Understanding Top Dead Center

Hey all, i just bought a 1990 Acura Legend V6 5 Speed Coupe, and it has a broken Water Pump so i will be replacing this as well as the timing belt while im in there. anyways, i understand most of the timing belt procedures but am a little confused with the Top Dead Center Portion….

1. How am i supposed to line it up at top dead center?
2. Do the Cam Pulleys Line Up Together and the Crank Pulley Lines up to the block?

i understand that every car is different but just looking to understand the basics of Top Dead Center. what lines up with what etc…i was told that the distributor must also be timed right?

what i do understand is that the piston must be at the top of it’s compression stroke, and i can stick a wet paper towel into the #1 cylinder and crank til it shoots out( to verify Compression Stroke), put a pencil/screw driver in there and turn til it’s at its highest point (verifiying its on the piston is on it’s way up),

but do i also have to “test” for the valves to make sure both are close? how can i do this and what crank is it? please post any info you can to help me understand this better. i appreciate it.
thanks dude! made a little more sense, so any tips or how to’s on timing the distributor?
great info guys! so this is my plan after everything is taken apart, do you think it’ll work?

*before removing old timing belt*
stick wet paper towel in #1 Cylinder, turn engine unti it flies out. now i know its on its compression stroke, and will look at the pulleys/gears for TDC marks….this should tell me where top dead center is, and with the paper towel trick should tell me its at its compression stroke. so line up marks, and slowly remove old timing belt. pulley’s should move too much i hope, but if they do i know that the marks are pretty close to TDC and will just re-allign them while putting on the new belt. after that i will pit it all together, keeping an eye on the TDC marks. will i need to re time the distributor? or should it be good to go?

Answers for The Question

  1. Frankie
  2. Roadrunnermike
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  4. Turtlely Enough (turtle Turtle)
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