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Hi, I'm new to this forum. I've done a couple searches but I haven't found any information on replacing the bushings on the front lower control arm. I've found one source for them online. Has anybody pressed the bushings out and replaced them? Orielly's told me that you can't replace the bushings and you just have to replace the whole arm. If this is true, does anybody recommend a particular brand? I've found quite a range of prices ($150-400).

Thanks in advance,

Bill

2005 EX-L
 

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Guys, new to the forum. MY 2007 EX with 53,500mi has a front end noise over rough surface like a clinking cheap sound. Have read all the responses ie. sway bar bushings, links,etc. where would you begin the suspension repair. Could it be a simply bolt or strut tower issue. Thanks in advance... Jim
 

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As far as the cheap clicking knocking sound goes, check the heat shroud wrapped around the catalytic converter. They rust around the bolts that hold them on, and rattle pretty much. Pound on the exhaust pipe with your fist (when it is cold) and listen, if it rattles, track it down. New Magna-Flo converter with shroud attached and new gaskets included is about $200 from Autozone.
On the suspension the sway bar links could be loose or even broken, and rattle as well. Grab them and shake, any noise will show up pretty quick. About $30 each to buy from NAPA.
Another problem that happened to me was a little more like a clunking rattle; the slides on the grin brake calipers were worn and dry. New slide bolts may be bought, lube with lithium grease and install. Or, replace the calipers with "loaded" reman units, and get everything tight and fresh.
 

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Changing the control arm bushings requires a press and the correct sized pushing tools to change them. I just did this at my shop where I am a mechanic. Removing the lower control arm is not too bad of a job. Pressing the bushings is a harder task. In my opinion these are very detailed instructions, perhaps too detailed for some people. I tried to include everything so people that are not familiar with this procedure could follow. Also, the removal of the brakes may not be necessary, but it makes more room to work, and I was changing my front brakes at the same time anyway.

It goes like this:
1. With the tires on the ground, loosen lug nuts on tire(s) to be worked on about two full turns, do not remove lug nuts yet. Raise vehicle high enough so the front wheels are off the ground and support vehicle with jack stands at jacking points behind the front wheel well opening, or engine subframe, not under bolts that hold control arm.

2. Remove lug nuts the rest of the way and remove tire.

3. Insert large screwdriver (12 inches or longer) or prybar into hole in middle of front of caliper, with tip in a slot of the brake rotor. Pull hard to pry the bar outward a few inches, pushing the caliper outward and forcing the caliper piston inward in the caliper, to loosen the brake pads from the rotor, creating a gap between brake pads and rotor.

4. Remove brake caliper held on with two 14mm head bolts, approximately 1 inch long, hang caliper from suspension coil spring with wire or bungie cord. Do not hang caliper by the brake hose, doing so could cause damage to the inside of the hose, causing a bubble inside that could affect or stop the flow of brake fluid, or damage the entire hose, causing a rupture and loss of fluid and brake failure.

5. Remove caliper mounting bracket held on with two 17mm head bolts, about 1 1/2 inch long. Be careful to leave brake pads in mounting bracket. If they fall out the spring clips at the ends of the pads may also fall out, and putting it all back together can be difficult.

6. Remove rotor held on with two 1/2" long #3 Phillips head screws. Heating these screws with a torch will make loosening them much easier. If you don't, you may ruin the screw head and then have to drill them out.

7. Remove pin clip from castle nut on ball joint. Part of it goes through the nut and part of it goes around the nut and locks into another notch in the nut. Pry the locking part of the clip out away from the nut with a small flat blade screwdriver, and pull the clip out with a pair of pliers. If there is a cotter pin and not a clip, straighten the ends of the pin so that the whole pin is straight, and pull it out with a pair of pliers.

8. Loosen the 17mm nut on the ball joint all the way to clean the threads and make it easy to get the nut off by hand in step 9, then turn the nut back on except for about 1/4" or so. This is to protect the threads in the next step.

9. There are two methods for the next step, depending on tools available. First is to use a properly sized pickle fork, pushed into the space between the control arm and the strut/knuckle where the ball joint rubber boot is located. CAUTION: This method may damage the boot, requiring the purchase of a new control arm. If you want to save the ball joint boot, you may want to use the second method. With the u-shaped end of the pickle fork inserted in the gap around the stud, hit the other end firmly with a 2 pound sledge hammer while holding the pickle fork. When the fork gets tight in the gap use both hands on the hammer to strike harder until the ball joint stud breaks free. Using both hands on the hammer will prevent you from having the hammer miss the end of the pickle fork, or bounce off the end, and it hits your hand, possibly causing injury.
If no pickle fork is available, use this method: Turn the ignition key ONE notch to unlock the steering column, no need to turn on the ignition and run down the battery. Then turn the steering wheel to make more room to access the ball joint area. With a 3 pound sledge hammer strike the side of the steering knuckle where the tapered ball joint stud goes through the knuckle. Strike it hard repeatedly until the tapered stud falls down, which will show by the gap under the nut lessening or going away altogether. (The nut was left on to protect the threads of the stud if the hammer should accidentally slip and strike it. The ball joint is welded into the control arm, and is only replacable by changing the control arm, about $200 at parts stores.) Remove the nut from the ball joint stud.

10. With a long 1/2 inch drive breaker bar, ratchet, or a 1/2 inch impact gun and a 19mm or 3/4 inch socket, loosen (do not remove) the vertical bolt at the rear of the control arm. The nut that the bolt goes into is welded to the body, so there is no need to put a wrench on it to hold it.

11. With the long 1/2 inch drive breaker bar or ratchet with the 19mm or 3/4 inch socket, remove the horizontal bolt from the front of the control arm. There isn't enough room for an impact, unless you have some swivels of some kind, and perhaps extensions. Again, the nut that the bolt goes into is welded to the body, so there is no need to put a wrench on it to hold it.

12. Note that these two bolts are not the same length. The short one goes to the rear (vertical) position, and the long one goes to the front (horizontal) position.

13. Rotate the front of the control arm and the strut to the rear, or outside of the vehicle, pulling the front bushing out, then pull the whole arm down to remove ball joint stud from strut/knuckle, then swing the whole control arm out, remove the vertical bolt at the rear of the control arm, then pull the arm out from where the rear bushing is.

14. You are now ready to put in a new control arm, or press new bushings into the existing arm. If you do not have a press and the proper plates or tubes to fit the bushings, DO NOT attempt to change these bushings. It takes about 5 tons of pressure to remove or insert these bushings. Take the new bushings and the arm to a machine shop or a good sized auto repair shop to replace them.

To reinstall control arm:
15. Insert the rear end of the control arm into the frame where it came out. Have the front end of the arm out towards the outside of the van. Line up the vertical bolt holes, insert the shorter bolt through the holes and screw the bolt in several turns, most of the way, but do not tighten at this time.

16. Rotate the control arm towards the front of the vehicle under the strut/knuckle assembly, line up the ball joint stud with the hole for the stud, insert the stud all the way into the hole, screw on the castle nut most of the way, then insert the front bushing into the frame where it came out of. Line up the bolt holes, insert the longer bolt, screw the bolt in several turns, not all the way, do not tighten at this time.

17. When you are sure all bolts and nut are in place properly, tighten the bolts very tightly (approximately 100 ft lb torque), not the nut on the ball joint. Take note where the hole in the ball joint stud is for reference. Tighten the ball joint stud nut very snugly, with 17mm box wrench. Remove wrench, note where slots in castle nut are in relation to the hole in the stud. Tighten the nut further, a little at a time, until the hole in the stud lines up with the closest slot in the nut. Put the locking pin back in, and secure pin lock wire around nut.

18. Put brake rotor back on, lining up screw holes in rotor with screw holes in hub. Insert 2 screws in holes and tighten with screwdriver.

19. Put caliper bracket back on, fastening with two 17mm head bolts, 80 to 100 ft lb torque.

20. Push caliper piston back into caliper a short distance with a large channel lock pliers to make room to put caliper and pads around rotor, if not pushed back before in step 3.

21. Install caliper onto bracket, tighten 14mm head bolts. It may be necessary to hold the nut that this bolt screws into with a 17mm wrench.

22. Install wheel, install all lug nuts, tighten snugly.

23. Repeat procedure for other control arm.

24. Lower vehicle to the ground. Torque lug nuts to 80 ft lb.
Note: Loosening and tightening lug nuts with the wheel on the ground keeps the wheel steady and not turning while you work on the lug nuts.

DO NOT MISS THIS NEXT STEP!!!! If you attempt to drive vehicle at this point, you will not have any brakes, and may have an accident. The front calipers are not adjusted.

25. Start engine, leave transmission in park. Push the brake pedal (not the parking brake) down several times, with short strokes, perhaps one inch. The pedal will be very soft and move easily. Keep pumping slowly until the pedal gets hard to push. Then push very hard a couple more times. The calipers are now adjusted and the vehicle should be safe to drive. However, when you first start to move the vehicle, test the brakes at slow speed to be sure they are working properly.

If anyone notices something I missed, or that I have wrong, please make a note of it, or send me a message, and I will see about correcting it. Thanks.
 

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FYI, I just found out that those of us with steel lower control arms can upgrade to the aluminum ones from the newer(08-10) models for a weight savings of around 32lbs of unsprung weight!!!!

This is going to be a MUST-DO upgrade for me once my bushings begin to fail. odysseycontrolarm.jpg
 

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FYI, I just found out that those of us with steel lower control arms can upgrade to the aluminum ones from the newer(08-10) models for a weight savings of around 32lbs of unsprung weight!!!!

This is going to be a MUST-DO upgrade for me once my bushings begin to fail.
Have you confirmed this? I am ready to replace my lower control arms and want to make sure this upgrade will work...

Thanks!
 

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SC95GT, YES I have. I must also edit my previous statement on the weight savings..it is 17lbs not 32lbs. I did not notice they had both control arms on the scales in the picture. The Honda Manufacturing Team of Birmingham Alabama is the source of the information and the picture. You can look them up on Facebook. They are also the ones who have the "One Lap of America" turbocharged Odyssey.

I have been searching for them online and have found that a company by the name of MEVOTECH makes them. They can be had for $85/each. I'll be doing mine once tax season rolls around.
 

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SC95GT, if you lived closer, I'd invite you over to do the install!!!! I've got all of the tools and air compressor to perform the job.

Regards,
Jose
 

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...I have been searching for them online and have found that a company by the name of MEVOTECH makes them...
Hi pacobeagle,

I found this to be interesting. Could you give me the source of this info, i.e., "MEVOTECH made the control arm for Honda"?
If so, then I will buy Mevotech when the time comes.
 

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FYI,

OEM is $220 or so
MOOG $105
MEVOTECH $85

Perosnally I'd go with MOOG b/c they have a long records. The Jeep people love Moog.
Mevotech is new and I have seen anecdotal issues with alignment in other vehicles.

The best-bang-for-the-buck is IMHO MOOG...
 

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I ordered the Mevotechs on Amazon yesterday, but they won't be in till next Tuesday or Wednesday - should work out well as I am taking a vacation day next Friday.

I will try to post pics of the install...
YES please. A quick shot of the before and after would be great. Also, a nice shot of how bad those bushings are, too!
 

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Hi guys, new here, looking to make this replacement as well. Quick question: Do the Mevotech front lower control arms come with polyurethane bushings or regular rubber ones?
Thanks!
 

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Quick update...

I 'found' a window of opportunity yesterday so I went ahead and completed the control arm replacement - no pictures at the moment (sorry).

Here are the highlights:

- The Mevotech control arm are really nice - cast aluminum is almost too pretty to hide under the car!
- The bushings are rubber, not polyurethane
- A quick check on the bathroom scale showed that they are about 6 lbs lighter than the stock arms- 8.2 vs 14.2 lbs each
- The control arms are a direct replacement for the stock arms - all mounting points matched the stock mounting points

As for the install:
- I did not remove the brake calipers (they really weren't in the way)
- I could not remove the front (horizonal bolt) due to interference with the sway bar end
- I ended up loosening the sway bar mounting brackets (I replaced the end links while I was at it) to allow the
bolt to clear
- Make sure you have a pickle fork and a big hammer - I tried it without the fork at first, then I bought a fork
- My front and rear control arm bolts were exactly the same length (?)

Our van has about 114k miles on it. I noticed that the rear bushings on both sides were starting to tear (hopefully pics later) and that the front bushings had started to crack.

My entire install took about 4 hours, but I am slow and misplace my tools a lot.

In all, I am very happy with the Mevotech lower control arms and would highly recommend them to anyone getting ready to replace theirs!
 
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