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Cruising in Montana
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3,533 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I recently decided to make a thread dedicated to my ’07 Accord, three years after I bought it. So, this first post will be playing catch-up, at least on the major points.

(The title of the thread is based on Norman Maclean’s novel “A River Runs Through It”, which is set in western Montana in the 1920’s.)

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I bought the car on September 20, 2014 with 101,544 miles on it. I’m the third owner.

Defeated the daytime running lights in November, 2014.

In December 2014 I added Honda OEM fog lights and an Audiovox Media Bridge so I can connect the iPod to the radio.

Added a Honda OEM auto-dimming mirror in March, 2015. Had to send it out for cleaning in July of 2016 due to dust between the glass and the mirror.

Wired the map lights so they come on with the dome light in March, 2015.

Added a KP Tech remote window up module in August, 2015. This one was a waste of time and money; it never gets used.

Had a problem with an ignition coil in October, 2017. Later that month I checked the brakes for the first time ever.

Some dingaling hit the car in January, 2018. New hood, bumper cover and the two plastic grille parts were installed in mid-February. As part of their painting & front-end work, they somehow removed a wrinkle in the left fender (without actually replacing it) that was there when I bought the car. Looks like a much younger car now, almost new. Only problem is, I have to wait until mid-May to get a clear bra put on, to give the paint time to fully harden. I have to drive far behind other cars, to prevent rocks, sand and cinders from chipping the paint. They spread that stuff all over in the winter, then vacuum it up in April or May. It is by far the worst time to drive a newly-painted car.
 

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8th Gen Believer
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3,782 Posts
I had the same problem with the rock chips and did the 3M clear. Best investment you can make to keep your car looking good. I've had it for three years and no chips, scratches, whatever. Post a pic!
 

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142 Posts
Nice, that's practically the twin of my car. Same color, year, trim, and drivetrain and also appears to be a straight car with no accidents. Your OEM wheels are better-looking and sportier that the twin-5 spoke wheels that came standard on my '07 SE.
 

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Cruising in Montana
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3,533 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
The twin-spoke rims are now doing summer duty only. Until I bought those rims above, I was paying the tire shop $50 in the spring and $50 in the winter to swap rubber. That's nuts, so last year I decided to find some dedicated snow tire rims. Problem is, shipping any rims (steel or aluminum) is expensive due to the weight, so that negates any savings I might get by buying them. I think Tire Rack had steelies for $300, including shipping.

Craigslist to the rescue. Usually Craigslist doesn't work well out here due to our microscopic population density, but I managed to find someone 120 miles (one-way) west of here offering those rims for $250. I drove the Honda there to look and test-fit. They fit perfectly, so I asked if he'd take $200. He stalled a bit, then said ok. They are almost new. Wow!

Now I'm just waiting for warmer weather to clean the twin-spoke rims before they get put on the car. The forecast is for snow tomorrow.
 

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Cruising in Montana
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3,533 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
Well, I started to clean the summer rims today. They have never been cleaned, and have been used in winter. I squirted some Simple Green on them and scrubbed a bit. These are 'before' pics. After is better, but still not real good. And, I need new center H caps. The final cleaning might have to wait; the forecast for the next few days includes a chance of rain and/or snow. It was 45 today, so I could at least do a little.

The winter rims are actually cleaner, and it might make more sense to use them on the summer tires. But there's the matter of swapping 8 tires and trying not to pay for it.



 

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Cruising in Montana
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3,533 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
Swapped winter for summer tires today. I finally cleaned the twin-spoke (summer) wheels. Better, a lot better really, but they are pretty much beyond cleaning on the inside. Had to use some 00 steel wool to remove a brownish/orange coloring on all 4. Then I applied some wax.

These are 'after' pictures.





It should be noted that the hood and fenders looked like that too up until I had the hood replaced and fenders repainted (above). Previous owner must have lived on a dirt road.

So, these would be better off as my winter wheels. But I don't feel like paying to have 8 tires swapped just for this. So it looks like I'll make that change when it's time to replace 4 of them, whenever that is.

Had to buy a 20-150 ft lb torque wrench today. This is the 2nd time I've swapped the tires on the car myself; last year I probably just used a breaker bar.
 

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Cruising in Montana
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3,533 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
I've been thinking about replacing the speakers in the car. Not the head unit, just the speakers, mostly to keep the price down but also to keep it looking ok. I'm not an audiophile so I don't need an amp or anything like that. But I do like sound that isn't quite as mushy as it is now.

So far this is on my mind:

rear deck: Rockford Fosgate Prime 169x3
front doors: Polk Audio DB652
dashboard: JBL Club 750t

Crutchfield has all of them for about $180, which is ok. Wiring adapters are included for the door and deck speakers, and mounting adapters for the doors. The dashboard speakers are a different story. They have no wiring adapters, and while they will fit under the factory grille, they need to be hot-glued, zip-tied or whatever to the existing mount in the dashboard. (None of the dashboard speakers Crutchfield offers have adapters or proper mounting stuff, they recommend back straps which appear to be nothing more than metal plumber's tape.)
 

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Cruising in Montana
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3,533 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
Started replacing speakers today. First stop - rear deck. Replaced with Rockford Fosgate r169x3.



Notice the difference in the size of the magnet!





I found out they are not 100% drop-in replacements. Only two of the four screw holes line up.



The covers are staying off for now, to see if I need to worry about those missing screws. That, and I'm not convinced they'll fit on without modifications.

And of course, one screw fell down somewhere so that's a rattle waiting to happen.

I haven't gone out for a ride yet, but my initial impression is they have much greater clarity. Not louder, just clearer.
 

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Cruising in Montana
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Day 2 – the dashboard tweeters.

The new tweeters are JBL Club 750T units, and they came with an assortment of mounting brackets plus wiring harnesses. The wiring harnesses had some electronics covered in heat-shrink tubing right in the middle of the ~4-foot-long wire. I don’t know what’s there exactly, but I paid for it and the engineers obviously thought they are needed, so they were installed.

I was advised to get some backstraps to mount them, at $2 they hardly broke the bank but I’d later find out hot glue worked better.

But there was one kinda big problem – there were no wiring adapters for these speakers. I knew that when I bought the speakers so I had a few days to think of a solution.

After I removed the original tweeters, I found that I had, at most, 3 inches of wire to work with and the wire was anchored to something so I couldn’t pull any more out. Fortunately, it’s a socketed connection. Then there’s the fact that these are located at the base of the windshield. Cutting and soldering, or even (gasp) crimping just wasn’t going to happen here.



There is a way to deal with this, but it involves destroying the original speakers. No big loss there, so I cut the socket off of the old speakers and soldered my new wires to that socket! Problem solved!

Once the original speakers were removed, I had to determine which wire was positive. The original speakers are not marked, so my manual’s wiring diagram came to the rescue. By lining up the plug and socket, I could figure out which pin in the socket was positive and which was negative. I wrote that on the speaker magnet.

Bench time. I took the old and new speakers down to my sit-down bench in the basement, intended for electronics work like this. A soldering station, a lighted magnifying glass and related tools made this easy.



Pop the speaker out of the grille. Take a knife and scribe + and – on their respective sides of the plastic socket. Cut said socket off of the speaker, approximately at the blue line. A Dremel with a cut-off wheel works great here. Toss the capacitor (to the right of the socket here):



Then, solder your new wires on to the newly-liberated socket:



Mount the speaker inside the dashboard grille. These speakers came with a few different mounts and one happened to fit perfectly inside the round socket in the grille. A little hot glue and we’re done. Notice the big black thing of electronics on the wire. The finished product:



That ~4 feet of wire and the blob of electronics will fit in the space under the speaker in the dashboard. I just stuffed it all in there; maybe someday I’ll bother to properly tie off the wires somewhere.

Oh, how nice it is to be able to hear cymbal crashes, snare drums and other higher-pitched musical sounds with clarity. No more mush.

Doors are next, and I already know I will have problems there. Those new speakers don’t fit in the mounting brackets that are supposedly for this car. What I don’t yet know is, do the brackets fit the door?
 

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Cruising in Montana
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3,533 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
Day 3 – the door speakers.

Today’s exercise in speaker replacement went better than expected. Only one trip to the hardware store was needed, for self-drilling screws to mount the speaker adapters.

The speaker adapters that I thought would not work actually worked just fine. When I was test-fitting things last week, I didn’t realize the speakers were intended to sit on top of the adapter, not inside it. That was discovered today, and it made my day. No need to wait on the mail to deliver something!

My only (possible) issue is with the diameter of the speakers. The OEM speakers have a diameter of 17cm (6.69” for we Yankees) so I ordered two Polk Audio DB652 two-way speakers. They have a diameter of 6.5” so I thought they’d fit fine.

As I’d discover today, that assumption was a little off. The speaker adapters do not fit in the existing speaker mounting slots; you secure them with the self-drilling screws I had to get. Right there, that guarantees that the speaker won’t line up perfectly with the circular recess in the door card’s speaker grille. Then you have a speaker that’s just shy of ‘too wide’ and presto, you can have alignment problems. (For those reading this in the future, get 6” diameter speakers.) I didn’t have a problem on the passenger door, but the driver’s door card sticks out 1/8” or so on the corner closest to the speaker grille when previously it was flush with the steel. I have a few ideas on how to deal with that, but that’s for a later date.

The old speaker (left), new speaker and the adapter.



As with the rear deck speakers, notice the size difference in the magnets!



 

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Cruising in Montana
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Discussion Starter #13
Fixed all of the speaker issues today, except the driver's door mount.

  • Shortened the tweeter wires by about 2 feet, zip-tied them in place.
  • Mounted the rear deck speakers properly, with 4 screws. It was easier to drill holes in the speaker frame than the rear deck, so that's what I did. Worked fine.
  • Modified the rear deck speaker grilles so they mount normally now.
This was a totally stealth upgrade, and that's what I wanted. It looks completely stock, but it isn't.

And, I added a proper USB socket in the storage bin below the radio for my iPod interface. It's been on the to-do list for a few months now. Prior to this, it was connected by a 6' long USB extension cable that came out between the console and the passenger seat, that's a lot of extra cable to hide when you include the cable for the iPod. Now it's easily hidden.



It sticks out 1/2 - 3/4". It could not be flush-mounted since there's hardware behind where I drilled the hole in the cubby and the socket is about 2 inches long. Oh well, can't see it with the door open anyhow.

 

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Cruising in Montana
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3,533 Posts
Discussion Starter #14 (Edited)
Yay! I was able to get the 3M clear bra installed today. The local shop had an opening so for $175 I now have the 3M clear stuff on the fenders & hood. They could have done the bumper too, but that added quite a bit to the price so I decided against it. 8-mil thickness, ten year warranty I think.

Now I can drive through dust storms and 10 feet behind dump trucks with reckless abandon. 😉
 

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Cruising in Montana
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Discussion Starter #15
As I was trying to track down what I think is the grinding sound of an unhappy bearing somewhere on the serpentine belt path, I came across this. Am I in to a new water pump? (I-4, 177,000 mi) It's always at the halfway point between min & max on the overflow tank, but I have noticed it never stays at max when I fill it up and never gets to min.

A close-up of the weep hole on the water pump:



Notice the 'wet' area between the red lines, bottom half of the water pump's pulley is visible:



It is not oil, though I do lose some. Toward that end, I put some flourescent dye in the oil yesterday and none of this area glows under UV light. I should get some coolant dye.

I initially thought my bad bearing was in the a/c compressor clutch but after removing the belt & letting things free spin, the a/c pulley spins quick & quiet. I think my culprit is the tensioner. The pulley on the tensioner wobbles a bit and doesn't seem to spin right.
 

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Don't drink and drive
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5,154 Posts
I'd probably guess the tensioner too. Turn the ac on and watch the tensioner for vibration. Mine was making a light rattling sound for years, until I replaced it a couple months back. Water pumps tend to make a loud rattle sound.
 

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Cruising in Montana
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Discussion Starter #17
The hood and fenders were painted back in February, so today I gave the car a treatment of Wet Paint. Usually I do it two or three times a year. Firstly, I took it to the car wash and the difference was obvious. Water stood on the hood & fenders but beaded up on the rest of the car. Then home for the Wet Paint. It's nice & shiny all over after about an hour's work.
 

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Cruising in Montana
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Discussion Starter #18
This was almost an "I FU'd reeeally bad" post.....

A week ago I ordered a new tensioner (Gates) and water pump (Aisin) from Rock Auto, $110 shipped. I figured Aisin makes well-regarded timing belt kits so the pump should be ok too. It looks 99.9% like the old pump so as far as I can tell the OEM pump was made by Aisin.

Last Friday I replaced the tensioner. Once removed, I could see some wobbling in the pulley so maybe.... Easy job but it didn't make much difference in the grinding sound. Maybe it did, but it was hard to tell.

Today I replaced the water pump. I did this last even though you need to remove the tensioner to replace the pump. I did it this way to isolate the noise. Since replacing the tensioner didn't make much difference, time to replace the water pump. (Also note a previous post's picture of the crusted coolant in the pump's weep hole.)

Replacing the pump isn't too difficult. Actually, it's more time-consuming than anything.

A curious note - on the Rock Auto web site is this page telling you to not dry-spin the new water pump, and to soak it in water for a few minutes prior to assembly. So, I resisted significant temptation to spin it for those few days it sat on the shelf, and I set it in a pot of water today before starting the removal process. It sat in water a good 30 minutes.

So I drained the radiator and removed things, then installed the new pump and tensioner. Once the new pump was on & tightened down, I added new coolant and spun the pump manually a few times to (hopefully) avoid running the engine while the pump was dry. Oops, I forgot to compare pulley height between the old & new pumps while they were off the engine. Now's a good time. The new pump's pulley lines up just fine with the others. That done, the serpentine belt went back on. I let the car idle 20 minutes or so to burp bubbles out. I think I may have to re-do that, this time with the car up on ramps.

I re-mounted the tire and spun the lug nuts on by hand, then used my 1/2" breaker bar like a screwdriver to snug the nuts in place, then I lowered the car off the jacks. (Note - using the breaker bar like a screwdriver means the nuts are no more than finger-tight.)

Cleaned up a bit, looked for leaks, then went out for a drive.

About 8-10 miles later, I realized that bit about the lug nuts. "Oh SHEET - I didn't tighten the lug nuts!" So I pulled off the interstate at the next exit (only a few yards away) and got out the lug wrench. Yep, 3 of the 5 were not even finger-tight now.....

And the grinding noise is gone. 178,000 miles on the old pump. Actually it should have been replaced back in December when I first noticed the noise, but it was too cold to do it then.

In the process of doing this, I noticed another possible problem. The hard line for the power steering fluid return line was wet, starting at the rubber hose (that goes to the reservoir). It may be time for a new hose and clamp.
 

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Super Moderator
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Holy crap!

This is what I do, I always put that torque wrench right by the wheels so I remember to torque them down. I have seen wheels flying off cars on the highway and it's not a pretty sight. I even put big jugs of coolant in the driver's seat, every time I drain the system, so I know to fill the radiator with coolant BEFORE I start the car.
 

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Cruising in Montana
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3,533 Posts
Discussion Starter #20
Did the A1 service Saturday, 7,317 miles since the last oil change. Went about 100 miles past 0% on the MM (it shows negative miles when you pass 0%) so according to some here, my engine will seize next time it's started.

As usual for the A1 service, it was a topside oil change. A little 12v DC pump makes it a 10 minute job. I have a video of it but I need to figure out how to remove the middle few minutes of it, but keep the beginning & end.
 
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