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DIY : Honda Civic 1987-2000 Main Rear Trailing Arm Bushing Replacement

Posted in My Automotive Life | 3 Comments »

So, this is time for ‘big buddy’, main rear trailing arm bushing, stress by stress, time by time, he need retirement…

Long time ago, Honda doesn’t supply trailing arm bushing separately, they sell entirely trailing arm set! When need to replace? Should check it after 50 000km, but it depend on how you handle your car, modification and the road condition. These bushings are responsible for rear stability, so make sure it always takes a good responsible!

DISCLAIMER: I can not say this is the best or safest way to do. I am not
responsible for any thing you damage, or what ever harm you cause to
yourself or others. This is how I did it and it worked for me.

Some prefer to use Honda/Acura trailing arm bushing removal/extractor (refer the picture below), the benefits is, only need to remove several bolts and you can remove and replace the bushing with the trailing arm still in the car, save your time, the con is, this special tool is a little bit expensive and you need to wait for a long time to use this secret weapon again, except you are full-time car mechanic. And other extremely technique is, to used hammer! I witness this on YouTube. But I prefer to remove entirely trailing arm and take to the machine shop to press the bush.

This schematic take from service manual show where exactly the trailing arm doing the job, the biggest and most powerful arm! Show also the torque spec.

Honestly, this maintenance is very easy and straight forward job, our mission is to remove/deattach anything that connects/attach the trailing arm to the body, necessary only, take the first step, remove the caliper shield.

And next is to remove the parking brake cable, remove the lock pin, clevis pin and clip.

Next step is to remove the brake caliper, only two caliper bracket bolts (orange circle), that all.

Remove any bolt that attach brake hose at the trailing arm.

Remove the compensator arm, one side bolt only…I remove bolt that connect compensator arm to the body, yeah, this is sure will mess with the toe alignment, but it more easier to remove, because the are lot of work space for me. Just do the marking point.

Then, remove the upper arm self-locking bolt.

Remove the trailing arm bushing bolts.

Toing! Remove parking brake cable bolt that attaches to the trailing arm.

And lastly, remove the lower arm self-locking bolt. Easy and straight forward right? Like my texts.

Men shopping time! I recommend you to measure your original old bushing diameter, there are two type of diameter for OEM Honda,

The small diameter bushing is part number 52385-SR3-000. It’s outside diameter is 3.170 inches (80.52mm)

The large diameter bushing is part number 52385-SK7-N02. It’s outside diameter is 3.352 inches (85.14mm)

Goodbye old buddy, take a deep rest, please don’t show your sadness face to me.

The complete trailing arm set.

The oldest one is more thick than the new one, I wonder why Honda reduce it size. From physically and design, the old one look like more rigid and will not allow minor movement, the new one is more flexibility and maybe didn’t keep hard stress and more comfort riding, maybe less for duration and durability, who’s know? There is one another  important factor to consider, the material it self. So, time will speak…

But, there a are another option, aftermarket part! This text I copy from my previous post –> There are many topic people around the world discuss about bushing, but what take my attention is, which one material is better, OEM rubber or aftermarket polyurethane (PU)? For my opinion, each other have their own advantage and disadvantage, polyurethane will give extremely durable, maintain steering geometry, enhance handling & ride characteristic and many more than stock rubber, but it will cost you twice or tree! Two friend of mine change fully bushing to polyurethane and they say there is no problem, the only problem is price,  I also read about people experience with  PU, almost say, it’s too hard for daily driving or family car, and sometime make squeaking noise, and have to re-grease with special grease, there are many brand out there, my friend recommend me Superpro bushing, I also read people choose hard rubber than poly and OEM rubber, for me OEM rubber bush is always fine,  it depend on what your car for, mine is only for daily and street driving, so, I will stick with OEM rubber bush.<– End of copy

Also, you have to consider, about total motion that a suspension has to move through!

Before pressing, measure and remember the correct position (which side is above and below) of the old one. Some prefer to mark when the arm still in the car, on the wheels and sitting on the ground if you lowered the car, to prevent constant pre-load twist that could lead to early breakage because of the bush will twist a little degree from the standard setting, that the great point, but for me, I need to consider about my coilover, how much I lowered my car, road condition (bump and crack), the passengers, the motion of cornering and the bush design it self to handle all the motion, because it dynamically, so I will stick with the natural position.

This is the great chance if you want to replace the compensator arm.

After installing the new one.

Reassembly all back together using reverse step, install the compensator arm bolts close the the the original position (toe adjustment), but, I highly recommend you to do wheel alignment, because wear bush alignment of cause not to match the new one. This procedure also could be use to converted from drum brake to disk brake, just replace the hand brake cable.

After test drive : Improve hard braking, cornering and can handle bumping road better.

I snap this picture after I do alignment and run for 100km, while the car still on the wheels, sitting on the ground and no driver or passenger load, just want to check the position of my trailing arm bush.

The result, almost the same position when the trailing arm still hanging.

MOMO Steering Wheel Installations

Posted in My Automotive Life | No Comments »

For better handling and stylish, this upgrade is the most, why I choose MOMO? because Honda choose them! MOMO steering wheel is the standard accessories for Honda NSX, Integra DC2/DC5 and Civic EK9 Type-R! The  steering wheel come with the thick leather anatomic grips design, that give you a firm grip and positive steering feel that you just can’t get from the stock wheel. A bit smaller diameter and aluminum material make it weigh half of my standard EG9 steering wheel! Better not to choose the smallest size, it will ruin the daily driving (except you want to feel like driving the go cart).

To install, is straight forward job, unless if you have an air bag, have a little bit tricky! Need suitable steering wheel adapter (steering hubs/boss kits), DC2 and 1992 – 1995 Honda Civic EG are interchangeable.

The standard one.

Remove the center pad and the steering wheel nut, no need a special tool,  enough with the socket and extension, the nut will be fairly tight. Remove the steering wheel by rocking it slightly from side-to-side as you pull steadily with both hands.

Install the steering wheel adapter (steering hubs/boss kits). Be sure the steering wheel shaft engages the turn signal canceling sleeve. Install back the steering wheel nut.

Install the horn button, connect the two wires to the horn button. It doesn’t matter which wire goes to which connector. If there no connector for the ground (body) just touch it at any place at the steering wheel adapter, put the tape or rewiring, etc., as long as it will stick there. Verify the horn operation. Make sure the steering wheel adapter arrow in the center position.

Insert the MOMO steering wheel and the adapter plate.

Secure it with the hex screw and everything is done. Easy right?

The silver spoke match with the dashboard.

Then take the car for a ride and verify that the turn signals shut off properly after making a turn and don’t forget to attack the corner!

DIY : Honda Civic B-Series Engine Valves Clearance/Backlash Adjustment

Posted in My Automotive Life | No Comments »

This is a very important maintenance. Do a valve adjustment at least once a year. Why do you need to adjust your valves clearance?

1. To make sure your valvetrain stays in good shape.

2. To gain power and to safe your fuel (this is the favorite quote!)

3. To decrease unwanted noise, tap, tap, tap, tappet!

4. Will greatly increase the life of your engine.

5. The engine will breath and exhale better.

The conventional means of adjusting valve actuation always require a small clearance to be left between the valve and its rocker or cam follower to allow for thermal expansion and wear.

DISCLAIMER: I can not say this is the best or safest way to do. I am not
responsible for any thing you damage, or what ever harm you cause to
yourself or others. This is how I did it and it worked for me.

Valve should adjusted when the cylinder head temperature is less than 38°C (100°F).

Start by turning the front wheels to the left.  Lift the passenger side (Right-hand car) of your car with the jack,  this will give you adequate clearance to reach the main crank bolt. But if you want more room, then, remove the tire,  open the splash shield a little bit, this will give you the opportunity to check your left stopper rubber and oil pan condition. I use a long extension and 19mm socket to turn the crank, don’t turn it right now, wait until the next step when we need to set the crank at Top Dead Center (TDC).

Disconnect the negative battery cable (I covered up the terminal for safety reason)

Reminder : Make sure your cylinder head temperature is less than 38°C (100°F) and make sure the transmission in neutral before proceeding the next step. Locate your valve cover, remove the spark plug cover.

Remove all spark plug wires and the nuts circled in yellow (yellow?) follows the sequence from 1-8, and remove the other thing that attached to the valve cover (green circle). Now the valve cover is ready to come off, just wiggle it a little bit and it should pop right off.

The location of the adjustment screw pair for intake and exhaust side, the number also refer for the piston, no. 1 = piston no.1.

It will also make it easier to turn the motor over if you remove the spark plugs. Optional. TIP: Sometimes it’s easier to pull the plugs out of the block by using the plug wires to grab them after you’ve loosened them if you don’t have a spark plug socket. I used  16mm magnetic  socket.

If you remove the plugs, be sure to inspect them as they can tell you a lot about how the car is running. A light brown color indicates a perfect A/F mixture. White is lean likewise black indicates rich. If you see dampness or oil on it, then you are in trouble. Mine is functioning optimally.

Start by setting the no. 1 piston at Top Dead Center (TDC) by turning the crank pulley until the “up” arrows on the cam sprockets are facing up. Turn the crank pulley only counter clockwise!  If you over turn, don’t try to turn the motor backwards, just keep turning another 2 rotations of the crank until you get back to your TDC point.

It should be a white mark and or a notch on the crank pulley.

Try to look at the no. 1 piston spark plug hole, the piston should be at the very top, that is the meaning of  Top Dead Center (TDC) (Sorry for the unclear picture).

You need: a set of feeler gauges (use an angled feeler gauge), 10mm tappet adjusting wrench (this is the my home made tappet adjusting wrench, just a long socket combined with the flat metal, needed to hold the locknut in place and the flat head screw driver is for turning the adjustment screw on B16A, B16B or B18C motors. Not all the Honda’s engine needs this special tool. I have tried to only use normal long socket+extension, it works! But need more trial and error and time!).

Honda has a specific tappet adjusting wrench, the part numbers are 07MAA-PR70110 and 07MAA-PR70120. This is a special tool and also come with the “special” price, and of course my poor dealer didn’t have this one and even don’t know what it is!

Valve clearance specs for B16A,B16B and B18C:
INTAKE : 0.006″ – 0.007″ (0.15mm – 0.19mm)
EXHAUST : 0.007″ – 0.008″ (0.17mm – 0.21mm)

As you can imagine, the exhaust valves get hotter than the intake valves which explains their larger gap

Check the valve clearance for no. 1 piston. I slide the 0.010″ gauge between the rocker and the camshaft (in the gap below the cam lobe) for both sides (intake & exhaust), It slips through easily! I think the last owner probably never had a valve adjustment.

Loosen the locknut just a few degrees

Actually, I only using 3 gauges, 0.006″, 0.007″ and 0.008″. Hold the locknut using the tappet adjusting wrench, and turn the adjustment screw, for the intake side, until 0.006″ feeler gauge slide back and forth with a slight amount of drag and 0.007″ feeler gauge  shouldn’t. Same procedure for the exhaust side, .007 should slide in, but the .008 shouldn’t. Piece of nut.

After having the right clearance, hold the adjustment screw and tighten the locknut. Then torque locknut to 20 Nm (14 lb-ft) (be careful to not overtorque the nuts as they strip very easily!) and measure the clearance again. Torquing it will increase the clearance slightly, so keep this in mind when you’re adjusting them so you don’t have to keep repeating the process. Repeat adjustment if necessary.

After you are done with the 4 valves on no. 1 piston, move on to cylinder 3, 4, then 2, in that order. You will need to crank the motor to TDC for each of the cylinders you will be adjusting. Do the same process as before on each of the cylinders.

Repeat the process, double check, triple check, maybe you will find the clearance out a little bit even you have tightened the locknut, don’t worry, it’s normal, repeat the process until no adjustment is needed, I do about 5 times to get it correctly and precisely!

Consider replacing the valve cover gasket

Most of the re-installation process is the opposite of removal.

Has an idle problem after Valves Clearance/Backlash Adjustment? Idle roughly before engine warm up?

If you done correctly and precisely, it should be no problem, reset the ECU by pulling the 7.5A fuse in the fuse box under the hood about 10sec and drive around 100km (on/off), sometime ECU needs to “relearn” for the new setting.

Have a fun and enjoy with your achievement!