B20 stuff (the saga of my family’s ’99 CRV) Part 3

B20 stuff (the saga of my family’s ’99 CRV) Part 3

On this installment of the CRV project, ill be talking about the JDM motor and refreshing it. New gaskets, oil pump, water pump, timing belt, swapping the intake manifold over from the USDM one, and some other small things to make it work with the USDM CRV so it will pass smog, and making sure there will be no CEL’s.

I am just going to go ahead and jump straight into it. If you missed the first two parts to this series, you can click the links below for part one, and part two.



So starting out I will need to tear down the JDM swap to gain access to the oil pump, water pump, and timing belt. On automatic’s you will need to disconnect the flex plate before trying to remove the trans. The flex plate acts some what like the flywheel on a manual car (it transfers the power created by the engine to the transmission). The flex plate will bolt to the torque converter (the torque converter acts some what like a clutch) this allows the car to idle while in drive at a stop light without stalling, then once you start to accelerate the motor will spin the torque converter and the centrifugal force will make the torque converter engage, thus allowing the car to accelerate. This of course is a very rudimentary explanation. Hopefully it will give you a little more idea about how an automatic works. So anyways… you will need to unbolt the bolts that attach the flex plate to the torque converter.

You will need to jack the engine up high enough to be able to get to the “flywheel” inspection cover.


The header is in the way, so this will need to be removed. There are X9 12mm bolts/nuts that bolt the header to the head, there is X1 14mm bolt that attaches to the front of the block half way down the header (where the rusty cast iron turns to tubular steel), then finally on the back side of the motor there is a header bracket that requires the removal of X2 12mm nuts. Make sure the O2 sensor is disconnected.(you can leave it still threaded into the header though, just be careful because the O2 sensor is extremely delicate)


Below you can see the “flywheel” inspection cover (black metal cover the finger is pointing to)


Remove the 10mm bolts, and the one 17mm bolt


and disconnect the X3 14mm bolts that attach the bracket from the engine to the trans.


You will now be able to access the 10mm bolts attaching the flex plate to the torque converter.


you will only be able to access 2 bolts at a time, so you will need to manually crank the engine over by just putting a 19mm on the crankshaft bolt and rotating the engine over. (its easier if you remove the spark plugs so you’re not fighting the compression of the engine as you crank it)


Once you’re sure you have removed them all, you can now set the engine back on the ground. You can now start to remove the trans. Start by unbolting the starter 14mm’s.


Next loosen the 17mm bolts that attach the trans to the engine.


Once they are all loose you will be able to separate the trans from the engine. (on jdm motors the sea air will cause a lot of oxidization on the dowels, this will make it difficult to pull the trans off. Just be patient, and take your time. There is a lot of wiggling involved.)


Below you can see how the flex plate is some what like the flywheel.


below you can see how the torque converter is somewhat like the clutch. You can also see how they bolt together. The torque converter can actually just come out of the trans, it just slides into the transmission input shaft.


Below you can see how oxidized the dowel is.


Now you can attach the engine stand bracket.


then lift it into the engine stand so you can begin tearing the engine down.


we started out by removing the intake manifold.


The worst part is having to completely scrape off all the old intake manifold gasket. (super pain in the ass)


Now remove the valve cover.


and the distributor.


The garage is a bit crowded.


Now youre going to remove the crankshaft bolt. This will usually require a tool, which you can rent at any auto part store. (as seen below)


With the crank bolt and pulley removed, you can now remove the upper and lower timing cover.


Loosen the tensioner bolt 14mm


Now remove the timing belt


Now unbolt the water pump


Spin the motor over in the stand, and start to remove the oil pan.


Once you have taken all the bolts/nuts off you can remove the oil pan. Be careful when you’re prying, you don’t want to scar the mating area. This will make it extra difficult to make a complete seal.

With the pan removed be mindful of how much dirt and dust you create, you don’t want any of that getting into the engine. It’s also important to make sure you don’t drop any hardware in.


Next remove the oil strainer. X2 nuts, X2 bolts all 10mm


Unbolt the oil pump and remove it. This should all come off really easy, the lower timing belt gear will just slide off. Unfortunately it wasn’t that easy for me, somehow the gear got super stuck on the crankshaft. It took me hours to finally get it off, I ended up carefully notching it and getting it to break the seal it had on the crankshaft. If you’re thinking why didn’t i just leave the oil pump on if the gear was that stuck. Well I had to change the oil pump out for a USDM oil pump because the USDM oil pump has a crankshaft position sensor, and the JDM oil pump doesn’t. This meant that if I didn’t switch it over, the car would have a CEL because I have to use the USDM harness and ECU.


Use a razor to scrape off all the old gasket, then use some scotch brite (don’t use STEEL wool because the small pieces of STEEL will get in the engine.


You will need a new “O” ring for the oil pump (it’s a small black one), then just use a thin layer of Honda Bond all along the pump where it mates to the block. Tighten all the bolts on the pump.

Now you can also install the new water pump. there is a new black rubber gasket that should come with your new pump. You don’t need anything else.


Make sure you install the new gasket on the oil pump where the strainer tube bolts to.


Now reinstall the strainer.


New oil pan gasket. DO NOT USE fel pro ones, or any other cheap ones as they will only leak.


On the gasket there are two different sides. One is smooth, and the other has two raised lines. Make sure the smooth side goes against the block, and the side with the two raised lines goes against the oil pan. No other sealant/gasket is needed.


Make sure to clean the oil pan, and the block where the gasket goes to ensure a good seal.


On to the important part. You must take all the crankshaft position sensor pieces off the old (USDM) motor, and bolt them on to the new oil pump that was just installed on the (JDM) motor.


Slide the lower timing gear on (you’ll notice that it has the teeth for the crankshaft position sensor molded to the timing gear)


Make sure you install the woodruff key. If you don’t, the crankshaft will spin but not move the timing gear/belt/cam gears. Basically your motor won’t run without it.


Install the crankshaft position sensor. Now everything is done on the lower half of the motor. You can now spin the motor back around.


We are also replacing the cam seals with brand new OEM ones. These are notorious for leaking, so while you have the motor apart they are very easy to change.

It’s easiest to just use a gun to break the cam gear bolts free. If you don’t have access to one, you’ll have to loosen them before you take the old timing belt off.


Remove the cam caps that house the cam seals.


now you can slide the old seals out.


Now slide on the new ones. No other sealant/gasket is necessary


Now go around to the other end of the cam and replace the “cam seal” the one next to the distributor.


Place the new OEM one in. Making sure the lines on the cap are parallel with the plane of the head. You can see below how the two marks are perfectly parallel with the head. Also dab a little bit Honda Bond on each side.


When reinstalling the cam gears make sure you put the Woodruff keys in both gears. Below you can see the proper orientation of how the Woodruff key goes on.


Get the cam gear bolts snugged down (you can fully torque them down once the new timing belt is on)


The engine is now ready to put the brand new OEM timing belt on.


But first we have to make sure the crank is at TDC (top dead center)


There is a mark on the timing gear.


That must line up with the triangle arrow on the oil pump.


The cam gears have marks that need to line up to indicate TDC as well. I didn’t go in to that much detail on how to (set the timing) because after all the issues i was having with the lower timing gear, we were just trying to hurry up. I will go over in detail how to set the timing on a B series when I do the timing belt on the B16A.

You will also have to reuse the lower timing cover off the USDM motor since you have changed out the oil pump from a non crankshaft position one, to one with a crankshaft position sensor.


But you can use the JDM or the USDM upper timing cover.


Another way you can double check to make sure the timing correct is, line up the white mark on the crankshaft pulley, and the notch on the lower timing cover.


And you can see that both cam gears have the “up”arrows facing up.


Next seal to replace is the distributor “O” ring.  It will just slide off the distributor, and you can slide the new one on no other sealant/gasket necessary. When you reinstall the distributor make sure you pay attention to the indexing key that fits in the cam. It is NOT perfectly center, and neither is the notch in the cam.


Make sure you match the smaller side of the cam to the smaller side of the distributor key, and the larger side of the cam to the larger side of the distributor key.


I also bought a brand new OEM valve cover gasket kit. The spark plug hole gaskets just pop out using a pick, and just press them back in with your fingers. No other gasket/sealant needed.


Install the new OEM valve cover gasket make sure to dab on some Honda Bond at each 90* angle of it. You can see the gray below


Place the valve cover on and tighten quickly, so the Honda Bond wont start to cure before you put the valve cover on. You want to ensure it makes a good seal.


The engine is now all buttoned up. Time to move on to the Intake manifold. You can not use the JDM intake manifold that comes on the JDM motor. You must take the USDM one off the USDM motor and use that one. We took this opportunity to clean the USDM one up as much as possible.

We stripped everything off it so it’s easier to clean.


You can see below the left is the (USDM) one off the old motor, and the one on the right is the one from the JDM motor. This part is called the IACV Idle Air Control Valve. On the left you can see how bad of condition the old one is off the USDM motor. Im assuming that some crap mechanic was too aggressive with pliers when trying to remove the rubber hose from the nipple and broke the nipple. In all fairness though, this is easy to do when its been badly corroded like that one is. Still though a “good” mechanic should know to be gentle when removing the hoses. So all I did was just use the JDM one on the USDM intake manifold, they just swap right over.


Now going back to scraping all the old intake manifold gasket off the head. The extra effort you put in now, while the motor is out will be worth it in the end. Because you don’t want to be chasing vacuum leaks when it’s in the car.


Now im changing out the distributor cap and rotor with new OEM ones. Take a Phillips head screw driver and loosen the three screws holding the cap on.


Now locate the set screw that holds the rotor on. You might have to manually crank the engine around until you see the screw.


The rotor will just slide on now.


Slide the new OEM rotor on, and tighten the set screw. If you forget the screw, or forget to tighten it the rotor will back off and the car will die.

At this point you new cap should have also come with a new gasket/seal. Take a pick and remove the old one, then simply lay the new one in and tighten the cap back on.


Now time for the new OEM thermostat. Locate the thermostat housing, and loosen the X2 10mm bolts.


Now you can see the thermostat. Pay attention to how it goes in.


The new thermostat will also come with a new gasket. There is no need to put any sealant on it. Notice how the gasket has the two rubber nipples, this will fit in the grooves in the thermostat housing. This helps ensure the thermostat is properly orientated.


The loose rivet always goes up, this will allow for any air trapped in the coolant system to bleed through.


Now install the USDM intake manifold on the JDM motor. Make sure to use a new OEM intake manifold gasket. Once bolted on, you can begin to reassemble the parts that were taken off when the manifold was cleaned.


coolant lines can now all be reconnected too.

We now put the USDM wire harness on the JDM motor. Everything should just connect like it did on the USDM motor.


You can now install the resonator on the intake manifold. We also got a new OEM pcv valve (red nipple coming out of the valve cover)


The engine is now ready to come off the stand and get the transmission mounted back to it.


Moving on to the transmission. We are using the JDM transmission, so there is one thing we need to swap over from the old USDM trans. The transmission position sensor. The JDM one will not plug into the USDM engine harness that we are using. Simply unbolt and swap them out.


Next is on to the torque converter. You must fill the torque converter with at least 1 qt of ATF.


Its best to spin it to have the fluid get dispersed.


Once you have a qt of ATF in the converter, slide the converter onto the trans, and make sure its fully seated. Now reattach the trans to the motor. (reverse of removing the trans)


Jack the engine back up, and bolt all the 10mm bolts on the flex plate. Reinstall the inspection cover.


It’s all loaded up back in the truck and ready to head back over to Ever’s so we can drop it back in the CRV.


I know this was quite a lot of info to take in at once, but at the very least I hope it will give you a good visual on what parts go where and what everything looks like disassembled. I’m sure there isn’t too many people, if any trying to refresh their CRV as meticulously as we are doing. I just feel that since most B series stuff is similar this will help guide people through any B series there are doing.

This was an extra special time for working on B20’s for me because my brother  (who is way cooler than me) happened to be in town and was able to help me out quite a bit. It was great to share my knowledge with him about engines, and reminiscence about all the fun things we have done in this car over the years.

Thanks so much for reading, and again i’m sorry about this post coming out a day late. It won’t happen again, I PROMISE!


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