From the lower ball joint replacement? - Acura TSX Forum
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-22-2017, 09:07 AM Thread Starter
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From the lower ball joint replacement?

Has anyone replaced their front lower ball joints on their own before? I tried awhile back and the oreilys rental tool was useless. I ended up tearing the lower ball joint boot 😩.
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-23-2017, 06:07 PM
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When I replaced mine I used a pickle fork which goes between the ball joint and the knuckle, to separate it. This places the pickle fork directly on the ball joint and thus the rubber boot. So yeah it makes sense that it will tear the boot. Didn't matter since this was the reason that I replaced the lower ball joint.

This is all irrelevant since the new ball joint has a boot. Didn't your new ball joint have a boot? If not then it should have had one. No tool is needed when installing the new joint which would have any contact with the boot. I'm not clear why you tore the boot. Maybe more details would be helpful.
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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-24-2017, 12:29 AM
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I used this balljoint separator when I replaced my LCA bushings and it worked like a charm. Had to put some grease on the forks to minimize any damage around the ball joint.

Did the O Reilly tool look like this?

https://m.harborfreight.com/3-4-quar...not%20provided
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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-19-2017, 09:22 PM Thread Starter
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I was pulling into my driveway and my lower ball joint broke off and my axle broke. It caused my wheel to fall outwards and hit my fender and had replace my lower ball joint. The tool looks like it has threads and cup adapters from oreily auto parts but none of them would work because the spindle arm would get in the way.
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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 12-14-2018, 01:20 PM
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People on this thread are talking about 2 different issues. One is separating the ball joint from the lower control arm. This can be relatively easily accomplished with the Harbor Freight tool phen8tk refers to, or the much more expensive Acura Service tool referred to in the shop manual. The second issue is removing the ball joint from the steering knuckle. This is pressed in, and it's a VERY tight fit, at least on my '07. Normally, this would be done on the car with a tool resembling a large heavy C-clamp that you can borrow from places like Advance Auto Parts. However their kit does not contain the adapters required to do the job on a TSX. The factory service manual is silent on the part numbers of the needed adapters because apparently, when it was printed, the ball joint was not available as a separate part but could only be obtained already pressed into the steering knuckle as a very expensive assembly. I located some Acura adapters on-line, but the info available did not specify which adapter was for which Acura model. I guessed (wrongly) and ended up paying for something that turned out to be useless. I ended up taking the ball joint/steering knuckle completely out of the car and pressing the ball joint out with a hydraulic press. However the geometry of the steering knuckle prevented me from being able to press the now ball joint in that way. I inquired regarding the correct adapter part numbers at my local Acura dealer, but they said they received their adapters as a kit for all Acura models, and they just test fit them to the job at hand until they found the ones that worked, and couldn't tell which one was for which model. I ended up taking them the steering knuckle and new ball joint to them and they pressed it in for me, charging what I thought was an excessive amount for the service.


So now the ball joint on the other side has started to make the same noise that I eventually localized to the driver's side lower ball joint, and I'm revisiting the issue of attempting to obtain the correct adapters. I contacted Acura Client Relations, and they were completely useless, referring me to my local Acura dealer. Currently, I'm trying to get this info from some on-line Acura part dealers. If anyone knows these part numbers, please post.
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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 12-14-2018, 02:56 PM
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I usually use deep impact sockets as adapters when using tools that don't work very well for Hondas.

Or, when you don't have the right adapters for removal.. just hit it with a big hammer.

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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 12-14-2018, 03:49 PM
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Regarding lower ball joint adapters:
Amazon sells 3 different kits for removing/installing lower ball joints in various Honda models. One of them has a link to a user manual, which contains phone numbers for the manufacturer (SPX Corporation). I phoned their technical service line to ask if the kit on Amazon would work for a 07 TSX. He said no, but gave me a part number for a kit #6529-5 that he said would both remove and install lower ball joints in that car. Their order line is 1-800-533-6127. The item is going on my Christmas wish list. I didn't ask for the price. It will probably be quite a while before I obtain it and determine whether it will in fact do the job. Once I do I'll post the result here. If anyone finds out in the meantime, please post.
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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 12-17-2018, 01:26 AM
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What are the symptoms for bad lower ball joint? I might have one corner replaced soon, and if I do I will ask my mechanic how he installs it.

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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 12-19-2018, 04:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sonyfever View Post
What are the symptoms for bad lower ball joint? I might have one corner replaced soon, and if I do I will ask my mechanic how he installs it.
Easiest way to tell is jack the car up and grab the tire and try and wiggle. If there is play you definitely need a ball joint. Other signs are mystery pops/clunks (although that could be a multitude of things). An inspection of the boot can help give you an idea if you need them as well.

Your mechanic will likely do the install using a C-clamp tool like in the video I showed. The geometry of the knuckle doesn't really allow you to square them up on a big hydraulic press.

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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 12-30-2018, 04:55 PM
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Latest info regarding adapters to replace front ball joints:

I tried ordering the OTC 6529-5 Ball Joint Adapter Set from SPX/OTC and learned that they do not sell directly to the public; you have to order through a distributer.

Amazon sells several different ball joint adapter sets for Hondas. I posted the question whether they would work on an '07 TSX on 3 different kits. One person replied that they used OEMTOOLS 27164 Honda Ball Joint Adapter Set ($54,47) successfully with a '04 TSX, even though its specs don't list the TSX. Another reviewer (using it on a different model) reported that it worked on one side of his car and not the other. Looking at the picture, one of the adapters is asymmetric, so this looks entirely possible.

In response to my question on an OTC set, the manufacturer replied that the correct set of OTC adapters for the TSX is OTC 6734 ($99.65). This set list the '04-'07 TSX as one of the models it will work on, and all the adapters looks symmetrical, so they should work on either side of the car. He said it works only on the lower ball joints, but the OTC 6529-5 kit would work on both upper and lower ball joints. Its specs specifically mention the '04 to '07 TSX, as well as multiple other Honda and Acura models and years. It contains 19 different adapters, but is expensive ($229.90). Both kits are meant to be used with OTC 7249, listed for $120.60, which consists of the C frame as well as 5 different adapters.

I verified that the noise I'm hearing is due to the passenger side lower ball joint by putting the front end on ramps and crawling underneath with a mechanic's stethoscope while an assistant bounced the car. I tend to keep my vehicles essentially forever, so there exists the possibility I might have to replace a top ball joint at some future date. I found a used OTC 6529-5 kit for $143, so I grabbed that.

The question now is whether the OTC C frame is required to do the job or whether I can get by borrowing a C frame and adapter kit from Advance Auto Parts. The plan is to borrow the Advance kit and test fit before starting any disassembly.
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post #11 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-12-2019, 03:49 PM
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Here are the instructions from the OTC 6529-5 Ball Joint Adapter Set for doing the upper and lower ball joints in an 04-08 TSX. All the numbered parts shown in the diagrams are included in the kit, with the exception of the C-frame. I have not yet determined whether the OTC adapters will work with the D-frame I can borrow from Advance Auto Parts, but I'm hopeful. I was mildly surprised that the directions for the lower ball joints instructs removal of the "dust boot and wheel bearing dust ring". It's a relatively inexpensive part (under $10) so I'll probably want a new one in hand before I start in case it's difficult to remove without damage.
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post #12 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-09-2019, 03:34 PM
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Any updates to this? I desperately need to do my front lower ball joints, driver side is popping like crazy. I purchased both ball joints and tried to replace them with the AutoZone kit and was unsuccessful.
I considered letting a shop do it for me (I do 99% of my own work), but the cheapest quote I've gotten from a respectable shop is $310 for just the labor. I'm currently trying to find the "right" tool so I can get this done without spending several hundred $s on labor or tools I'll only use once. If you had success using the OTC kit in conjunction with the AutoZone clamp I will do the same.

Edit: looking at pictures of the 7249 kit I believe the AutoZone kit used the same exact style of adapter and clamp. I'm gonna go for it.
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