1994 Honda Accord -- Body - Quality
The 1994 Accord's designers also set higher standards for the body's finish quality, comfort, noise and vibration control, weight reduction and durability. In order to meet these goals, they applied a host of advanced engineering technologies to the Accord.
In the area of finish quality, the new Accord uses thicker door and fender panels. These improve stamping quality, eliminate panel distortion and waviness, and give the Accord a high-grade, sophisticated appearance. The thicker panels also can be stamped with cleaner, better defined panel edges, which allow for more precision assembly at tighter tolerances.
Redesigned, flush-surface bumpers also contribute to the Accord's overall quality appearance. On previous models, the bumper face was mated to a vertical body panel or a sub-assembly. Now the bumper is mated directly to the body, resulting in a smaller gap between the bumper and the body.
In order to give the exterior a cleaner look, mating seams have been reduced in the front and rear window mouldings, the B-pillar is tapered and more slender, and the rear quarter window and its sash have been eliminated. The rear windows on the Coupe are near-flush mounted, with only a 2mm step between the glass and molding.
The windshield wiper assemblies have been lowered below the driver's line of sight and the blades cover 11 percent more area than on the previous model. The door sashes have a cleaner look where they join to the doors.
The power door lock system on the LX and EX models has been redesigned. Now the driver can choose between unlocking only his or her door, or unlocking all the doors by holding the inserted key in the unlock position for two seconds.
Direct-acting door latches are also used in the rear doors. This more-compact design uses fewer parts and gives a more substantial feel when operated.
Measures were taken to make the door locks more tamper resistant, and shielding helps prevent mechanisms from being jimmied.
Weight reduction was a primary goal for the new Accord. Its designers and engineers knew that improvements in comfort, vibration control and noise reduction could be made by the traditional method of adding more weight to their design; however, the additional mass would compromise its performance and fuel efficiency. Since these were also primary goals, the Accord's designers and engineers began by examining their design for opportunities to save weight. Computer-aided design techniques yielded the lightest, strongest body design.
Noise and Vibration Control
The '94 Accord shows dramatic improvements in the reduction of engine vibration and noise and road noise. The result is a quieter cabin under all driving conditions, from idle to highway cruising. In order to accomplish this, Accord engineers concentrated their work on three key areas: body rigidity, the use of lightweight, high-tech damping materials and the elimination of engine vibration.
The first step was to design a highly rigid body structure ii iat would resist drumming and vibration. Analysis had shown that a majdr pathway by which low-frequency vibration entered the passenger cabin was through the steering column. So the Accord's engineers redesigned the steering column hanger. Reinforcing it and extending it completely across the front of the vehicle, from A-pillar to A-pillar raised its fundamental resonant frequency from 25 Hz to 30 Hz, a range where it is much less affected by engine and road vibration.
To eliminate the possibility of low-frequency resonance in the rest of the body structure, the passenger compartment central tunnel, upper dashboard, upper roof rail, base of the front and center door posts and the rear bulkhead were redesigned and reinforced. Additional stiffeners were added to the rear passenger compartment floor and C-pillars. These measures have reduced steering and seat vibration at idle by approximately 5 dB compared to the '90 Accord.
Urethane "melt" sheeting was used in the floor and ceiling liner of the 1990 Accord. This material offered the benefits of traditional high-density asphalt insulation, without its weight penalty. The 1994 Accord makes even more extensive use of these materials, resulting in a 3dB attenuation in road noise from 100 Hz to over 400 Hz at 60 km/hr on a rough road.
Vibration-damping materials are used in the following areas of the new
- inside the front pillars (urethane foam blocks)
- on the dashboard (improved sound insulation)
- front bulkhead (uses a sandwiched steel and foam insulation)
- front footwells
- base of the front pillars
- front and rear floor
- rear bulkhead
- wheel arches
- shift quadrant
- trunk floor over the exhaust system
- rear fender
By redesigning the Accord's engine and transmission mounts, the engineers were able to reduce engine noise by 5 dB. On automatic transmission models an additional stiffener was added to the lower cross member in the upper front bulkhead.
A completely new dual-stage exhaust system also helps reduce engine noise and vibration. The intake system routes intake air through a chamber to minimize induction noise.
Durability and Materials
Eighty percent of all the sheet steel in the Accord is galvanized. Critical surfaces that are exposed to moisture on both sides are also galvanized on both sides. A plastic garnish covers the sill, improving both weather protection and appearance. The front bumper, front, lower engine cover, front wheel arches, side sills, lower rear wheel arches and rear bumper are made of chip-resistant plastic resin.
The painting process involves cleaning and degreasing each body, then undercoating it by immersion in a zinc phosphate bath. The body is then immersed in a soluble, electro-deposited primer (Cationic deposition). To prevent dust and moisture from accumulating in critical areas, special sealants are applied to crevices and seams in the body. Next, areas of the body that are susceptible to stone and gravel damage are coated with a special anti-chipping primer. Following this, an intermediate primer coat is applied, followed by either a polyester resin or acrylic resin top coat. Metallic and pearlescent paints receive an additional clear coat.
The largest plastic pieces are the front and rear bumper covers, which are made of polypropylene. Covers that do not meet Honda's quality control standards during manufacturing are ground up and used to make components such as passenger compartment air outlets, engine splash shields and the fuel pipe cover.