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Just bought an 85 interstate, 37500 miles very good shape. had all the fluids changed and it runs perfect in my mind. Took it for a little 3000 mile spin in Minnisota this fall, no problem. I have a tendancy to over service my bikes, i just hate hearing stories about guys changing the timing belts and now i have this tick etc. With all due respect does anyone think its sometimes better to just leave well enough alone?
 

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Is there any specific question, or just asking?
 

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Just seems like a lot of guys running into problems after changing timing belts. Is there that many breaking?
 

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The gist I get around here is that more engines are damaged by incorrectly replacing belts, that belts breaking.
 

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I asked that question not too long ago, and no one knew anyone who had a belt break.
 

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My point exactly, we are running old inexpensive iron, its very easy to get carried away overservicing. I am well aware of the consequences of a broken belt but maybe sometimes we are better off just takin a little chance.
 

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I have changed two sets of belts without problems. If you follow the information offered by this forum, everything should turn out okay.

New belts are a good insurance policy against bent valves.
 

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I just read a thread on this issue. You could be one tooth off on your belt. If you changed them out, check them again.
 

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Well, if done right not a big deal takes about two hours. Over service?? 23 year old belts..?? think about it??
 

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Probably most of the broke belts we never hear about. Members of this forum know it's important so it gets done. The majority of old wings are not owned by forum members and we will not be hearing from them when they have a catastrophic failure.
 

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:waving:I have a tendancy to agree with changing them when they are that old. It's not an impossible job, just gotta have this forum, and ability to follow directions to do it. If I get in a hurry, THAT'S when things go wrong. If I had a noise after a job, that wasn't there before, I'd cuss and spit, but I'd get it torn down again and double check my installation, just for piece of mind. I'm a worrier so I know how you feel! I'd put my money on a bad tesioner, or a tooth off on the belt. Good wrenching to you, these folks will get you through it! jimsjinx
 

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I was wondering about the timing belts on my 91 Interstate and pretty much had the same idea....should I not bother?
Well the bike has 43000 plus miles and I figured what the heck, after all, the belts are 17 years old, as far as I knew.
Good thing I did change them! The original belts had an inch of slack on the long run of the belts!
I was a little leery of starting it up after changing them, even after I turned the engine over by hand about a dozen or so times! But is started fine and is a lot quieter in the belt area! A LOT quieter!
 

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mikef wrote:
I asked that question not too long ago, and no one knew anyone who had a belt break.
Same experience here, Mike. I've asked a couple of times, too... best as I can tell frommy antedotal input, there are about 5 times more people ruining their engine by an incorrect belt installation than by actual broken belts. (it was 5 to 1).

That being said, most people taking their time and learning the procdures will have satisfactory results. The point is, take all the time necessaryto learn how to do it correctly. Don't be doing iton an impulse.
 

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I broke a timing belt!!! The belts will eventually break. It has nothing to do with low mileage if the belts have never been changed. it's the age of the belts. I put it off until after one last ride of the season. One ride too many. Don't take the chance. Change the belts. If you're not sure if you can do it, pay to have it done by a reputable mechanic. A tow charge, bent valves, and or broken pistons aren't worth the risk and it is very expensive. Again! CHANGE THE BELTS. Tom
 

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in my city there are around 15 wings. maybe less maybe little more.. well i've heard about one. that was on a shop around the corner, that 1200 wing was on the shop for about 1 month i could see it every day, they engine had a major repair. when it got out the shop it got a new owner. and weeks later it was back on the shop again. i was told that one timing belt was broken and damaged valves on one side. i guess they did not installed new ones. i know the mechanic that runs this shop and hes a lazy ass guy.
 

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There's no doubtincorrectly changing belts wil cause serious damage. There's also no doubt old belts will eventually fail. The simplest solution is to change the belts correctly. That sounds pretty self evident, but we have indeed had members on the forum do the job wrong and damage an engine. There's no reason for that to happen if you use a little care and double checking of your own work. There is only one reason that valve or piston gets damaged from a bad replacement job:

The person replacing the belts did not hand turn the engine prior to hitting the starter!

That's it. That's the only reason an engine is damaged by belt changing. If you make an error in timing but do hand turn the engine and have no interference problems the engine may or may not run at all but it won't be damaged. Simple. Just turn over the engine by hand prior to hitting the start button. EVERY ENGINE THAT HAS BEEN DAMAGED BY BELT REPLACEMENT WAS DAMAGED BY VIOLATING THAT SIMPLE RULE.

So read the information in your manual, read the many postings on how to do the job, look at the step by step instructions you'll find here and in Rudy's website. Ask questions if you're unsure as you will be if you haven't much experience working on overhead cam engines. If you use only reasonable care the job will be easy and you'll have the satisfaction of accomplishment.
 

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mikef wrote:
I asked that question not too long ago, and no one knew anyone who had a belt break.
I have known two... that being said, it isn't hard to do, and isn't hard to do correctly, just take the time to do it correctly
 

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Hey Guys. I posted (several posts down) about problems I have just encountered with a timing belt change on my 98 1500 SE. I hope I didn't scare anyone into avoiding this very important maintenance procedure. I followed the directions in my service manual and from this board to the letter. I hand rotated the crankshaft 6 or 8 revolutions very slowly, listening and feeling for anything out of the ordinary. Silky smooth. I started the engine and hear this sickening pinging noise and thought "oh sh_t, I did it this time". Well it seems that the problem was a sticking lifter (that is what the Honda tech is telling me anyway) and the engine is running like a sewing machine now. I was extremely careful to do this job right and did not injure my engine. it was just something else happening at the most unfortunate time (bad timing huh?). Please do not omit this procedure. It is important and not extremely difficult if you follow directions and take your time.
 

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if your confident enough to do machanical work, i would change them. i did mine on the 1200 and the 1500. very easy to do. if you have trouble you have a world of help right here. you may even have someone close by that could stop by. these people here do some pretty amazing things. i found my bike actualy ran better.
 
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