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Old 03-01-2017, 05:55 PM   #1
zedjr10
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How hard is it for front upper control arms and struts?

I have a 1992 honda accord ex coupe 5 speed. I am about to replace the front upper control arms and do the struts also. I have a set of kyb strut-plus. I have to do this on about a 8 degree incline(i live in apartment) or i can drive somewhere nearby on flat pavement but cant leave it there overnight. If a mechanic sais he will take 3 i generally take 7 to 9 not unless i have done it before. I am sort of slow cause i don't want ot make any mistakes and i am not in my 20's or 30's anymore.In this case i have never replaced upper control arms or struts. The struts are pre comrpessed coil already installed. So i am assuming this will be easy. I guess i can always do one side and see how that goes but i have a Honda mechanic that will do it all for $175. So what do yall think?

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Old 03-01-2017, 06:04 PM   #2
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Make sure you put some substantial chocks behind the rear wheels and yank up hard on the parking brake before jacking up the front end.

The trickiest part may be undoing the upper ball joints, but since you're replacing the upper control arm (with new ball joints I assume), you don't need to worry too much about damaging the old ones. Some folks may wail away with a hammer; I have a small puller I use to undo them. Install the shock/spring assemblies before reattaching the upper ball joint, this will allow you to push down on the lower control arm to give you some wiggle room to get the shock/spring in. If I remember correctly, you will have to remove the shock fork to lower control arm bolt also to move the fork to give you enough room to get the shock/spring in and out. Be careful of the ABS leads when removing/installing the shock/springs.

Note also that if the control arms come with the pivot bolts not torqued, you should torque them with the weight of the car on the suspension, similar for the shock to lower control arm bolt. This so the bushing is under the least stress with the car at normal ride height. I usually do this with the body supported on a jack stand, then use my jack to raise the hub/rotor until the body just lifts off the jack stand.
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Old 03-01-2017, 06:19 PM   #3
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The 175 dollars is starting to sound worth it to me. Some people have said this is super easy to do but they have done this before. I am also worried about safety. Jacking up my car i don't think is really feasibly safe(8 degree incline) where i live. I got to have the front of the car on the high part of the pavement. I can't face it other way. So i have to do it i guess in a parking lot. U think doing both sides is easy job to complete in 5 hours?

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Old 03-01-2017, 06:22 PM   #4
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$175 for someone else to do it? You can handle it. Do one side at time; it won't hurt to run one side new and the other side old for a short period of time. Other members in the area to lend a hand?

17 mm for ball joint and lower control arm bolt/nut. If you have a pickle fork, that will probably do to separate the upper ball joint.

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Old 03-01-2017, 06:50 PM   #5
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$175 for someone else to do it? You can handle it. Do one side at time; it won't hurt to run one side new and the other side old for a short period of time. Other members in the area to lend a hand?
The 175 is also for the strut replacements. I don't know any other honda members. Am a new member. I live in Denver, Colorado btw if anyone does want to offer their help. Also i wanted to ask is there anything else i should replace. Maybe the lower control arm. I know the upper control arm is bad on passengers side and struts have never been replaced even though it rides ok. I don't want to replace things that aren't necessary but i also want a perfect ride. The owner before never did any maintenance to car. I have had it for 5 years about(sat for 3 years). Also let me say it drives pretty good now except for the uac. The sway bar links are fine am sure and the lower ball joints seem fine even though the ball joint housing is cracked(original housing). After this i have the egr ports to do. Yeehaw. Going to tap out port plugs so can easily be cleaned in future as i am never selling this car. I love it. So sorry if i am posting soo much as i got a good amount of free time and want to make this car is mechanically perfect and reliable before i get it painted. One side at a time as what i will do. Installing prosport oil and water gauges this weekend. Yeehaw.

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Old 03-01-2017, 08:16 PM   #6
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Wait, what's cracked? The steering knuckle or the LCA? That sounds serious is there's a crack where the LBJ is. I actually think $175 is a very good price for all of that, I guess it really depends on how ambitious you are I like to really take my time as well I understand you completely, you're making a great decision w/ a corner a day. As long as they are not bent or cracked, the only reason I would change the LCAs would be if the bushings needed replacement. My favorite method for separating balljoints is simply hitting whatever metal the balljoint stud goes through. I've used other methods and that is my favorite, it doesn't destroy the boot and it doesn't destroy the weak end where the cotter pin goes through. Good call with the egr ports, it probably needs it really bad. Another option would be to reuse the original brass plugs and fill the small hole in the brass with rtv silicone. Let the silicone cure for 12-24 hours and you're good to go. If you need to pull them again the screw goes into the same hole no problem. I've done this on 2 cars with great success and my personal CB has tapped ports. I would remove the IM if you are going to drill and tap the IM, there's just too many chips that'll fall in the runners and enter the engine.
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Old 03-01-2017, 08:56 PM   #7
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I'm hoping the thing he thinks is cracked is just the boot.
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Old 03-01-2017, 11:07 PM   #8
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Wait, what's cracked? .I would remove the IM if you are going to drill and tap the IM, there's just too many chips that'll fall in the runners and enter the engine.
Just the boot cover is broke. I want to do the egr ports while on car as to keep it simple but am also considering taking the whole manifold off. Am looking for both diy to see how difficult each is.Or at least get some sort of aluminum im to practice on from junkyard. How long did it take to do your six port plugs?
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Old 03-08-2017, 01:26 AM   #9
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OK moog control arm and kyb struts delivered. Am doing just the uca and struts. Am feeling confident about this. I am mechanically incline i just hate it if i don't have right tools. I have a big beam style torque wrench. Will this work. Is it too big to get in there. What are the torque specs for upper ball joint, lower control strut connection and engine bay hub bolts(if that is even the right name). Also the torque specs for control arm pivots.
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Old 03-08-2017, 12:50 PM   #10
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You will have difficulty getting anything but an open/box end wrench on the pivot bolts with it installed; the others shouldn't be an issue. I don't have my manual handy, but the torque for the lower control arm bolt is around 40 ft-lb, upper ball joint is 29 min, then tighten further to align cotter pin holes. UCA mounting nuts are probably at least 30.
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Old 03-08-2017, 06:44 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by fleetw00d View Post
You will have difficulty getting anything but an open/box end wrench on the pivot bolts with it installed; the others shouldn't be an issue. I don't have my manual handy, but the torque for the lower control arm bolt is around 40 ft-lb, upper ball joint is 29 min, then tighten further to align cotter pin holes. UCA mounting nuts are probably at least 30.
Cotter pin on upper ball joint has to be aligned in a special direction. Ok cool. good to know that. I will have to go look at my shop manuals. Those shop manuals are sometimes wrong. One of them told me to put 10w40 or 5w30 in my tranny(haynes i believe) before i became a honda lover. Gosh runs like butter with honda fluid.
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Old 03-17-2017, 08:31 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by fleetw00d View Post
Make sure you put some substantial chocks behind the rear wheels and yank up hard on the parking brake before jacking up the front end.

The trickiest part may be undoing the upper ball joints, but since you're replacing the upper control arm (with new ball joints I assume), you don't need to worry too much about damaging the old ones. Some folks may wail away with a hammer; I have a small puller I use to undo them. Install the shock/spring assemblies before reattaching the upper ball joint, this will allow you to push down on the lower control arm to give you some wiggle room to get the shock/spring in. If I remember correctly, you will have to remove the shock fork to lower control arm bolt also to move the fork to give you enough room to get the shock/spring in and out. Be careful of the ABS leads when removing/installing the shock/springs.

Note also that if the control arms come with the pivot bolts not torqued, you should torque them with the weight of the car on the suspension, similar for the shock to lower control arm bolt. This so the bushing is under the least stress with the car at normal ride height. I usually do this with the body supported on a jack stand, then use my jack to raise the hub/rotor until the body just lifts off the jack stand.
The pivot joints feel torqued. I am going to assume they are. So torque the upper ball joint with the wheel hub on the jack. Gotcha. Good to know. What is the torque for the pivot joints on the control arm so i can make sure they are correct and also the uca hub bolts that secure in the engine compartment.
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Old 03-17-2017, 10:24 PM   #13
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*tip*

use torque wrench + crows feet socket to properly torque the uca in place, just like fleetwood suggested. using the crowfoot is the answer to properly torquing the uca's. fleetwood is talking about the pivot being torqued with the hub jacked up. the suspension needs to be "at ride height" so, the hub/knuckle needs to raise up as if the car had been lowered back down on the wheel.

then torque the pivot on the uca. upper ball joint doesnt matter like the pivot joints do. if you dont get the pivot joints torqued in roughly the right area, the bushings will tear prematurely.
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Old 03-18-2017, 02:29 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by toycar View Post
*tip*

use torque wrench + crows feet socket to properly torque the uca in place, just like fleetwood suggested. using the crowfoot is the answer to properly torquing the uca's. fleetwood is talking about the pivot being torqued with the hub jacked up. the suspension needs to be "at ride height" so, the hub/knuckle needs to raise up as if the car had been lowered back down on the wheel.

then torque the pivot on the uca. upper ball joint doesnt matter like the pivot joints do. if you dont get the pivot joints torqued in roughly the right area, the bushings will tear prematurely.
When u refer to pivot joint u mean the two nuts on the uca itself on both ends, correct? So 1.install the uca and tighten but not torque upper ball joint 2. tighten but not torque engine compartment bolts 3. Let the wheel hub rest on a jack 4. torque uac pivots . Right. What is the torque specs for pivot bolts? What if tehy are already pre-torqued, do i still need to torque them on car resting on wheel hub?

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Old 03-19-2017, 12:42 AM   #15
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Passengers side for uca done. Took me a while to do it and had to go to parts store one time. Wanted to make sure things were right and have never done it before. Drivers side should take no time now that nothing confuses me. Tomorrow i will do the drivers side and shocks. The old one seemed fine when still on car, no wiggle in upper ball joint at all. When i took it off though i can immediately tell it was shot. Is this normal i wondered. Thanks for everyones help. This is the best site ever for cb7. Thanks all and will post how it drives when i am done tomorrow. One thing i did not do was torque the pivot bolts with weight on car. I did torque the others with weight of car. I had no crows foot at the time. I did torque it before i push the uca up in there. I do hope this will be ok. Maybe ill torque after i get a crows foot.

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Old 03-19-2017, 02:02 PM   #16
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Those bushings need to be set at right height immediately, if they are twisted enough initally, it is possible to damage them when you lower the car down to ride height. I would really suggest taking care of that to preserve the longevity of the rubber bushings. The castle nut and the nuts in the engine bay can be torqued whenever but the setting of the bushings needs to be done at ride height aka jacking under the LCA to imitate ride height w/o the wheel on. I've never used crowsfeet for this set, I've always used box end wrenches.
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Old 03-20-2017, 12:36 PM   #17
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I could not torque them installed with weight. I could not even get an open wrench on them(maybe i didn't try hard enough). I did torque the castle nut on the upper ball joint with weight on car. I don't see how people torque these things installed. It must be just a relative guess torque job with a wrench. Shocks were installed also and car rides and steers much better now. More responsive but i think my lower ball joint is creaking and needs to be replaced.
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Old 03-20-2017, 02:22 PM   #18
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^Yeah, I could've gone into more detail but I didn't. I absolutely hate setting the front UCA bushings, there is really not alot of room esp with the factory spring. With the exception of big hub nuts, I rarely break out the torque wrench for suspension stuff. I usually find myself tightening them with either my 14mm craftsman 12 point box wrench which is pretty long for good leverage or I'll use my 14mm gearwrench flexhead. The craftsman wrench has the typical 15* offset/bend in it, sometimes its good but sometimes its also good to have a wrench that is straight, so that's why I will sometimes use the gearwrench too. Sometimes there are alignment notches on the UCA itself so you can set the bushings before you install the whole arm but I alway find myself letting the cars weight dictate that sort of thing because no 2 cars are alike esp after 100's of 1,000's of miles plus if the car is lowered, all those bushings are twisted at ride height if they are not reset.
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Old 03-20-2017, 06:14 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zedjr10 View Post
I don't see how people torque these things installed. It must be just a relative guess torque job with a wrench.
Did you read this:



Quote:
Originally Posted by toycar View Post
*tip*

use torque wrench + crows feet socket to properly torque the uca in place, just like fleetwood suggested. using the crowfoot is the answer to properly torquing the uca's. fleetwood is talking about the pivot being torqued with the hub jacked up. the suspension needs to be "at ride height" so, the hub/knuckle needs to raise up as if the car had been lowered back down on the wheel.

then torque the pivot on the uca. upper ball joint doesnt matter like the pivot joints do. if you dont get the pivot joints torqued in roughly the right area, the bushings will tear prematurely.



Because that is how people torque them to spec properly. Torque wrench + crows foot socket
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Old 03-20-2017, 09:22 PM   #20
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Did you read this:








Because that is how people torque them to spec properly. Torque wrench + crows foot socket
yeah i read that before i done them but no way was i going to be able to do that even with a crows foot and my gangly torque wrench
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