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I have a 2000 Odyssey EX that has about 96K miles on it. Just now getting to the point that non-regular maint. items are starting to be an issue.

Last set of tires showed odd wear patterns and this pointed to the need to align the car. When they tried to align the car they said that a bolt was frozen in the rear and they were not able to correctly align the car. I looked and the eccentric bolt on the lower rear control arm (used to adjust rear toe) would not budge. I bought two of the special bolts, washers and nuts to swap these out so I could get a proper alignment.

I tried to swap them out this past weekend and found that I was unable to remove the bolt from either side. One side moves (you could barely adjust toe if needed), but it is extremely hard to rotate. The other side is frozen nearly solid. As best as I can tell the rubber bushing on the end of the control arm has a metal sleeve that the bolt runs through. I suspect that the bolt/sleeve is rusted so the bolt will not turn. After plenty of PB Blaster and some heat (didn't want to melt rubber), I was able to barely get the frozen one to rotate (but not nearly enough to really do any adjustment). Even then, all I am really are doing is twisting the bushing instead of getting the bolt to rotate in the sleeve. Any more abuse is going to damage the head on the bolt.

My next plan was to just order new bushings, cut out the old bushings and bolt, press in new bushing and then be set for the alignment. But after looking at both SL Honda and Majestic's online parts, I don't see a part number for the bushing. Just the entire lower control arm which I "assume" would include the bushing.

I have searched here and haven't found any posts that help. So, after the long winded explanation, my questions are...

1. Are the bushing available and I just can't find them on SL Honda/Majestic's site?
2. Anyone else run into this problem?
3. Does the replacement arm include the bushings?

I really don't want to spend $80 x 2 to get this fixed if I can get by with just the bushings?
 

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Richard,

I think you can be highly confident that the arm will come with the bushing in place. (You could confirm that by calling the parts department at your dealership, but it's very nearly certain to be the case.)

By the way, did the nut come loose/off without any trouble, or was it also "stubborn"?

I'm surprised (as I'm sure you are) that those bolts are seized up. But maybe it's not time to give up just yet on getting them to come loose/out.

Hope things work out.
 

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I am buried in the same problem right now. I have not done any of the footwork with the dealer that you have, but past experience with an Accord says that the bushing is included with the lower arm and I was not suprised at all to find the bolts frozen in place. I was actually suprised to find that the same mechanism on My '95 Legend was not rusted at all and moved freely. Post up what your solution is and I will follow your lead.

Dave
 

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Thanks for the replies guys. :)

mem, To answer your questions...

* The nut came off the end of both bolts no problem.
* I was a little suprised that it was frozen, but not shocked. I have a 1998 Civic that I have been autocrossing for years and have had the suspension apart a number of time due to spring and shock upgrades and have had similar problems with suspension bolts tending to "mate" with the metal sleeve in bushings. Once apart, I tend to grease them liberally when putting back together. I don't think this happens at the factory and then years later they are a bear to take apart.

Dave, Unless someone swoops in with a magic answer, I suspect I will research some more at the Honda parts counter. Both to find out if the bearing can be bought on its own and if not, if the bearing is included in the lower control arm. If I have to buy the entire arm, I probaby will try more drastic measures to see if I can free it up knowing that worse case I can just cut the old off and bolt the new on.

I will post in this thread to let you know what I end up doing.
 

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Richard,

Based upon what you’ve seen on your car – and what odd Dave indicated about his experience – I can’t help but be a bit disappointed in Honda’s choice of materials.

NOTE: What follows is likely complete BS…

I’ve been thinking of how you might “shock” that bolt to break the rust. The problem is, of course, the flexibility associated with the bushing and, also, the “thin walled” members that are joined together there. If you just whack (along the axis of the bolt) with a heavy short handled sledge (working up in “whacking” force) most of it will probably just be absorbed/dissipated in the bushing and by the gaps closing/slapping together, etc. A hand held impact driver (a heavy ½ drive one) could be used to axially shock the bolt, but there may not be enough clearance – especially on the left/driver side due to the proximity of the gas tank. I haven’t been under there to look – so perhaps there is enough clearance. But even if there is, there is still the torsional compliance due to the rubber bushing...

Dropping the rear sub frame is a possibility (to get things to a work bench), but what a pain.

But, although it has a very low probability of success, I wonder about the following. With the nut backed out, can you put shims (like used Sawzall blades) between the inner sleeve of the bushing and the bracket? (If not, then maybe they are not needed.) Then, maybe a couple of C-clamps - one to each side of the bushing - would be helpful (to hold things together and, in particular, press that inner sleeve tight against the outer assembly – maybe some wood shims between the clamps and the outer mating surface/bracket... And the C-clamps would need to be as tight as possible to draw things together...) What I am thinking is that if you can do this in such a way to make the inner bushing sleeve tight – and you have sufficient rigidity there – then whacking the bolt with a pin punch and heavy sledge might break it loose.

Again, likely pure BS…

If you decide to attempt this, I’d back the nut out to the end of the bolt (but leave it there so that the threads don’t get damaged – then if the attempt fails you can still “button things down”).

Use a pin punch – or something else – which has the largest diameter possible while still fitting properly. Build up your “whacking force” – the only danger is bending something, but that’s not likely if you are at all constrained. But a regular hammer will be useless here – it will just make noise. And with that sledge you may need to whack things just to the edge of what you think is reasonable...

Anyway, I should say again that this is likely pure BS. I’ve not encountered this particular problem. But I’d think about all the possibilities before I gave up and started cutting the bolt (which would likely prove problematic/painful - but maybe necessary). I hope you get lucky...

Also, I wouldn’t hesitate to go into the parts department (even though you might not buy from them – after all, you’ve already given the dealership money so don’t feel bad) and ask them what their mechanics do. You might get lucky – sometimes the parts guys have “done time” in the shop and can give great advice. But, you’ve got to have your “feelers” out because sometimes they spew BS – kinda like what I’m doing! Edit: I must remember to read! I see that you said you will go to the parts counter...

Sorry to hear about your situation.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
mem,

Thanks for the ideas. Some additional info...

I did try the small sledge hammer route but (as you noted) it was rough on the end of the bolt and I had to re-tread about the first two threads after first attempt. I screwed the nut back on and tried again, but no go. Most likely if I get the replacement lower arm, I am going to try this method again. I stopped as I was afraid I was going to damage the nut/bolt enough that I couldn't put it back together.

I also tried an impact wrench, but due to both the gas tank and that fact that the impact would just rotate the rubber bushing and not really transmit the impact directly to the frozen bolt/sleeve area much the impact wrench didn't work. Haven't tried both at the same time. :D

I did consider dropping entire rear sub frame and would do that if I felt the need to feel victory over that bushing, but it may be easier to just buy the lower arm. Like you, I think that once out of the car your options on attack plans increase. It still is an option I am entertaining if for some reason I can't obtain a lower arm. Wife probably wouldn't want to see car that much apart however. ;)

Interesting idea with the clamps and wedges. I did try to use one of my larger clamps as a press, but again the limited space made it very hard and was not able to make it work without the clamp slipping off. I may pick up a smaller clamp and try again.

Richard
 

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I'm in the same boat...

This place is amazing. This must be the problem of the week.... I had replaced my front struts and took the van to the dealer to have the alignment checked. The thing drove fine after the struts but I wanted to be sure. When I got it back, they told me the rear adjusters were seized and I would need new rear control arms and bolts ect.... How do you remove the control arms without getting the bolts out? I wonder if a few months of WD-40 treatments would work? The van has 70,000 on it but I have only been in the Chicago area for two years. I'm on the edge my seat seeing who will come up with a fix for this. I was thinking a torch and a sledge hammer and lots of foul language might work.

Take it easy.

Sean
 

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Sean,

No need to be on the edge of your seat - you and Richard are the ones who are going to come up with a solution to this and let the rest of us know what to do!

I too wonder how that thing is going to come out. What a major drag.

Man I feel bad for you guys (but I'm counting on you to figure this out before I have to do it)!

I would "feel out" the dealer to see how much "brutality" is typically required.

Good luck guys. And, remember, there have always been great explorers which came before the masses....

P.S. Sean, I suggest you consider giving up on Water Displacement 40 as a penetrating oil (it's rather poor for that purpose). Maybe try PB Blaster, or something like that. I'm hooked on S'ok (but it may not be broadly available).
 

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What is Sok

What is Sok ? I'm sure it is some type of penetrating oil but have never heard of it. I have had some arthritis patients over the years tell me that they use WD-40 on their knees and hands and say it works better than pills. If that stuff can get through skin and lubricate an old mans knees, maybe it can get through my control arm bolts.:stupid:
 

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Sean,

S'OK! is a penetrating oil which, it seems to me, works very well. It's made by a small company called Shamrock Specialties (based in Texas). It's kind of hard to find, so it probably wasn't useful for me to mention it. The name is kinda odd - I think that s'ok is slang for "it's ok". If that’s in fact where the name comes from, then they're being modest... (Or they might have in mind that S’OK would be how a leprechaun would say “soak".) Anyway, take care and good luck with your car.
 

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Help me Obie Won Canobie!!!!

I spent some time this weekend beating on the control arm (only tried on the left side) trying to get the adjuster bolt out. What I did was lower the control arm and remove the spring to take all the pressure off the pivot bolt. I then took a small sledge hammer to the bolt. That thing has become one with the metal sleeve that goes through the bushing. It would not move. I'm worried that if I take a torch to it, I will melt or otherwise damage the rubber bushing. What else can I do?? Short of attempting the Jedi use of mind force, (my use of physical force appears to have been in vein) I’m out of ideas shy of cutting the thing out with a grinder and replacing the control arms.


Thanks in advance for any ideas.



Sean
 

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I haven't been under the van since I last posted, but regarding the comment on trying repeat applications of a penetrating fluid, so far its a no-go. I tried disassembling both sides about two weeks apart and just soaking them and putting them back together. So far no luck on disassembly.

As for the concern of "what to do?"
If it comes down to replacing the lower arm, then you will just need to cut both ends off of the bolt and muscle the lower arm out of place. If I weren't too cheap to just run out and buy the lower arms, it would already be fixed... :D
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I am dredging up this old thread. I haven't fixed this yet, but did talk to the guy at the parts counter at the dealership just the other day about this. The bushing is not available by itself. You have to buy the entire control arm.

I have been avoiding this for a number of months, but am nearing the point that I am thinking about new tires and I don't want to put on new tires with the alignment being wonky. So I am going to be ordering a control arm (maybe both sides) soon.

As promised before, I will report back as to how it goes.
 

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Maybe that Yearly oil spray will help

Its probably a long way down the road before I may need to attempt the same procedure but I am wondering if the yearly Krown oil sprays will prevent the bolt siezure everyone is talking about here...
 

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Ok, worked on this over the Thanksgiving weekend. Replacement arm does include the bushing. It was pretty straight forward and easy to do. You just have to....

1. Jack up car and remove wheel. Use jack stands, etc. to keep car up as you are going to need your floor jack later to uncompress the spring. You should use jack stands anytime you have the car up anyhow.
2. Disconnect ABS sensor wire from lower arm. Two small 10mm bolts for this if I remember correctly.
3. Place jack under control arm (directly under spring). Apply enough force to start to compress spring. Doing this takes the spring load off the hub
4. Remove bolt that holds arm to hub. If you don't do step #3 then the spring will try to drive the hub down as you remove the bolt and it will bind up as you remove the bolt. You need to use the jack to uncompress the spring.
5. With bolt removed, you can lower the jack and uncompress the spring. The arm will move down beyond hub as the spring uncompresses. Watch that you don't catch the ABS sensor wire as you lower the arm/spring.
6. With the spring uncompressed, remove the spring and plastic pads on top and bottom. The car needs to be high enough to snake the spring out.
7. Examine the adjustment bolt that connects the arm to the body. This eccentric bolt and washer combo is what is used to change the toe (and camber?) on the rear suspension. The washer that is on the nut side of the bolt has five marks on it. Note which mark on the washer is pointing straight up. You need this setting later on.
8. At this point, if you didn't have this problem, you could just remove this bolt and the entire arm would drop right out. But since the bolt is frozen to the sleeve in the bushing, you can't remove it even if you can get the nut off. There is about ½ inch gap on each side of the bushing. Using a reciprocating saw, you cut through the rubber bushing, the metal bushing sleeve and the bolt in this gap. Do this on both sides. Do not try to cut the head of the bolt or nut off on the outside. You can saw in the gap without damage to the body mounting points.
9. Once the bolt is cut, each end of the bolt should drop out and you should be able to remove the arm.
10. Assembly is pretty much the reverse. I used white lithium grease to lubricate the bolt before putting it into the bushing sleeve. Time will tell if this works well enough. Tighten, but don’t torque the nut on this bolt just yet.
11. Reinstall the spring and don’t forget the pads. Make sure the spring is rotated correctly so it sits in the arm correctly. If you look at the spring carrier on the arm you will see how this works.
12. With spring in place, compress the spring with the jack until the arm meets the hub and reinstall the bolt on the hub. Make sure the spring is in the correct spot both top and bottom as you do this. With the bolt in place, you should be able to lower the jack under the arm now.
13. Reinstall the ABS sensor wire onto the new arm.
14. At this point it is together, but you now need to rotate the eccentric bolt and replicate the alignment setting that you noted in Step #7.
15. Torque both bolts to the proper spec.
16. Replace tire and lower car.

Even if your alignment was correct prior to doing this, and you replicated the alignment settings in Steps #7 and 14, I would get the car realigned anyhow.

After I was finished, I was curious if I could get the frozen bolt out. I took a metal punch and a hammer and I could not get the bolt to budge. I didn't attack it with a BFH, as I basically wanted to prove to myself, that cutting it out was the only option.

I have attached photos in the next two posts…
 

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Attached photo is of the old and new arms. With the old arm, I put in one of the saw blades into where I cut the bushing. You cut the bushing on both sides. You can also see the five alignment marks on the eccentric washer.
 

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Nice Job

Richard,

Nice work. Did you only have to do one side? Mine is trashed on both. I had my van up on a lift and was swinging a sledge hammer like a kid on a piñata with no results. How long did it take to cut through the bolt? In your opinion, do you think there is enough room to use a grinder with a cut off wheel to cut the bolt or did the saws all work fine? How many blades did you use?

Thanks for the info.


Sean.



PS. Parts Cost??
 

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Re: Nice Job

renew82 said:
Richard,

Nice work. Did you only have to do one side? Mine is trashed on both. I had my van up on a lift and was swinging a sledge hammer like a kid on a piñata with no results. How long did it take to cut through the bolt? In your opinion, do you think there is enough room to use a grinder with a cut off wheel to cut the bolt or did the saws all work fine? How many blades did you use?

Thanks for the info.


Sean.



PS. Parts Cost??
1. Did one side only. Both needed it, but the other side can rotate a little (about 10-15 degrees). Even then, that small bit of rotation is just me twisting the rubber vs. actually getting the bolt to properly spin. I think about 90 degrees is needed for full range of adjustment. I wanted to do both, but the CFO (Wife) said to just do the one side and see if they are able to align it OK after doing just one side. Especially since the last alignment attempt, they only complained about the one I replaced. Even if it aligns, I plan on doing the other side as well. If they try to align it and the other side doesn’t move enough, then I will do the other side ASAP.

2. It took 2-3 minutes per cut. I had extra blades and was in a hurry, so I used one per cut. It may have needed those two anyhow.

3. You might be able to do this with an angle grinder in that same ½ inch gap. Originally I was concerned that as I cut it, that the bolt would break loose and spin. I guess if that happened, I could just take it out normally. The same could happen with the grinder. I am sure you will get lots of smoke as you grid off the rubber. :)


As mentioned earlier, I would not try to grind off the bolt head (not sure if that is what you are asking about). The head is recessed into the suspension mounting point and I think it would be hard to get it grinded or cut out any faster than where I did my cut. The other side is near where the exhaust pipe is routed, so that may make it hard for me to do the other side. Maybe a grinder might have to be used there.

4. Arm was about $75-80 if I remember correctly. Bought mine from Majestic. Local dealership quoted nearly $200 if I remember correctly. No clue how much extra the markup. I bought the eccentric bolt, washer and nut awhile back. Can’t remember how much those were. I don’t think it was much.
 
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