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Timing Belt Tensioner Installation Warning

  #1  
Old 11-27-2008, 01:02 PM
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Default Timing Belt Tensioner Installation Warning

I have replaced timing belts (TB) on 90 Accord EX, 94 Accord EX, and Acura 2.2 CL. All have very similar timing belt hardware. (see attached picture) I have replaced tensioners on several occasions due to noticeable roughness when rotated by hand and dried grease when bearing cover was removed to examine. In those tensioner replacements, I never noticed that the small hole in the timing belt tensioner bracket (inner idler bracket assembly) must engage a stud (picture from GaryL) on the oil pump cover. The stud provides a pivot point for the tensioner to rotate about. If you install the part separately, you are likely to correctly install the bracket hole over the stud accidentally, and that’s probably why I’ve never had a problem until my most recent TB change on my 94EX. However, it can be done wrong, system reassembled, and run OK. I did detect a slight whirring noise which may be related to mis-installation of the tensioner. Noise has disappeared after going back in and correctly installing the tensioner.

Replacement of the tensioner parts, both timing belt and balance shaft belt tensioners, is not described in the Accord manuals. I suspect others have accidentally mis-installed this tensioner also and this note is as a warning to DIY’rs to positively engage the bracket onto the stud. If installed correctly, the pivot range of the tensioner covers the hole in the oil pump cover for the lock bolt, and the spring will pull the tensioner to the full up (tight belt) position. You can push the tensioner down and lock w/ the tensioner lock nut or a separate 6mm bolt through the bracket and into the oil pump housing.

You may get by w/o replacing tensioners, but a seized tensioner bearing would cause timing belt failure and likely engine damage. Replacement cost is reasonable, so it’s not worth taking a chance.

It is also possible to clean and repack these tensioner bearings w/ grease. The balance shaft belt tensioner is very easy. Remove the cover w/ a small screwdriver. Insert blade and run around the outside edge of cover to release. Don’t pry out. The timing belt tensioner is more difficult, as there is an outer cover and a plastic ball bearing cage that spaces the ball bearings around the bearing. It is tricky to pry out and re-install, but not too difficult.

Clean bearings w/ brake cleaner to remove all old grease, and repack w/ good quality wheel bearing grease, and reinstall bearing cage (space ball bearings and press in place), and outer cover.

Good Luck
 
  #2  
Old 11-27-2008, 01:04 PM
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Default RE: Timing Belt Tensioner Installation Warning

Thanks for the great info. I'll keep this in mind when I change mine this spring.

Mods, can you sticky this?
 
  #3  
Old 12-01-2008, 06:57 PM
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Default RE: Timing Belt Tensioner Installation Warning

Yeah, I can sticky it...
 
  #4  
Old 12-02-2008, 09:00 PM
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Default RE: Timing Belt Tensioner Installation Warning

Texas Honda:
I finally have my 1995 Accord together with the rebuilt head, new timing belts, cam and crank seals, tensioner springs and bearing and have the start up noise as you describe but I did get the pivot in place. I used to have the noise before tear down but only when I started with the AC on. Now it is all the time. I did start it with the AC on and the noise continued for awhile longer. On teardown there was wear from the crank pulley rubbing on the lower timing cover. I am going to have to go through the process just as you did.

I learned a few things doing this job. To install the balancer seal I used PVC to make a tool to install it. Just a little 1 ¼ pipe a then a cap. I drilled a hole in the middle and it pulled the seat in nicely. The PVC made it larger then the seal which acted as a stop and I used the bolt from the balancer pulley. I learned you don’t have to buy all Honda parts. I was very impressed with my gasket set from Ishino. My engine with the new oil restrictor sounds a lot better than it did before in regard to the rockers. Honda replacement has larger holes which provide more oil to the head.
 
  #5  
Old 12-02-2008, 09:13 PM
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Default RE: Timing Belt Tensioner Installation Warning

ORIGINAL: kris_loehr

Texas Honda:
I finally have my 1995 Accord together with the rebuilt head, new timing belts, cam and crank seals, tensioner springs and bearing and have the start up noise as you describe but I did get the pivot in place. I used to have the noise before tear down but only when I started with the AC on. Now it is all the time. I did start it with the AC on and the noise continued for awhile longer. On teardown there was wear from the crank pulley rubbing on the lower timing cover. I am going to have to go through the process just as you did.

I learned a few things doing this job. To install the balancer seal I used PVC to make a tool to install it. Just a little 1 ¼ pipe a then a cap. I drilled a hole in the middle and it pulled the seat in nicely. The PVC made it larger then the seal which acted as a stop and I used the bolt from the balancer pulley. I learned you don’t have to buy all Honda parts. I was very impressed with my gasket set from Ishino. My engine with the new oil restrictor sounds a lot better than it did before in regard to the rockers. Honda replacement has larger holes which provide more oil to the head.
I have now decided the noise in my 94EX is from the starter armature scraping the field magnets. This makes sense as the noise is only heard while starter is turning. Horrible screeching noise matches similar noise I have heard from cooling fan motors. It is very difficult to pinpoint this loud screech, but I'm fairly confident it is not the timing or balance shaft belts or tensioner hardware.

My 94EX showed a very small amount of wear where the crankshaft pulley rubbed the timing belt cover. I had a 90EX wear a hole in the TB cover and never heard any noise. I patched the hole and reinstalled.

good luck

 
  #6  
Old 12-02-2008, 10:10 PM
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Default RE: Timing Belt Tensioner Installation Warning

Texas Honda:
This is too funny. I know that we have the same noise and I just went out and started my Accord up a few times and am pretty sure it is the starter, but I wanted to ask you could yours be the starter. If you look back through the post you made about your noise you will see I did ask could it be coming from the starter flywheel, On the Gary post. When you mentioned something like if you crank or bump the key it changes the noise it stuck in my head.

I think it is good you found out about the tensioner being not in the pivot but unless it hit something should not have gave you a noise unless the pivot was not letting it sit flush. I can live with a starter noise better than thinking I might have put something together wrong. Now we have to see what is bad in the starter. I don’t want a rebuilt.


I would more think the starter gear that actuates the flywheel is not returning quick enough and running with the flywheel for a second at engine speed. I forget what they call the gear. Sometimes they will not return at all and make a really weird noise. When I worked at Roush we had a UPS(Roush built the truck) type truck come in for a no start and the starter never released. Driver just noticed it was hard for the battery to keep a charge. It sounded like a water pump when they go bad but at a high RPM.
 
  #7  
Old 12-02-2008, 11:29 PM
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Default RE: Timing Belt Tensioner Installation Warning

Texas Honda:
The fix for the starter problem may be just taking it out and cleaning it. I remember doing this a decade ago at the dealership. It was mainly old oil causing the problem.
 
  #8  
Old 12-03-2008, 07:12 PM
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Default RE: Timing Belt Tensioner Installation Warning

Thanks, I have some time off coming up and will remove the starter and inspect.

I reread your post suspecting the starter and it now seems this is likely, but until I can pull a part and find some defect, I won't be sure.

regards
 
  #9  
Old 12-03-2008, 07:29 PM
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Default RE: Timing Belt Tensioner Installation Warning

When you take it apart, you should be able to see evidence of the rotor hitting the stator (scratch marks). Like you sai, an alternative is the stuck starter bendix (the mechanism that throws the starter pinion gear out). That would keep the starter pinion gear engaged on the flywheel too long & make a nasty noise.
 
  #10  
Old 12-03-2008, 07:44 PM
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Default RE: Timing Belt Tensioner Installation Warning

If I remember right what you will find is old sticky engine oil causing the problem. I will be taking mine apart this weekend. I think the bendix is not returning quickly enough My Accord is not cranking as fast as it should now. I will have to load test battery also. It looks like there is no reasonable source for Honda starter parts so other than cleaning it time for a rebuilt.
 

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