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Old 20 Apr 2008, 02:49 pm
Elle
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Default Ball Joints Replacement

91 Civic LX here, 203k miles. I am considering replacing the
front upper and lower ball joints. I have read the archives
and also many of the reports at honda-tech.com on this. A
few queries to see where the Honda technical population is
on this:

-- lifetime warranty upper ball joints may be purchased at
Autozone.com for $20 each. Can I use a Harbor Freight Ball
Joint Press on the upper control arm ball joints, in situ,
with success? I see Loewent (for one) cautioned here some
time ago that the upper control arms are rather flimsy and
this was a somewhat risky route to go. As has been well
documented on the net, OEM Honda parts dealers sell only the
entire upper control arm for around $110 each.

-- one alternative is to buy a new upper control arm with of
course new bushings and new ball joints. Doggone Autozone
sells these at prices the same as the OEM part (around $110
per arm). Ebay has aftermarket ones for around $30 each, but
no warranty as far as I can tell. One other advantage of all
new upper control arms is the two new bushings on each arm,
too.

-- will the ball joint press kit at
http://www.harborfreight.com/ (look for item #38335) work
for removing and installing the lower ball joints at least?

-- is there a grease connection for all the BJ boots? I see
reference to this in the manuals but this connection is not
obvious to me.

-- what grease should be used on the BJs?

For one thing, I am hoping replacement of the BJs will
correct an alignment problem the car has. The problem has
been around since before I replaced all the lower control
arm bushings a few years ago. The shop that did the
alignment last year suggested a bent front lower control arm
but probably did not elaborate since so many possibilities
exist. The front lower control arms are not the least bit
obviously bent.


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Old 21 Apr 2008, 08:46 am
bnegast@gmail.com
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Default Re: Ball Joints Replacement

I just finished putting on an entire new front suspension on my '91
Si.
I would suggest getting the entire upper control arm which has
the new bushings and ball joint already in it. Both Moog and NAPA
have grease fittings on the ball joints. As for a bent lower arm, not
sure
how you would bend that large cast iron piece! Don't forget your
inner
tie rods and rack steering bushing replacement as well as outer tie
rods.
You can just pound out the lower ball joint, but you will need a press
to
get the new joint back in place. I used the HF press with success and
a
couple of sockets. Remove the boot before installation or you risk
tearing it.
Hope this helps.
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Old 22 Apr 2008, 12:13 am
jim beam
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Default Re: Ball Joints Replacement

bnegast@gmail.com wrote:
> I just finished putting on an entire new front suspension on my '91
> Si.
> I would suggest getting the entire upper control arm which has
> the new bushings and ball joint already in it. Both Moog and NAPA
> have grease fittings on the ball joints. As for a bent lower arm, not
> sure
> how you would bend that large cast iron piece! Don't forget your
> inner
> tie rods and rack steering bushing replacement as well as outer tie
> rods.
> You can just pound out the lower ball joint, but you will need a press
> to
> get the new joint back in place. I used the HF press with success and
> a
> couple of sockets. Remove the boot before installation or you risk
> tearing it.


depending on model year, you /can't/ remove the boot. and removal risks
contamination and thus premature wear.

use the proper tool. you can buy the kit here:
http://www.thetoolwarehouse.net/shop/OTC-7996.html

and you can probably sell it on craigslist for close to what you paid if
you never need it again.


> Hope this helps.

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  #4 (permalink)  
Old 23 Apr 2008, 04:46 pm
Elle
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Posts: n/a
Default Re: Ball Joints Replacement

<bnegast@gmail.com> wrote
>I just finished putting on an entire new front suspension
>on my '91
> Si.
> I would suggest getting the entire upper control arm which
> has
> the new bushings and ball joint already in it. Both Moog
> and NAPA
> have grease fittings on the ball joints. As for a bent
> lower arm, not
> sure
> how you would bend that large cast iron piece! Don't
> forget your
> inner
> tie rods and rack steering bushing replacement as well as
> outer tie
> rods.
> You can just pound out the lower ball joint, but you will
> need a press
> to
> get the new joint back in place. I used the HF press with
> success and
> a
> couple of sockets. Remove the boot before installation or
> you risk
> tearing it.
> Hope this helps.


It sure does, particularly the fact that you had success
with the Harbor Freight press. Thanks!


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