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Old 06-06-2009, 06:08 PM   #1
jmf
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vx ball joint

Has anyone replaced the lower ball joint themselves. Mine is coming apart and the nut on the bottom is touching the rim. I'm thinking about changing it myself, but I was wondering ho hard of a job.

justin
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Old 06-06-2009, 07:04 PM   #2
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The short answer is yes you can do the replacement yourself.

Unfortunately, Honda chose a ball joint design that is a real PITA to change.

The lower ball joint is pressed into the steering knuckle instead of being pressed into or bolted/welded to the lower control arm.

What's the difference? Quite a bit I'm sorry to tell you. I have replaced three of them personally and it took me about three hours per side each time I replaced one (I'm slow, careful and lack air tools). Anyway..........

To replace the lower ball joint, you will need to completely remove the steering knuckle from your car and hammer out the old ball joint and press in/hammer in the new one.

But first, you'll have to separate the upper and lower ball joints and the outer tie rod end too. In addition, you'll need to loosen and remove the axle nut and pull the knuckle away from the axle. None of this is impossible with patience and the correct tools but as I said Honda made it more difficult than it needed to be.

Better to do this job yourself if you can because a mechanic will charge at least $300 per side to replace the lower ball joints.

If you only need to replace one side do yourself a big favor and take it to a mechanic. If both sides are shot, then it's DIY time.

Good luck. If you decide you want to try this then send me a PM and I'll try to explain in greater detail what you'll need to do.
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Old 06-07-2009, 10:46 AM   #3
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A ball joint should last the life of the car unless someone has busted the grease boot. The boots may air crack and bust over time also since these cars are getting a bit of age. Keeping good boots on the joints is very important.

I didn't think balljoint R&R was bad personally, but you might be better off finding a whole spindle, they are relatively easy to come by.
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Old 06-08-2009, 08:57 AM   #4
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apparently noone else caught the bit about the nut and rim: if the nut of the bj is hitting the rim then the hole is rounded allowing the stud to go further into it (and out the other side) and you need to replace the control arm too.
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Old 06-08-2009, 11:30 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jmf View Post
Mine is coming apart and the nut on the bottom is touching the rim.

Seriously?!?! The nut is touching the rim of your wheel? I would NOT drive the car at all until you get that replaced then.

The way that the lower ball joint and spindle is designed, it's hard for that nut to even touch the inside of the rim, unless you're running 12" rims which is nearly impossible on a VX.

Replacing the lower balljoint isn't that hard. Remove the axle nut. Just pop the upper balljoint, using a BFH on the nub on the spindle just below the upper balljoint (after the castle nut is loosened). Remove the tie rod end, and then follow THIS post from H-T to pop the lower balljoint out of the lower control arm. Remove the brake caliper. Put the spindle upside-down (so the lower ball joint is pointing up). Remove the rubber boot, then remove the snap ring from the balljoint. Tap the ball joint through the spindle (towards the hole where the axle goes through, you may need to pop out the dust ring for the axle and install it again after the new balljoint is in).

Then install the new ball joint.

It's not too hard to do, just set aside a couple hours if it's your first time and take it easy.
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Old 06-08-2009, 07:03 PM   #6
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It's not too hard to do, just set aside a couple hours if it's your first time and take it easy.
It sounds easy but you left out the part about everything rusting in place for the last fifteen years! The nut was touching the rim because the ball joint seperated and let the lower arm drop down. I could pry it back in place but it would drop right out. I took it apart today. I'm going to bring it to a friend tomorrow to press out the old and in the new.

justin
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Old 06-09-2009, 07:52 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jmf View Post
It sounds easy but you left out the part about everything rusting in place for the last fifteen years! The nut was touching the rim because the ball joint seperated and let the lower arm drop down. I could pry it back in place but it would drop right out. I took it apart today. I'm going to bring it to a friend tomorrow to press out the old and in the new.

justin
True, I did leave that part out about the rust, sorry.

Sounds like you're getting done on your own though. Congratulations and good luck on your new found experience!
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Old 06-12-2009, 05:03 AM   #8
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It's back together. I think it took me almost four hours but I think I could do the other side in half the time. I also replaced the lower wishbone bushing, it was pretty well done. It will be nice to have it back on the road. In a couple weeks i'll do the other side, now I know what parts to have on hand it will be much easier. I'm also going to start spraying the other side with penetrating oil weekly until then.

justin
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