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Discussion Starter #1
Finally got around to doing TB job on wife's MDX. I've done a few in the past on other cars so went to tackle it without any manuals. :eek:

Main hangup was not knowing how many bolts were holding things on since it was a transverse setup with no good view to the side of the engine.

Pics in case others can't seem to get one of the covers off showing all the bolt holes.


Other is the fact that the car has lived in upper Michigan for 7 years. Biggest frozen bolts were Crank pulley bolt and engine mount bolts.

Tips for those that are looking to tackle it:
1.) Take it to a Mechanic to have them loosen the crank pulley bolt FIRST. I've always been able to get previous crank pulley bolts off with my Ingersol Rand Impact gun but this time, it has finally failed me.

I thought maybe my impact gun was worn out since it was 6 years old so I bought a 800lb tq gun and it still didn't do the trick. I bought the crank pulley tool to hold it but didn't have enought leverage with the breaker bar to make any dent in it.

Having limited daylight time these days, I decided to do the starter method since the MDX engine rotates clockwise. Got a breaker bar and snugged it up to the lower control arm. Gave a quick turn on the ignition once. Did it again and voila, it came right off. Yes there are differing opinions on doing this but I feel this is the best way as long as you do it in very short spurts.

2.) After you're confident that you can get the pulley bolt off, drain the coolant NEXT. Because once you place a jack underneath the oil pan to hold the side of the motor up, it will get in the way of draining the coolant and you will not be able to place a pan directly underneath it.

3.) Definitely make it easier on yourself and move both the PS resorvoir and Coolant catch tank out of the way towards the driver's side. At the same time you'll want to remove the PS pump(only 2 bolts) but also make sure you unbolt the bracket holding on the hoses towards to back to make it more flexible to maneuver. I initially tried to do it with this in place and later found out I should've removed it right from the beginning.

4.) When aligning the timing initially, it helps if you mark the lines on the cam sprockets with a fine red sharpie pen which makes it easier to keep an eye on in case you have to realign it for any reason. I could barely see mine from all the corrosion. YMMV

5.) It helps to have some socket extensions and also 1/2" breaker bar and ratchet for the motormount bolts, especially if they are severely corroded like mine was. Mine was fused by rust to the chassis. There were times I literally felt like I was gonna snap the bolt in turning it with a long breaker bar.



6.) Remember the order of installation and make sure you install the side engine mount bracket BEFORE you put the bottom timing cover on. Yes it can be common sense but might not be so obvious if you're not paying attention.

7.) You may need another helper if you're doing it in colder weather as the new Serpentine belt won't be as flexible and you may need another person to hold the slack from the top while you route it underneath.

Other than that, I'm glad I don't have to worry about it for another 100k.
 

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Crank pulley bolt is a major problem. I also have an IR impact which was not up to the task until I heated the bolt head w/ propane torch for about 5 mins. It spun right off afterwards.

Restraint tool and breaker bar will work if you have a cheater pipe to add leverage. See youtube videos on bracing the assy on a jack stand.

Mercifully we don't have the corrosion issues to deal w/ in TX. Bolts can be readily accessed w/ ratchet and extensions. One inside/under the motor mount is trickly but reachable w/ ratchet/socket.

good luck
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I haven't looked into cracking the motor mount bolts.
Do you have a direct line of site to them, or do you need to remove some other parts, 1st?
The two lower ones are direct line of site. The third one in the middle that sits higher requires you to move the plastic box above it which is held on by two 10mm bolts on either side.

Man, TX, CA, GA, etc... cars are super easy to work on.

My past cars have been from TX, GA, SC so I was used to being super spoiled in regards to frozen bolts and corrosion. ;)
 

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Great write-up and tips. thanks! I'll probably attempt mine next year, I'll make sure to read this again before I get started.

One comment though on this point:
... 5.) It helps to have some socket extensions and also 1/2" breaker bar and ratchet for the motormount bolts, especially if they are severely corroded like mine was. Mine was fused by rust to the chassis. There were times I literally felt like I was gonna snap the bolt in turning it with a long breaker bar.
I don't use breaker bars anymore. I've found if the fastener is really rusted on, you have a good chance of twisting the head right off them with a long breaker bar and brute force

Now I use the longest wrench I have and maybe a pipe slipped on over it but instead of applying prolonged force to it, I just hit the tool ... first with my hand, if that doesn't work I go up to my 21 oz carpentry hammer, and if that doesn't work I break out my 3 lb mini sledge. I've found that short, sharp impacts usually break the bolt free instead of shearing off the head. That's my 0.02 ...
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I've found that short, sharp impacts usually break the bolt free instead of shearing off the head. That's my 0.02 ...
This has been my experience as well. If you have an impact gun, you're best bet is to use this along with the 1/2 extension bar to reach the engine mount bolts. Why I didn't , I don't know as I could've easily done that.

After really man handling the engine mount bolts with the breaker bar with slow and strong twists, I gotta say that those bolts are at least grade 8 and there is a minimal chance in this case at least of the heads shearing off IMO.

In my case, breaking the bolt free was only the first obstacle. It simple was way too rusted and threads corroded where it would spin freely. I felt every turn I did required 120lb ft or more of torque until like the 20th turn. LOL.
 

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what is the torque spec for the crank pulley and can you find a torque wrench strong enough to put it back on? thanks.
 

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what is the torque spec for the crank pulley and can you find a torque wrench strong enough to put it back on? thanks.
It's a two step process, tighten to 47 ft-lbs, then turn an additional 60 degrees to finish which will likely exceed 200 ft-lbs but can be accomplished w/o a torque wrench. A breaker bar and cheater pipe are best tools.

Bolt threads and washer/bolt head surface should be lubed w/ oil.

good luck
 

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Discussion Starter #9
It's a two step process, tighten to 47 ft-lbs, then turn an additional 60 degrees to finish which will likely exceed 200 ft-lbs but can be accomplished w/o a torque wrench. A breaker bar and cheater pipe are best tools.

Bolt threads and washer/bolt head surface should be lubed w/ oil.

good luck
Yeah I read a mix of different figures but they're all around 200 ft/lbs. I recall one of them being 185lbs but either way, this is a clockwise motor so you shouldn't run into any issues.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
What's the DIY cost? My MDX is at 120k and I'm pretty sure the timing belt has never been replaced. Guess I better do it soon.
If you get the famous Aisin "kit" (wp, pulley, tensioner, tb) that most get, you're going to be around $250 including coolant and serpentine belt(Gates - OEM manufacturer).

Don't you get nervous at 120k? LOL. I was a bit nervous letting it go for 2k over, however I gotta say on my car at least, all the components I took off still seemed to be in real good condition.
 

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Nervous? I did mine at 139k ;)

It has plenty to go to be honest. Pump looked clean, as did the coolant passages. If I scraped the gasket off you wouldn't be able to tell it between the new one.

Belt was clean as well, no cracks or stress marks.
 

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Nervous? I did mine at 139k ;)

It has plenty to go to be honest. Pump looked clean, as did the coolant passages. If I scraped the gasket off you wouldn't be able to tell it between the new one.

Belt was clean as well, no cracks or stress marks.
Wow I'm at ease now. Were at 80k now so even 100k is a couple of years away at our current mi.
 
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