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dlb 02-27-2013 12:55 AM

civic vx: ball joint removal/installation?
the passenger side upper ball joint on my VX has a lot of play in it and sounds like hell when driving down a bumpy road. i've replaced lots of ball joints before but all of them bolted to the control arms whereas it looks like these are pressed in. is that the case? i don't have a press so i just want to know ahead of time if i'll need to take them to the garage to have them pressed in/out.

thanks again, guys. i really appreciate the civic support here.

Ryland 02-27-2013 07:16 PM
It's all one piece, last time I bought one it was about $60 at the auto part store and was easy to replace.

Rusty94cx 02-27-2013 10:31 PM

The upper and lower are both pressed in you can rent the tool or pull it and take it to the machine shop. The upper you can get cheek enough to do the whole arm. The lower is #4

Ryland 02-28-2013 09:24 AM

If you press the upper ball joint out, what are you going to replace it with? if you go to the auto part store and tell them you need a new upper ball join they are going to hand you the upper ball joint with the whole A-arm.

Gasoline Fumes 03-01-2013 04:10 AM

I've replaced Honda lower ball joints with a hammer and a big socket. Fix it now! You do not want the ball joint coming apart while driving!

dlb 07-02-2015 05:48 PM

reviving this because i sold the car in question but now my other vx has the same problem.

so i went to the parts store, asked about the upper right front ball joint, the guy pulled out the ball joint sans control arm, it was $45. i asked if any come installed on the arm and he said he'd have to order it in and they were $90, so i took the control arm-less joint and decided i'd try that first.

for those that have replaced the ball joint but not the control arm, is it still necessary to remove the control arm in order to remove and install the ball joints?

dlb 07-06-2015 09:02 PM

i just finished this job and to answer the question for anyone else in the same position, yes, the upper control arm must be removed to replace the upper ball joint. it takes almost the exact same amount of work to replace the ball joint on its own as it does to replace the ball joint with new upper control arm so the only reason to get the twice-as-expensive ball joint with UCA is if the bushings on the UCA mounting arm are worn out (since the new UCA comes with a new mounting arm with new bushings). anyway, so here is what i did.

- disconnect brake caliper, rotor, tie rod, CV nut, and both ball joints, and remove steering knuckle
- undo 17 mm nuts in engine bay that are next to strut mount
- remove nut and bolt that fastens bottom of strut to lower control arm
- with bottom of strut now able to move a bit, work UCA (upper control arm) down lower for access and undo 14 mm nuts and bolts that connect it to the mounting arm
- with UCA free, remove spring clip from ball joint boot, remove boot, use snap ring pliers to remove snap ring from base of ball joint, and use hammer to bash old ball joint out
- installation is reverse but i'll note the important things
- marks on new ball joint must be aligned with marks on UCA as per instructions
- tap the new ball joint into place with boot off, being careful not to get dirt in the grease. then install snap ring, than rubber boot, than spring clip over boot. must be done in that order because the snap ring will not fit over the boot
- marks on UCA must be aligned with marks on mounting arm as per FSM

also of note is that you need to use either a big hammer or a pickle fork to separate the upper ball joint from the knuckle. this is because a puller doesn't fit due to the angle of the knuckle arm that goes up to the ball joint.

took me a few hours but i could probably do it in less next time.

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