1 2
Duke
Duke MegaDork
4/30/18 8:15 a.m.

So, it happened.  My 2004 TSX started throwing the dreaded K-series code P0341 - Camshaft Position Sensor A Circuit Range / Performance Bank 1

The car has a little over 70,000 on it and we've owned it since new.  I've tried to be good about oil changes but up until last fall it was driven daily for very short trips (3 mile commute each way).  And it's a K-series Honda engine.

How berked am I?  I'm a decent shade tree mechanic, but I'm slow.  How hard is the timing chain replacement on this engine?  Can I do it myself from above (no lift available) in a small garage?

There are other things that can cause this code, like a bad VTEC actuator, but the stretched timing chain is both the worst and most likely case.

red_stapler
red_stapler Dork
4/30/18 8:33 a.m.

It’s just like a neon timing belt, except there is sealant on the chain cover and the crank bolt takes a lot of force to remove.

Pete Gossett
Pete Gossett MegaDork
4/30/18 8:50 a.m.
red_stapler said:

...and the crank bolt takes a lot of force to remove.

Based on this thread that sounds like an understatement!

Duke
Duke MegaDork
4/30/18 8:56 a.m.

In reply to Pete Gossett :

Yeah, I just posted a link to this thread in that thread!  Starting to sound like I'm paying to get this done in a reasonable amount of time.  I don't have anything but hand tools readily available.

mazdeuce - Seth
mazdeuce - Seth Mod Squad
4/30/18 12:03 p.m.

I reset the chain in the RSX with the motor in the car, just hand tools. Basically everything on the passenger side has to come off the motor. All of it. Then you have to hold the motor up by the pan (or a hoist, or whatever) and pull the motor mount from that side. Then it's just 48,000 tiny bolts and the timing cover pops off. Actually mucking about with the chain was the easiest part. It's not "hard" but you will be moving a lot of parts and sealing a big huge complex timing cover. 

grover
grover Reader
4/30/18 1:06 p.m.
Duke said:

In reply to Pete Gossett :

Yeah, I just posted a link to this thread in that thread!  Starting to sound like I'm paying to get this done in a reasonable amount of time.  I don't have anything but hand tools readily available.

I'm about to dive back in using the advice I was given, I'll let you know.  If I return if an hour, awesome.  If not, be very afraid.  

Bob the REAL oil guy.
Bob the REAL oil guy. MegaDork
4/30/18 2:34 p.m.
mazdeuce - Seth said:

I reset the chain in the RSX with the motor in the car, just hand tools. Basically everything on the passenger side has to come off the motor. All of it. Then you have to hold the motor up by the pan (or a hoist, or whatever) and pull the motor mount from that side. Then it's just 48,000 tiny bolts and the timing cover pops off. Actually mucking about with the chain was the easiest part. It's not "hard" but you will be moving a lot of parts and sealing a big huge complex timing cover. 

pretty much this. Don't forget the guides. 

Duke
Duke MegaDork
4/30/18 2:50 p.m.

Yeah, I'm planning on chain, tensioner, and guides.  I may go with one of the aftermarket K-series tensioners.  But then again I will probably only have this car for another 3 years and 30,000 miles...

...which begs the question:  at just over 70k, should I do the waterpump as well?

RXBeetle
RXBeetle Reader
5/1/18 2:54 p.m.

I did the timing set on a CRV over the winter for my parents. They were quoted $1,700 and the parts including valve cover gasket and oil change were around $300. It took 170k+ miles of Michigan weather and infrequent oil changes to cause a CEL. The VTEC actuator went many miles/years earlier.

There is a little 3 bolt cover on the timing cover that barely gives you visibility to inspect the tensioner. You should be able to pull the little cover and see how far the tensioner rack is extended to verify that chain wear is in fact the problem. I'm looking a picture I took and it looks like 13 teeth exposed before it tripped the CEL. New parts shows 2 teeth exposed. 

I bought a honda crank pulley socket from amazon and used the long extension propped on a jack stand to allow me to use a breaker bar + 4' extension on the crank bolt. It needed every bit of it. Other than that it was just basic hand tools and many hours. 

Duke
Duke MegaDork
9/12/18 2:07 p.m.

OK, well, in another thread, somebody suggested I change my oil and see what happens.

I did that a month or two ago, and the problem went away.  Then it started coming back once in a while.  Now it's back more frequently.

I took it to a reasonably trustworthy shop when this problem first appeared, asking for a quote on timing chain / guide replacement.  They told me they didn't think it needed it.

If the car sits for, say, 2 days, it will trip the CEL (and the VSA light) on or immediately after startup.  Usually, if I drive a couple minutes and restart the car, the VSA light will go out and stay out.  The CEL might stay on for another 15-20 miles, but will eventually go out, either while running or between start cycles.

My commute is about 12 miles each way, so typically it's like this:

Monday, the CEL / VSA will come on at morning startup.  If I make the effort to restart the car at a stoplight, the VSA will go out. If I don't bother, it will not reappear when I start the car in the evening.  CEL will stay lit.

Tuesday morning, CEL will still be lit, but no VSA light.  Tuesday evening, the CEL will randomly go out during my drive home.

Wednesday will be fine - no warning lights.

It doesn't really rattle at startup, idle, or under acceleration.

When  the lights are lit, sometimes there are no other symptoms.  Other times when the CEL is on, the car seems to be slightly down on power, but otherwise runs and idles fine.  When the lights are lit, it also sometmes seems a little reluctant to shift, both up and down (ATX).  But these symptoms are subtle, and not always there, even when the lights are burning.

To me, it's almost like it's failing to shift cam profiles sometimes.

It's cheap and relatively easy to replace the VTEC solenoid.  The actualtor is about $55 and the whole spool valve with actuator is about $110 from RA, plus a couple bucks for the filter.

Any thoughts?

bobzilla
bobzilla MegaDork
9/12/18 2:09 p.m.

It wasn't uncommon for that spool valve seal/screan to get nasty if long OCI's were going on. It's pretty darn cheap and might be worth a shot. 

Duke
Duke MegaDork
9/12/18 2:21 p.m.

In reply to bobzilla :

Thanks:

Am I correct in assuming that the shiny cyclindrical thing, with the upper elecctrical connector, in the picture below is the actuator within the spool valve assembly?

mazdeuce - Seth
mazdeuce - Seth Mod Squad
9/12/18 2:24 p.m.

I'm 99% certain you pull the whole unit off to clean it and then you pull the spool valve out and you can check it's function with a power source. There are instructions for doing it online somewhere on a Honda board that I followed when I was hoping I wasn't going to have to re-time the RSX. 

Duke
Duke MegaDork
9/12/18 4:26 p.m.

In reply to mazdeuce - Seth :

I'm kind of confused.  Because some posts say getting this off basically involves R+R the timing chain - but some say it's held onto the passenger side back of the head with 3x 10mm bolts.

bobzilla
bobzilla MegaDork
9/12/18 5:03 p.m.

TSX, the solenoid should be at the back of the head. 

EDIT: The spool valve with the replacable screen is at the back of the head. there is a vtec solenoid at the base of the timing chain hidden by a bunch of E36 M3 too but that isn't usually the problem. 

Duke
Duke MegaDork
9/12/18 6:56 p.m.

Gotcha, thanks. For $100 and a plan to keep this car a couple more years, I’ll probably just replace the spool valve and filter thing.  Even with only 75k on it it is still 14 years old. 

Knurled.
Knurled. MegaDork
9/12/18 6:56 p.m.
mazdeuce - Seth said:

I reset the chain in the RSX with the motor in the car, just hand tools. Basically everything on the passenger side has to come off the motor. All of it.

 

I didn't have to do that on any of the K24s I've done.  (Gotta love tiny pitch roller chains)  You just have to remove the motor mount and its bracket, and the valve cover.   Maybe have to remove the water pump pulley.

 

To the OP, if the engine has a nasty rattle for 2-3 seconds immediately after starting, after sitting for at least 8 hours or so, replace the cam pulley.  Known issue, the lock pin breaks.  The rattle is the phaser finding the limits of its travel before oil pressure can get to it, after the oil leaks out overnight.  (The pin's purpose is to prevent the rattle, the leakdown is normal)  Procedure calls for removing the cam, and the bolt gets such a death grip that I've never gotten one loose in chassis.  Better to fight it on the bench than risk spinning the cam and taking out some valves.

Duke
Duke MegaDork
9/12/18 8:32 p.m.

I’ll have to open the hood before starting tomorrow, but it doesn’t really rattle that you can hear from the cabin.

For the rattlers, I’ve read that if you ignition on and then wait for all the dash lights to go out before throwing the starter, that it doesn’t rattle so much, if at all.

Thanks for everybody’s input. 

Knurled.
Knurled. MegaDork
9/12/18 8:57 p.m.

In reply to Duke :

 

If the cam phaser is bad, you'll KNOW.  It sounds like the world is ending.

 

It should make no difference at all what you do with the key, the rattle is due to oil pressure delay at start, oil pressure is driven by the oil pump, not warning lights on the dash

Vigo
Vigo UltimaDork
9/12/18 9:41 p.m.

Here's what i'm reading. 

You're getting a cam/crank correlation code due to some combination of tensioner/guide wear/chain stretch/vtc sprocket issues. You changed the oil and the situation improved briefly. Right away you're talking tensioner or vtc sprocket because those are the only things the oil pressure would affect. One is accessible without tearing into the timing case, one is not. If you're trying to stretch (hahhh) the amount of time until you have to do the full job, replace the tensioner first. If that doesn't work, go in and replace everything else, because if you go in for one thing you might as well do it all. 

The VTEC solenoid that's been pictured has nothing to do with cam/crank correlation. All the VTEC stuff that happens is in the valvetrain, but the camshaft is still one solid piece of metal from front to back and the VTEC system can't cause the camshaft to be in a different position than it otherwise should be. Now the VTC system (i know, be nice if the names were more differentiated) is for the variable cam gear on the intake cam and that CAN cause cam position to vary. Unfortunately, the solenoid that controls that is the one that's underneath the cam sprockets inside the timing case. 

Knurled.
Knurled. MegaDork
9/12/18 9:50 p.m.

In reply to Vigo :

Bingo.

 

Except the SOLENOID is accessible externally.  Has to be removed to get the timing cover off, actually.  Usually makes a minor mess when you pull it out.  Have yet to see one go bad, though.  (Unlike the second generation of Ecotec, which seems to like eating those suckers for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and midnight snack.  It's kind of a clue when you call the dealership to order one and they comment that they only have ten left in stock...)

Vigo
Vigo UltimaDork
9/12/18 9:56 p.m.

Thanks for clarifying that. I have no personal experience with this one and based that assumption on a diagram, not an actual pic. 

Duke
Duke MegaDork
9/13/18 8:38 a.m.

Can I do just the tensioner through the little port on the lower passenger side, without opening up the timing cover or the valve cover?

I'd like to get another 3 years and 25,000 miles out of this car.  I'm not fatally allergic to spending $1200 to get the problem fixed correctly.  But if I can bandaid it for $50 and a couple hours in the garage, I'll start there.  Working carefully, I'm sure I could even handle the whole timing chain replacement, but it would take me a full weekend or more.  I'm slow and apparently have fat hands.

Vigo
Vigo UltimaDork
9/13/18 3:26 p.m.

I looked up the procedure for the tensioner when i was making my post and it is possible to do it through that little cover.

Duke
Duke MegaDork
9/13/18 3:30 p.m.

OK, thanks.  I assume I have to keep tension on the chain somehow to make sure it doesn't slip while I have the tensioner out.

1 2
Our Preferred Partners
e7iYgZlRacNkP6bvJYLl4d5dbmpfH1UDB4cJLeLyWRD5CguOGmVh98l5JU8LG0e7