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2012 timing belt replacement questions

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Hi guys,

Hoping for some advice and I'll try to be brief. Planning on replacing the timing belt on a 2012 with 103K miles.

1) I am going to buy the Aisin kit (includes Water Pump, Timing Belt, Tensioner, Pulleys, Seal) from Amazon (because of my Amazon credit card reward points). Some guy said not to buy Amazon parts. I don't understand why not, if it's the same part number as the Aisin website. Have you heard any such mumblings?

2) Should I replace the drive/serpentine belt tensioner? I am going to replace the drive belt, but the cheapest mid-grade tensioner is around $60. Is it something that you guys would replace while you're at it? If so, what brand would you use for belt and tensioner?

Thanks in advance!!!
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It isn't i-VTEC either (at least not in the same way as the 4 cylinder engines with i-VTEC). It says i-VTEC because the technology used to power VCM is the exact same as VTEC technology. There is no form of VTEC whatsoever on this engine. It is purely a standard SOHC engine.
There is VTEC on this motor. It’s the i-VTEC part that is the difference like you mentioned. If I didn’t have VCM it would still have VTEC.
 

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I just did this and the most difficult part were the big bolts going into frame for engine mounts...
They were really tight... Maybe I'm a pansy but I couldn't move them with a 2ft breaker bar and the multiple extensions to get that far down into the engine bay.
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This is just straying way off topic.

PM schedules look at the probability of failure, the cost to repair, and the cost to not repair (direct and indirect cost of failure) plus the cost to repair. Predicting the failure time on the serpentine belt tensioner is pretty interesting, since the service the engine has seen varies so much. It's probably best done based on amount of fuel consumed, as that's related to time, engine speed and load. Still nothing for environments conditions like heat and dirt. But nobody really tracks that on an accumulating basis, at least well enough to get a good bit of failure data to analyze.

As far as cost-to-repair, simple parts $ plus labor $. Labor is pretty much the same (plus three bolts) for ne rollers with belt vs. just the new belt. The cost-to-not-repair adds the inconvenience factor with down time, may include towing and possibly lodging, and also includes the parts and labor cost since you'll need to get it fixed anyway.

I pretty much DIY all this stuff, shop for PM and maintenance parts based on value, and get to schedule the work at relatively convenient times, in my own heated and air conditioned workbay, with my own tools and easy access to more if needed. In my experience, failures very seldom happen at home in the workbay, just as I might be headed to the parts store anyway, on the day I'd already scheduled for exactly that particular work. I'm just not that good at "just in time" maintenance and repair planning. The Great and Wise man Edsel Murphy does the majority of my 'run-to-fail' scheduling for me. That translates to the side of some lonely highway, out of cellphone coverage, rain, heat or snow, and a noise generator riding along in the car. Or worse but even more likely, it's that same noise-maker stuck in that same place under the same conditions.

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Is there a reason to inspect and service the alternator prophylactically? Why yes, there certainly is! Easy enough to spin the alternator by hand and feel for bearing grumbles, and listen for bearing noises while/whenever the belt is off. Replacement bearings are amazingly cheap to replace at that point. While you are in there for the bearings, you'll install new brushes, clean and dry the windings and the case, verify the overrunning clutch operation. Is a full remanufactured alternator a better choice? Might be for some. But bearings ALWAYS offer failure symptoms before brushes, so using those symptoms as a flag isn't a bad idea.

Alternators see electrical abuse when they are tasked with charging a tired battery. They also suffer when there are poor connections in that charging loop. Don't abuse the battery by running it down, and you'll have less alternator abuse while recovering it. Keep the connections and cables clean and protected. Test the battery at least annually, and replace it when it shows signs of loss of capacity. On some of the cars, the alternators get new bearings every ten years or 100k, because the likelihood of bearing failure goes up as the grease in the bearings starts to gel. Same grease that's in the belt tensioner rollers, BTW.

Use the knowledge and experience of those who have passed this way before you. Education like that is way cheaper than experience with failures as a teacher. I read posts here from others, evaluate my own car and situation to help decide if I should plan for some PM so whatever happened to you won't happen to me. I do a LOT of PM on the cars here, but very seldom do any real "work" and almost never end up "fixing" anything that's broken. I'm also quite comfortable knowing I jump into any of the cars, newest or oldest, and do a trip to a far corner of the country and back with clubs and luggage, and not worry a lick about the car itself making the trip painlessly. Not the driving part anyway; putting is a separate issue. ;)
 

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Hi guys,

Hoping for some advice and I'll try to be brief. Planning on replacing the timing belt on a 2012 with 103K miles.

1) I am going to buy the Aisin kit (includes Water Pump, Timing Belt, Tensioner, Pulleys, Seal) from Amazon (because of my Amazon credit card reward points). Some guy said not to buy Amazon parts. I don't understand why not, if it's the same part number as the Aisin website. Have you heard any such mumblings?

2) Should I replace the drive/serpentine belt tensioner? I am going to replace the drive belt, but the cheapest mid-grade tensioner is around $60. Is it something that you guys would replace while you're at it? If so, what brand would you use for belt and tensioner?

Thanks in advance!!!

Howdy,
I would replace the parts with genuine Honda parts right from the dealer. Then again, my wife is the one that actually drives the Honda Pilot and I would not want to take a chance on her breaking down and getting upset.
This could lead to having to wash my own clothes and prepare my own meals.
Risk vs reward, I'm going genuine Honda parts only. Engines are also expensive if parts fail.
Good luck, I hope this helps.
K-Lap
 

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I just did this and the most difficult part were the big bolts going into frame for engine mounts...
They were really tight... Maybe I'm a pansy but I couldn't move them with a 2ft breaker bar and the multiple extensions to get that far down into the engine bay. View attachment 163448
View attachment 163447
Not just you. Those suckers were on there on mine too. Got them off obviously but took way more effort than it should have. Also one of them had a lot more rust than I would have guessed considering we are the original owners, its garage kept, and has never seen snow / road salt. In fact that bolt is the only rust I’ve ever seen on the car. I cleaned it up the best I could and put a healthy amount of anti seize going back together.
 

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Hi guys,

Hoping for some advice and I'll try to be brief. Planning on replacing the timing belt on a 2012 with 103K miles.

1) I am going to buy the Aisin kit (includes Water Pump, Timing Belt, Tensioner, Pulleys, Seal) from Amazon (because of my Amazon credit card reward points). Some guy said not to buy Amazon parts. I don't understand why not, if it's the same part number as the Aisin website. Have you heard any such mumblings?

2) Should I replace the drive/serpentine belt tensioner? I am going to replace the drive belt, but the cheapest mid-grade tensioner is around $60. Is it something that you guys would replace while you're at it? If so, what brand would you use for belt and tensioner?

Thanks in advance!!!
I would at least buy it from maybe NAPA, but, prefer factory parts. You are not sure where the amazon vendors get theirs. Too many counterfeits. I used the gates kit with Aisin water pump/tensioner and pulley on my 2011 Pilot EX-L, that I purchased from Napa and it has been 25 kmi since I put that kit on. Then again, it is your choice and your gamble. You can also search the web for Honda dealers that sell on line at a much reasonable price, ie: the Honda 3.1 trans fluid for the ZF 9 speed tranny, the dealer I bought the car from wanted $50, I purchased my fluid from a Honda dealer from South Carolina for $26.50/qt shipped to my door. I have previously purchased from them for genuine Honda accessories
 

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I would at least buy it from maybe NAPA, but, prefer factory parts. You are not sure where the amazon vendors get theirs. Too many counterfeits. I used the gates kit with Aisin water pump/tensioner and pulley on my 2011 Pilot EX-L, that I purchased from Napa and it has been 25 kmi since I put that kit on. Then again, it is your choice and your gamble. You can also search the web for Honda dealers that sell on line at a much reasonable price, ie: the Honda 3.1 trans fluid for the ZF 9 speed tranny, the dealer I bought the car from wanted $50, I purchased my fluid from a Honda dealer from South Carolina for $26.50/qt shipped to my door. I have previously purchased from them for genuine Honda accessories
I’d not use Gates. I didn’t like the quality. Take it for what it’s worth.


The Genuine Aisin timing belt water pump kit (TKH-002) is available on RockAuto.
 

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Look up J series on Wikipedia, in particular I’m talking about this engine J35Y6 that’s in the Honda Pilot. J30AC and the J35Y8 are the only engines that don’t per Wikipedia.
The J35Y6 is only in the 2016+ Pilots, not these.

And like I mentioned before, the engines are still labeled as i-VTEC only because that's the system VCM uses to work. Not because the engine has a VTEC setup. Look at the head of a VCM-1 or VCM-2 engine and you will not see any VTEC setup present. There won't be a solenoid or filter screen in the oil filter housing area either like there are on the VTEC engines.
 

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Well having had a serpentine belt separate unexpectedly with no squealing, shaking, or battery charging issues, I would disagree with that statement based on personal experience. I was prepared with the proper tools to change the belt on the side of the road and get back on the way with just a little grease and dirt on my hands. The tensioner was changed when I got home from the road trip. It was the last time I was ever stranded on the side of the road. Since then my side of the road experience is helping when I can others who are stranded.

Preventative maintenance is not, in my world, a waste as it precludes having issues at unexpected times. As for filling up the land fill, with the amount of metal in a tensioner why would you trash it instead of taking it to be recycled for the metal. It's easier I suppose, but then we don't need water pumps or timing belt tensioners in the landfill either.
You had that happen on a J35 Honda or something else?

Honda shop manual has a section on checking your tensioner and recommends when replacing is needed. Like I said, I have one that lasted 200K miles and could go on, I just stripped the 19mm head on it you use for bleeding and it was getting marginally louder. I am sure it could go on for at least another 50K. Accessory belt tensioner replacement is not listed on any Preventive Maintenance. It's a run-to-failure item.
 

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Discussion Starter · #73 ·
I’ve bought from the Aisin Store on Amazon and received a genuine Aisin kit.
View attachment 163419


This statement isn’t exactly true.
I’ve seen sellers use the Aisin name (minus the TKH-002 part number in the description) by having an Aisin water pump in among their junk parts (minus the TKH-002 part number in the description). They often entice buyers to their kits by adding a serpentine belt and/or cam and crank seals. I’ve also seen sellers use the TKH-002 part number to sell their junk kit (minus the Aisin name).
That is what my kit looks like. The belt is a Mitsubishi belt. I thought it would say Aisin on the belt...I guess not.
 

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Discussion Starter · #74 ·
Do you know if your "Valve Assembly, Spool Front" is leaking onto alternator?

it is often called the "vtec spool valve" on Piloteers,odyclub, mdxers, driveaccord etc.
I have no idea. I just removed the alternator (and spilled a ton of power steering fluid in the process) and popped the new one on. It had a high pitch whine for a while, but that stopped. I had a mechanic install an alternator on my 2002 Civic (because I rounded a bolt out and was sick of working on it). The alternator from Advanced Auto that I supplied him makes the high pitch whine to this day (about 1k miles later). It's not just electrical hum, either. It sounds like bearings. The car runs and that's all I care about at this point. It could die any day.
 

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I have no idea. I just removed the alternator (and spilled a ton of power steering fluid in the process) and popped the new one on. It had a high pitch whine for a while, but that stopped. I had a mechanic install an alternator on my 2002 Civic (because I rounded a bolt out and was sick of working on it). The alternator from Advanced Auto that I supplied him makes the high pitch whine to this day (about 1k miles later). It's not just electrical hum, either. It sounds like bearings. The car runs and that's all I care about at this point. It could die any day.
The spool valve(the oil dipstick goes through this part) is the #1 cause of premature alternator failure.
If yours is leaking and you replace the alternator the oil leak is going to continue to damage the alternator....

If you thought is "it could die any day" and you are fine with that 🤦‍♀️why replace the timing belt? 🤷

I would think the goal would be to make the vehicle as reliable as possible... And if that means fixing an oil leak that is killing your alternators....
 

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That is what my kit looks like. The belt is a Mitsubishi belt. I thought it would say Aisin on the belt...I guess not.
Yes, the Aisin kit has a Mitsuboshi timing belt. They have always performed well. No fears.
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Mitsuboshi has been used as the OE belt for Honda in the past. It is a high quality belt. Note that it is Mitsuboshi, not Mitsubishi. There is a difference.
 
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Mitsuboshi has been used as the OE belt for Honda in the past. It is a high quality belt. Note that it is Mitsuboshi, not Mitsubishi. There is a difference.
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