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Discussion Starter #1
2003 Honda pilot. I just finished up the timing belt/water pump change today. It was a gates kit. I followed all of the steps and marked the old belt while it was still on. Lined the new belt up perfectly and buttoned everything back up, torqued to spec. Everything went great for the first 4-5 miles.

A block from my house it started surging/limping and had no power. I pulled into my driveway and stepped out. I could hear it idling and could hear what sounded like rattling/ticking from the back of the engine.

I'm not sure what could have happened. I know that I did everything correctly through and through. The tensioner and all the pulleys are new.

Things do not sound good, no check engine light, but i'm quite concerned.
 

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Did you manually rotate the engine over twice and recheck the 3 timing marks before you put everything back?

Sent from my SM-N950U using Tapatalk
 

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First of all, count your blessings. There is no tragedy until the belt breaks and your interference engine is toast. Major PITA? Yes!


So, 3 teeth on both cams? Was there any particular event after which the problem started?


BTW, what were the steps that you followed? Instructions on the kit? Or Honda shop manual?



Without knowing more, it sounds like the only thing that could have gone wrong is that the tension is insufficient (belt might still seem tight). Hard to determine a reason for that. The gates kits are the least reliable of the major kits available (OEM, Aisin), but I wouldn't expect a failure after 5 miles unless there was a clear manufacturing defect.
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
I always thought that Gates Kits were good quality?

1:YouTube
2: YouTube

These are the two videos I Followed

I attached two pictures of what everything looked like when I took the covers off.

I had to use a vice to recompress the tensioner.

it was rattling a bit before I shut it off, which has me worried. It was running for maybe 30 seconds total after I noticed something was up, with no noise, an when I went to start it this morning to move it, it was rattling and vibrating.
 

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Did you reuse the old tensioner? Compress it in a vise and reuse? It is possible to rupture the internal seal if you recompress too quickly. Then you now have a weak tensioner. Belt skips a tooth.
 

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Except the water pump. Go with Aisin instead. May not necessarily be your issue, but while you're in there you may as well head this problem off at the pass.

https://www.piloteers.org/forums/18-maintenance/81369-psa-dont-buy-gates-water-pumps.html?highlight=psa+gates
I've done Gates timing belt / water pump kits on at least 4 vehicles and they all seem to be high quality. I've never had a problem. I did a Gates kit on my Pilot as well around 175k and no problems.
 

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I had to use a vice to recompress the tensioner.

Whoah! Timeout!

I thought you said you used a new tensioner from the kit? For a 2003, with I don't know how many miles on it, you definitely need a new tensioner. And you may have done even more damage to the old one by compressing it yourself. See what STMech said.
 

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Whoah! Timeout!

I thought you said you used a new tensioner from the kit? For a 2003, with I don't know how many miles on it, you definitely need a new tensioner. And you may have done even more damage to the old one by compressing it yourself. See what STMech said.
Yeah, I'm confused. The new tensioner will have a pin that you pull out after you install it. An old tensioner wouldn't have this pin. So, to clarify the process:
you pulled the old tensioner,
compressed it with a vice,
installed a pin to keep it compressed,
installed it back on the engine,
installed the belt,
pulled the pin.

yes?
 

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Discussion Starter #14

Whoah! Timeout!

I thought you said you used a new tensioner from the kit? For a 2003, with I don't know how many miles on it, you definitely need a new tensioner. And you may have done even more damage to the old one by compressing it yourself. See what STMech said.
I did replace the tensioner. I took the new one off and bought an even newer one though, just in case.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Yeah, I'm confused. The new tensioner will have a pin that you pull out after you install it. An old tensioner wouldn't have this pin. So, to clarify the process:
you pulled the old tensioner,
compressed it with a vice,
installed a pin to keep it compressed,
installed it back on the engine,
installed the belt,
pulled the pin.

yes?
Round one = New tensioner
Round two = New tensioner recompressed

Car started and ran without any noticeable issues but the new belt seemed loose

Bought another new tensioner and belt just in case it was damaged when it slipped

Install everything - Belt still seems a bit too loose for my liking.

Remove everything again (very slowly recompress the newest tensioner I bought)

Instal everything again: turn engine over, everything seems tight. I need to get a new washer that fit

Need to buy a new timing belt guide plate as the old one seems warped.
 

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Instal everything again: turn engine over, everything seems tight. I need to get a new washer that fit

Need to buy a new timing belt guide plate as the old one seems warped.
What "washer" are you referring to?


The timing belt guide plate, is this the round "washer" that goes on the crankshaft? If so, it most be installed correctly, tapered end AWAY from the timing belt. Otherwise it'll chew up the edge of the belt as it rotates.

Also, there is a timing belt idler pulley above and to the right of the crankshaft. This pulley rotates counter clockwise and you MUST put locktite on the threads of the bolt. Otherwise it will eventually loosen itself and fall off.
 

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I've done Gates timing belt / water pump kits on at least 4 vehicles and they all seem to be high quality. I've never had a problem. I did a Gates kit on my Pilot as well around 175k and no problems.
I wasn't so lucky as my Gates "Made in China" WP had to replaced around the 40,000 mile mark and it had been making noise the first couple of minutes after start-up for several months before I decided to yank it out of the vehicle.

I replaced it with a Aisin WP and the grinding noise at start-up immediately disappeared. A Gates representative told me they've upgraded the seals on their WP's but I'm not willing to take that chance again. I have a NPW WP in my '98 CRV which has given me zero problems after 80,000 miles and it's Made in Japan. From now on it's OEM, Aisin or NPW for me.
 

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The only thing i can think of that would cause a noise that sounds like an internal engine noise is the tensioner has failed causing the tensioner to " slap " against the tensioner pulley mechanism.

But if you had to use a vice to push back the new tensioner that means it has sufficient tension.


I once forgot to tighten one of the timing cover bolts at the crank pulley resulting in the bolt rubbing against the crank with a crazy noise during engine running.

I would go back and recheck all of your bolts and make sure there isn't something you forgot to tighten, if you haven't done this job a thousand times you may have left something loose resulting in the noise
 

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Discussion Starter #20
I ended up having the same problem every time I redid it. The belt would become loose after running for a minute or two. I ended up having it towed to the shop. Both of the tensioners that I used from gates were "made in china" and were not consistently holding tension. The shop put on a Japanese made tensioner and everything stayed as it should.

They told me that even though the car runs fine now, that there is a chance a valve could be slightly bent. It may take time for it to start to leak and a problem to present itself, but to not count on everything being ok just yet.
 
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