Individuals that aren't capable of paying attention to their affairs
should not pass the blame for their stupidity to the manufacturer. Nor
should the manufacturer change a product that hasn't had any *real*
issues for the majority of consumers.
OK, thanks. I was not aware that it would need maintenance. I'm soon taking
my Accord in for its 60K major service and I'll ask about it, such as what
they do to maintain it. The work will be done at an independent garage.
Everyone who races in F500 (SCCA) has gone from chain drive to belt
drive. Most of the high end motorcycles have gone to belt drive.
Maintenance free? How about free play? Chain adjustments can be a
holy bitch. And if you think a belt is expensive, try a $300 chain.
On top of the expense of labor.
there are many sound technical reasons to use belts. but chains have
advanced a lot in recent years, and "pre-stretched" chain, where the
initial high stretch rate is taken care of in the factory, not the
engine, means they can be used for a comparatively long period without
intervention. add that to the fact that consumers don't like getting
the hose from unscrupulous dealers over-charging for belt changes, and
the opportunity for the manufacturer to get the car into the "not worth
spending the maintenance money" zone before it needs a new chain, and
you have a financial decision to go with an inferior technical solution.
"Pre-stretching" may have something to do with it, but I doubt it. Pre-
stretching has been in use since at least the '60s, so even all the old-
style chains were likely pre-stretched.
Inverted-tooth chain links simply have a lot more contact area with the pin
than the old link-chains. In addition, inverted-tooth chains ride on
completely different sorts of sprockets than the old chains did, meaning
there's less stress on the links.
sprocket teeth are irrelevant in the wear equation:
1. chain elongation [and thus valve timing drift] is caused by wear
between the chain pins and the plates - tooth wear is insignificant.
2. for rollerless chain, lubrication is more critical than roller chain.
Agreed. Honda used belts for a solid engineering reason.
Now the marketing mavens have taken over and are responding to the
ignorant masses who think that a chain is inherently better, simply
because it isn't a scheduled maintenance item.
Instead, it becomes an unexpected, unscheduled repair.
My brother's 91 Infiniti Q needed its timing chains replaced,
unexpectedly of course, after about 8 years. $2700.
indeed - if there is a chain problem, it's costly. in fact, for many
older cars with non-diy owners, the vehicle with a chain problem will
become uneconomic to repair. thus it gets the vehicle off the road and
the owner into the showroom buying a new one. [if they still have any
brand loyalty left after being let down - the bit the mba bean counters
somehow don't seem to be smart enough to factor into their cash flow
with a scheduled maintenance item like a belt, and its relatively low
cost [some independents here in the bay area advertise timing belt
changes from only $250], you can keep that puppy on the road almost
from the engineering perspective, belts with their inherently lower
mass, effective absence of stretch and smoother tooth engagement make
for better emissions over the life of the engine, much better drive
train operation and lower wear rates - technically, a much superior
I agree (as should any thinking person) that chains require
maintenance. They (the chains) are moving pieces of machinery and
everything that moves requires TLC through it's lifespan. For the peope
that don't think that chains can stretch, they are sadly misinformed.
Those chains are far more expensive than Honda's timing belts.
they're about $74 online for a civic vs $33 for a belt - hardly a
material issue. what /is/ material though is that the belted engines
are designed to be maintained. the chained engines are supposed to be
pretty much "sealed for life". a fundamental philosophical difference
that is part of the huge honda shift towards following the rest of the
automotive world into "life limitation".
Oh no, not blaming anyone on that. But if you buy a Honda now because
"look, no more of those damned timing belts that need replaced!", don't
expect that you've eliminated a maintenance or repair item. The timing
belt will need addressed at some point.
It wasn't a Honda but I did have a 1987 Ford van with a 302 in it. At 60,000
miles I put on a new water pump. While I was in there I removed the timing
chain cover and it had stretched enough that it was rubbing on the side of
the cover. I replaced it with a double roller one from a performance parts
place. They definitely do stretch.
What happened then? Did the chain jump a tooth or something? $2700 is
nothing to sneeze your nose at.
Sorry to be like a dog with a bone on this, but I'm curious about it for
2 reasons: 1. I have an '03 Accord I4, and 2. I'm comparing it in my
mind to my old '69 Porsche 911T, which had hydraulic tensioners
(one/cylinder bank) and it was the factory tensioners which failed
(never did any damage, however). The engine got noisy (chain slapping
around) when a tensioner failed, so after a couple of times (more or
less annually, IIRC) I installed solid aftermarket tensioners. They
needed to be adjusted annually for the additional slack in the chains,
but it was routine maintenance (basically free - did it myself) and they
never failed. Ultimately I had a *very* meticulous friend who
recommended rebuilding the Porsche tensioners (that he ran in his '73
911S). The rebuilt tensioners were rock solid and required no maint.
That was the situation until I sold the car a few years later.
FWIW, Honda calls the chain cam drive setup "maintenance-free throughout
the life of the engine".
From: http://www.honda.com/newsandviews/article.aspx?id 03112035861
"Cylinder Head and Valvetrain
The i-VTEC engine is crowned by a compact, lightweight cylinder head
made of pressure-cast aluminum alloy. Its 4-valve-per-cylinder design
has double overhead camshafts activated by a silent chain drive to
ensure extremely precise control of the cam phasing. The cam drive is
maintenance-free throughout the life of the engine. The combustion
chamber is designed with a relatively large "squish" area that promotes
faster flame propagation on the ignition stroke. This results in more
complete burning of the air-fuel mix and subsequently, lower levels of
CO and HC emissions. "
On Mon, 06 Sep 2010 05:19:36 -0400, Tony Harding wrote:
That's comforting, still glad I have the chain on my accord. I would
expect it to be more durable than the old American style chains that
always broke. FWIW,the chain (double iirc) on my old 93 Altima flapped
about for over 200k, Now has 360k and no problems. I even removed the
upper chain guide to try to quiet it down. I figure I have easily saved
$3000 by not having to change a belt and water pump every 80k.
You've never had a water pump failure?
Understand that the water pump replacement in a Honda was done not
because it failed, necessarily, but because you were already in there
and the incremental cost was about $25 to go ahead and replace it.
If the water pump on your Altima failed, you'd still have a helluva bill.
just did a water pump on a gf's civic. cheapo afermarket crap - the
"bearing" had worn so badly, there was a full 1/8" side to side play on
bottom line - don't buy chinese vehicle components people! unless you
don't mind replacing after only 30k miles that is.
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