How To Change Your B18C1 DOHC VTEC Timing Belt

How To Change Your B18C1 DOHC VTEC Timing Belt

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One of the most popular sport compact engine platforms of 90s has undoubtedly got to be the DOHC 1.8 liter B18C1 VTEC motor. This motor is found in the 1994-2001 Acura Integra and has led to countless motor swaps into Civics as well as LS/VTEC conversions for non-vtec motors.

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Regardless of personal preference between force fed or naturally aspirated, one of the most remarkable things about this engine has to be the reliability and potential.

It may not everyone’s cup of tea but to ignore or disrespect the capabilities of this motor is just being ignorant. Forced induction engine tuning has come a long way since the early 90s and so has the power these motors can generate when done right.

Today we’ll be changing the B18C1 DOHC VTEC Timing Belt and water pump on a 1996 Acura Integra GSR and showing you how to get it done, as well as outlining the part numbers you need.

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The recommended period of mileage from Honda is between 90,000 to 100,000 miles or every five years. This of course is under normal driving conditions and this range can become shortened in a hurry especially when you add forced induction or bolt on modifications and race the vehicle.

The differences between the GSR VTEC B18C1 and it’s non VTEC counterpart the LS B18B1 or A come down to the tooth count of both the water pump and the B18C1 DOHC VTEC Timing Belt. Please refer to this link if you are looking for the B18 non VTEC timing belt How To.

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As with all of our writeups, if you are not comfortable working on your own vehicle or lack the tools necessary to undertake a job of this nature, please stop now. Take your vehicle to a ASE Certified mechanic, or if you are local to the Bay Area give us a call for an appointment. If you are looking to hire a mechanic for this type of job you are looking in the ballpark of 350-600 dollars for a job of this type.

However if you are comfortable working on your own car, why not change your own B18C1 DOHC VTEC Timing Belt? It’s not very difficult and can be completed in a day by the average shadetree mechanic. WIth that said, let’s get on to what parts we’ll be needing for this job.

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  • Vtec Water Pump 19200-P72-013 or 19200-P72-A01
  • Tensioner 14510-P30-003

tensioner

  • Tensioner Spring 14516-PR4-A00

You may or may not require the Honda Pulley Removal Tool, depending on whether or not your vehicle is equipped with Power Steering or Air Conditioning. If you are scheduled to replace the drive accessory belts on your vehicle, they are listed below for your convenience.

Air Conditioning belt 38920-P75-A01
Power Steering belt 56992-P72-003
Alternator Belt 31110-P75-014
Oil Pump 15100-P72-A01
Valve Cover gasket 12341-PR3-000
Spark plug seals 12342-PG6-000

Before we begin disconnect your battery and get the front of your car up on jackstands, if you have a factory radio now is a good time to locate your radio code.

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Next put the vehicle on a lift, if you do not own or have access to one loosen your driver side tire before jacking up the front of the vehicle and securing it with jackstands. Once your vehicle is secured with jackstands, now is the time to remove your front drivers side wheel to access the front of your engine.

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You should now see the front of your B18C1, the crank pulley and lower timing splash guard of your GSR engine. If you have all your accessories, now is the time to loosen and remove the belts in question.

Power Steering Belt – To loosen this belt, find your B18C1 Power Steering Tensioner which is on top of the mount and attached to a wing nut. After unscrewing this wing nut to remove tension in your power steering belt, you can undo the 12mm bolts holding the power steering unit in and slide off your Power Steering Belt.

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Air Conditioning Belt – Locate the 12mm idler pulley bracket bolt and back it out while undoing the 10mm bracket arm bolt. This should allow for enough slack to slide off the air conditioning belt, and clear the way for your alternator belt.

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Next up is the alternator belt which is very easy to adjust with a breaker bar or long bar that you can move the alternator with.

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Make sure to only loosen the adjusting bolt which is located on top of the bracket, you do not need to remove the mounting nut or anything other than the adjusting bolt. Use your breaker bar to push the alternator inward and away from the subframe to loosen your alternator belt.

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Next locate your cruise control box and unplug it from your engine harness. Undo the 10mm bolts that hold the cruise control unit in place and set this entire assembly off to the side.

Now it’s time to jack up the bottom of the engine using a floor jack and a piece of wood or something similar to displace the force. Do not jack up directly on the oil pan as that may damage your oil pan, oil pickup tube or oil pump.

To complete your B18C1 DOHC VTEC Timing Belt job, you must have the ability to raise and lower the vehicle to slide the timing belt on, undo the timing belt tensioner and access the front of your motor. To do this, you must remove the driver side motor mount, and use the floor jack on the bottom of your oil pan to move the engine accordingly.

Remove the two 14mm nuts found on the actual motor mount and the 17mm bolt going through the mount. Slide off the driver side motor mount and now you can freely move the engine up or down as you need to.

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Remove the 10mm nuts holding your spark plug cover in place and take out all your spark plug wires. Next undo the 10mm nuts and grommets on your valve cover and take your valve cover off.

If you own air tools and a good sized drive, remove the crank pulley now with your air tools. If you are one of the more unfortunate people working with just hand tools, you can do one of two things here to remove the crankshaft pulley or harmonic dampener.

Option 1: Rent a air tool for your compressor ( if you have one )

Option 2 : Purchase or rent the Honda DOHC Crankshaft Pulley tool.

Option 3 : Get a friend that can put the transmission into 5th gear and depress the brakes as hard as they can, and use a big breaker bar.

Once you have the crankshaft pulley removed, take the pulley off and FIND YOUR CRANKSHAFT KEYWAY. Set this keyway to the side safely and move on to removing your timing belt covers.

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As our vehicle is an OBDII model, we’ll be unplugging the crank position sensor for safety before removing the lower timing cover. Some of the 10mm bolts will be harder to get to, like the one near your timing belt tensioner. Use a short 10mm socket or a smaller drive to remove these bolts, once they are all removed you can slide off your lower and upper timing belt covers.

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With the timing covers removed, you can now see what you are working with. Depending on your year and model, you may or may not have a crank position sensor present.

Loosen your 14mm tensioner bolt that secures the tensioner pulley and arm in place, slide off your tensioner spring and discard as you will be using a new one.

Next we’ll be removing your water pump, so grab a bucket or container and drain your radiator and motor of as much coolant as you can. Once you have drained the motor and radiator as best you can, take off the five 10mm bolts that hold the water pump on and remove.

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It’s a great time to take a break now and relax as your water pump opening will probably bleed coolant for quite some time. Allow this area to dry completely before installing your new water pump, minimal liquid gasket maker is required for installation of the new water pump.

Now it’s time to set your timing belt, remember to set the tension in the back of the motor so that your timing belt tensioner can properly do it’s job. To set the timing belt on your motor, put your crankshaft to TDC by sticking a long extension in cylinder #1 and rotating until the the timing marks on the crank gear and TDC mark on the oil pump line up.

TDC

Then set your cam gears to TDC and slide the timing belt on the gears, making sure to remove all slack in back of the motor.

Put the B18C1 DOHC VTEC Timing Belt in place around your cam gears but again make sure there is zero slack in the back of the motor. Next line up your timing belt tensioner and install while holding on the timing belt. Put the 14mm bolt back through your tensioner and make it finger tight.

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Use a large flathead to gently pry against the arm of your tensioner to make everything tight in your belt, and then finger tighten the 14mm bolt that goes through your tensioner.

Check and double check your timing marks now, this is a crucial step as you do not want to redo all your work. Using the flathead to gently put tension into your timing belt, make sure there is sufficient tension but also enough deflection in the belt before finger tightening your 14mm tensioner bolt again.

What TDC should look like
What TDC should look like

Now rotate the crankshaft counterclockwise a whole six rotations, until your cam gears and crank gear line up to TDC. Check your marks and recheck by turning your crankshaft another six revolutions. If you haven’t already removed your spark plugs, now might be a good time.

Check your TDC marks and double check, and then have a friend check it. Failure to properly align and set the tension in your timing belt may cause engine problems. Incorrect installation can cause catastrophic engine failure in the worse case scenario.

Reinstall the lower guard and timing cover, do not forget the crank pulley keyway or the crank plate that helps guide the timing belt in place. Lubricate the crank pulley bolt with anti-seize and torque the crank dampener to 140 ft-lbs.

Once you have double, triple and quadruple checked your work and marks, turn the timing belt back three teeth and torque your timing belt tensioner bolt (14mm) to 40 ft-lbs.

You have now completed the timing belt job on your B18C1! Congratulations!

 

8 COMMENTS

    • Hi Cameron, thanks for reading.

      What we mean by that is to rotate the engine back three teeth to confirm that everything lines up correctly. We don’t mean dial back the GSR timing belt by 3 teeth. Thanks for commenting!

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