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Old 09-07-2020, 11:17 AM   #261 (permalink)
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Join Date: Mar 2020
Location: Quebec Qc Canada
Posts: 52

AcuraMatata - '99 Acura EL Base
90 day: 36.59 mpg (US)

Le Vehicle - '12 Dodge Gran Caravan SE
90 day: 22.35 mpg (US)
Thanks: 10
Thanked 40 Times in 26 Posts
1999 Acura EL aka Civic EX - Long due maintenance done

For 2-3 years the 4 original struts replacement was postponed on the 1999 Acura EL aka Honda Civic EX with more than 237 000 Km life now. The shocks (or dampers) were looking good and doing their job but the coil springs were fatigued. The car was lower at the front, on the driver side. It did not show much. The ride was OK but could have been better.

In the 2020 Spring, cheap coil spring spacers were added to the front left and to both rear struts. The spacers were of the 2 bolts adjustable type reputed for braking the springs. The spacers did not damage the small diameter springs spires but scratched the shocks tubes and caused annoying noises. But for the benefit of evening the front car heights, there was the “rake” improvement gotten from raising the back of the car. Improving the “rake” may also improve the aerodynamics performance.

So from May through August, the car rode with the coil spring spacers and some “funky” noises. The car wheels were balanced and aligned and the ride was OK. The cost of the fix was low. Then, wifey got tired of the noises and demanded a real “professional type” fix. Then, the adventure of struts replacement with new ones on a 21 year old car with many winters under the belts with eastern Canada harsh weather effect on suspension parts and bolts launched.

Youtube and Civic forums helped define the work to do and the various difficulties that were on the road to replacement.

The rear struts replacement was the highest challenge. The Lower Control Arm (LCA) bolts could be seized in the bushings requiring cutting the bolts to start. From there, the bolts, the link kits and LCA would have to be replaced plus the strut and spring assembly. Knowing all that, the LCA rear pair (Mevotech), the link kits (Mevotech) and the strut assemblies (Unity Automotive) were ordered online. The bolts were first looked for online and acquired locally cheaper as a kit of 6 bolts and nuts (Dorman 13508). The bolts are the same “grade 10” as the Honda bolts but the Dorman kit sells for little more than the price of one Honda LCA bolt. The Dorman bolts do not look the same as the Honda but I suppose they can still be trusted.

The work of cleaning the bolts end threads and putting penetrating oil daily started a week ahead of the parts delivery. Still, at first attempt of removal the first bolt head broke off. Then trying to turn the welded nut from the other side yielded no movement from the bolt shaft seized in the bushing and resulted in braking again. The impact driver turning both ways yielded no better results. Then the “sawsall” came as the best solution to limit time and useless suffering. The bolts and bushings were cut between the fork legs. Still some bolts shafts and heads remained “welded” solid and had to be worn down with a sharpening stone on a rotary tool (aka Dremel) to clear the bolts holes. The same operation was required for the link kits. One the bolts were removed and cleared. The rear strut installation was a breeze. The bolts under the car were installed covered of copper antiseize grease and tightened at the specified torque. Then “Rust Check – Coat and Protect” spray mixture was applied to all threads protruding from nuts and on nuts and heads in contact with any steel part.

The front struts replacement went much easier. All bolts were removed starting with penetrating oil 2 days ahead and the impact driver alternating tightening and unscrewing until the bolt gave sign of moving. Again, “Unity Automotive” strut and spring assemblies were used. The only difficulty arising was the “pointer index” needing to be rotated to fit in its place in the strut fork. Plumbers channelock pliers were used to twist the strut bottom in the fork as the top bolts in the engine compartment were tightened to avoid thread damage and the pinch bolt remained loose.

The car being more than 237,000 Km, big name struts with big price tag were out of consideration. On Carid.com “Unity” struts received a 4.8/5 satisfaction rating from 217 reviewers. So I thought, I could trust these China made struts. After all, big names struts are, as most now also made in China (Moog). The price tag has something to do with the longer the name is been in the market and the amount invested in publicity of the brand. Let see how long the “Unity Automotive” last on a car driven about 10,000 Km a year.

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See many mods in detail with results on my modification thread for my 1999 Acura EL, similar to US Civic EX

Facts, please, give me the facts! Theoretical knowledge is verified by empirical knowledge! Check Einstein's General Relativity Theory E=MC^2! Every few years some new astrophysics observation and data prove some of Einstein's theory predictions more than a century old.
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Old 09-10-2020, 08:50 AM   #262 (permalink)
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Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: 1000 Islands, Ontario, Canada
Posts: 21,710

Blackfly - '98 Geo Metro
Team Metro
Last 3: 70.09 mpg (US)

MPGiata - '90 Mazda Miata
90 day: 53.56 mpg (US)

Winter beater Metro - '00 Chevrolet Metro
90 day: 61.98 mpg (US)

Fancy Metro - '14 Mitsubishi Mirage top spec
90 day: 58.72 mpg (US)

Even Fancier Metro - '14 Mitsubishi Mirage top spec
90 day: 66.29 mpg (US)
Thanks: 3,442
Thanked 6,264 Times in 3,238 Posts
tinkering time

Here's the "vehicle" I've been spending all my tinkering time on the last couple of weeks:




I've been modifying this trailer to fit a different sailboat model than it was originally built for: changing pad height/locations, lowering the suspension, raising the fenders, relocating the tongue jack, making a guide for the keel, adding a winch, adding an extendable tongue.

Generally having fun playing with a stick welder.
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Latest mods: 3-cylinder Mitsubishi Mirage. EcoMods now in progress...
Ecodriving test:
Manual vs. automatic transmission MPG showdown



EcoModder
has launched a forum for the efficient new Mitsubishi Mirage
www.MetroMPG.com - fuel efficiency info for Geo Metro owners
www.ForkenSwift.com - electric car conversion on a beer budget
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Old 09-16-2020, 08:21 PM   #263 (permalink)
Cyborg ECU
 
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Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Coastal Southern California
Posts: 6,092

Black and Green - '98 Honda Civic DX Coupe
Team Honda
90 day: 66.42 mpg (US)

Black and Red - '00 Nashbar Custom built eBike
90 day: 3671.43 mpg (US)
Thanks: 2,307
Thanked 2,023 Times in 1,380 Posts
Very nice.
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See my car's mod & maintenance thread and my electric bicycle's thread for ongoing projects. I will rebuild Black and Green over decades as parts die, until it becomes a different car of roughly the same shape and color. My minimum fuel economy goal is 55 mpg while averaging posted speed limits. I generally top 60 mpg. See also my Honda manual transmission specs thread.



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Old 09-17-2020, 04:45 PM   #264 (permalink)
Batman Junior
 
MetroMPG's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: 1000 Islands, Ontario, Canada
Posts: 21,710

Blackfly - '98 Geo Metro
Team Metro
Last 3: 70.09 mpg (US)

MPGiata - '90 Mazda Miata
90 day: 53.56 mpg (US)

Winter beater Metro - '00 Chevrolet Metro
90 day: 61.98 mpg (US)

Fancy Metro - '14 Mitsubishi Mirage top spec
90 day: 58.72 mpg (US)

Even Fancier Metro - '14 Mitsubishi Mirage top spec
90 day: 66.29 mpg (US)
Thanks: 3,442
Thanked 6,264 Times in 3,238 Posts
I was STILL working on it today... but I think the welding is done... for this year.


Boat has to come out within the next week or 2!
__________________
Latest mods: 3-cylinder Mitsubishi Mirage. EcoMods now in progress...
Ecodriving test:
Manual vs. automatic transmission MPG showdown



EcoModder
has launched a forum for the efficient new Mitsubishi Mirage
www.MetroMPG.com - fuel efficiency info for Geo Metro owners
www.ForkenSwift.com - electric car conversion on a beer budget
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Old 09-17-2020, 06:18 PM   #265 (permalink)
Cyborg ECU
 
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Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Coastal Southern California
Posts: 6,092

Black and Green - '98 Honda Civic DX Coupe
Team Honda
90 day: 66.42 mpg (US)

Black and Red - '00 Nashbar Custom built eBike
90 day: 3671.43 mpg (US)
Thanks: 2,307
Thanked 2,023 Times in 1,380 Posts
Spent way too much time doing cosmetic repairs to the shifter, boot, and trim plate on my daughter's car this week. But it looks almost like new. Shifter knob had peeling silver paint, all the leather had gone pale with hand oils, and the black trim plate was peeling and permanently stained in three places. This look took multiple coats and sanding. Black plastidip, metalic silver paint, matte clear coat:

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See my car's mod & maintenance thread and my electric bicycle's thread for ongoing projects. I will rebuild Black and Green over decades as parts die, until it becomes a different car of roughly the same shape and color. My minimum fuel economy goal is 55 mpg while averaging posted speed limits. I generally top 60 mpg. See also my Honda manual transmission specs thread.



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Old 09-18-2020, 07:13 AM   #266 (permalink)
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Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: Texas
Posts: 380
Thanks: 1,193
Thanked 96 Times in 79 Posts
Simple Job Today

I have three vehicles. All have "maintenance free" batteries. So I went out and checked the water level in each. Two had one almost dry cell. Why do they tell me they are "maintenance free" when they are obviously not?
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Old 09-20-2020, 11:11 PM   #267 (permalink)
Master EcoModder
 
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Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Tacoma WA
Posts: 1,356

Woody - '96 Dodge Ram 2500 SLT
Team Cummins
90 day: 23.82 mpg (US)

Avion and Woody - '96 Dodge/Avion Ram 2500/5th wheel combo
90 day: 15.1 mpg (US)

TD eye eye eye - '03 Volkswagen Beetle GLS
90 day: 49.05 mpg (US)

Mule - '07 Dodge Ram 3500 ST
Thanks: 691
Thanked 495 Times in 323 Posts
I'm a little behind here. I finished the 1 ton a few weeks ago.

the 16K TK tilt trailer on the left:
I did the brakes and new pigtail, junction box, safety switch and emergency brake battery, and replaced the rotten oak deck with Brazilian apitong hardwood. I got a paint match and painted the upper surfaces, replaced the nonskid patches on the fenders where I step out of the excavator.
This week:
20 ton tilt deck:
Welded new hinges on my chain lockup thing, then cleaned, sanded and painted the rails, frame, and wheels.
Dump truck:
sanded primed and painted that black box on the right side. It houses a fuel pump for offroad fuel for the excavators.
Painted the wheels.
Prepped and painted the dump box.


Traded in the old excavator for a new JD 35G mini with cab, heat, air, angle blade.


The dump box was my first foray into shooting metallic paint. It schooled me a bit. In the end, I had to devise a scheme to control overspray on the upwards facing surfaces. I masked them off, then painted above the needed 3 coats. Peel off a tier of paper all around and move down, repeat.
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2007 Dodge Ram 3500 SRW 4x4 with 6MT
2003 TDI Beetle
2002 TDI Beetle

currently parked - 1996 Dodge 2500 Cummins Turbodiesel
Custom cab, auto, 3.55 gears
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Old 09-23-2020, 07:15 PM   #268 (permalink)
Cyborg ECU
 
California98Civic's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Coastal Southern California
Posts: 6,092

Black and Green - '98 Honda Civic DX Coupe
Team Honda
90 day: 66.42 mpg (US)

Black and Red - '00 Nashbar Custom built eBike
90 day: 3671.43 mpg (US)
Thanks: 2,307
Thanked 2,023 Times in 1,380 Posts
Repaired a mangled wheel well liner on my daughters car with some vinyl I bought.

Then she and her boyfriend took off to get drinks and didn't even take my order.

I need to increase my rates.
__________________
See my car's mod & maintenance thread and my electric bicycle's thread for ongoing projects. I will rebuild Black and Green over decades as parts die, until it becomes a different car of roughly the same shape and color. My minimum fuel economy goal is 55 mpg while averaging posted speed limits. I generally top 60 mpg. See also my Honda manual transmission specs thread.



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Old 09-24-2020, 08:11 PM   #269 (permalink)
Ecomodding amateur
 
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Join Date: Nov 2015
Location: Indiana
Posts: 479

The Van - '95 Chevy Astro Cl
Team Chevy
90 day: 16.39 mpg (US)

The new bike - '17 Kawasaki Versys X 300 abs
Motorcycle
90 day: 64.78 mpg (US)

The Mercury - '95 Mercury Tracer Trio
Team Ford
90 day: 34.43 mpg (US)
Thanks: 80
Thanked 170 Times in 126 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by California98Civic View Post
I need to increase my rates.
This sounds like something my Dad would say.

Found a mangled 2.5T aluminum floor jack while delivering my morning route. Took it apart. Looks like stainless steel fasteners, most were in good condition. Threw the bent up aluminum in my scrap pile (mostly soda cans) and kept the only flat parts (triangle-ish pieces at end of pic). I also got a hydraulic cylinder, haven't confirmed if it still works or not yet, and some steel brackets/plates.



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Věci získávají svou skutečnou krásu pouze ve vztahu k našemu životu
-Jiří Mucha (1915-1991), Publicist

My herd includes:
1973 Fiat 124 Special
1975 Honda Civic CVCC 4spd
1981 Kawasaki KZ750E
1981 Kawasaki KZ650 CSR
1983 Kawasaki KZ1100-A3
1986 Nissan 300zx Turbo 5 spd
1995 Chevy Astro RWD
1995 Mercury Tracer
2004 Chevy Astro AWD
2017 Kawasaki VersysX 300

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC6s...LulDUQ8HMj5VKA
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Old 09-24-2020, 11:31 PM   #270 (permalink)
Master EcoModder
 
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Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Pennsylvania
Posts: 491

Grandpa's Caprice (retired) - '84 Chevrolet Caprice Classic
Last 3: 20.76 mpg (US)

Woody - '90 Mercury Grand Marquis Wagon LS
Last 3: 19.57 mpg (US)

F.E. Brick - '99 Chevrolet K2500 Suburban LS
Last 3: 12.94 mpg (US)

Mom's Car - '01 Chevrolet Impala Base
90 day: 21.95 mpg (US)

R.J. - '05 Ford Explorer 4wd
90 day: 19.61 mpg (US)
Thanks: 875
Thanked 33 Times in 27 Posts
I've been working on the 90 Grand Marquis in the last 10 days or so. One thing led to another.

Most Fuel Lines have been replaced.

Air Filter, Fuel Filter, Oil, Oil Filter - All new now.

3 NiCop Brake Lines - Bought.

Rear Brake Drum Cylinders - Need replaced.

On subject of the 2005 Explorer, I had a 22 MPG trip today; mostly on HWY driving. Not much EOCing was done, but I did shut the engine off at red lights.

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