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Discussion Starter #1
My E started making a clacking noise when idling in drive. Got one of those stethoscope things and started poking around, listening. Turns out it was the cam chain auto tensioner. $40 and super easy to swap out.

It's behind this cover


Remove the 3 bolts and pry it off.




When you turn the crankshaft that little lever on the top right will move up and down depending on the slack in the chain.


Turn it until the little holes line up and insert something to hold it in place. Then turn the crank again to release tension.


Two bolts and it's out. New one ready to go in.


Gotta clean up the mess first.


Scrape off the old rtv sealer.


Bolt the new one down and pull the pin.


Run a bead of rtv around the cover plate and bolt it down.
 

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Another fine job

How bad was the tensioner, when you had it out? Ever think about the chain guides? I know it's a whole other job, but it might be time also??

Honda made doing this job super easy.....


Nice job Pierre.....
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Yeah, there's still something else cause the noise isn't totally gone but I hope I'm on the right track cause it is better. I'm not very familiar with tensioners to be able to tell how worn out it was and I didn't want to take the pin out of the new one to compare them. I've done that before and it was a big mistake.
 

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Been looking to do this next on my E, did it on my last car and it made a great difference in engine response and noise reduction. Thanks for the write up.
 

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Here is my guess.

Timing chain is worn; the connecting pins wear and cause the chain to loose its pich. Sections will stretch between the gears and shrink while on the gear. This is creating a cyclic tension which damage the tensioner and wear the gears. This would be the cause of the noise. You changed the tensor, but not the chain. Depending on the wear of the gears, they may need to be replaced as well or the new chain will fail prematurely.
 

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Here is my guess.

Timing chain is worn; the connecting pins wear and cause the chain to loose its pich. Sections will stretch between the gears and shrink while on the gear. This is creating a cyclic tension which damage the tensioner and wear the gears. This would be the cause of the noise. You changed the tensor, but not the chain. Depending on the wear of the gears, they may need to be replaced as well or the new chain will fail prematurely.
This can happen, but I would first look at the chain guides. They're made from plastic and rub against the chain to help keep tension and keep it aligned. After a while they will get worn and cause noise as well since the chain is more loose. However, it's a good idea to change the chain at this point as well since you're going through the whole process anyways. As long as you change the oil frequently then those gears will last quite a while and can be visually inspected like a motorcycle sprocket.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Agreed. In the meantime I am doing my best to avoid idling in drive at all costs, putting it in N at every stop light etc. It's the only situation it makes any noise. I hope to get it all apart in the next week or so to check it out further.
 

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So do you have a video / audio file of the noise? Just curious. Also, how much were those parts? Is it easy to roll in a new chain? Does it include a master link, or do you need a forging tool?
 

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So do you have a video / audio file of the noise? Just curious. Also, how much were those parts? Is it easy to roll in a new chain? Does it include a master link, or do you need a forging tool?
Yes, the timing chain from Honda has 3 different color links, each for Cam and driveshaft and arrows for link placement. You really can't mess this up..... If I remember correctly, the chain alone is 90 bucks.... Hardest part of this job is removing the crank bolt......strength ... I removed the inspection plate, stopped the flywheel from turning with a screwdriver and ugh.... Strength ...

Good luck ....
 

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tore it apart today

Got at it today and got more than I bargained for. I did remember to take a video before I got started. You can hear the rattle for just a moment when I crank it up and it's constant when the idle drops down around 650 rpm.


Here's the slack in the timing chain.


But wait, there's more. You think the timing chain has slack, ain't got nothin on the oil pump chain. That's the real culprit.


The oil pump chain tensioner broke in half. It's supposed to look like this.



I have the timing chain stuff already but had no idea about the rest. I ordered the oil pump chain, guide and tensioner today but it won't be in till Saturday so... poop. Hardest part of all was breaking loose the crankshaft bolt, the rest was pretty straight forward. Coolest part is that the timing chain has colored links to line it up with marks on the crank and cam sprockets. Pretty foolproof.

I guess I know what I'm doing Saturday.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
post weekend update

Spent all day Saturday swapping out the chains and guides. Got it all back together, fired it up and it wasn't running quite right. It was quiet again but stumbling like a misfire. It was about 10PM by then so I decided to leave it alone and continue in the morning. Bright side was I got to ride the bike back and forth again. Back at it Sunday morning to diagnose. Got a new set of plugs just to eliminate that as a potential problem and start with the basics, compression. Number one... good, two... good, three... good, four... nothing. What? Awww crap, really? What the hell did I do?

Had to take a break from it at that point so I called a buddy of mine and we went for a ride to grab lunch and a beer, or three. After going over everything the only thing I can come up with is a bent intake valve. Thought it might have happened when I was trying to break loose the crankshaft bolt but the timing chain was still on at that point so no. Best guess is when I was lining up my sprockets to install the new chain I must have let the intake cam jump and it probably hit the valve into the piston. The book says to install the chain with number one at TDC but when one is TDC on the compression stroke, number four is TDC between exhaust and intake. The valves are partially open at that point and any movement from there is all it takes, I guess.

So now I'm trying to decide where to go from here. Pull the head or just start looking for a low mileage used motor and fix it later.

No April fools this time, I promise.
 

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Spent all day Saturday swapping out the chains and guides. Got it all back together, fired it up and it wasn't running quite right. It was quiet again but stumbling like a misfire. It was about 10PM by then so I decided to leave it alone and continue in the morning. Bright side was I got to ride the bike back and forth again. Back at it Sunday morning to diagnose. Got a new set of plugs just to eliminate that as a potential problem and start with the basics, compression. Number one... good, two... good, three... good, four... nothing. What? Awww crap, really? What the hell did I do?

Had to take a break from it at that point so I called a buddy of mine and we went for a ride to grab lunch and a beer, or three. After going over everything the only thing I can come up with is a bent intake valve. Thought it might have happened when I was trying to break loose the crankshaft bolt but the timing chain was still on at that point so no. Best guess is when I was lining up my sprockets to install the new chain I must have let the intake cam jump and it probably hit the valve into the piston. The book says to install the chain with number one at TDC but when one is TDC on the compression stroke, number four is TDC between exhaust and intake. The valves are partially open at that point and any movement from there is all it takes, I guess.

So now I'm trying to decide where to go from here. Pull the head or just start looking for a low mileage used motor and fix it later.

No April fools this time, I promise.
Did you check all the timing marks ? Just trying to figure out how it's running rough. Double check everything, if I remember correctly, I had a problem with keeping the intake cam in place, I had to rig a box wrench and a clamp on the cam end nut, to hold it in place when I placed the chain on the crank, there's arrows on each cam that will also help with placement, I think it's as simple as that. Especially if it was running good before the chain swap out. Also remove spark plugs for easier turning of components. I would fix this motor before purchasing another one, just depends on how much time you have.....

Good luck
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Just got done looking down the spark plug hole with a usb endoscope camera and I can clearly see the gap between the intake valve and the valve seat. It's official, I'm pulling the head tomorrow.
 
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