The tough part undoubtedly will be separating the ball joint. I bought a
separator on-line at
and it works well, but others have found similar devices for more like the
$20 range IIRC. A pickle fork would work in a pinch since you are replacing
the joint and don't care what happens to the old one, but they can be
The Haynes manual warns the steering knuckle and upper control arm have a
lot of tension between them, so they advise leaving the nut loosely on the
ball joint stud as you separate it. In addition, it recommends wiring the
top of the knuckle to the shock absorber to prevent it from tipping sharply
when the ball joint is separated.
Otherwise, it looks pretty straightforward. Now, for feedback from people
who have actually *done* the job....
Some good tips there . . . I did two of them on a CR-V a while ago and
there's no tension on the upper. The separator is available at places
that carry the Whun-Hung-Low imported tools. In Canada Princess Auto has
them for $20. Made in taiwan. It took about 45 minutes to swap out the
upper arm and I was able to keep the old part (moved it to another CR-V)
since the special tool doesn't wreck the boot.
If your that concerned about tension between the steering knuckle and the
upper control arm, just put a jack underneath the lower control arm and raise
it about 1/2 an inch.
Also, if you just gonna trash the upper control arm, you can just use a
pickle fork (small one) to separate the ball joint. The special tool is very
useful if you are concerned with salvaging the rubber boot on the upper ball
joint. Just get the pickle fork started and start whaling on it. Its quite
therapeutic actually..... :)
I've done the job twice on my 98 civic. First time it took 40 minutes.
Second time it took 10.
MAKE SURE you torque the tower bolts correctly, and MAKE SURE you seat the
new upper ball joint in its taper properly too (proper torque is ESSENTIAL or
you get all sorts of funny noises if it works itself out of its taper).
Don't overtighten either, I've busted ball joint studs by doing that too.
Use a torque wrench!
On my civic, I believe the torque was 90 ftlbs on the tower bolts and 60 on
the ball joint castle nut.
Steve Bigelow wrote:
Because they've always been about $60CAN ???
I was there tonight and they are on sale for $16.99. I paid $63 for the
'real ' one a year ago. Think it's DTC or something. The one shown in
the Honda manual is much thinner so it really gets under the boot
better. Maybe I'll buy myself the Princess Auto 'stocking stuffer'
version and grind it down just like the one in the Honda manual. Way
less stressful when you don't have to worry about chopping up the boot.
Well, this is not exactly timely, but yes, I just put one in my 90 Accord.
Using a Haynes manual, but I prefer a factory service manual. No, it wasn't
hard for me to do. The parts came from eBay. I removed the strut and then
replaced the control arm. Torquing the pivot bolts/nuts before installing
saved me a lot of hassle. I used the original control arm as a guide for
that. I just followed the steps and it was pretty straightforward. Now if
I could just figure out how to get the steering tie rod end off...
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