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Old 05-10-2017, 10:12 AM   #1
atikovi
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Default 3.5L timing belt cover bolt options

The heads of half the bolts are nearly rusted away and I was barely able to get them out by first pounding a socket on. Is there an aftermarket replacement option rather than spending $80 to $100 at a dealer?
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Old 05-12-2017, 05:10 PM   #2
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Default Re: 3.5L timing belt cover bolt options

I had a similar issue when I went to do my Redline's second timing belt change at 200K.

I found that not all of my timing cover bolts were bad, just the ones that are most exposed to water, salt, etc along the front side and bottom edge of the cover.

Rather than paying GM's mark up, I ended up getting new bolts from a Honda dealer on eBay. The Honda part number is 90007-679-000. They are still pricey from Honda (about $5 bucks a bolt), but considering their unique shape, I felt it was best to get the original bolts. You could probably get away with using a bolt of the same length with the same thread pattern and a pile of washers, but I wasn't crazy about that approach.

One other part that I had issues with is what Honda refers to as the "Camshaft Tensioner Collar". This is the steel piece that sits inside the mechanical tensioner for the timing belt. For some reason, none of the aftermarket kits seem to include this piece, so it has to be swapped out when you change your belt. When I changed my belt at 100K using a Gates kit, I swapped the collar without issue from the OEM tensioner to the new Gates piece. When I removed said Gates tensioner at 200K and attempted to remove the metal collar, it was pretty well fused inside the Gates tensioner. I could have attempted to heat the tensioner to get the collar out, but I was concerned about the heat warping the thin collar and causing issues down the road. This part is no longer available from GM. So I ended up ordering a new one from Honda (Honda Part# 14530P13000). For $30, it was cheap insurance to know I had all new timing components. Just something else to be mindful of as your going through this job
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Old 05-12-2017, 05:22 PM   #3
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Default Re: 3.5L timing belt cover bolt options

Ended up cleaning the bolt heads, only a few were rusty, and put them back in the most accessible positions. I wouldn't use anything but OEM replacement parts on a job like this which is Aisin and the complete kit was $170 with water pump. Only $40 more than a Gates kit. Gates was a great brand 10 years ago but now it seems half their parts are made in China.
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Old 05-12-2017, 05:30 PM   #4
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Default Re: 3.5L timing belt cover bolt options

Quote:
Originally Posted by atikovi View Post
Ended up cleaning the bolt heads, only a few were rusty, and put them back in the most accessible positions. I wouldn't use anything but OEM replacement parts on a job like this which is Aisin and the complete kit was only $170 with water pump. Gates was a great brand 10 years ago but now it seems half their parts are made in China.
Glad to hear you got your Vue back together. For someone who only wants to use OEM parts, I'm surprised you'd be asking for an alternative to the factory bolts.

Overall I was really pleased with the Gates kit. It happily made it 102K miles before I changed it out, and the belt still looked great. My only issues was the stuck collar, which I mostly attribute to the less than forgiving conditions weather conditions that my Vue is driven in. Considering I got 202K out of the original collar, I think I got my money's worth.
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Old 05-12-2017, 05:38 PM   #5
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Default Re: 3.5L timing belt cover bolt options

Not completely together yet. Still need to adjust the valves and replace the plugs and a/c compressor scroll valve. If some of the bolt heads were totally shot I'd bite the bullet and replace those but at $5 a pop, it wasn't justified. Somebody needs to find the supplier of those bolts and make a group buy or something. Doubt Honda makes them in house.
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