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Old 08-28-2010, 01:25 PM   #1
mike buu
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Timing Chain??

So when i thought i knew everything about the car i find something else out that confuses me. Ok so my friend just got an EP3 which has the k20a3 motor like mine.... anyways he took it to a mechanic to get it checked out and the mechanic said it has a chain and no timing belt. Wha!!!?? Here are the questions i cant seem to find through search or google, so don't tell me to search.

1. Which is better chain or belt?
2. Why did they put a chain instead of a belt like they did with older honders?
3. Does the chain practically last for the life of the car?
3.5? Is it called a timing chain?
4. What else should i know about this chain?


Sorry if these are noob questions, deal with it and help me understand better. Thanks
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Old 08-28-2010, 01:30 PM   #2
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I don't know much but id assume the chain is less prone to failure then a belt just due to the belts ability to stretch. I think the recommended replacement time for a timing chain is around the 100k mile mark.
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Old 08-28-2010, 01:43 PM   #3
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I thought the chain was supposed to last the life of the vehicle?
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Old 08-28-2010, 02:29 PM   #4
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Honda timing belts are supposed to be changed at 90-100k. Honda Timing chains on the other hand are designed to last the life of the car. Some other brands (GM) sometimes have chain stretch and need replacement, but I dont think Ive heard of this issue with the K series engines.
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Old 08-28-2010, 02:36 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SHG_EasyE View Post
Honda timing belts are supposed to be changed at 90-100k. Honda Timing chains on the other hand are designed to last the life of the car. Some other brands (GM) sometimes have chain stretch and need replacement, but I dont think Ive heard of this issue with the K series engines.
The chain tensioner takes care of the minute amount of chain stretch

Timing belts are prefered sometimes because they dampen valvetrain vibration/harmonics

Timing gears used to be popular retrofits into small blocks, because they whine and sound cool. They also cause a lot of vibration/harmonics in the valvetrain as torque is reversed due to the "kickback" of the crankshaft/camgear

Belts are arguably more efficient, less noisey, do not rely on oil for tension/lubrication, and are a lot more reliable than people think

When honda sets out with something that is supposed to last the life of the car, I think they mean 150-200K

If I plan on keeping the RSX for any period of time, I'm changing the tensioner and chain at around 170K
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Old 08-28-2010, 03:01 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DJCarbine View Post
The chain tensioner takes care of the minute amount of chain stretch

Timing belts are prefered sometimes because they dampen valvetrain vibration/harmonics

Timing gears used to be popular retrofits into small blocks, because they whine and sound cool. They also cause a lot of vibration/harmonics in the valvetrain as torque is reversed due to the "kickback" of the crankshaft/camgear

Belts are arguably more efficient, less noisey, do not rely on oil for tension/lubrication, and are a lot more reliable than people think

When honda sets out with something that is supposed to last the life of the car, I think they mean 150-200K

If I plan on keeping the RSX for any period of time, I'm changing the tensioner and chain at around 170K

nice write up. Personally, i'd rather replace it before it goes bad and break during WOT. Then again, I don't recall seeing any threads in which a chain broke on a relatively stock engine with stock valvetrain. An upgraded tensioner seems to be a recommended thing with upgraded cams
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Old 08-28-2010, 04:21 PM   #7
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Thanks for help guys
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Old 08-29-2010, 02:56 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DJCarbine View Post
The chain tensioner takes care of the minute amount of chain stretch

Timing belts are prefered sometimes because they dampen valvetrain vibration/harmonics

Timing gears used to be popular retrofits into small blocks, because they whine and sound cool. They also cause a lot of vibration/harmonics in the valvetrain as torque is reversed due to the "kickback" of the crankshaft/camgear

Belts are arguably more efficient, less noisey, do not rely on oil for tension/lubrication, and are a lot more reliable than people think

When honda sets out with something that is supposed to last the life of the car, I think they mean 150-200K

If I plan on keeping the RSX for any period of time, I'm changing the tensioner and chain at around 170K
I have never in all my years seen ANY chain break from any manufactuer. Worst case is chain strectch and even that is minimal. If chain breakage does occur is usually due to the tensioner failing first. In the event of a chain strectching many symptoms ranging from drivabilty to no starts will occur, and will alert you to the need to change the chain. Timing BELTS on the other hand, break and fail quite often. And a timing belt will usually fail with no indication beforehand and usually cause catastrophic damage. In this sense I believe a chain is much more reliable than a belt. However a hydraulic tensioner can and will fail and I personally would consider it a maintenance item, although Honda does not.
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Old 08-29-2010, 02:58 PM   #9
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I've seen stretched chains cause cam timing to suffer, but mostly on small blocks with no tensioner

I'd say the RSX is immune to chain stretch, and the weakness would be the tensioner

::edit

I've seen chains snap, but due to poor lubrication/internal sludge/oil pressure issues, not faults of the chain design but of maintenance
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Old 08-29-2010, 03:32 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DJCarbine View Post
I've seen stretched chains cause cam timing to suffer, but mostly on small blocks with no tensioner

I'd say the RSX is immune to chain stretch, and the weakness would be the tensioner

::edit

I've seen chains snap, but due to poor lubrication/internal sludge/oil pressure issues, not faults of the chain design but of maintenance
agreed.
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Old 08-29-2010, 03:57 PM   #11
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one thing you don't want to slack on is oil changes. i've seen another rsx owner think they can do 10,000mi increments between oil changes and failed the timing chain tensioner from i think low oil pressure, causing the chain to actually slack and jump teeth.
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Old 08-29-2010, 04:10 PM   #12
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I've seen a ton of 240sx (ka24) chains break. But most were due to poor design leading to a link coming apart. But again different car manufacturer. haha
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Old 08-29-2010, 04:15 PM   #13
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if moding the car the only thing I would upgrade is to the skunk2 or hybridracing timing tensioner
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Old 08-29-2010, 04:16 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by i_crave_vtec View Post
one thing you don't want to slack on is oil changes. i've seen another rsx owner think they can do 10,000mi increments between oil changes and failed the timing chain tensioner from i think low oil pressure, causing the chain to actually slack and jump teeth.
Wow that guy must be the biggest moron ever or the biggest cheap ass ever. 3500-4000 miles is my limit. Thanks for helping me understand more about the tensioner too. Even though i probably will never have any of these problems its good to know. So do you guys think most new cars are pulling away or already quit using timing belts? They seem absolete to the chain. Plus timing belts arent cheap either.
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Old 08-29-2010, 05:03 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by mike buu View Post
Wow that guy must be the biggest moron ever or the biggest cheap ass ever. 3500-4000 miles is my limit. Thanks for helping me understand more about the tensioner too. Even though i probably will never have any of these problems its good to know. So do you guys think most new cars are pulling away or already quit using timing belts? They seem absolete to the chain. Plus timing belts arent cheap either.
Actually, a lot of older american cars use timing chains exclusively, such as the chevy/ford smallblock and bigblock engines. There is nothing wrong with a timing belt, and there is nothing wrong with a timing chain.

Chains have been around forever, and so have belts

I wouldn't say one is obsolete, just that different applications call for different methods of connecting the crankshaft to the camshaft
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Old 08-30-2010, 02:44 PM   #16
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made sure that when i built my motor i replaced the timing chain, oil chain, and tensioner just to be on the safe side. for some peace of mind, i don't mind the extra cash to do it.
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Old 12-17-2010, 04:16 AM   #17
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how do u tell if the timing chain tensioner is going bad???
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Old 12-17-2010, 04:26 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DJCarbine View Post
The chain tensioner takes care of the minute amount of chain stretch

Timing belts are prefered sometimes because they dampen valvetrain vibration/harmonics

Timing gears used to be popular retrofits into small blocks, because they whine and sound cool. They also cause a lot of vibration/harmonics in the valvetrain as torque is reversed due to the "kickback" of the crankshaft/camgear

Belts are arguably more efficient, less noisey, do not rely on oil for tension/lubrication, and are a lot more reliable than people think

When honda sets out with something that is supposed to last the life of the car, I think they mean 150-200K

If I plan on keeping the RSX for any period of time, I'm changing the tensioner and chain at around 170K
Yea that. My car, at over 174,XXX, is probably due for a new chain now. Last service showed it was alittle off and that it would make sense to replace it soon.
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