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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Since it was a perfect day here in NJ I started my car and had the windows down and the stereo off. I hit the gas a couple of times and I noticed a rattling noise from the engine and the RPM's came down. I remember Billy saying this was a pretty good sign of a beat tensioner so i checked it out. I had the hood open and sure enough every time I hit the gas as the rev's drop I get this odd noise from the timing belt side of the motor. It's not the same noise all the time though...somietimes it sounds like a rattling and other times it sounds like something rubbing against the cover. I'm going to get it in sometime next week to make sure but does this sound like the auto tensioner problem?
 
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It's the autotensioner. How many miles do you have on your car? You can change the autotensioner very easily, once you have the crank pulley and timing belt cover off. You don't have to remove the timing belt to get to it. However, if you have more than 50k miles, I would just replace the timing belt while you're in there. Might as well do the water pump too.

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Billy
North Texas Prelude Owners Group
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Well even though I'm not fond on the dealers messing with my car I'm not fond on shelling out the $$$ for something that SHOULDN'T be going bad just yet. I have about 33k on the car but only 22k on the motor. I'd be more then willing to bet it's the original auto tensioner in the car though. They replaced the head and short block but I'm sure they would've re-used the auto tensioner. I think I'm going to bring it to the dealer and let them find this crazy rattle I have in the passenger window/door area as well.

BTW how much is a new auto tensioner?

[This message has been edited by THATPRELUDEGUY (edited April 09, 2001).]
 
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Are you just going to do the tensioner, or are you planning to do the timing belt too?

You have a Helm's manual right?

In a nutshell you will have to;

remove valve cover
remove accessory belts
remove crank pulley
remove mid and lower timing belt covers
remove autotensioner

Then do the reverse to put everything back together.

You will have to jack the car up after you get the valve cover off, so have a jack and jack stands on hand. Other than that and the basic hand tools, you will need;

big ass breaker bar (3/4" drive recommended)
torque wrenches; torque specs go from 8.7 lb*ft to 180 lb*ft, so you will probably need two torque wrenches.

You will also have to disassemble some of the driver's side suspension to get to everything. It can be done in one day. Probably not just an afternoon.

Good luck, and let me know if you have any questions. If you come to Texas, I can help (I have done this twice!)!
Also, let me know if you decide to do the timing belt, there's a trick to getting the belt on without it jumping a tooth (shhhhh..it's a secret, though!). I took me 5 tries to finally figure it out......



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Billy
North Texas Prelude Owners Group
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Well I have access to everything you mentioned except a torque wrench that hits 180lb/ft. However if I might have to pull some of my suspension apart I might let the dealer do it since that's a royal PITA to me. I need to take my TEIN's out to replace the TEIN PB with the factory ones and new collars but that'll be a days work in itself.

Man I might have to sell it and buy a Hyundai Tiberon if this keeps up!!
 

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While we're on the subject of timing belts.

hehehe.. I have a few problems here.

1st -- My car started whining after I had the timing and balancer belts changed (few months ago). I can only believe that they are too tight.

2nd -- When I had those belts changed.. I didn't know that I'd need to have the water pump done at the same time. Now I wish I'd known. The dealership quoted me $440 for parts/labor, and they said they'd adjust the belt to factory spec (blah blah blah) for free.

Now, here's the thing. I don't want to throw down 440 to get that done.

I think I'm aiming this post towards Billy. Is this something that I can do by myself? i do have a helms manual, and I have access to tools. I haven't been inside the motor yet, so would like your honest opinion.

I mentioned the fact that I had considered doing it myself to the guy at the service desk, all he said was, "Hm... the prelude motor in 95. VTEC? Is that auto or manual. Well, if I remember right that's an interference motor, so I wouldn't mess with it, you could be out a few thousand dollars".

Just need some opinions here.. thanks guys.

-e-


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[tHåt©hMå§të®]

95 VTEC Prelude - RS*R, powerslots, Axxis metal masters, Toyo FZ4s, **type-S intake (thanks Andy!!)** 15.040 @ 92.85

95 VTEC Del Sol - AEM, Bullfrog TB, N2 header, Greddy SP, Powerstop Xdrilled, Z3 fenders

www.thatchland.com
 
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I haven't taken a 4Gen apart yet. Can you adjust the tension on the timing belt? Somehow I don't think you can, but I could be wrong. There is an autotensioner on the 5Gen, and the tension on the timing belt is NOT adjustable. Same goes for the balance shaft belt.

Look in your Helm's and see if there is any procedure for adjusting timing belt tension. If not, your dealer was blowing smoke up your ass.

If you ask me, anyone that is mechanically inclined can do anything. I hardly ever worked on my cars (serious work, I did I/H/E, etc. on my CRX) until I got the Prelude. The one thing is that you need patience and the correct tools. Don't half ass it, or you will be paying lots of money to fix your mistakes.

Changing the timing belt isn't for the timid. It takes some work, and if you get the timing way off, you CAN ruin the valves, pistons, etc. The thing is that the TDC indicators are easy to see, so getting things timed correctly isn't that hard. You just have to follow the Helm's manual to a "T." If you half ass something because you don't have the proper tools, you can (and WILL) do damage.

Now, getting down in there isn't easy because there is such little clearance, but with patience, you can get it done.

Have you done a valve adjustment? Try doing that, and see how it goes. What work have you done?

I just learned by experience. I have gotten good enough that I can remove the front dampers out of a 5Gen in less than 30 minutes (from practice!!). However, new stuff takes a lot longer. I believe the timing belt took me a full weekend. Getting the damn belt on took me 2 hours by itself (now I can do it in 1/3 the time because I know the tricks....).

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Billy
North Texas Prelude Owners Group
www.ntpog.org
 

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I got soooooo screwed... listen to my story...

A few months ago, I was hearing a weird "growling" noise at 1000 rpm whenever I would lift from the gas... So, I could not located the problem and I left the car with at the dealership (I have a 97 base Lude). They had it for 3 days and could not figure what was the noise was... but it was coming from the timing belt cover... soooo.... they called me up at work and said that it HAD to be the water pump since nothing else was there that could make that noise... And since the water pump is covered under the 5 year warranty, they wanted permission to open my engine and Honda would pick up the tab... So I gave the permission to do so... then the service manager calls me back to tell me that he was wrong and that timing belt was rubbing against the timing belt cover (lower portion) and it need to be replaced. I told him to put everything back together and that I would bring it to my mechanic since it was not covered under warranty.. he advised me that they took the time to open the engine up anyhow and they would charge me anyhow... So I was pretty screwed and had no choice and had them change the timing belt, timing belt cover, gasket, tensioner belt and water pump done... More importantly they could not give me an explanation of how this happened and if it would happen again. I kept the parts for prove (I could take pics and post them here if you want) and called Honda Canada.. they told me that the timing belt cover was not under warranty and to take up what had happened with the dealer... All in all, the whole ordeal cost me 700$(Cdn) in parts and labour... I hope this helps... good luck!
 

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Thanks for the reply Billy. I really haven't done much work at all. Here's my small list:
-resonator removal
-intake install
-rotors and pads
-tore apart, cleaned, and rebuilt a 2 cycle motor, and a rebuilt a carborator in high school about 5 years ago.
-spark plugs
-all fluid changes. I used to work at a lube shop, so I can change tranny fluid (auto or stick), oil, and coolant (used a machine that flushed it out) on any car. Bilstein engine flush machine... hehe, that thing rocked. It was huge. We had the only one in NY state (and tri-state area) at the time. I'm sure ppl have them now.

Probably a few other little things, but you get the idea, it's all basic stuff, nothing really hardcore. I'd just really like to start doing some stuff and start learning.. as soon as the summer comes, I'll be able to have my car on down time for a day or two and not have to worry about it.

Thanks again for the help Billy, I'll look in the Helms for the tensioner. There has to be something that controls tension, because it didn't whine before I had the timing and balancer belts changed.

-e-


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[tHåt©hMå§të®]

95 VTEC Prelude - RS*R, powerslots, Axxis metal masters, Toyo FZ4s, **type-S intake (thanks Andy!!)** 15.040 @ 92.85

95 VTEC Del Sol - AEM, Bullfrog TB, N2 header, Greddy SP, Powerstop Xdrilled, Z3 fenders

www.thatchland.com

[This message has been edited by thatchmaster (edited April 09, 2001).]
 

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by THATPRELUDEGUY:
Well I have access to everything you mentioned except a torque wrench that hits 180lb/ft. However if I might have to pull some of my suspension apart I might let the dealer do it since that's a royal PITA to me. I need to take my TEIN's out to replace the TEIN PB with the factory ones and new collars but that'll be a days work in itself.

Man I might have to sell it and buy a Hyundai Tiberon if this keeps up!!
</font>
You do the timing belt stuff and I'll do the Teins..done in half the time.

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WOW i have the same problem. I just took my car into the dealer yesterday. The diagnosis was a tensioner, and it's gonna be replaced via extended comprehensive warranty. I don't know if I'm going to get everything else replaced too. There's already more than enough problems. Like getting less than 18 miles to the gallon. Where my needle is, i have 22 miles reading, where my friend's lude's needle is reading at, there's 50 miles. I shifter at less than 3k and he's about 3.5-4k. Any idea of what's wrong there? He has same exhaust as me and an apex vafc.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by iLUVmySH:
WOW i have the same problem. I just took my car into the dealer yesterday. The diagnosis was a tensioner, and it's gonna be replaced via extended comprehensive warranty. I don't know if I'm going to get everything else replaced too. There's already more than enough problems. Like getting less than 18 miles to the gallon. Where my needle is, i have 22 miles reading, where my friend's lude's needle is reading at, there's 50 miles. I shifter at less than 3k and he's about 3.5-4k. Any idea of what's wrong there? He has same exhaust as me and an apex vafc.</font>
The auto tensioner seems to be a fairly common problem. I hop0e my dealer just does it and it comes out ok. As for the mileage mine sucks too...it's just part of having a VTEC motor and a lead foot. I get about 18-20 around town and as high as 28 on long hiway trips.
 

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2 questions.

A. Is the tensioner covered under the extended warranty?

B. When I finally get my timing belt replaced, would I save on cost if I had my cam gears installed at the same time? Would Honda touch aem gears?

I guess that's 3.
 

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Wow so thats what it is ! I've been hearing that same high pitched wining/rubbing noise recently but only just after starting and driving away. It's especially noticable in wet weather.
 

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Pure Lude:
is this noise loud? can you feel it from vibration through your feet? i mite have this problem then......</font>
The noise is fairly loud. Loud enough to bug the crap outta me when I'm at about 1K rpm. Feel it from the pedals? I don't think so.... You can hear the problem if it is really the same as mine. You go to your throttle body (you're on the side of the car where the steering wheel is) push the throttle a little bit and let it drop. The sound should be comming from right under your ears when you're listening. Hope you get what i'm saying. If not, I'll try to explain it better if you let me know.....
 

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by trehlo:
2 questions.

A. Is the tensioner covered under the extended warranty?

B. When I finally get my timing belt replaced, would I save on cost if I had my cam gears installed at the same time? Would Honda touch aem gears?


I guess that's 3.
</font>
A. They dealer called and said that it was covered by MY extended warranty. I have the comprehensive warranty ("best you can get" :p). It should be a lot cheaper on labor if you get the aem gears installed. I know at the honda dealers around me have a parts store. They sell all that aftermarket crap like the aem tru timing gears. So you can ask your parts store to see if they have them...
 
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