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Old 09-27-2012   #1 (permalink)
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Timing belt tensioner spring

In a matter of a couple days I went from hearing a light rattle on accel to full out WTF is that noise. Traced it to the timing belt and found the tensioner spring broken. Any idea's as to why this would snap? The tensioner, pulleys etc seem fine so im kinda stumped. The spring itself is a five dollar oem part that I have picked up already and I grabbed a new belt aswell even though there is only 30k on the existing one. My problem is I dont want to just replace the spring if there may be something more to it and go through doing the work only to have it break again and this time lose my motor in the process. I mean that spring breaks and the belt is loose as a... just waiting to jump off. Any comments are appreciated. I just dont think the spring would break without reason, I mean if it was faulty would it have lasted this long?
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Old 09-27-2012   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Timing belt tensioner spring

I have seen a couple break the spring and/or wear the hole out on the tensioner. All were over 200k miles IIRC on original parts. I now try to sell them during the 2nd T-belt job of the cars life, (which ends up to be over 150k on most.)

I would say replace both spring and tensioner pulley as a set, and use factory parts.
Have heard too many problems with aftermarket not lasting at all, and the engine will bend valves if the timing belt lets go. Not worth the chance IMO.

Timing belt, I would replace it again. It is dirt cheap compared to a disaster later on. If the broken spring could have caused any damage to the belt.....I wouldn't chance that either.


# 10 and #14 here: http://www.hondaautomotiveparts.com/...+-+TIMING+BELT

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Old 09-28-2012   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Timing belt tensioner spring

where did you have the belt replaced last time?

was the spring replaced also?

the tensioner has a specific installation/set method that needs to be followed during a new belt installation, the tensioner bolt must be loosened and the grenade pin method must be used....

you CAN NOT just undo the spring, put the new belt on, and reinstall the spring, this is WRONG and you are looking for problems/loose belt if you do it this way....unfortunately this is the way most independent shops do the job....maybe they are not aware of the proper procedure.....
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Old 09-28-2012   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Timing belt tensioner spring

So play it safe and repace the tensioner too huh, I've already got the spring and a new belt like i said so I'd have to pick one up.

Im at 108k now and did the first timing belt job around 70k -almost 2 years ago, I did a proper job with oe parts so thats whats got me questioning what to look for/replace.

Thanks for the help fella's. Hopefuly I'll have time this weekend, guess I'll have to rock the 95 dx till I do.

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Old 09-28-2012   #5 (permalink)
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Re: Timing belt tensioner spring

while you are back in there i would change the water pump also, with the belt, tensioner, and spring, and might as well do the crank and cam seals seeing as they only cost about 6 bucks each,

no point in risking the water pump or a seal crapping out after another 10-20k, then you have to do the whole job all over again,

why did you replace the belt so early the first time? you were way under the mileage recommendation, or had it been 7 years?

if you used all oem parts then in my opinion it must have been an installation error of some sort, i just cant see a failure like this happening any other way,

my first spring and tensioner lasted 240,000km and even at that mileage they still looked and operated like they were brand new! but i replaced them anyway,
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Old 09-28-2012   #6 (permalink)
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Re: Timing belt tensioner spring

How long does the cam and crackshaft seals generally last? Most civics here never have them replaced ever, is that bad?
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Old 09-28-2012   #7 (permalink)
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Re: Timing belt tensioner spring

Quote:
Originally Posted by Civicnoobie View Post
How long does the cam and crackshaft seals generally last? Most civics here never have them replaced ever, is that bad?
They last until they leak.
Actually, the seals made since (I'm guessing) around the late 90s seem to last a hell of a lot longer than the seals made in the early-mid 90s and prior. Prior to the mid/late 90s, seals got replaced with almost every timing belt job, or every other belt job. Sealing tech and seal compositions have changed a lot. Heck, serpentine belts can last most of the life of the car now (EPDM rubber?). Tech is improved.

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Originally Posted by coupedeill View Post
So play it safe and repace the tensioner too huh, I've already got the spring and a new belt like i said so I'd have to pick one up.
Well, you don't know what caused the spring to break, right? Play it safe.
Quote:
Im at 108k now and did the first timing belt job around 70k -almost 2 years ago, I did a proper job with oe parts so thats whats got me questioning what to look for/replace.
That's odd..... Awful low miles.... Installer error is a good possibility. Take a good close look at the little hole on the pulley where the spring goes through. Look for wear marks. See if the end of the spring was cut off by it.

The main thing I don't like to see is someone just cranking the tensioner pulley over without releasing the spring. Overstretching the spring could leave the belt without proper tension while running. I always remove the spring from the anchor pin while doing the timing belt, then reinstall after the belt is on.
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Old 09-28-2012   #8 (permalink)
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Re: Timing belt tensioner spring

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They last until they leak.
Whats the signs of them leaking? Just so i know for future reference. How many seals is it?
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Old 09-28-2012   #9 (permalink)
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Re: Timing belt tensioner spring

They would leak oil. Just like any of the other rubber seals can when they go bad.
Would probably drip oil out of the bottom of the timing cover if it was a bad enough leak. Otherwise, you might not see it without pulling the timing covers.
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Old 09-28-2012
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150k , 1997 , 97 , belt , breaking , broken , civic , honda , leak , oil , problems , spring , tensioner , timin , timing

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