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Old 09-15-2008, 08:29 AM   #1
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Default question about replacing timing balancer on 90 accord DX

I have been quoted $400 to replace the timing balancer, or as the shop calls it harmonic balancer, on my 1990 Honda accord.

I have looked online and it seems the book lists this job as requiring 1hr labor. I usually think about $80 per hour for labor. I have seen balancers online for aprox. $60. So the $400 seems way out of line. I can imagine there might be some more parts to it, but I cant see it being that far off.

First question does this quote seem way out line? Im just looking for a ball park estimate here. I know someone would have to look at it to give an exact quote. I also understand there could be something else to replace when you get into the repair, or just something I leaving out.

Second question. I have tried looking online to see how hard it would be for myself to replace it. My mechanic skills would be described as a "parts replacer" It looks like I can get the specialty tools on lone from Auto Zone. I have looked at the article in the FAQ on replacing the timing belt, timing balancer belt and water pump. I figure this would give me a general idea of what I am getting into. But I wouldn't have near as much to do.

Can someone maybe post some instructions on just replacing the timing balancer? Also while I am doing that, is there anything else I should tackle? The car has over 200,000 miles on it. The motor though has been rebuilt, less then 15k miles on it and the transmission has been rebuilt as well. Less then 500 miles on it.

Thanks in advance for your help. Your site is incredible, the how to articles in the FAQ section are a work of it.

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Old 09-15-2008, 08:49 AM   #2
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Dumb question, but why are you replacing the harmonic balancer in the first place? Also I live in Austin, there are sevral salvage yards here in town that would probably sell it for around $50. If you just had the motor replaced you shouldn't need any other items associated with the harmonic balancer coming off besides maybe the other fan belts being worn. It really depends on who did the engine rebuild and if they replaced all the parts with the motor.
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Old 09-15-2008, 08:52 AM   #3
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Default Re: question about replacing timing balancer on 90 accord DX (Just_me_chris)

400 seems a bit high to me but I could be wrong.

I don't think you can get the pulley holding tool from AutoZone, not that I've seen anyways. They can be purchased online relatively cheap at ~$25. I list a link to where I bought mine in my timing belt how-to.

You can pretty much follow my timing belt how-to on how to get that pulley off, I don't recall the step # off the top of my head but the step for the pulley bolt is detailed showing exactly what was used and how. The hardest part is getting that bolt loose. After the bolt is out just pull the old pulley off by hand and put the new one on.

As for other things to be done, if the engine was rebuilt 15k miles ago I assume the timing belt and other related parts were done so I wouldn't think anything else needs to be done at this time.
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Old 09-15-2008, 08:53 AM   #4
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Default Re: (craiger28)

Quote:
Originally Posted by craiger28
besides maybe the other fan belts being worn.
sorry, we have electric fans, no belt driven fans here. The other belts on the side of the engine run things like the PS, Alt, and AC.
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Old 09-15-2008, 08:57 AM   #5
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Default Re: (craiger28)

Not a dumb question at all. I bought the car used. The previous owner had the motor replaced with a rebuilt motor but they used all the "other parts" from the old motor. You know pulleys, electrical parts, hoses etc.

So I am assuming the harmonic balancer is wore out. There is a squeal coming from it, and when you look down at it you can tell its wobbling. Also, you can see a nick in the timing balancer belt. The noise and the nick started after I had the transmission replaced a little while back. I thought maybe when they had replaced the tranny and put everything back they got something out of align. The shop says its just wore out and needs to be replaced.

So does it sound like I am on the right track here? Or am I totally missing something?

Thanks
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Old 09-15-2008, 09:04 AM   #6
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Default Re: (Just_me_chris)

there is a "rubber band" that hold the two parts of the pulley together, that can go bad and rot causing the two parts to separate requiring you to replace the pulley.

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Also, you can see a nick in the timing balancer belt.
I just want to make sure we are talking about the same belt. The belt I call the timing balancer belt is behind the side engine covers, only way to see it is to remove the side covers. It is driven off the crankshaft gear and keeps the front and rear balance shafts in time. Is this the same belt you are talking about? or are you referring to one of the belts that ride on the pulley located on the outside of the lower side cover and runs either the PS or the AC/Alt?
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Old 09-15-2008, 09:08 AM   #7
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Default Re: (Just_me_chris)

I would ask said shop that did the trans swap how they went about replacing it. Quite possible that they struck the balancer when they removed the engine & trans.

Is the $400 quote from the same shop that did the swap?

Those balances don't usually fall apart or bend that easily or fall apart unless they are hit very hard or heated with a torch enough to melt the rubber dampening material.

And Yes $400 is a bit too much, ask them for a price breakdown.
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Old 09-15-2008, 09:46 AM   #8
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TouringAccord. I know that the car has electric fans on them, I have probably owned over 2,000 accord's over the years. Fan Belt is just a term!

Just_me_Chris: GhostAccord is right, it sounds suspicious that the shop that replaced the motor/tranny struck or hit the balancer when they were pulling the motor/tranny. I would just switch out the balancer if it wobbles. I would still get another one at a salvage yard though, cheaper and will work fine for you needs. I think the bolt is a 19 mm size. Do you have a impact air tool? if not you can use a large breaker bar but it is a b&*$# to get off sometimes. I believe you can also attach breaker bar and crank motor to get it loose.
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Old 09-15-2008, 10:02 AM   #9
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Default Re: (craiger28)

Quote:
Originally Posted by craiger28
I believe you can also attach breaker bar and crank motor to get it loose.
Strongly advise against this practice Click the image to open in full size. Click the image to open in full size. If you do not have the proper tools to do the repair at hand. Let someone who does make them.
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Old 09-15-2008, 10:06 AM   #10
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Default Re: (craiger28)

Quote:
Originally Posted by craiger28
TouringAccord. I know that the car has electric fans on them, I have probably owned over 2,000 accord's over the years. Fan Belt is just a term!
wow, a bit defensive??

Not term ever used here, a more likely term would be "accessory belts".

Quote:
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I believe you can also attach breaker bar and crank motor to get it loose.
nope, the engine rotates counter-clockwise, that would only tighten it more.
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Old 09-15-2008, 10:59 AM   #11
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Touring Accord: you are right, it would tighten it, thought of that after I wrote it. But I have done that on other cars for years and it has never done any harm to them. not defensive but just keep in mind that some use common terms to describe things like "accessory belts/fan belts".
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Old 09-15-2008, 11:10 AM   #12
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Default Re: (craiger28)

as it may be a term you use, it can cause confusion to those who are new to all this and are learning. as I said before, the term "fan belt" isn't used here (for obvious reason) but "accessory belt" is. So for those of us who would know the difference it wouldn't matter but there are people who are new and learning that would get confused by people using different terms. Click the image to open in full size.
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Old 09-15-2008, 11:21 AM   #13
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ok, dually noted. but the next time someone asks me a question on a 302 mustang damn it, i am going to say fan belts and you better not correct me. LOL
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Old 09-15-2008, 11:24 AM   #14
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Default Re: (craiger28)

Quote:
Originally Posted by craiger28
ok, dually noted. but the next time someone asks me a question on a 302 mustang damn it, i am going to say fan belts and you better not correct me. LOL
302s have more than one fan belt? You referred to fan belts......

Guess that's why I stuck with the GM 350. Only one fan belt and and an accessory belt.....lol j/k Click the image to open in full size.

Cheers Click the image to open in full size.
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Old 09-15-2008, 11:30 AM   #15
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Default Re: (TouringAccord)

Yes my bad on naming the belts. I just meant the belt that rides on the pulley located on the outside of the lower side cover and runs either the PS or the AC/Alt. its the lower belt.

You can see a nick in it, I assumed cause it was not quite aligned like it should have been, and you can see the balancer is wobbling.

Junkyard is a good idea for the part, but online http://www.autopartswarehouse.com has a direct OEM replacement for 61.30 and free shipping. Seems like a better deal to get a new one for $61.30 then a used one for $50, but I am going to make some calls.
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Old 09-15-2008, 04:33 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by craiger28
ok, dually noted. but the next time someone asks me a question on a 302 mustang damn it, i am going to say fan belts and you better not correct me. LOL
haha, lol! Click the image to open in full size.
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Old 09-15-2008, 04:34 PM   #17
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Default Re: (Just_me_chris)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Just_me_chris
Yes my bad on naming the belts. I just meant the belt that rides on the pulley located on the outside of the lower side cover and runs either the PS or the AC/Alt. its the lower belt.

You can see a nick in it, I assumed cause it was not quite aligned like it should have been, and you can see the balancer is wobbling.

Junkyard is a good idea for the part, but online http://www.autopartswarehouse.com has a direct OEM replacement for 61.30 and free shipping. Seems like a better deal to get a new one for $61.30 then a used one for $50, but I am going to make some calls.
no problem... thats why I asked. I figured you meant the accessory belt(s) but I just wanted to make sure.
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