After several years of watching this site and along with other sites just like it, I was finally able to acquire a 94 Honda VX for $2100, with an initial asking price of $2500 from the seller. It's complete with the D15Z1 stamp on the engine, along with V-tec E on the valve cover.
At present, it has over 230,000 miles on the engine; but the mechanic who did the independent inspection told me that for a 19yr. old car, it was well maintained. However, it does have a few minor problem. The front wheel bearings are starting to go, along with the brakes and intermediate pipe for the exhaust. I'm confident about handling the other two; but I've never attempted to replace the front wheel bearings on any vehicle in the past.
So, my question is what should I expect to pay to have a machine shop press out and reinstall each front wheel bearing....Thank You.
It's looking like my instructor at the local technical college is going to help me with the front wheel bearings after all. Initially, I wasn't sure if he'd be willing to let me work on my car there. That makes me very happy given that what was originally quoted as $2023 in parts in labor for a car that was bought for $2100, is now costing me $135 for brakes & exhaust alone. The labor will be free given that I will be doing the work myself.
At this point, I' m just looking for wheel bearings that will provide the least amount of rolling resistance. Should I go OEM, or is there a brand that anyone could recommend for fuel economy enhancement?
For what it's worth, I've never seen any discussion of resistance in wheel bearings. I suspect there isn't room for improvement there though I'm open-minded to hearing otherwise. I don't think the bearings themselves cause any measurable rolling resistance at all; they are some of the hardest steel around with some of the most perfect machining on the car, and just roll steel against steel.
There might be a little resistance from the grease, but not enough to measure and certainly not worth compromising the functionality thereof. You'll waste more fuel going to the parts store for new bearings than you'll save over the life of the experimentally-greased ones.
The only thing you can do is make sure to use the proper preload. Whatever procedure the OEM service manual says, do exactly that. It can differ widely. On my Buick the procedure was to torque the spindle nut to 12 ft-lbs or something like that, spin the wheel by hand to seat everything, back the nut off until it's loose, then turn it hand tight and install the cotter pin. On an Isuzu SUV my wife had, there was something involving hooking a pull scale (like you use for weighing a fish you caught) to the nut. On my pickup you torque it to 173ft-lb.
Too much preload will make it drag and burn up because it's compressing the bearing unnecessarily. Too little will make it flop around and lead to premature failure, and the un-smooth rolling would probably reduce fuel economy too...not to mention safety!
make sure the pins and sheet metal slides (if equipped) are all in good condition and well lubricated
make sure the pads slide smoothly and easily on the bracket (backing plate/bracket interface may be tight because of manufacturing tolerances on pad or age/rust on bracket, file the notch on the bracket until it slides well; also, again, no missing or unlubricated sheet metal slides)
For drum brakes make sure:
they're properly adjusted
the drums are perfectly round on the inside
the myriad of springs, pivots, and levers are well lubricated