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Apr 19 10

Best Cordless Lithium Drill Driver Hammer To Buy

by VitalBodies

Best Cordless Lithium Drill Driver Hammer To Buy:

See Updates at the bottom…

We had received a Makita 18 volt drill driver as a gift. In the first few days of owning the drill the battery ran down (as expected) and we had to charge it.

This time when the battery ran down however, the battery was stuck on the drill and would not come off. We had basically babied this drill and were so careful with it so there was no reason it should have gotten stuck but there was no way the battery was going to come off either.

So we had to pick out the Best Cordless Lithium Drill Driver Hammer To Buy. We thought, “this should be fun!”

Wow, this was not easy. There are some pretty tough choices to make. We went around and round trying to decide.

MAKITA 18 VOLT:

Makita BDF452HW 18-Volt Compact Lithium-Ion Cordless 1/2-Inch Driver-Drill Kit

The Makita was light weight, had an LED light, charged fast and seemed like a dream drill – until the battery got stuck. Now that could have been a fluke but we decide to try a different drill just in case.

Having that drill was a learning experience and helped us decide. While building a custom cutting mat table that needed 42 holes drilled, each 1 3/4″ and drilled with a Milwaukee Forstner bit, the drill fully charged and brand new could not drill even one hole. We had to use our old corded Milwaukee 1/2″ Hole Shooter.

The other thing that stood out is the fan noise of the charger – is this thing going to blow up? No there is just a loud fan in there that seems to be always on.

Choosing A Drill:

Price, features, weight, warranty, power and reliability were key notes in making our selection. Also, we were looking for the latest and greatest.

Bosch_Lithium_Hammer_Drill_0.jpg

Price: For price you REALLY had to shop around. At full retail you really had to think about a $500 – $850 drill. Our new $850 drill was about $225 plus about $14 shipping. There is a huge price range for these drills which makes choosing a drill “a bit of a challenge”. To narrow down the field you might want to start with battery type and that is where most of the cost of the drill comes from. Lithium is the most expensive and the new choice in cordless tool as they are lighter, more powerful and do not suffer from memory effects. NiMH is the next best choice as they are less costly than Lithium and also do not suffer from the dreaded memory effect of Ni-Cad. We can not recommend Ni-cad at all. They are toxic, do not charge to there full capacity all that long and are out dated. Next up for price consideration is voltage. 9.6, 12 volt and and 14.4 volt are nice tools but are no longer the top of the line choice if you are looking for the latest and greatest. They are however more than adequate for many tasks and were the cordless to mainstay of years gone by.  You certainly do not need a $500 drill to drive short small screws into soft wood. Where the new cordless drill are breaking new ground is drilling larger holes in more kinds of materials, drilling more holes per charge in things like concrete and driving more fasteners like when you are doing decking or hanging pipes. You can reach for a cordless tool where you would have had to use a corded tool. 18 volts seemed to be the standard for most drill drivers of smaller tasks and 24 to 36 volts for the heavy duty tasks like drilling large holes. If you want a drill driver for most tasks and do not need to drill large holes then you might get by with an 18 volt model. We wanted to go all out and get a drill that handle anything the latest and greatest drill divers could handle.

Features: For features we went for the major stuff rather than getting lost in the smaller details. Torque matters, for example, if your using larger Forstner bits  or hole saws and that was high on our the priority list. Having a hammer drill to drill concrete was also a plus. A side handle that can turn 360 degrees matters to save your wrists and for overall safety. You can do some serious damage to yourself with one of these if you are using it one handed and the bit gets stuck sending all that torque your way. Some of these new drills deliver 600 pounds or more of torque which is something to fully consider. A fixed handle is not an option for tight places or getting that “just right position” so 360 degrees is the only way to go. To be a “driver” your drill must have a clutch and this is common on drill/drivers but not drills as is a soft start. Our old 1/2″ corded Milwaukee hole shooter will just snap the heads off screws “like they are nothing” because it is a drill not a driver. Lithium Batteries was another A list feature we just had to have. We have had cordless drill/drivers since the old 9.6 volt days of Nickel Cadmium. We would never buy a Nickel Cadmium again no matter what the price as the batteries are toxic, have memory issues and thus do not charge to their full capacity all that long. NiMH is your next best bet and Lithium is the hot new rage in cordless. We wanted to try out the new Lithium power tools. The other “must have” feature we wanted was hammer drill. Hammering can make all kinds of jobs easier and much much faster including drilling concrete and using wood paddle bits. You can drill wood so much faster with wood paddle (spade) bits in hammer mode!

Power: There have been 9.6 volt, 12 volts, 14.4 volts 18 volts, 24 volts and even 36 volts? You might get bragging rights if you go for the 36 volts but does that 36 volts matter? We thought so, we were looking for a real power house of a drill. You can buy very cheap drill drivers that are 18 volts in the $20 dollar range but the batteries tend to be Nickel Cadmium land fill. Lithium name brand drill/drivers cost a lot more and overall are a better value. Of course you can not throw out those old Ni-cad batteries, as they are super toxic hazardous waste and must be disposed of properly – and you owe it to all the other life forms to do so. 36 volts is the highest voltage we found and at over twice the current pro drills that weigh in at 18 volts the Bosch 36Volt tools are in a class by themselves.  36 volts would seem to mean Pro heavy duty and Bosch made their 36-volt offerings “Brute Tough” to withstand professional use and abuse – but are they really that powerful and that tough? We decided to take the bait and see, plus all the reviews by buyers seemed to agree for the most part – there are always a few flukes and you have to wonder about the odd reviewer too…

Weight: Depending on what you do, weight might be an issue. For us, we use the drill for EVERYTHING and wanted one drill for basically “all things considered”. We rarely do the same task over and over and over. If you do, you might want to really tailor your choice to exactly what you do – like assembly line work is much different than construction and remodeling. For us, we would rather take one heavier drill/driver up that ladder or across the yard and around the house knowing it will do the task and not cause two trips or cause us to drag two tools or get out that power cord.

Warranty: This was a tough one. If you read the reviews for the “Bare Tools” you can get swept up pretty easily this way or that. If you read the reviews for batteries, well, uhh, you know warranty matters. You also learn that a warranty that is honored is what matters most as some of these batteries cost over $100 and many are not warranted over one year and many reviewers claimed that the warranties were not being honored on some brands. For warranty we would have choose the Ridgid Lithium line of tools as they are said to have a lifetime warranty which some swear by and others swore at. Ridgid did not offer any 36volt tools and it was a hard call to make on if they would REALLY warrant batteries for the rest of our lives so we went with Bosch.

Reliability: We have had many name brand hand held plug in power tools. All in all, the Milwaukee and Bosch are still performing years later. All things considered, the Milwaukee seemed/looked/felt heavier duty but the Bosch were actually just as tough and usually lighter and more stream lined.  The “Brute Tough” claim on the Bosch claiming you could drop the tool from two stories up got us going- and the tool feels like that claim is real. A lot of reviewers said the Milwaukee could not handle a hole saw and would die. Having just completed a cutting mat table with 42 holes that had personal meaning to us.

In our searching within the Dewalt Lithium Line it turned out to be just out of our price range and seemed too high a price to pay for a battery operated tool. Really, how long do battery operated tools REALLY last? Only so many years then you have to swap them out. We figured “spend the big bucks on what lasts” unless your profession absolutely demands the top of the line cordless and even then, consider the real value you are getting for the money.

Details: We ditched the details but if we did not, we would have picked the best LED light like the Hitachi Lithium line with a aim-able LED and two year warranty on the batteries. Other details “of worth” are batteries that tell you how charged they are (Lithium Battery Condition Indicator) which the Bosch also had. This allows you to push a button and know how charged your battery is. This helps with Lithium as often times they hold out then die instantly at the end without warning. Other details are if the drill driver has one or two sizes of battery. Bosch had two sizes and many people raved about about how long the Fatpacks (the bigger batteries) lasted.

Investment: Another big factor is that now that you have invested in what really cost the big bucks - the batteries – what else can you power with them and what is that going to cost you? Once again I might have picked Hitachi Lithium line for this. Bosch tended to be expensive in some cases and cheaper in others but you really have to compare tool for tool as these are high quality tools and we were comparing 36 volt “Bare Tools” with 18 or even 24 volt tools. It was shocking how affordable some bare tools were (awesome $60 drill/drivers) and they are totally worth considering – if you have the batteries to run them. We even priced “parting out” some tool kits like buying batteries, the bare tool and the charger separately, but for all the kits we tried parting out, we found that it was better to buy the kit. The real deals are the Lithium Combo Kits if you can afford to buy multiple tools. At the current price of batteries you really have to choose your brand and stay with it or re-invest in batteries again.

OUR WINNER:

BOSCH 36 VOLT LITHEON 18636-02 1/2″ HAMMER DRILL/DRIVER:

Specs: http://www.boschtools.com/Products/Tools/Pages/BoschProductDetail.aspx?pid=18636-02

We got a chance to check this drill out today!

Wow, this drill is heavy duty.

It is heavier than the Makita.

This drill at first feel seems like twice the drill of the last one. Like you are holding a tool that is super heavy duty, built to last and can drill through most anything. Definitely a different class of drill. Not that the lighter 18 volt drills would not be perfect for some, we just want to say what the pictures can hardly show, this is power house drill.

You do feel like you could drop this Bosch over and over without the drill failing.

It also has two of the big batteries that people kept saying “last forever” – “all day on the job” and such and they are are heavier.

ADVERTISED FEATURES:

Handle grip with finger support provides maximum control. Up to one pound lighter than comparable 18-volt NiCad drills/drivers, the 36618-02 won’t weigh you down. It’s ideal for a wide range of drilling and fastening jobs, from hanging curtains to building a deck; from making automotive repairs to installing cabinetry.

Unique, Flexible Power System
Like all tools in Bosch’s 18-Volt line, this drill/driver can be used with either a 1.3-Ah BAT609 Slim Pack battery (two included) or a 2.6-Ah BAT318 Fat Pack. If you’re looking for a lighter-weight option, the Slim Pack is the perfect choice. If longer runtime is what you need, the Fat Pack will do the job. Bosch is the only power tool manufacturer that provides this option.

Fast Speeds, High Torque, and Durable Construction for Reliable Results
The 36618-02 works at speeds up to 1,600 RPM and provides 500 in./lbs. of torque. Durashield housing, unibody construction, and a steel-reinforced collar help you withstand real-world conditions, like temperature extremes, rain, dirt, debris, and drops.

The 36618-02′s Durashield Housing is constructed with ABS/Nylon composite, which makes the housing flexible and impenetrable. Unlike competitive tools, which use a conventional plastic housing, Durashield will not crack and can easily withstand 10-foot drops.

This tool also features unique unibody construction with three steel straps that keep the motor, gears, and clutch together. This ensures that the gears never separate from the motor, and it keeps the drill functioning even after drops.

Additionally, the 36618-02 boasts an exclusive steel-reinforced collar that protects the nose of the drill. It provides extra reinforcement in the event of drops on the chuck and prevents the chuck from bending or breaking off.

Easy Bit Changes and Balanced Design for Utmost Control
The 36618-02 comes complete with a single-sleeve 1/2-inch chuck for one-handed bit changes, as well as increased drill-bit capacity for versatility. And for maximum control, comfort, and balance, the tool boasts a newly designed handle-grip with finger support.

Smart Features for Easy Use
20 clutch settings and a variable-speed trigger help you match the best speed to the job, so you can achieve precise results. At the same time, the 36618-02′s ergonomic design provides optimum comfort and control. And for even greater convenience, LEDs provide illumination when you are working in dark or enclosed areas.

ProVantage Guarantee
The 36618-02 comes with the ProVantage three-year protection plan, which guarantees two years of battery protection and one year of tool protection. Under this plan, you can receive two years of free battery replacements, tool replacement for one year, and a free tool repair package for the second and third years.

Price: We found a NEW 36 volt for the same or less than many 14.4 or 18 volt drills. We searched quite a bit and found the best prices here: Bosch 18636-02 36-Volt Litheon Hammer Drill

Conclusion: We have one battery charging and the other will be next. Will be really fun to see what this drill can do. We went for the 36 volts and a drill you drop once in a while. These tools are expensive an so we wanted to invest in the future and what we might buy next like the 36 volt circular saw. We opted for the bigger batteries also.

Charging the battery is silent.

Updates:

There are some stumps on our property from one of the old owners and perhaps the last owner. We know we want these stumps out but they are not top priority so I thought I might help them break down a bit faster by drilling large deep holes that will fill with water and rot the stumps. I got out a contractor bit set and used a 1.75″ Forstner bit and drilled a number of holes 4-5 inched deep. Wow, this drill is smoother and easier to to use for drilling these large holes than the corded 1/2″ Milwaukee Hole Shooter and I did not need a cord! I drilled hole after hole with no problem at all. I also needed to move an outdoor electrical outlet and found that the drill can be used quite gently. I used the drill/driver to take the screws out of each outlet. Very, very impressive.

What we would like to see: A small AC/DC changer that can hang on the wall if needed. User serviceable batteries as often only one cell fails.

Apr 16 10

Fence Design For Beauty, Form, Function and Hard Core Design

by VitalBodies

Fence Design For Beauty, Form, Function and Hard Core Design:

We would love to see some awesome fence galleries and design ideas listed on this blog for everyone to gain ideas. VitalBodies is getting ready to do some fence designing and we are trolling for ideas.

Garden_Fence_475x356_0.jpg

Deer Fence Posts For Organic Garden

Design Elements:

PICKETS: Vertical – Horizontal – Diagonal – Squares – Rectangles – Woven – Louvered – Etc.

COMPONENTS: Fence – Gates – Arbors – Fence Roofs – Etc.

FENCE TYPES: Board and bat – Privacy – Woven – Mixture – Etc.

NATURAL MATERIALS: Bamboo – Cedar – White Cedar – Mixture – Etc.

HEIGHT: Low, Legal height, Mid or a Mix Etc…

FENCE PURPOSE: Privacy – Security – Deer fence – Beauty – Curb Appeal – Etc…

Our Considerations:

80+ inches of rain a year – and all that entails like moisture, mold, fungus etc..

Privacy needed in some areas and not in other areas.

We would like a fence with strong design elements , unique and natural in appeal rather than industrial.

6′ or more tall in some areas and deer jumping height in others. Some areas are more for ornate reasons and do not need to be so high.

A deer fence around our organic garden is one of our projects and other privacy fences are another. There are also some much smaller projects like gates and such.

We would like to create some additional privacy and yet not limit any of the neighbors scenic view if possible.

Images Of Interest:

GALLERY: http://www.gardenstructure.com/gallery/section/wood_fences

Japanese: http://stmatthewsfenceanddeck.com/images/albums/NewAlbum_96d2a/sp02.jpg

Vertical and Horizontal: http://billbarr.wordpress.com/2009/10/20/good-fences-2/

Modern: http://www.apartmenttherapy.com/sf/look/look-modern-fence-050175

Free Fence Plans And Images:

Redwood: http://www.calredwood.org/fences/fences.htm

Our Deer Fence:

All of the posts are in and wow, 10 feet out of the ground is high! Next is moving the water line for hose bibs (and eventually drip irrigation) and the putting up the deer netting.

Beyond that is making the fence really look nice in a design/style way – we needed something up ASAP so as not to miss the planting season so deer netting and posts will get us by for a while.

We wanted to get our deer fence up quickly at first, for planting and then beautify the fence as time and budget allow so we bought some rolls of Easy Gardener 6050 DeerBlock – 7-Foot x 100-Foot Netting which we plan to use for the deer fence and also worked well for protecting some newly planted fruit trees.

Garden Layout:

Choosing the layout for the garden is a fun step and interesting from an art, design and symbolic standpoint. Although we have not finalized on any certain design we have been playing around with different layouts. In a different post we will show some more ideas and thoughts on that subject.

Garden Layout

What Makes A Great Fence:

We have been pondering WHAT makes a fence normal or really nice. Here is what caught our eyes:

Avoid unneeded ground contact.

Natural fencing made of boards, it seems, are born to be square-ish and even two curved boards in the right places can really make a real difference on the over all look of the design even if only on the gate.

A lack of total repetition helps – having three widths of pickets or more than one panel design creates variation and pleases the eye.

Having the right type of fence for the right area even in the same yard.

A fence can be like ahhh/beautiful and the Japanese fences are some of the best for that – a fence as an item of beauty or meditation.

Having horizontal pickets can make a strong design statement in some cases.

Having thinner pickets like 1″ by 2″ can look “rich” in detail if done the correct way.,

Woven Fences:

If you have the ways and means, a woven fence made of natural materials like dried branches, vines, bamboo or split bamboo is hard to beat for a unique design.

Apr 5 10

1986 Honda Civic Wagovan Brake Mystery Of Three Lifetimes

by VitalBodies

Honda Civic Wagovan Brake Mystery Of Three Lifetimes
1986 Honda Civic Wagovan 2WD – driver side rear brake drum binding only when the lug nuts are on…

See the NEWEST and LATEST UPDATES below.

My mechanics came over and thought the car need new brakes as there was some kind of metal to metal sound in the back driver side.

So they proceeded to replace the brake shoes and springs and such from the parts kit (on both sides) that they ordered.
No luck, there was still grinding and binding. With both wheels off the ground you could spin the passenger wheel by hand with ease. You could not even budge the driver side.

1986 Honda Civic Wagovan Hub

1986 Honda Civic Wagovan Binding - Click for full resolution

They thought the backing plate might be bent and causing the binding.
You could see where someone had pried on it.
They replaced the backing plate with a factory new one.
No luck, there was still grinding and binding. With both wheels off the ground you could spin the passenger wheel by hand with ease. You could not even budge the driver side.

The hubs and bearing on both sides had been done six months earlier and spun fine – and still do.

Perhaps the drum is warped?
They replaced the drum with a hew one.
No luck, there was still grinding and binding. With both wheels off the ground you could spin the passenger wheel by hand with ease. You could not even budge the driver side.

Wow, what could it be?
We swapped the drum from the passenger side with the one from the driver side just as a test.
No luck.
We swapped them back to their original sides.

We swapped the bearing from the passenger side with the one from the driver side just as a test.
No luck.
We swapped them back to their original sides.

We swapped the wheel and tire from the passenger side with the one from the driver side just as a test.
No luck.
We swapped them back to their original sides.

We swapped the lug nuts from the passenger side with the one from the driver side just as a test.
No luck.
We swapped them back to their original sides.

Did we try all that driver side stuff on the passenger side?
Why yes, worked just fine on the passenger side.

Was the auto-adjuster backed all the way off?
Yes, we each checked it three times.

The emergency brake adjusted correctly?
Adjusted it to the point where there was zero tension (no braking) and made no difference. Then adjusted to what the factory Honda Wagovan book suggested.

The emergency brake cable binding?
No it moves quite freely on both sides.

Are the parts on in the correct order?
Matched them up and checked 10 times. They match the factory diagram in the factory Honda Wagovan manual shows.

1986 Honda Civic Wagovan Backing Plate

1986 Honda Civic Wagovan Binding - Click for full resolution

Is the spindle bent?
Put a factory new spindle on thinking that had to be the last thing it could be.
No luck.

Super short test drive?
Drum gets really hot as expected – binding is unchanged.

Bleed the brakes?
Yes, no change.

Replace the large nut on the spindle a torque it down tight?
New nut, no luck…

If all the parts are on except the drum, wheel/tire and lug nuts…
And then you put the drum on…
And then you put the wheel on…
There is no binding.

If you tighten the lug nuts even finger tight (which is not all that tight) it binds so hard you can barely turn the wheel with great effort?

NOTE: Finger tight is barely barely – I mean fingers to lug nuts no tools and no strain on the fingers.

The head mechanic has been fixing cars all his life and has never seen anything like this.
His son that works with him has never see anything like ti either.
I have worked on cars all my life and have not see anything like this?

A MYSTERY OF THREE LIFETIMES…

As a test I put the lug nuts on with no wheel at all, same thing – totally binds.
New: brake shoes (springs and such), spindle, hub, bearings, backing plate, drum, spindle nut.

1986 Honda Civic Wagovan Brakes

1986 Honda Civic Wagovan Binding - Click for full resolution

All of the images above shows all the work that had been done except for the new spindle. We thought it might help to show 3 views.

Parts Diagrams (HondaPartsNow.com):
Brake Drum Hub Etc (note the right and left sides are different): http://www.hondapartsnow.com/diagrams/large/rear-brake-drum-458525.png
Axle Beam: http://www.hondapartsnow.com/diagrams/large/rear-axle-beam-458538.png
Brake Shoes: http://www.hondapartsnow.com/diagrams/large/rear-brake-shoe-458526.png

Parts: Part names and diagrams

Evidence for needing a new spindle?

Toe in - Was evidence for possibly needing a new spindle.

Updates, not the latest UPDATES:

It is just so odd to spin that wheel with the lugs on just backed off of finger tight, and then tighten even one lug and the whole thing locks up.
I can also say that the drum drags just a bit in one or two areas with the nuts backed off.
The wheel will not spin freely in all places but will most places.

Of note: if we tighten the lugs to normal tightness (on the drivers side wheel) there is less gap between the drum and the backing plate on the right (towards front of car) than on the left (towards back of car).
I would guess a 2mm difference.

Wobble?
You have to spin the wheel to see wobble and the wheel does not spin with the lugs on.

Back and forth movement?
There was no back and forth movement – like if you grab the wheel and push with your right hand and pull with your left hand and then do the opposite we got no movement – the bearings seem sound.

The Evidence:
There is a small 1″ wide, 1/4″ deep (approximate) dent in the fender.
The wheel has a fairly massive amount of toe in as shown in the image.
The tire wears on the outside edge.
Some of the parts have marks that let you know they are from the bone yard.
The drum binds.

Any ideas on what is wrong?

Newer UPDATES but not the latest updates:

I think we figured it out. After some more testing, trial and error and the process of elimination we figured out a number of things and determined the problem might have been an odd compound problem.

Of all the suggestions that we could think of, were written on this blog or on this forum post I tended towards the idea that the axle beam and trailing arm were bent and thus affecting the backing plate and thus affecting the brakes in a way that I-was-not-sure-how.

My friend Bryon was leaning towards the idea that the backing plate was tipped and skewing the two brake shoes relative to the sides of the drum. The drum is like a bowl that has straight sides and expects the faces of shoes to to also be straight in the same way. If the shoes were skewed in such a way where the part of face that was closest to the backing plate was sticking out more than the part of the face furthest from the backing plate on one shoe and visa versa on the other shoe – then they would bind he reasoned. Yet, why would they only bind at the last moment of assembly when the lugs reached finger tight? They would only bind at that last moment because the backing place was not parallel to the hub he theorized so when the drum was finally forced by the lug to angle of hub the binding would occur.

In both cases the logic seemed solid enough to tear into the job yet again, but could we prove or dis-prove either theory without buying more parts? And how could we go about proving or dis-proving or (oh my) fixing the problem.

Ideas were proposed, thought up and dredged up from memory of the forum and blog posts. All of them and none of them really won out so what was easy was attempted first, which was measuring the distance from the hub to the backing plate in many locations. The metal ruler did not quite help for that so a $1 plastic micrometer was produced and seemed to indicate the that the distances were not all the same. But are they supposed to be? The backing plate has a lot going on on the back and is not flat so it was hard to say.

Can we prove or dis-prove what is binding on what? We took the brake shoes out and all binding stopped when the drum was re-installed and the lugs put on full force. That seemed to prove it was brake shoes against the drum. But does that mean the brake shoes are flawed or the backing plate is warped or what?

How about placing two washers between the backing plate and the spindle to attempt to get the backing plate and the hub to be parallel? That attempt yielded a surprisingly greater distant between the backing plate and the drum on one side and less on the other – on the opposite sides we expected – yet oddly made the drum bind a bit less. More washers between the hub and drum seemed to fix the problem as the binding stopped but the backing plate was still way off from being parallel to the drum? I though that might indicate we were not really tightening the drum down any longer as it was not touching the hub by a distance of two washers – as the drum only used to bind when the lugs were tightened on to finger tight or so-far-onto the lug bolts/hub.

Hmmm?

How about the trailing arm is bent theory? What if I loosened the four bolts that hold the backing plate/trailing arm/spindle/axle beam sandwich together and rock the trailing arm? Maybe that would prove or disprove that being the issue? Rocking the trailing arm made the gap between the backing plate and the drum more or less parallel, so we might be on to something.

What if the axle beam being bent is creating a dynamic tension with the trailing arm that is altering the gap between the backing plate and the drum (which is supposed to be equidistant)? By putting the only washers that could be found with holes large enough to fit on the bolts that held the backing plate/trailing arm/spindle/axle beam sandwich together we might have a valid test. The TWO washers would need to be on the bolts towards the front of the Wagovan between the spindle and the axle beam. This should both correct the toe in and alter the dynamic of the trailing arm vs the backing plate. This test was performed and yielded some interesting results. The tire now seemingly was spot on and had no toe in and the backing plate and drum now had an equidistant 3mm gap – a first!

Putting the drum on and tightening the lugs revealed that there was still binding!

But at least that may have proven that the skewed brake shoes were not the only problem and at least temporarily fixed the toe in.

Bryon really made a difference as he kept pushing for the final resolve…

So, what could cause the drum to bind to the brakes so hard when the lugs are finger tight or tighter? What if the brake shoes are off center or at the last moment of finger tightening the lugs the drum was moved to or from being centered?

I figured we could loosen the nuts behind the backing plate that hold the cylinder assembly on so the assembly would have some free play. Having done so the binding nearly stopped! Tightening them the binding came back. Upon taking the drum off again we could see that piston on the right/rear would not go in as far as it should and did not allow the brakes move towards the front of the vehicle and thus the center of the backing plate and thus caused the bulk of the binding. The left/front moved freely which had earlier given the illusion that the cylinder was fine.

HOT ON THE TRAIL: It seems that we found the solution, the cylinder needs replaced or rebuilt and possibly the axle beam needs to be straighted or we need to leave the washers in place.

NEWEST AND LATEST UPDATES:

The Next Step: Buy parts and see if the cylinder assembly does indeed fix the problem.  I found the Cylinder Assembly for $12 and free two day shipping on Amazon!

Wagner WC105167 Wheel Cylinder Assembly

Part arrived and I installed it.

Does the wheel spin freely with the lugs on tight?

YES IT DOES!

Questions Remain: Some safety and technical questions remain however. Like are the washers ok or is that a safety issue and if not how does one straighten an axle beam or is it better to buy one new at $487 plus shipping from HondaPartsNow.com or what? What should one expect to pay for having the flange on the end of the beam straightened anyone know? I have never had this kind of work done and do not know all the logistics involved?

I asked the question of this forum:

http://honda-tech.com/showthread.php?t=2759505

Wagovan Forums:

http://www.hondacivicwagon.com/bb/

http://www.Redpepperracing.com