Rear wheel bearings

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Should the rear wheel bearings on a 2003 Accord be cleaned and re-greased every so often?
Wayne

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Wayne L wrote:

That depends. How many kids does your mechanic have in college?
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Actually I've been doing all of the maintenance and almost all of the repairs on my cars these last 2 score and 4. The sum total of my paid repairs are two rebuilt automatic transmissions, a trip to the dealer for an intermittent sensor problem, which they failed to fix, and the time in 66 when I screwed up my first fuel pump replacement, resulting in a bent push rod.
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Wayne L wrote:

you /still/ don't need to touch honda bearings. maintenance is not a recreational activity.
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Got it. Thanks Jim.
Wayne
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No. Sealed for life. These are not like the old tapered roller bearings you may be used to.
The rear bearings tend to have far longer lives than the front ones. This is because they are largely shielded from road splash.
--
Tegger

The Unofficial Honda/Acura FAQ
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Hi Tegger. Thanks for getting back to me. You're the best! Yeah, every other car I've owned, except my wife's 99 Grand Prix, has had the tapered roller bearings with the keyed flat washer, all around, or just the back, and the rule of thumb I used was "clean them out and re-grease every 35K. When I took the dust cap off of the 2003 Accord, it looked similar to the 87 Accord I had...same disposable "peened" nut (I have a half a dozen used ones in the tool box...figured in a pinch they might be usable on the opposite side) but when I saw that instead of a keyed flat washer it had what looked like a sealing sheet metal disk.........I figured I'd better get some info before starting the disassembly. A few weeks ago it popped into my little brain that the Honda had about 61K on it and I had never greased the rear axles. I've seen more than one car on the shoulder with a broken rear axle, probably caused by a red hot bearing. My wife's 99 Grand Prix has an obviously sealed rear axle unit. This is the first car I've owned in a long while that I didn't spring for the whole shop manual set, because I usually kept them until they were ready for the junk yard. I've had dealers tell me they didn't want my trade in. Then I'd tell them "no trade in, no sale", then they would offer $50 and I'd say thankyou, saved me the trouble of getting rid of it :-) But after spending countless Sunday's under the car fixing things, and with Honda's being the most reliable cars I've ever owned, and with just about the lowest recall numbers in the business, I hope to trade this one in and get another in a year or two. BTW, the manuals are up to about $200 for the complete set.
Thanks again Tegger Wayne
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Wayne L wrote:

no dude, you've never seen a honda with a broken rear axle.

recreational car maintenance.

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I'm sure you're right. Probably GM and Ford products, which is why I'll never buy another one of those, except my wife insisted on the Pontiac because a lady she worked with loved hers.......probably the color :-). Actually I've been happily surprised about the Grand Prix. 60K, 8 years old, no problems, no rust holes, paint still OK. First GM product out of 6 that did that! Of course it still rides and rattles loose as a goose.

I still do the oil changes, brakes, belts, etc., but I don't call pulling heads, changing timing belts, changing computers, troubleshooing bad sensors, replacing headliners, rebuilding jeep 5 speeds, replacing distributors, replacing rear main seals, replacing marine outboard cranks and driveshafts, replacing broken turn signal rings, replacing ignition locks, doing valve adjustments, rebuilding carburators, rebuilding brake calibers, replacing front wheel drive axles and bearings, replacing struts, replacing clutches and throwout bearings, adjusting clutches, replacing pilot bearings, dropping gas tanks, repairing car audio systems etc., etc., recreational, unless you define recreational as all work done by unpaid non-professional mechanics. I assume you are an automotive technician?

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You may find you cannot turn them 180 degrees to get them started on the threads. There is only one entry for the nut on the driveshaft threads, so it will go on exactly the same way every time.

I'll bet none of those was a Honda. Honda's suspension bugaboos are seized front lower balljoints and broken front springs on pre-Macpherson strut cars.

They are expensive, but worth every penny. If I were you, and intended to keep the car for a long time, I'd bite the bullet and get the manuals. You may eventually be able to find them on eBay.
--
Tegger

The Unofficial Honda/Acura FAQ
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Wayne L wrote:

A more likely price is $70 http://tinyurl.com/29qqy6
Add $35 if you want the supplement manual for the navigation system. Add $40 if you want the supplement manual for the V6. There are others as well. However, most of the information you'll likely wind up needing will be in the general manual (by the way, I don't recall you mentioning which engine your car had).
Note that you can access manuals for older cars with sealed rear wheel bearings from http://www.honda.co.uk/car/owner/workshop.html
Eric
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The 4 cylinder. Plenty peppy for me, and more room under the hood for working on it.

Thanks Eric (and Tegger)
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Wayne L wrote:

how many more times are you going to post this question wayne? don't like the answers you're getting?
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Wow! Jim Beam! I love your bourbon. It has a mellowing effect on most people.
As you know, this is my 2nd post. My 30 Jul 07 post elicited no responses.
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Wayne L wrote:

The THIRD but who's counting? 30 Jul, 7 Aug, 8 Aug
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Say What? wrote:

he just wants someone to tell him to go ahead and do it. we /could/ tell him they're sealed units and can't be disassembled, but that'll take the fun out.
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jim beam wrote:

That would be nasty... and mean.
It's bad enough that you didn't tell him the short cut method. You know, where you heat the bearing units up with either a MAPP gas torch or gentle application of an oxy-acetylene torch to redistribute the grease and get it back down around the bearings and shaft..
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My regular propane torch won't get hot enough? I have a little Propane / MAPP & Oxygen torch too, but the MAPP bottles are expensive, and the oxygen bottle are even more expensive and last less than 10 minutes.
How come you guys don't like me? Tegger was very polite and helpful, thankfully. I read some other posts and you weren't breaking their balls. It's going to take some time for me to get over this. Maybe the whole weekend, when I'll have time to try the torch method. Will the grease flow properly with the car level, or do I have to jack up the other side? Thanks for the tip Jim and Say!
Wayne

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Wayne L wrote:

The post about the torch was a joke. Don't do this. The "sealed" bearings get warm during normal operation and that will allow the grease to spread throughout the bearing. Torching the bearings will only kill them.
Eric
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Do not monkey around with heating the bearings. That is a bad idea and is unnecessary. You risk damage to the rubber sealing lip on the back of the bearing.
Honda bearings go bad for two reasons: 1) impact damage, and 2) water ingress. They do not go bad because the grease has dried up.
Just leave the bearings alone.
If, like me, you just like doing "recreational maintenance", find something else to keep yourself occupied, like painting out stone chips before they rust.
--
Tegger

The Unofficial Honda/Acura FAQ
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