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1993 Prelude S Harmonic Balancer Broken after belt replacement or coincidence?

Old 10-05-2013, 09:55 PM
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Default 1993 Prelude S Harmonic Balancer Broken after belt replacement or coincidence?

Hi Forums,

Just got back from a grease filled evening at a friend's bar. Here's the story.

Last Wednesday a good friend of mine pulls up in his 1993 Prelude S. As much as I admire this car it's probably seen better days, but it's a Honda so I know it's fairing better than most cars at its age.

My buddy who drives it is a bit down on his luck right now so the basics are all she gets. Actually, no basics, as he pulls in I notice an odd noise. When he pulls up me and a friend quizzically ask "hey, that sounds like a belt, any lights on?" He replies, "Yeah, battery light and steering feels funny". Uh oh. Ok pop the hood, here we go.

Turns out the car was absolutely devoid of belts at this point. The PS belt was resting in the engine compartment, definitely worn and split. The ALT/AC belt was MIA. :\

Today I decided to help him out and took him down to the part store for two belts. Replace the Alternator belt, but the PS belt is wrong. No problem I say, let's fire it up for a sec sans PS belt and see the fruit of our labor.

Immediately it makes a god awful noise and the belt comes off. I inspect the crankshaft pulley/harmonic balancer and it's quite obviously VERY loose almost hanging off the car. I couldn't inspect further but I imagine the teeth and/or key is destroyed.

I hadn't noticed this prior to installing the belt, nor had I noticed anything about the belt installation that may have caused it, (I am 99% sure it failed at start-up post belt install). The belt had ~1/4" of tension on it, was properly routed and seemed fine prior to starting the car.

I'm on the path now to replace his harmonic balancer, but in my mind something isn't right.

Anyone know what could have fail cascaded here? My guess is the balancer was not right and assisted the old belts in the failure, and putting a new belt on it and running it finished it off.

Just want to make sure if I go through the motions of replacing the harmonic balancer (hooray 180 foot lbs! and a special tool) that I am not missing something bigger here that can turn into a can of worms (apart from the obvious worms). The timing belt cover is slightly damaged from the HB, I am considering going for a full timing belt too but i'll be honest, I have enough projects of my own and just want to get him on the road so he can save some money up to get it properly maintained.

Thoughts? Sorry about the long winded explanation, I think i'm still high from the petroleum intake for the day.
Old 07-16-2015, 11:58 PM
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Join Date: Jul 2015
Location: Chattanooga, TN
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Question Harmonic Balancer Blues

I just went through something very similar with my Prelude. I have a 92 si, with a F22b in it. I replaced the water pump and the timing belt since I was in there, and as soon as I did, the rubber in the HB started to crumble. I think it was just old and brittle and removing it to replace the water pump, and TB was all it could take.

So, to answer your question, I would say it's just general wear and tear. If you have any advice on surging idle issues at startup, please let me know. I'm having the worst time trying to figure this out. It's not the idle air control, already replaced that. I'm afraid it's some wacky vacuum leak that I will never track down.
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