This past weekend I replaced my two broken CV Joints.
I have a 1993 Accord w/ Manual Tranny and ABS.
The car was sitting for about a month while I was away on business. I
tackled the repair job (didn't drive the car until after joints were
replaced) and now have a problem with suspension. The car bounces up
and down about 4 or 5 times over small bumps, and over large bumps
there is a painful THUD! I don't know if my car is bottoming-out here
I heard that one should tighten the ball joints while the wheels are
on the ground and I intend to try that, but generally I don't know what
could cause this problem.
I don't know to suspect my shocks, bushings, or ball joints.
The bushing on my steering arm looked bad (what does bad look like
anyway?) but I don't have a problem with steering. If my bushings
are suspect, how can I tell if they look bad?
Thanks for any advice!!
1) I loosened the lugs and the large 36mm nut (spindle?) and jacked the
tire off the ground.
2) I removed the tire, the caliper+brake pads and the caliper mount.
3) I loosened the bolt for the wishbone (I actually removed the bolt,
but put it back in to get the LCA ball joint off)
4) I removed the castle nut of the Lower Cotrol Arm off and popped off
the ball joint associated with the LCA.
5) I pulled out the loosened bolt for the wishbone.
This allowed me to move the hub out of the way and pull the CV Axle
Reassembly:( After I got the old shaft out and put the new shaft in)
1) Put weight on the LCA and lifted up on the wheel hub to get the ball
joint bolt back into the hole it came from.
2) Applied pressure to the wheel hub (now loosely attached to the LCA
ball joint) and re-inserted the bolt for the wishbone.
3) tightened down both wishbone bolt/nut and LCA castle nut and
re-inserted cotter pin.
4) put tire back on, finger tightened the lugs
5) lowered car and torqued down the 36mm nut and lug nuts.
Maybe I did loosen the struts (those spring/shock things?), but how
could I tighten them back?
Springs hold the car up, and allow it to "bounce" over bumps.
Struts (just big shock absorbers), control and dampen the bounces.
Worn out struts/shocks = bouncebouncebouncebouncebouncebounce.
Probably just a coincidence that they went bad at the same time you were
working on the joints. Maybe they were marginal to start with, and being fully
extended while off the ground finally killed them?
Having old struts fail after the wheel assembly was left hanging free
does not sound implausible to me. Possibly the piston traveled to a
portion of the cylinder that was dirty, rough & corroded that damaged
the old rubber seals. I suspect a similar event happened to my 1993
Accords master cylinder last year. I was having work done on it & asked
that the brake fluid be changed per the owner's manual. It had been
years since I had it done. The next day I get into the car & the brake
pedal goes to the floor. I limped back to the mechanic who said the
master cylinder went bad. He hypothesized that the new moisture-free
fluid had leeched the moisture out of the swelled seals effectively
drying them out & shrinking them. He replaced the master cylinder for
the price of the part only. I suspect that his helper let the pedal fall
to the floor when bleeding the brakes causing the piston seals to be
damaged in the unused portion of the cylinder.
Disclaimer: I am not a mechanic.
I removed the tire on the passenger side first and did a visual
inspection of the CV Boots. None were torn, so I proceeded to change
out the driverside CV Joint.
Both boots were ripped to hell and completly off the axle
exposing the bearings. Axle was EVERYWHERE, so it's hard to tell if
there is a leak in my strut/shock. I drove the car after this axle
change to see how it sounded/handled and that is when I noticed the
I have some questions for anyone who can help which could clear up
some misconceptions/misunderstandings I have.
1) When replacing the LCA ball joint I needed to tug up and down on the
knuckle and the LCA, could I have dislodged the strut assembly somehow?
2) where would I want to look to see if I can see oil leaking from the
shock? Top or bottom?
3) I've read that one should tighten the LCA joint while the vehicle
is on the ground, which I did not. Could I have seated the ball joint
improperly when I put the hub assembly back together which would cause
these problems? How would I tell if my shocks were just 'loose'?
4) It is my understanding that the shock and strut is a combo deal,
meaning they are replaced together as a single part that's purchased,
5) After I replaced the driver side CV Joint I noticed the passenger
side was popping, so I replaced that as well. I did not notice any
difference w/ the shock-absorption after I disassembled the passenger
side hub assembly. Could only my driver side shock be bad? Should I
Thank you all for your comments!!
If you know so little about the working of a car's suspension, you
really shouldn't be working on it yourself.
Hint: shocks. Nothing else does vertical dampening. How the fuck you came
to the conclusion that bushings have anything to do with vertical
dampening is a mystery to me.
though my reasoning is that if the LCA didn't join correctly to the
knuckle, the fork attached to it maybe lower than normal which could
mean an extended shock (now this may be complete nonsense, I am no
mechanic...). I know quite well what suspensions do, but from a
mechanical point of view there are quite a few variations. I am far
from an expert (obviously), but as long as you can get to a part, why
fear replacing it? Plus, the terms shock and strut seem to be so
interchangeable it is causing confusion in my mind. Thanks for the
from my decades of working on machinery...I used to have a saying: If
you don't know what you're doing, then don't do it.
Mostly my customers would attempt a repair before they would call me
to tell me their machines were broken. So I would have to undo their
damage before I could even begin to work on the original problem.
In this way, I learned about the machines in a hurry. There was no
going home until they were repaired correctly. I would ask them, what
did you do? Some would say the guy on the other shift did something
and they didn't know. Anyhow, you see the point: unintended
Keep in mind, there is little that can't be fixed if you have enough
money to throw at it. Then again, there comes a time to wipe the
slate clean and start over, with a different machine. What is this
going to cost to get repaired by a pro, vs. how much for a *new/used
Were I in your situation, I would have only done one side of the car,
and waited a while to be sure it was done correctly, using the other
side of the car as a mirror reflection of the way things should be. I
could go back and forth between what I was doing and the *good side*
to make sure I was doing things right.
You've got 2 options now:
bring it in to have a pro fix it.
buy another car.
I think if you're still asking questions at this point, confused
between a strut and a shock ( a strut is the combo spring/shock in one
unit ), then having another go at it is a waste of time and money.
Everyone can't do everything. Bring it in and let someone with the
proper tools and experience give you an estimate on the repair price.
My experience is that it pays to spend $20 on a repair manual. A
mechanic charges up to $100 an hour....do the math.
I looked in my Hilton's and '93 Accords have struts, that means that
the shock absorbers are an integral part of the sustention.
The half shafts and CV joints are in DRIVE TRAIN section 7 and the
SUSPENSION AND STEERING is in Section 8. There is a Cookbook
directions on how to remove and repair the CV joints on page 7-7.
I see nothing that should have effected the Struts.
More like $100 for the shop manual. That $20 chilton's is generally a
complete waste of money.
How much is your own time worth? Have you ever replaced bushings? It
takes about 4 hours for an experienced home mechanic. Add $120 for the bushing
kit and if your time is worth ten bucks an hour, you just pissed away $160
for no real benefit.
a good shop manual is a bit pricey. This would be a weekend
venture, so my time in a sense is "free". I've got 18 hours or so to
spend on this, and worse case my car is still not driveable. I have
not replaced bushings before (not these bushings), though as I said, if
I can get to it why fear replacing it? It's just a car...a machine
for transportation from point A to point B, and it drives on the
ground=It doesn't fly in the air! If anything, I figure I should be
able to tow it to a shop and it would be less in labor costs since they
won't have to remove it ;-) (okay, no comments are necessary on this
Thanks for the suggestion Eric. I took your info and raised up on
the LCA and then tightened the castle nut for the ball joint. When I
lowered the control arm(s) the shocks made an interesting hiss. This
helped out generally and I have determined that the front driver side
is bad. The shock(s) has been making noise for a while though.
Usually when it was cold out they would make a slight creaking noise
when going over slight bumps.
I will look into a manual and further inspection of the strut and
bushings this weekend. I can borrow a spring compressor if I get that
far, we'll see. I'll keep this thread posted on my trials and
tribulations, as well as look for more advice :-)
Thanks all for the suggestions, comments and understanding that not
everyone can be a mechanics apprentice. Somewhere, sometime, someone
has to learn it w/out a master by their side.
My 93 Accord has been making that creaking noise in the cold for years.
I always wondered what it was. However, I was able to do something that
considerably improved it. I moved to Arizona so now I might hear it once
or twice a year instead of every morning for 4 or 5 months when I was in NJ.
Jon C just proved your point, and right on the nose, too!
I always get a kick out of work speed comparisons, especially on
something as wildly variant as "replacing a bushing". What make?
Model? Which suspension component? What tools are at your disposal?
How much corrosion? etc...
Toyota MDT in MO
it took me just about 5 hours to complete a driver-side front strut.
In about an hour I had the strut off and purchased a new one/rented a
spring compressor. In another hour I removed the old strut assembly
from the coil spring and ate dinner. Next 2+ hours I wrestled with
getting the shock/spring back together and putting it back on the car.
I could have dramatically reduced the time it took if I had a vise
Compressing that spring took forever having to hold it for support and
screw the bolts down on the compressor. I just moved to another state
and all my tools/crap is still in storage, so I needed to buy some
tools as well.
I found some great links for manuals. Here's where I went,
Total cost came to:
Strut: $52, metric hex keys: $8, set of open-end wrenches: $17,
spring compressor: free upon return, taxes and about 4 hours of my
Rides great now! Thank you all that gave me good advice. Poo-poo on
you nay sayers... It was easier than the CV Joints by far, IMO.
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