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Discussion Starter #1
I have the rattling timing belt auto-tensioner at startup that seems to plague many Odysseys. My Odyssey is a 2012 EXL with 88k miles. The rattle started slowly about 10-15k miles ago but it’s getting worse. Used to last 15-30 seconds at startup, now goes on for about 2 minutes before finally quieting.

My question is, how urgent is it to fix? Anyone heard or experienced timing belt breaking or skipping because of it?

Does not seem too difficult to change timing belt on the Odyssey, not the least because of all the good information there is already posted on the forum on this topic, as well as all the online videos.
I already bought the Asin kit. I did the timing belt on my 2003 Acura RL’s C35 engine a few years back and the Odyssey TB change seems a little simpler. The Acura C35 engine has a balancer with its own belt so there are 2 belts to change on those engines, and the balancer belt is flimsy and virtually impossible to resynchronize if it rotates on you 1/2 revolution or more (2/3 ratio etc)… the J35 engine on the Odyssey does not have that extra complication.

Question is, should I do this timing belt and auto-tensioner change ASAP or can it wait a week or two?
 

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I would not panic about being 30k miles or 10 years past the TB due date. But I would panic about this and get it done before running the engine again for more than to move the car before doing the job. That's me. I know people panic about miles and years, and may not worry about this. In this case, you KNOW you've got a problem. Miles/years you're just dealing with an expected probability. Very different in my book.

Even being one tooth off will make the engine run terribly. So since that's not happening, you can at least know that no skip has occurred yet. But if the tensioner is defective, it seems reasonable to expect that if it skips one tooth (which would not cause any collisions yet), it would be more likely to skip more soon afterward due to the rough running you'll get from the first one.
 

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I might be inclined to pull a spark plug or two on the cylinders that shut down. See if they are fouled. If so, you may need to have the rings replaced at Honda's expense. Many folks have paid a little extra to get the timing belt done at the same time. Now you may have already had this tsb performed or are muzzling the VCM. If that is the case none of that would apply to you.
 

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Wait as long as you want as long as you don't mind a toasted engine, otherwise I would have it towed to wherever you are getting it fixed at. Yes, it's that serious.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Looking at the timing belt job… there seems to be an inconsistency in the side engine mount torque. On page 5-23 (engine assembly section) bolts at 32 lbft, then on page 6-22 (cylinder head section) same bolts at 40 lbft ? Any reason?

152817
 

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Probably just a mistake. Go with the higher numbers, I'd guess. Not critical unless you break them!

-Charlie
 

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Then go with the lower numbers for those screws. This inconsistency was noticed before in a different thread. I know it exists in my 2011 printed manual. I expect that either the high numbers or the low numbers will be just fine. I.e., the high values will not break anything, and the low values will still hold things on there tight enough.

There is already a fairly significant variability in torquing fasteners due to variation in surface friction / lubrication, that generally there is a good safety factor that will prevent any problems ... in most applications. In some, like the crank pulley bolt, things like lubrication are explicitly stated to narrow things down.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Ok, thanks. I’ll just do 36 lbft -- middle of the road. I wonder though whether I’ll be able to reach everything with my 1/2“ torque wrench. I don’t have a swivel head torque wrench and I saw a lot of swivel head wrenches being used in the videos. But I also wonder how many garages and dealerships do really follow the manual specs. For example, the manual suggests replacing 4 bolts when doing the timing belt service:

-Timing belt Idler pulley bolt
-The two 10mm bolts holding the engine mount onto the engine
-Timing belt adjuster bolt

I called the parts departments at two local Honda dealers and they do not stock the bolts, which probably means they do not change them either during their TB service (one of the two parts employees explicitly told me so).

In any case, I did a fair amount of preparation regarding the timing belt change, reading posts, watching videos and the .pdf write-up on the 3rd generation Odysseys. So wish me luck…
 

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Looking at the timing belt job… there seems to be an inconsistency in the side engine mount torque. On page 5-23 (engine assembly section) bolts at 32 lbft, then on page 6-22 (cylinder head section) same bolts at 40 lbft ? Any reason?
Sometimes the torque values differ for the J35A6 and J35A7
 

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the manual suggests replacing 4 bolts when doing the timing belt service:

-Timing belt Idler pulley bolt
-The two 10mm bolts holding the engine mount onto the engine
-Timing belt adjuster bolt
Any chance those are have locktite or similar product pre-applied by the factory? There are generally two types of fasteners that an OEM will 'require' are replaced after removal - those that have a pre-applied sealant or thread locker and those that are used near their peak load or stretch during the torquing process.

If you are worried about the aluminum threads, apply an anti-seize product and use the lower torque value. That will get you the right clamping force and protect the threads from galling.

-Charlie
 

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I wonder though whether I’ll be able to reach everything with my 1/2“ torque wrench.
Almost no mechanics (well, automotive mechanics) use torque wrenches on most jobs. You pretty quickly get an idea of the required torque for most fasteners. Break out the torque wrench for critical suspension components (ball joints, wheel bearings) and engine/transmission internal components (cam caps, rod bolts, main bolts, crank pulley). Heck, I don't even use a torque wrench on my lugs - my torque wrench is the same length as my breaker bar and I have done them so many times I don't need the torque wrench anymore (same force on either will get the same torque on the fastener).

For the rest, 'gutentite' is generally where its at. Use the manual as a reference if you are unsure of how many grunts a fastener will take. Then watch for those special cases (things like valve cover bolts and oil pan bolts) where there is a special procedure.

-Charlie
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Any chance those are have locktite or similar product pre-applied by the factory? There are generally two types of fasteners that an OEM will 'require' are replaced after removal - those that have a pre-applied sealant or thread locker and those that are used near their peak load or stretch during the torquing process.

If you are worried about the aluminum threads, apply an anti-seize product and use the lower torque value. That will get you the right clamping force and protect the threads from galling.

-Charlie
I don't see application of locktite in the manual for any of those bolts. I guess that means there should be no locktite applied at the factory either?

I'm also wondering, aren't anti-seize and locktite opposite things? Seems like locktite holds the bolt while anti seize is something like permanent lubrication which would make it easier for the bolt to come off? Admittedly, I don't have much knowledge on this, just speculating...

I guess I'll see if there's any locktite once I remove them. Just trying to avoid having to special order the bolts at the dealer in the middle of a timing belt job. We have other cars we can use but I'd rather not have the Odyssey disabled for a week...
 

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Sounds like you are going down an unnecessary rabbit hole here. Many hundreds of thousands of J-series timing belts have been changed without doing anything special with those bolts. I was just floating a theory as to why Honda might say those bolts should be replaced.

Anti-seize and loctite will both lubricate threads while tightening a fastener. If there is some sort of thread lubricant, the same torque will apply significantly more clamping force to the fastener, that's why I suggested going with the lower torque value if you use something on the threads.

-Charlie
 

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I have not replaced any bolts on the 3x Honda TB jobs I've done, with nothing blown up yet.

Good info that the dealers do not even stock those bolts - to me that removes all doubt.

As phattyduck said, both loctite (brand name for threadlocker) and anti-seize lubricate during installation, allowing a tighter clamping force for the same applied torque. Once the loctite cures / hardens, it then does the opposite of anti-seize. But I don't generally worry about any anti-seized fasteners loosening themselves.

I generally follow the service manual regarding surface prep details and use of threadlocker. Many engine applications will call for high temp threadlocker. Also, if given a choice, the gel option vs. the liquid option is more convenient to apply carefully.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I took things apart to change timing belt and I found threadlocker on only one bolt: The bottom bolt (the short one of the three) of the side engine mount, engine side into aluminum.

But now I have a more serious problem, I cannot undo the crank bolt. So I started a different thread on that...
 
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