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Timing Belt

21 February 2002
Does the NSX have a zero clearance engine? I have heard yes and no. My 94 has 65K miles, and the local Acura NSX techncian recommended that I wait until 90K or 8 years to replace the belt. I bought the car from their dealership last year, and it had the 60K service and used car inspection completed 6 months ago.
It has an "interference" engine. A broken belt will likely interfere with your retirement savings. His recommendations do not agree with Honda, but a 94 is essentially 8 years old now.

Look at it this way, you'll need to do it soon anyway, so do it this year and you won't need to think about it for the rest of the decade unless you roll up a lot of miles.
a 94 is essentially 8 years old now.

Many techs have suggested that the timing belt on the car should be changed in 8, or so, years due to fatigue of the rubber. Regardless of zero-tolerance, breaking a belt would really wreck your day. Go ahead and do it now.
If it were me, I'd change it.

Waitaminute... It *was* me. My '94 had 65K miles when I bought it, and I had the belt changed on the first service under my ownership.

-Bob ('94 #496)
And while you're at it, you might as well replace the water pump. The water pump on my '94 went bad last year and I only had 26k miles.
I have't heard the term "zero clearance" before. I assume it means "interference"?

All modern Honda car engines* are interference design. This means that if your belt breaks, pistons and valves may try to occupy the same space at the same time. This is Bad.

* With the possible exception of their hybrid cars - I don't know much about those.
I had my timing belt snap while driving 77 mph on the highway with my 1992 Honda Prelude. Needless to say, when the mechanic opened it up and checked it out, 2 of my valves were all bent to hell. Luckily, nothing much else was found, and the valve job cost me about 1200 bucks.
I think that I've read somewhere in this website that when NSX timing belts are removed at the recommended mileage, they're almost always looking in perfect condition. So what is the most reasonable thing to do when the "time" is up, but the "miles" are no where near up? For example, I have a 7 year old car (95), with only 11k miles. It's never been tracked, oil and filter have always been changed around the 2k mile interval, and it's only ocassionally redlined. I would guess the belt will be good for years to come. Any opinions?

95 NSX-T, 5 sp, Red/Tan, Tubi exhaust, Dali street anti-sway bars, Dunlop SP9000s