2006 Pilot drive belt tensioner problem - Honda-Tech - Honda Forum Discussion

2006 Pilot drive belt tensioner problem

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Old 02-22-2011, 05:53 AM   #1
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Default 2006 Pilot drive belt tensioner problem

I started working on replacing the timing belt and water pump on my 2006 Pilot (first time for both me and the vehicle), and got stopped in my tracks before I got very far. For the life of me, I cannot get the serpentine/drive belt tensioner pulley to release or move, or whatever the term is for getting it to relax enough to remove the belt. I suppose it's important to note that the only manual that I have available to me for this job is the Haynes Pilot 2003-2007/MDX 2001-2007, and I believe that the tensioner that's described and illustrated in the manual is different than mine. I have dealt with several different tensioners in my life, and I don't remenber one that remained "frozen" or locked, or in other words not budging even a millimeter, even after me being assisted by a 24" breaker bar. Also, this is the first one I've seen that has a sort of hydraulic appearing cylinder that seems (by noting its position relative to the pulleys) to be functioning in a way similar to the tensioner adjuster for the timing belt.

Can anyone tell me if (contrary to all the written instructions I've read) this type of adjuster requires a different or special tool (other than the sockets and extended handled ratchet) or procedure. I spent 2 or 3 hours last night trying to figure this out. I've been trying to avoid an excess of brute force, after having read a post by someone who reportd damaging a pulley by trying to pry a tensioner open, although I don't recall it being described as the same type.

Sorry this is so wordy, but I really need some help, and I am trying to be as specific as possible.

Thanks to anyone who may try to give me a hand.

p.s. - - Something I just remembered; the upper tensioner pulley that the manual (Haynes) refers to as the one to turn to release the tensioner does not have a nut locking it, but a Torx fastener of some sort that is too shallow to get much grip. I vaguely recall someone else posting about this type of tensioner requiring a Honda tool of some sort. Is this tensioner unique to the 2006 model? If not, why aren't there more comments (or complaints) about it? Or, am I just missing something that should be obvious? Uh-oh, I think my sleep deficiency is starting to show.

Last edited by vltjr; 04-30-2011 at 01:51 PM.
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Old 02-22-2011, 07:44 AM   #2
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Default Re: 2006 Pilot drive belt tensioner problem

Well, I have to give up on the project for today. The Pilot is required to perform taxi service this afternoon (good thing I'm not going to be doing the driving), so I have to put everything back together. I guess I need to be somewhat better prepared when I take the next shot at it. I'd like to get a copy of the real service manual, but it's just not in the budget right now, especially after purchasing the timing belt/water pump parts. I suppose I can take some advice I read on this forum, and see if one of the local dealers will let me copy what I need.

Thanks to everyone who read of my frustrating experience. I'm going to have to do this soon, so I'm still looking for everybody's ideas and advice.

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Old 03-02-2011, 01:30 AM   #3
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Default Re: 2006 Pilot drive belt tensioner problem

Sounds like you have the J35Z1 engine. Just make sure you are on the 19MM that is casted on the actual tensioner and not the e-torx or the lower tensioner pulley bolt. Yes it is pretty tight due to hydraulic type tensioner. However get on that 19mm and slowly push on it counter clockwise, keeping steady force and it should enough to get the belt off. Just dont try to push it as far as it will go cause I have seen people break them. If you still cant get it after that just take some shears ect and cut the drive belt off and go from there.
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Old 04-30-2011, 01:50 PM   #4
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Default Re: 2006 Pilot drive belt tensioner problem

civicsir924 - Thanks for your advice. Sorry I didn't respond to your post until now, but I totally put the TB job on hold until this weekend (coming up on 103,000). By following your instuctions re the hydraulic tensioner - slow but steady force - I was able to finally get the thing to work. Once I got it loose, it's been working easily and smoothly. Thanks again.

Of course, now that I've undertaken this project again, I've run into new obstacles.I've already posted a plea for help here:


I would feel a little too whiney if I directly repeated it again here.
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Old 05-05-2011, 08:39 AM   #5
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Default Re: 2006 Pilot drive belt tensioner problem

Sorry if this is a little late. This is for an 04 but it should be almost the same:

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