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Lower Control Arm Replacement

 
Old 10-01-2018, 08:13 PM
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Lower Control Arm Replacement

Hey Guys,

I'm about to replace my lower control arm (driver's side) in the next day or two. Before I tackle it I'd like to get some specific information from anyone experienced on getting this done. I'm suspicious that the bolt (to frame) will get trapped by the transmission mount when it backs out of the arm. Is there anyone here with experience replacing/removing the LCA who can confirm? The service manual (stupidly) doesn't call this out other than to remove the bolt.

If I can get some advice on this then I'd be more than happy to do a DIY video on this because there's really nothing out there on this specific problem.

Thanks in advance!
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Old 10-02-2018, 05:50 AM
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The rear trans mount comes out pretty easy.

- remove nut from top of front engine mount
- remove both upper mounting bolts from rear trans mount
- remove 2 lower nuts each from both trans mounts
- jack the trans up(block of wood between jack and trans) until the rear trans mount wiggles out

Food for thought. If your goal is just new bushings in the LCA, they can be pressed out of the factory LCA and replaced for relatively cheap. Here's a link for the BUSHINGS. No's 12 & 16
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Old 10-02-2018, 10:37 AM
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Thanks for the info Iggy. Had I realized that the rear trans mount would have to come out I'd have just gotten replacements for mine (but they are in good condition anyway).

Will I have to jack the trans up high enough to require removing the battery tray?

I picked up a replacement left LCA from rockauto (MOOG CK620045) so hopefully I'll never, ever have to replace them again for the life of the car. I thought real hard about pressing the bushings out but figured it would save me time to just swap out the old one and be done with it. I also picked up a MOOG lower ball joint from rock auto for $3! I'm also replacing the left upper control arm, and inner/outer tie rods both sides and left wheel bearing and hub.
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Old 10-02-2018, 11:36 AM
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Battery tray stays in. You really don't need to jack the trans that much. A pinch bar between the frame and trans just to lift it a bit could work also. Like I said, easy peasy. Sound like you've got some work ahead of you. Have fun
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Old 10-03-2018, 11:35 AM
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Thanks. I've put probably 2 hours work into it total at the moment and have the left front suspension completely disassembled and removed except for the LCA. I got the lower ball joint removed last night and just need to figure out how to get the new one in. The press kit (with honda ball joint adapters) doesn't seem to have a cup the right size to fit over the joint's shoulder. I could just press on the top of the joint but I'm not sure if that will ruin it? I also can't seem to be able to get the sway bar end link nut removed from the LCA. The ball on the end link just spins in the socket. I tried holding it in place with an allen key but can't get an open-ended wrench to fit in there to get after the nut.

I'm trying to find a shop that can press the new bearing and hub in and then I can put everything back together if I can get the LCA out and new one back in.
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Old 10-03-2018, 12:23 PM
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Yeah, don't press on the ball. Look around and see if you might have a deep well socket large enough to fit over the ball joint, or sometimes removing the boot(without tearing it) will give you enough room for one of the adapters to fit. Sometimes you have to think outside the box to make do with what you have.

As far as the sway link, some thin vise-grips on the inside shoulder usually works.
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Old 10-03-2018, 01:52 PM
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Yeah I don't need to press on the ball/spindle/shaft (whatever you like to call it). I actually pressed on the ball shaft when removing the old one because I didn't care about ruining it. In this case the new ball is pressed in downward (from the perspective of the knuckle positioned on the car) and I'd be pressing on the shoulder opposite of the ball/spindle/boot. What I'm not sure of is if not quite getting on the shoulder will damage the the ball joint casing. From what I've seen online in videos it seems that people don't care that much about damaging it when pressing it in but I'm a little OCD and also like to do things only once The Honda ball joint press adapter kit I rented has a piece that almost fits around the shoulder but not quite exactly.
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Old 10-03-2018, 02:15 PM
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I see what your saying. Don't worry about the joint casing on the back. Not sure if it's hardened, but it's pretty damn tough.

Check out Eric's vid starting at 11:45. Easy peasy.
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Old 10-03-2018, 02:31 PM
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Awesome, thanks for the confirmation. Yes the casing is definitely hardened steel and it looks like ETCG is just putting the press directly on the BJ case lol so I'm not worried about it anymore. In fact at 15:55 I did the exact thing that he did.

I picked up a Milwaukee 1100 ft/lb impact wrench that I've been using on this job, it's been a dream with that tool!
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Old 10-03-2018, 03:38 PM
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Cool beans! Yes, a good impact sure makes the job easier
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Old 10-04-2018, 02:49 PM
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Just got the knuckle back from the shop where they pressed out the bearing/hub and bent the crap out of the dust shield

I'm going to wire wheel the knuckle and paint it black and then bring it back down to have the new bearing and hub pressed back in. The rear transmission mount comes out pretty easy like you said. I just unbolted it and used a breaker bar to pry up on the transmission and I could wiggle it right out.

Like I said before I'm really OCD - do people ditch their splash/dust shields from their knuckles or keep them?
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Old 10-04-2018, 04:29 PM
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If there is any way to save it then do so, if not I wouldn't worry about it too much.
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Old 10-05-2018, 05:37 PM
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I got everything put back together except for the knuckle - I'm waiting on the shop to press the new bearing and hub in.


Knuckle removed - before new parts installed.

Before knuckle reinstall - new parts installed.

Getting all this done was pretty straightforward and was made much easier due to having an impact wrench. When I was getting stuff put back together I noticed that my CV boot has a tear in it UGH so I guess I have something to look forward to again, soon :|

I'll post one last pic when it's all together and I'll follow up with a DIY for this.
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Old 10-06-2018, 05:29 PM
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Final update - I got everything together and although the alignment is off now (will get that done very soon), there is a noticeable improvement in ride quality on the left side. Also, the interior is remarkably quiet now that my bad bearing is replaced. I've been driving my Dad's BMW X5 while I did this repair and there are remarkable similarities between that car and this TL when restored to almost new ride quality. When going over driveway approaches/bumps etc the left side is solid and quiet while my right side makes minor noises that I would describe as typical suspension noise. Steering is tight, there is no more play in the steering wheel and the front doesn't wander when driving at higher speeds. I'm super happy with the result. Thanks again Iggy for the advice. I'll follow up with a DIY for this like I promised. I won't post a final pic because there's really nothing to see but here's a list of everything I got done. I used MOOG parts for everything except for the hub and wheel bearing.

RIGHT FRONT:

Replaced Inner/outer tie rod ends

LEFT FRONT:

Replaced Inner/outer tie rod ends
Replaced upper control arm
Replaced wheel bearing
Replaced hub
Replaced lower control arm
Replaced lower ball joint
Cleaned & painted knuckle black
Cleaned & painted damper fork
Cleaned & painted splash guard
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Old 10-06-2018, 07:05 PM
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Good job man! Get her in for an alignment now and you'll be good to go.
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Old 02-28-2019, 09:36 PM
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inner tie rod end

I am currently replacing all of that plus some on both side of my car. How did you go about the inner tie rod ends? I am replacing both tie rods on both sides and just started looking at the access to the inner tie rods and figuring out if I need to modify some tools or lower the sub frame a little or just locate the right size crows foot to reach them?
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Old 02-28-2019, 10:14 PM
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Nope - go to your auto parts store and rent a master inner tie rod end tool (the master tool comes with lots of fittings - I rented mine from O'Reilly). You slip the right size adapter onto the one end and attach your 1/2" drive ratchet/breaker onto the other end and then twist the tie rod end right off. Reverse to get the new ones back on. Super easy (really).

Some people might use 2 adjustable wrenches on it (you'll need large ones). But the tie rod tool makes it so easy and it's free.
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Old 02-28-2019, 11:09 PM
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Talking

I have the wrenches that size, I was just wondering if I could turn the steering wheel all the way to one side and access it with normal wrenches and save myself a trip to the parts store or two. I am more likely to modify a wrench if it's helpful than make another trip to town. thanks for the input.
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Old 02-28-2019, 11:19 PM
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Yup turning the steering wheel makes it easier to access them and that's what I did.
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