axle R&R on '86 Honda Accord

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M.A. Stewart wrote:


i'm not talking completely about removing the axle, just getting sufficient clearance to pop the ends frm the diff.

then you weren't using the correct tool!

dude, you've clearly never worked on many siezed joints. if you had, you'd know that the correct tool has the job done in 2 minutes, and that a fudge like you describe can take hours, not counting repair of damaged parts and personal injury. $60 for the right tool is /so/ cheap.

why does that not surprise me?

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jim beam ( snipped-for-privacy@example.net) writes:

Your assuming that the brinelling was my fault. It was not. It was the fault the ENGINEERS who desgined the transmission! Plus it must have been a bad day in Yokahoma when the transmission was built because the guy who put it together forgot to tighten the reverse gear nut. Fortunately, he did stake the nut.

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M.A. Stewart wrote: <snip>

you don't "design" brinelling. it's not a factory assembly error. it's the result of excess force at some subsequent time. period. and "loose" is a feature of bearing wear, not factory. all this points in the same direction...
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The California 86-89 Accord, 88-91 doesn't require a puller. I've done several jobs using a 10, 12, 14, 17mm, one other socket and a 17mm wrench. Either California is good to Hondas or what. Several tips I might add:
Make sure the axel seats on the transmission or risk being stranded. This is an easy procedure only learned form experience since no hammering is allowed.
No fluid draining is required if jacked in a certain positon.
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I have utterly no idea what you're talking about here, with the 10, 12, 14, etc sockets!

I'm hoping you're right about the fluid - like a ninny I had followed directions and drained my tranny before I had determined whether I could get though the crucial steps. When I got stuck, I had no choice but to put all my new gear oil (~$20) in, thinking I'd have to re-drain and save it when I got around to trying the job again.
When you say 'in a certain position' - I'm thinking if I just jack up one side of the car at a time and do that side's axle, there will be enough tilt in the transaxle that no oil will leak out the axle hole? I guess even if some does leak out, it won't be much this way, and easy to top off after job done.
thanks for you input.
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The puller isn't required. All you need are these proper tools:
10mm socket drive. 12mm socket drive. 14mm socket drive. 17mm socket drive. 17mm wrench. ??mm socket drive for spindle nut. 1/2 and 3/4 Ratchet 1 socket drive ext. 1 helper to turn the steering.
No hammers and very safe procedures not mentioned in the service manual. The procedure is a bit complex to describe but if there's any questions...

Right, tilt at a decent height. Whatever drains out, just consider it normal, but never reuse it. Might work on 5-speed transmissions but can't say for sure.
Visual aids: tools required. http://www.yourdictionary.com/ahd/s/s0528900.html
http://www.toolweb.com/pics/KTI24080.jpg
http://www.arizonatools.com/img/products/P/PRO07516S.JPG
http://www.tona.cz/catobr/k_2018.png
http://www.northerntool.com/images/product/images/909151_lg.jpg
http://listing.hk.business.yahoo.com/images/products/11386/121813.jpg
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M.A. Stewart wrote:

I had to that on my Accord... four-foot cheater and I had to stand on it, and bounce a bit to crack the nut.

I'll go along with that... I found the bolt was so solidly 'welded' into the rubber bushing that I could crank it almost a complete turn without it coming loose, the bushing just stretching with it. It did eventually come loose, with a lot of alternating twisting and hammering on the end of the bolt.
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Where were all youse guys days ago when I originally posted?? I attempted the job Friday morning and I think I might have succeeded if I had some of this input before I dived in. Oh well - here's the scoop:
This talk about taking apart the inner joint sounds completely nuts! I'm going by the official dealer's manual and Hayne's manual and several other descriptions of the job found on the web, and they ALL say take out the fork, separate the lower control arm from the ball joint, and pull the whole half axle sucker out. I'm not in the rust belt (I'm in Bay Area, CA), so I've never even heard of such a thing (talk about a pain!).
I had to use a 3' extension on a 1/2" drive socket wrench to break loose the spindle nuts, but I was successful (that had me worried as I had read horror stories).
I had no problems whatsover with the fork - came right out. Come to think of it, I'm glad I did NOT read about the seized lower bolt scenerio - it would have just upped the anxiety.
Got the blasted cotter pin out of the castle nut on the ball joint after only 20 minutes of fussing. 30 seconds later had the castle nut off.
Then - A BRICK WALL. Could NOT get anywhere with getting the lower control arm free of the ball joint. Had a good sized 2-arm gear puller (as recommended by the manual and elsewhere): tried getting it as tight as I could (got it VERY tight, in fact, with no luck), and hammering on the bolt with puller on - all to no avail. Would have used a butane torch to heat lower arm but couldn't find the nozzle at my place of work so had to just call it quits and get it all reassembled for the sad drive back home. (Glad I did not heat it now that I've researched this job more on the web).
Got home and spent HOURS on the web searching for into on getting the lower control arm free from the ball joint, and found out a few things:
* input from a LOT of people saying the puller tools are all but worthless. I agree completely.
* the one 'puller' tool most agreed can do the job is a lever-type ball end remover, a picture of which can be seen here: http://tinyurl.com/9gfaf Of course, I didn't have one, and have no $ to buy one, so it may as well not exist for me.
* pounding on an axle end with a steel ANYTHING is complete idiotic (pounding on a partially unscrewed spindle nut to loosen it probably OK, but one should NEVER pound shaft (or joint housings) with hammer to get shaft installed in transaxle.
* In reference to getting lower control arm free of ball joint: I came across several references to the 'ratchet trick' but didn't know what it was about. Finally tracked it down to one of the best postings I've ever come across in forum 'how-to' discussion: http://tinyurl.com/72zmg There's even a movie showing the trick in work. IF ONLY I HAD KNOWN THIS AT THE TIME!!!!!!! It's close to the suggestion posted originally by M.A. Stewart about using one tyne of a ball joint fork - I think if I had read that before my attempt, even though I don't have the fork, I would have thought to look around for a piece of metal to wedge in there (like a chisel) and maybe I could have succeeded. But with the ratchet trick, you don't even need a hammer - just jack up the assy, wedge in the ratchet (or any properly sized piece of metal), then lower the jack. If the fork is still in, the spring tension will pop the arm off the ball joint stud; if the fork is out, just stepping down smartly with your foot on the top of the caliper will pop it out. (so everyone claims - we'll see soon enough!)
I've read enough not to fear getting the inner end of the shaft free from the differential, but I might have gotten stuck on getting the outer end of the shaft out of the hub (if I had gotten past the lower arm problem), but again, because I'm in CA and not the rust belt, I don't think that will be a great problem. (probably shouldn't have said that).
I'm way too sore and tired and spent to even think about when I'll next try this job, but having the 'ratchet trick' to try makes a part of me almost eager to get back in the fray. Maybe in a few days...
thanks for all responses!
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glenn wrote:

dude! first, you gotta ask the right question. second, some of us work for a living! you want free, you gotta chill.

that is a lucky california trick. and it's bad for 2 reasons. first is that it overstresses the actual balljoint. that can lead to premature failure of the ball/socket, and in extreme cases, fatigue of the post. second is that it's still not guaranteed to work! the correct joint splitter is /guaranteed/ to work. period. no stressing the wrong parts. it's also the safest work practice.

dude, all this stuff about being tired & sore makes for injury. chicks may dig scars, but they're not so keen on disfigurement. and disfigurement is /way/ more expensive than this misconception that you can't afford the tool. $60 for the tool is cheap, young grasshopper.
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<...snip irrevelant stuff...>

Dude! - "overstresses the actual balljoint"???? In what possible way? The 'trick' is to simply insert a 'fulcrum' at the PRECISE POINT you would want a fulcrum, using the little known fact that as the suspension rises, the distance between the 2 surfaces where the 'ratchet' goes widens. Thus you wind up, with the ratchet in place, with a 'super-lever', which will deliver the near EXACT pull-apart force desired, without even touching the ball joint. (and they say it's /guaranteed/ to work, every time, 100%!) Most shops don't have the one tool that is perfect (the one I mentioned), and just heat the lower arm end with a torch and slam CRAP out of the lower end with a BFH - that would 'over-stress' the balljoint no end compared to this method, I'd think. And again, the tool the official manual recomments is a 2-arm gear puller, (that's why I tried one) and gear pullers simply DO NOT WORK on stuck-hard arms. It took me a long time to track down the reference to the tool I mentioned, which is the one you 'should' use, if you can afford it and wait a week for delivery, but even if someone handed me that tool right now, I would try the ratchet trick on my next go-around, as the cleverness of it makes it more 'right' than anything (I disagree with your negatives about this method - doesn't stress the 'wrong parts' at all). [I've noticed people who have spent $$$ on tools never like to hear about a clever method which gets around the tool! I LIVE for clever methods - it's the only thing that elevates car work out of the banal hell-realm most of it is about.]

I agree totally, old praying mantis! BUT, as I said, I had NO money for a $60 tool. I meant that. Rent every month, you know. I'm on the edge of the abyss. Life is like that sometime (for grasshoppers at least).
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glenn wrote:

i know what a fulcrum is thanks. this method exerts [potentially several tons] force on the actual balljoint. that can elongate the cup in which it sits making it loose. in addition, it stresses the stalk between the ball & the taper - and as tegger can attest, that is a fatigue point. now, if using your method, it just pops apart without major drama, you're probably ok, but if it doesn't, and you have to get rough with it, you're going to cause the damage i describe. the correct tool exerts no stress on the joint - it's all kept within the post, and the areas of the post that are best able to cope.

two wrongs don't make a right!

i'm not talking about a gear puller. as i told you before, go to tegger.com and check out the correct tool. http://www.tegger.com/hondafaq/faq.html#balljoints

sorry, wrong.

so do i, but this isn't one of them.

what's your emergency room deductible? i'll bet it's more that $60, 2 tanks of gas, so don't b.s. that you've not got the money. sell the tool again after you're done if you think you'll never use it again. or rent it. if you can't afford this, you can't afford the car or the insurance or the licence or the tires or...
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OK - I get it now. What you're saying is that the special tool grips the top of the stalk, BELOW the start of the actual ball joint. That is, there must be some kind of a 'lip' there, directly part of the stalk, that the tool seats its upper arm under - right? I didn't know that. The tricky way pulls up on the part the ball joint sits in, from the 'top' so-to-speak, thus stressing the joint. So I see the point about stressing the 'wrong' parts, but still, many people have done it this way and I've seen NO reports of damage to ball joints. Not one. If someone did damage the ball joint doing it that way, they'd post immediately to the forum yelling at the top of their lungs DON'T DO IT!
So it may be a safe procedure, even given the fact that stress is put on the ball joint itself. But I have noted the great concern you have about me doing something I may later regret, Bill, so I promise I will look and see if our one rental place has one of these special tools for a reasonable rental fee, and if it does, I'll use the tool. If not, I'll try the 'trick,' but being as careful as I can.

True, true.

The tool you're referencing has the same exact design as the tool I referenced after I did my post-failure posting (http://tinyurl.com/9gfaf ), but the tool I found sells for $19 - yours sells for $53.49 (http://tinyurl.com/7lfac ). Is the one I found maybe junk? - it looks less sturdy than the one you reference.

Never heard of an 'emergency room deductible'! But right, right, right - I CAN'T afford the car, or the insurance, or the licence, or the tires, etc. Really can't. Until I get some more income coming in. Hard to get more income coming in without wheels! It's a cosmic law that when financial difficulties arise, car problems that have been 'lying in wait' will spring forth...
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Quoting from someone, "... I still dont understand why people remove the ball joints when installing axles..."
This method does not even require separating the tie rod ball joint. A cost effective (trick) method. Here's a simple but not detailed input by ferio 95.
http://www.honda-tech.com/zerothread?id 7859&page=2#12775434
http://tinyurl.com/8z9r3 same link
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Burt S. wrote:

sure, you can do it like that too. but it's even more heavy garbage you have to work around. besides, popping the joint allows you to manually inspect and make sure it's ok. one consequence of it /not/ being ok has been posted by burt!
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The cheap one looks okay. The big difference I see is that the expensive one has two pivot points so it can handle both large and small ball joints. For Hondas I think the $19 one will do it.
Mike (who has the expensive one!)
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The other day I found a car just like this on the California Highway.
http://www.tegger.com/hondafaq/misc/lowerballjoint /
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If the ball joint is that stuck in the taper, and the proper tool is unavailable or doesn't work, I have resorted to a pickle fork for tie rod ends on my 87 prelude. The angle of the forks is much steeper, and the opening of the forks is much narrower than the ball joint pickle forks out there. And I got lucky and did not destroy the rubber boot on the ball joint.
On the 87 'lude, I did disassemble the inner joint, then reassembled after running the shaft through the fork. I am located in Winnipeg, much salt and rust up here so I didn't even want to try loosening the nuts on the steering fork. I don't think its crazy to do that, but based on the info you provided, you did the right thing.
t
glenn wrote:

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"T L via CarKB.com" (u10197@uwe) writes:

Rust in Winnipeg? That is nothing compared to the rust in Montreal! 87 `ludes Dude, use Fred Flintstone brakes in Montreal today!

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