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Old 09-09-2009, 07:32 PM   #1
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Icon6 Honda Pilot (03) Timing Belt & Water Pump

Hello all,

I searched and found no other threads detailing a water pump & timing belt change on the 03-08 Honda Pilot here on Honda-Tech. If anybody has a step-by-step (or scan they could email me) regarding the timing belt removal & instal, it would really help my up-coming 2003 Pilot changeout. I will then turn this thread into a full DIY with pictures and detailed step by step for everyone in the future.

Any help would be greatly appreciated...

*edit (a year and a half later). There are more tips in some of my posts below on the actual process:

Coolant drain & fill (necessary if your doing the water pump):

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Timing Belt removal:

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Timing Belt Adjuster pulley replacment:

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Water Pump replacement:

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New Timing Belt Install:

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Used Timing Belt install:

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Last edited by 94eg!; 03-30-2011 at 07:31 PM.
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Old 09-12-2009, 06:34 PM   #2
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Default Re: Honda Pilot (03) Timing Belt & Water Pump

Well, the local dealership was nice enough to let me photocopy the procedure out of their shop manual. So for those searching on a how to, here is the process sans the drawings (for 03 & 04 Pilot):

REMOVAL OF TIMING BELT
- Set crank pulley to the TDC mark
- Check No.1 is lined up with the mark on the front cam gear
- Remove front wheels
- Remove the splash sheild
- Remove the alternator/compressor belt
- Remove the power steering belt
- Support engine w/ a jack and wood block
- Remove side engine mount bracket
- Remove the dipstick tube and discard the o-ring
- Remove the crank pulley (this is the hard part)
- Remove the upper timing covers (2)
- Remove the lower timing cover
- Remove one of the long battery clamp bolts grind a small tapper to end
- Screw the battery bolt against the timing belt adjuster to hold it's position (hand tighten)
- Remove the side engine mount bracket
- Remove the idler pulley bolt and idler pulley
- Remove the timing belt

WATER PUMP REPLACEMENT
- Drain the coolant
- Remove the water pump (5-bolts)
- Inspect & clean the pump mating surface on the block
- Install the new water pump w/ new o-ring (5 bolts 8.7 lb/ft)
- Refill the radiator & bleed all air from the cooling system

INSTALL NEW TIMING BELT
- Set crank & cams to TDC
- Remove battery clamp bolt from tensioner
- Remove auto-tensioner (if it's leaking oil, replace it)
- Align holes on auto-tensioner
- Use a press (or perhaps a c-clamp) to slowly press the tensioner piston back into it's housing
- Insert a 2mm pin (or allen wrench) through the holes to lock the piston in place
- Install the auto tensioner (8.7 lb/ft)
- Screw the battery clamp bolt against the auto tensioner and hand tighten
- Apply liquid thread lock to the idle pulley bolt and loosely install the idler pulley
- Install timing belt in coulterclockwise sequence starting at the crank
- Tighten the idler pulley bolt (33 lb/ft)
- Remove the pin from the auto-tensioner
- Remove the battery clamp bolt from the tensioner
- Installt he engine mount bracket (33 lb/ft for 3 large bolts and 8.7 lb/ft for small top bolt)
- Install the timing belt guide on the crank so the edges curve away from the belt
- Install the lower timing cover (8.7 lb/ft for 7 bolts)
- Install the upper timing covers (8.7 lb/ft for 10 bolts)
- Clean Crank Pulley & Crank pulley bolt
- Put fresh motor oil on crank-bolt threads and outer face of crank-bolt-washer
- Install crank pulley & bolt (181 lb/ft)
- Rotate crank pulley 5 to 6 turns clockwise
- Make sure crank and both cam gears all line up with TDC marks
- Install dipstick tube w/ new o-ring (8.7 lb/ft)
- Install & adjust power steering belt (see owners manual)
- Install alternator/compressor belt
- Install side engine mount bracket and tighten in sequence (1st - 2 small bolts 33 lb/ft, 2nd 1 long bolt 40 lb/ft)
- Install the splash shield and front wheels
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Last edited by 94eg!; 09-13-2009 at 12:20 PM.
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Old 09-13-2009, 07:22 AM   #3
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Default Re: Honda Pilot (03) Timing Belt & Water Pump

you forgot to mention the water pump and oil seals. it is a good idea to change those while you are in there because if they develope a leak after this procedure is done, you will have to do it all over again which is no fun at all, ask me how I know. being a Honda technician, I would highly recommend doing these things. it's cheap insurance and will save you the hassle of having to chase down an oil leak later and possibly replacing the belt again due to oil soaking.
I have heard people say "if the water pump isn't leaking, why replace it?" and the same for the oil seals. I say "do the procedure and then imagine having to do it again in a few months, or having to pay me to do it again because you wanted to be cheap the first time."

just thought I would add that little bit to help out...
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Old 09-13-2009, 09:23 AM   #4
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Default Re: Honda Pilot (03) Timing Belt & Water Pump

I did forget to mention the water pump which I will be doing at the same time. I have copies of that step-by-step for that as well, and I will post them up as soon as I get some more time.

As for the seals, they won't go bad from changing the timing belt. Especially since the procedure never exposes them. If you try to replace them however, you do run the risk of installing them incorrectly and causing a leak where you had none before. Now that would be embarrassing.

BTW: I did one leaky cam seal on my old CRX during my timing belt change. They are exceptionally difficult to get out, clean and install without the proper drivers. I couldn't even imagine doing a front main seal without the special Honda tool.
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Old 09-13-2009, 09:30 AM   #5
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Default Re: Honda Pilot (03) Timing Belt & Water Pump

95% of the time the auto tensioner is leaking some fluid. if it looks like it been leaking for awhile replace it! if there is just a little bit around the piston pin seal then u will be fine.
i replace them almost everytime. and disregard the whole bit about using the battery hold down bolt on the tensioner. dont need to. if u resuse the tensioner. use a vise to push the pistonn back into the tensioner and insert a pin/or u can use a small allen wrench. put your timing belt on. making sure all the slack is on the tensioner side. once u have it on, bolt the tensioner on and take the pin out to tension the belt.
oh and the v6's are very sensitive to the cams popping out of place. just double check everything before putting the belt on
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Old 09-13-2009, 12:14 PM   #6
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Default Re: Honda Pilot (03) Timing Belt & Water Pump

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oh and the v6's are very sensitive to the cams popping out of place. just double check everything before putting the belt on
What do you mean "popping out of place"? Do you mean they don't like to stay at TDC?

Also, do you think the piston can be pushed back with a large C-clamp? I don't have a vice handy. I'll probably end up replacing it anyways, but I would like to know if it's doable...

PS: I added the water-pump details...
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Old 09-13-2009, 08:02 PM   #7
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Default Re: Honda Pilot (03) Timing Belt & Water Pump

how many miles does honda say to do timing belt? (i have 06 pilot)
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Old 09-13-2009, 09:30 PM   #8
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Default Re: Honda Pilot (03) Timing Belt & Water Pump

yeah a c clamp would work. and by popping out of place. i mean the cams sometimes can move if they are bumped when putting the belt on. just make sure everything stays at tdc.

honda rec tbelt on v6's i think at 90k. most dealerships will sell them between 60-90k though
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Old 09-13-2009, 10:45 PM   #9
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Default Re: Honda Pilot (03) Timing Belt & Water Pump

how come honda did not implement a timing chain on these engines?
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Old 09-14-2009, 09:35 AM   #10
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Default Re: Honda Pilot (03) Timing Belt & Water Pump

Quote:
Originally Posted by wilham320 View Post
how many miles does honda say to do timing belt? (i have 06 pilot)
105k miles. No need to do it sooner unless you visually see wear, damage or contamination. The timing belt on these motors is VERY easy to inspect. 5 bolts removes the front upper timing cover and there you go. No removing the valve cover like their 4-cylinders...

AK94GSR: Thanks for theads up on the cam gears shifting. I kinda figured this would be the case since the V6 cams only have 3 cylinders on them. This is my first V6 and I'm looking forward to it...

Quote:
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how come honda did not implement a timing chain on these engines?
As far as I know, Honda has yet to change any of the V6 models to chains (only 4-cyl). Perhaps it's too difficlut or noisy to route the chain to two different heads. Who knows...
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Old 09-15-2009, 04:25 AM   #11
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Default Re: Honda Pilot (03) Timing Belt & Water Pump

Honda does, in fact, recommend the t-belt to be done at 105k on V-6s or every 7 years. as for the seals, I use a 32mm socket and they slide in quite easily. the socket will be just a bit bigger than the surface where the seal will sit so it will center it pretty well and will not sink it too far. also, when doing the crank seal, if you use a wide brass punch, put half of the punch on the seal and the other half on the oil pump housing and that will seat it properly, also, without sinking it too far. just remember to take your time and DON'T get in a hurry.

as I said before about the seals, they may not be leaking now, but I have had them just start leaking 40-50k miles after and the customer is real quick to blame you for their leak and will want you to fix it or free, so it's best to just do it while you are in there for that piece of mind and insurance down the road.

I have never really had a problem with the cams moving on me, but they can if you bump them too much. once you put the belt on the two gears, put a zip tie or clamp on them and they should be ok, then put the belt on towards the front of the motor and you should have all the slack on the tensioner side. install the tensioner and you're set. spin the crank two full rotations o make sure everything is in line and then start putting everything back together.
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Old 09-20-2009, 07:51 PM   #12
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Default Re: Honda Pilot (03) Timing Belt & Water Pump

Well the timing belt & water pump went pretty well. Took about 5.5 hours yesterday with a friend helping out. Here are some tips based on my experience...

- Removing the lower splash guard is pretty easy. The difficult part is that there are about 5 or 6 different types of clips holding it together. Be sure to pop them back in the hole they came out of just after removing them. I had a very difficult time figuring out which ones went where because I just put them all in a pile.

- Removing & installing the AC/Alternator belt is quite difficult. Honda has a special extra long 14mm box-end wrench to lever back the tensioner pulley. I found using the open end of a 14mm combination wrench worked well. This is because I had to slide a pipe handle over the box-end to give enough leverage to let the belt come off. Space is tight and the wrench can easily slip off. My buddy got a nasty pinch when it slipped off so be extremely careful when removing & installing the belt.

- Removing the piece of engine mount-bracket covering the water pump pulley, requires the removal of the large rubber mount on the frame. This was not mentioned in the manual. I could not get any tools to fit into the tight space so it had to come off. The rubber mount is held onto the chassis with 3 14mm bolts. You also need to remove the bolt & nut holding the PS pump on because it's covering the 10mm wire harness bolt on the top of the mount-bracket. This was also not mentioned in the manual.

- Removing the crank pulley bolt is a bitch. 18" breaker bar and 1/2" ratchet, both with long pipe handles slid over them as cheater bars, still was very difficult to remove. Don't give up...

- You do not need the battery bolt step. Simply un-bolt the auto-tensioner and it will pop right out. Because of this, you won't need to remove the idler pulley and mess w/ lock-tite reinstalling it.

- Water pump goes in & comes out easy. Just be prepared for a rush of coolant. Even after draining the radiator AND block, there was still a flood pouring out when I popped it off.

- Installing the new auto-tensioner was quite difficult. There is very little room so you cannot see what your doing to insert the two bolts. If it seems like the timing belt is too tight to get the new auto-tensioner on, you've got the timing belt slack in the wrong place. Be sure to pull it very tight from the crank to the front cam, and the front cam to the rear cam. Once the belt was tight in those spots, there was plenty of extra push in the tensioner pulley to get the auto-tensioner in place. Torque the nuts and then pull the pin...
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Old 09-24-2009, 08:25 AM   #13
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Default Re: Honda Pilot (03) Timing Belt & Water Pump

haha... pull the pin you say... easier said than done... those things are a little bit of a pain if you get a new tensioner. overall, though, you covered that very well. nice job.
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Old 09-25-2009, 07:58 AM   #14
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Default Re: Honda Pilot (03) Timing Belt & Water Pump

The pin in my new auto-tensioner yanked right out. Belt felt nice & tight afterwards. The hard part was bolting the new tensioner in place without being able to see squat in there...

Cool thing was that the old tensioner had no fluid leaking. I think I'm gonna keep it and maybe save myself $75 when my 05 TL needs a new belt... :D
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Old 12-01-2009, 08:09 AM   #15
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Default Re: Honda Pilot (03) Timing Belt & Water Pump

(I have a 2004 Pilot EX with 159,000 miles on it)

Hey all, thanks for the excellent DIY guide. My Father-in-law and I were going to change out the belt/seals/water pump using this guide until I found out my local dealer would do it for $685 total. I figured that was a good deal and took it in.

I picked the car up 3 days ago and now all of a sudden the REAR seal is leaking---pretty badly! Is it possible that changing the belt/seals/water pump could have caused this? The dealer says its impossible that the 2 things are related but my car has never leaked a drop of oil until now!

Also, how much should I expect to pay for the rear seal replacement? I also need a 4th gear pressure switch in the trans.

THANKS

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Old 12-13-2009, 06:46 PM   #16
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Default Re: Honda Pilot (03) Timing Belt & Water Pump

Hi All, I plan to take on the timing belt on my wife's 04 Pilot over the up coming holiday. I will likely replace everything as advised by each of you. I see the one comment about the crank pulley having to come off and it being difficult to do. Is there a trick or something I can make to lock it in place to wrench on it? Is there a puller I will need or just a soft hammer and some sweat?

Thanks for all the time you all put into detailing this out for everyone.

Nathan
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Old 12-14-2009, 06:05 AM   #17
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Default Re: Honda Pilot (03) Timing Belt & Water Pump

Quote:
Originally Posted by jimga View Post
(I have a 2004 Pilot EX with 159,000 miles on it)

Hey all, thanks for the excellent DIY guide. My Father-in-law and I were going to change out the belt/seals/water pump using this guide until I found out my local dealer would do it for $685 total. I figured that was a good deal and took it in.

I picked the car up 3 days ago and now all of a sudden the REAR seal is leaking---pretty badly! Is it possible that changing the belt/seals/water pump could have caused this? The dealer says its impossible that the 2 things are related but my car has never leaked a drop of oil until now!

Also, how much should I expect to pay for the rear seal replacement? I also need a 4th gear pressure switch in the trans.

THANKS
No way in the world did a timing belt cause a rear main to leak. Replacing the rar main is going to cost in the neighborhood of $600-800 (all labor).

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Originally Posted by TX Nathan View Post
Hi All, I plan to take on the timing belt on my wife's 04 Pilot over the up coming holiday. I will likely replace everything as advised by each of you. I see the one comment about the crank pulley having to come off and it being difficult to do. Is there a trick or something I can make to lock it in place to wrench on it? Is there a puller I will need or just a soft hammer and some sweat?

Thanks for all the time you all put into detailing this out for everyone.

Nathan
Some dealerships will break the bolt loose and just tighten it enough to get you back home. Easiest way for a DIY job on a V6 is to get a long pry bar and stick it on the crank bolt, bump the key a few times till you hear it snap loose.
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Old 12-26-2009, 05:16 PM   #18
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Default Re: Honda Pilot (03) Timing Belt & Water Pump

Does a broken timing belt cause valve/piston damage on these V6 engines?
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Old 01-25-2010, 12:24 PM   #19
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Default Re: Honda Pilot (03) Timing Belt & Water Pump

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Does a broken timing belt cause valve/piston damage on these V6 engines?
I believe it can.


I took my '04 Pilot in for a timing belt and water pump job about a month ago. It has now sprung a leak on the rear head gasket. I find the timing suspicious...and especially since they told me it will be about $2500 to fix!!!

Can a timing belt/water pump replacement cause a head gasket to leak???

Thanks,
Steve

2004 Honda Pilot
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Old 02-28-2010, 11:31 AM   #20
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Default Re: Honda Pilot (03) Timing Belt & Water Pump

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Does a broken timing belt cause valve/piston damage on these V6 engines?
I'm looking for an answer to this question as well, but couldn't find it in the search.

I know my prelude is an interference motor (piston and valve occupy the same space at different times), but don't know for sure on the pilot.

If it's not an interference motor, I'm inclined to allow it to break before replacing it.
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Old 03-06-2010, 02:51 PM   #21
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Default Re: Honda Pilot (03) Timing Belt & Water Pump

Every Honda has an interference motor. Don't let the belt break!!
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Old 03-10-2010, 08:12 PM   #22
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Default Re: Honda Pilot (03) Timing Belt & Water Pump

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I believe it can.


I took my '04 Pilot in for a timing belt and water pump job about a month ago. It has now sprung a leak on the rear head gasket. I find the timing suspicious...and especially since they told me it will be about $2500 to fix!!!

Can a timing belt/water pump replacement cause a head gasket to leak???

Thanks,
Steve

2004 Honda Pilot
I too had a similar problem. My local mechanic changed timing belt, water pump, two other belts, changed transmission fluid, flushed out brake & stearing fluid & put new fluid, new spark plugs, new differential fluid, all for $500. Fluid is from Honda, Timing belt (Devco) and water pump (ASC Part No. WP-9201) from Advance Auto.

After a week I noticed a leak from transmission seal. I took it dealer and took 1 day to fix it and I spent $1,095 including free rental. I thought of timing belt issue it was not.
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Old 03-15-2010, 07:01 PM   #23
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Default Re: Honda Pilot (03) Timing Belt & Water Pump

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Originally Posted by mhgleitz View Post
I'm looking for an answer to this question as well, but couldn't find it in the search.

I know my prelude is an interference motor (piston and valve occupy the same space at different times), but don't know for sure on the pilot.

If it's not an interference motor, I'm inclined to allow it to break before replacing it.
DO NOT let the belt break. I've seen them jump time and bend valves before. These are interference motors.
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Old 03-31-2010, 09:49 AM   #24
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Default Re: Honda Pilot (03) Timing Belt & Water Pump

Hello, all,

I would appreciate any feedback you guys could offer.

I have a 2005 Honda Pilot EX-L needing a new timing belt. I took it in and they said now is the time to go ahead and take care of the water pump and camshaft/crankshaft seals.

They are quoting $850 for everything. That includes $338 worth of labor (5.2 hours) and the rest is parts.

It looks like they are hitting almost $200 over what a couple of others have posted. Any idea what this extra could be coming from? Just mark-up on parts?

I don't have the know how, the space, or the parts to do it myself. I think this shop will do a good job. Is $850 unreasonable?

Thanks for any advice.

--bux
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Old 03-31-2010, 02:23 PM   #25
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Default Re: Honda Pilot (03) Timing Belt & Water Pump

^^ Most quotes won't have the seals in them for the first timing belt, due at 105,000 miles or 8 years. How many miles on your Pilot? That is a cheap labor rate, 65$/hour, they are marking their parts up pretty good I'd say

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