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Author Topic:   Honda Timing Belt
weekendwarrior posted 05-15-2015 01:39 PM ET (US)   Profile for weekendwarrior   Send Email to weekendwarrior  
I've had my Honda 50-HP outboard engine since I bought it new in 1999. It has been a great engine, but the other day it hit me that it still has the original timing belt in it. I'm sure they must break on occasion, but I've never heard of one breaking myself. Has anyone experienced a broken timing belt, or had a buddy who had one break? If yes, what was the approximate age of the belt and engine at the time?

It might be time for me to replace mine, but I fear they're replaced so infrequently that the belt I buy will probably be as old as my engine

Jefecinco posted 05-15-2015 07:14 PM ET (US)     Profile for Jefecinco  Send Email to Jefecinco     
I would change it regardless of any recommendation to the contrary.

Butch

conch posted 05-16-2015 08:07 AM ET (US)     Profile for conch  Send Email to conch     
Commercial guys flog that motor like a wet mechanical slave. It is very tough. What does the owners manual recommend?
Is the motor an interference valve train type? If so then you have a "lifetime" timing belt. If the belt breaks the engines life is probably over.
Chuck
jimh posted 05-16-2015 08:08 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
quote:
Has anyone experienced a broken timing belt...?

In the 1970's I was driving a car with a German-made four-cylinder engine with a rubber timing belt. When the car was about five years old and had about 90,000-miles, the timing belt broke as I was driving. Of course, it was about 1 a.m. on a moonless and rainy night.

Apparently the valve clearance was sufficient that no damage was done by the pistons operating with any valves stuck in the open position. This is called a non-interference design. If the open valves protrude into the cylinder space where the piston travels, called an interference design, a broken timing belt can be a catastrophe.

contender posted 05-16-2015 02:16 PM ET (US)     Profile for contender  Send Email to contender     
Jim is correct, however on some jap cars if the timing belt breaks there is no valve clearence and you will end up redoing your head if it did not break. I do not know about the Honda outboards but the Honda car is one of those that the valves will hit the pistion if the belt breaks....
Jefecinco posted 05-16-2015 06:11 PM ET (US)     Profile for Jefecinco  Send Email to Jefecinco     
If I owned an engine with a 16 year old timing belt I would replace it as a preventive maintenance measure. Consider the cost of a timing belt failure at cruising speed. Consider the cost of a new timing belt which can probably be owner installed.

New engine or power head vs new belt. Easy.

Butch

weekendwarrior posted 05-17-2015 10:12 PM ET (US)     Profile for weekendwarrior  Send Email to weekendwarrior     
Thanks guys for the replies. I was actually wondering not if anyone had my specific motor with a broken timing belt, but any outboard by any maker with a broken timing belt. It's just something you don't hear much about, but it must happen.

My buddy in college had a BMW that broke a timing belt and it made a mess. We let a machine shop fix the head and we fixed the rest. I've changed 5 or 6 belts in my life on various cars/trucks, they never seem to need replacement at convenient times...

BQUICK posted 05-18-2015 01:29 PM ET (US)     Profile for BQUICK  Send Email to BQUICK     
Most cars are retuning back to chains from belts. I would never own a car with a belt....

Honda must have some hour recommendation like 500 but age also factors into it. I would go ahead and do it and run another 15 years.
BTW all Honda car engines that I know of are interference designs....I suspect the same for their outboards.

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