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Discussion Starter #1
Hi guys. Did anyone succeed in a DIY removal of the malfunctioning (trouble code 11 or 13) front ABS speed sensors from the front knuckle/spindle assembly after they were rusted to hell?
Mine are malfunctioning - front right - code 11 - and need to be replaced. After removing the 10mm bolt, cleaning the rust around the black plastic body and spraying some wd-40. I carefully managed to pry the body from the rusty knuckly using multiples of tiny screwdrivers to wedge it off. Even being super carefull I managed one partial crack in the body, once that was loose, the core of it was NOT coming out! Moving the plastic body with finger in clock/counter-clockwise direction immediately with almost no ressistance broke the plastic lose form the core. Shining the light in there I can see the wire going down into the something that looked like a completely rusted metal mass. I could not even tell where is the sensor core and where is the rusty knuckle. I have a feeling that no liquid spray will work on this as all I have to pull on is the wire. I'll give the acetone/atf fluid a try, but it looks like the whole knuckle will need to come off and the bloody thing will need to be carefully drilled out and cleaned. I guess it's possible to drill without removing the knuckle and then try to blow the remaining dust out, but that will probably result in the repeat of the procedure once the shavings that don't get blown out will attach to the magnet and cause interference.

So, any brave men or women who managed to get through this problem? If any of you took it to the mechanic or stealership any insight on how they got it out and optionally - how much did it cost?

:help:
 

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Discussion Starter #3
That's a bit of positive news. I was pouring over the Helms manual last night for bearing removal and from the diagrams it looks like there MAY be room to access the sensor without having to remove magnetic ring and the bearing.

Did you just pull it off and tap it with the long hole punch on an angle from inside? I assume spraying some pb blaster?

Did you reuse the 36mm hub nut, or did you just buy a new one? Oddly helms calls for reusing it, but it's been over 14 years since I did drive shaft removals so I can't remember what we did.
 

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You won't even need to touch the bearing. All you need to do just pull the knuckle off, tap the sensor with the long hole punch from the inside and it will come right out. I would get a new spindle nut just to be safe.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks guys! Ordered both front sensors and 2 spindle nuts from curry acura oem parts and will attempt this once I get them in. Hopefully by this weekend. Perhaps it's a good time to throw in those skunk2 upper camber arms since I'm in there :)
Will report back once I'm done with this.

Btw, how difficult was it to unplug the sensor connectors? From looking into the fender well, they disappear through the rubber grommit to somewhere under the hood. Did anything need to be removed to be able to get the hands down there to unplug them?
Passenger side seems easier than the drivers side due to battery/air filter/fuse box potentially being in the way.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Well boys. I finally was able to finish the job and it was a doozy. Cracking the spindle nut was fun - it wouldn't budge with me standing on the end of the breaker bar, but it gave with a nice loud 'pop' after I slid a 4-5 foot pipe over it and sat and jumped on the end. The pipe was aluminum, so it flexed, then crack and it's off. I used the method I found on youtube where the guy used our tiny aluminum jack that's in the trunk together with a socket extension between the breaker bar and the 36mm socket as a pivot pressure point. A lot more stability and allows to single handedly use a large pipe. If you got an impact gun that can exert 200+ lbs of impact pressure, more power to ya as you won't need this ;)

Lesson learned: do NOT use a fork tool to remove the ball joints that you want to go back in. The clamp tool that is in service manual wouldn't work well as it wasn't long enough to wedge in well enough and be flat under the bolt/nut. What worked well was the pitman arm style pullers. The smallest fixed arm one worked awesome on the tie rod end, the medium but still fixed arm worked on the upper ball joint and the biggest flex arm one worked wonders on the lower ball joint. The method of using the large wrench and a jack from the youtube video "lower ball joint removal easy way" also works, but if you have the kit with the pullers - why go that route.

Once the spindle was off - the REAL fun began :run:
The sensor would not come out on it's own at all, no PB blaster, no Liquid wrench would help. So the wire connection naturally ripped off leaving a plastic stubby in the spindle. So apparently the whole sensor is plastic on the outside, so the corrosion and rust is purely from the spindle/knuckle which looks like plain wrought iron. Hitting the flat part of the sensor even with a very wide and flat punch resulted in the plastic crumpling. No budging still. :banghead:

So then the drill came out with a big drill bit set. First drill bit was a tiny drywall type with the very sharp point on the end to get the center right. After some minor drilling, swapped to the same size but the titanium coated bit and drill in deep. From that point on started upping the bit until 1/4 inch and I think even 3/8.
Once almost ALL of it was drilled out a good hit from the inside popped out what was left - and it was not much, a very thin hollowed our round plastic sleeve. Looking at how rough and rusted the hole was I took a very thin round file meant for sharpening chainsaw teeth to task. This was more of a touch up job as there wasn't much room to swing due to the potential of the file hitting the bearing ring. So I got off whatever roughage I could - I'd say somewhere between 60-75% smoother, cleaned the rust out with some liquid wrench, rinse and repeat. Once I had enough of that, I tried fitting the new sensor to see if it glides in. The mother is VERY tight - it even has little plastic ridges in the body to ensure super tight fit. From the design, this thing was NOT meant to come by a simple pull of the hand. And the bracket around is flimsy plastic instead of metal not allowing anything to pry on without cracking, so what were they thinking??? :tardsmash
Not sure if it will help if I ever have to do this god forbidden process again, I touched very lightly - almost dry - some copper anti seize just on about 3mm around the top of the sensor and popped it in. Tightened the bolt and using a very flat and wide round punch lightly tapped around the part farther from the bolt to help it seat in better. One down one to go. :shootme:

Used the opportunity to install the Skunk2 upper camber kit - that was easy since everything is already out - just had to unbolt the coilover and move it to the side to allow access with a nice socket wrench. The only weird thing about the skunk2 ball joint, is that there is only 1 hole for the cotter pin which is perpendicular to the car instead of going front to back. Stock ball joint has 2 holes - front to back and across.

Bolting everything back together and going to the other side.
2nd one went smoother overall due to lessons learned. No pb blaster, no liquid wrench, just straight to drilling. Only drilled about 1cm deep, but this time didn't get the center right. So instead of going thicker on the drillbit, drilled the 2nd small hole a bit deeper and then went to a thicker drill bit - maybe one or two thicker this time as the hole was off center. Tried to punch and it finally gave after a little of plastic crumpling. I guess since now there was a lot less plastic left (about half of it was gone by now).
Yay, take that! Filed the hole again and cleaned and filed and pushed the new sensor in.
Bolted everything back on. Tighted the ball joints to spec with the jack pushing up the suspension to get the car weight on them. Swapped my Hawk track pads to street pads, bled 20ml fluid from each caliper. Put wheels on, lower the car and did my best pushing as hard with my full weight on the 5 foot bar to tighten the spindle nuts. Spec says 180ft/lb, but it was way more when I took it off so I did my best to put on a little more than 180. Quick sharp hit to the spindle nut with the largest flat head screw driver I had to put a nice divet into it and take it out for a drive. All looked ok, except now I need a massive alignment done.

No warning lights on. ABS works. VSA can be enabled/disabled. For now ABS is not hyper active as it used to be, we'll see how it behaves when the stronger track pads go back on.

Damn, that was one heck of a job! Brutal! I want to :uzi: the person who designed it and didn't think of knuckle corrosion around the sensor the same as they did around the ball joint holes which do not corrode! I'm having a few beers today after that! Hopefully LCBO doesn't strike so I can actually buy beer. I wan't to raise one for all the poor sobs that went through this as DIY or even to the mechanics that had to do it!
 

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Well boys. I finally was able to finish the job and it was a doozy. Cracking the spindle nut was fun - it wouldn't budge with me standing on the end of the breaker bar, but it gave with a nice loud 'pop' after I slid a 4-5 foot pipe over it and sat and jumped on the end. The pipe was aluminum, so it flex, then crack and it's off. I used the method I found on youtube where the guy used our tiny aluminum jack that's in the trunk together with a socket extension between the breaker bar and the 36mm socket as a pivot pressure point. A lot more stability and allows to single handedly use a large pipe. If you got an impact gun that can exert 200+ lbs of impact pressure, more power to ya as you won't need this ;)

Lesson learned: do NOT use a fork tool to remove the ball joints that you want to go back in. The clamp tool that is in service manual wouldn't work well as it wasn't long enough to wedge in well enough and be flat under the bolt/nut. What worked well was the pitman arm style pullers. The smallest fixed arm one worked awesome on the tie rod end, the medium but still fixed arm worked on the upper ball joint and the biggest flex arm one worked wonders on the lower ball joint. The method of using the large wrench and a jack from the youtube video "honda lower ball joint removal easy way" also works, but if you have the kit with the pullers - why go that route.

Once the spindle was off - the REAL fun began :run:
The sensor would not come out on it's own at all, no PB blaster, no Liquid wrench would help. So the wire connection naturally ripped off leaving a plastic stubby in the spindle. So apparently the whole sensor is plastic on the outside, so the corrosion and rust is purely from the spindle/knuckle which looks like plain wrought iron. Hitting the flat part of the sensor even with a very wide and flat punch resulted in the plastic crumpling. No budging still. :banghead:

So then the drill came out with a big drill bit set. First drill bit was a tiny drywall type with the very sharp point on the end to get the center right. After some minor drilling, swapped to the same size but the titanium coated bit and drill in deep. From that point on started upping the bit until 1/4 inch and I think even 3/8.
Once almost ALL of it was drilled out a good hit from the inside popped out what was left - and it was not much, a very thin hollowed our round plastic sleeve. Looking at how rough and rusted the hole was I took a very thin round file meant for sharpening chainsaw teeth to task. This was more of a touch up job as there wasn't much room to swing due to the potential of the file hitting the bearing ring. So I got off whatever roughage I could - I'd say somewhere between 60-75% smoother, cleaned the rust out with some liquid wrench, rinse and repeat. Once I had enough of that, I tried fitting the new sensor to see if it glides in. The mother is VERY tight - it even has little plastic ridges in the body to ensure super tight fit. From the design, this thing was NOT meant to come by a simple pull of the hand. And the bracket around is flimsy plastic instead of metal not allowing anything to pry on without cracking, so what were they thinking??? :tardsmash
Not sure if it will help if I ever have to do this god forbidden process again, I touched very lightly - almost dry - some copper anti seize just on about 3mm around the top of the sensor and popped it in. Tightened the bolt and using a very flat and wide round punch lightly tapped around the part farther from the bolt to help it seat in better. One down one to go. :shootme:

Used the opportunity to install the Skunk2 upper camber kit - that was easy since everything is already out - just had to unbolt the coilover and move it to the side to allow access with a nice socket wrench. The only weird thing about the skunk2 ball joint, is that there is only 1 hole for the cotter pin which is perpendicular to the car instead of going front to back.

Bolting everything back together and going to the other side.
2nd one went smoother overall due to lessons learned. No pb blaster, no liquid wrench, just straight to drilling. Only drilled about 1cm deep, but this time didn't get the center right. So instead of going thicker on the drillbit, drilled the 2nd small hole a bit deeper and then went to a thicker drill bit - maybe one or two thicker this time as the hole was off center. Tried to punch and it finally gave after a little of plastic crumpling. I guess since now there was a lot less plastic left (about half of it was gone by now).
Yay, take that! Filed the hole again and cleaned and filed and pushed the new sensor in.
Bolted everything back on. Tighted the ball joints to spec with the jack pushing up the suspension to get the car weight on them. Swapped my Hawk track pads to street pads, bled 20ml fluid from each caliper. Put wheels on, lower the car and did my best pushing as hard with my full weight on the 5 foot bar to tighten the spindle nuts. Spec says 180ft/lb, but it was way more when I took it off so I did my best to put on a little more than 180. Quick sharp hit to the spindle nut with the largest flat head screw driver I had to put a nice divet into it and take it out for a drive. All looked ok, except now I need a massive alignment done.

No warning lights on. ABS works. VSA can be enabled/disabled. For now ABS is not hyper active as it used to be, we'll see how it behaves when the stronger track pads go back on.

Damn, that was one heck of a job! Brutal! I want to :uzi: the person who designed it and didn't think of knuckle corrosion around the sensor the same as they do around the ball joint holes which do not corrode! I'm having a few beers today after that! Hopefully LCBO doesn't strike so I can actually buy beer. I wan't to raise one for all the poor sobs that went through this as DIY or even to the mechanics that had to do it!
Hats off to you sir!


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