'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

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
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 )
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 09/02/2010 05:34 AM, Airport Shuttle wrote:

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

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
jim beam wrote:

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

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 09/02/2010 06:20 PM, JRE wrote:

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
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

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

Good tires on the back. Fer sure. Sorry, I had to jump in.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Clete wrote:

Do you not rotate tires? Or do you do that on a seasonal vs. mileage basis?
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 09/03/2010 08:02 AM, Clams wrote:

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

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
jim beam wrote:

Are you trying to suggest tires wear equally on the front vs. back?
So just how does one fix uneven front to back wear?
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 09/03/2010 09:30 AM, Clams wrote:

uh? what is there to "fix"? do you actually /want/ to have all 4 tires bald at the same time???
--
nomina rutrum rutrum

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
jim beam wrote:

You're the one who stated "if you're getting uneven wear, you need to fix the cause".
I'm getting more wear on the front. How do I fix the cause?
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 09/03/2010 10:09 AM, Clams wrote:

ok, i get it, you're just having a laugh. my mistake.
--
nomina rutrum rutrum

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Drive the car both forwards and backwards at the same time. And make sure both sets of wheels steer, and that both sets of wheels have an engine on top of them. Wear will be exactly equal; problem solved.
--
Tegger

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

get an alignment. then change your driving style;no more burnouts,no scrubbing in turns,no locking up the wheels in braking. Those are the reasons the front tires wear more than the rears. Keep tires properly inflated. even 5% under(a few pounds) can cause problems.
--
Jim Yanik
jyanik
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 09/03/10 12:30, Clams wrote:

Remove foot from the loud pedal. :)
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 09/03/2010 04:10 AM, JRE wrote:

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.

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.

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.

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

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
jim beam wrote: <snip>

Dear me. "Lack of experience"? Excuse me, but I don't think we know each other. I've driven a couple million miles or so over the past 35+ years, in all kinds of weather, in vehicles large and small, RWD and FWD split about evenly. I've personally driven this Accord for 200K+ miles. All the hydroplaning I've ever experienced--and some was quite serious, thanks--has affected either the entire car all at once or just the front end.
This is true, actually, of every car I have driven. In fact, the only oversteer I've ever had in a Honda was on a bone-dry road, and I have seen others spin Hondas and Acuras that got into similar attitudes during autocrosses. (I recovered that day without a spin. It was startling but not particularly scary.) RWD cars with compliant semi-trailing arm rear suspensions, on the other hand, with characteristic trailing throttle oversteer, can be "interesting" wet or dry. But I digress.
In the snow there is a marked advantage to having better traction on the front with a FWD car, where it affects both starting and stopping. Maybe you don't have snow where you live, but here in the Northeast we have plenty.
I replace tires a couple 32nds before they get to the wear bars. The back tires have plenty of tread on them, and the new fronts will catch up to them from a wear standpoint--and if the car is still on the road by then (it will last that long mechanically, I'm sure, but it's rusting away to nothing), it will be time to replace all four. In other words, it's not like I'm putting fully treaded tires up front with next to no tread in the back. That *would* be stupid. I want good tread on all four corners, thanks.
And what I was reacting to was this text from your earlier post:
"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."
So far as I can see, this statement was only orthogonally related to hydroplaning. Building healthy understeer into the suspension (and Honda certainly does) counteracts this effect even with nearly bald tires in the back and new ones up front. A combination of spring (actually, wheel) and sway bar rates, the degree of anti-Ackerman steering built in, recommended tire pressures F/R, camber control, and weight distribution pretty much assures this.
Further, some of us actually do slow down in the rain. There's that difference in the coefficient of friction, and then there's this formula, you see, involving a factor and the square root of the tire pressure...but maybe you've never heard of that. Anyway, you can learn to slow down in the rain from experience, too.
As near as I can tell from cursory online searches, this recommendation to place the new rubber at the back is fairly new (a decade or so old, it appears). Given the average level of driver skill out there, it's probably even appropriate for most.
In any event, you manage the risks you want to manage, and I'll manage the ones I want to manage. Put your new tires where you want them. I'll put mine where I want them.
--
JRE

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Related Threads

    Motorsforum.com is a website by car enthusiasts for car enthusiasts. It is not affiliated with any of the car or spare part manufacturers or car dealers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.