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2008 Honda Accord EX-L 3.5L V6 Timing Belt Tips:

The Honda Dealer quoted me the following prices for the various parts to do the job:

AC Delco kit TCKWP329 was purchased for $270 from the local parts house, or just less than 200 at RockAuto.com (plus shipping). It included an aftermarket water pump and tensioner, original equipment KOYO bearings for the guide pulley and tensioner pulley, plus an AC Delco timing belt.

The serpentine belt to drive the accessories such as the power steering and air conditioning is purchased separately from the timing belt kit. It was an AC Delco 6K841 belt.


Tips

This is a tip sheet for non-professional mechanics, not a step-by-step guide. This is intended to give you a little more confidence going into the job, save you a little time, answer questions thatmight come up as you complete the job, and more than anything increase your preparedness before starting. It is important to have everything you need to do the job ready to go. Not everything you will need will be in the kit:

• Mega Gray Sealant for the water pump o-ring. This seals casting imperfections. Many people use it when building import motors. It is a kind of a gray silicone like sealant available at most parts houses.


• Special holding tool for the 50mm harmonic balancer. These are readily available on eBay if you search for Honda Harmonic Balancer tool. Mine cost about $28. Don't buy the one with the pre-attached handle. It is better to use the one that hooks into a 1/2" extension or 1/2" breaker bar.


• If you Google this job very much, you will find out getting the harmonic balance bolt loose can be very difficult. I use a 19mm six point QUALITY socket in 3/4" drive size. Most of the time you will need either a 3/4" impact gun, or a 3/4" drive set to break loose the harmonic balancer bolt. I tried an 18" Craftsman 1/2" breaker bar with a cheater, and it was not up to the task. It, along with the extensions necessary to clear the wheel well, flexed too much. The 3/4" drive set did not flex. So with a 3/4" ratchet it quickly came free. Most 3/4" drive sets do not include a little 3/4" socket. They typically start at 1 1/4" and go up from there. When sourcing sockets, make sure after receiving the 50mm internal socket that holds the harmonic balancer, that the 19mm socket will fit inside of it. My particular 50mm internal socket has an inner diameter of 1.60". Gray Pneumatic (GP) makes 3/4" drive impacts that are just under 1.50" OD, and will fit inside the 50mm tool ok. SK impacts no longer fit. They increased the outer diameter size of the deep well to 1.63", making it the same as their shallow. Neither will work. A 3/4" drive ratchet (or breaker bar), extensions long enough to clear the wheel well is handy, OR a 3/4" impact gun. My 1/2" Craftsman pneumatic impact gun (one of the top of the line ones) did not get it free. Not enough power (an electric impact might work better, so I hear). Note that you will still need a 1/2" breaker bar to hold the special holding tool. An 18" long Craftsman will work best for that, because the handle is square on the end. That will engage the tie-rod end where the threads are on the inboard side, allowing it to hold the 50mm tool hands-free when removing. The 50mm the holds the harmonic balancer to prevent the engine from rotating, and the 19mm socket setup breaks the bolt free in the center. I propped up the extensions for the 3/4" drive set with a couple of wheel/tire assemblies and a wood block, then I was able to crank downwards against them to break it free. It can be a one-person job if you have the right stuff. When installing, I put the 18" craftsman breaker bar in the hole in the lower control arm. This held the harmonic balancer when torquing it. I was careful routing the breaker bar with the 50mm tool both times, as it can damage the wire to the brake for the ABS. Once the bolt is loose, no special puller was required to pull the harmonic balancer off the crank. It pulled straight off with a gentle tug of the hands.






• Special Honda blue long-life antifreeze. Go to the Honda Dealer or try an aftermarket import supplier. O'Reilley's special ordered it from one of their import suppliers. It is Beck/Arnley 252-1501U. It is already 50/50. It took nearly 2 gallons. If you are thinking you need to investigate substituting another type, be prepared to be overwhelmed with a ton of information that is inconsistent and unverifiable, with some "experts" changing their opinion over time.


• Excellent set of metric hand tools. 1/4" drive set. 3/8" drive set, both with shallow and deep with a good selection of extensions. 10mm, 12mm, 14mm, 15mm, 17mm, 19mm (3/4) were used quite frequently. Combination wrenches, a set of deep offset box end wrenches, as well as ratcheting wrenches like Gear Wrenches are also handy. I used a 3/8" x 3" wobble extension quite often. I used a 10mm and 12mm universal swivel in 3/8" drive a few times. Determination and patience will substitute for some of this. I used a torque wrench. Some of the torque settings were 9 ft lbs (tensioner), 33 ft. lbs (guide pulley), 47 ft. lbs +60 degrees (harmonic balancer bolt). You will need 2 jack stands to hold the car, plus another to hold up the front of the engine, depending on how you do that.


• Spark plugs must be loosened to allow the engine to turn by hand. If you are going to break them free, I would highly recommend replacing them at the same time. There is only one option, the original manufacturer; NGK. It is an Iridium plug and is very expensive ($10 to 15 each depending on supplier). Do not put anti-seize or lubrication on plated spark plugs such as these. It causes up to 20% overtorquing, which can break the plugs or the cylinder heads. Do not gap the plugs. This will damage them (they are pregapped). Handle them carefully. At 80,000 miles they didn't look worn, however the 3 on the back side near the firewall were somewhat salty looking. I noticed an immediate improvement in smoothness and acceleration so I would think you would want to consider doing them while you have them loose.


• After the balancer comes off, there is a thin sheetmetal washer underneath, called the timing belt guide plate. Make sure you note the direction it installs. It is sort of a guide/retainer for the belt when it goes around the crank. If you install it the flipped over in the wrong direction, your belt will probably be noisy and get chewed up quickly!

• I drained the radiator, but that did not prepare me for the gallon deluge that happens when you pull the water pump from the front of the block. They put an irregular hole near the top center to be able to insert a screwdriver/punch/line up tool to help pull it free. The antifreeze is nastier than regular. It is a little more viscous, sticky, and will give you a mild burning sensation. It does not evaporate quickly. Keep the pets away until you have it thoroughly policed up and sealed in a bottle.

• The aftermarket instructions said I should remove a battery hold down bolt (long J-bolt) to use as a special tool. They instruct you to insert it into a tab near the tensioner, thereby holding it in place during the removal and installation of the belt. I could not understand the usefulness of this operation. I did it, but it seemed like a waste of time. It takes a lot of time to get it threaded in, and a thin metal bracket for the wiring harness must be bent back on the rear cylinder bank. A video I watched showed that during removal of the belt, undo one of the tensioner bolts and simply let it pivot out of the way (keep fingers clear!). I think I will do it that way next time and save the 20 minutes.
• The motor mount comes off in two parts. Support the engine for removal. The first part that bolts to the rubber biscuit will need removed right away. Wait to remove the second chunk, a big knob that goes over the water pump. It has 3 large bolts and covers the water pump. It cannot completely be removed until both cam covers are off, so if you want to save a little time wait until those covers are off. Be sure to install it after the timing belt goes on (since it covers the timing belt), but before the cam covers go back on. Having said that, once you have the water pump on (probably using the Mega Grey sealant), you need to be ready to do the tensioner, idler, and timing belt immediately thereafter. This is because the motor mount knob bolting is common to the water pump. You don't really want to have your sealant set up on you overnight without the only bolts going through the center of the water pump not being installed until the following day.


• I used threadlocker as shown in the following photo for the tensioner pivot bolt, and the bottom motor mount bolt common to the water pump.


• When you put the timing belt on for the first time, there is a good chance you will be off one tooth because the slack was in the wrong spot. Treat that as your learning experience for the rework-put a small chalk mark on a tooth on the belt and one on the offending camshaft pulley, and when you redo it you will know exactly which direction to move it. The marks must be lined up on the crank and the two cams exactly as the instructions show, or it will run rough or damage the engine. I rotated the engine clockwise through 2 revolutions and checked it again.

• The back cam cover has a long tab that must be inserted into the lower front cover. Do not bother screwing in any of the bolts until you are sure you have completely inserted the tab into the slot. When I got it right, it was flush with the block all the way around.

• Getting the accessory serpentine belt on can be difficult. I used a 1/2" breaker bar with long extensions and a socket going out from the wheel well to crank against the tensioner, and braced it against my leg while I wiggled the belt on. The problem is there is not a direct path from the wheel well because of a body flange, so it really helps to have a helper. It would have been better if Honda would have put a little notch there. Also, I placed a wood block underneath the harmonic balancer and a/c compressor, to keep the belt from sagging downwards and preventing me from using that slack when I was trying to pull the belt around the tensioner. I was sure to remove it when I had the belt in place!

• Disconnect the battery while performing all of the work. Support the vehicle and engine thoroughly. Wear eye protection and personal protective equipment. Keep animals away from antifreeze. Be safe.

Comments or questions appreciated.

The maintenance message reminder to do the timing belt service can be reset after the work is complete by using the same method as resetting after an oil-change.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Adding some torque specs from the V6 Service manual:

Cam Cover, timing belt cover bolts: 8.7 ft. lbs
5 qty small water pump bolts: 8.7 ft. lbs
3 qty big water pump bolts common to side engine mount: 33 ft. lbs
2 qty side engine mount bolts (head oriented on top of mount): 40 ft. lbs
1 qty side engine mount bolt (head oriented at front of car): 47 ft. lbs
1 qty ground lug bolt common to side engine mount: 8.7 ft. lbs
1 qty timing belt tensioner pulley pivot on water pump: 19 ft. lbs with Loctite
2 qty timing belt tensioner mounting bolts: 8.7 ft. lbs
1 qty timing belt guide pulley: 33 ft. lbs
1 qty harmonic balancer bolt: 47 ft. lbs +60 degrees

Remember to only rotate the engine clockwise as viewed by looking at the harmonic balancer.

Follow steps in the instruction manual. :wave:
 

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My 2008 V6 Accord almost has 47,000 miles. How often do you have to put a new timing belt on?
 

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You're halfway there. :)
In the owner's manual, it says you should do it at every 60,000 miles if you drive under certain extreme conditions, which I don't. So under normal conditions, are you saying that you only have to do it every 100,000 miles?
 

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Quick question, my car had a horrible rattle, I brought it in at 59k.

Thats my video^^^
I had a previous upper valve body gasket leak, so they were already changing that.
They heard the rattle and determined it was the timing belt.
They took apart the case, and found a damaged tensioner.
They replaced the gasket for the valve body and only the damaged tensioner.
Anyone know if this could have caused the timing belt to wear?
Wondering if I should change my belt in the next 10k, or wait till 100k.
I accelerate heavily constantly but NYC isn't that hot.
I think my mounts will go with my habits sooner ;)
Glad I got it all covered under powertrain though.
Time to throw in my RV6 J Pipe, HiFlo Pre-Cats, and Catback magnaflow ;D
I drove roughly 1k with this rattle, checked my oil constantly and added a 1/4 of a quart when it needed.
 
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How much does dealer charge for what? The whole timing belt job? An arm and a leg. Go to your trusty local mechanic or bite the bullet.
 
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I just checked with the local Honda dealership yesterday, timing belt and water pump change plus fluid is $819 + our 13% sales tax, no other parts such as tensioner, plugs, valve adjustment etc.
 

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Thanks. I think I would like the work to be done by a person who does it two or more times a week plus the work is garrenteed for a certain amount of time. That's my opinion.
 

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I am not sure about the J-series V6 engines, but I know on my old Prelude with the H22A motor, a valve adjustment is also recommended while you are doing the timing belt. Not required, but when I took the valve cover off to check valve clearance at 90k, I was out of spec on some valves. I had my uncle who is a mechanic do it all, but he was in agreement that I have the valves adjusted when I change the belts.

So, anyone know if the J35A has a tendency for the valve to go out of spec much? Should they be checked when doing the belt service too?
 

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I am not looking forward to this at all!! I bought my 08 used with about 60k on it, the people that had it before me appears that took care of it and did the maintence on it regularly- I have my doubts that they did the timing belt on it- 2 things here- how do when my timing belt is about to crap out on me? And secondly I guess I will never know other than looking for documents possibly showing this done- which I haven't found anything yet. I have worked on multiple cars and done mods but I don't think I'm comfortable doing this job myself- I am thinking ill have to bite the bullet on this repair- I drive normally and sometimes accelerate when I feel the need to. I've got 78k now- I don't think I should go much longer ?
 

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You should be quite safe to wait for 100,000 miles or 7 years, whichever come first, or you can be proactive and get it done early, as one of my friend very aptly said:

"You would rather change the timing belt 30,000 miles early than one mile late"

BTW, there is really no easy way to tell if a timing belt is about to fail, you would have to take some covers off before you can even see the timing belt, so unless you have had coolant or oil leak issues which containminated the timing belt, you should be safe to assume Honda's recommendation of 100,000 miles or 7 years.

BTW, I was willing to do the job myself since I've done 3 timing belt changes in the past by myself on Honda/Acura DOHC engines, and bought the parts etc., but at the end could not bust open the crankshaft pully bolt loose with several different 1/2" drive 500 ft/lb pnuematic impact guns, so I took the car and the parts to a friend's shop specializing in Hondas to get this work done, no hassle for me and good value for the labor charges I paid so that I'm not busting up my knuckles and worry about the coolant gushing out when the water pump is removed, plus all the critical alignment of the timing belt and camshafts.
 

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I am not looking forward to this at all!! I bought my 08 used with about 60k on it, the people that had it before me appears that took care of it and did the maintence on it regularly- I have my doubts that they did the timing belt on it- 2 things here- how do when my timing belt is about to crap out on me? And secondly I guess I will never know other than looking for documents possibly showing this done- which I haven't found anything yet. I have worked on multiple cars and done mods but I don't think I'm comfortable doing this job myself- I am thinking ill have to bite the bullet on this repair- I drive normally and sometimes accelerate when I feel the need to. I've got 78k now- I don't think I should go much longer ?

You do not need to change it now. If it makes you feel more comfortable you can change it at 90k, but you really can wait until the 105k recommendation.

Also, there is a code on the MM that will show when its time for a belt change. Our 8th gens have an MM code, B4. It's in the owners manual under the MM chart.

So you can change it at 90k to make you feel comfortable, or wait for the MM code B4 to show, at which time should be around 105k.

I changed the belt on my Prelude twice. The first time I changed it at 80k when the recommendation was 90k. The belt was still in excellent condition, but you would not know it until you took everything apart.

The next time I changed it at 90k.
 

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I am not looking forward to this at all!! I bought my 08 used with about 60k on it, the people that had it before me appears that took care of it and did the maintence on it regularly- I have my doubts that they did the timing belt on it- 2 things here- how do when my timing belt is about to crap out on me? And secondly I guess I will never know other than looking for documents possibly showing this done- which I haven't found anything yet. I have worked on multiple cars and done mods but I don't think I'm comfortable doing this job myself- I am thinking ill have to bite the bullet on this repair- I drive normally and sometimes accelerate when I feel the need to. I've got 78k now- I don't think I should go much longer ?
I am in similar boat but mine has done, but mine is at 67k. So looks like somewhere between 90k-100k is a godo time to change the timing Belt?
 

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Why would they have done the timing belt ?????????? It hasn't called for it yet ?

Steve

I am not looking forward to this at all!! I bought my 08 used with about 60k on it, the people that had it before me appears that took care of it and did the maintence on it regularly- I have my doubts that they did the timing belt on it- 2 things here- how do when my timing belt is about to crap out on me? And secondly I guess I will never know other than looking for documents possibly showing this done- which I haven't found anything yet. I have worked on multiple cars and done mods but I don't think I'm comfortable doing this job myself- I am thinking ill have to bite the bullet on this repair- I drive normally and sometimes accelerate when I feel the need to. I've got 78k now- I don't think I should go much longer ?
 
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