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  1. #1
    Regular Member steve-gee's Avatar
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    4WS - Rear actuator noise - looking for advice?

    Hi Guys

    My 94 4th Gen has the 4WS light on - and when I reset it; it returns within a couple of weeks. SO - I took it to the local Honda dealer, thinking they might be able to help? After eventually working out which plug to connect to (der); they told me that they got a Code #20 = Stub axle angle error? So - they sent it out for a 4 wheel alignment - then reset the code and $320 later told me it was done. I was suspicious, because the wheel alignment report didn't show much error at all?

    Sure enough - less than a week later the 4WS light returned. So - I booked it in with a suspension specialist in Warrnambool. After about an hour; he detected noises from the front steering rack (I need steering rack ends - but it looks like you can only get a whole recon. rack unit) - AND he also investigated a noise in the 4WS actuator shaft on the LH rear.

    Today I went to online to Rockauto to look at the front steering -- AND locate rear steering parts; but it seems there are NO Rocky REAR steering parts at all?

    QUESTION = there appears to be a plug on the rear main 4WS actuator unit - does anyone know if that's a lash adjuster - or an oil drain plug? And while I'm here I may as well ask if anyone knows where the rear 4WS actuators can be sourced IF I do need one?

    Cheers

    Steve
    Eternity - the wrong thing to be wrong about.

  2. #2
    Regular Member tassie_bb1's Avatar
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    I believe it is just where the 4WS lockout tool goes for alignment purposes. Do you mean the area top-right of the pic? Sorry, it's my rack from when I took it out so the pic is top down not viewed from underneath.



    From what I could find, a code #20 refers to one the front steering angle sensors, not the rear, but there is a lengthy diagnostics process to find out which one. It looks as though Honda didn't bother making the 4WS actuator itself serviceable, the tie-rods, rack ends and the sensors can be replaced but the main unit itself can't be taken apart. You won't easily find parts for anything 4WS related from the US, 4WS Preludes are practically unobtainium over there. It sounds as though the main problem lies with your front rack and that the rear might just need a new tie rod or two. You might need to go genuine for parts though unfortunately.
    Symmons Plains - 1:12.280

  3. #3
    Regular Member steve-gee's Avatar
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    The dreaded 4WS back-end bits

    Hi Tassie

    Thanks for your response. Yeah - that round PORT is what the suspension specialist was wondering about. Do you have any idea what it does? It has a hex fastener in the centre? We thought that it might be a lash adjuster that could help to take any play out of the rear unit? So far we have replaced the small rear tie rods and rear shocks. But - the 4WS light always returns. if you grab the L/H rear steering actuator and push/pull on it there's a knock; which can also be heard in the car when you go over bumps too?

    I'll see if my printed out non-genuine manual has any clues? Was your 4WS unit Ok before you removed it?

    Cheers

    Steve
    Eternity - the wrong thing to be wrong about.

  4. #4
    Regular Member tassie_bb1's Avatar
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    Yeah, I double checked on my rack and the service manual, i'm pretty sure it's the lockout pin hole we're talking about. It has a torx bit (star shaped) bolt in the end to stop dirt getting in to the actuator.

    If you're getting knocking in the actuator itself then it could be something like one of the return springs is stuffed. As I said before, if this is the case there is nothing that can be done to salvage that rack and you'd be up for a replacement as there is no such thing as spare parts. I haven't had a detailed look through the manual yet but giving the 4WS section a skim and as I thought apart from replacing/adjusting the sensors, the tie rods and the rack ends they kind of leave you in the dark.

    That being said, mine was functioning fine when I removed it from the car, but I had over 200k on the clock when I did it so I have no idea how much life is left in the rack. There wasn't any noticeable knocking from the back end, save for my busted sway bar mount but that's another story.
    Symmons Plains - 1:12.280

  5. #5
    Regular Member steve-gee's Avatar
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    Hi Tassie

    I found a section in my manual too - most of what I saw didn't mean much to me; since it was aimed at service professionals. BUT - at least it was 4WS related and had lots of adjustment and service related stuff in there. Things it seems that Honda didn't check. I've left the guy the manual, so that he can try and further suss out what might be happening? Tell me - do you know of any parts suppliers of Front steering rack ends and maybe a similar part for each side on the rear?

    AND - if we get no joy in fixing this with new parts; would you be interested in selling your actuator unit?

    Cheers

    Steve
    Eternity - the wrong thing to be wrong about.

  6. #6
    Regular Member tassie_bb1's Avatar
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    I'd be looking at Rockauto for the front end stuff, they seem to have a good stock of tie rods and rack ends and they should still fit despite the whole RHD/LHD thing, but I'd double check the part numbers before ordering anything. You're right that they really don't care about the rear end though and they're different to the front. If I have to, I tend to go to JP-carparts.com for anything genuine or unobtainable by other means, but you'd be looking around the $130 mark per rear tie rod delivered, $180 per rack end and a whopping $6000 for the actuator. I tend to use eBay as a last resort but there isn't any 4WS stuff on there either.

    I'll dig out my 4WS rack on the weekend and have a decent look to make sure it's still good. I was hoping to sell the whole system as one but in 12 months I haven't had any interest so I'd be happy to split out just the actuator if need be.
    Symmons Plains - 1:12.280

  7. #7
    Regular Member steve-gee's Avatar
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    Rack stuff continued.......

    I did try Rock - they seemed to have tie rod ends, seal kits and steering rack bellows - but then they jumped right into remanufactured steering rack units? Glad you mentioned the whole LHD thing; coz I would be surprised if a LHD steering rack would fit ours? Anyway I got a call late today from the steering guy - he's been able to locate some steering rack ends in Melbourne for $44 each. He left a message on my phone - and didn't say if they were front or rear or both? He was closed when I got the message - so I'll try tomorrow and get the parts in and fitted and see how I progress from there.

    I really would like the 4WS fault light gone though; when it's running 4WS it's like it's on rails!

    Cheers

    Steve
    Eternity - the wrong thing to be wrong about.

  8. #8
    Regular Member steve-gee's Avatar
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    JP Carparts

    Quote Originally Posted by tassie_bb1 View Post
    I tend to go to JP-carparts.com for anything genuine or unobtainable by other means, but you'd be looking around the $130 mark per rear tie rod delivered, $180 per rack end
    Hi again Tassie - I see that JP want part numbers? Where did you get those from? I can source front rack ends through the suspension guy; but he's at a loss for rear rack ends. PS: out of curiosity can you PM me about how much are you asking for your rear actuator. I might consider the whole unit (minus chassis mounts) if you reckon it's good enough to use?
    Eternity - the wrong thing to be wrong about.

  9. #9
    Regular Member tassie_bb1's Avatar
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    Hi Steve. JP have a browsable parts listing, from the main page under Honda click on the vehicle listing button. Then on the next page go to Prelude then find your chassis code. This is where it gets fun, if you have an Aus delivered Prelude then your chassis number won't match this listing, if you have a JDM model then you'll be set. However, I think that Honda re-started the chassis numbers with every year, so a '92 would start with 100XXXX, a '93 would start with 110XXXX and so on. For instance I have a '94 which happens to start with 120XXXX. So depending on your manufacturing year you should be able to get pretty close. The next page gives you all the options for that chassis number. Then you finally get to the browsable part listing via a bunch of clickable categories. I suggest once you've found this page that you bookmark it.

    I didn't get the chance to check out my actuator over the weekend but will PM you as soon as I do.
    Symmons Plains - 1:12.280

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