Join Date: Oct 2013
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Hello everyone. The distributor bearing is a common scapegoat during this type of diagnosis The fact of the matter remains this.....
The common thread in all of these posts is that usually there is a timing belt change out. These B18's are very sensitive to timing belt tensioners. I know that this post is old but I see the same people going nuts over this issue many, many times. The fact of the matter is this, if there was no noise before the change and now there is change.....it ain't the distributor. The valve lashes should always be adjusted at this time in any aluminum head.
The tensioner pulley and bolt need to be adjusted after the timing belt is on......you leave it semi-loose until the slack on the belt (seen before the timing cover is put on) is at the idler pulley for the belt. Loosen the pulley, let the slack get taken up at the pulley. If you're rotating the crank bolt to turn the engine over an you get a ton of slack between the two OHC's then your tensioner is too loose. This will cause that EXACT noise. Good news is that if you put the crank to TDC and turn the the engine over manually, you can get the slack right where you need it, loosen the timing belt tensioner then retighten and it will take up the slack.....the noise at the distributor will go away, guaranteed (as long as it wasn't there before). Many, many people go for the distributor and replace it and the noise is still there It won't go away until the timing belt is tensioned properly! Trust me, it will fix that noise. With the belt too loose it causes noise at the distributor.
That is that! Follow the book for tensioning the timing belt tensioner without having to take off the timing cover. The timing belt tensioner bolt has a rubber cap you can remove. If you have decent tools, this is not a problem. I use a 12 mm shallow socket with a Snap On shallow ratchet. It's easy if you have what you need for the job! Try it, you won't be disappointed. You just have to make sure that the belt slack is at the tensioner......I have fixed many cars with this problem. Shops will tell you everything under the sun about the cause....it's all BS. Try this and you'll drive away without that grinding/rattling at the dizzy!