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Problem with 2003 Ody castle nut on front lower ball joint

823 Views 2 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  davedrivesody
EDIT: I just went to the junk yard and found me an identical castle nut. So my problems solved, but if anyone wants to answer to help anyone searching for this same problem, be my guest.

Hey people,
I just switched out my front driver wheel bearings & hub on my 2003 Ody but am having a problem with the simplest thing. The castle nut on the lower ball joint. I smashed the castle heads in and can't find a good replacement. Any help is appreciated! Here's my questions, then the details (if needed) below.

Simple Questions:
1. Does the castle nut on the lower ball joint have to be cranked tight or finger tight (both with the cotter pin)
2. Does the size of the dust boot make any difference?

I had experience changing out bearings and hubs on a Buick but this is my first time swapping out the pressed bearings/nuts. Before renting the Ball Joint Separator, I tried to hammer down the joint bolt to get it out of the knuckle. I loosened the castle nut to be flush with the bolt then hammered. Obviously no luck, I just ended up ruining my nut. In the process, I also f'd up and shredded my ball joint boot.

Well, I got the bearings/knuckle/hub pressed together and stopped in Autozone to replace my parts. They only had 1 pack of (4) Castle Nuts, so I copped them. I also got a universal boot for the joint. I threw the boot on, laid the knuckle down then tried my new castle nuts. The closest fit slides over the first few threads then screws on until a certain point and then just spins in place. I went to the junk yard and got another 18mm castle nut - testing my original on the bolt and everything was fine. When I went to put it on my Ody, it won't fit on the bolt.

I did my research and saw people asking about torque specifications on the nut and people responded "finger-tight" with the cotter pin in. Others gave the torque numbers. I do torque this nut down pretty tight, right? Concerning my boot, people was talking about a taper for the joint - which the only thing I can relate to on a taper is my dust boot - does it make a big difference on the size of the boot, as long as it covers the balljoint?
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· Registered
3,671 Posts
From my 2002 FSM (no guarantee 2003 is same): The castle nut spec is 12 x 1.25 mm. Should be generally available. NAPA p/n appears to be NOE 6504067.

The torque is 43-51 lb. ft.

I note at Majestic that the dust boot is separately available from Honda.

A new aftermarket ball joint would provide both.

· Registered
11,023 Posts
Torque to the low end of that range (43 lb/ft) then tighten further to align the clip holes.

Since Honda sells the dust boot, I would use that one on an OEM ball joint. The boot has sealing rings that mate with grooves on the ball joint to better keep out dirt and water.
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