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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm doing a suspension and brake refresh on my 02 EX-L with 156k miles prior to a big summer roadtrip. I am also replacing engine mounts and front control arms as many of my bushings are shot. I also have a sheared wheel stud on my driver's side front wheel. I have searched about here but need advice on two specific issues.

I am having great difficulty removing the front hub spindle bolt so I can pull the hub to change my wheel stud. I soaked it with penetrating fluid and have released the small crimp. I have snapped my 1/2" drive breaker bar socket and an impact driver socket. I have purchased a new 3/4" drive breaker bar and 3/4" 36 mm socket but if this also breaks, I'm giving up on this.

The second area is separating the lower front ball joint on the control arm from the knuckle. Is the Honda tool absolutely necessary? I rented a pickle fork tool from the auto parts store but have been unsuccessful at getting it to pop off (and have managed to snap one of those tools as well). I'm thinking corrosion may be playing a role but I managed to get the other two large mounting bolts off the control arm with minimal fuss.

Thanks in advance
 

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STOP!!!!!! :DD
The stud takes less than an hour to change. ;)
Pound the broken one out. Take the new one and grind a little bit at a time off the big end till it slides past the hub and then use a wheel nut to pull it into the hub.
 

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Use a sledge hammer and bang on the lower control arm right beside the ball joint, it will pop out within 2 - 3 hits, and then just seperate with a pry bar. This is a Honda tech trick....no special ball joint tool needed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
STOP!!!!!! :DD
The stud takes less than an hour to change. ;)
Pound the broken one out. Take the new one and grind a little bit at a time off the big end till it slides past the hub and then use a wheel nut to pull it into the hub.
I saw the posts on that method. When I removed the broken stud, I ground off one side of the head and then rotated the broken stud to the front gap in the rotor shield. Even if I removed the shield, there was not enough clearance to back it out and I ended up having to hacksaw it off. Maybe my knuckle is different but I simply do not see that there is enough room to slide in a full length stud, even one with half its head ground off.

Use a sledge hammer and bang on the lower control arm right beside the ball joint, it will pop out within 2 - 3 hits, and then just seperate with a pry bar. This is a Honda tech trick....no special ball joint tool needed.
It's really tight in there (van is on jackstands). Did you manage to pound directly on the control arm, or did you use a metal pole of some sort as a "pool cue" and pound on the end of that?
 

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I am having great difficulty removing the front hub spindle bolt so I can pull the hub to change my wheel stud.
I may be way off, but if you're talking about a castle nut....it isn't reverse threaded, is it? Could be? :dunno:

--VARam1500...
 

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It's really tight in there (van is on jackstands). Did you manage to pound directly on the control arm, or did you use a metal pole of some sort as a "pool cue" and pound on the end of that?

With the van up in the air it is a clear shot to the control arm with the wheel off. My sledge is a short handle one, maybe that makes it easier.


 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I may be way off, but if you're talking about a castle nut....it isn't reverse threaded, is it? Could be? :dunno:

--VARam1500...
I'll check the threads to be sure but the Helm manual does not mention reverse threading.

With the van up in the air it is a clear shot to the control arm with the wheel off. My sledge is a short handle one, maybe that makes it easier.


That is impressive but I'm not planning on dropping my engine or even my CV shafts! I bought a 4lb sledge today; let's see how that works :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Well after returning the broken pickle fork to AdvanceAuto, the salesman told me about a trick using the handle of a Craftsman socket wrench wedged between the knuckle and the control arm after raising the axle a bit with a jack, and then stomping on the hub. THIS WORKED!!! Changed both control arms in 20 minutes. See this video for the technique

‪Honda/Acura painless ball joint separation‬‏ - YouTube

Still looking for secrets on the hub spindle bolt...
 

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The axle hub nuts are just really tight. Take the hub cap off to access the nut and use a pneumatic hammer and tool to swedge the nut where the locking dimple was placed. Then with the wheel still installed and the car on the ground with the brakes set, use a 3/4" breaker bar and a 36mm socket along with a 4-6ft pipe slipped over the breaker bar to get leverage. Place the breaker bar so that you are pushing down to loosen the nut while turning counter clockwise (save injury to your back). Just man up an get it done. They are tight, especially if they haven't been loosened in awhile.
 

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I'm pretty good mechanically, but I couldn't get the ball joint loose from the hub. I tried the 1/2" wrench trick, but I guess I wasn't doing it correctly. I was also hammering on the side of the spindle to try & get it loose with no luck.
The van was due for inner tie rods & an alignment 2 days later. While I was there they quoted me an additional $175 to install both control arms so I went ahead & paid up.
Still have a slight vibration at 70mph, but the front wheels need rebalanced.
 

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I had a slight vibration at 70mph after a front brake check, tire rotation, and front end alignment. I forgot to ask them to balance the tires! I had to make a return trip to get them balanced. Very smooth now at 70mph.

I have a clunking in the front end when going over bumps, harder than normal steering when turning, and uneven abrasive looking tire wear on the outside edges. I probably need Control Arm Bushings. Can anyone confirm?
 
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