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Possible auto-tensioner failure

 
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Old 01-22-2013, 01:23 PM
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Possible auto-tensioner failure

Im writing this post as a reference to others experiencing the same or similar issue as I am with my 1997 prelude. So, about a month ago I was teaching my g/f how to drive a stick. She didnt do to bad other than killing it about 4 or 5 times. So when we got done, I hopped back in the driver seat and noticed a HUGE power loss above 2 grand on the tac. Weird, The car was driving right before this, it had all the power i was use to having, and then bam! It was literally cut in half, felt like all my power was gone...so I started to troubleshoot the car, starting with checking all the fluids..fluids were all good, she had plenty of oil, coolant and all that good stuff...then i replaced the rotor and cap, still same power lag issue. Keep in mind I have no CEL or nothing. Finally one day on my way home she died at astop sign and i could barely get her started back up to get home. She finally started back up and i drove her home, and she hasnt started back up since. Had it towed to a buddys garage where we started to troubleshoot it more, this time new spark plugs (NGK iridiums) of course, and NGK wires and new fuel filter. Checked fuel pressure and made sure it was getting to the engine. That was all good but still wont start. So i bought a compression tester and did that and my numbers came back 187, 192, 198, 210. Which was all good numbers so i knew the engine was healthy. Now im thinking this could all be related to the engine timing, possible auto-tensioner failure :( ...Currently in the process of cracking into the timing belt to figure out what happened..will keep this post updated as new information is divulged.
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Old 01-22-2013, 01:47 PM
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Re: Possible auto-tensioner failure

You can pull off the valve cover and check the belt there. If there's any play in the belt its the tensioner (with a good tensioner there will be a little bit of play, maybe 1/4-1/2" of deflection) I got my valve cover off, I'll take a quick video and show you what I mean if you need.
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Old 01-22-2013, 02:03 PM
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Re: Possible auto-tensioner failure

Feels a little loose on the top but cant tell for sure, it could be fine at the top and loose at the bottom though. working on getting the crank pully bolt out, that thing is a PITA!!!! especially since i have red locktite on it... Just a little worried about it because I had to re-thread it last time i did the timing belt job about a year ago because my crank pully bolt decided to come loose while driving!! :(
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Old 01-22-2013, 02:03 PM
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Re: Possible auto-tensioner failure

Is it cranking?
Is fuel squirting outta the injectors?
Are you getting spark @ all 4 plugs?
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Old 01-22-2013, 02:11 PM
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Re: Possible auto-tensioner failure

She cranks, wouldn't of been able to get the compression numbers w/o her cranking. Shes got spark and the injectors are good.
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Old 01-22-2013, 02:41 PM
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Re: Possible auto-tensioner failure

I've had the auto-tensioner fail on my twice, and this doesn't sound like that, but still a good idea to check I think. It sounds like it's starving for some combination of fuel/air. Do 5th gen's have a MAF sensor?
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Old 01-22-2013, 02:53 PM
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Re: Possible auto-tensioner failure

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Originally Posted by LPLude View Post
She cranks, wouldn't of been able to get the compression numbers w/o her cranking. Shes got spark and the injectors are good.


You can also manually crank the engine by hand to do a comp test as well

If you have spark, fuel, and compression, its gotta be timing; either ignition or t-belt.
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But you need that scoop on the hood. Is it true that they're big enough to fit your lunch box and all your camera gear in it?
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Old 01-22-2013, 05:07 PM
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Re: Possible auto-tensioner failure

Detached vacuum line or ECU problem could be causing reduction in power.
Maybe water in the gas or one of those new EPA tested ethanol blended cocktails in your tank?

Let us know what you find...good luck!
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Old 01-22-2013, 10:09 PM
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Re: Possible auto-tensioner failure

Do a leak-down. I had good compression numbers, but failed miserably on a leak-down. After replacing my belt, tensioner, all timing components, I was able to get the car to start. After it started to warm up, it would begin to misfire and run like ass, then shut off. I finally broke down and pulled the head. Result? 8 EVER-SO-SLIGHTLY bent exhaust valves. I hope this is not your case, but a leak-down test could tell you.

Here is the link to my problem/fix thread: Engine problems: Blown rings?
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Old 01-23-2013, 01:44 AM
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Re: Possible auto-tensioner failure

LESSON :xD let the girl play with the other stick you got...you drive.
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Old 01-24-2013, 07:51 PM
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Re: Possible auto-tensioner failure

Check the 187 and 192 for sure. But I wonder why so sudden? Did your lady over rev?

Gonna sound crazy but.. (please hold back bottle and tomato throwing til you hear me out)..
Have you tried eether? It's like bril-cream, a little dab'll do ya..(old guy speak). Just a spritz in the tb... not a lot.. 1/2 second amount. It'll fire or not. If that little spritz don't make it want to start, you do your leak down tests. If it tries to start or actually runs a few seconds, fuel and/or fire issues should be investigated.
I agree with jax there, it could be valves.

And use a good quality 6 point socket on your crank bolt. If you're heavy like me(195#) use a 3' pipe. If you're not heavy like mr. V6coupe (135) use 6'. If you start thinking you need dynamite.. 8' piece and make friends with a very strong person.
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welcome to site Carl
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I remember my first thread, asking what a noise was when I got going 110mph.
Pretty much got flamed for driving like a jackass and was told to slow down. And I'll be damned, slowing down fixed it.

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Old 01-24-2013, 08:19 PM
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Re: Possible auto-tensioner failure

If you remove the crank pulley bolt, I suggest this: Powerbuilt 648796 Honda Crankcase Pulley Removal Tool

I used this when doing my engine work, and it worked great. I also used 2 of these (but they were cheaper when I purchased them): Neiko Heavy-Duty 24-Inch 1/2-Inch Drive Chrome-Vanadium Steel Breaker Bar
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Old 01-24-2013, 09:18 PM
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Re: Possible auto-tensioner failure

^^The tools less than $50. Money well spent. The pully grabber is priceless. The breaker bar needs added pipe, no heat. Do not heat the bolt. Spray with wd40 or your choice of bond breaker. Soak that sh!+ in there and let it sit overnight. Wipe bolt off before adding the 6 point socket. 28mm?
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welcome to site Carl
...is a golden car fax kinda like a golden ticket? Sure hope willy wonka didn't put any snozberries in your motor.
Quote:
Originally Posted by elspectro29 View Post
Only seen the first one, 15 years ago in theaters. Plan on keeping it that way. Get off my lawn.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lindso View Post
I remember my first thread, asking what a noise was when I got going 110mph.
Pretty much got flamed for driving like a jackass and was told to slow down. And I'll be damned, slowing down fixed it.

God's Not Dead
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Old 02-09-2013, 11:01 PM
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Re: Possible auto-tensioner failure

Hey guys, thanks for all the input, I know its been a while since i last updated, but sadly my mechanic that was helping me do all this was in a car accident a week ago, and hurt his back but he's alright. Waiting for him to heal up, but in the mean time i think im gonna pick up that pully grabber tool. Thanks for the great write-up Jaxprelude, it has a wealth of detailed troubleshooting, hopefully my situation is something a little minor than yours was. I am going to buy the leak-down tool to test my engine. Hopefully my numbers there are good as well. I will update as soon as my mechanic gets better, and we start making progress. The only good side to my car being broke down right now, is its been sitting in my mechanics garage out of the elements. Hate driving it in the snow anyways, i get no traction.
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Old 03-27-2013, 10:25 AM
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Re: Possible auto-tensioner failure

Finally! been back on the grind with the prelude and it looks like the answer to my problems has been located! Got into the timing (just at the cam gears), still have to remove crank pully bolt, but when setting both cams TDC one of the cams is off the mark meaning my belt must have skipped ( a couple teeth). Not sure what it looks like down on the crank pully yet, but should know more very soon, hopefully today. As soon as I can see that little auto-tensioner ill let everyone know if that was the culprit.
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Old 03-05-2014, 05:05 PM
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Re: Possible auto-tensioner failure

Well I know its been a while since I last updated, but sadly the prelude is no more :( My timing jumped (due to the auto-tensioner failing!) and now I have bent valves for sure and who knows what else. Shes been sitting for a good year or so now. Don't really have the money to put into her (bought a new ride) so I think my best option here is going to be parting her out. Anyways sorry for not keeping everyone updated on this issue & thanks for the great advise as well.
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Old 03-05-2014, 06:08 PM
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Re: Possible auto-tensioner failure

That's too bad. Thanks for the update.


Be sure to continue to lurk here... that way when (not if) your prelude addiction re-energizes, you'll be up on the best way to go...
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ogsmakdade View Post
welcome to site Carl
...is a golden car fax kinda like a golden ticket? Sure hope willy wonka didn't put any snozberries in your motor.
Quote:
Originally Posted by elspectro29 View Post
Only seen the first one, 15 years ago in theaters. Plan on keeping it that way. Get off my lawn.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lindso View Post
I remember my first thread, asking what a noise was when I got going 110mph.
Pretty much got flamed for driving like a jackass and was told to slow down. And I'll be damned, slowing down fixed it.

God's Not Dead
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Old 03-06-2014, 04:58 PM
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Re: Possible auto-tensioner failure

Oh I will still be around her for sure! Trust me, selling the lude out is gonna rip a whole in my heart!
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