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Old 11-09-2018, 03:49 AM   #1 (permalink)
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P0730 Incorrect Gear Ratio. Related? My alternator belt came completely loose in 24 miles!

My alternator belt started chirping on startup, but it would go away. I replaced the belt 3,000 miles ago when I changed the timing belt, along with many other components. The belt started chirping again. I tightened it last week, and on Tuesday, when I pulled onto a dirt road, it squealed for a couple of miles until I pulled onto their street. However, it squealed on and off the entire time home. ChrisFix has a video about troubleshooting fan belts and he says the first thing to do is spray the inside of the belt with water and see if it stops squealing.

It did and the belt also spun very slowly, so this morning, once it was cool, I tightened it. It squealed briefly on startup, so I tightened it a bit more, and drove twelve miles to see my client. On my way, it quickly chirped once, but squealed much of the way back, and I think the alternator started cutting out. I am not sure what that has to do with this, though:


Maybe if I try to capture something like this again in the future I will make sure that I hold my phone as close as possible. I should have pulled over and seen if this still happened while parked.

I wish the GIF were zoomed in more and did not have the logo, but whatever.

I let it cool for three hours. I was surprised how warm the engine compartment was. I believe that I tightened the nut twelve or thirteen full rotations! I could have easily walked to my one appointment tonight, although I would have hated carrying my duffel bag since the shoulder strap broke. I pulled my Civic battery off the charger and the Accord battery has been going for at least five hours. I know that they do not charge very quickly:

Quote:
Q: How long does it take to charge a 12V car battery from flat?
A: Charging time depends on the battery and the charger. For a battery being charged by the car's alternator it can take an hour of driving to get it fully charged. Car batteries range from 40AH to 110AH, and alternators range from 45 amps to 200 amps. If you are using a battery charger, a 10 amp charger will take 4 to 11 hours to fully charge the battery, a 2 amp charger will take 2-4 days.
https://www.powerstream.com/car-battery-faq.htm

I do not know what the math here is. Is this not linear? Point of diminishing return? If you quintuple the amperage, it charges 9 - 12 times as fast?

Based on my calculations, this can take... longer than 2 - 4 days.

I do not know why my belt keeps coming loose. I wondered if rough roads could vibrate the nut, but the belt started squealing as soon as I hit gravel. However, today it came completely loose as I drove on pavement. I cannot find anything useful on-line, but right now I am planning on loosening the nut, putting Loctite on the threads, tightening the nut, and reinstalling my battery when it is charged, and seeing whether Honda says to flush or just change the ATF.

I have read stories of transmissions going out after replacing the ATF. People say that metal fragments somehow hold everything together until you change the fluid, but it then runs out of borrowed time. ChrisFix has a video showing the components of a transmission and said that when your fluid is past due the sludge blocks up narrow channels and the gearbox dies.

Well, my fluid looks like the "Needs to be changed" example that he showed. Not too bad.

The good news is that after 3,000 miles my oil is still at the full mark. I used to check that before every road trip and topped off every 500 - 1,000 miles. I needed to check multiple times by now, but I am pleased that it does not seem to have burned any oil. Hopefully that means my new cat will last longer!

I am just curious why the car stopped burning oil. I forget how I decided that it was, aside from losing oil, and never having any drips. That, combined with the dead cat seemed pretty clear, but I replaced external seals...

Anyway, should I be good to go as long as I fully charge my battery and put Loctite on the tensioner bolt?

I was supposed to log my notes and go to bed a while ago, but if I cannot drive my car a couple of hours tomorrow, I cannot see up to four clients!

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Old 11-09-2018, 11:27 AM   #2 (permalink)
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What keeps loosening? Bolt #6 in the link sets the belt tension and nut #11 should lock it in place.
https://www.hondaautomotiveparts.com...rnator-bracket
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Old 11-09-2018, 08:25 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Okay! Let's see if I can update everyone (are you everyone?) and make it to my last client today on-time. I used my car as an excuse to not drive 2.5 hours and have one kid beat me and three more cooperate to varying degrees, but also expose myself to the stomach flu. Meanwhile!

Bolt #6 threads into #5, which threads into #11. However, the right side of #5 sheared. I spent all day trying to find something that I could use and I need to borrow a car and drive to Phoenix tomorrow to purchase an $8 bolt.
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Old 11-09-2018, 11:38 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Some guy on ebay is selling the bolts. The front one goes through the bracket and the back one goes through the bottom of the alternator:



It seems they do not include nut #11.
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Old 11-11-2018, 03:02 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Well, we drove three and a half hours to the second-nearest dealership. We could have saved a couple of hours by driving to Flagstaff, but we visited my sister and her family. I do not know how to fit the bolt into it's spot. I got it started, but the edge of the bracket seems to be blocking the bolt head.

I think I figured out how the bolt broke. Bolt #7 came loose. Perhaps it vibrated out as I drove down bumpy roads. I think that contributed to #5 shearing.

Do any of you have any suggestions on making the bolt fit?
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Old 11-11-2018, 12:16 PM   #6 (permalink)
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You have discovered one of the joys of Honda ownership. First they install the alternator then they install the engine. Don’t worry some of the Honda engineers now work for Ford. They designed the Escape the same way.
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Old 11-11-2018, 02:37 PM   #7 (permalink)
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1. Remove engine
2. Replace bolt
3. Reinstall engine
4. Profit!

Actually, the biggest obstacle to removing the alternator is the belt. I think that Monday morning I will shove a 2x4 under the alternator, put a floor jack under the 2x4, and gently try to lift the alternator enough to give me more room, but I still think the bracket will be in the way.

I could grind down that spot, but I do not think it would do me any good if the bracket bent there.
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Old 11-11-2018, 05:34 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I did it!

I had not planned on working on this until tomorrow, but if Mom is ready for Church before I am, she leaves without me. I thought that I gave myself plenty of time, but unfortunately, I forgot that I needed to iron a shirt. I got rid of the wrinkles, but now my best shirt is covered with lint. Mom left her room, asked "Are you even going to Church today?!" and left.

Swell.

I could have grabbed my bike and helmet out of storage, ridden to Church, and then ridden home, because my bike is too big to fit in Mom's trunk.

I could have walked and missed the first meeting.

I figured that it was worth seeing if I could finesse the bolt into its slot. Two bolts, my battery, and I could drive!

Does using a hammer count as finesse?

Wiggling never accomplished anything. I could not find a 2x4 the right length. I ended up grabbing my longest socket extension and tapping it a few times. It got past the edge of the bracket, but still would not go in! I tapped it again.

It went in!

Mom realized she left me without a car and came back for me, right around when I fixed mine!

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