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CR-V::Clinical Rounds Routine maintenance, problems, solutions and repair

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  #1  
Old 04-07-2010, 04:47 PM
ssalvat ssalvat is offline
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Default Ball Joint/Knuckle/Lower Arm Replacement

I just joined this forum, saw some good advice on here and was hoping to get some specific information. While performing the 120,000 mile service on my 2002 CR-V I saw that both front lower ball joint boots are cracked and leaking grease. I've seen a couple places say that if the boots are cracked you should replace the ball joint. Honda only sells this ball joint as part of the knuckle so maybe I have to replace the whole thing. So, my question is, what should I do? As I see it I have 3 options:

1. Replace the ball joint boots
2. Replace the ball joints - Honda doesn't sell them as individual parts but Rock Auto and some others do
3. Replace the knuckles

I hadn't noticed any real problems with the car's ride, but seeing the state of things I could potentially attribute a slight noise, slight pull to the right, slight steering issue to this. Replacing the boots is definitely the cheapest but if there is in fact a problem it won't solve it. Replacing the ball joints wouldn't be too expensive but it could be tough to remove the ball joint from the knuckle and press a new one in. Replacing the knuckles would be straightforward but expensive. So, any suggestions? Also, any suggestions for the best way to disconnect the ball joint? Since I'd be replacing the joint I wouldn't care too much about damaging the boot. I've seen people suggest BFH, pickle fork, gear puller, or Honda's ball joint tool (although I'd get a cheaper generic version).

While I'm at it, I also noticed that the compliance bushings are starting to crack, although not leaking yet. Honda actually does sell these as individual parts, although it's probably easier (though much more expensive) to replace the entire lower arm. If I was to do this too should I just replace the bushing or the entire arm?

I'm somewhat new to the DiY world but I've done some suspension and brake work, and I have the service manual, so I wouldn't be lost doing this stuff myself, just wondering what everyone thinks my best course of action would be. Thanks in advance for any help.
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Old 04-07-2010, 05:52 PM
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sgtsandman sgtsandman is offline
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The lower ball joint is pressed into the knuckle and is replaceable if you have a press to do the job. Harbor Freight sells the press kit for about $50. Lower ball joints sell for about $50 - $60 at Advance Auto Parts.

The upper ball joint, the spindle nut, tie rod end will also need to be disconnected to accomplish this.

If you decide to do this job yourself, you will need a vice to hold the press and a buddy to hold the knuckle. Also, make sure you add some grease to the ball joint before reinstalling the knuckle. They never put enough grease in them. You don't need a lot but more than what they put in.
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Old 04-07-2010, 05:52 PM
Crv Jimmy Crv Jimmy is offline
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If the hole is small and only a little grease has come out your fine to just replace the boots. But if the boot is ripped wide open and dust and dirt have gotten in I would replace the joint. Just fill the new boot with grease when you put it back on. I would invest in the Honda tool( or the generic version) it comes in handy
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Old 04-07-2010, 07:07 PM
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I just replaced the lower ball joint on my 2000 myself, I used an 8" c-clamp and some scrap pipe pieces to press the new one in with no problem at all, I did however remove the arm and worked on it on my bench. The upper/lower ball joints as well as the tie rod end were disconnected with a couple of blows with a small mallet right where the threaded portion is inserted, they just popped right out.
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Old 04-07-2010, 07:26 PM
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Some helpful tools and methods are described here:

http://www.tegger.com/hondafaq/disconnect.html

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Old 04-08-2010, 06:27 AM
ssalvat ssalvat is offline
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Thanks for the suggestions everyone. It sounds like replacing the ball joint isn't too big a problem. Is that what you would suggest, replacing just the ball joint rather than the whole knuckle? Would the same go for the compliance bushing instead of the whole lower arm? Thanks again.
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Old 04-08-2010, 07:12 AM
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Up to you on the knuckle but I see no reason the replace the whole thing and it would cost more. Changing out the bushing won't hurt anything. If the arm is moving how it should and isn't making any noise, you don't have to do it. Basically a personal call in either case.
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Old 04-08-2010, 06:36 PM
06whtcrv 06whtcrv is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sgtsandman View Post
Up to you on the knuckle but I see no reason the replace the whole thing and it would cost more. Changing out the bushing won't hurt anything. If the arm is moving how it should and isn't making any noise, you don't have to do it. Basically a personal call in either case.
price the ball joint and the entire unit - then decide - if you have to buy tools to press out the ball joint it might be cheaper to buy the whole unit.
Either way - replace it as soon as you can - they can break and it's not pretty if you are moving fast when it happens! It's not pretty when you are moving slow either, but you're not as likely to get killed if you are going slow.
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Old 10-06-2010, 08:58 PM
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Aftermarket compliance bushings are under $20 in Canada. Dealers charge $59.98 each at their parts counter. They come right off unless there's rust holding them to that spindle on the lower control arm.

Replaced them tonight but didn't solve my problem (pttr / pttl with acceleration / deceleration).

More to come.

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Old 10-07-2010, 12:02 AM
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For the tie rod, when hammering on my '02, what worked is when I used a pry bar to push the tie rod up, using leverage on the shock's tie rod mount. It came out without much effort. Hammer alone didn't work, parts just flexed and bounced.

From the fresh strut how-to:

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