Honda Civic/Accord Timing Belt vs Chain?

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maverickfhs

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Originally Posted By: UncleDave
Originally Posted By: maverickfhs
Originally Posted By: UncleDave
Chain is almost always lower cost. Startup rattle is very easy to hear and it occurs during the first cold start of a day when there is chain and tensioner wear and the hydraulically actuated tensioners are bled down and need to come up to pressure to remove slack. Some better tensioners (like 3.5 ecoboost ones) have a ratchet type mechanism that locks once a tooth is used up that makes chain slap a non issue - until youve used up all the teeth. Its a very pronounced sound and once you've heard it you'll know it forever and be able to pick it out in any vehicle.
Thanks UD, very clear and helpful explanation. Can you please point me to a youtube video where I can actually hear it? Just for my own learning and knowledge sake. Thanks again.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SR7tyh5FJu8 Here an ecoboost exhibiting the problem sound - pre fix. UD
Thanks UD, that's a very very loud and obvious rattling, like something is grinding! Does it mean tensioner is toast? Chain has skipped or anything else is broken?
 
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My Infiniti has a chain while the 2 Hondas have belts. Like others said, tensioners and guides will wear out before the chain itself. As long as the oil isn't run low/dirty, a chain should last many hundreds of thousands of miles. Belt replacement on 4-cyl Hondas is cheaper versus the 6-cyl. Not looking forward to spending $1K+ for the job on my Pilot when the time comes.
 
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maverickfhs

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Originally Posted By: Miller88
Until a shop charges you $1000 to change the timing belt. The only purpose they serve is cheaper to manufacture engines.
Yeah we have done that on my brother 03 Civic a few times, crank pulley bolt is a beast. Lol Otherwise, it's no biggie, just a day job!
 
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In general, timing chains are cheaper to own, but that's if and only if they're designed right. If you have an engine with a chain that lasts forever, then you have no worries. If you have an engine where the chain or a tensioner or guide has failed, you have a very expensive repair. Because chains are not intended to be serviced, they're often buried deep within the engine and sometimes not expected to be serviced in the vehicle. In comparison, a timing belt is designed to be serviced and access is generally pretty easy. I used to prefer chains. After doing two timing belts myself on my two signature vehicles, I've moved from a strong preference to chains to essentially no preference either way. I think both systems have offsetting pros and cons. I see chains as trading a known for an unknown. With a belt, you know you have a set maintenance interval coming up. You can plan for it, you know the job is relatively straight forward, etc. With a chain, you hope you get lucky. Most chain systems are pretty good. Some are not. Especially with a new engine design, it's a bit of a roll of the dice. It's hard to mess up a timing belt design. It's much harder to get a timing chain right, especially a more complex system on a DOHC V or H engine.
 

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Originally Posted By: maverickfhs
Originally Posted By: UncleDave
Originally Posted By: maverickfhs
Originally Posted By: UncleDave
Chain is almost always lower cost. Startup rattle is very easy to hear and it occurs during the first cold start of a day when there is chain and tensioner wear and the hydraulically actuated tensioners are bled down and need to come up to pressure to remove slack. Some better tensioners (like 3.5 ecoboost ones) have a ratchet type mechanism that locks once a tooth is used up that makes chain slap a non issue - until youve used up all the teeth. Its a very pronounced sound and once you've heard it you'll know it forever and be able to pick it out in any vehicle.
Thanks UD, very clear and helpful explanation. Can you please point me to a youtube video where I can actually hear it? Just for my own learning and knowledge sake. Thanks again.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SR7tyh5FJu8 Here an ecoboost exhibiting the problem sound - pre fix. UD
Thanks UD, that's a very very loud and obvious rattling, like something is grinding! Does it mean tensioner is toast? Chain has skipped or anything else is broken?
It usually means you have a worn tensioner, or worn guide on top of some chain stretch- usually a combination of all three, unless that particular engine is a known guide chewer. This problem is becoming more critical as auto tech moves forward because we ask more of the chain, or belt drive systems. Many autos now have an added load which is the direct injection pump. This diesel like pump produces something like 20K PSI at the rail, or injection and take lots of power to run and lots of additional torque on the chain/ sprockets. This strain goes all the way to the oil where a high performance DI pump combined with lots of chain and sprockets shear oil like a beast. UD
 
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Some newer smaller displacement engines, like the 1.0L Fiesta ecoboost uses a glass fiber impregnated TB that runs in an oil bath. European manufacturers have been using this design for some years now with good success. These TB's are lifetime like a TC but are quiter and produce lowered friction.
 
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My SOHC Mazda had a double-row roller chain. That cam drive system got no maintenance and was still in good shape at 606K---very little chain "stretch." The tensioner was the spring+oil-pressure+ratchet type. My earlier cars had proper gear-driven cams. No trouble with them ever, either. We'll see whether the DOHC single(?)-row Prius chain can do as well.
 
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Originally Posted By: oliveoil
Some newer smaller displacement engines, like the 1.0L Fiesta ecoboost uses a glass fiber impregnated TB that runs in an oil bath..... These TB's are lifetime like a TC but are quiter and produce lowered friction.
Yeah, "lifetime" there means when that buried belt breaks or skips a tooth, the entire engine becomes junk.
 

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Originally Posted By: CR94
My SOHC Mazda had a double-row roller chain. That cam drive system got no maintenance and was still in good shape at 606K---very little chain "stretch." The tensioner was the spring+oil-pressure+ratchet type. My earlier cars had proper gear-driven cams. No trouble with them ever, either. We'll see whether the DOHC single(?)-row Prius chain can do as well.
Now that's super impressive. Gear driven cams should be the best, right? I am specifically asking about this engine R18A1 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Honda_R_engine#R18A1 for the Civic vs K24Z2 Thanks
 
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Timing chains are very unforgiving of neglectful oil changers over the long terms. Timing belt engines if changed once typically can go farther with neglectful oil changers. That is my findings of Honda owners I know who feel yearly oil changes are fine.
 

maverickfhs

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Originally Posted By: madRiver
Timing chains are very unforgiving of neglectful oil changers over the long terms. Timing belt engines if changed once typically can go farther with neglectful oil changers. That is my findings of Honda owners I know who feel yearly oil changes are fine.
Does it mean I should change my oil after every 6 months, instead or mileage? Thanks
 

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Originally Posted By: maverickfhs
Originally Posted By: madRiver
Timing chains are very unforgiving of neglectful oil changers over the long terms. Timing belt engines if changed once typically can go farther with neglectful oil changers. That is my findings of Honda owners I know who feel yearly oil changes are fine.
Does it mean I should change my oil after every 6 months, instead or mileage? Thanks
.....and there is the main debate on bitog it seems you got a bunch of types of guys here. The most common type of guy posting here insist that the OEM interval and OEM filters are all you ever need to go " forever" and that your car will wear out around your engine. You'll hear guys claim they did hardly anything and " got to Xxx,xxx miles. Completely meaningless as you have no way of knowing how tight and well it ran at that stage. Other guys go for better filters and oil, some no UOA, some UOA, some add magnets and or bypasses and do absolutely everything they can to keep that oil clean. I tend toward the latter, but I keep stuff a long time and other things are designed to be rebuilt like a marine big block will have a finite life so if I can save the crank from scratching Ill run a better filter etc... UD
 
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The problem with chains is while they were once designed for durability with double row chains being seen as desirable, the manufacturers in pursuit of lowering frictional losses have switched back to single row chains. The result is they are lasting no longer than a belt and are vastly more expensive to replace. That's not progress.
 
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Originally Posted By: rooflessVW
I like timing belts. They require regular maintenance and you get hands on the belt, pullies, and tensioner. Chains don't ever get normal looks, so you get chain stretch and worn guides. Hopefully you get a warning rattle before the engine skips time.
True, though my experience with MBs and double-row chains it that they last 200-300k+ Usually what happens is the engine needs a HG, valve job or timing cover reseal and then the chain is replaced due to stretch. Many times the guides are still good. The biggest difference is one can be forgotten and last a "lifetime", whereas the other will grenade at about the time the car switches to its second to third owner.
 

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Originally Posted By: bmwpowere36m3
Originally Posted By: rooflessVW
I like timing belts. They require regular maintenance and you get hands on the belt, pullies, and tensioner. Chains don't ever get normal looks, so you get chain stretch and worn guides. Hopefully you get a warning rattle before the engine skips time.
True, though my experience with MBs and double-row chains it that they last 200-300k+ Usually what happens is the engine needs a HG, valve job or timing cover reseal and then the chain is replaced due to stretch. Many times the guides are still good. The biggest difference is one can be forgotten and last a "lifetime", whereas the other will grenade at about the time the car switches to its second to third owner.
I will not purchase a used timing belt car without proof of a belt change and if it hasn't had it I subtract that from the price of the car. Most owners dont even have a clue its not a lifetime part. UD
 
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Originally Posted By: UncleDave
... You'll hear guys claim they did hardly anything and " got to Xxx,xxx miles. Completely meaningless as you have no way of knowing how tight and well it ran at that stage. ...
I'm not sure whether that refers to my previous comment, but if so ... It's not meaningless. "How tight and well it ran at that stage" was pretty much same as new, as far as the oily bits were concerned. That's not to say the engine and car didn't have significant other problems by 600K. The main point is that a properly designed chain-drive system will last a very long distance. Others might not, for reasons barryh explained above, among others.
 

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Originally Posted By: CR94
Originally Posted By: UncleDave
... You'll hear guys claim they did hardly anything and " got to Xxx,xxx miles. Completely meaningless as you have no way of knowing how tight and well it ran at that stage. ...
I'm not sure whether that refers to my previous comment, but if so ... It's not meaningless. "How tight and well it ran at that stage" was pretty much same as new, as far as the oily bits were concerned. That's not to say the engine and car didn't have significant other problems by 600K. The main point is that a properly designed chain-drive system will last a very long distance. Others might not, for reasons barryh explained above, among others.
I was not referring to your comment. Do you have a smog test ticket showing its emissions out the tailpipe in terms Grams per mile at 600K? Without knowing how tight it is the simple fact that it runs after attaining high mileage is meaningless. Old VW's ran forever and just had an oil screen. Hook them up to a smog sniff and they'll blow the reading off the scale. Ive had engines "running fine" at 300K plus, they started and ran everyday but were gross polluters when they got a sniff test. Ive also had engines that were lovingly cared for that were tight as s drum and passed smog with flying colors. These did not get standard OEM filters Oil, and OCI's. I prefer the chain over the belt in everything but an all out race engine. UD
 
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Originally Posted By: madRiver
Timing chains are very unforgiving of neglectful oil changers over the long terms. Timing belt engines if changed once typically can go farther with neglectful oil changers. That is my findings of Honda owners I know who feel yearly oil changes are fine.
That is my feeling as well. A bit of varnish is no big deal until the timing chain tensioner gets stuck... Both my current cars have chains which atleast saves me the certain cost of timing belt changes on old junk. There are enough repairs without timing belts.
 

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Originally Posted By: maverickfhs
Originally Posted By: CR94
My SOHC Mazda had a double-row roller chain. That cam drive system got no maintenance and was still in good shape at 606K---very little chain "stretch." The tensioner was the spring+oil-pressure+ratchet type. My earlier cars had proper gear-driven cams. No trouble with them ever, either. We'll see whether the DOHC single(?)-row Prius chain can do as well.
Now that's super impressive. Gear driven cams should be the best, right? I am specifically asking about this engine R18A1 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Honda_R_engine#R18A1 for the Civic vs K24Z2 Thanks
Gear driven cams transmit harmonics to the valve train at sustained High RPM. Better and mare accurate than a chain but very much noisier when straight cut (sounds like a blower) and quieter and more expensive when helical cut. In a regular RPM BBC they are great, in a 6=8K deal not so good. The dampening property of the very popular jewel belt drive work out better, but its assumed you will be changing it. UD
 

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Originally Posted By: madRiver
Timing chains are very unforgiving of neglectful oil changers over the long terms. Timing belt engines if changed once typically can go farther with neglectful oil changers. That is my findings of Honda owners I know who feel yearly oil changes are fine.
As long as by "go father" you mean to 100K miles _-10% right about there it snaps and wrecks your engine. Whereas a chain will just slowly stretch..... Of course belts do stretch and chains do snap but the above scenario is the one Ive lived.
 
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