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J-Spec
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If you installed aftermarket wheel bearings, then that's your problem. It has nothing
to do with the design of the car. I would never, ever, install generic aftermarket parts
on my car, especially a wear item. I've worked in the auto industry my whole life and
I can tell you that vehicle manufacturers do a great deal of testing and validation to
part designs and parts suppliers and generic aftermarket companies don't even come
close. The exceptions to this rule are when aftermarket companies just repackage
parts from the OEM suppliers such a Nissin or Bosch. Another exception are companies
that sell both aftermarket and OEM, such as Exedy. When a supplier sells to vehicle
OEMs, then they have to meet very strict quality standards.
 

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I agree with the aftermarket wheel bearings^.

Had to end up replacing front wheel bearings recently and I've noticed them being more noisy than I remembered the old ones being. I ended up going with the top brand available, but I'm sure they aren't the same level quality as OEM. I was under a time pinch and couldn't wait for OEM parts sadly, but if I ever press in new bearings again I'll be going with OEM.
 

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I've replaced all my wheel bearings with timken bearings. 2 years on them so far. I didn't trust the cheap ones, if I was going aftermarket I wanted to still have quality Japan made bearings.
 

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Discussion Starter #524
On Brock's advice, I ordered OEM.

I figured if went with OEM axles for no real issues, then surely I should not cheapen out on a broken rear bearing. Especially when that corner might suffer more stress for whatever reasons, having two failures within a year.

But I do have a Timken rear hub on its way as well, too late to cancel. I also heard it is quality part and hopefully the one I get is MIJ as well.
 

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J-Spec
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Timken is high quality. They supply many OEMs with bearings.
Honda uses NSK bearings for a lot of stuff, including wheels bearings.

Was that generic aftermarket wheel bearing just the bearing or a hub assembly? (just curious)
 

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Discussion Starter #526
Timken is high quality. They supply many OEMs with bearings.

Honda uses NSK bearings for a lot of stuff, including wheels bearings.



Was that generic aftermarket wheel bearing just the bearing or a hub assembly? (just curious)
The old rear hubs are NTN, and turned out the passenger side is also making noise. So I think it is safe to say the installation of extended studs damaged the bearings somehow.

I stick with NSK for the front ones, and I have gone through five sets in a year.

(Just typing this makes me want to bump my head against the wall....)
 

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Discussion Starter #527
Resto 1.6: Rear Hub Assembly, and How to Identify Early Rear Bearing Noise

Long story short, I was fooled by the rear bearings twice in a year.

After the first episode, I thought I had learned the lesson and would never fail to recognize rear bearing noise. I replaced both rear hubs with NTN rear hub/bearing assemblies, because the brand was what my mechanic offered. Then after the installation of extended studs, I immediately noticed the bearing noise. Unfortunately, this time there were other compounding issues, e.g. tire noise/vibration and worn power steering rack. So even though I suspected the rear bearings were the source, I could not convince myself from the various checks. I had chances to pinpoint the rear bearings when I did the dynamic test using stethoscope, but completely overlooked the rear. I ended up dropping my instinct, and looked at the front instead .

It was a disastrous, pricey lesson - extended studs that went wasted, pointless replacement of front-left hub/bearing, and lower ball joint. You might wonder, how could I possibly overlook the rear bearings?

Well, both times when the noise started:
- The rear wheels still spun reasonably freely.
- For whatever reasons, on my car the rear bearing noise always sounded as if it came from the front, at least initially.
- For the second episode, my attention was fixated to the front partially because I found real issue (worn steering rack).
- It took about 1.5 to 2k miles after the noise started that the wheel-spin test began to show sign of friction.

With two occurrences under the belt, here are the clues I learned to identify early rear bearing noise.

Sitting at driver’s seating driving position:
1. Lean forward to the dashboard, and see if the noise goes away.
2. Lean downwards towards the VSA switch, and see if the noise goes away.
3. Lean left and right, and see if noise quiets down considerably.
4. Do a dynamic test on lift, if no bearing noise, the rear might be the issue.

From my experience, if noise goes away in #1 and #2 mean noise definitely comes from the back. #3 means the rear-passenger bearing is the major source of noise.

Of course, I assume the best way is to identify source of noise is to use “chassis ear” doing road test, or a stethoscope to listen to all corners.

At the time of this post, I only replaced the driver-side with oem hub assembly. The noise became quieter but still exists, so I think the passenger-side is bad, too. I plan to hold off replacing it until the wheel-spin test gives me the definite clue, then use the Timken hub/bearing that I originally ordered on that corner.

With that, this chapter of restoration is finally closing. Looking at the big piles of auto shop invoices from 2017-2018, I know I am never going to spend this much time and money maintaining a car again….
 

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Damn 5 hub bearing replacements in a year is nuts.:surprise:
I feel your pain though, I’ve been through similar situations before trying to self diagnose car problems, it can be a nightmare when the part is only partial worn. It always helps to have a extra set of eyes and hears looking for the culprit.

Years ago...
I had my sister drive my hatchback while I sat in the trunk figuring out which wheel bearing was bad. Silly, but it worked.
 

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J-Spec
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Not sure what your actual problem is, but for reference, My TL has almost 200k miles
on it with the original wheel bearings and there is no noticeable noise. The front hubs
have no runout the last time I checked, so the bearings are still fine. TL and TSX have
the same front wheel bearings.

I'm on the second set of front wheel bearings on my TSX with TL front knuckles.
Everything was new 7 years ago but only a few thousand miles. The first set of wheel
bearings were so badly worn that I had runout measurable in mm. Not a fraction, several
whole mm. I still didn't notice noise though. The front subframe is isolated, so it would
take a lot of noise to be able to hear it. Maybe there is some path for the noise to
transmit across the subframe bushings in your TSX? FYI, that first set of bearings had
some major problem because there was rusty powder behind the hub on the inside of the
knuckle. I'm sure it was fine metal particles from the bearings, but those are supposed
to be sealed. Somehow moister got past the seal and grease. Really strange.

The rear is a different story. A TSX has a non-isolated rear subframe. I wish it was
isolated but only the TL and Accord V6 (all similar chassis) get an isolated rear subframe.
Being non-isolated, you will hear more bearing noise anyway as well as road noise.
Also, if you are running aftermarket suspension, then the dampers are typically not
isolated, so you will get a lot more noise transmitted into the chassis.

FYI, if there isn't runout, then it's OK to drive on the bearings, noisy or not.
 

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Discussion Starter #530
Well, I probably only talked about my story with bearings in separated posts and skimmed on details, because I wanted to forget about it.

Here is how I went through five, maybe six, front bearings in addition to four rear ones.

==

1st set of rear bearings: Loud as hell, with noticeable mpg drop. Real issue.

1st set of front bearings: Amazed by how smooth the new rear bearings are, I replaced the front ones as preventive maintenance.

Shortly afterwards, I had issue with RB calipers and during the period when I moved from RB calipers to OEM to XLR8 BBK, somehow one lugnut was locked onto the stud and the stud broke. I don’t remember exactly if the bearing was replaced or not, but most likely yes. But let me pretend it did not happen....

2nd set of front bearings: For extended studs from 10mm spacers.

3rd front-driver bearing: Even though I had ruled out this corner from using stethoscope, the bearing noise bugged me so much that I lost patience and went throwing money away. Turned out the noise was partially tire and partially rear bearing, and maybe some other issues lurking in the background.

2nd rear-driver bearing: Noisy again.

2nd rear-passenger bearing in the pipeline: Noisy again.

==

Basically, your experience/observation match mine.
I was also told the same about noisy bearing, that it is still safe to drive with. I just have low tolerance with noise...
 

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Discussion Starter #531
Maybe there is some path for the noise to
transmit across the subframe bushings in your TSX? FYI, that first set of bearings had
some major problem because there was rusty powder behind the hub on the inside of the
knuckle. I'm sure it was fine metal particles from the bearings, but those are supposed
to be sealed. Somehow moister got past the seal and grease. Really strange.

Runout in mm with no noise is crazy, my wheel spokes would crash into the XLR8 capliers if that happens! That is why I wanted to try out spacers. Now I wonder if I should give it another shot, and go through the 4th front-driver bearing! (Just kidding..)

I mentioned rigid collars in other threads, and I always suspect the front ones bypass those rubber caps that sit on top of the subframe bushings. I feel more about the suspension and the power train afterwards. My car also has stronger rear rotation after front/rear rigid collars, so I feel maybe the mating surface becomes wider at the rear and thus more info can pass through. (Clue from speaker spike)
 

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J-Spec
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Those rubber/washer caps on top the subframe bushings are only seals.
Without them, water would accumulate in the bushing pockets. In colder
climates (like Michigan) where the roads are generously salted during the
winter, then said water would have salt and chlorine in it and would rapidly
deteriorate the rubber. On the west coast, you really don't need them.

As long as the rigid collars are installed correctly, then isolation is maintained.

I fully understand the desire for low noise. I did NVH testing for a number
of years when I was younger and I've become sensitive to all noises and
vibrations while driving. That's why I didn't put common aftermarket
suspension on my TSX. I went with re-valved Bilstein dampers and TL
A-Spec springs and retained the OEM upper spring mount with TL Type-S
shock bushings. The car handles great but it's still very comfortable.

I can't tell from the tiny pics on the Tein website, but it looks like there
isn't much in the way of spring/shock isolation for the Comfort Sport
suspension. You being sensitive to NVH, maybe you should investigate
using OEM upper mounts with the TEIN suspension. Just an idea.
Also, your car is 15 years old now and rubber tends to get hard over
time. It may be that the subframe bushings are hard and you would
get better isolation by replacing them. Mine are new as of 2012.
 

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Discussion Starter #533
Those rubber/washer caps on top the subframe bushings are only seals.
Without them, water would accumulate in the bushing pockets. In colder
climates (like Michigan) where the roads are generously salted during the
winter, then said water would have salt and chlorine in it and would rapidly
deteriorate the rubber. On the west coast, you really don't need them.

As long as the rigid collars are installed correctly, then isolation is maintained.

I fully understand the desire for low noise. I did NVH testing for a number
of years when I was younger and I've become sensitive to all noises and
vibrations while driving. That's why I didn't put common aftermarket
suspension on my TSX. I went with re-valved Bilstein dampers and TL
A-Spec springs and retained the OEM upper spring mount with TL Type-S
shock bushings. The car handles great but it's still very comfortable.

I can't tell from the tiny pics on the Tein website, but it looks like there
isn't much in the way of spring/shock isolation for the Comfort Sport
suspension. You being sensitive to NVH, maybe you should investigate
using OEM upper mounts with the TEIN suspension. Just an idea.
Also, your car is 15 years old now and rubber tends to get hard over
time. It may be that the subframe bushings are hard and you would
get better isolation by replacing them. Mine are new as of 2012.
Thanks Brock, very informative.

About CST, if I remember right, it uses harden rubber for top mount similar to oem. CST in its original form is essentially a better, higher-quality stock coilover . The initial damping is soft like stock, but the damping ramps up nicely and feels as premium as its price indicates. Additionally, it feels silky smooth and frictionless.

If one day your oem dampers are bad and you feel like venturing out, highly recommend CST.
 

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Discussion Starter #534
Plan B Becomes A

Even though I have figured out the rear hub noise, there seems to be other issues brewing, yet again.

First, there is an occasional whistle noise coming from the brake booster area. It is vacuum related because the noise goes away when vacuum level drops, i.e. brake pedal or gas pedal is pressed. I want to suspect the check valve, but the fact that the noise comes from the booster tells me it is more the booster than check valve. I will still replace the check valve first since brake booster is oem only and pricey.

Then, turning the steering wheel past +/- 1/2 turns sometimes comes with a squeaky noise, and only appears when the car is warm. The noise reminds me of the small truck which I practiced driving with when I was a kid…

Then my mechanic noticed there is coolant smell and the radiator fans stay on when he thought they should not. I did notice myself about the later, that the fans started running more frequently than before, but since temp gauge stays normal I did not bother. Since the car is due for coolant flush, we decide this is a good opportunity to replace the radiator and the coolant temp switch.

And wait there is more, one of the HID bulbs started turning red, so new bulb needed.

Endless issues, I am just speechless to be honest. Yes, I understand the car is 15 years old, and some of these issues are just normal wear and tear. But when I keep thinking the car is getting to a stable state and could be trouble free for a couple of years, something new breaks. I feel I have learned my lessons, it is time to offload TSX. If anything, less mileage should automatically means less wear and tear, so I do not need to take care of the car so often.

Therefore, plan B has become plan A.
 

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Discussion Starter #535
Conveniently, the brake booster vaccum tube (46402-SEA-A01) is back-ordered without ETA lol
 

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Discussion Starter #537
So what car is next for you?
Right now, I have given up any dream of performance car and am thinking RDX or Model 3 AWD.

Plan to keep TSX as the fun car, though. Modern cars, no matter how nice they are, just are not as playful and rewarding as TSX in corners.
 

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Discussion Starter #538
2019 Acura RDX Test Drive

I have been paying attention to the RDX, since it is the first product of next-gen Acuras, and shows what the updated TLX might look like. Even though I prefer sedan, with an old sedan lineup, RDX is the only Acura I would consider now.

[Interior]

I am most impressed by the interior, especially the Advance trim. Acura finally steps up to Tier-1, and the quality and the design are all up there with European competitors. The panoramic roof is seamless and better than Model 3’s implementation. The only thing I feel questionable is the big arch that houses the gear selector and IDS dial. It takes up a huge chunk of space with no real purpose, and squeezes the storage space under armrest.

The new infotainment is not bad. It is aesthetically much pleasant than the awful graphics on the previous dual-screen setup, but still does not feel as cohesive as iDrive. The user experience is good, but I feel a rotary dial or a touchscreen still feels more natural to use. I miss pinch-to-zoom on navigation map, and prefer double-tap without needing to push down the whole touch pad for confirmation.

I sat in an Advance trim, but drove the A-spec. I do not remember if it is A-spec only or not, but the front seats are not as plush as recent Acuras. It reminds me a little bit of F80 M3 seats….

[Powertrain]

For powertrain, I had low expectation. I am comparing RDX with Model 3 and maybe BMW 3. There is no way any I-4 gas engine can be as smooth as EV, and BMW has the best automatic transmission. Unfortunately, I was right - I came away disappointed.

In comfort mode, the car drove nice. But sport mode is off. There are multiple issues - the downshift can be abrupt like on 5AT, the piped-in engine noise is too loud, throttle is a bit touchy, and the worst part is the car just does not feel quick. It is not all about power, but more about the engine response. There is a definite delay between throttle input and engine power, and it is not turbo lag.

Maybe the car was brand new and needed a little run-in, otherwise I have no idea how this powertrain receives so many positive reviews.

[Chassis]

How about the chassis? It was good and bad. The wheel noise from the 20” wheels was more than I anticipated. Maybe the tire pressure was off, but the suspension felt too stiff, either the springs were too stiff or the initial damping was not enough, and border-lined on being jumpy. The ride quality did not feel premium, and was worse than Model 3 front seat. On the positive side, steering was precise with real feedback. The chassis felt crispy to steering input, and body lean was amazingly small. This car did drive more like a sports sedan than a sports SUV.

The latest SH-AWD felt great. It was more transparent than the one on MDX, and it even allowed the rear end to go completely sideways, at least on wet pavement. I found that out when I tried to provoke the car in a U-turn. The ugly truth is that the sliding was unintended, and caught me completely off-guard. During the on-off-WOT sequence, I believed the turbo torque kicked in, and immediately sent the tail out rotating about 45 degree. The stability system did not catch the sliding, probably due to low grip from a combination of new tires and wet surface, but I kept thinking the sudden power surge also made the job difficult for VSA.

Thankfully the speed was slow, and the car was going to stop by itself anyway. My bad driving aside, this is one more reason I prefer N/A than turbo engines.

[Summary]

So like most of my previous BMW test drives, I jumped back into the TSX feeling relieved. My TSX just drives more to my liking - steering feedback is superb, suspension is mostly comfortable, and the car feels light/responsive. And this is when the car is plagued with issues, imaging how good it will be with zero issue and a brand new powertrain.

I would still say RDX is a good package, but I am confused by its personality. It probably wanted to be everything, but to me it tried too hard to be sporty. The limited trim option for A-spec also is an oversight by Acura.
 

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Discussion Starter #539
Funny how I find new love with MDX after driving RDX. J35 is so smooth in comparison, the suspension tuning is way better, even the ugly and slow touchscreen feels simpler to use.

Cannot help thinking about how good RDX will be with a V6....
 

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Discussion Starter #540
2019 Resto 1.6: Cooling System Overhaul - Thermostat + Denso Radiator

My TSX never overheats, but in the past year a few symptoms popped up hinting at issues in cooling system.

Symptoms

- Radiator fans run most of the time when engine is running.
- Coolant smell, but no obvious leak.
- Compared to my old FlashPro logs where ECT never goes beyond 197F, recent readings fluctuate more between 194F and 203F.

Since my car needed a coolant flush, I decided to overhaul the tired-looking radiator at the same time. I gambled on not replacing the thermostat, and it turned out the thermostat was bad. It was the root cause for the higher ECT and constantly running fans.

So again took a zig-zag path but at least real issues have been addressed:

- Radiator fans no longer comes on frequently.
- AC blows much colder.
- ECT is back to normal, not going above 197F.
 
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