Honda CR-V Owners Club Forums banner
  • Hey everyone! Enter your ride HERE to be a part of December's Ride of the Month Challenge!
1 - 20 of 23 Posts

·
Registered
2003 Honda CR-V
Joined
·
36 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Should I order the control arms and put those in at the same time? Or just put in the strut assemblies now and control arms later.
Also there is this other boot that is torn, not sure what it is called. Should those be replaced too?
I'm changing my strut assemblies because of leaking shocks, rough ride, bouncy and squeaky.
Wood Composite material Automotive tire Metal Auto part

Automotive tire Bumper Hood Automotive exterior Rim
 

·
Everything in Moderation
2006 CR-V EX, 5MT
Joined
·
12,154 Posts
Common issue on Gen2s and Elements.

Many owners & shops just replace the lower control arm.

EricTheCarGuy has a video on replacement (Element) on his YT channel. The bushing orientation is VERY important.

++++++++

Is the second pic an upside-down view of the lower ball joint?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
590 Posts
My experience with aftermarket strut assemblies has not been great, but OE is quite expensive. First had Monroe complete assembly quick struts in. They went bad after 2 years. Although they had a lifetime warranty, I changed the dampener to a KYB. Fast forward another 2 years, the upper strut mount on the passenger side went bad (just last month). I bought a Beck Arnley strut mount to put on … and it didn’t fit the top of the spring seat/bearing. Then I went to the local parts store, compared KYB and Duralast upper strut mounts … and they also didn’t fit. Freaking Monroe spring seat/bearing/upper mounts on their quickstruts don’t fit with other aftermarket parts. I gave up trying to find an upper strut mount / bearing / spring seat that would fit together … and bought duralast complete strut assemblies and put those in. I think I spent 3 doing actual labor and 4 hours figuring out parts didn’t fit.

Hard to see from your pic, but I would take a big pry bar to that lower control arm to see if there is any play before replacing. Regarding the ball joint boot - is it torn and leaking? Is there still grease in it and no play? Honda does sell the boot only if you think you’ve caught it before you’ve lost grease/got contaminants in.

on one hand, I hate suspension work because my muscles are sore the next day. On the other hand, I find small oil leaks and Intermittent electrical faults are more annoying to diagnose.
 

·
Registered
2003 Honda CR-V
Joined
·
36 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Here's a pic of the other side. It's almost torn all the way through on one side. I got KYB strut assemblies. Seems to be the best for aftermarket. So much work on this car but it should be pretty good after all this is done. I'm replacing the starter right now.
Automotive tire Tire Wood Automotive exterior Rim
 

·
Registered
2006 Honda CR-V EX, 5AT, 2WD
Joined
·
11 Posts
I just went through this same evolution on my CR-V. Took the drivers side front suspension apart to replace axle/cvs/boots. My front control arm bushing looked like yours, same for passengers side. Ericthecarguy has a great Youtube vid on the process, it should be required viewing before attempting. He replaced his bushings and ball joints. He used a ball joint tool kit with 23 pieces. My findings were that Autozone and Oreillys have kits but they only have 7 - 8 parts. They will work, but you will struggle with workarounds. That's what I did unfortunately. Advance Auto has the 23 piece kit for loan, but it was an hour's drive from my house. I wished many times during the job I had bit the bullet and gotten the same kit Eric used. I was only able to use the 7-8 part kit because I also have a 12 ton hydraulic press. The small kit is fine if all you are doing is replacing ball joints but the 23 part kit has what you need for replacing the bushings.
At Oreillys the parts for the job were about $120 including ball joints. Complete control arms are about $130 and up without ball joints, each, nearly all made in China. I wasn't brave enough to price OEM replacement arms. My CR-V was made in Japan and I elected to keep and repair my OEM arms. Some helpful hints.....soak the front bushing shell/contol arm joint with penetrating oil overnight. I didn't on the first arm and nearly stalled my press before it came out. The back bushings can't be pressed out since the back edge flange of the outer shell overlaps the control arm. I used a 1/4" drill and drilled between the inner and outer sleeve, through the rubber in 8 places. Followed that up with an appropriately sized hole saw and the inner sleeve and most of the rubber comes out. Slide a cutoff saw blade in, or assemble a hacksaw through the inside of the cored out bushing and carefully cut through the outer metal sleeve. That takes the tension off the bushing and you can tap it out easily with a punch on the back side bushing flange. 2 taps and mine was out. You can press the back bushing in with the kit, same for the front bushing. One other thing...Honda manual shows using a lever type device to part the ball joint from the control arm. I have one of those and literally bent the ball joint stud before it broke loose. I used a ball joint fork on the other side and was done in about 5 minutes. I elected to replace the ball joint with the spindle on the bench. It helps to have another set of hands when assembling all the parts/pieces of the kit to the spindle and control arms. I didn't have help but wished for some.
I'm 70 and pulled this job off myself, spread over several sessions over several days in my shop...no lift, just jack stands. The second side was much faster and a breeze since I already knew the workarounds. Eric brings up a good point that it might be more cost effective to just replace the arm assembly. Just depends on whether you want the challenge and save money. Every time I do a front end job I always swear it's the last one, but at the end of the day cheap $$ and my labor wins out. I figure paying for the job outright at a shop would run $600-$1000. Good luck!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
105 Posts
both my compliance bushings are shot too. looks the same. I bought the bushings, only to realise I dont know how to explain to the local machine shop how to install them alligned correctly, they just dont understand, so i gave up, and im glad i gave up, because ericthecarguy (also mentoned previosuly in this thread) shows us just how much of a disasater it is trying to push in these things.
The aftermarket entire controll arm costs only a little bit more than the bushings alone, so im waiting for scary noises to start then il get the entire control arms left and right and do it myself.
The biggest issue you will face with torn complicance bushings is sloppy / scary steering. i have a bit of that with mine. Its worst when you hit a bump while turning at speed, feels like the back of the car has jumped out sideways on you.
So yeh, just get the controll arms man, its not long till you have the dangerous steering. its not a nice experience.
 

·
Registered
2006 Honda CR-V EX, 5AT, 2WD
Joined
·
11 Posts
My steering never got scary but a lot of random clunking from the front end went away after replacing the bushings. Oddly enough, uneven tire wear wasn’t an issue. My ball joints were OK, without play, but no sense taking the front suspension apart without replacing them, especially since a front end alignment was required anyway after doing the control arms.
 

·
Everything in Moderation
2006 CR-V EX, 5MT
Joined
·
12,154 Posts
both my compliance bushings are shot too.
Yup, when I first found out about the front bushing issue, I found ours to be severely cracked.

So I took a page from the Civic owners handbook, and filled-in the gaps with Urethane, as is also done in the Fit world.

Here is just one how-to:


Its been 6 years and the repaired bushings are still functioning.
 

·
Premium Member
2018 EX-L fwd
Joined
·
1,006 Posts
Having done all that, front suspension parts, with our 2008, I heartily recommend, if financially possible, do everything at the same time. While you're at it, take a good look at your rear suspension. Chances are if the fronts are in this condition, the rears are not too far behind replacement time. Did our rears at the same time as the front. Really changed the handling for the better.

Good luck. Keep everyone informed.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
15 Posts
I just went through this same evolution on my CR-V. Took the drivers side front suspension apart to replace axle/cvs/boots. My front control arm bushing looked like yours, same for passengers side. Ericthecarguy has a great Youtube vid on the process, it should be required viewing before attempting. He replaced his bushings and ball joints. He used a ball joint tool kit with 23 pieces. My findings were that Autozone and Oreillys have kits but they only have 7 - 8 parts. They will work, but you will struggle with workarounds. That's what I did unfortunately. Advance Auto has the 23 piece kit for loan, but it was an hour's drive from my house. I wished many times during the job I had bit the bullet and gotten the same kit Eric used. I was only able to use the 7-8 part kit because I also have a 12 ton hydraulic press. The small kit is fine if all you are doing is replacing ball joints but the 23 part kit has what you need for replacing the bushings.
At Oreillys the parts for the job were about $120 including ball joints. Complete control arms are about $130 and up without ball joints, each, nearly all made in China. I wasn't brave enough to price OEM replacement arms. My CR-V was made in Japan and I elected to keep and repair my OEM arms. Some helpful hints.....soak the front bushing shell/contol arm joint with penetrating oil overnight. I didn't on the first arm and nearly stalled my press before it came out. The back bushings can't be pressed out since the back edge flange of the outer shell overlaps the control arm. I used a 1/4" drill and drilled between the inner and outer sleeve, through the rubber in 8 places. Followed that up with an appropriately sized hole saw and the inner sleeve and most of the rubber comes out. Slide a cutoff saw blade in, or assemble a hacksaw through the inside of the cored out bushing and carefully cut through the outer metal sleeve. That takes the tension off the bushing and you can tap it out easily with a punch on the back side bushing flange. 2 taps and mine was out. You can press the back bushing in with the kit, same for the front bushing. One other thing...Honda manual shows using a lever type device to part the ball joint from the control arm. I have one of those and literally bent the ball joint stud before it broke loose. I used a ball joint fork on the other side and was done in about 5 minutes. I elected to replace the ball joint with the spindle on the bench. It helps to have another set of hands when assembling all the parts/pieces of the kit to the spindle and control arms. I didn't have help but wished for some.
I'm 70 and pulled this job off myself, spread over several sessions over several days in my shop...no lift, just jack stands. The second side was much faster and a breeze since I already knew the workarounds. Eric brings up a good point that it might be more cost effective to just replace the arm assembly. Just depends on whether you want the challenge and save money. Every time I do a front end job I always swear it's the last one, but at the end of the day cheap $$ and my labor wins out. I figure paying for the job outright at a shop would run $600-$1000. Good luck!
Hi. I agree with what fieldcoordinator wrote. I replaced my control arm in 2015 when I purchased my 2002 CRV EX 5MT. My CRV's compliance bushing were ripped/torn and noticed the weld on one of the arms was missing so I opted to purchase new control arms which came with the compliance bushings. My CRV would not pass inspection had I not replaced the compliance bushings. With that I also replaced my balljoints. If you do the job yourself, be sure to leave the bolts loose on the control arms. Do not tighten the arm in place until the CRV is resting on the ground on its own weight. The CRV has to be on its own weight. If you tighten in the air in about two weeks time your compliance bushings will rip and tear. With the CRV on its own weight, the part is in the proper position.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
105 Posts
bammm! thats a very important point. I think thats probably one of the reasons why its such a common issue, someone replaces them, and doesnt install it correctly, they shove it in and tighten it and its dead in weeks.
I can thank ericthecarguy for teaching me this heh:) Love that guy!
 

·
Super Moderator
2007 Accord EX 2020 CR-V Hybrid EX
Joined
·
4,249 Posts
I think I see your problem. :)
According to the "automatic picture caption-er" your current components are made out of "wood composite", no wonder they wore out.
I would replace them with metal ones immediately.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
38 Posts
The cracking on that sealed assembly's dust boot and the grease/dirt residue around it indicates it has leaked some of its lubricant out- thats why it looks like it does there. I've done all of these on Civic's ranging back to 1992 vintage, and its generally best to do all of them at once to minimize the repeating of disassembly labor and you really should do both sides at once as they are all the same age/mileage and will be in similar condition *barring some kind of road hazard damage to specific components). Then the alignment. Also that half shaft boot doesn't look all that great there in PIC #1, no obvious signs of leakage- just kinda old. Oh and on struts I did my own at the same time, KYB GR-2's is memory serves. Its a difficult and potentially dangerous job involving spring compressors, etc- so be forewarned.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
40 Posts
both my compliance bushings are shot too. looks the same. I bought the bushings, only to realise I dont know how to explain to the local machine shop how to install them alligned correctly, they just dont understand, so i gave up, and im glad i gave up, because ericthecarguy (also mentoned previosuly in this thread) shows us just how much of a disasater it is trying to push in these things.
The aftermarket entire controll arm costs only a little bit more than the bushings alone, so im waiting for scary noises to start then il get the entire control arms left and right and do it myself.
The biggest issue you will face with torn complicance bushings is sloppy / scary steering. i have a bit of that with mine. Its worst when you hit a bump while turning at speed, feels like the back of the car has jumped out sideways on you.
So yeh, just get the controll arms man, its not long till you have the dangerous steering. its not a nice experience.
I don't have a press, so I took my control arms to a local machine shop to have the new bushing pressed in. What I did with the front bushing to ensure the shop got it correctly was to put a dot of contrasting paint (or wife's nail polish) at the point on the bushing and the corresponding point on the LCA where you want the two parts to match up.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
40 Posts
Good replies all around. I've done all these front end repairs on my 05V the last few years, and on most, more than once. People on this site have been very helpful.
I agree, do it all at once, including BOTH ball joints. They should always be replaced as a set, and chances are if one's bad/boot torn, the other isn't far behind. Make sure you add grease to them - they usually don't come grease filled from the manufacturer, they're shipped with only a minimum of assemble grease in them and will quickly wear out if not greased properly.

If you haven't done it yet, removing the ball joint stud from the control arm can be a challenge, even with the ball joint tools, either the pickle fork or the lever type. The easiest and best technique I've found is the one described elsewhere on this site and on a few YouTube videos uses the handle of a 1/2" Craftsman ratchet (or similar profile tool or metal bar.)

Here's how its done:
After removing the wheel, jacking up the car, and loosening the ball joint nut 1/4 down (DON'T remove the nut!), jack up the lca and place a 1/2" drive craftsman ratchet (perfect size), the wide way vertical, between the gap that is created with the arm and the bottom inside lip of the knuckle.
When you let the jack down the springs/shocks will press down on the lca, which presses fully on the ratchet = press on the knuckle = pops the joint EASY. If it doesnt come out just by lowering the jack down, just hop yourself up on your caliper and that definately will pop it.
Loosening the ball joint nut down about 1/4 way, makes it so you dont totally destroy the threads when the joint pops.

Here's one video. I haven't watched it myself, it's just the first one that came up. If you don't find it clear, there are others. https://www.qwant.com/?client=ext-f...rol+arm+craftsman+1/2+ratchet&o=0:75Jlv-ZlYuQ

If you search CR-V Owners' Club, you can find pretty good instructions on all these jobs, as well as HondaTech.com, YouTube, and as others have noted, Eric the Car Guy is excellent.

Also, spray the crap out of all nuts, bolts, etc that you will be removing everyday for 4-5 days before you start the job, as these components can all get stuck and rusted pretty well from exposure to so much moisture and salt.

Good luck!
 

·
Registered
2003 Honda CR-V
Joined
·
36 Posts
Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Thanks for all the info guys. Looks like for the control arms I'll probably just buy all new ones, they are about $70 each. It sounds more difficult to replace the bushing on the control arms. For the ball joints it sounds like it's best to use a 20+ part ball joint press kit. They actually sell them for about $80 so will have to see if I'm going to buy or just rent. For the ball joints to grease them I guess I'll have to get a grease gun. Car rides like hell so I need to do it ASAP but I think most of the ride quality issue is the bad struts.
 
1 - 20 of 23 Posts
Top