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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 26 Aug 2010, 09:31 pm
JRE
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Default '91 Accord Upper Control Arms

I dropped off my car today for front tires. The shop called to say I
had a bad upper ball joint on the driver's side. I was a bit doubtful,
as I'd checked them not too long ago, but nonetheless I picked up new
ones on the way home, and checked the old ones once I arrived. Sure
enough, they now had significant play in them. I'm planning to drive
the car several hundred miles over the weekend, so...out with the old,
in with the new.

I must say this is one of the easiest suspension jobs I've ever done.
If I had known what tools to grab on the way out to the car, and hadn't
had to look up the torques for the fasteners, I could have changed the
upper control arms in about the same amount of time it took to jack up
the front of the car and get the wheels off.

Nice job, Honda! Both on the longevity of the original parts (238K
miles and counting...) and on the ease of repair.

(Now, if only the darn rotors were that easy to change!)

--
JRE
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  #2 (permalink)  
Old 02 Sep 2010, 07:34 am
Airport Shuttle
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Default Re: '91 Accord Upper Control Arms


JRE;3199630 Wrote:
>
>
> (Now, if only the .... rotors were that easy to change!)
>
> --
> JRE

Isn't that the truth JRE.


--
Airport Shuttle

'' (http://www.yourcityride.com)
Message origin: TRAVEL.com

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  #3 (permalink)  
Old 02 Sep 2010, 10:07 am
jim beam
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Default Re: '91 Accord Upper Control Arms

On 09/02/2010 05:34 AM, Airport Shuttle wrote:
> JRE;3199630 Wrote:
>>
>>
>> (Now, if only the .... rotors were that easy to change!)
>>
>> --
>> JRE

> Isn't that the truth JRE.
>
>


c'mon guys, it's not that hard. yes, it's a bit more time consuming
because you have to remove the drive shaft and an extra set of bolts
that hold in the wheel bearing unit, but that's not technically
difficult or needing special tools.

the advantage of the accord system is that it's not as susceptible to
the brake problems people often misinterpret as "disk warpage". it's
really a disk seating problem on the hub. once set up, the disk never
gets unbolted so it doesn't allow the people that rotate your tires to
mess up the tightening torques or sequence and cause the brake problem
it's a good system.

besides, how often do you need to change disks anyway? if you're using
honda pads, you'll find very little problem with scoring or excessive wear.


--
nomina rutrum rutrum
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  #4 (permalink)  
Old 02 Sep 2010, 08:20 pm
JRE
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Default Re: '91 Accord Upper Control Arms

jim beam wrote:
> On 09/02/2010 05:34 AM, Airport Shuttle wrote:
>> JRE;3199630 Wrote:
>>>
>>>
>>> (Now, if only the .... rotors were that easy to change!)
>>>
>>> --
>>> JRE

>> Isn't that the truth JRE.
>>
>>

>
> c'mon guys, it's not that hard. yes, it's a bit more time consuming
> because you have to remove the drive shaft and an extra set of bolts
> that hold in the wheel bearing unit, but that's not technically
> difficult or needing special tools.
>
> the advantage of the accord system is that it's not as susceptible to
> the brake problems people often misinterpret as "disk warpage". it's
> really a disk seating problem on the hub. once set up, the disk never
> gets unbolted so it doesn't allow the people that rotate your tires to
> mess up the tightening torques or sequence and cause the brake problem
> it's a good system.
>
> besides, how often do you need to change disks anyway? if you're using
> honda pads, you'll find very little problem with scoring or excessive wear.


While I understand that the design perhaps solves certain problems, it's
a completely unnecessary pain in the neck. And elsewhere. "How often"
isn't really pertinent when it needs to be done "today."

I would sooner replace conventionally-installed disks twice or even
three times rather than do these once. Disks are relatively cheap and
my time is not. Further, disk warping has not been a problem on any
other vehicle I have ever owned so long as I stayed away from puddles
with red hot brakes, so in my opinion--which might well differ from
yours--the incidence of the problem simply does not justify the poor
serviceability of the design.

Even the disks on our motorhome (based on a Chevy P3 chassis) are easier
to change than the ones on my Accord. That includes all the things I
need to to do get to them, which for the rear disks in the MH is not
incredibly trivial, given the two large and heavy wheels that are in the
way, the air fill hoses, and the need to use a bottle jack unless one
wants to clutter a garage with an expensive truck jack that will see use
only every few years.

Moreover, other than about the axle when the car moves, the tires do not
get rotated on any of our vehicles. With FWD I put on two sets of front
tires for each set of rear tires. With RWD they wear at about the same
rate without rotation. On the MH they generally start to dry rot well
before they are worn out. In neither case do I see a significant
advantage to rotation (and the ones on our RWD cars can't be rotated
anyway as they have directional tread and are larger in the rear).

While I truly do appreciate the many things Honda did really, really
well on this car, I do not appreciate serviceability problems, and this
is one of them. Would it stop me from buying another car with the same
design were others that had conventionally-installed disks were
available that were similar in overall reliability and serviceability?

You betcha.

I'd never own a Fiat 128, either, though they were a blast to drive.
And no matter how seldom you have to change the starter on a Jaguar XKE,
once is one time too many. (I'd sooner adjust the valves and resync the
carbs. Three or four times. In the summer, without any shade from the
hot sun.)

In this, I recognize that I am not a typical car buyer. Vanishingly
few people turn their own wrenches these days. There are still things I
pay for when the tools will never pay me back, but there aren't many.
And I keep cars much longer than average. I still want cars that aren't
hard to service when the time comes.

--
JRE
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  #5 (permalink)  
Old 02 Sep 2010, 10:52 pm
jim beam
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Posts: n/a
Default Re: '91 Accord Upper Control Arms

On 09/02/2010 06:20 PM, JRE wrote:
> jim beam wrote:
>> On 09/02/2010 05:34 AM, Airport Shuttle wrote:
>>> JRE;3199630 Wrote:
>>>>
>>>>
>>>> (Now, if only the .... rotors were that easy to change!)
>>>>
>>>> --
>>>> JRE
>>> Isn't that the truth JRE.
>>>
>>>

>>
>> c'mon guys, it's not that hard. yes, it's a bit more time consuming
>> because you have to remove the drive shaft and an extra set of bolts
>> that hold in the wheel bearing unit, but that's not technically
>> difficult or needing special tools.
>>
>> the advantage of the accord system is that it's not as susceptible to
>> the brake problems people often misinterpret as "disk warpage". it's
>> really a disk seating problem on the hub. once set up, the disk never
>> gets unbolted so it doesn't allow the people that rotate your tires to
>> mess up the tightening torques or sequence and cause the brake problem
>> it's a good system.
>>
>> besides, how often do you need to change disks anyway? if you're using
>> honda pads, you'll find very little problem with scoring or excessive
>> wear.

>
> While I understand that the design perhaps solves certain problems, it's
> a completely unnecessary pain in the neck.


it's more involved for disk changes, true, but the brake shuddering
problem it solves is real and persistent if the brakes of the "modern"
design are not properly maintained. seriously, i've had problems with
it on my civic and crx every single time anyone else has taken the
wheels off.


> And elsewhere. "How often"
> isn't really pertinent when it needs to be done "today."


but it adds only a few minutes. undo the axle nut, undo the bottom ball
joint, flip the knuckle so you can access the bearing bolts, and off she
comes. then you unbolt the old disk from the now removed hub/bearing
assembly, and replace. reverse the process for reassembly. if you've
done it before and know what you're doing, that is literally a 20 minute
job.


>
> I would sooner replace conventionally-installed disks twice or even
> three times rather than do these once. Disks are relatively cheap and my
> time is not.


but the time necessary to prep the "modern" kind to prevent the problem
i outlined above takes some time. i'd hesitate to say the total for
both procedures done properly is the same, but they're not incomparable.


> Further, disk warping has not been a problem on any other
> vehicle I have ever owned so long as I stayed away from puddles with red
> hot brakes, so in my opinion--which might well differ from yours--the
> incidence of the problem simply does not justify the poor serviceability
> of the design.


as above, it's a consistent and persistent problem with hondas. ask any
civic or integra owner. and later model accord owner after they changed
the brake disk mounting. it's territory that goes with a lightweight hub.


>
> Even the disks on our motorhome (based on a Chevy P3 chassis) are easier
> to change than the ones on my Accord. That includes all the things I
> need to to do get to them, which for the rear disks in the MH is not
> incredibly trivial, given the two large and heavy wheels that are in the
> way, the air fill hoses, and the need to use a bottle jack unless one
> wants to clutter a garage with an expensive truck jack that will see use
> only every few years.
>
> Moreover, other than about the axle when the car moves, the tires do not
> get rotated on any of our vehicles.


you and i are on the same page here. tire rotation reduces the contact
patch area and thus available traction. kinda important in emergency
braking.


> With FWD I put on two sets of front
> tires for each set of rear tires. With RWD they wear at about the same
> rate without rotation.


well, technically, you should move the rears to the front on each
replacement. the "best" tires should always be on the rear - the rears
have higher cornering forces since they cut a tighter arc on the turning
circle, and thus are more likely to start sliding.


> On the MH they generally start to dry rot well
> before they are worn out. In neither case do I see a significant
> advantage to rotation (and the ones on our RWD cars can't be rotated
> anyway as they have directional tread and are larger in the rear).
>
> While I truly do appreciate the many things Honda did really, really
> well on this car, I do not appreciate serviceability problems, and this
> is one of them.


from my experience, honda need the fewest special tools to do routine
maintenance. even though there are 8 more bolts involved in the accord
disk change, none requires special tools, with the possible exception of
the ball joint, but you should have a joint separator in your toolbox
anyway. viewed from a different perspective, if ever you need to do a
bearing change, the accord trumps most other cars for ease because you
don't need a bearing press.


> Would it stop me from buying another car with the same
> design were others that had conventionally-installed disks were
> available that were similar in overall reliability and serviceability?
>
> You betcha.


you'd really sacrifice the superior handling of wishbones on the accord
just because you'd have to deal with a few extra bolts if the disk
needed changing? every 200k+ miles? i think you exaggerate.


>
> I'd never own a Fiat 128, either, though they were a blast to drive. And
> no matter how seldom you have to change the starter on a Jaguar XKE,
> once is one time too many. (I'd sooner adjust the valves and resync the
> carbs. Three or four times. In the summer, without any shade from the
> hot sun.)
>
> In this, I recognize that I am not a typical car buyer. Vanishingly few
> people turn their own wrenches these days. There are still things I pay
> for when the tools will never pay me back, but there aren't many. And I
> keep cars much longer than average. I still want cars that aren't hard
> to service when the time comes.


but the accord brake disks are not hard, there's literally 8 extra
bolts, none of which require special effort or expensive equipment.
you'll need the 36mm wrench anyway because you'll need to do the
driveshaft boots at some point. and you should have a ball joint
separator for practically any front end honda work. the rest is just a
14mm socket. couldn't get much easier. a good deal easier than trying
to undo the #3 phillips screws that are on the civic/integra/"modern"
accord disks most of the time in my experience.


--
nomina rutrum rutrum
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  #6 (permalink)  
Old 03 Sep 2010, 06:10 am
JRE
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Default Re: '91 Accord Upper Control Arms

jim beam wrote:
<chop>

Well, Jim, it seems we will just have to agree to disagree about the
matter of '91 Accord front disk serviceability. You think it's a
non-problem. I think it's a pain in the neck, and elsewhere.

We also disagree about where to put the new set of tires. I want them on
the front to reduce the probability of hydroplaning and to improve
traction in the snow for FWD. Most cars have so much built-in
understeer that I could probably put bald tires on the back and new ones
up front and *still* not have a car that gets loose. Certainly, the
problem you describe has not existed on any of our FWD cars (which also
got autocrossed) when the fronts were new and the rears were half-worn
(the present state of my Accord, in fact).

Of course, you know what they say about opinions...

--
JRE
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  #7 (permalink)  
Old 03 Sep 2010, 06:33 am
Clete
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Default Re: '91 Accord Upper Control Arms

On Fri, 03 Sep 2010 07:10:45 -0400, JRE <nothing@nowhere.invalid>
wrote:

>jim beam wrote:
><chop>
>
>Well, Jim, it seems we will just have to agree to disagree about the
>matter of '91 Accord front disk serviceability. You think it's a
>non-problem. I think it's a pain in the neck, and elsewhere.
>
>We also disagree about where to put the new set of tires. I want them on
>the front to reduce the probability of hydroplaning and to improve
>traction in the snow for FWD. Most cars have so much built-in
>understeer that I could probably put bald tires on the back and new ones
>up front and *still* not have a car that gets loose. Certainly, the
>problem you describe has not existed on any of our FWD cars (which also
>got autocrossed) when the fronts were new and the rears were half-worn
>(the present state of my Accord, in fact).
>
>Of course, you know what they say about opinions...


Good tires on the back. Fer sure. Sorry, I had to jump in.
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  #8 (permalink)  
Old 03 Sep 2010, 10:02 am
Clams
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Posts: n/a
Default Re: '91 Accord Upper Control Arms

Clete wrote:
> On Fri, 03 Sep 2010 07:10:45 -0400, JRE <nothing@nowhere.invalid>
> wrote:
>
>
>>jim beam wrote:
>><chop>
>>
>>Well, Jim, it seems we will just have to agree to disagree about the
>>matter of '91 Accord front disk serviceability. You think it's a
>>non-problem. I think it's a pain in the neck, and elsewhere.
>>
>>We also disagree about where to put the new set of tires. I want them on
>>the front to reduce the probability of hydroplaning and to improve
>>traction in the snow for FWD. Most cars have so much built-in
>>understeer that I could probably put bald tires on the back and new ones
>>up front and *still* not have a car that gets loose. Certainly, the
>>problem you describe has not existed on any of our FWD cars (which also
>>got autocrossed) when the fronts were new and the rears were half-worn
>>(the present state of my Accord, in fact).
>>
>>Of course, you know what they say about opinions...

>
>
> Good tires on the back. Fer sure. Sorry, I had to jump in.



Do you not rotate tires? Or do you do that on a seasonal vs. mileage basis?
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  #9 (permalink)  
Old 03 Sep 2010, 10:03 am
jim beam
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Posts: n/a
Default Re: '91 Accord Upper Control Arms

On 09/03/2010 04:10 AM, JRE wrote:
> jim beam wrote:
> <chop>
>
> Well, Jim, it seems we will just have to agree to disagree about the
> matter of '91 Accord front disk serviceability. You think it's a
> non-problem. I think it's a pain in the neck, and elsewhere.
>
> We also disagree about where to put the new set of tires. I want them on
> the front to reduce the probability of hydroplaning and to improve
> traction in the snow for FWD.


if you'd have ever experienced serious hydroplaning in a fwd car, you'd
never say that. back in the day when i was young and inexperienced, i
would have said the same because i didn't know any better and i hadn't
experimented sufficiently to prove whether what the old farts were
telling me was correct. but i can tell you now that there's nothing
spills the morning mochafrappalattachino quite like doing a 270 on the
freeway because your rear end got loose on a fwd and you couldn't gun
your way out of it.


> Most cars have so much built-in understeer
> that I could probably put bald tires on the back and new ones up front
> and *still* not have a car that gets loose.


understeer has absolutely nothing to do with it - in fact, to believe
that understeer means the rear can't break loose is actually a dangerous
misconception. physics is physics - the greatest cornering force is on
the rear for the reasons stated. particularly on fwd where the rear is
unpowered, you cannot gun your way out of a rear slide - it is essential
the rear tires are going to stick.


> Certainly, the problem you
> describe has not existed on any of our FWD cars (which also got
> autocrossed) when the fronts were new and the rears were half-worn (the
> present state of my Accord, in fact).


there is a point when a lightly worn tire has a bit more traction than
an unworn new tire on dry pavement. but that's all within the first 10%
of tire life, and those traction numbers are reversed in the wet - so it
is possible that you happened to benefit from that effect for a short
period one summer, but you didn't experience that at 50% wear or long
term or in other weather. and it is positively dangerous to believe or
tell others otherwise.


>
> Of course, you know what they say about opinions...
>


what do "they" say about lack of experience or not knowing the facts?


--
nomina rutrum rutrum
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  #10 (permalink)  
Old 03 Sep 2010, 10:11 am
jim beam
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Posts: n/a
Default Re: '91 Accord Upper Control Arms

On 09/03/2010 08:02 AM, Clams wrote:
> Clete wrote:
>> On Fri, 03 Sep 2010 07:10:45 -0400, JRE <nothing@nowhere.invalid>
>> wrote:
>>
>>
>>> jim beam wrote:
>>> <chop>
>>>
>>> Well, Jim, it seems we will just have to agree to disagree about the
>>> matter of '91 Accord front disk serviceability. You think it's a
>>> non-problem. I think it's a pain in the neck, and elsewhere.
>>>
>>> We also disagree about where to put the new set of tires. I want them
>>> on the front to reduce the probability of hydroplaning and to improve
>>> traction in the snow for FWD. Most cars have so much built-in
>>> understeer that I could probably put bald tires on the back and new
>>> ones up front and *still* not have a car that gets loose. Certainly,
>>> the problem you describe has not existed on any of our FWD cars
>>> (which also got autocrossed) when the fronts were new and the rears
>>> were half-worn (the present state of my Accord, in fact).
>>>
>>> Of course, you know what they say about opinions...

>>
>>
>> Good tires on the back. Fer sure. Sorry, I had to jump in.

>
>
> Do you not rotate tires? Or do you do that on a seasonal vs. mileage basis?


tire rotation is a hangover from the days of bias-ply tires. to have a
tire wear to the load distribution on one wheel station, then move it to
another means that you're getting less rubber on the road - prove it to
yourself and spread some powder on a smooth flat surface and look at the
individual rubber blocks for the contact that they're missing. this is
why performance car manufacturers specifically say not to rotate - to
ensure maximum tire adhesion.

besides, if you're getting uneven wear, you need to fix the cause, not
try to ignore it by just moving the tires about.

--
nomina rutrum rutrum
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