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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hello everyone! First time poster on this forum, but I've hung around here and there. I write up a lot of posts on other forums (mainly BMW) but i recently had this project so here I am.

My wife purchased a GoPro as a birthday present so I can record automotive projects that I do, and since her mom needed axles in her Ridgeline I figured it would be a nice little first project. I am a mobile mechanic that covers Florida, I maintain my families cars for them - a Ridgeline specific valve adjustment video or guide (or both) will be in the near future. I had the extra time I needed to shoot the video and I didnt see a whole lot out there for guides so I decided it was worth the effort.

I'm kind of shy and timid and its my first time in front of a camera but I thought it turned out ok with everything considered.

Tools you will need to complete the job;
12mm
19mm
21mm or 22mm forget what the wheels were
24mm
36mm
zip ties or coat hanger for caliper
punch or chisel set
pry bars
jack
jack stands
seal puller if you replace the axle seal
flat bar
catch pan

Parts needed:
Passenger axle
Drivers side axle
Drivers side axle seal

Video link:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=THGrHVq1HPw

Everything is explained in the video, but below is an outline of the work.

If you dont have an impact the first thing we need to do is get the truck in position and then crack all 5 lug nuts. Then jack the truck up by the front jack point and use jack stands to support the truck. Use a punch and un-dent the front axle nuts for each side. Next you have a few options:

We can knock the center cap out of the wheel and put both wheels back on with two lug nuts. Then lower the truck and use your 36mm socket to break the axle nuts free and put the truck back up on jack stands and remove the wheels again.

Or we can use a chisel in the rotor against the caliper while the vehicle is in the air. This is the method used in the video.

With the axle nut free, we can use a 19mm to remove the upper and lower caliper bolt from the knuckle. Remove the 12mm bolt holding the brake line to the strut. Then hang the caliper from the strut with zip ties. Remove the two clips holding the ABS wire to the strut tube.

Then you can remove the rotor, if you want. I did in the video because she did not have the rotor retaining screws in place.

After that remove the two 24mm strut to knuckle bolts and begin to separate the knuckle from the strut and also tap the axle free from the hub. With the outboard side free, knuckle separated from the hub then its time to separate the inboard side of the axle.

The passenger side separates from the intermediate shaft, while the drivers side splines directly into the transmission. When removing the drivers side have a catch pan ready, as a little transmission fluid will leak out.

I use a flat bar to separate the drivers side inboard joint from the transmission. I use a long screwdriver or prybar with a sledge to separate the passenger side inboard joint.

Next up use a seal puller to remove the drivers side axle seal. The passenger side just a dust seal and I didnt replace it, nor did i remove the intermediate shaft to replace the passenger side axle seal at the transmission case.

Then pretty much reverse of removal, install the axle seal, the inboard axle and then outboard axle into the hub, align the knuckle with the strut, then align the knuckle bolt holes with the strut bolt holes (use a punch or screwdriver for leverage) install the rotor, caliper, brake line, abs clips, and then tighten down the axle nut and punch it. Install the wheel and your all set!

Let me know what you think about the video and guide. If youd like to see anything specific, feel free to chime in and ill see what i can do in the future!
 

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Nice video and thanks, things like this are very helpfull. To bad you wont be usin it on RL issues that much :act024:. Now go out their and lets see some real action with that new camera.:act035:
 

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Very very nice!

Currently looking to replace a front wheel bearing that recently began complaining about its age. The axle video answered almost every question I had about getting to the knuckle.

Looking forward to future videos.

BTW: WHAT AN EXCELLENT FIRST POST! Not to mention excellent first video with you new toy.
Welcome to ROC. Looking forward to your future contributions!
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
Thanks everyone for the kind words! I really appreciate it. I look forward to becoming more of a regular poster here.

Spark plugs and a trans flush should be done shortly.

Ill be doing a valve adjustment in the near future, at the very least Ill take pics and document the process with a through write-up, but I really want to have a video of the process.
 

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Thanks for the write up and video!

For me, it is very timely that you posted this as my 06 is ready for a new set of of front axles (been seeping for a while and now I am getting clicking on hard right turns)

I have some of questions . . .

Did you use aftermarket new, aftermarket rebuilt OEM, or new OEM axles? Why?

Did you replace the axle nut or reuse?

Presumably, the vehicle will need to be realigned after removing the knuckle from the strut assembly?

I was under the impression that one needed to separate the ball joint but clearly you did the job with out doing that. The difficulty of separating that joint (and also not harming its dust seal) has given me pause about doing this job, but your video / write up puts my mind at ease.

I have a new 20V Dewalt brushless cordless 1/2 impact that I am jonesing to put to use so I think that this will be my next project.

Valve adjustment is on my list so get cracking on that soon!:)

PS: If you want to document a safe (Honda says no power flushing) and efficient way of "flushing" the transmission fluid (rather than the 3x dump and fill method) you would undoubtedly have a large interested audience!
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Eurban to answer your questions:

Did you use aftermarket new, aftermarket rebuilt OEM, or new OEM axles? Why?
I used aftermarket due to clients budget. Remans are $75 OEM Honda new are $200ish. I would recommend Honda axles if you can swing it.

Did you replace the axle nut or reuse?
Always replace this. Reman's will come with this, OEM the nut maybe have to be purchased separate.

Presumably, the vehicle will need to be realigned after removing the knuckle from the strut assembly?
You should not need an alignment, but you may. Periodic alignments are a good thing presumably if they are done correctly. Theres alot to be desired with alignments. I wish i could provide this service to my clients.

I was under the impression that one needed to separate the ball joint but clearly you did the job with out doing that. The difficulty of separating that joint (and also not harming its dust seal) has given me pause about doing this job, but your video / write up puts my mind at ease.
It maybe easier to separate the ball joint and there's tricks to do this but i didn't want to mess with it. Dont use a pickle fork on ball joints unless you are replacing them. You cant really hurt the abs dust seal. Its a little tricky to get the axle back out and in the way i did (magic of edit), but its not impossible or very hard. Just takes a little finesse.

I have a new 20V Dewalt brushless cordless 1/2 impact that I am jonesing to put to use so I think that this will be my next project.
I have a 3/8 electric impact and i love it. I'm going to get a 1/2 shortly because they are awesome and the extra torque would come in handy.

Valve adjustment is on my list so get cracking on that soon!
I will post up when my client is ready for it! :)

PS: If you want to document a safe (Honda says no power flushing) and efficient way of "flushing" the transmission fluid (rather than the 3x dump and fill method) you would undoubtedly have a large interested audience!
Ill see what i can do for this.
 

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Great write up and video.
The only thing I would add is I would ALWAYS torque the axle nut to spec.
Torque wrenches can be rented from Auto Zone and some other tool rental places.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Thanks for the kind words. I really appreciate it. As I work on my Odyssey and the Ridgeline I'll add more videos and how to articles to the collection!
 

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Just did the passenger side axle on my 06 Ridge this afternoon. Will do the driver's side tomorrow.
I pretty much did it the same way that Lilly did in his video. Unbolting the knuckle and keeping the ball joint connected worked fine and it took only a bit of wrangling to get the new axle into the knuckle. The suggestion to use a long screwdriver (etc) to tap the old axle out from the intermediate shaft was particularly helpful; I could see being stuck on that step for a while without the tip.

Having a powerful impact wrench / driver made the job really easy and I for once have no bruises or skinned knuckles.

The one "critique" I have is that the bolts that hold the knuckle to the strut assembly are indeed the bolts that you use for adjusting camber on the front wheels. There seems to be some slop in the fitting so when you rebolt, there is no way(I couldn't figure out a satisfactory way of marking orientation) to maintain camber adjustment. Basically, you will need to have front camber checked anytime you unbolt the knuckle from the strut assembly.

Overall, a very helpful DIY post! Thanks again!
 

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Update:
Bummer! My truck was leaking a small amount of transmission fluid from the new driver's side axle seal that I installed. Today I sourced a new OEM seal and axle nut and redid the job on the driver's side. With power wrench's it took me less than an hour. . . Basically I had installed the seal too deep in the transmission bell housing, thinking that it should go in until it stops. This is wrong. Factory service manual specifies that the main body of the seal should be pushed in until it is FLUSH with the housing. It is entirely possible to overdrive the seal too deep so this should be payed extra close attention to. Lilly may have mentioned this in his video but I didn't register in my brain if he did. I was able to push the seal in by hand until I could feel that it was flush all the way around. No more leaks!
 

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Had this posted on Accessories (lift thread) on changing shocks, but came across your video that will come in handy to replace the left driveshaft. I double tap on the axle with two hammers to drive it out, easier on the axle end, especially if you are reusing.

Question 1: why do you remove the brake caliper? I saw your comment that the rotor was easy because the screws were gone.
Question 2: So no pickle fork on that lower balljoint. I can leave it for now, but the Honda manual shows a specialty U-shaped tool. Is this generally available, or how do you suggest to drop that ball-joint?

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163k, 85k on a Truxx lift, for the driving I do off pavement I wouldn't operate the truck without it. The kit gives it the same ground clearance as a normal truck, or a Subaru wagon.

Last while it wasn't as smooth on the bumps, and more body roll, so I bought 4 KYB shocks to install:

Of the one front and one rear I've changed so far (driveway job, against the fence), neither seemed to be in bad shape. No leaks and still damping, thought not as well as the new units.

Issues?
Rear stabilizer link, had to cut the nut off with a grinder. Worked it back and forth with PB Blaster, got it unwound about four turns (and thought I had it licked) and then the 5mm hex stripped out. Dang. No problem with the fronts.

Struggled to reinstall the fronts until I realized that the top plate studs are not equally spaced on the triangular plate, the distance between the rear two is greater, so it only goes in one way. Nothing in the Honda manual on this. When you first install the kit you don't dick with the orientation, but when you disassemble the strut to get the shaft nut off that top plate will spin on the bearing. The nuts onto the spacer were pretty rusted, but did the same as the stab link and worked them back and forth and got them off. Don't want to snap off a stud or spin it on the plate.

Found a tear in the left driveshaft inner boot so I'll just replace the whole shaft - no use just doing the boot on a 163k driveshaft. Thanks to Lilly for the video.


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2006 RTL -Bakflip G2 cover, Platinum Tool XC1 motorcycle hitch, Factory trailer hitch, underseat storage. Toyo Open Country AT2 Tires, 245/70-17. Optima D35 Yellowtop Battery. Truxxx lift. Back-up Camera. Rear Splashguards, VanTech box-mount racks.
 

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Had this posted on Accessories (lift thread) on changing shocks, but came across your video that will come in handy to replace the left driveshaft. I double tap on the axle with two hammers to drive it out, easier on the axle end, especially if you are reusing.

Question 1: why do you remove the brake caliper? I saw your comment that the rotor was easy because the screws were gone.
Question 2: So no pickle fork on that lower balljoint. I can leave it for now, but the Honda manual shows a specialty U-shaped tool. Is this generally available, or how do you suggest to drop that ball-joint?

_____________________________________________________________________________________
163k, 85k on a Truxx lift, for the driving I do off pavement I wouldn't operate the truck without it. The kit gives it the same ground clearance as a normal truck, or a Subaru wagon.

Last while it wasn't as smooth on the bumps, and more body roll, so I bought 4 KYB shocks to install:

Of the one front and one rear I've changed so far (driveway job, against the fence), neither seemed to be in bad shape. No leaks and still damping, thought not as well as the new units.

Issues?
Rear stabilizer link, had to cut the nut off with a grinder. Worked it back and forth with PB Blaster, got it unwound about four turns (and thought I had it licked) and then the 5mm hex stripped out. Dang. No problem with the fronts.

Struggled to reinstall the fronts until I realized that the top plate studs are not equally spaced on the triangular plate, the distance between the rear two is greater, so it only goes in one way. Nothing in the Honda manual on this. When you first install the kit you don't dick with the orientation, but when you disassemble the strut to get the shaft nut off that top plate will spin on the bearing. The nuts onto the spacer were pretty rusted, but did the same as the stab link and worked them back and forth and got them off. Don't want to snap off a stud or spin it on the plate.

Found a tear in the left driveshaft inner boot so I'll just replace the whole shaft - no use just doing the boot on a 163k driveshaft. Thanks to Lilly for the video.


__________________
2006 RTL -Bakflip G2 cover, Platinum Tool XC1 motorcycle hitch, Factory trailer hitch, underseat storage. Toyo Open Country AT2 Tires, 245/70-17. Optima D35 Yellowtop Battery. Truxxx lift. Back-up Camera. Rear Splashguards, VanTech box-mount racks.

You don't need to separate the ball joint to swap the axle out. Is there a reason why you want to separate it?

I found that Lilly's suggestion to remove the brake caliper and bracket to be a good one as wrangling out the axle (without separating the ball joint) with all that stuff in the way will be next to impossible. With power tools, removing the caliper and bracket is a piece of cake and you don't risk damaging the ball joint.

If you want to protect the axle, all you need to do is partially screw on the axle bolt and then you can whap it with a hammer all you like. You will need to replace the nut anyway because it is a one time use item. . .
 

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Discussion Starter #17 (Edited)
The two bolts that go thru the strut and knucle should be marked before disassembly. Honda says draw a circle around the bolt. I missed this, but not sure exactly how because the knucle moves, and the strut wraps both sides of the knucle, from what I remember anyway. You could probably paint mark both the knuckle to the strut and you would be ok at that point.

The caliper is removed so that you don't stress the brake line and to make your life easier.

You should be able to replace the shock without removing the ball joint but a pickle fork will ruin the ball joint. I don't use pickle forks. There are ball joint separation tools out there, you can even rent some from advance/autozone/oReillys/etc or you maybe able to use a hammer and tap the lca. Refer to Eric the car guy videos or briansmobile1 videos for some technique.

Here's a pic of one of my ball joint separators.
https://instagram.com/p/29Po71jM3w/
 

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I noticed when I was looking on the OEM parts diagram that one can buy knuckle bolts for the front with cammed heads. The cam would push against the shoulder on the strut body and allow a controlled adjustment of alignment. The stock bolts (at least on my 06) simply have a round "washer" built in and alignment adjustments must rely on some slop between the bolt and the knuckle. I cant really figure out how you could mark the bolt (with the round washer built in) positions accurately enough to maintain alignment specs.
 

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Finished up the axle change. OEM unit from Majestic comes without the nut, so if ordering you have to get it separate. (Also the OEM stab-strut links come without nuts - unlike the ones Truxx and others provide).

Easier with the caliper and rotor off for sure. Also an opportunity to have a good look at the brakes, re-lube the slide pins and clean the pad carriers - I ended up replacing the rotors and pads.

Thought about marking the knuckle position but of course with new struts you won't know. Seems to drive fine.

Next issue is my ABS light is on (and VSA and VTM-4) so I must have bumped something on the sensor in the knuckle. Pulled it out, cleaned and re-installed but lights didn't clear. Put an ohmmeter on the two pins at the end of the harness and an open circuit. Should be 1500-2000 ohms. Did a post-mortem and the red was pull out of the sensor. New one from RockAuto, $28. 10mm socket, and then some thin blade screwdrivers and putty scraper to slowly pry it out without snapping it off. Under the hood, just squeeze the tab at the bottom of the orange connector and pull straight down.

Here's a picture of the dash lights when one of the ABS sensors has failed. The (ABS) light is also on but not in the frame.

 

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Discussion Starter #20 (Edited)
I just wanted to post an update as I've done an Acura MDX now and paint marked the strut and knuckle.

Honda states to draw circles around each bolt and to re-assemble lining up the bolts in their circles. Supposedly alignments aren't needed after this, but I marked it in a few more places just to make sure. Upon completion my client said it drove fine and had no issues with the alignment.



Also heres to 200 Ftlbs. You will need a 3/4" to 1/2" reducer most likely, I had to look in a few places to get one.
 
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