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2 Timing Belts Lost in 15 Miles

 
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Old 04-12-2010, 02:43 AM
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2 Timing Belts Lost in 15 Miles

So a brief history; Bought the car with 96K miles on it, the dude I bought it from said he changed the timing belts and water pump at 90K, showed me the receipts from 2008. The car now has 101K miles.
The cam belt went out while I was stopped at a red light 3 weeks ago but after visual inspection of the retainers and compression tests (180psi across the board), I stopped freaking out so much. None of the gears were locked up and the belt had all it's teeth, but the belt was less than half as wide as a new one and I never found any indication as to why it went out. Here's the pic of it;





I bought a new timing belt kit with the bearings, new water pump, new auto-tensioner, and made sure all the old belt shavings were outta there. I made sure the balance shaft was still in good condition because I've heard people delete those from the setup.
When I got everything together (had some issues getting the flywheel and crank pulley timing marks to line up for some reason), everything was tight and the car started right up. I let it idle for a bit, long enough to have the thermostat open up so I could pour more coolant in, turned if off for awhile, then turned it back on and drove it across town and back. I never got into VTEC or revved it up past 3500 RPM the whole time. That night it ran perfectly.

The next morning when I started it up for work, it idled for less than 10 seconds before it started making a slapping noise. It wasn't a knocking like you hear if you're about to shatter a piston or anything like a tapping on the block, it literally sounded like the belt was hitting the underside of my valve cover, and the noise was prominent on that side of the engine. I drove it up to my friends house about 2 miles away yesterday and the slapping noise only happened when I let off the gas between 2500-3000 RPM, went away under slight acceleration, and wasn't happening at idle.
When we took everything apart again, the cam belt was pretty loose but none of the gears jumped teeth, and while inspecting the valve cover I noticed the side of it was shiny in a very small area like the belt had rubbed on it a bit, but the top looked untouched. Also, the plastic cover looked like it had been rubbed against a little bit too.

This time, I replaced the auto-tensioner again, as well as the AC and PS crank pulley. I noticed the first time that a couple teeth on the crank pulley were missing right near the woodriff key so I took this opportunity to fix that as well. We inspected the belt and it still looked brand new, none of the copper integrity was fraying nor were there any chunks missing, however there were small traces of rubber like there was the last time when the first belt had basically been turned into powder, so at that point I knew the belt was rubbing on something, and hoped the first new tensioner was bad and is what was causing the excess play.

So we buttoned everything back up, started the car and let it idle for awhile, and it sounded great again. BUUUUT less than a 1/4 mile up the road as I was slowing for a red light, The slapping noise HAPPENED AGAIN, the engine shut off, and the belt was busted again. I coasted the car back to my friends house, and that's where it's at. I have no idea at this point wtf is happening or what to look for. I put everything back on the car that I took off, I'm absolutely positive. I checked the Mitchell's Manual and the only things I could find that my car didn't seem to have was some bracket that fits under the balancer shaft gear? As well as these things circled in blue, I don't recall but I may just not have taken them off;



I've heard that many people switch to a manual tensioner so they don't have to keep replacing $140 auto POS ones but I can't fathom it to be likely I have two Honda brand auto-tensioners in a row that are bad.

I need help.
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Old 04-12-2010, 02:53 PM
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Re: 2 Timing Belts Lost in 15 Miles

I was going to say try a manual one... i have 1 and have no issues... the other idea is, is the belt the corect one for your car, the h23 and h22 belts are not the same nor is a f20... just some ideas there as well, and auto parts stores here.. oh dohc ok heres the belt when its not lol
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Old 04-12-2010, 03:42 PM
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Re: 2 Timing Belts Lost in 15 Miles

I'm seriously considering getting rid of the auto tensioner, I'm just worried that may not be the problem. Is there anything that would cause the belt to slide left and right on any of the pulleys? Or does it all come down to if there was enough tension, the belt would't move?
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Old 04-12-2010, 11:10 PM
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Re: 2 Timing Belts Lost in 15 Miles

Did I type too much? Is that why there's not many replies in here?
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Old 04-13-2010, 01:26 AM
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Re: 2 Timing Belts Lost in 15 Miles

I think the lack of replies is lack of ideas. I have to say that if a timing belt is running out/buring out so fast it would have to be rather apperent where the belt is rubbing! I have found that my upper timing belt cover was over torqued when I got it back from Honda after the timing belt change which caused the cover to rub against the timing belt. Left burn marks in the cover and black dust in the area affected.

You will have to have a very good look around to see where the belt is colliding. I will place a bet that it is metal to belt rubber contact. If that spacer that you highlighted isnt there that could be the cause! If the belt isnt running square it will be able to run towards or away from the engine, which will mean disaster. Maybe take off the balancer pully and have a look if there are any signs of rubbing. But untill you find the actual points of belt - component contact it is hard to say what it out of spec. But its a safe bet that whoever changed the timigbelt for the previous owner left some component out and that is causing the problem.

Also check for clearance in all areas where the belt is running. All it would take is one metal plate etc to touch the belt in some obscure corner then its potentially the cause. Get the new belt on and manually crank the belt through a few cycles and check visually all areas you can. If all else fails you may have to fit the crank pully without the lower and upper timing covers so you can let the engine run with the new belt while watching, with savety glasses, to see if the belt does its usual stunt.
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Old 04-13-2010, 02:38 AM
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Re: 2 Timing Belts Lost in 15 Miles

+1 for gettn rid of auto tensioner but i dobut its the problem.

ive had 2 fail and that never happened to my belts.

my guess is your missing a spacer somewhere

is your timing cover warped from the belt rubbing against it? and what brand are the belts?
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Old 04-13-2010, 02:51 AM
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Re: 2 Timing Belts Lost in 15 Miles

I've always gotten most of my parts from Napa. I get hooked up on the prices which is the best help I can get right now. I don't remember the brand name of the belt, I just remember it came in the kit with the bearings. It may have been an actual Napa box but I could be wrong.
I only get to work on the car every other weekend, corresponding with my pay period :P

One thing I noticed when running the compression tests was in the space between the two cam gears, the belt looked like it was hopping up just a tiny bit on the exhaust cam. After performing a few adjustments and turning the engine over some more it went away so I was convinced the cam itself wasn't to blame, hard turning or anything.

What about shaving off that side of the valve cover? I would assume that would interfere with the seal you get but I could swear I've seen it done somewhere. Also, is it safe to run the car w/out the upper plastic cover? The thing only had one of the two bolts in it to begin with, and the rubber seal around both the upper and lower covers was electrical-taped on, but if any of these components can be shed, the hand that's torn all up from finger screwing everything in and out the past few weeks would appreciate the break. (insert signature)
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Old 04-13-2010, 07:27 PM
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Re: 2 Timing Belts Lost in 15 Miles

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I've always gotten most of my parts from Napa. I get hooked up on the prices which is the best help I can get right now. I don't remember the brand name of the belt, I just remember it came in the kit with the bearings. It may have been an actual Napa box but I could be wrong.
I only get to work on the car every other weekend, corresponding with my pay period :P

One thing I noticed when running the compression tests was in the space between the two cam gears, the belt looked like it was hopping up just a tiny bit on the exhaust cam. After performing a few adjustments and turning the engine over some more it went away so I was convinced the cam itself wasn't to blame, hard turning or anything.

What about shaving off that side of the valve cover? I would assume that would interfere with the seal you get but I could swear I've seen it done somewhere. Also, is it safe to run the car w/out the upper plastic cover? The thing only had one of the two bolts in it to begin with, and the rubber seal around both the upper and lower covers was electrical-taped on, but if any of these components can be shed, the hand that's torn all up from finger screwing everything in and out the past few weeks would appreciate the break. (insert signature)
I wouldn't shave off the valve cover section that covers the timing belt/cam pulleys but it is possible. What I have done, due to my timing belt having a tendency to run off the cam pulleys, is to leave the upper plastic cover off. Haven't had any problems with that. I will however not recommend driving the car with the lower timing belt cover off. As soon as you turn right stones can be flicked into that area, so not a good idea.

But what you can do is leave the lower cover off while it's in the garage and see if you can find what the belt is doing when the engine is idling. If something is causing it to fray etc you will be able to hear and source it, thus narrowing down your problem. But driving without any of the covers is risky, all it takes is one stone and your belt could snap or worse.

The chances of a stone getting up to the upper timing belt cover is much smaller, hence you could get away with that and it's a really easy way to check the condition of your belt without having to take off the valve cover.
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Old 04-14-2010, 03:04 PM
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Re: 2 Timing Belts Lost in 15 Miles

as long as the belt is made by gates rubber it is just like the oem one ( gates makes the honda oem one along with all of the tensioner stuff ) I would go through your parts list and see what is missing. If there is replace it, i bet it is as simple as that. Also some pics of where she is rubbing would be nice to see.
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Old 04-14-2010, 03:48 PM
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Re: 2 Timing Belts Lost in 15 Miles

Thanks for the suggestions. I get paid friday and will take it apart again then so I'll get some pics at that time.
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Old 05-04-2010, 11:34 PM
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Re: 2 Timing Belts Lost in 15 Miles

Alright so I got everything taken back off...

The belt is still completely intact, but is super loose again. Everything that's supposed to move, moves, and no teeth are missing off the belt. There's not even hardly any shavings from the belt rubbing on the sides this time. Is it just the damn tensioner again?
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Old 05-05-2010, 09:33 AM
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Re: 2 Timing Belts Lost in 15 Miles

I would check to be sure that you're tensioning the belt properly during install. It may look tight on the top end, but could be lose on the bottom end where you can't see it. Once you've got everything lined up, be sure to give the crankshaft pulley a good tug in the appropriate direction before tightening the tensioner. This will take out any unnecessary slack before tightening the tensioner.

I've never done f or h series timing belts but I've done several d and b series for civics. Ensuring that everything is tight is paramount. I'd also get any missing parts installed. The part you mentined and circled in blue isn't a bracket. It's a spacer and your pulleys probably aren't square.

Pulleys should be lined up straight so the belt is straight.

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NOT

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You could be thousandths of an inch off and that could play a major problem when your talking about the force that is applied on that belt constantly.

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Old 05-05-2010, 11:16 AM
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Re: 2 Timing Belts Lost in 15 Miles

damn man, I thought I had it rough, It does sound like the tensioner. but I would just hook everything up and just watch the belts during the idle of the car.
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Old 05-05-2010, 02:35 PM
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Re: 2 Timing Belts Lost in 15 Miles

Thanks guys for the input.

I'm gonna install that manual conversion kit Friday and hold my breath that marks the end of it.

Updates to follow..
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Old 05-06-2010, 03:07 AM
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Re: 2 Timing Belts Lost in 15 Miles

Hope all goes well!
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Old 05-08-2010, 04:56 AM
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Re: 2 Timing Belts Lost in 15 Miles

Thanks again for all the help. I'd be lost or dead without your guidance.

When I got everything taken apart and inspected, the autotensioner was completely compressed, exactly like it was when I first got it and it was in it's bracket. When I took it off the engine out from under the bearing assembly, it expanded again. Needless to say I'm taking that little ****er back to NAPA tomorrow.

The manual conversion kit is on and the car runs strong, still having a few hiccups though that I'm not too thrilled about, but they don't belong in this thread.
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