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92 accord vibration?


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Hello, I have been experiencing an issue with my 92 honda accord ever since I did some repairs on it.


About 2.5 months ago I decided to replace all my brakes and my valve cover gaskets. Oil had been leaking into the spark plug wells and occasionally the pressure from the engine would blow off the #1 spark plug wire. So I replaced the valve cover gaskets including the ones at the bottom of the spark plug wells under the rocker arm assembly. The next repair was the brakes. The front brakes had become warped so I decided rotor replacement was in order and while I was at it I decided to do the rear brakes too. The rear drums and shoes went on without too much difficulty. The front rotors on the other hand were a major pain in the a**! This model of accord has captive rotors which means the rotors are installed between the steering knuckle and the hub. In order to remove these rotors you must separate the wheel bearing from the steering knuckle. Usually this would require some sort of hydraulic puller to remove the bearing from the knuckle. However I did not have a puller so I had to do it the old fashion way (sweat). The method I used can be seen at youtube.com/watch?v=5xIUAMl-oRQ done by Eric the Car Guy. Basically it requires completely removing the steering knuckle from the car, putting it in a vise, screwing longer bolts into the wheel bearing mounting holes and using air chisels and a hammer to pound the crap out of those bolts until the bearing comes loose. This method works but it is a major pain. After that battle I installed the new rotors and pressed the old bearings back into the steering knuckle and put everything back together.


The car drives and brakes fine at low speeds. However when I get on the highway and speed up past 60mph the car starts to vibrate. It isnt violent but just a mild shake that wasnt there before the repair. Here is another thing when I lightly press on the brake pedal at high speed the new brakes feel like they are slightly warped but if I press on the brake hard at high speed they feel smooth. Finally the car sometimes pulls to the right at high speeds. I got this car used from my grandmother 3 years ago with only 60K on it but it has always slightly pulled to the right while I have owned it regardless of having an alignment done.


Ok so after this I needed new tires anyway so I went to a shop, bought brand new Michelin tires, had the tires installed, balanced and had an alignment done. The old tires were very unevenly worn. Both front tires inside edge (side facing engine) were worn down to the steel belts but the rest of the tire was ok. The shaking is still there and the car still pulls slightly to the right. I know the CVs are good because I had them both replaced 6 months ago.


Based on all the evidence I am thinking that the front bearings are worn out or may have gotten damaged during the repair I did. Does that sound likely? Could it be something else? Ball joints?


I really want to fix this but I dont want to spend a bunch more $$$ on parts only to have it not be what is wrong with it.


Any insight is much appreciated.



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1. Pulling to the right: Make sure you paid for an alignment,it sounds like you need one.


2. Vibration: be sure you didn't loose a wheel weight. Otherwise you may have forgotten to lubricated the brake caliper pins while doing the brakes.


3. Bad wheel bearings? You would have noise, free play, or both. There's an Eric the Car Guy video that shows you what to look for. I use a dial indicator to measure free play so let me tell you that according to Honda (Helms) the spec is 0.002-inch which is almost nothing; basically if you have play in the hub in the up or down direction then its out of spec. Ie I believe 0.001-inch of free play would be inpercievable by hand, so if it moves its bad.


4. Other causes for pulling: has the car been hit? A bent frame cannot be corrected with an alignment. I don't know how to check for this other than to see what a body shop says.

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Thanks for the info. I am not really trying to solve why it pulls to the right, it would be nice but its not the question I am trying to answer right now. I was just providing that info in case it helped with the diagnoses of the vibration which is what I am trying to solve. The car has always slightly pulled to the right. I have had 3 alignments done in the last 3 years. They all come back exactly the same. I even have the spec sheet with the degrees of each wheel from big O showing me that the wheels are aligned. The car has never been hit. It was my grandmas and only ever went to the grocery store and church for the 17 years she owned it. I have two set of wheels one set for summer and another set for winter both have been recently balanced and with both sets the car vibrates and slightly pulls to the right so I think it is pretty safe to say it is not the wheels. The brake pins were thoroughly greased during the brake job. Some wheel bearing do not always make noise and have play when they need to be replaced. Check out this thread: http://mustangforums.com/forum/s197-handling-section/649271-bad-wheel-bearing-warped-rotor-something-else.html

It is a mustang forum but this guy experienced an issue similar to mine. His issue was resolved by replacing the wheel bearings. I will try to find the eric the car guy video about free play. If you happen to know the link and could post it that would be helpful, if not Im sure I can find it. Thanks again for your input.

Edited by smmuck
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if it has always pulled to the side, that sounds like body damage. even if your grandma didn't drive the car much, she might have hit a curb or slid into one on ice or something. bad ball joints might do that, too, but they would give you worse problems over three years. however, most roads tend to slope down just a little bit on the right side, so it depends on how hard of a pull you're talking about.


could be the bearings. after I did the hor rotor replacement, I started getting the early signs of a bad left bearing on certain sharp, slow turns. I, too, always thought a bad bearing made distinctive sounds, and another family car is how I know (VERY distinctive). check the shocks, check the bushings, too, those things can cause steering wander or vibration as well. this is a 92 we're talking about. good news is, if it IS the bearings and you've gotten the hub and bearing free yourself, you can save some good money only paying to have it pressed off and a new one on. of course, that still means paying money one way or the other...


good luck.

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  • 2 weeks later...

did you tighten doing the fron steering knuckle? caus esometime if that has a little freeplay your car will shake. my mom ford escape the guys at pepboys fracked her knuckles changing brake when you shouldent even touch them on a 04 ford escape. and my other friend had his dodge dakota allienged after he got into a little accident and the guys made it worse. so maybe it could be a poor quality alliengment.

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