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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
This thread will explain all the key details regarding timing belt service on the Odyssey. Rather than re-explaining these details to every new forum member, they can simply be directed here. While there will be plenty of discussion in this thread, this first post contains the key information, so reading the rest of the thread (many pages) is not necessary.

Although this is posted in the 2005-10 Odyssey forum, the information here will apply to all USDM Odysseys 1999 and newer. While 1995-98 Odysseys also have a timing belt, they have a very different engine, so I can't guarantee that all the information will be relevant.

What is the timing belt?
As the name suggests, the timing belt is a rubber belt that keeps the top end and bottom end of the engine in time with each other.

The more technical explanation is that it is the belt that makes sure that the valves and pistons move when they're supposed to in order to complete the combustion cycle.

The timing belt differs from the timing chain in that it is made of rubber rather than metal and is therefore quieter than its chain counterpart.

There are also other components involved with the timing belt, such as the water pump, various idler pulleys, and the timing belt tensioner.

Does my Odyssey have a timing belt?
Simple answer for this one. Every North American Odyssey in existence has a timing belt.

Ok, my Odyssey has a timing belt. What's the big deal about that?
The reason all of this is relevant is that a timing belt (and the other timing system components) has a much shorter lifespan compared to a timing chain. While you may never need to replace a timing chain during your ownership of that car, most owners will have to replace their timing belt at least once.

Replacing the timing belt is a very laborious job, which means it can cost quite a bit if you get a mechanic to do it.

How often does the timing belt need to be replaced?
It's also important to replace the timing belt and related components on time, particularly on the Odyssey, because it uses what is known as an interference engine. What this means is that because of the limited space in the combustion chamber, if the engine is out of time (which could be caused by a loose or broken timing belt, a failed tensioner, a seized water pump, etc.), the valves and pistons can hit each other, causing severe engine damage that could set you back several thousands of dollars to repair. In some cases, you may even replace the entire engine. This is as opposed to non-interference engines, which are designed in such a way that there is enough space for both the valves and pistons, so they will never clash.

Now that you know why it's important to replace the belt and other components on time, you're probably wondering how often the timing belt service should be done. While Honda has not given an official maintenance interval for the timing belt since 2005 due to the introduction of the Maintenance Minder system, it's always nice to have an actual number rather than relying on a computer system. Prior to the maintenance minder, Honda's recommendation was to change the timing belt every 105k miles or 7 years, whichever came first. So this is still generally the recommendation these days.

What exactly should be changed along with the timing belt?
The other parts that should be changed along with the timing belt can vary depending on whether you're changing it due to reaching the mileage interval or time interval.

The following parts should be replaced regardless, with items in bold being recommended but not necessarily required:
Timing belt
Timing belt tensioner (this is the weak link in the system, do not skip this)
Idler bearings
Water pump
Serpentine belt
Thermostat


If you are at the 105k interval, you should also replace the spark plugs.

The following parts only need to be replaced if they are leaking/worn out:
Camshaft seals (2 of them, one for each camshaft)
Crankshaft seal
Side motor mount

Note that this is not a bad time to replace the camshaft and crankshaft seals even if they are not leaking, but it is really up to you. Some people will say that you shouldn't touch seals that are not leaking, and others will tell you that it is worth replacing them while you are in there in case they start leaking.

What type of parts should be used?
The timing system is a very important part of the engine for reasons mentioned previously. So you don't want to cheap out on replacement parts for it.

There are two recommended routes you could go: you can get OEM parts (individually, there is no OEM Honda kit) straight from Honda (more expensive but you're assured quality Honda parts), or you can purchase the timing belt kit made by Aisin (cheaper and contains similar/identical parts from the same manufacturers as the OEM Honda parts but not directly from Honda).

If you are choosing to buy OEM Honda parts, you can buy from an online parts dealer such as Bernardi or Majestic Honda, or you can buy from a dealer local to you. Prices may vary between them. You will have to buy all the different parts individually, there is no OEM Honda kit.

The Aisin kit contains the timing belt, the water pump (with a new gasket), the idler bearings, and the timing belt hydraulic tensioner. The Aisin kit can be found in several places. RockAuto is recommended as they generally have the lowest price, but they are frequently out of stock, so if you are unable to find it there and can't wait for it to come back in stock, some other retailers you can check are Newegg and CARiD. The Aisin kit is also sold on Amazon, but beware of counterfeits. If you are buying on Amazon, ensure you are buying from the official Aisin store.

There are multiple Aisin kits, so make sure the kit you are buying has your particular model year listed. For nearly all Odysseys, the Aisin TKH-002 kit is the correct one, but Odysseys from 2000-2004 use the TKH-001 kit, and the 1999 Odyssey uses the TKH-011 kit.

BEWARE OF "GENUINE HONDA" TIMING BELT KITS SOLD ON EBAY OR AMAZON. THESE TWO SITES ARE LITTERED WITH COUNTERFEIT PARTS THAT ARE KNOWN TO FAIL PREMATURELY AND CAUSE ENGINE DAMAGE. THESE ARE NOT HONDA PARTS OR ANYTHING REMOTELY CLOSE. HONDA DOES NOT MAKE OR SELL TIMING BELT KITS, SO IF YOU SEE A "GENUINE HONDA" KIT FOR SALE, IT IS ALMOST CERTAINLY FAKE.

Regardless of which route you choose, you will need to get coolant, as you will lose a significant amount of coolant when the water pump is removed. The coolant you use does not have to be Honda coolant as long as it is a blue coolant formulated for Japanese vehicles. It's strongly recommended to avoid the universal green coolant.

If you are choosing to replace the serpentine belt, it is recommended to get an OEM Honda belt. Aftermarket belts are thinner and can cause a noise on cold starts.

If you are choosing to replace the thermostat, you can either get a Honda thermostat, which comes with a gasket, or you can get the Aisin thermostat which will require getting the gasket separately.

Lastly, OEM parts are recommended for the camshaft/crankshaft seals and the side engine mount.

Is the timing belt job something that I can DIY?
There's no one answer. Everyone's skill level is different.

But if you've never done a timing belt before, I wouldn't recommend doing this as your first one. This is a big V6, space can be tight, and it's not hard to mess things up if you don't know what you're doing.

The best thing I can tell you is to watch the numerous videos on Odyssey/J-series timing belt replacement on YouTube and see if it's within your skill level.

If I am not DIYing this job, where should I get it done?
A dealership will be quite expensive for this job. A lot of dealerships will advertise cheap timing belt specials, but often times these specials will not include replacement of key components such as the timing belt tensioner.

The recommended route is to find a trusted independent shop and get it done there. It will often be cheaper. One thing to keep in mind at an independent shop is ensuring the proper parts are used. If you go with Aisin kit parts, either buy the parts yourself and provide the shop with them or ensure that the shop is using the same parts.
 

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Good explanation of what it is.
Part two should include prep for DIYers, steps-by-step process plus links to SMA youtube clip.
Part three tips and tricks to address special situations one may encounter.
 
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Part two should include prep for DIYers, steps-by-step process plus links to SMA youtube clip.
Part three tips and tricks to address special situations one may encounter.
I suppose so, but if that is to be written, I won't be the one to do it.
 
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I would suggest that you add an additional note that any "genuine Honda kit" advertised is probably fake, as Honda never made a kit for this job. Going the OEM route means buying the individual parts separately - if you want OEM parts, don't go looking for a kit!
 

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So. This thread and that VCM thread are NOT generational and belong in a non-generational forum but I will with hold movement for now as nobody ventures outside their generation's forum here any way.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
So. This thread and that VCM thread are NOT generational and belong in a non-generational forum but I will with hold movement for now as nobody ventures outside their generation's forum here any way.
And that is why I didn't post it in one. I'm pretty sure there are people who don't even know that there are non-generational forums. I think the best solution while keeping that in mind would probably be to have one post in all the relevant generation forums that links back to this main thread.
 
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And that is why I didn't post it in one. I'm pretty sure there are people who don't even know that there are non-generational forums. I think the best solution while keeping that in mind would probably be to have one post in all the relevant generation forums that links back to this main thread.
Yup. I was thinking along the same lines myself too. But. It is quite a bit of work to do that in each forum only for the people to come on over and NOT read the stickies and just rudely ask their question without regard for clutter or redundant threads. :)
 
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Hi,
Well I did exactly what you suggested where I got my timing belt parts from local Honda dealer and it was over $600. I didn't replaced the thermostat and found local shop the installation of $400 labor + $15 for coolant.
My van is 2007 EX-L and it's 2nd timing belt replacement, around 204500 miles.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Not on an Odyssey but yet another example of counterfeit timing belts striking.

Remember the J series timing belt video from ETCG did on his 08 Acura TL? This one:

Well, we can see that he clearly installed a counterfeit kit in the video. He even says he found the "OEM parts" in a package deal on Amazon. Big red flag right there. And then he notes around the end that he believes the water pump is counterfeit because of the way it was packaged and the fact that the pulley is larger. Another red flag.

I don't know why he continued with installation knowing this, but he did put it back together and it ran fine then.

Then, about a month and a half ago, he put out a video and said that the TL broke down while he was on the highway and he had to get it towed back to his shop. He said initially that he was guessing it was a fuel/spark issue. But I think we've heard this story enough times to know what it really is.

He didn't start to actually look into it until this week. He posted a video of the engine cranking on Instagram, and that pretty much confirms it. You can even see the front cam is not spinning:
http://instagr.am/p/CYWnJaBIOJ1/
 
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He was an id***! people were screaming "Fake belt" in the comments but he apparently did not read it or ignored them.

Watch SMA not ericthecarguy.

 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
They both have their pros and cons. I don't favor one over the other.
 

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I guess I should post this in here instead of creating a new thread. I did my timing belt a couple months ago and while I was in there, I replaced the side engine mount because the bushings were horribly deteriorated. Ever since I put it all back together, I have had a squeaking noise coming from that area. I thought it was the serpentine belt tensioner, because I replaced that too. Now, I found TSB 08-045: Chirp From the Timing Belt Area. How likely is it that I will have to take everything apart again to grind down the side engine mount bracket because they didn't modify the new brackets to address this TSB? I was listening to it again with a mechanic's stethoscope and it definitely sounds like it is coming from under the timing cover instead of the serpentine belt tensioner assembly.
 

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Also something to think about regarding the shim kit

 

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this is particularly scary.
 

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Eric The Car Guy, snaps the timing belt on the Acura TL J32 engine, with a counterfeit kit. He admitted it at the end of the video also. Belt wrapped all over the place, and breaks the mounting boss off the CKP sensor, and damaged the CKP sensor. And he had to hack things up to mount up the CKP sensor.

Check out the original video when he put on this timing belt kit. The link he posted below his video shows the obvious sign of a fake kit at just $142 with Idler, tensioner pulleys and the water pump in brown boxes. Genuine OEM Honda parts DO NOT COME IN BROWN BOXES, especially the water pump comes in a blue thick plastic bag. He puts a Gates kit back on, so good luck to him on that because the Gates water pump is known to leak coolant.


 

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ETCG pretty much THINKs he got the fake kit and still installs it just to have the thing bite him in the butt.

He does do some bone headed things once in a while. Tough to recommend him.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Although stuff like this happens with ETCG I still watch him because he still has the unique knowledge of Acura/Honda that he shares that not a lot of other YT mechanics have.
 
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