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throtchko -
The actual bill was $568.94 plus tax and the bill says, "Diagnose serpentine belt came off. Found that the belt tensioner bolt broke off, remove broken bolt, replace tensioner assembly and serpentine belt. Parts 313.94 - $257.23 for new tensioner and $56.71 for the new belt. Labor $255.00." Not sure if the bolt was OEM or aftermarket. The garage I use specializes in Honda.
 

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Depending how the bolt shears $255 worth of labor may be a bargain. These pigs are a handful when the bolt lets go.
 

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I am having the same broken bolt problem with my 2009 Honda Odyssey EXL, J35A7 engine (main serpentine belt tensioner bolt, M12x1.25x100mm - grade 10 - OEM). The problem occurred about 3k miles after a timing belt job. The original serpentine belt tensioner was replaced with an aftermarket version (DAYCO) at roughly 130,000 miles (as part of the timing belt job). That aftermarket tensioner (DAYCO) had the main bolt shear off within 3k miles/4 weeks of driving the van. A different brand of tensioner (GATES) was then purchased and installed to avoid another breakage. Instead, the second tensioner bolt (GATES) also broke - within 1-2 weeks of driving the van. Luckily, I had saved the original (HONDA) serpentine belt tensioner (it was still in working order, but had chosen to replace it with other new components during the timing belt job). The originally removed, 130,000 miles of use, HONDA, serpentine belt tensioner and original bolts were then installed to get the van back up. That worked, but for only about a week. That's a total of 3 broken bolts. One new DAYCO brand bolt sold with the assembly, one new GATES brand bolt sold with the assembly, and one HONDA used bolt that had been originally installed on the vehicle.

Note:

- Each time, each bolt was tightened to the torque specifications found throughout this thread.
- Each time, each bolt was cleaned and lubricated at the indicated places found within this thread.
- Each time, the tensioner did not receive the bleeding process referenced within this thread.
- A new serpentine belt (aftermarket, DAYCO) was installed at the same time as the 1st and 3rd serpentine belt tensioner installation. During the failure of the 2nd tensioner bolt, the serpentine belt incurred damage.

Notice the toward trend in survival time of the bolt breaking each time? Whether the first bolt sheered/broke off due to lack of quality or my not performing the simple bleeding procedures of the hydraulic tensioner... I have no idea. Although I did go with an aftermarket serpentine belt, I do not think it is the incorrect size. All (the talk of) difficulty related to getting the hydraulic tensioner to move, I believe, is just the nature of hydraulic tensioners. The tensioner is "difficult" to move at any point in it's path of movement; initially, mid-way, and fully compressed

What I do know is that the referenced bolt is certainly under a good deal of load/pressure (whether static, engine running, VCM related changes, other demands). A breakage under it's load could be expected to violently release energy to other components, creating potential damage. Well, 3 failed bolts later and I do believe the bracket that the bolt threads into (AC compressor bracket) is showing more obvious signs of deterioration.

Perhaps I had not inspected the AC compressor bracket threading thoroughly enough before attempting the remedy the first broken bolt, but it is now more obvious. Signs include missing threading at the entrance of where the bolt should enter the bracket. I surmise that with each breakage, a small amount of material (threading) was removed. I'm not 100% certain, however I would imagine that this lack of threading (no more than 1-3mm depth; not equal damage for the entire circumfrance) could create an instability for the next bolt that is installed. Thus, I interpret that with each violent failure more susceptibility is created and the next bolt is likely to fail more quickly than the last.

Note: All threading at the AC compressor bracket seems to be "in-line," as new bolts continue to thread in nicely during each of the installs.

Alternatively, the bleeding procedure may be the golden ticket - as I (ignorantly) expect it to "prep" the hydraulic tensioner in a way that ultimately does not draw such a terrible (high) load on the belt.

Despite the damage of the AC compressor bracket that I have discovered, I am going to hold off on replacing it. Instead, I have purchased a new hydraulic serpentine belt tensioner from Honda and will install it using all the good practices listed in this thread; now also incorporating the bleeding procedure.

If this most recent install should also end in sadness, I'll be swapping out the AC compressor bracket and installing a fresh serpentine belt tensioner. If that does not stop this madness I will be out of ideas.

I did not provide exact part numbers or prices that I have experienced, but can produce them for anyone that would find it useful.

Good luck out there! Trust me, I know this is a frustrating dilemma.
 

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I've never had any issues with my tensoner (knock on wood). Not sure if it helps anybody, but there is an Ebay seller who sells grade 12 bolts for the tensioner.

M12x1.25x100 10.9 Grade bolt for Honda J35A7 engine serpentine tensioner

This is what I currently have with the original tensioner and I still have the original bolt in the trunk. I put in the new bolt when I replaced my alternator about a month ago and I had to move the tensioner out of the way, so since the old bolt was out I put the new one in.
 

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Jester did you fix the chirping noise?
Yes, I did! :)

Turns out the chirping was because the harmonic balancer in the main pulley had begun to disintegrate which let it wobble in and out. Swapped the crank pulley out and back to new. The tensioner bolt (yes, my old OEM one after the Dayco one broke) has been fine.


(Answering years later for the sake of recent victims of the breaking tensioner bolt issue, since apparently it's still going on.)
 

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I am having the same broken bolt problem with my 2009 Honda Odyssey EXL, J35A7 engine (main serpentine belt tensioner bolt, M12x1.25x100mm - grade 10 - OEM). The problem occurred about 3k miles after a timing belt job. The original serpentine belt tensioner was replaced with an aftermarket version (DAYCO) at roughly 130,000 miles (as part of the timing belt job). That aftermarket tensioner (DAYCO) had the main bolt shear off within 3k miles/4 weeks of driving the van. A different brand of tensioner (GATES) was then purchased and installed to avoid another breakage. Instead, the second tensioner bolt (GATES) also broke - within 1-2 weeks of driving the van. Luckily, I had saved the original (HONDA) serpentine belt tensioner (it was still in working order, but had chosen to replace it with other new components during the timing belt job). The originally removed, 130,000 miles of use, HONDA, serpentine belt tensioner and original bolts were then installed to get the van back up. That worked, but for only about a week. That's a total of 3 broken bolts. One new DAYCO brand bolt sold with the assembly, one new GATES brand bolt sold with the assembly, and one HONDA used bolt that had been originally installed on the vehicle.

Note:

- Each time, each bolt was tightened to the torque specifications found throughout this thread.
- Each time, each bolt was cleaned and lubricated at the indicated places found within this thread.
- Each time, the tensioner did not receive the bleeding process referenced within this thread.
- A new serpentine belt (aftermarket, DAYCO) was installed at the same time as the 1st and 3rd serpentine belt tensioner installation. During the failure of the 2nd tensioner bolt, the serpentine belt incurred damage.

Notice the toward trend in survival time of the bolt breaking each time? Whether the first bolt sheered/broke off due to lack of quality or my not performing the simple bleeding procedures of the hydraulic tensioner... I have no idea. Although I did go with an aftermarket serpentine belt, I do not think it is the incorrect size. All (the talk of) difficulty related to getting the hydraulic tensioner to move, I believe, is just the nature of hydraulic tensioners. The tensioner is "difficult" to move at any point in it's path of movement; initially, mid-way, and fully compressed

What I do know is that the referenced bolt is certainly under a good deal of load/pressure (whether static, engine running, VCM related changes, other demands). A breakage under it's load could be expected to violently release energy to other components, creating potential damage. Well, 3 failed bolts later and I do believe the bracket that the bolt threads into (AC compressor bracket) is showing more obvious signs of deterioration.

Perhaps I had not inspected the AC compressor bracket threading thoroughly enough before attempting the remedy the first broken bolt, but it is now more obvious. Signs include missing threading at the entrance of where the bolt should enter the bracket. I surmise that with each breakage, a small amount of material (threading) was removed. I'm not 100% certain, however I would imagine that this lack of threading (no more than 1-3mm depth; not equal damage for the entire circumfrance) could create an instability for the next bolt that is installed. Thus, I interpret that with each violent failure more susceptibility is created and the next bolt is likely to fail more quickly than the last.

Note: All threading at the AC compressor bracket seems to be "in-line," as new bolts continue to thread in nicely during each of the installs.

Alternatively, the bleeding procedure may be the golden ticket - as I (ignorantly) expect it to "prep" the hydraulic tensioner in a way that ultimately does not draw such a terrible (high) load on the belt.

Despite the damage of the AC compressor bracket that I have discovered, I am going to hold off on replacing it. Instead, I have purchased a new hydraulic serpentine belt tensioner from Honda and will install it using all the good practices listed in this thread; now also incorporating the bleeding procedure.

If this most recent install should also end in sadness, I'll be swapping out the AC compressor bracket and installing a fresh serpentine belt tensioner. If that does not stop this madness I will be out of ideas.

I did not provide exact part numbers or prices that I have experienced, but can produce them for anyone that would find it useful.

Good luck out there! Trust me, I know this is a frustrating dilemma.

A long shot I know, but definitely a possibility: Make sure your torque wrench is accurate. ???

Also, dunno if it helped but for good measure I did the belt cover mod that I referenced in my previous post (I believe it was a TSB, though I could argue that it was fine before, I wasn't sure if there was some new tensioner design change that would necessitate the cover mod, so I did it anyway). Lastly, as you mentioned that you did not do, I did do the bleeding the second time when I re-installed my old bolt. Again, dunno if any of this was the fix at all, but hey, I think it's been four years now with the original bolt. Something worked
 

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I am having the same broken bolt problem with my 2009 Honda Odyssey EXL, J35A7 engine (main serpentine belt tensioner bolt, M12x1.25x100mm - grade 10 - OEM). The problem occurred about 3k miles after a timing belt job. The original serpentine belt tensioner was replaced with an aftermarket version (DAYCO) at roughly 130,000 miles (as part of the timing belt job). That aftermarket tensioner (DAYCO) had the main bolt shear off within 3k miles/4 weeks of driving the van. A different brand of tensioner (GATES) was then purchased and installed to avoid another breakage. Instead, the second tensioner bolt (GATES) also broke - within 1-2 weeks of driving the van. Luckily, I had saved the original (HONDA) serpentine belt tensioner (it was still in working order, but had chosen to replace it with other new components during the timing belt job). The originally removed, 130,000 miles of use, HONDA, serpentine belt tensioner and original bolts were then installed to get the van back up. That worked, but for only about a week. That's a total of 3 broken bolts. One new DAYCO brand bolt sold with the assembly, one new GATES brand bolt sold with the assembly, and one HONDA used bolt that had been originally installed on the vehicle.

Note:

- Each time, each bolt was tightened to the torque specifications found throughout this thread.
- Each time, each bolt was cleaned and lubricated at the indicated places found within this thread.
- Each time, the tensioner did not receive the bleeding process referenced within this thread.
- A new serpentine belt (aftermarket, DAYCO) was installed at the same time as the 1st and 3rd serpentine belt tensioner installation. During the failure of the 2nd tensioner bolt, the serpentine belt incurred damage.

Notice the toward trend in survival time of the bolt breaking each time? Whether the first bolt sheered/broke off due to lack of quality or my not performing the simple bleeding procedures of the hydraulic tensioner... I have no idea. Although I did go with an aftermarket serpentine belt, I do not think it is the incorrect size. All (the talk of) difficulty related to getting the hydraulic tensioner to move, I believe, is just the nature of hydraulic tensioners. The tensioner is "difficult" to move at any point in it's path of movement; initially, mid-way, and fully compressed

What I do know is that the referenced bolt is certainly under a good deal of load/pressure (whether static, engine running, VCM related changes, other demands). A breakage under it's load could be expected to violently release energy to other components, creating potential damage. Well, 3 failed bolts later and I do believe the bracket that the bolt threads into (AC compressor bracket) is showing more obvious signs of deterioration.

Perhaps I had not inspected the AC compressor bracket threading thoroughly enough before attempting the remedy the first broken bolt, but it is now more obvious. Signs include missing threading at the entrance of where the bolt should enter the bracket. I surmise that with each breakage, a small amount of material (threading) was removed. I'm not 100% certain, however I would imagine that this lack of threading (no more than 1-3mm depth; not equal damage for the entire circumfrance) could create an instability for the next bolt that is installed. Thus, I interpret that with each violent failure more susceptibility is created and the next bolt is likely to fail more quickly than the last.

Note: All threading at the AC compressor bracket seems to be "in-line," as new bolts continue to thread in nicely during each of the installs.

Alternatively, the bleeding procedure may be the golden ticket - as I (ignorantly) expect it to "prep" the hydraulic tensioner in a way that ultimately does not draw such a terrible (high) load on the belt.

Despite the damage of the AC compressor bracket that I have discovered, I am going to hold off on replacing it. Instead, I have purchased a new hydraulic serpentine belt tensioner from Honda and will install it using all the good practices listed in this thread; now also incorporating the bleeding procedure.

If this most recent install should also end in sadness, I'll be swapping out the AC compressor bracket and installing a fresh serpentine belt tensioner. If that does not stop this madness I will be out of ideas.

I did not provide exact part numbers or prices that I have experienced, but can produce them for anyone that would find it useful.

Good luck out there! Trust me, I know this is a frustrating dilemma.
So how was it? Did bleeding procedure help it out?
I've done all steps listed above and plus swapped AC bracket, except this bleeding.
 

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Count Me In ...

I ordered OEM part 31170-R70-A01 TENSIONER ASSY., AUTO early this year, and three months out, the bolt sheared off yesterday, flat against engine bracket/block. Not to mention the surprise of lost steering.

I read through all this thread, did we figure out what is the reason? Lack of air bleeding? I just bought a bolt (made in Germany) off Ebay, hoping that will give me good lucky in getting the broken bolt out.

What is the best way of getting it out? They Ebay listing suggested HF air angle drill, I plan on setting up my air tools tomorrow (been mostly using electrical).

Right now my only consolation is telling myself that I can call a tow truck and send it to the dealer. If it is broken again, it is on them! To be fair, they replaced my timing belt 30 months ago, keeping the original serp belt tensioner but with a new belt, and it has been fine. I did the "preventive" service, forgetting that I already got a new belt two years ago :-(
 

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Count me in with the "broken bolt club". At 88,500 miles I had my mechanic replace the timing belt and associated parts. Since he was in there anyway, I had him replace the serpintine belt. About two or three weeks later, the factory reinstalled tensioner pulley bolt broke. It broke clean with the end of the mounting hole. A mechanic friend removed the AC compressor and compressor mounting bracket and we got the broken bolt piece out. I replace the factory pulley tensioner assembly with an aftermarket unit from Advanced Auto, carefully following the Honda guidelines. I Also replaced the serpintine belt. The Advanced Auto part bolt was identical to the failed Honda bolt. JIC, I ordered the replacement bolt off Ebay. For the next time, if it happens again.
From reading all the posts, there doesen't seem to be a "smoking gun" associated with all the 2nd, 3rd, etc. broken bolts. The closest I see might be the hydraulic cylinder bleed procedure not being bled. Even that was not universal, though.
If my fix lasts through August 2017, I'll let the forum know. Keep your fingers crossed for me. BTW, our Odyssey is a 2007 EX-L.
 

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Update, all is well after a month of use. I think proper bolt torque is a key item in the installation sequence. Within the next two weeks I plan on taking the Ody on a 3,000 mile trip, that will be the ultimate test. As a precaution, I am taking tools and spare parts to effect a repair, on the road. I'll do another update by the end of September.
 

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Final update. We're back from our 10 day, 3,000 mile trip and not the first problem. The key seems for you to install the pully tensioner exactly as the Honda technical manual calls for.
1 Oil the bolt
2 torque both bolts exactly as called for
3 Bleed the pilly tensioner hydraulic cylinder as described

Good luck.
 

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So how was it? Did bleeding procedure help it out?
I've done all steps listed above and plus swapped AC bracket, except this bleeding.

This is well overdue, but wanted to give a quick answer. I'll do a more detailed write-up in the near future.

Installation of the brand new, HONDA OEM Serpentine Belt Tensioner has been a great experience At roughly 18,000 miles of driving on it now, I have had no problems.

When installing the brand new, HONDA OEM Serpentine Belt Tensioner (picked up in person at the local dealership - who was oddly nice enough to give me a "shop" discount):

- The proper torque specifications were accurately applied to each bolt
- Each bolt was cleaned and lubricated at the proper locations
- The hydraulic tensioner had the bleeding process done to it.

All in all, I believe that the bleeding procedure is the golden ticket.

More detailed post coming soon.
 

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All in all, I believe that the bleeding procedure is the golden ticket.



Absolutely correct. Bolt-shearing problem doesn't exist with this spring-loaded tensioner ->>> Screenshot-2017-10-29 31170-RCA-A04 - Genuine Honda Tensioner Assy , Auto.jpg
 

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For any of you that have had to replace the AC bracket - did you have to evacuate the AC system, and remove the AC compressor, or were you able to just unbolt the compressor and work around it with the hoses attached?

Also, I was able to bench bleed the hydraulic shock using a large C-clamp. It was much easier than doing it when installed. That may help others.

Thanks
 

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i am hoping someone will chime in here. i recently did a full aisin timing belt kit and upon reassembly i noticed the upper roller on the factory serpentine belt tensioner had some play in it however i did not have a new one so i just reinstalled the old one with a new continental belt. after reading through these threads i have found another members idea of changing the j35a7 tensioner to the j35a6 model a good one to eliminate this ridiculous broken bolt issue however we know that the main bolt on the j35a6 spring loaded model is smaller and would require the j35a6 a/c compressor bracket. So has anyone on the forum made this change?
 
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