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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello,

The van isn't mine, it is my mother in law's. She bought it when her last Ody's transmission went out. She keeps buying 200k+ vehicles and replacing them. I told her it would make more sense to just replace what went wrong or buy one that didn't have one foot in the grave.

So, she bought another one with 200k+ miles. She drove it for a few months and the transmission went out. She put a new transmission in it. It shifts really nice. I told her the motor was noisy before that though as I'm the one who drove it to the transmission shop and it had an upper end noise.

Anyway, the van drove good and she drove it back and forth from Florida to TN a few times. She had to have it towed home the last time because it was shutting off and running bad.

They indicated that it would get sort of hot then cool off all the sudden. They got a new timing set and VCM solenoid put on it. It has a dayton brand belt. The other pieces are duralast brand.

This was done by a mechanic. It broke down halfway here and they towed it to my house. They said it drove fine on the way here til it didn't.

It sounds like it has a knock on the top end to me. It starts right up, doesn't smoke. It won't rev up at all though and seems to lack power. It has a run flat light on the dash(I think it has regular rims and tires on it now), I wouldn't expect that matters but after reading the VCM thread where it plays white noise through the stereo to cover up the VCM kicking in, who knows? lol.

Given the timing was just changed and I expected with subpar parts, I went ahead and took off everything to see. I wish all timing belts were this easy to access.

Anyway, it doesn't appear to have jumped time. I assume lining up the 3 marks is really all I had to do to verify timing.

It is my opinion it needs a new engine given the high mileage. I have the tools to change one here but if I can fix this one, I'm OK with that and I'd like to start there.

This isn't an engine I am familiar with. I have a good OBD code reader and I can find my way around mechanical and electrical systems.

I'd appreciate a refrain from cursing generic timing parts. I already read about 100 pages of that, lol. I didn't buy, install, or agree with buying any of it.

The noise appears to come from the front center of the engine in the head area. The codes are p0300-p0306 if I recall correctly. It shows misfire on every cylinder. This is why I took the timing cover off to check it. I put the pulley back on and I can start it how it sits.

If anyone could give me some direction on what to check next.

Also, how hard is this engine to change? It doesn't seem terrible looking into the engine bay.

I appreciate it.

David
 

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Sounds like the previous owners didn't take care of the van.
These VCM motors need valve adjustments around 150k miles.

The powertrain is suppose to be dropped from the bottom, but if you chop the top section of the radiator support, the whole powertrain comes out easily. You just need to reweld the chopped section back in.
 

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What trim level is this? EX-L or Touring?

Any codes stored? It sounds like the engine may be in limp mode if it won't rev up.
 

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Check for fouled plugs. Check for reasonable maf reading with scan tool. Second a valve adjustment check

Sent from my SM-G990U using Tapatalk
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Sounds like Touring as I don't think EXL ever shipped with Run flat tires.
Sounds like the previous owners didn't take care of the van.
These VCM motors need valve adjustments around 150k miles.

The powertrain is suppose to be dropped from the bottom, but if you chop the top section of the radiator support, the whole powertrain comes out easily. You just need to reweld the chopped section back in.
No problem cutting it. I watched a video of it coming out of the bottom and that looked really easy - with a lift. lol. I could get it up like that and I have huge jack stands that could hold it that high but a little cutting sounds a little easier. I just bought a new Hobart mig welder a couple hours ago.

What trim level is this? EX-L or Touring?

Any codes stored? It sounds like the engine may be in limp mode if it won't rev up.
Touring. It revs up but slower and it is lacking guts like the timing is off. I should have been clearer there. I went to double check but I left the key on and killed the battery. I ran it for a minute and the codes are the same as I remembered. Just p0300-p0306.

Check for fouled plugs. Check for reasonable maf reading with scan tool. Second a valve adjustment check

Sent from my SM-G990U using Tapatalk
I actually pulled the front plugs and the boots and checked them. They are all fairly new with text book good plug coloring and didn't look fouled. I didn't pull the back ones though. I didn't realize the back would be the ones that would foul due to VCM initially. They were autolite plugs and generic coils. I'd suspect the coils but it was all 6 cylinders. I do know generic coils can do weird things though. I'll check the maf reading but I did unplug it to see if it was creating a problem. I also took the EGR valve out and looked for carbon, ect.

I did not check the valve adjustment though. Would it go bad all of the sudden like that?

Sounds like Touring as I don't think EXL ever shipped with Run flat tires.
Yep, Touring.
 

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Autolite plugs and generic coils is further evidence that this was not maintained well at all. You're right that aftermarket coils can do strange things, the OE coils are very reliable and don't fail often. Ideally you want to have OE coils and either Denso or NGK plugs.

Valve adjustment wouldn't get that bad all of a sudden but it's generally considered time to do it at 150-200k and by 200k it's not uncommon to have some valves out of spec.

I'm guessing the engine swap video you saw was EricTheCarGuy's? He did it out the bottom on a 2005, though he has a lift to do it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Autolite plugs and generic coils is further evidence that this was not maintained well at all. You're right that aftermarket coils can do strange things, the OE coils are very reliable and don't fail often. Ideally you want to have OE coils and either Denso or NGK plugs.

Valve adjustment wouldn't get that bad all of a sudden but it's generally considered time to do it at 150-200k and by 200k it's not uncommon to have some valves out of spec.

I'm guessing the engine swap video you saw was EricTheCarGuy's? He did it out the bottom on a 2005, though he has a lift to do it.
Yes, Eric's video is the one I watched. I was excited to see he had a video for the van. I've watched a lot of his videos.

The spark plugs and coils were my in-laws. While I wouldn't have done it, I don't think they are the problem in this case, though I have seen weirder things.

I'm going to check the timing again before I pull the intake to get to the valves and see if maybe it was off a tooth and I was just tired that day and missed something. My father-in-law started working on removing the cover while I was checking tolerances on the 302 I'm building for my Bronco and I was a little distracted.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Everything looked good on the plugs and maf.

I rechecked the timing and it looked good.

I didn't check the valves yet. Given it has 266k miles and it was an all of the sudden problem. I think it is just time for a new motor personally. Transmission is new(2000 miles).
I'm not 100% sure the situation with the timing though. It broke down on them there and they got the timing done and said it was running better.

Is there any plug that might have come loose involved in this that wouldn't throw a code other than misfire on every cylinder? I'm assuming crank/cam sensors would throw a seperate code.

I'll get the valve cover off in a day or so but I don't see how a valve adjustment would fix it.

I can get a 145k mile engine for $750 locally. It doesn't look terrible to change.
 

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Ideally swap in a non-VCM engine from an LX or EX.
That would probably be more trouble than it's worth. To my knowledge I don't think anyone has managed to swap in a non-VCM engine completely. I know @MrRangerZr1 got it to work but IIRC he had a permanent CEL.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Ideally swap in a non-VCM engine from an LX or EX.
I was going to just put the vcm muzzler on it.

That would probably be more trouble than it's worth. To my knowledge I don't think anyone has managed to swap in a non-VCM engine completely. I know @MrRangerZr1 got it to work but IIRC he had a permanent CEL.
I spent some time researching it and found it wasn't practical at best. I do see a lot of 3.0 vcm Japanese engines that are a direct swap more or less that but for $750, I'd just put the right one. If the junkyard motor runs to start and isn't horribly abused looking, it is probably good longer than the van will be around anyway.
 

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That would probably be more trouble than it's worth. To my knowledge I don't think anyone has managed to swap in a non-VCM engine completely. I know @MrRangerZr1 got it to work but IIRC he had a permanent CEL.
never had permanent check engine light
my swaps and builds must not have check engine lights lol
 

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I suggested swapping in a non-VCM to avoid the risk of replacing a bad engine with another bad engine. I am only a DIY and have never swapped an engine just my $0.02.
 
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