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Forum topic by MarkTheFiddler posted 07-08-2015 04:21 AM 920 views 0 times favorited 14 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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MarkTheFiddler

2053 posts in 1656 days


07-08-2015 04:21 AM

Howdy,

I have spent the last 3 weekends working with my son on his 2002 Honda Civic si. Yep, I’m covering new ground here.

It started when my son was stranded and dismayed that his radiator was leaking. We pulled out the radiator and found the culprit. We ran to the auto parts store and my son was already giving up hope. He needed new struts in the worst way and now his money had to be spent on the radiator.

I bought him the radiator and struts. I thought would cheer him up. It actually worked for a very short while.

The radiator was going to take a week so my boy quickly takes off the driver side strut. We bought a few strut compressors and got the strut together after battling with never before moved Nuts and bolts. When we tried to mount the strut we discovered the strut was never going to fit. Something was majorly wrong!

We looked to see what it might be, The control arm front bushing was all kinds of worthless, the ball joint was just a hunk of tattered boot and rust, the steering linkage was worse.

We went ahead and ordered the parts and began working in earnest. Taking the first ball joint off took about 1,5 hours. Getting the new one in place took a special tool. Which tool a few hours of YouTube watching to find. And of course, the auto parts store was closed by then!

When we finally got the ball joint compressor. discovered I could not possibly use the tool by myself. I even tried to build a few jigs to remove the need for 2 more hands. two people and our toughest impact wrench. Long story – short. We didn’t get the ball joint in until the next Saturday.

I’ll just say that the ball joint was the easiest part of the entire job.

It took until this last Thursday to get the control arm front bushing replaced. The steering linkage was on the easyish side. We installed all the pieces loosely and discovered something very special. We still couldn’t fit the strut on.

I sat there stared at the suspension for perhaps 15 minutes. I noticed the inner axle boot was stretched out and twisted. When my son took off the old strut, he pulled the axle loose, the axle bearings were trapped in the boot. We had to cut the Honda boot clamp off and wondered if a human being has any chance of imstalling the weird clamp. If a person was doing is, they were using a tool I never heard of.

In relation to everything else, putting the axle back together was pretty simple. We got the driver side suspension back together very quickly and did a fair job on the alignment. However, my son said he wanted to start driving the car and leave the suspension to the passenger side for a few weeks.

I convinced him that we needed to keep going. The passenger side has thus far proven to be far more difficult than the driver side.

We rolled the dice and came up snake eyes. For instance, we could not remove the nut from the old strut after trying every leverage trick in the book and a good helping of PB blaster. I had to get out the grinder and get medieval on it. And yes, the axle came out on this side. And yes the ball joint is hanging on for dear life.

And so yesterday, I got the worst pain from diverticulosis in my entire life and had to stay away from any physical activities. Walking is one of them.

Let’s hope we finish this weekend. I want to be covered in sawdust instead of grime. I hope my recovery is swift and our luck improves. I’ve got a lot of wood waiting for me. ;)

-- Thanks for all the lessons!


14 replies so far

View patron's profile

patron

13538 posts in 2808 days


#1 posted 07-08-2015 05:04 AM

no fun mark

why i gave up mechanics for woodworking

get some rest
you earned it

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

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GrandpaLen

1643 posts in 1740 days


#2 posted 07-08-2015 12:13 PM

...I’m thinking there’s a life-lesson lurking in the midst of your post here.

That’s why the repair shops make the Big Bucks, ...because they’re worth it.

Hope the rest of your summer is more enjoyable.

Get thee to a woodworking project and redeem your soul. :-)
Work Safely and have Fun. – Len

-- Mother Nature should be proud of what you've done with her tree. - Len ...just north of a stone's throw from the oHIo, river that is, in So. Indiana.

View JoeinGa's profile

JoeinGa

7489 posts in 1474 days


#3 posted 07-08-2015 12:59 PM

Yeah, working on cars can be a pain. but like MasterCard says “Spending time with your son … Priceless”

-- Perform A Random Act Of Kindness Today ... Pay It Forward

View Rick  Dennington's profile

Rick Dennington

5183 posts in 2662 days


#4 posted 07-08-2015 01:56 PM

Morning Mark,

I used to be somewhat of a “shade tree mechanic” in my youth, but that’s by the wayside now….And my shadetree is gone, so now the autos goes to the pros….With the way these new rides are now days, you can’t even change the oil and filter hardly…...And my creeper don’t fit me too good, either…..I spend time with my son fishing when I can…

And I’ve had 2 bouts with diverticulosis, so I know exactly what you’re going through…It ain’t no cakewalk….

-- At my age, an "all--nighter" is not having to get up and pee...!!!

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

17194 posts in 2573 days


#5 posted 07-08-2015 05:18 PM

Mark. I understand! Cars are a pain any more they way they are put together. I used to like car work but now try to avoid it unless it is on my ‘72 Monte Carlo. I can get at things on that car and I can use the normal tools!!
I spent 4 hours changing a wheel cylinder on a ‘01 Saturn . I had to make a special socket wrench or it would still be on the jack!!

cheers, Jim

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

View Bluepine38's profile

Bluepine38

3341 posts in 2553 days


#6 posted 07-09-2015 04:05 AM

The dealerships and shops spend big dollars on those specialty tools that make life easier. I have learned to
pick my battles when it comes to working on the newer cars. I bought the factory shop manual for my
1998 Ford Ranger when I bought the pickup, and it has paid for itself, if I wear the Ranger out, I will do
the same thing with its replacement. It only has 165,000 on it now.

-- As ever, Gus-the 77 yr young apprentice carpenter

View MarkTheFiddler's profile

MarkTheFiddler

2053 posts in 1656 days


#7 posted 07-10-2015 10:10 PM

Howdy, I’ve been extremely busy with work and I just now had a chance to catch up on your responses! Thank you all much. I appreciate the advice.

I’m with those who lay out the cash and pick their battles. Unfortunately, the battles are picking me lately. My wife is not working. My son is not working. The College bills just keep on a comin’. If I can save a few thousand I have to do battle. ;)

BTW, I feel better! I hope that tomorrow is the final round with the car.

-- Thanks for all the lessons!

View Dark_Lightning's profile

Dark_Lightning

2635 posts in 2576 days


#8 posted 07-13-2015 02:26 AM



Mark. I understand! Cars are a pain any more they way they are put together. I used to like car work but now try to avoid it unless it is on my 72 Monte Carlo. I can get at things on that car and I can use the normal tools!!
I spent 4 hours changing a wheel cylinder on a 01 Saturn . I had to make a special socket wrench or it would still be on the jack!!

cheers, Jim

- Jim Jakosh

A ‘72 Monte Carlo! Cool! I love working on the old iron; I’ve been working on it since I was 15 (1967). I have a ‘68 Skylark GS and a ‘70 Chevy truck, as well as some other newer stuff that I can do most of the work on. We bought a new Kia Soul for my wife a few weeks ago. I look forward to never working on it; we bought the extended warranty. If it is junk when the 10 years are up, I’m OK with that.

-- Random Orbital Nailer

View Dark_Lightning's profile

Dark_Lightning

2635 posts in 2576 days


#9 posted 07-13-2015 02:28 AM



Howdy, I ve been extremely busy with work and I just now had a chance to catch up on your responses! Thank you all much. I appreciate the advice.

I m with those who lay out the cash and pick their battles. Unfortunately, the battles are picking me lately. My wife is not working. My son is not working. The College bills just keep on a comin . If I can save a few thousand I have to do battle. ;)

BTW, I feel better! I hope that tomorrow is the final round with the car.

- MarkTheFiddler

It’s good you are feeling better. Good luck with the car. Most of my vehicle repairs, the stuff just comes apart with tools, but this is southern California desert, where very little rusts.

-- Random Orbital Nailer

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MarkTheFiddler

2053 posts in 1656 days


#10 posted 07-13-2015 03:42 AM

Howdy,

We finished up the car late yesterday.

Radiator
Struts
Ball joints
Steering linkage
Control arm bushings
Axle bearings and boots
Brake shoes
Brake master cylinder.
Alignment

Shops wanted 4000
We did it for 1100

Couldn’t do the alignment ourselves. That’s where the extra 100 came in.

Today we cleaned up the shop and got it ready for wood working.

This afternoon and evening, I made sawdust. It was so hot outside that the glue-ups were well set after 30 minutes. It was way cool to see something take shape.

-- Thanks for all the lessons!

View John L's profile

John L

148 posts in 632 days


#11 posted 07-13-2015 03:46 AM

I too gave up mechanics a good while ago. There’s only so much I can accomplish in a 24 hour day.

-- Tolerance becomes a crime when applied to evil - Thomas Mann

View BurlyBob's profile

BurlyBob

3695 posts in 1733 days


#12 posted 07-13-2015 05:37 AM

There’s one thing in the world I hate more than Auto repair…. Plumbing!!!! I’d rather take a good butt spanking than Plumb.

I tackled struts on a rig once. Like you, I pulled wheel hub spline out of the axle. Ended up getting it towed to a shop and getting it fixed. Never again.

View GrandpaLen's profile

GrandpaLen

1643 posts in 1740 days


#13 posted 07-13-2015 03:31 PM

...pop the top on a ‘Cold One’ my friend, you’ve earned it. ;-)

Work Safely and have Fun. – Len

-- Mother Nature should be proud of what you've done with her tree. - Len ...just north of a stone's throw from the oHIo, river that is, in So. Indiana.

View MarkTheFiddler's profile

MarkTheFiddler

2053 posts in 1656 days


#14 posted 07-26-2015 02:56 PM

Howdy,

John, I’m with you. The wife’s not working though. Discretionary income has shrunk to a few hundred every few weeks. :( It will get back to normal soon.

Bob,

Plumbing? I’ve got a 50/50 success rate. Pressure fittings were designed in hell. Yesterday I fixed the toilet. Simple flapper replacement right? It took 4 trips to the big box stores. I found a magical self contained flapper with sealant at Home Depot. That one took 5 minutes. It could have saved 3 hours of experiments.

Len,

After yesterday’s events, I took Martha out. She’s been real patient with my work hours and household junk. She deserved it and I needed a break. ;)

-- Thanks for all the lessons!

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