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Discussion Starter #1
This morning I got tagged by a driver who didn't stop exiting an alley. He was turning left in front of me, and I almost got by him but his front right bumper (08 Mitsu Galant) impacted my right rear wheel. Surprisingly, there is very little body damage...essentially none except for the rear bumper cover has some scratches/cracks. However, the wheel now sits with a bit more camber than before. I'm guessing at least 2 or 3 degrees beyond stock.

I drove the car home, and there is some howling from back there, and some vibration. When spinning the wheel by hand, there is a very slight wobble/bend.

Aside from the wheel bearing likely being trashed, what else? Nothing else appears broken/cracked. Should I just replace both control arms and the wheel bearing and move on? I guess I'll need a new/used wheel as well.

Thanks for your help!
 

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Your plan sounds about right. You really need to disassemble before you will know all the damaged pieces.


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Discussion Starter #3
Yeah, just with nothing being obviously broken/cracked, it will be hard to know if the upper arm is bent, without comparing it to a known good one. They are cheap enough to replace, I guess. I figure the only other part that could be damaged would be the lower arm, which holds the hub assembly. Oh, and I suppose the new shock I just installed could be bent too. Fun stuff!
 

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Somethings definitely not right in the spot. Have you tried removing the wheel and inspecting further behind it something may show or look different then.

From the sounds of it the wheel is def off alignment.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Yep, wheel is off and now I'm pulling things apart. Already broke one bolt off - the bracket attaching the brake hose to the aluminum "knuckle". Dumb design.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Update. Found that the upper control arm mounting "bar" that passes through the arm with the rubber bushing is "pushed" inward about 5mm. Doesn't look like the welded mount itself is bent. But F me, the bolts holding this end of the arm to the mount are STUCK! 15 years of MN winters, and you can't access the threads of these bolts...they are inside the bucket mount that is welded to the chassis. If I can't get these out, I'm not sure what I'll do. Kinda stuck. Going to try some heat tomorrow, but the gas tank is really close. GGRRRR!
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Inner upper arm mounting bolts are out. Took two guys on a long breaker bar, and the bolts were tight pretty much all the way out...about 1" of threads. I'm guessing rust was an issue, but also some deformation of the threaded mounting holes on the chassis from the impact. A better design would be to mount that end of the arm against a vertical footing, with horizontal bolts into the chassis. Then any impacts on the upper part of the wheel will bend the arm, and not the mount. Replacement arms are cheap.

With everything back together - new upper arm and new wheel bearing/hub - things look pretty much normal. I might have a bit more negative camber than I should, so I'll check tire wear in a few months. Got the spare on for now while I get the wheel and tire checked out for straightness.
 

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Good to hear. I’d be surprised if the wheel isn’t toast. Years ago I hit a curb sliding sideways in the rain. Wheel wobbled badly. I replaced axle and bearings but to my surprise the wheel was fine. Was an American Racing Aluminum wheel. Those things are tough as heck. If you have Alloy wheels you may be just as lucky.


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Discussion Starter #9
Yep, stock 17" alloy. Tire shop checked it out today and said it seemed fine to them...although I'm sure they didn't use a run-out micrometer. Probably just put it on the balancer and watched it spin. They did re-mount the tire and re-balanced it. I put it on the car this evening and it seems to be pretty much back to normal. Camber is still too negative, but within a few mm of the left side. I have SPC adjustables on the way.

I think what "saved" me here was the soft plastic bumper on the car that hit me absorbed a lot of the initial shock. The other neat-o part of this project was discovering just how easy it is to replace the rear wheel bearings/hubs on this car. 4 bolts...no press needed!
 
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