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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Im trying to line up the marks for my timing belt and the crank is aligned and also the front Cam but the back is almost 90degrees off counter clockwise .. the Timing belt is off Should i just put a socket on the back cam bolt and adjust It to mark while belt is off or is that not what that bolts for
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Yikes. That is a little scary.

If you just decided to do a preemptive timing belt change, the cams should have both been lined up. Worst case, you might have to wiggle the cam pulley a tooth or two before installing the belt to get it to line up.

If, OTOH, it was that far out prior to swapping out the belt, I'm guessing it was because the engine stopped running. If you're REALLY lucky, the cam wasn't quite far enough out of sync to allow the valves to get in a fistfight with the pistons (they always lose, BTW). If that happened... it ain't good.

About all you can do is to rotate the pulley to line up the marks, and reinstall the belt. You can use the bolt for that, though exercise a little care (turn slow so you don't tempt it to loosen).
 

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I'm assuming they were not lined up before you removed the belt? Therefore #1 cylinder was not at TDC.
As Habby suggested, roll the gear over with the nut very gently to line it up. Do Not force it, might be easier with the plugs removed
 

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Won't be necessary to pull the plugs (you're not moving the pistons, so not fighting any compression). I should have mentioned that if you DO feel "mechanical interference" (which would be pistons kissing valves) you are going to want to rotate the crank gently "toward" the rear cam's position, and probably rotate the front cam that direction as well... then incrementally rotate each toward the timing mark. And keep in mind that the crank pulley turns twice as much as the cam pulleys. I hope that's all kind of intuitive - you're just going to want to try to get everything lined up without any damage to valves.
 

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This has happened to me while changing a belt. If the cam gears aren’t zip tied together of kept from moving, the spring force on the lobes can cause the cam to spin.

Rotating the cam clockwise with the bolt head fixed it for me. Make sure you don’t force it as a valve and cylinder head could contact hard.

Double check alignment of all three afterwards.

Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Hey guts thanks for the input i posted on another forum website my original probably which ill get to but i ended up rotating the back cam until it was lined up and installed the belt car did start .. now the original problem if you guys dont mind helping me out is that i went to change water pump. Took off all covers. Took crank pulley off . Put crank pulley bolt back in to turn and align all timing marks. When i did this i forgot the woodruff key or pin wasnt in the slot/hole 😣. I had turned it acouple times im not sure if 360degrees but enough to where i started feeling resistance (possibly pistons hitting valves😓) i stopped and wondered wth until i noticed the pin wasnt in . I did research and found out how to get it back but now it doesnt go in all the way. It isnt flush in place dont know what to do
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Probably just buggered up the key or the slot(s). Clean 'em up and try again - you might get a new key (cheap enough, and would take that out of the equation).
Ican see in the hole there nothing in there in just wont fit in and the key itself looks clean .. i wonder if i misaligned something behind all of it?
 

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I think you're going to have to drop the belt off to get it all lined up, or risk valve-to-piston contact. Of course, as long as this happens with only the force of a ratchet, and you don't get carried away, it shouldn't do any real damage.
 

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Think rotating just the crank to get back to alignment depends on how far you are out. If it’s a few degrees, probably OK. A little more might be OK too. (The cams and pistons line up every 60 degrees for whatever cylinder is supposed to fire). You may have to take your time and keep the cams in sync as you rotate the crank to get back to TDC of #1.
 

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You can turn it a little - until the valves get in the way. Otherwise, you'll have to keep twiddling the cam pulleys to keep everything lined up as you rotate the crank.

FWIW, here's an illustration from the manual - is it possible that it's normal for the key to stick out that far? I don't remember, but if there's a deep enough corresponding slot in the crank pulley, it's probably just fine.
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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
so what im planning
Think rotating just the crank to get back to alignment depends on how far you are out. If it’s a few degrees, probably OK. A little more might be OK too. (The cams and pistons line up every 60 degrees for whatever cylinder is supposed to fire). You may have to take your time and keep the cams in sync as you rotate the crank to get back to TDC of #1.
Okay and by twiddle the cam pulleys , you mean they might move alittle while im turing the bottom crank and just keep putting them at tdc ? ... and im sure it fits in all the way because ive watched videos of the same generation mdx for water pump change and they say make sure pin is flush. So like @habbyguy said i think your right there might be a slot for the pin in the spacer behind the sprocket ..
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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Would there be a function for the back spacer to have a slot in it ? . Or is it just so the belt catches it . I started the engine after i put it all together and the timing was all lined up and the space WAS moving so if its just there for the belt maybe its fine but if it has a function for the engine i might be screwed
 

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(Happily!!!) I never had to pull the crank timing gear. Looks like the thing behind it is an integral part of the timing gear, so doesn't look like the problem. From what I can see from the following diagram, it looks like the key just slides back as far as it can until the key meets the corresponding "slope" on the shaft. If the key IS longer than the slot, I can only say that's the way it should fit. Probably the easiest thing to do at this point is to slide the gear off the shaft (after removing the key) and really put eyeballs on the slot to see if it's shorter than the key or not. If not, then figure out why it won't slide home all the way.

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Glad to hear it worked out.

Re the key, it does stick out past the gear on the front to engage with the harmonic balancer. It should be flush to slightly below the face. (I suppose it could stick past the face a little as long as it doesn't cock the balancer when it's tightened down.) I've uploaded a pick of the crank, gear at TDC Auto part Engine Automotive engine part Vehicle Carburetor
, and key.
 
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