I love my exercise bike. It is the only place I get to play video games anymore. Me. My xbox. My exercise bike. Good times. So when my BFF is broken, it requires immediate attention.

Over the last few years the rubber strap on the top of the pedals have broken and been patched several times. They finally gave out, and I figured I would upgrade to some spiffy pedals with real cages. Not too spiffy mind you. So ffwd 3 weeks, and my ebay specials show up from china.

I screw them on and they work great for a week or two, when a click develops in the left pedal. This is annoying as shit, and I turn to the internet for guidance.

Searching for “bicycle clicking noise” gets a ton of responses, so I’ll save you the trouble and say that I determined the problem came from the left pedal, and is probably related to the ball bearings.

I’d love to do a walk through on all this, but since this project goes down as an absolute failure, I’m not too keen to relive it.

Some basics on removing your pedals. This was very helpful in seeing how to break them down:

Here is part2 of his tutorial:

How to grease your pedal ball bearings:


Things learned:

  • How to remove ball bearings from bike pedals
  • That when you take out the spindle the little fuckers fall everywhere
  • That you SHOULD have a gap in between the bearings once they are placed back in the “run”.
  • What a “run” is
  • Ball Bearings can break
  • The difference between sealed and loose bearings
  • That the dude at the cycle shop has little patience for anyone trying to rebuild a bike pedal
  • Difference between oil and grease

After removing, cleaning, lubricating, rebuilding several times, the damn click is still there, and I give up. Bought a $10 pair of replacement pedals. Now I just have get the cages off my old pair and onto my new ones.



Aftermarket Stereo Install for my 2006 Honda Element part 2

Continued from…lement-part-1/

Ok – so the first thing I do as part of the installation is unplug my car battery. I don’t want to accidentally short/fry anything.

With the front trim panel off, I remove the 4 screws shown in the previous video, and the factory radio slides right out. I unplug the factory radio and set it aside. I then plug in my own harness.


When I pulled the radio out, it was screwed into a small frame, along with the under radio pocket. I was able to just unscrew the old radio, and screw my new one in. Very straightforward. I then plug the white harness into my stereo.


For the most part I can just push these cables back in place, and be ready to roll. However I need to figure out where I am going to put the USB cable. I have a few feet to work with, and I’m going to try sticking it in the glove compartment.

I take off the glove co, and use a nifty tool I got with a scoche wiring kit. It is designed to make wiring RCA cables earlier, but it will work for this as well. Starting in the glove, I push the long orange wire up into the dash opening.


Hook it around the USB wire…


And pull it through…


I then slide the radio unit into place, attach the battery cable for a quick test:


Looks good, so I screw the 4 screws back in, and pop on the panel.


The radio at the top is flush to the trim…  It rests a few MM more forward than I would like, but I think that it is designed to “bulge” outwards a bit.


  • Device is Functional: +15
  • Parts Damaged: Trim: -5
  • Parts Damaged: Plastic snaps: -1
  • Time Spent 300% estimate: -1
  • Additional Parts: Under $50: +1


  • Took way longer than expected ( 3+ hours counting re-reading tutorials )
  • Trim tools + RCA wiring device were very helpful
  • Last minute harness purchase cost twice as much since I bought it at Best Buy
  • Buying better trim tools from ebay, or Harbor Freight. They are cheap, and seem like good things to have around. Especially a metal puller of some sort. I’m going to mess around with the audio more in the future ( install amp / speakers )
  • I really need to get better at removing trim, I don’t want to scratch the hell out of my interior working on the amplifier/speakers.

Much thanks to . Amazing resource, and very friendly people.


Aftermarket Stereo Install for my 2006 Honda Element part 1

So I’m installing a new Clarion head unit / Aftermarket Stereo in my 2006 Honda Element.


Something that wasn’t immediately obvious was how the aftermarket harnesses work. It is taken for granted that noobs like myself will understand that you have TWO harnesses you need, not just the one that comes with your new Stereo.

When you remove your factory radio, there is a harness that plugs into the back. Unfortunately that harness will not fit into your new stereo. You will need a series of adapters to connect the factory wiring to your new stereo. In theory you could cut off the old harness, and splice in the new one that came with your stereo, but for $12.00 extra you can do it in a non-destructive manner. This is good in case you sell your car, and want to reattach the stock radio.

To do this you will buy a female harness that plugs into the factory harness. It ends with a bunch of wires. You will then splice these wires into the second harness, which plugs into your new stereo.

When we are done it will look like this:


So we have our new stereo, the male harness that plugs into it ( white ).. some wires, which we will splice to a female harness ( blue ) that will match the male plug in our car.


For the most part the wire colors are standardized, and you will splice red to red, black to black, etc. HOWEVER you want to check and confirm a diagram that details which colors do what. You might find that some of the wires will match up differently. Matching up the wrong wires can do “bad things” such as frying your dash lights.

For example, on my Metra brand harness ( the blue one that connects to the factory wiring ) There is both an orange (illumination) and an orange/white (dimmer) line. On my aftermarket harness there is an Orange/White line marked Illumination. Seems like a no brainer… until I read this:

Now, if you hook up the orange/white (aftermarket) to the dimmer wire or negative illumination wire on the factory harness there will be bad things that occur. If you just hook up everything that is orange together (a very common rookie mistake) bad things will happen.

So for the time being, I am NOT hooking up the orange illumination line, since I don’t know exactly which wire to hook it to. I can live without illumination tweaks for now.

With my two harnesses wired together, I’m ready to install.


First step is to remove the trim that surrounds the radio.This looks pretty damn easy. Watch the first minute of this video:

Of course this takes me about 2 hours to get off. Basically I could not get the front to “pop” off – especially without tearing up the trim.

I broke the tips of two trim tools trying to pry this off, and even the soft edges of the trim tools were fucking up the dash. Here is the broken tip.

IMG_4932-600You can see the hard plastic tool bending completely without popping that panel off.

IMG_4935-600And the sad results


I got distracted with tutorials – there are a number of different ways to solve this problem.  One tutorial suggested taking off the entire center panel, and removing the radio bevel afterwards. So I spent a while learning how to do that. Although the bottom of the center popped out easily, I couldn’t remove the main area.

By the time I found what I needed I had scratched the hell out of trim. This walk through clearly showed off the area I needed to get the hook into. I could see that little area, so I gave up and just used a flathead screwdriver with a cloth.

I inserted the screwdriver head into that area, and added pressure – It popped out easily enough, and the other pegs popped out easily after that. I’m not sure what the issue was – but it seems like a metal hooked shape puller would be the ideal tool for this.

Continued tomorrow with Part 2.