Civic/7th Gen Project - Fix EP3 Slipped Timing Chain

Discussion in 'Project & Modification Logs' started by SpeedyGee, Sunday 2nd Feb, 2014.

  1. SpeedyGee Administrator Staff Team

    England Speedy Birmingham
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    Had this Civic Type-R in a while back, owner said it conked out at a set of lights and wouldn't start again.

    So he had it towed to me. After some basic checks, I removed the rocker cover was greeted by this :-

    2014-01-12 08.00.11.
    2014-01-12 08.00.29.

    2014-01-12 08.00.33.

    A badly slipped chain.

    So I reported the bad news back to the owner. Owner asked what now ? So I said, I think it's a failed tensioner, i've got a spare chain and tensioner, I could go ahead, get the chain and tensioner swapped over, get it timed up and see how it goes. It may have suffered bent/damaged valves etc but quickest way to find out is get the spare chain and tensioner on and see how she is after that. Couldn't do a leak down test because the cams were out of synch with each other and cylinder one was somewhere other than TDC. Alternative was to rip the engine apart for visual inspection.

    Owner chose to go down "try the spare chain and tensioner" option.

    So I commenced dismantling, you can change the chain and tensioner on these with engine in situ. Start by draining the water from the engine. You then need to support the engine from underneath with a jack and big block of wood. Block of wood needs to wide enough to cover all the sump and catch part of the gearbox too, thereby spreading the weight of the engine over a large area (as opposed to putting pressure on a small part of the sump).

    With the engine supported, you can take the offside engine mount completely off.
    Followed by the water pipe going across the timing cover, I only took the front side off as the back clip is rather awkward to take off.
    Next up, remove the aux belt.
    With that off, you can start removing the bolts on the timing cover. There five bolts along the front side, three at the bottom, 7 along the back. Then theres one bolt holding the VTC and next to the VTC is a bolt a final bolt hold the timing chain on.
    With the VTC, take the bolt off, twist the VTC so the that any sealant and rubber o rings free up and the VTC will still appear as if its firmly held in place but all that's holding it are rubbed o rings, get a long nose pliers in behind the connector of VTC and gently pry it out.

    Lay out all the bolts in order as there are two types of bolts :-

    2014-01-12 14.42.34.
    2014-01-12 14.42.09.
    2014-01-12 14.54.19.

    Here's the two types of bolts

    2014-01-15 12.00.43.

    Here's the spare tensioner and chain I had saved in some amniotic fluid, well engine oil.

    2014-01-12 15.11.35.

    As I'd mentioned earlier, the cams were out of line with each other and some way out of line with crank, so to get everything lined up correctly timed up again, with the chain totally removed I had to lift the cams totally off the cam carriers, bring the crank to its TDC marking (second pic below and then refit the cams in there correct placement.

    Unfortunately I was way to engrossed to take any pics when I was lining everything up, so there's no pics with the chain totally off.

    Excuse the cable tied spanners, I needed to hold the cams to stop them springing off the chain (I was working on my own).
    2014-01-14 17.48.00.

    So with some fiddling and constant rechecking of timing marks, I eventually got the replacement chain on.
    2014-01-14 17.59.57.

    Crank lined up to TDC.
    2014-01-14 18.29.02.

    With everything lined up, replacement tensioner was set in place and timing rechecked after several turns of the crank, it all looked good and no more clicking coming from a failed tensioner.

    Assembly was recommensed :-
    2014-01-14 23.12.53.

    Unfortunately phone battery died and I didn't manage to take any further pictures.

    But importantly with everything reassembled, cranked the engine, she started up first time and to my surprise, ran spot on.

    I had been planning to do a leak down test after reassembly but with the engine running nice and smooth with no strange noises at all I didnt even bother with that.

    Owner was one happy chappy !
     
    Last edited: Sunday 2nd Feb, 2014
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  2. AccordCU2 Expert Advisor ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

    Another Honda saved by your magic hands:Hey::GoodJob:
     
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  3. SpeedyGee Administrator Staff Team

    England Speedy Birmingham
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    For sure Zoran, owner was contemplating breaking it as he thought only option was to fork out for a replacement engine. I persuaded him to give it to me try and bring back to life. It felt really strong after it was fixed, chap said it had never felt like that.

    By the way the root cause of all this was very poor oil maintenance ! The chain tensioner needs oil pressure to work, but with the oil not having been changed at correct intervals it had become think and sticky, the hole going into the tensioner isn't very big, so that must have got blocked and tensioner starved of oil leading to it's failure.

    Can't stress how important regular oil changes are people !
     
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    Ichiban and AccordCU2 like this.
  4. AccordCU2 Expert Advisor ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

    Agree 100% with you.I change oil every 4000-5000 k miles to make sure or at least prolong engine life as much as i can.
     
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  5. Ichiban Founder Staff Team

    England CJ Leeds
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    Awesome work there speedy. what was the oil condition bud? what was the tensioner rod like ?

    One lucky owner no sever damage :GoodJob: speedy to the rescue
     
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  6. SpeedyGee Administrator Staff Team

    England Speedy Birmingham
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    Oil was thick black nasty looking, well passed its serviceable life.

    Tensioner rod, the teeth had rounded off as it had just been bouncing back and forth with no oil pressure behind it.
    I think I still got it lying around somewhere, will dig it up and take a pic.
     
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  7. Ichiban Founder Staff Team

    England CJ Leeds
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    Honda abuser name and shame the owner..:telloff:
     
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  8. SpeedyGee Administrator Staff Team

    England Speedy Birmingham
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    LOL. Youngsters ... just want to get in and make their Civic Type-R go baaaawaaaahhhaaa. Don't know anything else about it.
     
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  9. Ichiban Founder Staff Team

    England CJ Leeds
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    init :Devil: this does happen to the Accord too. I just hope the owner no understands the gravity and importance of oil changes..
     
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  10. Ichiban Founder Staff Team

    England CJ Leeds
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    You know what after this thread I may change my current oil change regime from 6000 to 3000 k for my 7th Generation now. My 8th Generation is already on a 3000K oil change interval and the benefits are clear to see and feel.
     
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