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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
With the warm season nearly upon us and my parts list to keep up four Hondas growing by the day, I'm making a list of preventive maintenance items I want to replace in the next two months.

I'm wondering if I should proactively change the timing chain tensioners. They appear easy to get at, and I would rather fuss with it now than have a timing chain (and engine) get trashed. Both of our '09s are within a couple thousand miles of 140k. Mine gets more "abuse" since I have to struggle to get the underpowered 4-cylinder to keep up in the mountain ranges I drive through--it's not uncommon to be at high RPMs for a while on some of these climbs, or needing to stay at WOT for a minute or two while trying to merge onto a freeway on an incline and not get run over.

Honda OEM for the tensioner, I assume? I don't know if I trust aftermarket here.
 

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I would say yeah, go ahead and do it. They dont seem to be very expensive, relatively easy to change and easy access. If iot goves you piece of mine then I certainly would. My wife's Odyssey just hit 100K and its time for a timing belt and I was told that the tensioners have a rough life span of about 140K(on the 3.5L motor in the van, not sure about the lifespan on our CRV's). But since you happen to be in that mileage range, and you can do it yourself, why not go ahead and swap it out.
 

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I would say yeah, go ahead and do it. They dont seem to be very expensive, relatively easy to change and easy access. If iot goves you piece of mine then I certainly would. My wife's Odyssey just hit 100K and its time for a timing belt and I was told that the tensioners have a rough life span of about 140K(on the 3.5L motor in the van, not sure about the lifespan on our CRV's). But since you happen to be in that mileage range, and you can do it yourself, why not go ahead and swap it out.
In the 3.5 it is not uncommon for the TB tensioner to fail. Check it for leaking around the piston of the tensioner when you do the job. I had the original which was bad at 104K and the replacement failed around 175K. Replaced it again with a new one when I did the TB service at 195K.

Wildcat, it will be interesting to find out what you see when you pull it out of the I4. Different beasts, but still... Seeing my 08V has close to 197K on the original tensioner, I wonder if I am due for a bit of PM there myself
 

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In the 3.5 it is not uncommon for the TB tensioner to fail. Check it for leaking around the piston of the tensioner when you do the job. I had the original which was bad at 104K and the replacement failed around 175K. Replaced it again with a new one when I did the TB service at 195K.
Yeah I am going to have the job done by an independent shop near my house that is 2 younger(in their later 30's) guys who are both Honda certified. I hate doing transverse mount TB jobs with a passion. So you about $1K for them to do the job, Ill take it. My honey-do list is so long I also just dont have the time to get that job done. I am struggling to find enough time to replace the water pump on my Lexus GX460, and that is a relatively quick job to do.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Timing belts...yeah, I hate doing that job, but I have two to do this summer. One is on the '04 Civic, but I have to remove the timing belt anyway since I'm trying to get the cylinder head off to replace it. IF this weather would break long enough to work on it. (We get one warm day, then three cooler days of rain and flooding, one nice day, etc.)

Then I have to do my daughter's V6 Accord. And I've never done a Honda V6 before. This is on top of several other things I have to do to it. I keep thinking it might be better putting the money into another car, but on the other hand, we paid so little for this Accord two years ago that we're probably still a little ahead of the game. Aside from timing belt, I have to replace the front suspension (I'm not doing struts, but ball joints, control arms, stabilizer bar links...not touching the tie rods yet as they feel OK), the driver's side rear brake line (I just had a shop do the rear passenger's side line and it was $250), possibly the fuel lines since there is so much corrosion underneath, one door handle that broke off inside, the solenoids/valves on the evap system, and now there's a gas leak somewhere underneath that doesn't appear to be the gas tank, but is leaving a streak on the bottom of the tank after driving. This after dumping $350 into it for tires and mounting, and $200+ for a missing key incident at school that resulted in a locksmith having to break in, and make and program two new keys.

I can't say that generation of Accord was all that good. (It's a 2002.) Numerous issues, and some flaky engineering decisions. And that horrible B7XA transmission...

But yeah, on the timing chain tensioner, I'll definitely be replacing mine, hopefully both.

Just wondering if I should trust aftermarket from Rock Auto, or go with the Honda. I already have to order an oil filter base for my '09, so I'll just add them to the order.
 

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My neighbor wanted me to do his Oddy for him, which would have consisted of him supplying parts and beer and not much else. Took one look at the passenger side and politely declined. I thought the Pilot was tight, no room in that van at all. Now my Ridgeline has a ton of room but like fnjeep314, I'll have they guy that did the AC on the V handle it when the time comes. For me they always come due late December/Jan and it is colder than heck. Time is a bit easier to come by then but it still is 8hrs to strip it down and put it all back. I always forget how much has to come off just to get to the timing belt covers.

There is a Crank Pulley bolt removal tool, $19 bucks that I would recommend getting. Have that and a large breaker bar. Verify the rotation of the crank and then use the starter to break that bolt free. I tried impacts and could not budge it. Starter trick works. First time I did one, I probably spent over an hour trying to break that bolt free. If you are in there, you may as well do a water pump since it runs off the timing belt. One last tip, before putting the timing belt tensioner on, take the new one, protect the piston with some scrap wood and put it in a vise, squeeze it enough to release pressure on the pin and pull it out so you are just catching the edge of that piston and one side of the housing. Install and then use a pair of vise grips to pull it the rest of the way out when ready.

I did Gates on my first TB kit and went Aisin for the second kit. Gates belt stretched after 75K.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I did a timing belt on my '97 ten years ago, and still have the crank tool. The bad thing about the Civic is that the engine spins in the wrong direction to get the bolt loose with the starter, and that is where I'm stuck at. The Accord has the engine mounted on the left, vs. the right (in the Civic and my old CR-V), so it might spin in the right direction for the starter trick. I had a 2.3L Ford engine that I fought with for days, trying to loosen that crank bolt...until I discovered the trick with the starter. I stuck a brick against the frame in the engine bay, laid the breaker bar handle on it, ticked the starter once, and off she came! Then kicked myself for three lost days of fussing with it. :BigGrin:

I have too many other car expenses this summer to pay someone to do any of the work, so, it's going to be skinned-knuckles until mid July when it all needs to be done. ;)

I'm glad the K24 engine uses a chain and not a belt.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I changed the tensioner yesterday morning--the old one seems OK, actually, but at least I have a fresh one in there. It was tricky to get in at first, but as long as I rotated the crankshaft counterclockwise to remove the tension, it freed up enough space to insert it. Using Hondabond on the cover was more work, as the old sealant had to be removed and cleaned off the cover and the engine block. This is easy to access, by the way--remove the passenger front tire, maybe loosen the plastic cover, and it's right there.

I did Gates on my first TB kit and went Aisin for the second kit. Gates belt stretched after 75K.
I can't recall what belt I ordered for the Civic, but I believe in the online parts guides, they mention Bando (another belting manufacturer). I'm used to these names since we used to sell a few of the belt brands where I worked, back in my industrial distribution days.

But I finally got that crank pulley bolt removed. I had to buy yet another breaker bar, but this newest one is very thick and sturdy. With 5 ft. of cheater pipe on it, I got it loose. (The shorter breaker bar was on the hex crankshaft holding tool.) But it didn't "snap" when the bolt gave way--it just barely moved. I thought my tools were slipping, twice, then I thought to check the bolt, and it was loose enough to turn with a ratchet.

The other thing holding me up was a single nut on the intake manifold. Essentially, it's behind and underneath the engine, and I can only access it flat on my back, with a ratcheting box wrench. And to make matters worse, I was working against a wasp that was trying to find its way around the engine. But I finally got the head off the engine, so progress has been made. I doubt I can get it together before I leave in two weeks (I'll have the head on, but don't know if I can finish up everything else), but it'll be going by the end of August at the latest.
 
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