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Discussion Starter #1
Hi guys,

Just thought i'd share with you my overall job of doing the most extensive scheduled maintenance on the X......the infamous timing belt job...!

Well, i'll start ahead telling you this.....the damn crank pulley bolt is EXTREMELY TIGHT....i am telling you....the bolt is the worst tight bolt i had to unbolt in my life, the bolt alone is a project :)

I fabricated myself a retaining tool in order to prevent the hex flanged crank pulley from turning while i was struggling to unscrew the bolt, and suprisingly my tool worked and did not fail.....but unscrewing the damn bolt was quite a challenge.....went throught 2 (6 inches long 1/2 drive straight adapters) they litterally broke while i was fighting to unscrew the heated crank bolt from the pulley.....you can imagine how long and thick was my breaker bar to be able to unscrew that bad boy.....at one time i almost gave up affraid of breaking everything except breaking loose that one...!!!

I finally managed to unscrew the damn thing up....then finally the job was officially started....i will post some pictures of the job here soon.

Right now the job is almost 50% done, everything is almost removed from the vehicle, serpentine belt, both upper covers, the upper half & lower half of the engine mount, the crank pulley, lower covers there too.....BTW you'll end up having to pull up the entire fuse box and stuff in order to get the freaking 3rd engine mount support bolt out of there (and why to get it out of there....?) Simply in order to get the other 3rd bolt out from the lower half engine mount.....like they say....it is freakinly badly designed....!!!

All there is left to remove is the hydraulic bender, the idler wheels, and the water pump....it is so bad doing this job that i preferred purchasing the whole Acura maintenance kit from Acura of Peoria here, and ending up swaping every single part including the water pump also, YOU DO NOT WANT TO REDO THE JOB in 3 months for any water pump....change it at the same time...! :)

Today, i will begin to re-assemble all the parts and will take more pictures of the process.

BTW: The damn Acura Service manual....like every other Honda manual, it is missing some clues out there.....they do not talk about the need to remove the fuse box and stuff.....and there is simply no way out other than this....! (If so explain it to me....!)

:) CIAO boys....i am back to my shop for today...! :)
 

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A word of caution....

When you get things back together, and before you close it all up, be sure to MANUALLY turn the engine over a couple of times to ensure that nothing slips and it all stays together. This is per the maintenance manual. My dealer didn't do this when doing a warranty water pump replacement and when he attempted to start the car, after it was all buttoned up, the timing belt slipped and a piston hit a valve. Keep us posted on how things go but you are braver than a lot of us. GOOD LUCK!!!
 

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Sounds like something I won't attempt. What mileage are you doing this at?
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Hi guys, everything went fine....!!! I have many engine rebuilds under my belt, my personnal shop, and many years in racing history too, so i wouldn't dare calling me a pro (we all still have to learn including myself for sure) but still....i am quite handy for many project, this one was obviously a very good one, i would rate this a 8.5/10 just before what i really call a P.I.T.A. project.....still enough to make you spell some sacred church language though...! :)

Effectively like the manual stated, i turned the engine manually 5-6 times manually with a 1/2 drive breaker bar on the crank bolt, bu ti didn't even dare doing it once re-assembled.....instead i did this before re-bolting each and every cover, plus i did reposition the engine on it's timing marks on the crank and did double check each camshaft gear on top, everything was on it's mark and perfect.

The 'X' is back to it's operating condition, everything is changed in & out these covers. I am looking to post you pictures right now, but wanted to let you know that everything went fine.

The actual mileage the 'X' had prior to this was 112 000 Km, the manual states 160 000Km , but 100 000 Km for heavy duty conditions (like Canada where the temperatures varies from low -30 to high +30)
BTW....at 112 000 KM (70 000 miles) everything was still looking brand new, the idler wheels bearings, the water pump, the timing belt, and the serpentine belt too for the accessories, so based on this....i think the 160 000 Km mark is really reasonable (100 000 miles) but still.....i wanted to be better safe than sound, that's why i did it. Now i can rest in peace....it is done, and honestly....quite a job to do, no wonder here they are charging 1K $ to do this job....i think it is worth it if you are not handy at all with tools and with decent knowledge of mechanics too.

A BIG THANKS TO: Acura of Peoria (Tim) all the parts you sold me went right there, nothing missing, and everything brand new & genuine Honda like i wished for, no cheap low-cost parts that could ruin my engine.

Thanks.....! :)
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Day one, brand new lubricants...

Like stated here, this was the day one of my personnal maintenance schedule....all new lubricants, new air filter, new oil filter, Castrol Syntec full synthetic oil, new Acura ATF-Z1 oil in tranny, rear diff, and 80W90 in transfer case, injector cleaner in the fuel tank, plus (not shown here) a new air cabin filter too at the same time.

One pic for the fun of it:

 

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Discussion Starter #6
Day two....timing belt+ job pics.

And finally those pictures of my last 10 hours project....

Aview of the engine bay before....you have to be either crazy or passioned about your vehicle to jump on this kind of project, see the crowded engine bay layout here....



Some parts needed for the all around job...


My crazy 'home-made Acura tools' they look awful, but they really do the job, and are proven fail-free...! After this job they deserved a fresh coat of grey primer...! :)

Super Duper Honda Breaker = The tool i fabricated to hold the hex inner shaped crank pulley, you block it from turning with this, while you pass your 1/2 drive tools via the hole made there...! :)

Super Honda Duper Bender =The tool you need to pry on the belt auto tensionner in order to break the belt loose...!

I know....they look fuzzy, but they damn do the job...





Ok, now that the 'Ugly and Fuzzy' tools are behind let's get to work...



A shot of the engine upper shot, while everything is being removed in order to get to those nasty upper and lower engine mounts...





And then....the view of the 'missing upper and lower engine mounts...damn those engineers did piss me off...!!! :(




And from the lower side of the wheel well, just inside of the right passenger front wheel, here is what you would see, without the serpentine belt, the upper and lower plastic timing belt covers....and for sure the damn engine mount, basically it looks like that from under....




You can see both of the idler wheels, the hydraulic timing belt binder, the pulley from the water pump, and of course the timing belt itself around all of that.

Then you remove all of the above parts....here you can see both the upper+lower engine mounts, the rubber mounting support, both idler whee;ls and bearings, and also the hydraulic timing belt binder, the only thing remaining to remove is the belt itself, plus the water pump.




A view of the same engine, without all of the above....you can see where the water pump lies on the engine block housing.





The blueish droplets of liquid there, is the antifreeze coolant that is blue in my 07 'X'. Her is a shot of both the old and the new water pump prior to install.





And here is a shot of all the components back in place and torqued to the right specs, you can see the new water pump, new hydraulic binder, new bearings & idler wheels, and of course the new timing belt too.





An upper shot of the whole thing, this is the exact moment where i choosed to turn manually the engine few times just to see if the timing was right....the manual says to re-assemble everything prior to test....Nahhhhh not for me....i preferred to test it right away in case i had to restart again from scratch, everything was lining up perfectly, then only i continued to re-assemble the lower and upper covers and all the stuff inclufding the engine mounts and support.





I spare you the re-assembly of all the rest of the stuff, but this is what it looks like once put together...i also added a touch of rust proofing lithium white grease under the fuse box and in the corner there while i had it pulled up, here is a shot...




No worries to any Acura dealer out these....absolutely no chances that i am going to do some of these jobs around here....to much P.I.T.A. i leave this all out to you guys...! :)

Never had the chance to break 2 of these 1/2 drive tools before, damn that crank pulley is hard to unscrew....it just make no sense at all having this so much torqued like that...




I leave you all folks with the final words, or should i say....final logo, here it is...! :) CIAO guys...i'm done for tonight...! :)




Good luck if you try this out....it is indeed a good job to tackle...! :)
 

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I know what you mean about the engine bolt. I did a belt on an Acura 2.5 inline 5 cyl engine and getting the bolt off was the hardest part. What made it worse is that the pri## dealer near me would not order the pulley holder for me. He said if he did that no one would bring the car in for service. The holder is also different than all other Honda/Acuras. The standard Honda tool is common and cheap. I ended up breaking the pulley, a very expensive mistake, but finally got the bolt out with a long breaker bar.

112k kms seems an awfully short time interval. I would not do it before 100k miles on my car. I've done a few belts on various cars and never did one before 100k. In most instances the belt was still in what looked to be great condition. No missing teeth and no signs of major cracks. Same thing for the water pumps, all were tight and leak free. But once I had done all the work to get the parts out there is no way I was not going to change out the parts. I also used brand name replacement parts, not Honda. IIRC, I used a Gates belt for the timing belt with no issues.

All of your pics are the same shot of the engine bay.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks...!

I know, i had an error with the uploading of the pics, this was corrected, now you have all the good pics. YEAH....Never in my life i once broken those type of 1/2 drive extensions......but i didn't had any one single very long unit, so having many extensions one after the other might have contributed to this type of breakage, since each and every one of them was stressed to the max.....but anyway...it is done now.

As for the tools i made, well....they certainly look awful, but it is not the tools that make the mechanic....it is the way you are able to work with them hey....? :)

I Know, i never once understood why Honda is torquing so badly their crank pulley bolt....i have done few timing jobs on Honda's (CRV, CIVIC, ACCORD before they were timing chain, and then this Acura MDX) and i am telling you....all of these were P.I.T.A. to get the bolt out of there.

As for the why to be doing this at 112 000Km...? This is simple in the service manual it is stated so for Canada weather condition, but honestly at this low mileage mark....the parts were all perfect, so i think that the parts could have lasted very easily to the 160 000Km mark, but hey....it is done now.

I was not to do the job and keep the new water pump on the shelf here....once everything was removed....i choosed to go for it and put everything new....this is not a Ford Escort, since the engine on this may be worth much more than that, no cheap thoughts of leaving used parts in there....everything was changed, then you simply forget it after.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
The only thing that i hate thinking of, is that computer that is going to give some maintenance codes, and that just to clear these i will have to go to an Acura Dealer.....that is some really sh**ty way of using electronics...i could have dealt without that for sure.

I mean...electronics in a car can be definitely good, but having to drive to the dealer only to reset codes (and probably will have to pay for that) that is really a lame use of the electronics in my opinion.

BTW: Is there a code reader on the market that will RESET those maintenance codes...??? If so i will definitely invest my $$$ on this tool.
 

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The only thing that i hate thinking of, is that computer that is going to give some maintenance codes, and that just to clear these i will have to go to an Acura Dealer.....that is some really sh**ty way of using electronics...i could have dealt without that for sure.

I mean...electronics in a car can be definitely good, but having to drive to the dealer only to reset codes (and probably will have to pay for that) that is really a lame use of the electronics in my opinion.

BTW: Is there a code reader on the market that will RESET those maintenance codes...??? If so i will definitely invest my $$$ on this tool.
Maintenance codes can be reset via the procedure in the owners manual under the maintenance minder section.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Thanks guys, i will give it a good reading tonight, just for when these codes pop up. That's at least one good news....! :)

Drove the 'X' today for about 60 miles, everything is fine no troubles what so ever.
 

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Nice job with the pictures. I always say I will do that when I do some major repair, but I never get around to it since I am usually under the car cursing or up to my elbows in grease and dirt. It's really a two person job. Your tools look fine. Better than any tool I ever improvised. Now that I see your tools, I'm pretty sure the pulley holder you made is easily purchased from mutiple vendors. Prices start at $30 and go up. You are right in turning the engine over before you assemble all the other parts. I've done a motor with 110k miles where the belt and pump looked new, but we still changed them. It makes no sense to not put in all the new parts after doing all that work. I've never broken a tool loosening a crank pulley bolt. I did break my breaker bar trying to loose the axle nut on my inlaws 2.5 TL. I want to know which clever Honda engineer thought it was a good idea to put a brake rotor behind the hub so that you can't easily change it out? :( :( :( I'm just glad they got rid of that car as it cause me many headaches.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Thanks to both of you guys, Tim and ADR5.

BTW Tim.....yesterday morning i received the parts ordered from you AND AGAIN....everything was fine, very good parts at a good price, and delivered without any issue. I did get the Acura Car Care kit too, thanks...! Not that my X was so terrible....it is just that i am a maniac when it comes to my vehicles maintenance and ride quality....i like them perfect even when they get older....!

So yesterday evening i started tearing appart suspension parts i wanted to change on the X, both of the sway bar to frame bushings, and also both of the swaybar end-link kits....the mounting nuts of the old end links were terrible to remove, so i ended up putting a hand on my 90 degree angle gringer+1 cutting wheel, and basically cut-out all the nuts out of the old links, then i did re-install the new links+nuts, and did replace the bushings too.

I MUST SAY THIS: The 2007 'X' now rides like a champ.....no clunks, no noise in the front suspension as i hit bumps, and EVEN A BONUS....the steering response have been greatly increased, the rides now have a much better handling than before....it's terrible to see how quickly rubber bushings get wasted on bad roads....anyway, everything except the new spark plugs (which i will install later one as i get to the needed mileage) but everything was fine....and i really appreciate the results...! :)

Thanks again Tim...! :)
 

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I know what you mean about the engine bolt. I did a belt on an Acura 2.5 inline 5 cyl engine and getting the bolt off was the hardest part. What made it worse is that the pri## dealer near me would not order the pulley holder for me. He said if he did that no one would bring the car in for service. The holder is also different than all other Honda/Acuras. The standard Honda tool is common and cheap. I ended up breaking the pulley, a very expensive mistake, but finally got the bolt out with a long breaker bar.

112k kms seems an awfully short time interval. I would not do it before 100k miles on my car. I've done a few belts on various cars and never did one before 100k. In most instances the belt was still in what looked to be great condition. No missing teeth and no signs of major cracks. Same thing for the water pumps, all were tight and leak free. But once I had done all the work to get the parts out there is no way I was not going to change out the parts. I also used brand name replacement parts, not Honda. IIRC, I used a Gates belt for the timing belt with no issues.

All of your pics are the same shot of the engine bay.
I've always bumped the starter to remove stubborn crank bolts. From what you guys are saying, that would NOT be a good idea on this car. Liable to break the starter and/or flywheel?
 

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Thanks for the excellent record and pics. I'll probably do this job for next spring on my 2003 MDX, currenlty at 95K miles.

I also have battled several difficult crankshaft pulley/harmonic balancer bolts on Honda Accords and an Acura 2.5TL. There is no absolute best way to get the bolt loose. I also have broken parts trying various schemes.

There is a good video on Youtube from Dave of davesfarm about heating the bolt head w/ an acetylene torch to expand the bolt longitudinally. He claims that friction of washer to pulley is what's causing the high breakout torque. Not having a torch, I can't say whether he's right, but logic sounds good.

I like to try the manual breakout method, but if tools fail a good air impact can sometimes work where manual tools fail. I have an Ingersol Rand 1/2" air impact (600+ ft-lbs torque) that also has worked well on occasion.

A good quality breaker bar and cheater pipe are essential to generate enough torque manually. I've broken one "harbor freight quality" breaker bar on one of these bolts.

Regards
 
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