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I recently hit 100K miles on my 2011 Pilot and got the A4 maintenance reminder, so I changed my timing belt this past weekend, along with pulleys, timing belt tensioner, new water pump, new passenger side engine mount, new coolant of course, new power steering fluid, and also new spark plugs. I've seen some pictures of 100K mile spark plugs that looked pretty horrible, considering the oil issues that VCM causes, however to my surprise my plugs didn't look too bad.



These plugs are positioned the same way they were in the engine, looking at the engine bay from standing in front of the car. Cylinders 1, 2, and 3 in the back have dark threads but that's about it, maybe a bit more oil buildup on 1-4 than the rest but not much. The insulators on all the plugs look surprisingly good to me - most of the photos I've seen show signs of moderate oil fouling, but these look OK to me.

I had a PCM update shortly after I bought my car, which allegedly addressed some of the early VCM issues. I wonder if this has anything to do with it, or if it's more to do with my driving style. I frequently drive short trips with lots of stop and go traffic (resulting in lousy MPG) where VCM never really disables cylinders for any long period. It's constantly cycling.

My oil consumption has been all over the place too; in the 100k+ miles I've owned the car I've seen the car a quart low after 5000 miles, then other times the level hasn't dropped at all. There doesn't seem to be any pattern. I'm not sure if it's related to the condition of the plugs or any possible oil consumption concerns, but I have mostly used synthetic Pennzoil Platinum 5w-30 since I bought it new, except for two oil changes done by the dealer where they the Honda 5w-20 synthetic blend, and three or four times I used Mobil 1 5w-30 and Castrol Edge 5w-30.

I did have to replace the front and passenger side engine mounts. The active front mount wasn't too bad but I had the new one so I installed it. The passenger side mount was torn, with most of the rubber ripped. I noticed this when I saw the fluid from inside leaking out a while ago. Replacing this solved the harsh downshift and the jerking/clunking when shifting between park-drive-reverse. Because of how trashed these mounts were, I went ahead and disabled VCM using a harness I made myself.
 

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Pretty much everything you said caught my attention. My 2011 Pilot just recently hit the 100,000 mile mark. I plan on doing the timing belt and water pump stuff some time next week. I am curious what it cost you to have all of that done (a breakdown would be nice). Secondly, I am also curious how expensive/time consuming it was to replace the mounts. Thirdly, what specific parts did you get to disable VCM, and where did you get them? I've seen enough discussion on here to convince me to disable VCM. It's just another point of failure.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Pretty much everything you said caught my attention. My 2011 Pilot just recently hit the 100,000 mile mark. I plan on doing the timing belt and water pump stuff some time next week. I am curious what it cost you to have all of that done (a breakdown would be nice). Secondly, I am also curious how expensive/time consuming it was to replace the mounts. Thirdly, what specific parts did you get to disable VCM, and where did you get them? I've seen enough discussion on here to convince me to disable VCM. It's just another point of failure.
I bought the timing belt kit for around $170 shipped from Rock Auto. If you buy from Amazon, make sure you're buying directly from Amazon.com as the seller as you're taking a chance with possible counterfeit parts or old stock when buying from a third party seller. I've had a lot of bad luck with Amazon auto parts even when shipped and sold directly by Amazon so I didn't want to take any chance. The front engine mount was $70 (Anchor brand) from Rock Auto. The Honda mount was $375 so I'm taking a chance with the cheap part. The side engine mount was an OEM Honda part for $45, purchased from Honda Parts Unlimited, where I also bought the genuine coolant and power steering fluid, and new OEM bolts for the timing belt tensioner and pulleys.

I replaced my front engine mount a few weeks before I did the timing belt. You have to remove the radiator to do it, so you'll be draining the coolant anyway. I could have done it at the same time as the timing belt/water pump replacement to save a gallon of coolant, but I decided to break the job up to save time. Replacing the front mount took about 4 hours. If I had to do it again I could do it in under 2 hours. The hardest part was re-installing the 10mm bolts that hold the fans to the bottom of the radiator. After I replaced the front mount the engine still had some movement when putting the car in gear, and some slight clunking when switching between Drive and Reverse.

The passenger side mount is easy. That gets removed when you're replacing the timing belt so I wouldn't do that separately. I couldn't tell if my front mount was shot, but the passenger side mount was definitely shot. The rubber was cracked almost completely around. After replacing this mount, the engine movement was gone, and no more clunking when changing from reverse to drive or drive to reverse.

For the VCM, I bought the individual components from a kit and installed a variable resistor identical to the one provided in the VCM Tuner. While these resistor based designs work to trick the car into thinking the coolant temperature is too low to enable VCM, I'm reading some contradicting information as to whether you'll still get an indication when the car is overheating. Other designs like the S-VCM controller use some 'smart' logic (not sure if it's a microcontroller or an analog circuit) which provides variable resistance depending on the actual coolant temperature.
 

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Here is my writeup on the timing belt for my 2011 Pilot: https://www.piloteers.org/threads/m...acement-2011-honda-pilot.163105/#post-1612209

Use the starter trick to remove the crank pulley. Nothing is faster or easier, unless you have a REALLY high torque impact and the special heavyweight socket.

I replaced all the bolts that have a record of breaking, with OEM bolts. They are cheap.

$164.00 - Aisin TKH002 from Rock Auto
$ 22.00 - Bando 6PK2135 Belt from Amazon (B000CMCNJC)
$ 8.42 - Bolt Timing Belt Adjuster (4513-RCA-A01) OEM
$ 6.50 - Bolt Timing Belt Idler (14551-RCA-A01) OEM
$ 2.70 - QTY (2) Bolt Flange (6X30) for tensioner (95801-06030-07) OEM
 
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