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Discussion Starter #1
199.5K miles on my 06 ridge and a new and nasty rattle has developed that seems to be engine related.
The rattle sound like it is up high in the engine, maybe in the intake plenum?
I have recently changed the timing belt, water pump, timing belt tensioner, accessory belt and its tensioner (about 2 months ago) and adjusted the valves, cleaned the throttle body, new spark plugs(a few weeks ago). All was good after those events.

Yesterday this rattle developed. The rattle is horrible at idle and up to about 2000 RPM then dies off. Doesn't sound like valve noise...
The sound is similar to a video another ROC'er posted about a failed timing belt tensioner. But with a recent new one I don't think that is my problem.
I removed the accessory belt to check pulley/bearings. All seems good there.
The engine starts and idles fine. Runs good.
I pulled the intake plenum top cover off for a look.
The valve plate for the Intake Manifold Tuning (IMT, IMRC) has some play to it. I can easily rotate the shaft a few degrees so the valve plates come unseated.
Could this assembly be fluttering?
Does the actuator actually "drive" this assembly closed? (Would that take up the play?) Or does it just hold position? (Allowing it to stay loose?)
The IMT actuator gears are worn a bit. There is some (plastic?) dust around the pinion.
I can't find squat in my service manual other than replacing the actuator.
How does this device operate in relation to the engine speed?
There doesn't seem to be any parts information for the pieces involved. Are parts available? Can I replace the gear part on the shaft as well as the actuator?

Any ideas?
 

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Did you check your windshield water reservoir? Common topic on the ROC. Plastic fastener breaks and container rattles against side of eng compartment.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Yes...I knew of that and fixed that a long time ago. This is definitely not that.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Well it isn't the Intake Manifold Tuning (IMT, IMRC)...#@%.
I got brave and started it with the actuator off and held the valve snug shut by hand. Nada.
 

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Get us a vid perhaps? Post to YouTube and copy the link here.
 

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Have you been able to listen while under the hood, in order to 'localize' the noise by just listening to it from that (under the hood) vantage point?

You can also use a listening "pole" or extended stethoscope if need be to track it down.

I do recall an occasional issue with camshaft caps? with loose (need to be torqued) fasteners, or some such thing ..... I don't really recall the type of noise, but you may want to do a search to find a description. It seems it's in the neighborhood of your suspected area.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks for the suggestions.
Dnick - yes, been listening from under the hood and with "soundpole" method. I can hear the noise in several locations but all sound distant. As in "not right here...". The noise doesn't seem to be louder at one valve cover or the other so I am thinking it isn't a valve problem.
The noise is similar to these posted vids... They are leading to the damn timing tensioner though.. that is where I am headed.
davidsavourin
https://www.dropbox.com/s/yn4d6nirhucvlx8/20140612_182325.mp4
speedlever

Like my ridge, just hate this much facetime.
 

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Piston slap! Lots of people reporting it here over the years. Some people rebuild/replace their engine and some just ignore it. It's a nasty sound.

Most dealers are telling people to ignore it. My Ridgeline used to make a similar noise very faintly when cold. I think it's a common noise, but that really doesn't sound "normal" like what an engine should be making.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I'm having trouble believing that piston slap would just suddenly appear. Seems that would be more gradual in appearance.

I have the upper timing belt covers off and there is what looks like belt fuzz in the covers and what may be a very light oil residue on the belt.
A leaking tensioner that lost its dampening fluid and the resulting belt slap may be my problem.
Have to go get the crank pulley tool to get the lower cover off to see the timing belt tensioner.
 

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Keep going the way you are. May very well have found your issue. Don't forget the valve train (including "cap bolts") if the sound persists after TB/tensioner/WP service. That's the place I'd be looking next, but you might very well have silenced it with what you're about to do.
 

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I'm having trouble believing that piston slap would just suddenly appear. Seems that would be more gradual in appearance.

I have the upper timing belt covers off and there is what looks like belt fuzz in the covers and what may be a very light oil residue on the belt.
A leaking tensioner that lost its dampening fluid and the resulting belt slap may be my problem.
Have to go get the crank pulley tool to get the lower cover off to see the timing belt tensioner.
Has the temperature suddenly dropped in your area? That could cause it to appear. These j series are known for that and I've had Honda mechanics tell me it's piston slap. That doesn't sound like belt slap to me, that sounds like metal clanking on metal but perhaps it's a tensioner on the timing belt, those make weird noises too. I hope for your sake that's all it is!

Here's an interesting and short thread.
http://www.ridgelineownersclub.com/forums/showthread.php?t=81121
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Sure enough! Once I got the crank pulley out of the way, the back edge of the timing belt cover had an oil stain coming from the tensioner area.
And off came the cover and there sits the tensioner slobbering oil out of it.
New one is in and covered up. (Hope it lasts better than the last one.)
Quick test...and YES! Purrs like it should with just the gentle sweet ticking of the valves!
Now to put all the other paraphernalia back on.

The tensioner without the dampening fluid probably was bouncing on the spring causing the knock and allowing the belt to flop a bit.
I have to wonder if some of the "piston slap" stories aren't the precursor to a failing tensioner.

So if your ridge sounds like the videos above, go look at the timing tensioner.

I believe my adult beverage will taste much better this evening.
 

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Sure enough! Once I got the crank pulley out of the way, the back edge of the timing belt cover had an oil stain coming from the tensioner area.
And off came the cover and there sits the tensioner slobbering oil out of it.
New one is in and covered up. (Hope it lasts better than the last one.)
Quick test...and YES! Purrs like it should with just the gentle sweet ticking of the valves!
Now to put all the other paraphernalia back on.

The tensioner without the dampening fluid probably was bouncing on the spring causing the knock and allowing the belt to flop a bit.
I have to wonder if some of the "piston slap" stories aren't the precursor to a failing tensioner.

So if your ridge sounds like the videos above, go look at the timing tensioner.

I believe my adult beverage will taste much better this evening.
Wow nice! That's an easy enough fix. That noise sounds so much like metal on metal to me. Interesting!
 

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..............
And off came the cover and there sits the tensioner slobbering oil out of it.
New one is in and covered up. .............
You didn't say anything about changing the TB. Did you NOT put in a new TB????

If not, you would be well advised to do that, or at the very least inspect it very closely for contamination. The only cause I've ever known for a high quality TB to fail prematurely is from contamination (oil or coolant). If you had a leaky tensioner & any oil at all got on to your TB, it will accelerate normal age degradation. Keep that in mind as you mosey down the road. :act024:
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I did give some thought to the belt. But since the belt was only a couple months old and the previous one had almost 200,000 miles on it....I called it good. Since it is easy to pop the cam drive cover off and look at the belt for inspections in she went.
300+ miles on the reassembly now...purring sweetly.

Now back to my first questions...can anyone point me to info on the IMT and its magic???
- operating parameters
- testing of its operation
- inspection
- does it throw fault codes if it is malfunctioning?
 

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Fuzz is normal for the most part, re-did a Civic a few years ago, must have had half a cup of belt fuzz up under the cover.

The noise sounds a bit "harder" than belt slap to me.
It almost sounds like something coming into contact, like tapping a small hammer onto a solid piece of steel.

How is the oil level?
 

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Fuzz is normal for the most part, re-did a Civic a few years ago, must have had half a cup of belt fuzz up under the cover.
............
Was that a one-off experience? Because I've never see (or heard of) that; but I've only changed about 1/2 dozen of them myself. Doesn't sound right to me.
 

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.................I have the upper timing belt covers off and there is what looks like belt fuzz in the covers and what may be a very light oil residue on the belt.
A leaking tensioner that lost its dampening fluid and the resulting belt slap may be my problem. .................
I would be very concerned that you did not replace the TB when you replaced the tensioner. You're asking for trouble down the road, and with an interference fit engine, that won't be minor trouble.
 

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I would be very concerned that you did not replace the TB when you replaced the tensioner. You're asking for trouble down the road, and with an interference fit engine, that won't be minor trouble.
I agree! I just found out there were six bent valves on our 3.5 Ridgeline engine when the timing belt broke.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Dnick, silverstreek,
Pay attention to the details! :)
I appreciate your concern, but your dismay is misplaced.
As I posted earlier, the timing belt is only a couple months old. It was the tensioner that I installed at the same time that crapped out.
I see no reason to replace a timing belt with a few thousand miles on it.
Whatever you want to call it - tapping, clacking, rattling, WTF is that?...The failed belt tensioner was definitely the source of the noise.
When I cleaned the belt covers, I did see a couple spots on the covers where the belt touched them at the edges where the sections meet. The belt moved around a little bit due to the undamped tensioner. There is a lot of stuff moving in a tight space. This is likely where the "fuzz" came from. It just scraped the edge of the belt a bit.
If someone put the flange washer on the crank pulley inside out (with the cup facing in) you could pile up a lot of fuzz. It would shave about a mm of belt off.

Anyway, about 500 miles on the repair now and all is well.
She will pass 200,000 miles on the clock tomorrow.
 
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