Friday, January 13, 2017

Honda Odyssey strut change

So last week I took the Honda Odyssey for the state motor vehicle inspection and they failed it on three counts.
1) Left front tire was unevenly worn, due to...
2) a broken suspension coil spring, and ...
3) the right hand outer tie rod end was worn.

The shop estimate was:
Two new front quick struts 580$ (can't change just one)
Labor 300$
One outer tie rod end 100$
Labor 100$
Two new tires mounted and balanced 160$
Vehicle alignment 90$
Total 1330$ plus sales tax

Given that we have some steep medical co-pays this month we need to do something about that expense. Besides I am getting bored of all this sitting around waiting to heal from my spinal surgery.

Checked Ebay and found the struts for 137$ shipped to my door.
Just don't tell the doctor each one of those is about twenty pounds.
A quick check on Youtube on how the job is done
Seems easy enough even for my feeble brain and lame neck.
So this afternoon I got motivated and fired up the wood stove in the garage and after some struggle finding my impact wrench sockets right where I had put them on my peg board on my work bench right in front of my nose, I pulled the offending part on the driver side. Note the broken coil spring.
And installed the new one
Button up the sway bar link and other loose bits and torque the big bolts to spec.
Switch sides and pull the passenger side strut
And put the new one in on that side. Bottom through bolts torqued to 130 foot pounds, top to 30 ft/lbs. Took it for a test drive and it no longer pulls to the left, so I may not even need the alignment. Total labor time? three hours, OK two and a half if you discount the time wasted looking for the stupid sockets and messing with the wood stove.
That's 730 U$ saved.
Next week I will tackle the tie rod end and take it back to the shop for some new tires and we'll see if they give me an inspection sticker.


  1. As always, I'm impressed with your ability to handle vehicle and home maintenance on your own. You better watch it , right after your surgery, though. I know exactly what it's like to have things that need to be done and not be able to do them without taking risks. Most of the time, you get away with it, but when you don't it really causes problems.

    1. The big risk is to have another blowout on that disk so I do need to be careful with my activities. I am so used to just doing what ever I need to and now I need to change my attitude about it. It is only two weeks since the operation. I am supposed to be taking it easy for three months but I am getting tired of twiddling my thumbs here. The doctor would likely scold me if he knew what I was up to, but getting this job off my back was a big relief. I was careful about it and did not hurt myself, so all's well that ends well.

  2. Congrats... pero adhiero al comentario de Harry.

    1. I promise I was careful and did not hurt myself.

  3. You must be feeling a bit better to tackle a job like that. Glad it went well -all without a ride in an ambulance too!

    1. Hey Sixbears, I was being real careful. Don't want to go have under the knife again. I was a little sore afterwards but no pain prangs while I did the job so I figure I did OK. Outer tie rod end is next.

  4. Hi Mike, good job, you certainly saved a lot of money. You can put it towards avgas and go flying. Thanks for sharing.

    1. Yes, unfortunately any savings are going to pay for the medical bills from my recent spinal surgery. Frightening how much they get for drilling a hole between your vertebra.