Saturday, November 19, 2005

You know you like it

  • Christ, is Thanksgiving already next week?

  • A seasonably warm day (as opposed to the unseasonable 13 it was Thursday) afforded me the opportunity to replace the passenger-side steering knuckle in the Contour.

    This is almost identical to mine, except that in my car, the wheel bearing and hub are all captive in the knuckle. So, tearing apart the front end of my car in the parking lot, since everything is attached to the knuckle (axle, strut, brakes, lower control arm and the steering tie-rod.

    I was doing this project to correct the long-standing and oft-annoying noise that my car produced while, well, moving. I had classically believed that it was caused by bad tires, because in the past replacing the tires quieted the noise. However, my most recent tire purchase didn't solve the problem. Which led me to believe (correctly) that a bad wheel bearing was making the noise. As I said earlier, the bearing is captive in the knuckle assembly (*), so it had to go.

    It went well, and fixed the problem. I also had to replace the large (32mm) bolt that holds the driveshaft in place (203 foot pounds of torque!), as it is a "one time use" piece. $14 for a damn bolt. I was annoyed to find some other troubles, however. My alternator (conveniently located behind EVERYTHING), which I knew was dying, was found to be just cracked all to shit. I can't believe it still works. I also found another torn grease boot on the other drive axle. So I have to replace two axles and an alternator. Good times.

    (*) It is not literally captive, but I'd need some kind of hydraulic press to remove and reinsert them. And by the time I've paid to have it done, I'm better off replacing the whole thing.


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