Sunday, January 13, 2013

A Honda Pilot exploded in the garage!

So this weekend was full of fun times. If you walked into my garage you would think a Honda exploded. There are literally parts in all corners of the garage. This is what we started with. It's a 2003 Honda Pilot that had a bad transmission. The weather was snowing like crazy and then it held firm at 7 degrees the rest of the time so we figured there was no better time to tackle this project. With Heaters on at full blast we went to work.
 Not very far into the project my friend saw what he thought was a piece of paper. He picked it up and it ended up being a bat. It had been dead for awhile and we figured it had been hit by the car sometime in the past. We quickly disposed of it and went back to work.
 The engine and transmission in a pilot comes out the bottom. We removed everything we needed to on the topside and then jacked up the car and moved to the bottom. The whole subframe comes out with the engine, transmission, lower a arms, and steering rack attached to it. It takes a lot of finagling to drop it all out without a hoist. It took us an engine hoist; some 4x4 pieces of wood, some jackstands and 3 floor jacks to finally get it out and off the hoists legs. We managed to get it though. This picture is just after we hooked up the hoist but before we removed the last remaining bolts of the subframe.
 So this picture turned out really fuzzy because of my crappy picture taking or my crappy camera, but we just dropped the whole assembly all the way out of the car. We then had to literally push and pull (we had to do both) the mass of metal out the passenger side wheel well after we took off the intake manifold for clearance. We are now trying to get it lifted back up so we can get the hoist back under it so it is at least moveable. This thing is amazingly heavy.
 Here's another crappy fuzzy photo but we have it lifted now and the subframe is sitting on jackstands. We then removed all the motor mount bolts and lifted the engine and transmission from off the subframe and got rid of the subframe. We then separated the transmission from the engine and put the engine on an engine stand.
 We did remove the drive plate from the back of the engine and changed the rear main seal while we were there. It looked like it was leaking a little. The timing belt had 80,000 miles on it so we changed it out also because we had such good access. Here is the new belt on ready for the covers to be installed.
You can see the subframe under the pilot and the old transmission on the ground. The bugs roof rack has even been utilized for parts storage.  
 Here is the front of the garage with Ian in the picture. This is the 2nd time he has made the blog. The first time he came over to help me put an engine in a corvette. It looks messier than it is.
So a month ago I bought this old laptop from a guy I work with so I could use it in the garage. This has been the best tool I have bought. It's great to have right on my toolbox. I save time being able to look up parts and  procedures from service manuals and I save Dixie's carpet by not tromping through the house looking stuff up on the house computer.
Honda recommends adjusting the valves on the pilot every 105,000 miles. The dealer dings you for a lot of money to do it because it's a pain to get to while it's in the car. We took advantage of the easy access and adjusted them while the engine was on the stand. It's really easy to do. I was surprised, we ended up adjusting all the intake valves and most of the exhaust valves. I guess that puts another thing on my to do list for Dixie's car. Here it is with the valve covers off just after we finished adjusting them.
That's where it's sitting after this weekend. Hopefully with the limited time we have this week we can get the engine buttoned up and get the new transmission attached to it. If we are really lucky we will have everything on the subframe ready to be installed for Friday. If we can we should be able to get it installed this weekend and it should be ready to rock and roll.

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