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Old 23 Jan 2006, 02:12 pm
Kaytibabe
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Default '87 Acura Legend, front axle replacement

I just bought this car and the front right axle needs to be replaced. I
have already bought a rebuild axle, but I'm totally clueless as to how to
put it in.
I want to be able to work on my car myself, but I'm a girl and I need some
kind stranger's guildence as to exactly what to do and what tools I'll
need.
Any help with the info. I need to do this will be greatly apprieciated!!!
Thank you for your time and cooperation.


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Old 23 Jan 2006, 05:56 pm
Michael Pardee
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Default Re: '87 Acura Legend, front axle replacement

"Kaytibabe" <kayti6364@yahoo.com> wrote in message
news:91144bd19be8ad1433378255c98c5399@localhost.ta lkaboutautos.com...
>I just bought this car and the front right axle needs to be replaced. I
> have already bought a rebuild axle, but I'm totally clueless as to how to
> put it in.
> I want to be able to work on my car myself, but I'm a girl and I need some
> kind stranger's guildence as to exactly what to do and what tools I'll
> need.
> Any help with the info. I need to do this will be greatly apprieciated!!!
> Thank you for your time and cooperation.
>
>

Not really familiar with the '87 Legend, but unless it is very different
from most Honda products of the era, it goes like this...

This is about a 4 or 5 on the scale of difficulty, if 1 is changing wiper
blades and 10 is engine replacement. You will need to rent some manly
(sorry) tools to do this without aging in the process. There are two areas
that you should respect as potential hang-up points: the nut that holds the
axle on and the ball joint that has to be separated to get everything to
come apart.

Maybe somebody will have a link for the entire process, but with a manual it
isn't hard to figure out. Haynes has a well-deserved reputation for being
incomplete but it will do for this job. Price - about $15 last time I bought
one, at auto parts chains.

Tool list...
A floor jack (not mandatory, but more convenient than the jack that comes
with the car)
Jackstands
A set of metric 3/8 or 1/2 inch drive sockets, up to 17 (or maybe 19) mm
A set of metric wrenches, covering the range of 10 mm to 17 mm
A soft-faced (plastic) mallet
A prying bar, or some conglomeration of tools to pry the axle shaft out of
the transaxle
A pan to drain the transaxle fluid into so it doesn't get all over when you
pull the shaft out
A punch and hammer to un-stake the axle nut (it is bent down into a recess
in the axle to hold it)
Rent: an electric impact driver and matching socket (it must be a black
impact socket)
to fit the axle nut. It may be a 32 or 36 mm socket, or even a different
size in that area.
A long socket handle to fit the large socket, so you can re-tighten the nut
without impacting
it too tightly.
Rent: a ball joint separator. Some people may say, "just use a 'pickle
fork'" but those almost
always do some real damage. See
http://tegger.com/hondafaq/disconnect.html
Gloves are nice, even gardening gloves.

My overall advice is cautious. This is a very adventurous job, but you can
do it with the right tools. Some people have done the job without the impact
driver, but it takes a lot of wrestling with the axle nut. With the brakes
applied, the nut can be broken loose with the socket on the long handle and
a floor jack under it to lift it, or with a longer handle and lots of
colorful language. If you can't find a ball joint separator to rent, you can
buy one on-line for a reasonable price (see the link above). AutoZone and
the Krager chain (Checker or Schucks, IIRC) usually do a "free rental" which
consists of you buying the tool, keeping the receipt, and bringing it back
for a refund within a certain time period.

If you can round up any friend for help and moral support, your chances of
success without mental breakdown will be greatly improved. If you can find
one with some tools and some car repair experience that's even better. The
good news is that there is no "point of no return" - if you have to fall
back you are no worse off than when you started... as long as you don't use
a "pickle fork."

Mike


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