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Discussion Starter #1
My Element is at the shop following a minor accident in which my left rear wheel took a direct hit from a volvo sedan. The auto-body place sent it to a mechanic for a left rear spindle and an alignment.

I hope this isn't too naive of me - but what part exactly is a spindle? Is it 4WD related? I know there are axles, shocks, struts...insurance is taking care of it, but I'm the curious type. :)

Thanks
 

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Discussion Starter #3
yikes

I sort of knew, but not how it directly applied to the Elements rear workings. Thanks..

I'm a little concerned over how easily it was damaged. It was a rather low speed imact..could have just been the way it was hit...which would not happen under normal driving conditions..
 

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it is the thing that sticks out from the suspension and holds the "hub,"which holds the wheel & brakes. Bending them in a collision is not uncommon....but usually it is the control arm instead.

 

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No "spindle" on 4WD cars. They have (on each side) a knuckle assembly, with bearings, through which the driveshaft spins the rear wheel hub. Demand a better explanation.

Yes....good point. (We must have been posting at the same time or I missed your post. :? )

The term "spindle" gets tossed around quite often with axle, hub, "stub axle," etc, so anything is possible.

It is a good idea to get a better explanation of the parts that are repaired/replaced, and what is actually done to the car.

Do you have any pics?
Did the car drive ok after the accident? Was the wheel all cattywompus?

Good luck with the repair, hope all turns out well.

Will
 

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Spindle is the splined and threaded outer end of driveshaft. Attaches knuckle to driveshaft via spindle nut. If spindle is bent, you will be getting a new driveshaft.
 

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Well then, way to confuse things, Honda. A spindle traditionally is stationary; a CV axle's end shaft is a rotating part. BTW they call the 2WD part (42332-SCV-A01) an "axle shaft," which makes way more sense than "spindle."

If the axle shaft is bent, the bearings (and possibly knuckle) are suspect.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I'll try

The body shop sent it out for this work to an un-named garage, which I hope will be named because I left my Fast-Lane transponder in there. When I stop in, possibly tomorrow, I'll ask for more detail. I sort of know the owner of the body shop, so I don't expect any funny business..
 

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Discussion Starter #10
hm

They now say the spindle and control arm were replaced, but no mention of the driveshaft. Granted, this is a secretary relaying the info and I'm sure it's not all of the details.

Here's a photo of the exterior damage taken at the shop:
 

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unless the wheel is damaged/hit/banged/etc I wouldn't expect any damage to the hub or axle and such. Anything is possible though, and not always aparent.
 

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I've seen quite a few of these types of accidents and you can't believe the amount of damage that can be done, even at very low speeds. Wheels just weren't meant to bend that way. Once you have it back make sure to keep taking it back if anything feels funny in the way it drives, because if this type of accident isn't repaired properly the alignment is very hard to get right and you'll be prematurely wearing out tires for the life of the car.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
just got it back

Thanks.. right now it just feels weird to have my own car..after the awful Buick Enclave and so-so Ford Escape rentals.

The body shop did an absolutely fantastic job on the exterior, even taking care of un-related scratches on the other side of the car. They sent it out to a garage they have a relationship with for the suspension repair.

A "knuckle" was also replaced, as someone else mentioned. The alignment feels straight, but the ride and steering seem "stiffened" compared to before, or maybe not.. maybe the buttery-handling of the Buick skewed my sense of normal. I don't know. Maybe it's just the tire pressure. I also think I was about due for an alignment before the accident.

In other words, I have no idea. But, I'm about to drive to NYC and NJ tomorrow. I should know by then if something still isn't right.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
mad

I just sent this email to the body shop, and to make matters worse, I know the owner..

(name omitted),

Thanks again for being open so I could pick up the car today for my trip to Rhode
Island, NYC and NJ for the holidays.
There are, unfortunately, a few things I did not notice immediately.

When loading my suitcase around 8pm, I noticed that the left rear tail-light was
out. There was nothing I could do about it, then. I had a schedule to keep.

When topping off the tank, I noticed the fuel door was more recessed than usual.
I then noticed that the polymer panel was loose towards the back of the car. I
compared it with the right side to verify.

When I reached highway speeds, the handling felt a bit different than before. It
wasn't as smooth and steady as it had been prior to the accident. But even more
apparent, was the oscillating drone coming from the rear (or underside) of the
vehicle. Its pitch changed slightly with speed. It is inaudible below highway
speeds. It's unpleasant and relentless, and I have many hours of driving ahead. I
also hope that it is not causing damage or a safety hazard, but I'm out of
options at this point.

Pulling into my girlfriend's partially-shoveled driveway in Providence, I heard a
metallic whine when the RT4WD kicked in. That's never happened before.

There may have been more damage than previously thought.

I hope to be able to drop the car off to you late Monday or sometime on Tuesday.
I don't know exactly when I'm leaving from NJ at this point.

Thanks, and I'm sorry to bother you but I would really like this car restored to
previous condition.

-Seth
 

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Discussion Starter #15
updates

Just in case anyone's keeping score. :)

They think the oscillating drone/vibration at high speeds is caused by a bearing.

I have a free loaner from the shop while they work on it. I do not like this 2006 Ford Fusion!! It's about as boring as a Camry, which is what I suppose they were after..
 

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Discussion Starter #16
still waiting

The body shop is now waiting for some sort of left-rear specific sensor. They said none of the dealerships had one for the left, just for the right side. Weird. I thought they replaced a bearing.
 
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