a bad head gasket. Naturally, I ripped it apart to put in a new head gasket (OEM parts only) and decided that while I was at it I would replace the Ex. and In. manifold gaskets, valve cover gasket, timing belt and water pump. Prior to putting it all back together, I took the head to a machine shop like a good boy would. Anyway, upon intial start-up the engine struggled to turn over and back-fired. This is when I realized for the 10th time that the plug wire diagram in Helm's '84-'91 manual is backwords (Be warned!).
 
So now that it was able to run on its own, it beagan to detonate. I checked the timing belt and found that it was far to loose. I was able to get it tight enough, yet I am unable to line up the cam gear and crankshaft. I have done and re-done the timing belt at least five times and it continues to either be 1 tooth advanced or 1 retarded. I tried adjusting the distributer to full +/- in each position. The engine now runs without detonating (back-firing is another story) but it is still un-driveable in this state. I called honda to verify the part number of the belt under the belief that it had to be wrong. Not the case. Anyone still reading this post that is able to help me?
 
i have the same problem with the crank and cam lining up in my old civic hatch with a gsr motor. i found out later that by numerous times of trying to fix the darn thing, i stretched the belt, i replaced it and was able to line it up.
 
Definitely not meaning to threadjack, but does that mean a slight backfire comes from bad timing? I have picked one up but I thought it was due to a more open exhaust.
 
I might have been backfiring before and now you can hear it 'cause your exhaust is open. It happens anytime unburned fuel hits a hot manifold; i.e. blowby, timing, bad plugs/ignition, you name it.
 
Originally posted by hmtcrxsir@Sep 5 2005, 04:44 PM
Does it feel like there is no power, when you are driving it? And does the engine feel like its going to die at idle?
[post=549836]Quoted post[/post]​

yeah
 
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