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Discussion Starter #1
hello all, got some terrific advice once again from an older thread regarding a LOUD WHIRRING NOISE that I have, a diagnosis of a bad idler pulley seems to have hit the nail on the head, a poster offered the following advice...

"Loosen the center bolt to the pully.....12mm I think.
Use the horizontal bolt to loosen the tension on the belt. The one that points forward and rearward.(10mm?) I think you screw it out to lossen. The pully should spin freely without any noise or min. drag. or roughness."

My questions are...

1) of the two pulleys turning the serpentine belt, which is the idler pulley? the larger or smaller of the two?

2) would it be possible to just lube up / apply dressing to the existing pulley as a fix?

3) I've put 2k miles on it with the noise already, would driving another 2k until it warms up enough for the snow to melt damage the car further?

4) How do I reduce tension on the serpentine belt so I can remove it and replace the idler pulley?

and lastly...
5) does anyone know of a link to a manual or a place I can purchase a manual similar to a "Haynes Repair Manual" for the 1st gen Insight?

once again, thanks to all, I am sure I will get some great responses
 

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hello all, got some terrific advice once again from an older thread regarding a LOUD WHIRRING NOISE that I have, a diagnosis of a bad idler pulley seems to have hit the nail on the head, a poster offered the following advice...

"Loosen the center bolt to the pully.....12mm I think.
Use the horizontal bolt to loosen the tension on the belt. The one that points forward and rearward.(10mm?) I think you screw it out to lossen. The pully should spin freely without any noise or min. drag. or roughness."

My questions are...

1) of the two pulleys turning the serpentine belt, which is the idler pulley? the larger or smaller of the two?

2) would it be possible to just lube up / apply dressing to the existing pulley as a fix?

3) I've put 2k miles on it with the noise already, would driving another 2k until it warms up enough for the snow to melt damage the car further?

4) How do I reduce tension on the serpentine belt so I can remove it and replace the idler pulley?

and lastly...
5) does anyone know of a link to a manual or a place I can purchase a manual similar to a "Haynes Repair Manual" for the 1st gen Insight?

once again, thanks to all, I am sure I will get some great responses

http://www.hondaautomotiveparts.com/auto/jsp/mws/prddisplay.jsp?inputstate=5&catcgry1=INSIGHT&catcgry2=2000&catcgry3=3DR+DX+%28A%2FC%29&catcgry4=KA5MT&catcgry5=ENGINE+MOUNTING+BRACKET

1. I think your looking for item # 9 + associated parts

2. Might work on a temporary basis, but why cheap out, your bearing is running dry. Fix it before it breaks a belt and strands you.

3. Borrow a buds garage & see #2

4. Adjust bolt #8

5. Page 249 of this link, but they come up on Ebay very often.
https://techinfo.honda.com/rjanisis/...000MAINIDX.pdf
 

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The Idler pulley is either 3 or 9 on the diagram above. The idler pulley is #3 if you have a non air-conditioned vehicle. The idler pulley is #9 if you have an air-conditioned vehicle.
I replaced the serpentine belt also. The serpentine belt is #2 if you have a non air-conditioned vehicle and #6 if you have an air-conditioned vehicle.
Bolt #8 will tension the belt by positioning the pulley. The is no auto-tensioner. Nut #19 will secure the position of the pulley. There is a specific torque setting used when you secure nut #19.
Please refer to the service manual for the specific torque setting. Service manuals are on sale at Helminc.com.
No lubrication is used for this. Lubrication of any type may cause deterioration of the serpentine belt.
Replacing the idler pulley on my vehicle seemed to reduce the noise from the engine bay. If the idler pulley were to seize and/or the serpentine belt were to break, then the water pump would no longer pump coolant.
The idler pulley is much smaller than the crankshaft pulley. The idler pulley is smaller than the water pump pulley. This means that the idler pulley will turn more rotations and wear out much faster than the crankshaft and water pump bearings.
 

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My questions are...

1) of the two pulleys turning the serpentine belt, which is the idler pulley? the larger or smaller of the two?
2) would it be possible to just lube up / apply dressing to the existing pulley as a fix?
3) I've put 2k miles on it with the noise already, would driving another 2k until it warms up enough for the snow to melt damage the car further?
4) How do I reduce tension on the serpentine belt so I can remove it and replace the idler pulley?
and lastly...
5) does anyone know of a link to a manual or a place I can purchase a manual similar to a "Haynes Repair Manual" for the 1st gen Insight?
once again, thanks to all, I am sure I will get some great responses
AKACHAN, Based on your questions, my strong advice it to take it to a mechanic. It sounds like you don't have the facility, the experience, the reference and probably the tools either to accomplish this job.

We see a lot of people on this web-site who are attracted to these cars, because they are frugal, but trying to save money on maintenance or delaying repair such as in this particular case is ridiculous.

Just my opinion and advice, which hopefully will save you aggravation, time and money in the long run. Good Luck.
 

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Akachan........Socal mountains?........Please be more specific.

Willie
If you put a better location, someone may be nearby to assist.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Akachan is broken down in lake arrowhead area

Yep, so my car dropped the serpentine belt, though it's still intact, and the idler pulley as I pulled onto my street. Coasted into the neighbors driveway where it still sits. Honda dealership would have to order part and can't tell me if it's gonna be metal or plastic when it gets there. I am in twin peaks / lake arrowhead area if anyone can help out with repair or recommend someone who can. I have $$$ , mmj, Clippers / Kings tix, free passes to Snow Valley... Lemme know (310) 880-2275 cory. I do all my own oil changes, brakes, but have never gotten this deep. It seems fairly simple to attempt on my own. Thanks to all for the info on performing the repair, will keep u posted.
 

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You can drive it from your neighbors house to yours even with the belt off.
It's a very simple task. The hardest part is removing the aero panels. When adjusting the belt tension. Don't "over tension" it. Just "snug" will do.

HTH
Willie
 

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Yep, so my car dropped the serpentine belt, though it's still intact, and the idler pulley as I pulled onto my street. Coasted into the neighbors driveway where it still sits. Honda dealership would have to order part and can't tell me if it's gonna be metal or plastic when it gets there. I am in twin peaks / lake arrowhead area if anyone can help out with repair or recommend someone who can. I have $$$ , mmj, Clippers / Kings tix, free passes to Snow Valley... Lemme know (310) 880-2275 cory. I do all my own oil changes, brakes, but have never gotten this deep. It seems fairly simple to attempt on my own. Thanks to all for the info on performing the repair, will keep u posted.
Good luck. What's your mileage?
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Yep I know it still dives w/out belt, had to go 1/4 mile after belt dropped, it's in neighbors driveway bc it's level and my driveway is roughly 7% grade. Gonna jack it up and try to do work myself. Suggest going in from above or below or a little of both? I am not averse to hiring a mechanic, trouble is in my tiny town of 10,000 no one knows sh*t about this car. Actually, even at the couple of Honda dealerships I've gone by in LA no one knows about the 1st gen Insight. I work every day until Feb 5, so will begin repair adventure then.
 

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Yep I know it still dives w/out belt, had to go 1/4 mile after belt dropped, it's in neighbors driveway bc it's level and my driveway is roughly 7% grade. Gonna jack it up and try to do work myself. Suggest going in from above or below or a little of both? I am not averse to hiring a mechanic, trouble is in my tiny town of 10,000 no one knows sh*t about this car. Actually, even at the couple of Honda dealerships I've gone by in LA no one knows about the 1st gen Insight. I work every day until Feb 5, so will begin repair adventure then.

What's your mileage?
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Mileage just rolled over 170,000 so mine is not a baby, but still a teenager and behaving erratically just like a teenager.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
new parts here, about to install

Ok, got new idler pulley and going to do install tomorrow. I have all of the necessary aero panels removed, car is jacked up, the pulley install area is easy to get to...of course, have some questions...

The idler pulley and "idle pulley bolt" and "idle pulley adjuster bolt" and both collars all fell off while driving...along with nuts, bolts, and washers....I have all of the parts and tools (minus torque wrench) and am ready to go and install, I just need some info which I haven't been able to find here on the site...Mainly,

How do I put it all together? Does the "back" end of the idle pulley adjuster bolt snug around the idle pulley? Where and how does the idle pulley bolt attach onto the side of the engine?

I know I am an amateur but I am really dedicated to learning all there is to know about repairing this car so I can drive it for the rest of my life, or until I can afford a reliable pure electric vehicle. Also, no professional privateer or dealer mechanics in my area have a clue about this car, believe me I've asked them. thanks for all help.
 

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While your Insight is "special" in many ways, the
belt idler pulley arrangement is pretty much the same in any
Honda; other brand cars too. So, any competent mechanic should be able
to help you. If you just show up with your new parts,
he should quickly show/tell you how it all goes together....
 

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Discussion Starter #15
idler pulley bracket

is it possible to post pictures in my reply here on insightcentral? My idler pulley bracket seems "off", ie, the hole for the tensioner bolts for the idler pulley looks like it may have sheared. The tensioner bolts are straight / undamaged. I want to get the wonderful contributors' opinion. I was aware of idler pulley going bad but continued to drive until it actually fell off, which may have f*cked up the bracket. Anyone had similar issue?
 

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Installation instructions

OK akachan. This will go by part numbers in the diagram previously referred to.

Part #7 can be replaced. If so I would get part #7, part #16, and #22. If you are unsure, get those parts anyway.

The following assumes that part #7 is OK. Part #7 has a slot in the end of it that part #12 will go through.
Part #12 has internal threading and part #8 has external threading. Part #8 has a slot in one end of it and a nut at the end of it.

Put #12 through the slot in #7 as indicated. Thread #8 into the internal threads of #12. Put the slot end of #8 into the very end of part #7.

Now, when you turn the nut end of #8, it will have the effect of pulling part #12 towards it. This is what positions the idler pulley and tensions the belt.

Parts #10, (#3 or #9), #11, #13, and #19 go on to the end of #12.

When you torque down #19 sufficiently, then you can no longer position the idler pulley or tension the belt.
Loosen #19 to adjust the belt tension, and tighten #19 before driving the vehicle.

How tight should the belt be? Again, I do not have my manual with me. There may be a deflection method. I got a pricey "belt tension tool" from Majestic. The part # is listed in the service manual.
Elsewhere in insightcentral.net, someone advised -- "not too tight".

I think that you should have a mechanic check it or do it with torque wrenches and socket set(s). You might be able to do without the "belt tension tool."

You should buy two torque wrenches. The one used for installing a wheel would handle 80 ft-pd. This should fit an 1/2" socket.
As I recall, the one for bolt #19 would be 22 N-M. This should best fit a 3/8# socket. Do it right. The value of your vehicle should go higher as gas prices go higher.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
3banger thanks

thanks! your instructions are very easy for me to understand.

So the 'slot' in part #7 isn't just a round hole pretty much the same diameter as the bolt, part #12? It's a rounded 'slot' approx. 1-1/12" long with the same diameter as part #12? I thought the hole for part #12 had sheared when the idler pulley fell off and created a 'slot'.

I am eager to learn as much as possible about this car and cars in general and I can't understand why it would be a slot (that allows for movement) rather than a rigid hole?

I put an ad on craigslist and have a shadetree mechanic coming by with some torque wrenches to help out tomorrow. I am not one of these ultra frugal douches trying to rip everyone off. Rather, my love for this car means I trust no one to work on it besides myself. Sorry to you honest mechanics out there, but I've been close friends with too many of the crooks.

Southern California routinely has the highest gas prices and longest commutes in the nation, so when gas is at $5.50/gal I'm NOT going to sell my Insight for $10k like I easily could. I am really trying to understand as much as I can about this car so I can buy a couple more, fix minor issues, and resell them. Anybody local wanna go in with me?
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Great Success !!

I installed the idler pulley and re-set the serpentine belt. The car seems ok. I had to refill the radiator reservoir. When the pulley initially fell off it had boiled over. Gonna test it out up here in the mountains tomorrow when my wife is around in case I need assistance. If all seems well I'll drive it the 75 miles to work in LA instead of Miss Piggy the gas guzzler. I've been driving my 05 Element 24mpg to work for the past 19 days. I'm hoping that will be over. Here's a poem I wrote about it:

... tension seems OK
it's silent, but could it also be deadly?

I'm concerned about overheating ...

Gonna take it out on the highway
tomorrow.
Not the freeway,

just the highway.




I feel confident enough that the little red baby Akachan is back in running form (knock on wood) that I washed up from working on it, put on my velour track suit, opened a mini keg of Dortmunder Actien Brauerei Original, and am relaxing by the fireplace. Ahh...
Thank you everyone on insightcentral. Of course, I'll let you know if I'm stranded on the side of the road...

BTW, Is the serpentine belt supposed to go on the inside or outside of the idler pulley?

c * o * a * s * t *
 

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"I'm concerned about overheating ..."

You say refilled the little tank, but did you also check/fill the radiator
itself..? A boil-over can empty the coolant system very quickly.

As you may know, the rad should be totally full. When the engine heats,
the coolant expands, and any excess is pushed into the expansion tank.
When the engine cools, fluid is sucked back into the rad as necessary.

So watch the expansion tank level for a couple trips.

Belt-wise; smooth pulleys face the smooth side of belts....
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Thanks to all, Akachan is running fine

Zvu zvu zvu knock on wood.... I've sobered up since writing my car repair poem. Put 750 miles on my baby Akachan and she's running great! The idler pulley was relatively easy to install and really the hardest part was removing and reinstalling the under aero panels. This is the most in depth repair I've ever done in my own and it would never have been possible without the help of the members of this amazing forum. If anyone out there needs advice dealing with replacing the idler pulley plz call during regular hours PST ( three UNO zero) eighty eight zero - tu tu seven 5. Thx again!
 
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