Wednesday, November 11, 2020

How to Replace the Timing Belt and Water Pump on a 3.5L Honda Pilot, Odyssey or Ridgeline

 At 125,000 miles my 2012 Pilot was overdue for a timing belt and water pump replacement. I gathered parts, tools and materials and proceeded to tackle the job in my garage in early January. I hoped my new garage heater was up the job. 

                                                     The job at a glance

  • Tools: Floor jack, metric sockets, ratchet, wrenches, large breaker bar, Honda 15mm crankshaft  pulley holder, Lisle spill free kit 24680 (for coolant addition) 
  • Parts: Timing component and water pump kit ( used Aisin kit TKH-002)
  • Materials: Coolant (used Xerex Asian blue) 
  • Time: 6-8 hours
 One of the difficulties of this job is removing the crank bolt. To call this fastener stubborn is to understate the difficulty. A powerful impact tool is recommended for removal.    

Tear down of the Front of the Engine

1) Break the lug nuts of the right front wheel. Jack up the right front and remove. Set down on  a stand or block. 
2) Remove the wheel well cover. This is complicated piece held on by many screws and panel fasteners

Mark the many fasteners to aid assembly

3) Disconnect the battery
4) Remove the power train control module.  First unsnap and remove the PCM cover to make bolt removal easier. There are four 10mm bolts to remove. the lower one is below this cover and wiring harnesses. Unplug the three wiring harnesses from the bottom of the PCM. Now the the 10mm mounting bolt is visible.  Disconnect another harness that comes in from the left. For full removal, cutting a wire tie holding the left harness is necessary. 

Four 10mm bolts hold down the PCM

5) Move the large wiring harness out of the way. There is a bracket held in by a 10mm bolt holding the harness that must be removed. Then the harness can be pushed toward the firewall to ease coming disassembly. 

6) Support the engine with a jack under the oil pan. Be sure to place a block of wood atop the jack to spread the weight. 

7) Remove the front engine mount. There are two parts., the wheel well and the engine mount.  Remove three 17mm bolts mounting the wheel well part to the vehicle.  A wobble socket is helpful here for the two outside bolts as they are slightly under the mount.  Then remove two 14mm bolts holding this part of the mount to engine part. Now remove it. 

Remove 5 bolts, left three are 17mm, right two 14mm

8) Remove the serpentine belt by retracting the tensioner with a 14mm wrench while pulling the belt off the the pulleys.

9) Remove the plastic engine cover. Turn two plastic retainers ninety degrees toward the front and pull it off.

10) Move the power steering pump out of the way. It's helpful to pinch off the upper hose to prevent loss of fluid. Pull the clamp off the pump fitting and seal both ends to keep out contaminants. Now remove the two 12mm mounting bolts and set the pump up out of the way atop the engine. 

Set the pump out of the way atop the engine

11) Remove the tensioner. One 14mm bolt above and one 12mm below. 

Remove upper 14mm bolt 

Remove lower 12mm bolt

12) Remove the two upper timing belt covers, ten 10mm bolts. 

13) Hand crank engine in a clockwise direction until both cam timing marks are aligned with marks on the engine.

Both cams look like this when aligned with engine marks

13) Remove the crankshaft pulley bolt. Acquire a Honda pulley holder designed for this purpose. This bolt is highly torqued and presents a big challenge in removal. An air or electric power tool is ideal for this job. A special socket is also a plus for removal. We chose to remove it by hand with a breaker bar, a handle extension (i.e. cheater bar). After great effort and many tries it broke loose. 

You will need this...

Along with ratchet to hold the pulley...

and this set-up got it done!

14) Remove the harmonic balancer and the domed washer behind it. This required jiggling two pry bars 180 degrees apart under the balancer. Note, the domed side of the washer faces outward, toward the belt.

Two pry bars got the balancer off

15) Remove the lower timing belt cover. There are seven 10 bolts to remove. 

16) Remove the other half of the engine mount from the engine. There are three 14mm and one 10mm bolts to remove. That completes the front end teardown. 

Removal of Timing Components and Water Pump

Belt path components

1) De-tension the belt using the battery hold down rod. Bevel the threaded end of the rod and insert into the hole provided for this purpose. Turn in rod just far enough to remove tension from the belt.

De-tension the belt with J-hook against tension idler

2) Remove the lower idler (just below the water pump) with a 14mm socket. 


3) Remove the timing belt

4) Remove the tensioner pulley. There is one 14mm bolt.

5) Remove the hydraulic tensioner. There are two 14mm bolts.

6) Drain coolant. This is optional and will not prevent considerable loss of coolant when removing water pump. It is due for replacement on this Pilot. 

7) Remove the water pump by taking out the five 10mm mounting bolts.  If it sticks, take care not to mar the engine mating surface when prying the pump from the engine.

Installation of Water Pump and Timing Components

1) Install the water pump. Make sure engine contact surfaces are clean and dry. If the new gasket is not installed carefully fit it on the pump. The pump in our Aisin kit came with gasket installed. Torque the 5 bolts to 9 ftlbs carefully and evenly. 

2) Install the two hydraulic tensioner 10mm bolts and torque to 9 ftlbs. 

3) Install the tension pulley 14mm pivot bolt and torque to 19 ftlbs. 

4) Install idler pulley and torque to 33 ftlbs. 

5) Verify all timing marks and install the timing belt. Start at the crank pulley and proceed toward the radiator side, allowing no slack on this side as it is routed around. The final component on the counterclockwise install is the tension pulley. Double check all timing marks and pull the pin on the hydraulic tensioner. It may be necessary to turn the threaded rod in further if the tensioner pin won't budge. When the pin is pulled the rod can be removed and re-installed as a battery hold down. 

The crank marks aligned 

6) Temporarily use the crank pulley bolt to rotate the engine twice around. Verify smooth operation and return to aligned timing position. Remove the crank pulley bolt. 

Installation of Front End Engine Components

Aisin TKH-002 has excellent instructions 

Note: Blue locktite is recommended when installing bolts

1) Install engine mount on the front of the engine with three 14mm and one 10mm bolt. Note: the lower one is shorter as it doesn't go through the water pump. Torque the 14mm bolts to 33 ftlbs.

2) Install the lower timing cover. Torque the seven 10mm bolts to 9 ftlbs.

3) Install belt retainer washer with domed side toward engine.

4) Align keyway and install harmonic balancer. 

5) Install crank bolt and torque to 47 ftlbs plus 60 degrees. Lock the balancer using the same Honda fixture used during disassembly, but this time the breaker bar must be against the lower side of the control arm. 

Holding tools set up

Set up for additional 60 degrees

6) Install the two upper timing belt covers. Torque the ten 10mm bolts to 9 ftlbs. Be careful to seat the groove in the front cover into the the ridge in the lower timing cover and push down.

7) Install the serpentine belt tensioner. Torque the 14mm bolt to 33 ftlbs and the 12mm bolt to 16 ftlbs.

8) Install the power steering pump. Torque the two 14mm bolts to 16 ftlbs. Reconnect the hose. 

9) Install the serpentine belt using a 14mm wrench or socket to retract the tensioner. 

10) Install the engine mount with three 17mm, two 14mm and one 10mm on the engine ground. No torque specs found for these.

11) Install the PCM with four 10mm bolts. Plug in the lower connector first, the one that runs under the three PCM cables. It has a locking lever. Then plug the three connectors into the PCM. There is also a 10mm bolt that holds a harness to the engine mount. Finish by snapping the wire clamps into the guides. 

12) Install the PCM cover.

13) Fill with coolant. I used Zerex Asian blue coolant. I also used a Lisle spill free kit fill kit 24680. 

14) Connect battery and run to operating temperature, allowing the air to burp out of the radiator through the kit.


Monday, December 9, 2019

How to Wire a Low Cost Double Din Head Unit with Back-up Camera: Carzin and More

     I agreed to wire up and install my friend's new Carzin double din head unit. I was amazed at the many features packed into this unit for just $60. This post will cover details helpful to someone installing and wiring such a unit.

     Unbox the unit and familiarize yourself with the parts which include:
1) The seven inch touchscreen head unit. Note the volume, power and aux ports on the left side of the front. Also included is a micro usb jack. On the back are RCA jacks for the camera input and AV out as well as an antenna jack.
2) Two wiring harnesses that plug into the back of the head unit. One is for power and control. The other is for the speakers. These will connect to a wiring adapter that matches the factory harness.
3) Back up camera with wiring.
4) wiring harness to go from camera to back-up light
5) Wiring harness that goes from back-up light and camera to the head unit
6) Remote control

    If desired test the unit before install. First wire the head unit for power. You will need a 12VDC power source. I used a small lead acid battery. Two alligator clip test leads will be needed. Connect the yellow (A4) and the red (A7) to the positive terminal on the battery, Connect the black wire (A8) to the negative terminal on the battery

Power wiring complete

Next wire in the back-up camera. To simulate the back up signal we will use another jumper wire. Plug the shorter black RCA cable to the red RCA jack on the camera. The red wire at the other end will need to go to +12V on the battery. The black wire will connect to battery negative although for testing purposes it is not needed.

     Wire the long cable into the back of the head unit. Plug the RCA plug into the cam-in jack on the back of the head unit. Wire the open red lead on the cable to the gray wire on the power jack.

That red wire above goes to A2 (gray in this case)

    Wire the unit to the car wiring adapter 
1) Generally the A12V, ignition 12V and ground should be yellow, red and black respectively, on both plug A and the  car wiring adapter. Others may vary . Refer to the instructions  that came with the adapter. The only other wire I used was the blue (A5, antenna) wire. When I connected the orange (A3, key or steering wheel control) wire the unit would not power up, so I left it unwired. Use whatever means you prefer. I have no trouble with wire nuts as long as electrical tape is used. Others may prefer crimp connections or solder.

Colors may vary on your unit. Mine even varied from the instructions...

....for example I have no brown/black wire for A3 (key/steering wheel)

 2) The speaker wires matched up in color from the B harness to the car adapter.

Wiring and mounting in the vehicle

     I found mounting the head unit problematic in a 2004 Saturn Ion. It would not fit in the frame of the Metra GM kit that the owner purchased. I ended up mounting it with no frame, using only the two brackets provided in the Metra kit. 

1) Plug the long yellow camera video cable into the head unit and wire the red wire to the gray wire (A2). Find a route to feed the long wire through the dash to an entry point under the door jambs along the left side of the car. 
2) Plug in the wiring harness from the head unit into the factory harness. 
3) Plug the antenna wire into the head unit.
4) Mount the head unit.  

It was a struggle to mount this in a 2004 Saturn Ion
5) Run the long cable from the head unit to the trunk. This is often the most challenging part of the install. Running the wire under the door jambs works best.

Tuck the cable under the door jamb plastic cover 

6) Physically install the camera using the license plate mount. This will vary from vehicle to vehicle

It was easy to drill two holes in the composite material in the Saturn 

7) Find a route for the wiring to one of the back-up lights. This may involve removing a plug and routing along with other wires.

8) Plug the power back-up light cable (black) to the red jack from the camera and route to the back up wiring. Plug the two yellow jacks together.

9) Separate the red and black power wires and splice the two red leads together. Take care if using an automotive type splice. These wires are a very light 22 gauge and those splices are 16 or 18.

Automotive splice seemed like a good idea...

...but the wire was too small, so I went with this

10) Find the back-up power wire at one of the tail lights. There are several ways to locate this wire. One would be to turn the ignition on (do not start). Engage the parking brake or block a tire and shift car into reverse. Now use a automotive test light and probe the wires until the light comes on.  This is the 12V back-up wire. A second way would be to use an ohm meter to find the ground wire. Place one meter lead on a known good ground and the other on one of the two wires going to the back-up light. The wire with low resistance is the ground which also identifies the other wire as 12V.  
11) Wire the power wires to the back-up light. The red wire goes to to back-up 12V.  The black wire goes to the back-up ground wire. There are several ways to do this. If using a splice connector take care. The kit wires are 22 gauge and may not make good contact if the splices are too large. Stripping a bit of insulation and soldering is more reliable. Otherwise cut, strip and use a crimp fitting.

Automotive splice worked here 

12) Test the unit

Not a flawless fit but usable lol

Saturday, November 16, 2019

How to Replace all the Rear Brake Lines with a Pre-formed Kit Ford F150 1997-2003

       The problems began on my 2000 Ford F150 with poor braking. I parked it and noticed a pool of brake fluid under the rear axle. Examination of the all the lines revealed that the rear lines were rusted most of the way back to the ABS proportional controller. I decided to install a stainless steel kit made to fit all the lines in the truck. I also changed out the front lines later as part of a complete front brake job.

The leak point

                                                 The job at a glance

  • Tools:  Tubing bender to straighten any shipping bends, 10,14 and 15mm sockets and 3/8" ratchet, 1/2" and 12mm flare nut wrench,                       
  • Parts: Dorman kit 919-170 (check tables for correct kit for the cab and box lengths of your truck), differential vent (Napa 730-0213), four copper washers for brake hoses to banjo fittings, middle brake hose (Napa 380936),   
  • Materials: Brake fluid 
  • Time: 5 hours  

Tear out the rear Brake Lines

     I decided to tear out the rear lines from the ABS unit up front to both rear wheels. Most of these lines were rusted and even where they weren't, such as the first section from the ABS, the fittings were rusted together. We will break the line into four pieces and remove it first. I will share some of my experiences and what I learned during tear out. 

1) To avoid having to bleed the ABS unit, which may require a special scan tool, remove the fitting going to the rear first and install a plug in the ABS. I did have the bleeding done at a shop. 

2) Remove the brake hoses from the Banjo fittings on the calipers with a 14mm socket and collect the brake fluid. Don't try to turn out the brake fittings. The kit comes with brake hoses and brackets. Unbolt the line bracket near the caliper with a 10mm socket.

3) Cut out the lines where they meet at the differential breather with a hack saw.

Don't try to turn these two brake lines out, simply cut them out 

4) Cut out the fitting between the long brake line and the one that goes in the ABS, unless you are able to easily turn out the flare nut.

Not worth trying to remove this fitting...cut it out

5) Remove the differential breather. I found the fitting that holds the breather to the axle seized to the part that turns into the axle. I cut the middle hose and was able to turn it out of the axle. This will be replaced.

This was impossible to get out until I realized the threaded fastener was seized

6) Take care when removing the lines from the plastic holders not to break them. Heating with a blow dryer is a good aid to soften them for release. I found snap ring pliers helpful here.

Take care with the plastic holders

7) Pull the long middle line with hose and bracket still attached toward the rear. I only pulled it far enough to saw the bracket end line apart. The rest was removed toward the front.

8) Put the bracket in a vice and remove the old middle hose clamp. Take note of how it fits together for ease of re-assembly with new parts later.

9) Remove the line from the ABS unit out to the front. Separate it from the controller and all line holders and pull it out through the front. 

Installation of the Kit for the Rear Lines

1) Compare kit parts to the original lines to verify correct bends and lengths.

2) Compare the included brake hoses to the original to find best match in length and mounting brackets.

Find the best match for the brake hoses

3) Fit the rear axle brake lines to the brake hoses, making sure the brackets will fit properly. Recommended: use nickel or copper anti-seize on all threads.

4) Mount the middle hose to the bracket and bolt the bracket into place with a 15mm socket and ratchet. Do not tighten for now.

Note the curved-in end of the bracket toward the hose

5) Mount the other end of the middle hose to the axle with the differential vent fitting. Note: the holes for the brake lines are not centered. Mount the hose with the holes further away from the axle. Use some anti-seize on the threads. Bolt it securely with a 15mm deep well socket.

Installing vent end of hose on axle
6) Mount the left and right brake hose brackets loosely with a 10mm socket and ratchet.

7) Mount with the left and right hoses to their respective banjo fillings on the calipers with a 14mm socket and ratchet. Don't forget the copper washers.

8) Snap the right side brake line into the holders on the axle.

Snap the new line into this holder

8) Mount the other end of the brake lines to the middle brake hose.

Again, stop short of fully tightening these for now

9) Tighten all fittings and hoses.

10) Straighten the shipping bends in the long middle line and section from the ABS unit using a tubing bender.

11) Install the middle section from front to back. Make sure the line is routed properly so that it fits into all the plastic line holders from front to back.

12) Install the front-most section starting at the ABS unit and working back. This one is the most difficult to fit through as the channels are narrow and the line bendy.  A pull push method will work best to get it through.

13) Connect the flare nut fitting at front end of the line to the ABS proportional controller with a 1/2" flare nut wrench

14) Connect the other end of the line to the long middle line with two wrenches. I used a 15mm and 1/2" wrench.

15) Tighten all connections. Banjo bolts are torqued to 21-26 ftlbs.

16) Bleed all brake lines in this order: right rear, left rear, right front and lastly left front. If the ABS controller unit was allowed to empty, it may be necessary to have the it bled with a aid of a scan tool.

17) Test for leaks and effective braking.

     This is the truck this kit fits. The box is 6 feet long.