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Discussion Starter #1
So I decided to do a refresh on my tsx and replace the shocks and struts and lower control arms(they are cracked). The shocks and struts I got off no problem but the lower control arms are really kicking my ass. On the passenger LCA, the front joint where it connects to the frame, the bolt will not come out. It took a ton of torque with a breaker bar and extension with a floor jack to get it to turn. However the bolt seems to have seized inside the sleeve. The rubber joint is shredded and the bolt just spins now with no further movement. I got it loose enough to get the nut to come off but beyond that it appears stuck.

I tried to take a break and loosen the bolt on the back closer to the steering rack. Despite my best efforts the arm itself raises up when I try to get enough torque to break it loose.

Has anyone done this job before? What did you have to do? I'm almost considering hiring a mobile mechanic to come out and remove them so I can continue. I also don't understand why the nuts that secure these bolts are round, why not make them true nuts so you can use a wrench to counter turn a ratchet on the other side?
 

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So I now realize that I actually broke the welded "nut" of the front control arm bushing off the frame. I thought it was a separate piece but I now see where it was welded. What a pain in the ass.
 

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Purchased a reciprocating saw to cut through the bolt. Hoping it can cut through the bushing sleeve as well.
 

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Ill document a little bit since it seems not a lot of people attempt this. I ended up using the sawzall with Diablo blades to cut through the bushing bolt and the sleeve. Takes a couple minutes and a steady hand. All but one bolt had to be cut out. I might have discovered a trick with it though. I accidentally tightened the last bolt and heard a pop. Realizing my mistake I reversed the ratchet to remove the bolt and to my amazement it started coming out. So that might be something for anyone that reads this thread to try before cutting the bolts.

Now I'm just waiting on new bolts and Ill have to find matching lock nuts to reinstall.
 

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In the future, I highly recommend hitting all of the bolts, screws, etc. with a liquid penetrant the day prior, then hit them again about 30 minutes before you start. My TSX had spent the first 7 years of it's live in the northeast, and had plenty of surface rust to prove it...lol. I did my LCAs due to the compliance bushings being worn out. The penetrant did the job, and the bolts came right out. Had to wrestle the old arms out & new ones back in, but I got the job done.

You should also consider switching from a breaker bar to a impact gun. It feels much safer, especially if you're working under the car.
 

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Sadly, penetrant will not touch the kind of rust that forms if you live in the salt belt.

Cutting is the way to go. You can heat the sleeve but be prepared for a lot of fire, thick smoke, etc from the bushing. Not good. Glad you got it to back out but For future reference, you were on the right track. If you plan to replace any of the suspension links in the back, expect the same and have new bolts on hand
 

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Going through the same thing right now as well on my new to me 6MT. Passenger side came off after using a torch but the driver side didn’t budge on the front bolt by the compliance bushing. The rear bolt in the subframe did break loose finally but the bushing sleeve is seized on. Another tip a friend of mine suggested is to use a balljoint pitchfork tip and try wiggle it in between the frame and bushing sleeve to try knock it loose a little
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Sadly, penetrant will not touch the kind of rust that forms if you live in the salt belt.

Cutting is the way to go. You can heat the sleeve but be prepared for a lot of fire, thick smoke, etc from the bushing. Not good. Glad you got it to back out but For future reference, you were on the right track. If you plan to replace any of the suspension links in the back, expect the same and have new bolts on hand
Right yeah. It was my first time using a sawzall so I was a little nervous but its beats the hell out of yelling at seized bolts. Im still currently waiting on the bolts to arrive to I can take them a fastener store and get a lock nut to match it. I actually discovered one of my lower ball joins its bad on the steering knuckle so I'm going to replace that as well.

Don't even want to think about the rear end yet haha. This all started with installing lower springs and new shocks/struts. Hopefully I can just do those on the back and be done. But I'm sure I'll find something worn out.
 

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I just went through this myself--one bolt on each side had rusted solid inside the bushings in the lower control arm. On the right side, the big vertical bolt had broken off the weld nut as I was trying to remove it. On the left side, the smaller bolt behind the knuckle was similarly frozen up; on that one I had to break off the weld nut with an air hammer. I used the Sawzall with a modified carbide tipped blade (I ground some of it off to fit in the small recess) and made quick work of it. I was able to get the correct bolts through the Acura dealer, and I ended up going through a Honda parts site for a 2009 CR-V to find the part numbers for matching nuts. It's all back together and working well.

I also ended up replacing the knuckles, complete with new bearings and hubs, and new lower ball joints of course. I only did all this work since the steering rack had blown out the seals on both ends, and since I had it all apart, decided to freshen everything up. The struts are fine, so they'll remain for now.

I have to agree on the penetrant--I've tried three different kinds and nothing has ever soaked through to the threads. Even the industrial penetrant I bought! Thankfully I have a Milwaukee M18 1/2" impact, as that made the work on this car so much easier.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I just went through this myself--one bolt on each side had rusted solid inside the bushings in the lower control arm. On the right side, the big vertical bolt had broken off the weld nut as I was trying to remove it. On the left side, the smaller bolt behind the knuckle was similarly frozen up; on that one I had to break off the weld nut with an air hammer. I used the Sawzall with a modified carbide tipped blade (I ground some of it off to fit in the small recess) and made quick work of it. I was able to get the correct bolts through the Acura dealer, and I ended up going through a Honda parts site for a 2009 CR-V to find the part numbers for matching nuts. It's all back together and working well.

I also ended up replacing the knuckles, complete with new bearings and hubs, and new lower ball joints of course. I only did all this work since the steering rack had blown out the seals on both ends, and since I had it all apart, decided to freshen everything up. The struts are fine, so they'll remain for now.

I have to agree on the penetrant--I've tried three different kinds and nothing has ever soaked through to the threads. Even the industrial penetrant I bought! Thankfully I have a Milwaukee M18 1/2" impact, as that made the work on this car so much easier.
Ah so we've had the same pain! haha. I just got my ball joints done today. I considered the bearings also but it's not something I want to do myself entirely and I dont want fork out the money to get new ones in the hub. I think mine are still good anyway. I did get beefy moog sway bar links though. So by the end of all this I'm hoping she rides like a champ. Can you provide a part number for for the CRV nuts? I need ones for the front lower control arm bushing bolt and for the back bushing.
 

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Lets just say I'm really glad I didn't have to resort to those measures! I'm counting my lucky stars! My car spent it's first ~7 year in the northeast, in a salt bath. It was bad enough that I had to replace all four brake calipers.
 

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Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
At long last she is done. The rear damper bolts were seized and I had to cut those off and wait an eternity for replacements. I also broke off the welded nut on one of the damper brackets and replaced that as well. Needs an alignment but I have the say the car looks so much better with even just a 1 inch drop. Oh and I had to cut off all the sway links and replaced them with moog units. The steering feel is pretty incredible now.

If anyone reads this thread in the future and you are replacing control arms.

A. Buy new bolts beforehand.

B. Tighten the bolts first before loosening them, don't over tighten and break them obviously, you should be able to feel when the bolt is free. This is the best way to try and preserve the welded nuts on the frame.

C. If you break the nuts off the frame as I did. You need to find a fastenal store that can get you the highest grade washers and fine thread lock nuts to hold the bolt. I used a dremel to sand down the broken welds smooth.

47401
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Looking good! And my apologies--I missed the reply for the bolt and nut part numbers I needed for the TSX. They were a little pricey but at least I know they are good quality hardware. My weld nuts must have broken off cleanly since neither of them had any flashing left over from the welds, even the one I knocked off using the air hammer. Not a big deal though--the lock nuts and bolts are holding as they should.

It did drive so much better after replacing all those parts. The steering and handling was kind of sloppy when we bought it, but after the replacement it felt much better, like I would have expected it to. The new steering rack has also done well--I bought a new aftermarket rack rather than a rebuilt unit and so far, so good. I decided to redo the front knuckle with all new parts due to rust, plus I have a feeling that the right front bearing had been replaced in the past but installed the wrong way. (So I have a feeling the sensor was good, but couldn't read anything since the bearing could have been backwards.)

I have to do our spare car (2004 Civic) next, and I'm thinking of getting a ball joint remover set. I don't really want to spend for it (since they could be the last ball joints I ever replace--our CR-Vs are all bolt-on ball joints) but I would probably have to pay nearly the same for the machine shop to do it.
 

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Looking good! And my apologies--I missed the reply for the bolt and nut part numbers I needed for the TSX. They were a little pricey but at least I know they are good quality hardware. My weld nuts must have broken off cleanly since neither of them had any flashing left over from the welds, even the one I knocked off using the air hammer. Not a big deal though--the lock nuts and bolts are holding as they should.

It did drive so much better after replacing all those parts. The steering and handling was kind of sloppy when we bought it, but after the replacement it felt much better, like I would have expected it to. The new steering rack has also done well--I bought a new aftermarket rack rather than a rebuilt unit and so far, so good. I decided to redo the front knuckle with all new parts due to rust, plus I have a feeling that the right front bearing had been replaced in the past but installed the wrong way. (So I have a feeling the sensor was good, but couldn't read anything since the bearing could have been backwards.)

I have to do our spare car (2004 Civic) next, and I'm thinking of getting a ball joint remover set. I don't really want to spend for it (since they could be the last ball joints I ever replace--our CR-Vs are all bolt-on ball joints) but I would probably have to pay nearly the same for the machine shop to do it.
Ah yes. I actually forgot to mention I replaced the front lower ball joints as well with carquest units. I bought a ball joint kit from harbour freight but of course Acura/honda uses a special adapter and it didnt work so i returned it. I took the wheel hubs to a shop and had new ones put in for $40. Well worth the time and effort saved.

Car should be in good shape now, just got to track an A/C leak. I suspect the evaporator is damaged. I hear a quite whistle when i turn the AC on and I have a mild moldy smell in the interior over time.
 

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I was thinking of getting that ball joint kit, plus the kit of Honda ball joint sleeves that are available. Advance Auto has a large kit but unfortunately not even the cutaway sleeves would work on Hondas. I may see if my neighbor could do it, since he is the manager at the shop and his son also works there. I used a machine shop to do the bearings and hubs, along with the ball joints, and it got a bit pricey (although they are the best in the area).
 
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