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Discussion Starter #1
Just completed my annual state inspection at the dealer, and one of the items they mentioned that needs replacement were both (#8) compliance bushings (51391-SDB-A01). My question: should I also replace the (#9) Bush, Front Arm (51393-SDA-A02), and the (#10) Bush, Front Shock Absorber (51810-SDA-A01) at the same time? I'm looking at the picture of the lower A arm, and those appear to be the three bushings in it.


Do the other two bushings fail about the same time, or do they last much longer, and only the compliance bushing fails this early? The car will require an alignment after replacing the bushings, so I want to minimize the number of times I have to pay to have it aligned. Since this is a "4 wheel alignment," should I also consider replacing any rear bushings now? If no other suspension bushings normally fail within the next 40-50K miles, I won't bother replacing them at this time.

2008 TSX
93K miles

Thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Ordered a pair of OEM replacement bushings, and this tool:


Honda & Acura front lower control arm bushing tool

  • Designed to remove and replace large hydro-bushings on front axle lower control arms for Honda and Acura.
  • On-car operation saves time and energy.
  • Tool cup is designed with raised inner ring that can mesh with the concave edge on bushings, preventing potential dangers from sliding and damages on bearing housings.
  • Application:
    • Acura EL 2001/05, MDX 2001/06, RSX 2002/06, TSX 2004/08, TL 2001/03
    • Honda: Accord 2003/07, Civic 2000/08, CRV 2001/06, Element 2004/11, Odyssey 1999/04, Pilot 2001/07
  • Stock Ref. No. 9CL-11101-42
 

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The front compliance bushings are notorious for premature failure. If you are doing them yourself, just pull the front wheels beforehand and check out the others. They fail more slowly, and even when I changed mine at 217k, they still weren't completely trashed like the compliance bushings I changed much earlier.
If you want to reinforce the new bushings, go buy a tube of 3M window weld and fill them in a few days prior to install. I did this to mine, they have 50k on them now and they are still solid.
Pro tip: with the window weld and similar materials, spit on your fingers before trying to "craft" it. It won't stick to spit... No idea why but it works. Makes the stuff like silly putty instead of a huge sticky mess.
 

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It's a good idea to replace all three bushings at the same time. The other two do deteriorate albeit less than the compliance bushings. Replacing all three definitely give it a more oem feel.

I found it very effort and time intensive to replace all three with the appropriate hand bearing press tools. So when I had to replace the compliance bushings again, I just bought new control arms. They already had the bushings installed. It made the job so much easier and saved a lot of time. I also filled the bushings with window weld which gave a more tight/controlled feel to my front suspension. I like it plus it seems to extend the life of my bushings.

If you do use window weld make sure to scrub down and wash your bushings first so that the window weld adheres to the bushings.
 

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I think he means LCA's with new bushings already installed. Could be wrong.

I personally don't mess with Ktuned stuff anymore. Haven't had good luck with their quality and there are horror stories galore online of similar experiences.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I ended up buying lower A-arms with new bushings installed, and did the driver's side yesterday, and the passenger's side today. That way I was able to immediately swap the arms, and not worry about taking them to a machine shop to have the bushings pressed out, and new ones in.

I fully recommend this video:
Out of all the videos I saw on the topic, thought this was the best, made the most sense, posed the least risk of screwing something up, etc.

About a week ago, I sprayed every bolt I would be removing with a penetrant spray. I hit it again both days as soon as the car was up on jack stands. That worked great, and I didn't have any problems removing the bolts.

My procedures were:
- remove the ball joint cotter key.
- disconnect the sway bar link from the lower A-arm, push it up and out of the way.
- break torque on every bolt.
- remove the upper A-arm through bolt
- pop the ball joint
- remove the two large inboard (compliance and rear pivot) bolts
- lift the hub to pull the ball joint bolt out of the A-arm
- wiggle the old A-arm out of the car.
- slip the new A-arm into place - this will require a lot of wiggling, pry bar & hammer work, etc.
- slide the two A-arm bolts into place, and try to get them threading into place.
- lift the hub to sit the ball joint bolt into the hole.
- connect the sway bar link
- connect the upper A-arm through bolt.
- install and tighten the ball joint nut.
- torque all nuts, saving the ball joint nut for last
- install the cotter key into the ball joint nut.

I probably took 3.5 hours on the first one, but I learned a few things along the way. I had a devil of a time trying to get the two inboard bushings lined up with the holes. I fiddled with it, and fiddled with it, and fiddled with it...using a hammer and a prybar to try to adjust the position so I could insert the two bolts. I had both bolts inserted, but couldn't quite get it lined up so they could grab the threads. I finally used a jack under the A-arm to raise it to the point where I could get both bolts through and tightened. Everything was done with hand tools except the ball joint bolts. Since they like to turn when you put a wrench on them, I pulled out my impact gun to remove the bolt, then again to seat it to the point where I could use my torque wrench to set the final torque. I called it a day after that one.

The other side took me about 1.5 hours to complete, and it would have been quicker except I spent 20 minutes trying to get the darn cotter key lined up on the ball joint bolt. I probably did that in 30 seconds with the first one, but for some odd reason I just couldn't quite get it lined up on this side. If I was a mechanic, it probably wouldn't be a problem doing this job in less than one hour.

Bottom line for anyone wanting to do this job: watch the linked video a couple times and do it! Other than a ball joint tool (like she used in the video), a impact gun (to do the ball joint nut), and a torque wrench, this job only required basic hand tools. A breaker bar is advised, but not mandatory. A pry bar and a hammer are nice to have when you're trying to gently persuade the A-arm into position to get the bolts in.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Got to say I couldn't be happier with the car since I replaced the LCAs. I think the compliance bushings had been on their way out far earlier than just the last year. I used to hear some odd (suspension?) noises when I was pulling out of parking spaces over the last few years, but that's gone now. It's nice and quiet now! :)
 
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