Timing Belt Replacement

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  #1  
Old 07-03-14, 05:44 AM
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Timing Belt Replacement

I'm seriously considering doing the timing belt and water pump replacement on my '08 Acura MDX (112k miles). I watched a YouTube video pertaining to the Honda Ridgeline and it is very similar to the MDX. I'm trying to understand why it is necessary to find TDC if I'll be making marks on the old belt and transferring those marks to the new belt. I've heard it's because the old belt could have stretched causing the timing to go out of spec, but that shouldn't matter because the position of the belt wouldn't change. In other words, it wouldn't have jumped a tooth. Lining up the marks on the camshaft and crank pulleys isn't a big deal--I'm just curious as to why it is necessary if I make my own marks on the belt. Unless one of the sprockets rotates 360 degrees with the belt off, then I don't see how things wouldn't line back up.

Lastly, the service manual mentions R&R of the camshaft seals. Is it a good idea to replace the seals regardless if they are leaking? Do I need a special tool to do so?
 

Last edited by mossman; 07-03-14 at 06:35 AM.
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Old 07-03-14, 12:00 PM
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Also looking for a camshaft locking tool for a Honda VTEC engine (for my Acura). I plan on replacing the camshaft oil seals so I need the tool that locks the actual camshafts, not the sprockets/pulleys.
 
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Old 07-03-14, 03:21 PM
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TDC won't be determined by any markings on a belt. Only the marks on the crank and camshaft, properly aligned will give you TDC. Turn the engine over manually until the marks line up, then remove the old belt.
 
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Old 07-03-14, 06:30 PM
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http://www.doityourself.com/forum/pa...ad-center.html

Btw, some cars, like wife's Lexus, have timing belt marked and it has to match sprockets marks.
 
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Old 07-04-14, 05:36 AM
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And best to follow written procedures to the letter on that one; like a lot of Honda products it's an interference engine. Mistake = bent valve$.
 
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Old 07-04-14, 07:08 PM
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Well, it's also driving VTEC unit, and you do not want to mess that up. This is why I can do timing belts on normal cars, but VVT-I and I-VTEC engines - I give that to pros. Fortunately, have very reasonably priced independent to do the jobs.
 
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Old 07-06-14, 04:19 AM
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What are the complications with a VTEC? I followed the procedure on AllDataDIY and it doesn't even mention VTEC. The procedure is apparently pretty straightforward.
 
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Old 07-07-14, 04:00 AM
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...best to follow written procedures to the letter on that one
I agree 100%. Following the factory service manual procedures can make the difference between doing it right or causing a lot of costly damage (or ending up with a poor running eng). Imo, this isn't the time to risk a utuube vid or some other online reference source.

But one thing is certain; once you're finished you must carefully turn the engine over several times by hand (with the spark plugs removed) in order to make sure everything is correct. So, you might as well pull the plugs and turn it to TDC before you begin the job...
 
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Old 07-07-14, 05:41 AM
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That's one thing the videos I've been viewing don't show--how to rotate the engine. Do I simply put a socket wrench on the crank bolt and turn?
 
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Old 07-07-14, 11:12 AM
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That's one thing the videos I've been viewing don't show--how to rotate the engine.
You'd think that these videos would explain how to do this when they tell you to turn the engine to TDC. This is just one reason why I don't often recommend such DIY videos.

It really is best that you don't follow any video and/or written instructions that don't explain how to make sure that the timing is "correct" by turning the engine over by hand. Unfortunately, some repair videos explain just enough to get you into trouble...


Do I simply put a socket wrench on the crank bolt and turn?
Basically yes. But you should first determine which way the crank turns. Then you should clear any dirt/dust from around the plugs with a blast of air before you remove them (some techs simply loosen the plugs a few turns). Removing or loosening the plugs allows you to carefully turn the engine over easily enough by hand so that you can feel any valves that might be interfering with (i.e. hitting) the top of the piston without bending them (due to incorrect timing).

Meanwhile, at this point you might consider joining an online "Repair/Service Manual" membership that allows you to download specific repair/service procedures for your exact vehicle in the form of PDFs (some memberships are "free" while others require a small fee). Also take a look at A*toZone. IIRC, they used to offer online repair service procedures for various vehicles.

You could also check your local library for a FSM (factory service manual) or, at the very least, a Haynes repair publication. Otherwise, you might be able to purchase a Haynes repair/service manual for less than $40.

Let us know if you have any other questions or comments!
 
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Old 07-07-14, 12:48 PM
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Factory service manual is a couple hundred dollars and neither Chilton or Hanynes makes a manual for the 2008 MDX. I do however have a subscription to AllDataDIY, and the procedure listed on there sight is straightforward. Granted they don't mention HOW to do a lot of things, but rather that they need to be done. This combined with a few videos has given me a really good idea of what all is involved and I am pretty confident I can do it successfully.

Regarding VTEC engines, it doesn't appear to be any different than changing a timing belt on a non-VTEC engine.

Okay to go all aftermarket or are there certain components that should only be OEM? I can get an AISIN kit from RockAuto for $175 (AISIN water pump, AISIN tensioner, Koyo pulleys and Mitsubishi belt). I could use everything but the belt and install an OEM belt. Would save me nearly $200.
 

Last edited by mossman; 07-07-14 at 02:53 PM.
  #12  
Old 07-08-14, 04:06 AM
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I'd definitely go with an OEM belt on that one. And I'd seriously consider an OEM water pump as well (especially if the OEM price isn't too far out of line).

And make sure that you install the belt with the proper side facing outward as per the instructions (if applicable). Also make double sure that you follow any initial belt tension procedures as per the instructions (this can, of course, be extremely important in regard to maintaining proper belt timing, tracking, and water pump life).

And don't get any oil, grease, or other "grunge" on the belt or pulleys. Everything should be kept squeaky clean.
 
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Old 07-08-14, 04:55 AM
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I've always used the Gates kits with good success. A lot of oem parts and components are made by Aisin. Having said that, all my vehicles have been non-interference engines, so no worries about premature failures. All things considered I would rate the proper installation as more important than the oem v. aftermarket parts argument.
 
  #14  
Old 07-08-14, 06:39 AM
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Total parts cost for all OEM is $395 plus tax, whereas I can get the aforementioned AISIN kit for $177 plus tax. The OEM belt is $48, so I could get the belt from the dealer and use all the other components from the AISIN kit. On the other hand, I'm already saving quite a bit by doing it myself, so maybe I should just go with all OEM parts. What's another $200 when an engine is at stake.
 
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Old 07-08-14, 07:19 AM
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Old 07-08-14, 07:29 PM
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Ended up getting the Honda kit on eBay. Saved over $100 and got the cam and crank seals as well. Don't think I'll need them though. Just sprayed the crank bolt and will continue to do so every day for the next week. Wish me luck.
 
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