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Honda Accord (1990-1993) Maintenance and Repair

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  • elroy5elroy5 Posts: 3,741
    Ichecke the 10 mm bolts and they were rather loose! so I tigthened them down for good(not to the extreme)

    The little nuts on top of the valve cover are only supposed to be tightened to 7 lbft. If you try to tighten them too much, you risk snapping the little stud, which would be a major problem.

    I checked the oil filler cap, and there is no gasket or o ring around.

    The o-rings are under the rocker-arm assembly. You cannot see them unless you remove the valve cover and the rocker-arm assembly.

    What I was saying was to look down the spark plug tube (you may need a flashlight). There are two seams which oil can leak through (one for the valve cover, and one for the rocker arms). Since the valve cover gasket has been changed, and oil is still leaking in to the tube, the o-rings are probably the culprit.

    To check the PCV valve, squeeze the hose with a pair of pliers, if you hear the little ball rattle around the PCV is working.
  • FukuyamaFukuyama Posts: 75
    hi el roy
    To check the PCV valve, squeeze the hose with a pair of pliers, if you hear the little ball rattle around the PCV is working.
    i did the hose trick on the pvc, but the hose is not too flexible so i was afraid of breaking it. That is why I wanted to pull the pvc out. I could see some oil aroung the o ring under the pvc though.

    he little nuts on top of the valve cover are only supposed to be tightened to 7 lbft. If you try to tighten them too much, you risk snapping the little stud, which would be a major problem.

    there were too loose(I could move them with my fingers)so I tigthened them carefully(I had read a cooment about this on this forum, and the o ring issue you have mentioned before). I fit is that, there is nothing I can do but take it to a mechanic
  • cstout73cstout73 Posts: 9
    93 Accord SE
    I was bleeding my brakes per another posting and successfully did that but I noticed the passenger side outer CV joint boot was split. The grease was all over. I don't hear any clicking and haven't. I don't think I have been driving very long with it split. My thought is to just change all 4 boots now. The question I have besides how to do that, is should I change all for boots with replacment boots (Cheap option)? use a split boot to fix it (even cheaper), or replace both axles ($$??)? I plan on doing the work my self, I think, pending costs.
    Any thoughts? 145k miles on car.
  • lilengineerboylilengineerboy Posts: 4,116
    It depends how long you plan to keep the car. The best solution (and most costly) would be to replace the axle with the CVs already in place. As an over-simplification, pop out the old one, pop in the new one.
    A second choice, lower cost, more labor intensive and with slightly higher risk, is to remove the axle and rebuild/repack the CV and install a new boot. Once the boot breaks, all the grease is contaminated and you have to clean the old stuff out before you can put the new stuff in. Also, if the joint was damaged by driving with low/no/bad grease, it will never be 100%.
    A third choice is to wipe off all the grease you can, apply new grease and throw one of those "split-boot" covers on there. This is the cheapest, but also the riskiest and least durable.
    I have replaced an axle and rebuilt an axle, neither are particularly hard, the most challenging part for me was to get the axle nut off the hub.
  • cstout73cstout73 Posts: 9
    I want to keep it for a long time. I think I'll buy new a new axle. I should probably get one for the driver side too. Any suggestions on manufacturers? I checked the web and some sites are selling axles for $70 - which is great. I can't tell if they are new or rebuilt. I would like a new OEM one if possible.
    Lilengineerboy - Any tips with the hub nut? Long breaker bar? Any other tools I may need? Puller?
  • lilengineerboylilengineerboy Posts: 4,116
    I wouldn't worry about "preventative maintenance" with the axles. Just replace the bad one. The best deals I have found on OEM parts is from Majestic Honda (google it) and going through their parts selection thingie. Better still they show good exploded view diagrams. I wouldn't be overly afraid of a rebuilt unit, they are pretty simple devices and as long as the spec. for wear is met, they should provide good service.

    I broke a Craftsman 22" breaker bar with a 3' pipe over handle. That was ultimately why I got an air compressor/impact wrench. I have heard of people wedging the wrench on the ground and driving forward, but that wrench can break and fly off and hit someone or the car or what not. I believe the torque spec for the nut is <200 fl-lbs so it really shouldn't be *that* hard to get off.

    You will need a puller to separate the lower ball joint so you can get the axle through the spindle. I didn't need a puller for the axle itself though. The car has a manual transmission so the procedure might be different for an automatic, but I remember having to drain it before pulling the axle out (actually, on a previous vehicle I remember not draining it and it emptying on my face as I laid upside down under the car... :sick: I smelled of 100k trans fluid for a week.

    Oh, and make sure you replace the hardware on the axle (one of the cars used a clip on the end to snap into the trans, I can't remember which one now).
  • kiawahkiawah Posts: 3,666
    You can pull the axles, and then take the boots apart and clean out all the old grease. If the joints look good, I'd just grease them up and put new boots on them. If the bearing surfaces are worn(pitted) or discolored, then replace the shafts.

    The disadvantage to this approach, is that you won't be able to buy the parts ahead of time, until you figure out what you really need.....so the vehicle will be out of commission longer. The advantage is that you buy and repair only what you need to. If this is a 2nd or 3rd vehicle, then just take it apart to figure out what is really needed.
  • cstout73cstout73 Posts: 9
    UPDATE
    I bought the "Quick Boot" and tried that on. Its messy, doens't fit right, the steel bands are crap. Furthermore, the boot is too big, it seems. I think its going to rub on the fork while I drive it. OK - So I bought a new axle. Got the HUB NUT OFF! Not easy or safe. I am stuck on the lower control arm to knuckle ball joint. The Haynes book says use a puller to remove it. I have tried with not success. I think my puller may not be big enough. Any advice, tricks, tips?? I am so close.
  • elroy5elroy5 Posts: 3,741
    I have never tried this myself, but some claim they have cut two 2 by 4s and propped them under the joint, put the nut on to protect the threads, then wacked it with a hammer. You can easily screw up the threads or something else trying this, so use this information at your own risk. ;)
  • lilengineerboylilengineerboy Posts: 4,116
    Most autoparts stores (Murrays, I believe Kragen/Shrucks will loan tools (actually you buy them and return them, but they expect you to do this) and there is a "front end kit" that comes with the various pullers. I have always used that kit when I've done axles or anything with the front suspension (tie rods, shocks, upper control arms, etc). I guess what I am saying is get a better puller. That lower ball joint is separately replaceable from the lower control arm but needs to be pressed in, meaning the part is cheap but it requires some special tools to do it according to my manual, so its best not to mess it up.
  • cstout73cstout73 Posts: 9
    Update - I got the front end kit from kargen - rented it. Ok so I got the ball joint apart!! Yes! I got the axle out. I put in the new axle and now have to make sure it fits into the transaxle. I am having a trouble "popping" it into place. Can I tap the "hub" end with a rubber mallot? Any tips for getting the axle into place?
    Thanks everyone for your help.
  • lilengineerboylilengineerboy Posts: 4,116
    If I recall correctly (and I might be confusing it with another car) is there is a clip that goes on the end of the axle where it gets inserted into the transmission, so the clip has a certain alignment and the splines have a certain alignment.
    I think I just had my hands over the transmission side boot cover and pushed it in.
    I am glad you got the tool to separate the lower ball joint, having the right tools makes that kind of thing so much easier and minimizes the risk of damaging additional parts.
    One more thing, as long as you have that much taken apart, you should check your front brakes. Removing the front rotors requires disassembly to right where you are at now.
  • cstout73cstout73 Posts: 9
    Update
    Completed The Job. I got the shaft in with a little help from a "crow bar" just to pop the shaft into place. I just gently persuaded into postion. The assembly went well. I've driven the car and it runs great.
    Thanks for the help!
  • kiawahkiawah Posts: 3,666
    Make sure you take it to have the alignment checked.
  • jasonb1jasonb1 Posts: 3
    hey, i have a 91 honda accord EX i js had the pistons replaced because there was a loud knocking sound.......
    after i replaced them all u can still here it when the rpms hit 3000.......
    and my cars acceleration is very slow

    does anyone have any ideas on what it could be???
  • FukuyamaFukuyama Posts: 75
    Hi,
    I have maintained my honda 1990 but recently i have had to invest too much money on it. I wonder if it is time to let go. now i have the S light flashing but no loss of power and no problem with the transmission, just the annoying flashing..it is not always flashing...it comes and goes. should I replace the Electronic module ? I am just steps away to give up and get a newer Honda.
  • elroy5elroy5 Posts: 3,741
    Here's a link to some troubleshooting, if you would like to try and find the problem yourself. Good luck
    http://techauto.bravehost.com/
    PS: Click on transmission (left side of screen) and then click on troubleshooting "S" light.
  • FukuyamaFukuyama Posts: 75
    thank you elroy for the link. I guess I will have to get the box apart. I was going to get the repair manual and I found honda issued a 1989-1991 repair manual and th eother one is 1991-1993....I thought accord ran from 1990-1993...Which one you recommend me for accord 1990?
  • elroy5elroy5 Posts: 3,741
    It should be 90-93. 89-91 would be mixing two totally different cars.
  • FukuyamaFukuyama Posts: 75
    this is what i got
    Honda Accord CB1 CB3 CB7 89 91 Service Manual zip
    and
    Honda Accord 1991 1992 1993 Repair Manual 1934 pages
  • kottkott Posts: 4
    My brake light is always on, and now the ABS light comes on when I start moving. All the fuses in the ABS box are o.k. and the car brakes fine.
    Any suggestions would be appreciated. Thanks
  • kiawahkiawah Posts: 3,666
    Check the amount of brake fluid in the master cylinder. Unless that is low and immediately fixes the lights, you should quickly get it to a shop to get your brakes checked. I can't believe you are driving around with brake error lights on.
  • lilengineerboylilengineerboy Posts: 4,116
    If I had to wager a guess, I would say it was an issue with the wheel sensors. The way ABS works is it measures the speed of each wheel, and if they don't match, it pulses the brake on the slowest wheel (or axle, in the case of 3 channel).
    Alternatively, it could be the ABS motor that pumps the brakes, but I am still leaning more towards a sensor.
    I believe there is a way to pull codes from the ABS computer (that should tell you what sensor is bad) but I am not aware of how to do it.
  • FukuyamaFukuyama Posts: 75
    Please anyone that has the manual for honda accord , could you check the date of publishing? I got a pdf file ;) and it was published 10/89 by honda motor co. it is supposed to be ok for accords 89-91(CB1,CB3,CB7) inlcueded all european accord styles. I want to be sure before putting things apart

    thanks!
  • austinman7austinman7 Posts: 313
    I'm looking to buy a 1990-93 vintage Accord and drove a '90 yesterday with 167,000 miles on it that the fellow was asking $2,300 for. Seemed like a pretty good car, but the motorized shoulder belts were annoying. Do any of you know if those can be replaced with normal seat belts?

    I drive an '04 Accord LX as my primary car and am looking at this older Accord with a manual transmission as just a fun car to drive, which I find it to be. Plus, I like the looks of that vintage Accord. Is there anything in particular I should be looking for in terms of a common mechanical problem with this generation of Accords? Something to avoid?

    The '90 I drove had a few issues -- the clutch didn't engage smoothly, and some front end wobble at highway speed -- but it was amazingly quiet and tight, and the engine pulled strongly. These cars just seem to be screwed together so well, maybe better than my '04.

    Thanks for any advice, especially about the shoulder belts.
  • elroy5elroy5 Posts: 3,741
    Either in 91 or 92 for sure Honda did away with the automatic belts. My 92 had regular belts. I think Honda stopped making them, because they had to warranty the repairs (safety issue) and it was costing too much. If I were you, I would try to find a 91-93 model without the automatic belts.
  • lilengineerboylilengineerboy Posts: 4,116
    and some front end wobble at highway speed

    Upper ball joints are integrated into the control arm, making the piece more expensive (~$100) but its pretty easy to swap out as a DIY thing.
    Tie Rods are about $35 and equally easy as a DIY thing. A wheel alignment is recommended after either one.
    To diagnose the tie rods, grab each front wheel at 3 and 9 and push with one hand while pulling with the other and alternate a few times. If there is play, tie rods are likely.
    For the ball joint/control arm, grab the wheels at 12 and push and pull. If it rattles, its likely the ball joint.
    I guess the torsion rod that goes from the lower control arm to the frame can also rot out, but I haven't seen that happen yet.
    If you get a '92 or 93, you get an airbag and no mouse belts. Front brakes are a PITA. Scroll back through the posts and see what you can find.
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    1992 was the first year with typical seat belts (the year they did the mid-model change/tweaks). My grandmother had a 1991 DX with automatic belts. They were always fun to watch as a kid!
  • elroy5elroy5 Posts: 3,741
    My sister had a Toyota Cressida with the auto seatbelts. She said the novelty of them quickly wore off, because they were always in the way or needed repairs. I was glad when Honda did away with the auto seatbelts and the "sport shift", they were both problematic.
  • austinman7austinman7 Posts: 313
    Yeah, I believe the Edmunds series history on the Accord says the motorized belts were on the '90 and '91 models, but not on the '92 and '93 becasue they had airbags.
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