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Why does Honda use a timing belt for the 3.5-liter V-6 and not a chain? Other manufacturers of V-6's use chain. Is it because the engine can obtain "silky smooth power and quicker acceleration" with a belt vs. a chain? I have 256K miles on my 2006 3.5L VTECH. The cost and my time to change out every belt 100-105K miles is getting painful. My daughter's 4 cylinder Civic has a chain. Just trying to figure out the mechanical, technical advantage, or other. Thanks guys, look forward to you sharing your wisdom!
 

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You'll find plenty of discussions about timing belts vs. timing chains by using the search function on here, but here's the short version:

Timing belt advantages: Cheaper to manufacture and quieter.
Timing belt disadvantages: Requires periodic replacement and can fail without warning.

Timing chain advantages: Durable and tends to becoming noisy before catastrophic failure occurs.
Timing chain disadvantages: More costly to manufacture and can be noisier.

In my opinion, $1,000 for a timing belt and water pump every 100,000 miles is a small price to pay considering how reliable the vehicle is and how much money you've saved by driving the same vehicle for almost 300K over the last 13 years. HOW can you even complain about that? :)
 

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IMO, timing belts are becoming dated or need a longer interval. Let's see what Honda does with the turbo V6. The Toyota V6 is silky smooth and uses a chain. Also, the timing belt tensioner is a problem/confusion area. It's a good idea to replace the tensioner (and pulleys) at the same time the belt and water pump is replaced but I've never seen it advertised as part of the job. It's the good old you might as well syndrome." Yes, 1k is not a big deal but for those of us low mileage drivers that get to the time limit (7 or 8 years) before the mileage limit it's just something an owner doesn't want to spend money on. I usually keep my cars for 10 years, 100k miles. That means a grand for a timing belt that I wouldn't have to do with a Toyota. If you are going to keep a car for the long haul, it's a good idea to research some of the costs. Two issues that come to mind with V6 Hondas are the timing belt and the the 9 speed fluid that may work it's way to the next gen RL. That fluid could result in a $400-$500 fluid change. Damn, I think I got an Aamco rebuilt transmission installed for that type of cost back in the day.
 

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Is it any easier/roomier now that there is no steering pump? That should mean cheaper too right?
 

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Is it any easier/roomier now that there is no steering pump? That should mean cheaper too right?
Power steering pumps have been replaced by turbochargers and intercoolers which take up even more space. :)

There's no longer a potential for hydraulic leaks and pump failure/maintenance, but the cost of steering rack replacement in the event of collision damage or component failure just skyrocketed thanks to the addition of a big electric motor and gear box.
 

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I recall reading somewhere that the timing belt allowed more accurate and precise timing for the VTEC at higher rpms, and with higher mileage.

Another disadvantage of timing chains is that they can stretch over time, thus leading to degraded performance. This could result in people saying that their engine feels "tired".

Timing chains also fail, but it may take almost 2x the miles for that to happen.
 

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As @zroger73 mentioned, this particular topic has been debated many times. To give you a perspective, the HR35TT engine, the Honda Racing engine with two turbos found in the Baja Ridgeline (G2 version) and the Daytona Prototype have timing belts. If we are looking at the life expectancy of timing belts, they are pretty high.

BTW, the infamous 2JZGTE engines run timing belts and the motors put down 1000hp+
 

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Chains typically last longer but not always. A quick read through the f150 forums will find many many ecoboost engines with premature chain failure. This is an extremely expensive job- around 4K.

GM 6's with chains had a run of absolute disasters with the early OLM calibration being way off.

Additionally almost timing chain tensioners are hydraulically tensioned and can rattle pretty hard on startup if between clicks, and it only take a tiny bit of stretch to trigger a check engine light - which makes it impossible to get a smog check in california until fixed.

With the popularity of TGDI and DOHC long chains driven mills with numerous sprockets can be very hard on oil shearing it down quickly 5K being the longest interval some of these engine can take before shearing out of grade - and if starting with a 20 its imperative that you change that oil out - the new Titan is an example of this.
DI engines typically have a bit of fuel in the oil making it even harder to stay in grade warranting a conservative OCI

Oil changes are cheap - but twice as many does take a toll on your time and wallet especially if you take the truck in for them that ultimately starts to even out the long term costs a bit.

Timing chain stretch is such a severe problem that oil formulations like dexos are made to take better care of the chains as DI soot can exacerbate stretch/ wear.

Im not thrilled about changing a belt and rollers every 100K, and would prefer a chain - but chains aren't a panacea anymore and IF you have a problem it will be many times more expensive than a belt rig.

UD
 

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Guess that I had heard in the past is that a timing belt, at its replacement extended the longevity of a motor, where once a timing chain went bad the motor was done due to the level of maintenance required to rebuild the motor. Still the replacement of a timing belt shouldn't be as much as it costs.
 

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Guess that I had heard in the past is that a timing belt, at its replacement extended the longevity of a motor, where once a timing chain went bad the motor was done due to the level of maintenance required to rebuild the motor. Still the replacement of a timing belt shouldn't be as much as it costs.
You have 2 types of engines - interference and non interference engines.

In a non interference engine a belt can break and all you have to do is fix the belt.

With an interference engine if you lose a belt it almost always (99.8%) leads to catastrophic failure as the valves and pistons lose time and hit each other.

The jobs are typically big PIA's so with rollers and tensioners and a water pump you can expect to blow a grand or more.

UD
 

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...….The jobs are typically big PIA's so with rollers and tensioners and a water pump you can expect to blow a grand or more.
I was just looking at the prices and components for when I do this in about 6 years....LOL. Looks like two rollers, (1 tensioner, 1 idler) the tensioner, and of course the belt. Didn't notice if the WP was right there or not, but if it is, why wouldn't you?

So that's almost $400 in parts, w/out a WP, and probably a full Saturday of my time. I bet that all might be a $2000 bill at the stealership, but at least I'd have the satisfaction of knowing it was done right.
 

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Why does Honda use a timing belt for the 3.5-liter V-6 and not a chain? Other manufacturers of V-6's use chain. Is it because the engine can obtain "silky smooth power and quicker acceleration" with a belt vs. a chain? I have 256K miles on my 2006 3.5L VTECH. The cost and my time to change out every belt 100-105K miles is getting painful. My daughter's 4 cylinder Civic has a chain. Just trying to figure out the mechanical, technical advantage, or other. Thanks guys, look forward to you sharing your wisdom!
Blew up the Civic with 278,000 miles last July... Yep the chain is great and runs long.. but you better change the water pump at some time. Mine blew without warning - engine doesn't run well without cooling!!
 

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Power steering pumps have been replaced by turbochargers and intercoolers which take up even more space. :)
I assume you are referring to the taco. I was referring to the g2 RL hydraulic steering pump delete.
 

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I assume you are referring to the taco. I was referring to the g2 RL hydraulic steering pump delete.
No, I wasn't referring to the Tacoma. I was making a general statement in reply to your comment about the space being saved by deleting a hydraulic power steering assist system being replaced by other components that occupy as much or more space. Example: The Honda Civic 1.5T engine bay. The power steering pump is gone, but the turbocharger, intercooler, and associated plumbing take up way more space than the power steering pump did. A dime wouldn't fall through that engine bay now! :)
 

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No, I wasn't referring to the Tacoma. I was making a general statement in reply to your comment about the space being saved by deleting a hydraulic power steering assist system being replaced by other components that occupy as much or more space. Example: The Honda Civic 1.5T engine bay. The power steering pump is gone, but the turbocharger, intercooler, and associated plumbing take up way more space than the power steering pump did. A dime wouldn't fall through that engine bay now! :)
Yikes, that sucks. I'm glad Honda didn't go the turbo route with the RL. From the Ranger Tacoma Ike Guantlet challenge video, mileage sucked for both trucks.
 

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Guess I'm not seeing a consensus as to what is preferable. I would think a timing belt would be the best bet to keep a motor running, but cost over the lifetime for maintenance between the two motors would be interesting to know.
 

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I changed my timing belt (along with the WP, Tensioner, Bearing) on the 2006 RL at 95K miles (Dealership). At 160K the belt broke and trashed the engine. Dealership, basically just said "that was 65K miles ago". They only warranty for a year, even though I was still within the recommended replacement mileage.
I had already bought my 2018 RL, otherwise, I wouldn't have bought another Belt driven engine. Have never had a problem with a chain driven engine, and I keep my vehicles for at least 10 years (150K miles).
 
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