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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello everyone, I am a new owner of a 2007 RTL and new to this forum. I have a somewhat unique situation and I am looking for advice. I recently bought a RTL that has about 110k miles on it and hasn't had the plugs or timing belt replaced yet. I am stationed in Germany where the honda dealers don't sell Ridgelines and probably haven't ever seen one. My question is how long would I be able to delay this service. I will likely be under 120k still when I return to the states where I could find someone who can do it.

Additionally, what things should I be worried about on a ridgeline? Any tell tale signs of a pending mechanical failure?

Thanks for the info.

Kyle
 

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2006 Ridgeline RTS in Steel Blue
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I've seen plenty of posts of individuals post about going 120k, 150k and even further on the Timing Belt, as for the Spark Plugs, If it were me I'd merely check the torque and not worry about them at all. I changed my timing belt early, but my mileage was extremely low and is getting lower now that I'm oncall monthly (assigned a company vehicle for a week)

Your biggest concern should be fluid changes and changing out the Radiator, because of SMOD (Strawberry Milkshake of Death). It is where the OTW cooler in the Radiators OEM (Denso supplied) fittings fail and coolant and ATF mix. If your even slightly handy or know someone who is it's is a 2-4hr job (I'm slow because I start inspecting everything) There are Radiators from KOYO, SPECTRA, CSF and others and here are plenty of threads to start your reading.

All the following threads are on Transmission/Radiator issues.

Radiator Failure @ Cooler Lines

Best Radiator Replacement

Pictures of Corroded/Rusted Radiator Fittings

Radiator Fail on 2006

UOA on ATF

Anatomy of OEM Denso Radiator

Poll(Never Posted) on Radiator/Trans Cooler Solution
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks everyone. I think I will do the spark plugs myself as well as the radiator. The transmission fluid looked clean and he had done a transmission and differential fluid change recently, so I will leave those alone. I will also go around with some touch up paint to take care of a few paint chips.
 

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2008 Ridgeline RTS in Billet Silver Metallic
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I think that's a good plan. Check filters (remember the cabin filter) and brake fluid too. And how about the transfer assembly?

I also run my J35 motors to 120k before doing the TB/WP/spark plugs/valve adjustment/radiator change. But I don't tow and am not typically in severe service conditions.
 

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I'm currently doing my belt. Bought a new Gates kit for $148 with free shipping. I made the "special" socket to pull crank bolt out of two impact sockets and it worked fine with 150 psi compressor(standard sockets don't usually work cuz they lose energy). My old belt also looks great, but looks are not everything. I was told by the dealer I could go 120k easy with it, but I don't wanna take chances. If you are mechanical, it's not a hard job, just takes time. I come from a mechanical family so I have been doing this stuff since my teens. I would like to ask though if someone knows the torque for crank bolt? I know it's up there, but my torque wrench goes to like 150 so I may need a new one for this job. Thanks
 

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I would like to ask though if someone knows the torque for crank bolt? I know it's up there, but my torque wrench goes to like 150 so I may need a new one for this job. Thanks
Is this what you were looking for?

Also, 2. Has an additional 60 degrees of tightening.
 

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Is this what you were looking for?

Also, 2. Has an additional 60 degrees of tightening.

Yeah, I found it in a video. I thought it would be tighter, but it is just holding on a pulley. I saw someone say something like 250 ft lbs, but no way. That would snap it so disregard that guy. My thinking was roughly around 60 ft lbs, but I kept seeing these big numbers so I had no idea. Thanks for the pic. I had a repair manual for my Pilot that would have helped, but can't find it.
 

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Finished mine today. My water pump was in excellent shape, but I swapped it out anyway. It was tough to toss a good Honda water pump and put in aftermarket, but I figured I'd better. The kit was a Gates kit and the idlers were the exact same idlers I took out. They were in tough shape. I did have one issue, don't know if anyone else did. When I took off timing belt the rear cam sprocket turned. I don't mean just a little I mean it jumped like it was under load. When I brought it back it would do the same thing the other way. Was a job keeping it right on the money. Got it all together and it's running great. The special crank socket I made myself worked awesome. I did have to buy the pulley holding tool, which btw is a pile of crap. It fits in all loose and isn't as snug as I think it should be. I used an angle gauge to do the 60° and it worked fine. It was hard to push, had to sit and use my foot, but all is well. Spark plugs are next. I didn't have them or I would have done it at the same time. Thanks again for that diagram of the torque for crank pulley.
 

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So, it appears my water pump is leaking. I was very careful to tighten everything just right. My thoughts are the aftermarket pump is just not as good as Honda and the O ring is leaking. I had a bad feeling about the O ring when I was putting it on. I may have to take this all apart. Hoping to find that I DID leave a bolt loose and that's it, but if I have to take the belt off I'm wondering about hydraulic tensioner. It's new so I'll reuse it, anyone ever do this? I have looked into compressing it very slowly and putting pin back. Anyone have luck with this? Thanks
 

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So, it appears my water pump is leaking. I was very careful to tighten everything just right. My thoughts are the aftermarket pump is just not as good as Honda and the O ring is leaking. I had a bad feeling about the O ring when I was putting it on. I may have to take this all apart. Hoping to find that I DID leave a bolt loose and that's it, but if I have to take the belt off I'm wondering about hydraulic tensioner. It's new so I'll reuse it, anyone ever do this? I have looked into compressing it very slowly and putting pin back. Anyone have luck with this? Thanks
Shop manual says you can recompress and reuse..
 

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Agreed.... you should have no issues at all if you follow procedures. Did you use the battery hold down bolt to assist as prescribed? As hokey as it sounded to me when I read it, it really does work out quite well. Clever utilization of "what's available", rather than invoking "special tools", as is so often the case.
 

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I did have one issue, don't know if anyone else did. When I took off timing belt the rear cam sprocket turned. I don't mean just a little I mean it jumped like it was under load. When I brought it back it would do the same thing the other way. Was a job keeping it right on the money.
Our MDX was the same way -- the rear cam, at 12:00 position on the timing mark, must be just BARELY sitting "in equilibrium". If you move it just a smidge either way, it'll snap over to the 4:00 position, or snap back to the 8:00 position. It scared the heck out of me when it happened, but there is no piston contact when that happens, and it seems to be just a part of doing the job.

It goes to show just how much stress and pressure is put on that timing belt, constantly being pulled one way or the other all the time. I look forward to doing our Ridgeline's timing belt job this spring.

I'm sorry to see that you're having water pump leaks. Did you get that straightened out? I know a couple of people who have used aftermarket kits who have had problems with *something*, whether it's the water pump, or tensioner, or something else. I did use OEM parts on our MDX's job, and I plan to do the same with the RL. It is certainly more expensive that way.
 

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2009 RTS
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I've done many transverse engine timing belts of several makes and models over the years.
It seems the more of them you do, the more they all seem the same or similar.

One of the most important tips for me is to match mark everything on the timing system prior to disassembly.

I don't bother with top dead center alignment anymore. I remove the starter and install a universal flywheel lock tool to prevent movement. It bolts on using the starter bolt holes.
I use a paint marker and put alignment dots on the belt; cams/crank pulleys and housing.
I count belt ribs between the dots and mark the new belt in the same spots.
Then reinstall aligning the marks. This puts all the slack back over by the tensioner where it should be.

Once the belt is installed, I remove the flywheel lock tool and roll the motor by hand a few times to ensure the marks come back into alignment.
This will tell me if I'm off a tooth and it's very important before starting the engine, especially interference engines, but it's good to get into this habit on all types.

This method just works for me and I've never had any issues on any engine timing belt replacement.
 

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I've done many transverse engine timing belts of several makes and models over the years.
It seems the more of them you do, the more they all seem the same or similar.

One of the most important tips for me is to match mark everything on the timing system prior to disassembly.

I don't bother with top dead center alignment anymore. I remove the starter and install a universal flywheel lock tool to prevent movement. It bolts on using the starter bolt holes.
I use a paint marker and put alignment dots on the belt; cams/crank pulleys and housing.
I count belt ribs between the dots and mark the new belt in the same spots.
Then reinstall aligning the marks. This puts all the slack back over by the tensioner where it should be.

Once the belt is installed, I remove the flywheel lock tool and roll the motor by hand a few times to ensure the marks come back into alignment.
This will tell me if I'm off a tooth and it's very important before starting the engine, especially interference engines, but it's good to get into this habit on all types.

This method just works for me and I've never had any issues on any engine timing belt replacement.
The one thing I would absolutely recommend is to remove the spark plugs to relieve cylinder pressure resistance. Just makes things a whole lot easier.

I've never used the flywheel-lock method, but it certainly would add one more element of certainty. Having things @ TDC is a good enough reference for me, especially since you've already marked all of the relative pieces to ensure they are back in place. Mark EVERYTHING on both sides of the belt/gear boundary (the belt & the tooth) at cams & crank as mentioned above (BEFORE relieving any belt tension). After counting teeth, lay the belts (old & new) against one & other to ensure absolute match of markings. You simply CAN'T go wrong this way if you double check your work. It's worth the extra bit of time to do all of this.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I think my engine mounts are bad on my RL, so I am adding that to the list of things I am going to get done. That brings it up to a total of timing belt, plugs, water pump, motor mounts, and radiator. Anyone have a rough idea of how much labor I should be paying for all that?
 
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