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Funny how weekends turn out - A short tale of working on Cars
Posted by: microchip
Date: August 13, 2011 09:04PM
This past week for me was awful. I was looking forward on taking a short trip to a state over or something for the weekend. School starts a week from monday, and I hadn't felt like I was really 'in the mood'.

But something took higher priority. My recently purchased Honda S2000 (which words cannot accurately describe) was starting to feel sketchy in the braking zone. I called up the Honda dealer the yesterday and put in an order for a full set of brake pads and an oil filter.

I woke up this morning and started tackling the problem. For those not in the know, the S2000 has six inches of clearance. My jack wouldn't fit under the car. After much hassle, I wound up getting a 'low profile' jack, which still just barely fits. I started work on the 'pads to discover the originals were what it was running. Running, in fact, down to the metal. The rotors are most likely salvageable. I'll get all four turned tomorrow and do an oil change to boot.

What's good though, is that I personally take such a great level of enjoyment in car work. And right now, I know that any trip I would have gone on this weekend wouldn't have topped the level of enjoyment and satisfaction I've got right now from working on my car.


Anyway, just thought I'd share. I truly hope all of you are also having great weekends!

-chip
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Re: Funny how weekends turn out - A short tale of working on Cars
Posted by: GGD
Date: August 13, 2011 09:08PM
[www.youtube.com]
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Re: Funny how weekends turn out - A short tale of working on Cars
Posted by: davester
Date: August 13, 2011 09:10PM
Are you sure you can turn the rotors? I seem to recall that most Honda rotors are too thin to turn. Also, you shouldn't turn rotors unless they are really badly scored. You need to check the thickness with a micrometer to see whether you're still within minimum thickness specs.

As for clearance, your S2000 is like a 4WD jacked up truck in comparison to my Austin Healey Sprite and MG.

I like a certain amount of car work too, but I'm currently in the midst of a camshaft, rod bearing and main bearing replacement on the MG, and I may also pop the pistons and replace the rings while I'm at it. I'm getting the feeling that I'm in too deep. Car parts are scattered everywhere.



"In science it often happens that scientists say, 'You know that's a really good argument; my position is mistaken,' and then they would actually change their minds and you never hear that old view from them again. They really do it. It doesn't happen as often as it should, because scientists are human and change is sometimes painful. But it happens every day. I cannot recall the last time something like that happened in politics or religion." (1987) -- Carl Sagan
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Re: Funny how weekends turn out - A short tale of working on Cars
Posted by: M A V I C
Date: August 13, 2011 09:18PM
I second davester regarding replacing the rotors rather than turning them. I also question buying pads from the dealer. Generally better pads can be had for less.




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Re: Funny how weekends turn out - A short tale of working on Cars
Posted by: olnacl
Date: August 13, 2011 09:27PM
No help on the Honda, but my sympathy to Davester. Here was my MG. Not shown was the complete teardown of the engine, electrical system and suspension. In the end, love it as I did, it was still an MGB. Lucas, Prince of darkness.
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Re: Funny how weekends turn out - A short tale of working on Cars
Posted by: rgG
Date: August 13, 2011 09:50PM
I have a set of drive on car ramps that I wish I could give you. It makes changing the oil or working on a Miata much easier and safer, but I never use them anymore, as I now get the oil changed at our local shop. If you are ever in Atlanta and want to haul them back to CO, you are welcome to them.





Roswell, GA (Atlanta suburb)
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Re: Funny how weekends turn out - A short tale of working on Cars
Posted by: microchip
Date: August 13, 2011 09:57PM
I did some research, the stock pads are supposedly pretty good. The only real reasonable upgrade just provides a bit more heat resistance for track days. From the dealer they were fairly "reasonable", a la, $120 for all four. I'll see how I like the stocks and go from there. I do plan to track the car a bit...

We'll see about the rotors. There's a good local shop nearby that I like, so I'll see what they say. Otherwise, I'll go ahead and get some slotted-drilled bonkers rotors. I enjoy stopping!

With the jack, I have no doubts that your MG is lower. (I really love MG's, by the way), axle jackpoints on the Honda are just very difficult to get to. Oh well.

rgG, no plans to get to Atlanta, but I'll let you know if that changes. We've got a pair, but they are way to steep for anything other than a 4x4.

Lastly, Davester, as one guy I know says:
"Well, I love driving them more than I hate working on them."



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 08/13/2011 09:57PM by microchip.
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Re: Funny how weekends turn out - A short tale of working on Cars
Posted by: mikebw
Date: August 13, 2011 09:57PM
For low profile cars I just drive them up onto a couple 2x6's to gain enough clearance for a regular jack.
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Re: Funny how weekends turn out - A short tale of working on Cars
Posted by: mrbigstuff
Date: August 13, 2011 10:09PM
Quote
davester
Are you sure you can turn the rotors? I seem to recall that most Honda rotors are too thin to turn. Also, you shouldn't turn rotors unless they are really badly scored.

Actually, you should not turn rotors if they are scored at all!

And, yes, when I owned a Honda, no one would touch the rotors for turning. But, with the cost of rotors being pretty close to what it will cost you for a decent machine shop turning, you are better off buying the new rotors.

I also agree that it's a good feeling to complete something like a brake job. Brakes and suspension are eminently doable for the average DIYer and saves you a good deal of cash. It also makes you intimately familiar with teh workings of the suspension and braking system.

It may also be a good idea to flush your whole brake system, just read up on how to do it without damaging any master cylinder seals, etc.



Hurts like a bastid...



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 08/13/2011 10:11PM by mrbigstuff.
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Re: Funny how weekends turn out - A short tale of working on Cars
Posted by: M>B>
Date: August 13, 2011 10:14PM
First I have always worked on my cars! My Honda Fit is so low to the ground that I can't get my head under the car to get to the oil plug let alone reaching the filter. Had to jack it up and put it on jack stands, with BU stands just to service it. I now use my trusted garage do the servicing for 30.- I feel safer and ahead of the game.

I have found this place to be an excellent source for Honda parts.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 08/13/2011 10:27PM by M>B>.
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Re: Funny how weekends turn out - A short tale of working on Cars
Posted by: M A V I C
Date: August 13, 2011 10:15PM
I had a rough time with my brake job. I had an extremely tough time breaking the bolts loose for the calipers. You'd think with a 36" breaker bar and my full body weight it would have come lose. Instead it just twisted the socket extension. I got all but one bolt loose, but was able to rotate the caliper back to get the disc out.

And getting the discs loose was interesting. I had to hammer very hard multiple times where the disc touches the hub to get them loose. That's after hours of soaking them with PBR blaster.

But it was good to get it all done myself.

I went with aftermarket pads because they stop as good or slightly better than OEM, without the squeal or the dust. I also got coated rotors.

I wouldn't go with drilled rotors. My understanding is that except for the high end ones, that's just for looks and makes the rotors prone to cracking.




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Re: Funny how weekends turn out - A short tale of working on Cars
Posted by: blooz
Date: August 13, 2011 10:26PM
I stopped working on cars back about the time i dropped and broke my dwell-meter (I'm showing my age here).
You guys who like working on cars? God bless you. I'd enjoy watching.

As to satisfying weekend—all the junk I pulled out of the basement so the guys could insulate is now gone.
A friend came over with a big pickup and his dad and we loaded an old furnace, an old hot water tank (was here when i bought the place) and an old wood stove that i think weighed as much as the other two items altogether.
My basement looks so big now.



And we should consider every day lost on which we have not danced at least once.
—Friedrich Nietzsche
Western Massachusetts
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Re: Funny how weekends turn out - A short tale of working on Cars
Posted by: microchip
Date: August 13, 2011 10:29PM
Quote
M A V I C
I wouldn't go with drilled rotors. My understanding is that except for the high end ones, that's just for looks and makes the rotors prone to cracking.

I agree. But if I'm going to be forking over money for new rotors, then I might as well make it worth my while. I'll see how things go down tomorrow. I'm going to be very unhappy if the S is resigned to the garage for a few more days....but, "do it once, do it right".



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 08/13/2011 10:29PM by microchip.
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Re: Funny how weekends turn out - A short tale of working on Cars
Posted by: M>B>
Date: August 13, 2011 10:45PM
Buy Reybestos and support the Brakettes...

[en.wikipedia.org]

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Re: Funny how weekends turn out - A short tale of working on Cars
Posted by: DaviDC.
Date: August 14, 2011 01:02AM
This kind of stuff keeps you off the streets & out of trouble.
For that reason, working on your cars is a good thing!



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Re: Funny how weekends turn out - A short tale of working on Cars
Posted by: space-time
Date: August 14, 2011 06:54AM
I like these places to get honda parts

[www.hondaautomotiveparts.com]

[www.hondapartsnow.com]
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Re: Funny how weekends turn out - A short tale of working on Cars
Posted by: Schpark
Date: August 14, 2011 09:53AM
Quote
M A V I C
And getting the discs loose was interesting. I had to hammer very hard multiple times where the disc touches the hub to get them loose. That's after hours of soaking them with PBR blaster.


Ah, you used the good stuff.

[blog.skimkim.com]
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Re: Funny how weekends turn out - A short tale of working on Cars
Posted by: deckeda
Date: August 14, 2011 08:37PM
I stopped doing (front) brakes on my Hondas when I learned the dealer (and better 3rd party mechanics) turn rotors while they're on the car. They use a dedicated lathe that fits over the rotor by hand. Maybe not all Hondas benefit from this, but on my older Accords it ensured the rotors weren't just true, but true when installed.
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Re: Funny how weekends turn out - A short tale of working on Cars
Posted by: deckeda
Date: August 14, 2011 08:39PM
Quote
mikebw
For low profile cars I just drive them up onto a couple 2x6's to gain enough clearance for a regular jack.

I need to try that. I can't get my floor jack under the front of my minivan normally.
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Re: Funny how weekends turn out - A short tale of working on Cars
Posted by: M A V I C
Date: August 15, 2011 06:25PM
Quote
microchip
Quote
M A V I C
I wouldn't go with drilled rotors. My understanding is that except for the high end ones, that's just for looks and makes the rotors prone to cracking.

I agree. But if I'm going to be forking over money for new rotors, then I might as well make it worth my while. I'll see how things go down tomorrow. I'm going to be very unhappy if the S is resigned to the garage for a few more days....but, "do it once, do it right".

How does going drilled "make it worth your while"? "do it once, do it right" is contrary to using drilled rotors. On car forums, the guys who go drilled have to replace their rotors again quickly, sometimes just a week or two after installing them. If you're going to buy some high end rotors it's a bit of a different story.




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