Introduction: Honda Lower Control Arm Replacement
Here's how to replace the lower control arm on a Honda Accord.
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Step 1: Control Arm Overview
The Accord uses double wishbone front suspension. Thus the lower control arm connects to the subframe at the front and back, to the suspension fork, stabilizer linkage and to the steering knuckle via the lower ball joint.
Step 2: Front Bushing Bolt
First break the front 19mm bolt free with a breaker bar. Note all the cracks on the bushings, due for replacement.
Step 3: Stabilizer Linkage
Next remove the stabilizer linkage. The internal hex easily strips out and the bolt is often rusted to the stud. Mine literally broke off after trying. They were worn and due for replacement regardless.
Step 4: Suspension Fork
Remove the 17mm bolt and 14mm bolt holding the suspension fork and remove it from the vehicle. There's no spring pressure once both wheels are jacked up and in the air.
Step 5: Rear Bushing Bolt
Put a huge breaker bar and break the 17mm rear bushing bolt free. Often it will get rusted to the inner sleeve of the bushing (my case on the drivers side) and you'll have to cut the bolt off. The nut welded to the subframe also broke off with all the force.
Step 6: Lower Ball Joint
Remove the cotter pin from the lower ball joint and loosen (but don't remove) the castle nut. The ball stud has a taper in the control arm and will need to be separated.
Don't use a cheap gear puller, it will just bend. Instead, get a ball joint separator, which is just a pivot mechanism that opens as you tighten up the bolt. It will pop the ball joint free, sometimes violently.
Step 7: Old Control Arm
Here's what the old control arm looks like. Cut off the remainder of the old stabilizer linkages.
At this point you can take the arm to a shop to press in new bushings, or replace the entire arm altogether with a pre-loaded control arm.
Step 8: Install the New Control Arm
Align the front and rear bushings with the subframe mounts and install the bolts.
Step 9: Don't Pull Out the Axles!
Don't pull the steering knuckle out too far or the axle may pop out of its boot, causing the lower ball joint not to install properly. If this happens, give the knuckle a good rotational jerk and the CV tripod should pop back in, hopefully not doing any damage to the boot.
Step 10: Replace Suspension Fork and Lower Ball Joint
Replace the suspension fork and lower ball joint and tighten everything up.Good idea to use anti-sieze on all bolts, as they could get rusty.
Step 11: Replace the Stabilizer Linkages and Test Drive
Finally, replace the stabilizer linkages, put on the wheel and take the car for a test drive to make sure it tracks straight.
All the bolts are hard mounted so while no adjustments have been made, its always a good idea to check the alignment.