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Discussion Starter #1
I'm going to try and replace the belt tensioner in my daughter's 08 Civic 4 dr this weekend. Tonight I jacked up the front passenger side, took the wheel off and removed the fender liner. I could see the pivot bolt for the tensioner, so I gave the front of the bolt some shots of PB blaster. I tried getting at it from behind also, but I don't think worked to well. I'm going to do this again Saturday, first taking off the alternator and water pump pulley to get it ready, and will try to replace the tensioner Sunday.

Does anyone have any tips on the pivot bolt if it's hard to get out? I got a set of metric hex head sockets, Any do's or don'ts?

I purchased an OEM tensionser and pivot bolt, to replace the one that's coming out (hopefully). That's actually another question. The Honda parts breakdown actually shows two different part numbers for the same pivot bolt. One for a 10 X 55 bolt, one for a 10 X 59 bolt. I picked up both bolts since they were only about .60 each. Any idea on which one would be the correct one to use?

When I put the new pivot bolt in, should I use any anti-seize on the threads? I know there are differing opinions on the use of anti-seize compound on torqued bolts, but I wanted to see if anyone here has any experience with this?

One more question. I see a lot of threads here about a TSB for the pivot bolts, but it seems to be for the 2006 Civics only. I'm guessing the TSB and recall didn't apply to later years? We've had the car since new and only gave it to our daughter last year. Never received any recall on the pivot bolt or the tensioner.

Just trying to prepare for any hiccups should they come up. Nothing for me ever goes the ways it's supposed to.
 

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Good luck! I've never done it on this car but it shouldn't be too tough. I wouldn't use anti-seize on it. As far as the size, just match it up with the one that comes out. Not sure why there are 2 different sized bolts.
 

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One more question. I see a lot of threads here about a TSB for the pivot bolts, but it seems to be for the 2006 Civics only. I'm guessing the TSB and recall didn't apply to later years? We've had the car since new and only gave it to our daughter last year. Never received any recall on the pivot bolt or the tensioner. ...
I'm pretty sure that TSB was from '09 (I think TSB #09-007), so it may apply to your '08. I looked at it last week, just after reinstalling the same old bolt on my '06 :facepalm: I did use anti-seize, not sure if I shoulda, but I did.

I did not have to remove the alternator, just the water pump pulley.
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
Update; Well, I wish I could say success. But unfortunately it was not to be. I got the alternator off just fine. I ended up rounding off one of the water pump pulley bolts, but was able to eventually get it off. Then I tried the tensioner pivot bolt. I used a 3/8 socket 8mm allen wrench. It seems that the head must be a soft metal, as I rounded off the inside of the head. I tried a using a chisel and a hammer to see if I could get it started, but no go. So I didn't go any farther and put it all back together.

Any ideas on where to go from here? Since the bolt is flush with the tensioner mount, I can't get anything around it. What about a bolt extractor? I guess one of the issues with that is that I would have to drop the engine down on the passenger side to get a clean shot at the pivot bolt, and that might be beyond my technical knowledge.

And I'm not 100% sure, but I think the TSB applied only to 06 model year Civics, which seemed to have an issue with the pivot bolt heads breaking off.
 

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They make special tools to remove those types of bolts if you round out the inside. It shouldn't be too tough to get too with the motor still in the car. If you're not able to do it yourself, now you have to pay someone to deal with the headache...
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
I was doing some more research on this, and I found a YouTube video for a 2008 Civic LX belt tensioner replacement (the guy actually has his daughter doing the work, I'm sure with a lot of help from dad). They dropped the engine down by removing the bolts and nut from the passenger side motor mount and supported the engine from underneath. They got pretty much a straight shot at the tensioner pivot bolt from underneath through the wheel well.

So if I were to do this, what would be the best method for trying to get that bolt out? I saw online where the used a torx key slightly larger and tapped it in with a hammer, a 12 point star key, a bolt extractor.

Any other ideas? And thanks for the replies, they do point me in the right direction.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Update #2: So we tried again yesterday. This time we tried dropping the engine down to get better access to the pivot bolt. We got all the bolts and nut off easy enough. Dog bone came out with no problem. We just couldn't get the engine to drop down. The bracket that sits on top of the motor mount was resting up against the threads of the bolt that comes up out of the engine block, preventing the engine from dropping down. We tried moving the engine slightly to see if we could free the pinch point, but no luck. I didn't want to mess with it too much and damage the threads on that bolt, so we just put it back together and dropped it off at the mechanic.

I hate having to give up on something like this. If it was my car I would probably have forged ahead. But it's my daughter's car and she is driving around our new grandson, so I'll let someone a little more experienced work on it.
 

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Update #2: So we tried again yesterday. This time we tried dropping the engine down to get better access to the pivot bolt. We got all the bolts and nut off easy enough. Dog bone came out with no problem. We just couldn't get the engine to drop down. The bracket that sits on top of the motor mount was resting up against the threads of the bolt that comes up out of the engine block, preventing the engine from dropping down. We tried moving the engine slightly to see if we could free the pinch point, but no luck. I didn't want to mess with it too much and damage the threads on that bolt, so we just put it back together and dropped it off at the mechanic.

I hate having to give up on something like this. If it was my car I would probably have forged ahead. But it's my daughter's car and she is driving around our new grandson, so I'll let someone a little more experienced work on it.
I'm getting ready to start a thread - but it's very close to yours.
yesterday morning i pulled the front wheel and shield, and got the belt off. pulled the alternator out of the way, got the water pump pulley off.
got a 8mm hex socket and breaker bar of that bolt and it will not budge. been soaked with PB blaster also.
I see all the horror stories on the net about this bolt - and i need the car to get to work - so i just put it back together again. now i'm regrouping for another assault in a few weeks.

I've been researching this for about 8 months. my belt tensioner was making some noise about 9 months ago, now it's kinda quiet. it just moves around a bunch. But here is what I've found out:

It looks fine until you put on the AC and when the compressor kicks in the added strain on the belt makes the idler pulley sway from side to side. yesterday with the belt off I could move the tensioner bracket around. that notorious bolt holds a bushing tight against the engine block. That bushing wears and then you have your movement and the noise.

Gates sells a tensioner/belt set, # ACK070852 for a 2007.
if you order for a 2006 it's # 39054K and comes with a bolt.

The Tech Bullitens for the 2006 change the bolt and the routing of the belt - to reduce tension. Think by 2007 honda felt they had the problem solved.
I say that bolt it too small, it's a 10mm, should have been at least a 12mm just for the shear strength. And yes if I get mine out its getting anti-sieze on the way back in - probably a new grade 8 bolt also.

I saw that video with the little girl. took that ratchet and hex socket and bolt was loose, then backed it out with her fingers. must have been staged, LOL

please let us know how you mechanic makes out with your fix - cuz i have some crazy ideas floating in my head. Ha Ha
 

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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
When we made the second attempt at getting at that bolt, the main idea was to be able to lower the engine enough to get a straight shot at the pivot bolt. It looks like you would have to lower the engine on the passenger side about 1 1/2". I was hoping that with a straight shot at the bolt, I would be able to use the 8mm socket key, wedge it in the bolt and tap on it with a hammer to get it loose. There's no way you're going to be able to do that with the bolt in it's current location. If that didn't work to get the bolt loose, I had an M10 12 point star key socket that we would hammer in and try to turn it with that.

The whole key was getting the engine down to be able to access the bolt on a horizontal plane. That's really the only way you're going to be able to get the bolt loose. Trying to use a ratchet or breaker bar from above or below just isn't going to work, unless it's loose to begin with. You're not going to be able to get enough leverage from the top or bottom. The 8mm hex key won't sit right in the bolt.

When we hit the roadblock with not being able to drop the engine, we just said screw it and buttoned everything back up and drove it to a mechanic. He hasn't been able to look at it yet.

Doing research about getting bolts with inside rounded heads, I saw a guy do something that I wished I could do. He took an air chisel and cut a slot in the bolt head. He put the chisel in the right hand slot of the bolt and just turned it counter clockwise right out. Unfortunately, don't have an air compressor, impact wrench, air chisel, etc. etc.

I've also heard that you can drill the head off. Once you get the belt tensioner off and the tension is relieved on the remains of the bolt, you can turn it with a pair of vise grips to get it out. That method is actually in the 06 Civic bolt replacement TSB. If I tried that, with my luck I would just wedge the bolt in tighter to the block. Like I said before, nothing ever works out for me like it does in these YouTube videos.

I will update once the mechanic gets it repaired
 

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Discussion Starter #11
The TSB was for the 06 Civics only. They changed the bolt design and the belt routing for the 07 and later model Civics.

Update #3. So I picked the car up from the mechanic yesterday. To get at the bolt, he welded another nut on the face of the bolt. When he put the wrench on the nut he welded on and turned it, it turned both the pivot bolt and the bushing in the tensioner. No big deal since I had a new tensioner anyhow.

What a pain in the a _ _. It's all nice an quiet now though. Problem solved.
 

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Ah, good deal.
thought about welding the bolt to the tensioner pivot cuz i have a mig - but my bolt head is still good, still has the hex and i can use the hex socket.

I'm going to remove the engine mount and drop the engine and get a clear shot at that bolt. bought an adapter for my dewalt 1/4" impact driver so i can use the 3/8 socket-8mm hex. looked up the ft/lb on the driver and it's 110#, so less than a 3/8 air gun and might be just right with a ton of PB blaster. Think the impact driver will be better than a 3/8 breaker bar. stupid little bolt is only 40 foot pounds, but could be corroded in there with 218k miles and 10 years.

think i'll get a new bolt from Honda before i get back into this project.
 

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This thread is a couple years so I'd like to know if any of you had any problems using anti-seize on the bolt. We just removed this using an air impact wrench that we borrowed. It took about 3 days of spraying penetrating oil and heating it with a torch. The penetrating oil didn't even work itself into the threads though. I think the heat and air impact is what did the trick.
 

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The TSB was for the 06 Civics only. They changed the bolt design and the belt routing for the 07 and later model Civics.

Update #3. So I picked the car up from the mechanic yesterday. To get at the bolt, he welded another nut on the face of the bolt. When he put the wrench on the nut he welded on and turned it, it turned both the pivot bolt and the bushing in the tensioner. No big deal since I had a new tensioner anyhow.

What a pain in the a _ _. It's all nice an quiet now though. Problem solved.
do you remember how much you paid?
 
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