Arts and crafts: Automotive

Daughter brought her car home from college. The car was making a deafening road noise.  I diagnosed the problem as wheel bearings.  But I couldn’t localize the noise to see which one.

So I changed the timing belt instead.  The current one has about 100k miles on it, so its overdue. While I’m at it I will replace the tensioner pullies and belts too.  This car (2001 honda accord) has two timing belts.  And I replaced the water pump.  I got a kit at Autozone with all that for about $130.

There are plenty of videos on the internet showing how it’s done so I won’t bother except to say “nothing is as easy as it it supposed to be”.

I saw a helpful tip about using a chain wrapped around the motor mount to help hold the crankshaft pulley.  Mine was tougher.  After two broken extensions I borrowed a the proper tool from Pep Boys and bought a 20″ long, half inch extention to break loose the crank shaft bolt. It was this bolt that defeated me in the attempt to change the timing belt on my Toyota 4runner.

But I was victorious and the whole thing went pretty smoothly. 

The total project flat rate was 4 hours.  It took me 18 hours including three trips to parts stores and tool runs.  Breaking loose that one bolt was 9 hours by itself.

Then I took the car to the stealership on friday to let them find which wheel bearing to replace and to do that for me.

They returned a diagnosis of everything wrong from 2 oil leaks to hazy headlights for a total repair of $3200. And replacing the rear wheel bearings by itself was $850.  I said, “no thank you, kind sir”.  The Honda bearings at honda were $180 each.  For $115 at Car quest (in stock) I got two complete hubs with new bearings already inside.  This is a huge advantage since it eliminates a whole bunch of hammering and pressing and risking damage to your new bearings.

But nothing is as easy as its supposed to be.

First, I discovered a previous mechanic (looking at YOU, Honda stealership) cross threaded a lug nut and ran it on with an impact gun.   It sheared the lug nut bolt coming off.  Not really a problem since my new hubs already have new bolts.

Each rear brake caliper needs to be removed.  Each rear break disc is held on by two flat Phillips head screws.  Guess how many stripped ?  If you guessed three out of four, you are one short.   I had to remove all four with my extractor set. 

After that… smoothe as silk.  Total job for both bearings, 4 hours.

Test drive the car and all the road noise is gone except a low wobble noise.  Tighten the lug nuts (oops)  and that went away too.

While I had the car here and nothing to do I also replaced the other belts, the coolant, and the power steering fluid.
Before:

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After:

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About No One

I am totally non-threatening
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4 Responses to Arts and crafts: Automotive

  1. Old NFO says:

    Smart man… The stealerships soak you going and coming anymore. Getting an ‘honest’ estimate out of them is damn near impossible.

    Like

  2. Og says:

    Less noise is more good.

    Like

  3. JN says:

    Love shiny new parts.

    Like

  4. Pingback: Adventures in Commerce |

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