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Old 07-01-2011, 06:21 AM   #31
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Re: Wanted: crank pulley tool so I can change the timing belt on my Civic VX

I was on the verge of doing this anyway, so your questions inspired me to take a couple of pictures:

http://i307.photobucket.com/albums/n...4/IMG_5381.jpg
http://i307.photobucket.com/albums/n...4/IMG_5382.jpg

Notice how there is a raised pattern, sort of criss-crossing the surface? It looks and feels rubbery, and my guess is that it's some kind of RTV sealant, and it's there for the purpose of enhancing grip. I find it works really, really well. The grip is probably better than being bare-handed.

The interesting thing about that RTV pattern is that I've tried to find that feature in kevlar gloves online, and I can't find it. Hmm. The problem is that I think this is an important feature, but I can't find another product with that exact feature. If someone can find that, I would be interested to hear about it.

So this is something to be cautious about. I'm obviously enthusiastic about these, but I've never tried the kind that I see on Amazon or at Sears, that has no such RTV coating. So I'm not sure how much I would like those.

There is also no tag or label of any kind. I've had these for a long time, at least 15-20 years. Possibly as long as 25-30 years. I have no recollection at all of how I ended up owning them. I almost certainly didn't buy them in a store. I sure didn't buy them online. It was probably something quirky like a yard sale or flea market.

I have another similar pair, not quite as old. Also probably found in a yard sale. This pair is covered with rubber dots. I didn't bother with a picture, since they look a lot like these:

http://industrial-glove.com/G23.html

I much prefer my RTV gloves. The rubber dot ones are OK, but not great. The difference is partly in the grip, but the RTV ones also just fit a lot better. Maybe that's a questions of sizing.

As far as dirt, you can see they look pretty dirty. That's mostly because a few days ago I did some yard work, digging out some enormous weeds. At one point, I was essentially digging with my hands, too lazy to get up and get a tool. With my bare hands I couldn't have done that at all, but with these gloves I could. Anyway, that's why there is heavy soil on them. I haven't tried to clean them. In fact, I have never done anything to try to clean them. I just shake the dirt off.

I recently had them on while I was doing an oil change. I use a Fumoto drain valve (another great quirky thing that I love), so the job is fairly clean. Still, I was handling the dirty filter and oily rags.

Over the years I've done various dirty jobs with them on, but oil and gas doesn't seem to hurt them. But it's not as if they've ever been truly soaked in oil. I will tend to take them off for an especially dirty part of a job. Sometimes then I will wear latex or nitrile gloves instead. Rubber gloves like that do almost nothing for injury protection, but sometimes I get tired of my hands getting filthy when I work on cars.

I should also mention that they slip on and off very easily. This is quite important, because even though they have good feel, sometimes I need the full sensitivity of using my fingertips for something. So I can take off one or both, but then have it on again very easily for resumed protection. A nice convenience is that they are reversible.

Anyway, aside from working on cars, these are good for other jobs where you want hand protection. Like handling sheet metal or working with glass. Handling any kind of sharp items. I think they are used in receiving departments for cutting open boxes. Great for mowing. I don't have a chain saw, but I think they would be perfect for that. I also don't have any air tools, but I bet they would work well for that, or electric power tools.

To summarize, I would say that any kevlar glove similar to these would be worth a try, if they're not too expensive. Probably no reason to pay more than about $8-12 for a pair. And if anyone can find ones with that RTV surface, I think that would especially be worth a try.

A lot of kevlar gloves, often sold for police/army work, have fake leather on the palm and fingers. I think this would kill sensitivity for using tools, and they are also more expensive. So I would avoid those.
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Old 07-01-2011, 07:47 AM   #32
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Re: Wanted: crank pulley tool so I can change the timing belt on my Civic VX

OK, I have another question for my personal support group here. I called three dealers to get a price for a belt. The prices range from $57 to $65. At autozone, napa and advance auto parts, the price range is $25-35.

I realize this is not a place to skimp, and I realize sometimes the dealer part really is better. But I'm a little surprised at how big the price difference is. After all, I'm a cheapskate.

So what would you guys do?
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Old 07-01-2011, 08:06 AM   #33
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Re: Wanted: crank pulley tool so I can change the timing belt on my Civic VX

I'll definitely keep an eye open for kevlar gloves. Your description will help me choose, I think.

Timing belt: If you have the part number, you could check http://discountpartshub.com to find a dealer selling it at a better price. I would buy OEM for a timing belt on a car I care about.

If you do buy a parts store one, be sure to check out the Advance Auto coupon thread, you can get 40% off of almost anything.
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Old 07-01-2011, 09:16 AM   #34
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Re: Wanted: crank pulley tool so I can change the timing belt on my Civic VX

I buy name brand (goodyear etc.) timing belts at autozone etc. and have never had a problem with any of them fraying, cracking or wearing out prematurely- but peace of mind can be worth an extra $30.
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Old 07-01-2011, 09:52 AM   #35
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Re: Wanted: crank pulley tool so I can change the timing belt on my Civic VX

Erik, I think an aftermarket belt would probably be fine. On the other hand, I really like this car, and in this instance the consequence of early failure is especially dire (you probably know it's an interference engine), so I'm willing to pay more for OEM. With other belts (e.g., alternator) the consequence of failure is relatively minor. I realize you know this.

holycow, as usual, your tips are excellent and appreciated. I do like this car, so you've convinced me that OEM is the way to go. But I'm running into trouble with http://discountpartshub.com. If you can give me a hand, that would be great.

First I did some searching here: http://estore.honda.com/. I like the way they ID the vehicle by using the VIN. Via that site I got the following information about the belt I need:

BELT, TIMING (103RU24 A-555) (UNITTA)
PartNumber: 14400-P08-004
$47.22 MSRP
$41.55 Dealer Price
12% Your Savings
Shipping $7.50
Estimated Total $49.05

Unitta is the maker. "Gates Unitta is the Asia wide joint venture between Gates Corporation and Nitta Corporation." They say they are the world's largest belt maker.

I think 103RU24 A-555 is the Unitta number, and 14400-P08-004 is the Honda number. I did some googling with the Unitta number and found this:

http://www.hondapartsnow.com/genuine...0-P08-004.html

Honda Part 14400-P08-004
Genuine Honda BELT, TIMING (103RU24 A-555) (UNITTA)
Honda's Retail Price: $47.22
You Save: $13.94
Your Price: $33.28
Shipping: $12.72
Total: $46.00
"As an authorized dealer, we only sell genuine Honda Parts and accessories."

I found another site offering "genuine OEM" (bkhondaparts.com). Their price (35.42+14.37=49.79) is a little higher than hondapartsnow.com.

OK, so what burns me up is that I have three local dealers who say they want to charge $57-65 even though I have an official Honda site (estore.honda.com) telling me the MSRP is $47.22. And then hondapartsnow has a great price, but they make it back with hefty shipping.

So I'd like to try discountpartshub.com, but I can't make the site work, even though I've tried both Mac and Windows and bunch of different browsers. Maybe you could try it and help me figure out what I'm doing wrong.

Try this. Go to the site: http://discountpartshub.com. Select "Honda," and enter this for the part number: *14400*

A list of items appears. Great (although it takes a while). Now try selecting any item. I get "No Results Found." WTF? I wonder if you have any ideas about that.

I suppose something else I could do is complain to the local dealers that they are gouging me by charging roughly 20% over MSRP.

At this point, I would be happy to get the belt for under $50, and it would be great if I could get it locally and not have to wait several days for it to be shipped. By the way, all 3 local dealers said it's not a normally stocked item (I'm pretty sure it's only for the VX) and they would have to order it, but they could get it in one day.

Anyway, at this point I would like to see what discountpartshub.com can do for me, so it would be great if you could help me figure out how to make the site work!
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Old 07-01-2011, 10:54 AM   #36
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Re: Wanted: crank pulley tool so I can change the timing belt on my Civic VX

DPH doesn't sell parts, they just list dealers who sell them. I think they probably have the part numbers in their database but don't currently have any listings.

You could try this Google Products search:
http://www.google.com/search?q=14400...ord:p&tbm=shop

Looks like this place might be able to meet your price requirements, and their expedited shipping isn't much more:
http://www.bkhondaparts.com/index.ph...004&make=Honda

I think it's considered normal and acceptable for dealers to charge a lot for some parts.
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Old 07-01-2011, 12:47 PM   #37
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Re: Wanted: crank pulley tool so I can change the timing belt on my Civic VX

I don't always make this much of a fuss about saving just $30-40, but I figure when I learn a smarter way to buy, it pays off in the future when I buy other items. OK, so here's what happened. I just thought I would write down all these details in case it might help someone else.

Quote:
DPH doesn't sell parts, they just list dealers who sell them.
Right, I understand. I think that's similar to what estore.honda does.

Quote:
I think they probably have the part numbers in their database but don't currently have any listings.
That makes sense. I didn't think of that.

Quote:
You could try this Google Products search
Yes, that's interesting. The first item on the list (after I sort by price) is this ebay listing:

http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/1992-...7#ht_500wt_955

$15, shipped, and supposedly it's made in Japan by Gates. So theoretically it should be the equivalent of OEM. But after googling around, I can't verify that Dynabelt is a legitimate brand name of Gates Unitta. So maybe it's some kind of counterfeit. But who on Earth would bother making a counterfeit belt for 1992-1995 Honda? Weird.

It's hard to see in the picture, but I think it says Gates Unitta on the cardboard wrapper around the belt.

A couple of years ago someone on another forum was talking about how he bought one of these belts on ebay:

http://www.dsmtuners.com/forums/main...ming-belt.html

But the information there isn't conclusive.

I was somewhat tempted (until I found a better option, see below). The guy on ebay has a pretty good feedback rating, and he offers a return privilege. So I could get the belt and satisfy myself that it looks authentic before I commit to installing it. I also might just be wasting my time, and taking a big risk for a small amount of money saved.

OK, so the next thing I did is called back one of my local dealers. I figured I would ask why he's charging me 20% over MSRP. This actually went well. I ended up on the phone with the parts manager. He basically said this: 'you were on the phone with my new guy. I don't know why he said that. Yes, we'll sell it to you for MSRP. But you'll save even more if you buy it via estore.honda.com.'

So I bought it via estore.honda.com, and selected him as the local dealer to fulfill the order. Because I selected the option to pickup at the dealer, shipping is free. This is also faster (compared with having it shipped to my house); he said they would have it for me tomorrow.

At estore.honda.com, it looks like there is an automatic 12% discount. So instead of $47.22, I pay $41.55. And I have it in my hands tomorrow. Great.

A remaining mystery is why two other local dealers quoted me $63 and $65. Was I talking to the new guy there, too? Weird.

So here's the moral of the story. If you want genuine OEM, get it from the dealer, but order it via estore.honda.com to get a 12% discount. And pick it up at the dealer to avoid any shipping charge.

OK, one more thing. I notice that NAPA says this: "NAPA Belts/Hose (NBH) timing belts are made by Gates, the world?s leading designer and manufacturer of timing belts. NBH timing belts not only meet OE specifications, they are an exact OE replacement on many vehicles."

Since the OEM belt is apparently made by Gates Unitta, it looks like the NAPA (NBH) item is probably identical to what I'm getting from the dealer. But the NAPA price is $35, and the estore.honda price is only a little more ($41.55), so I figure it's worth the extra $6.55 to not even have to think about it.

And for the difference between $15 and $41.55 I figure it's not worth messing around with that ebay item. Also I would have to wait a few days longer for that.
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Old 07-01-2011, 02:42 PM   #38
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Re: Wanted: crank pulley tool so I can change the timing belt on my Civic VX

I've used 2 timing belts form Autozone (duralast or whatever their store brand is). They have a three year warranty which just made me laugh, as last time I was putting it into a interference engine. Thanks for the 40 bucks back, now I need to buy new heads...

But the quality seemed great! They were made in Italy, and seemed really well made.
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Old 07-01-2011, 06:12 PM   #39
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Re: Wanted: crank pulley tool so I can change the timing belt on my Civic VX

Quote:
Thanks for the 40 bucks back, now I need to buy new heads...
Yes, it's funny. If they want the guarantee to be taken seriously, they need to say something like this: "if the belt fails within X miles, we'll hand you five grand for a new engine." It would be worth paying more for a belt like that.

Quote:
But the quality seemed great!
I think it's possible that all these belts are equal in quality. They might all be made in the same giant factory. Hell, there might be some reason why the store brand belts are even better. I think there's a lot of guesswork involved. It's not like we have access to a proper scientific study comparing them.

If the only choice I had was that dealer who was asking $65, compared with NAPA selling a Gates belt for $35, I would probably pick the latter. But since I can get a 'real' Honda belt for under $42, I figure I might as well.

Here's a little detail I was thinking about. Rubber is an important component of the belt, right? Rubber dries out eventually, right? I think some makers measure the service interval in years, not just miles (for a timing belt replacement). I guess that would be why. Just like if you buy a new tire and let it sit somewhere for a very long time, it will eventually dry out, right?

So I'm thinking about how this particular belt just fits the VX. Not just Civic '92-'95, but only VX! A tiny market. So I picture that a factory could make a bunch of these, and then they could sit in a warehouse for years before I get to buy it. The belt probably has a code stamped on it indicating the manufacture date, but that date is coded so customers can't read it.

Anyway, I figure that by buying from Honda, hopefully I'm getting a fresher item. Honda probably sells more VX belts than anyone else, and they probably know exactly how many they'll need every year, so they probably have them manufactured "just in time." That's a basic principle of smart manufacturing, which of course Honda is good at.

This is a consideration that wouldn't apply for someone buying a belt that fits a large number of cars on the road (either because a lot of those old cars are still on the road, or because the same size belt is still in use on newer cars). In that case, probably all channels are carrying fresh belts. This consideration only applies if you need a quirky belt that sells in very small numbers.
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Old 07-02-2011, 04:48 AM   #40
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Re: Wanted: crank pulley tool so I can change the timing belt on my Civic VX

I agree, they may all be equal or some parts store belts might even be better. I don't think there's any way for any of us to know, with the possible exception of acquiring some and comparing. Trying to google up some anecdotal evidence wouldn't be an accurate assessment.

As for new old stock/shelf rot, I think you're just as likely to encounter it with OEM, if not more. I'm still more confident that OEM is a better gamble. Shelf rot of tires isn't nearly as severe as alarmists would have you believe, and I think the rubber in belts is less prone to it than tires.

How does shelf rot work? I assume it's VOCs or similar sublimating out. Wouldn't that mean that in a pile on a shelf with little air flow, the air will stay somewhat saturated (Ever been in a tire warehouse? The air smells strongly of tires!) and not easily accept more? Or would it continue to outgas even if the gas doesn't mix easily with air?
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