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i will make this as short as possible...the images speak for themselves.

• timing belt, balancer belt, auto-tensioner replaced in december, 2003 due to fluttering sound indicative of auto-tensioner failure. this was the only time my car has ever been in any shop. i've done everything else myself.

• the fluttering sound ~3000 rpms remained, but was far better than before...so i basically accepted it until now.

• after the above repairs, i noticed a small amount of fluid on the right side of the header cover. it seemed minor, so i ignored it.

• 5 months later (this week), the power steering felt strange at high speeds. (it seemed to be on almost full-assist even at higher vehicle speeds) the steering was over-responding on the freeway, and felt loose and boat-like. (i am lowered on H&R sports and koni yellows, so i know what it should feel like...nice & tight)

• noticed power steering fluid was 1 inch too low... filled it up to the upper mark immediately, which did not remedy the steering problem.

• decided to take power steering pump apart to take a look, and also readjust power steering and alternator belts to perhaps solve all aforementioned issues.

• opened ps pump, internals seemed ok.

• as i was putting everything back together, i saw what you all will witness in the pics listed below. this is a piece that cannot possibly move due to engine movement, and the conclusion should be obvious: the connecting piece was deliberately ground, filed down and crushed so that the o-ring seal would leak over time, and progressively become worse. you can even see the vise-grip clamp marks on it!

• i went to the owner of the shop today and opened it up right in front of him to show him. he seemed genuinely shocked and ashamed that something like this could happen in his shop. ...so i will be getting a new pump and new hose, gratis. they will also redo my timing belt system to fix the fluttering noise, which is now believed to be due to an improperly installed balancer belt. (the balancer is actually very tricky to do right, if any of you have read the Helms section on it...so hopefully, the solution for the "autotensioner noise" will be found here)

• i just want my stuff fixed, but i also wonder if i should take any action to help prevent this from happening to anyone else, because it can most definitely be very dangerous.

i welcome your comments please.

here are the pics:

http://www.generation1.net/prelude/DSC00107.jpg
http://www.generation1.net/prelude/DSC00096.jpg
http://www.generation1.net/prelude/DSC00100.jpg


very curious, isn't it!!!
 

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wow thats insane man. nice to hear that they are fixing it up for ya.
 

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Way to double check man. Never trust the work without checking for yourself!!
 

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How long have you had the AEM pulleys on there? Something could have happened to the p/s fitting while those were going on . . . .

I don't get it, though - I can't imagine any possible motive for someone doing that. Were they having trouble getting the line back on & decided to just grind away?
 

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Discussion Starter #8
it's absolutely impossible for the aem pulleys to have any such effect on that particular part. it would take some magic for pulleys to cause a vise-grip to appear, along with a hungry dremel.
 

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If you read a little more carefully, my point was that it could have happened while the pulleys were being put on, not that the pulleys were the direct cause (which is like saying your timing belt jumped up inside the p/s pump & ate your fitting).
 

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Discussion Starter #10
ah, you were saying there may be someone else to blame.

i did the pulley installation myself, anyway... so i am quite sure i'm pointing my finger in the right direction. : )~
 

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I'm not a sue happy person but at this point I would definitly look into some kind class action lawsuit. The guy is giving you all the parts for free, great, he's doing the work, great. How long is he going to have the car for? 1-2 days, are you going to walk everywhere? I would get him to spring for a rental car as well plus the firing of the jackass that worked on your car to begin with.....
 

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A class action lawsuit is going to require other people who have had similar experiences with that company.

I'd consult an attorney about this. I'm there you can press charges, because the power steering is a safety feature.
 

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you guys why does he have to take such agressive actions? He caught the sabatoge and he adressed it. The mechaniec bought him new parts and at the end he lost money. But best of all he learned his lesson. Isnt that enough? No need to drain everything out of someone who already has troubles (if he didnt have troubles he wouldnt have sabatoged GenrAsian1's car in the first place)
 

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Yep, just think if that was your mom, sister, or grandma that went in there and they did it to them...... They wouldn't know any better. It's the peoples job that find stuff like this to make sure it doesn't happen to someone else.......
 

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Discussion Starter #17
i just went in and took a look at the parts that came in at the mechanic's.

the new hose connector with the o-ring looks perfectly smooth and as expected. the power steering pump turned out to be a re-manufactured one.

i really don't think a re-manufactured part is appropriate in this case, so i asked for a new one, and left. it seems like new prelude ps pumps might actually be hard to get though. we'll see what happens.

in the meanwhile, the fluid seems to be disappearing at a faster rate than before, and the steering still seems to be on full assist at high speeds. steering is fine at low speeds.

does anyone know specifically why this might happen? i would think that with lack of fluid, i'd get less assist. i'm worried that perhaps something related, such as a valve on the rack might also have been affected, or pehaps the engine speed sensor...

grrrr!
 

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tell you the truth, any mechanic would've done this. And anyone of you guys would've done this. If you guys f*ck up at work, do you guys tell the owner/manager what happened or do you guys try to cover up the problem first. He f*cked up people, i'm sure he wouldn't have done this to harm someone like grinding down a brake line or something.
 

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Bluluded said:
tell you the truth, any mechanic would've done this. And anyone of you guys would've done this.
:laugh: Riiiiiiiight. Speak for yourself there buddy :rolleyes:
 

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I skipped ahead and posted so I don't know if it has been suggested....... REPORT THEM TO THE BBB (Better Business Bureau) or equivelant. These shops should be reported and diceplened.

If you have a local news trouble shooter...... maybe write them an e-mail and let them take care of it for you (after you get everything you need).

Good Luck........... screw thoes bastards like they tried to do you!!!!
 
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