The Honda Civic uses a MacPherson strut front suspension. The top of the strut attaches to the body inside the engine compartment. The bottom of the strut attaches to the lower control arm. A stabiliser bar also attaches to the lower control arm. The lower control arm attaches to the steering knuckle by way of a ball joint that must be removed with a special puller. This puller can be rented from most auto parts stores.
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Things you need
- Jack stands
- Wrench set
- Ratchet and socket set
- Needle nose pliers
- Ball joint puller
Park the Civic on a level, paved surface and set the parking brake. Loosen the lug nuts on the wheel where you want to replace the lower control arm. Raise the front of the Civic with a jack and support with jack stands. Remove the lug nuts and wheel.
Locate where the stabiliser bar attaches to the lower control arm. Use a ratchet and socket and a wrench to remove the nut from the stabiliser bar link bolt. Note the order in which the washers, rubber insulators and link spacer fit on the bolt. Remove the bolt, washers, insulators and spacer.
Use a wrench, ratchet and socket to remove the nut and bolt from the strut mount where it attaches to the lower control arm.
Use needle nosed pliers to pull the cottar pin from the castle nut on the ball joint where it attaches to the lower control arm. Note the way the cottar pin is bent around the castle nut. When you install the cottar pin, be sure to bend it the same way.
Use a ratchet socket to loosen the ball joint castle nut. Loosen the nut so that there is about a quarter inch gap between the lower control arm and the nut. Attach a ball joint puller with the jaws of the top of the lower control arm and a threaded rod on the castle nut and ball joint stud. Use a wrench to tighten the rod until the control arm pops off of the ball joint stud. Remove the puller and castle nut.
Use a wrench, ratchet and socket to remove the nut and bolt from the front of the lower control arm where it attaches to the frame.
Use a ratchet and socket to remove the nut from the pivot stud at the rear of the lower control arm. Slide the pivot stud out of the bushing and remove the lower control arm.
Slide the pivot stud on the rear of the new lower control arm into the bushing and mount the front of the arm into its frame bracket. Install the bolt and nut into the front of the lower control arm. Install the nut on the pivot stud and use a torque wrench and socket to torque the nut to 61 foot-pounds. Torque the front bolt to 47 foot-pounds.
Slide the end of the lower control arm onto the ball joint stud. Install the castle nut and torque it to 40 foot-pounds. Install a new cottar pin through the ball joint stud and use needle nose pliers to bend it around the castle nut.
Install the strut mount onto the lower control arm. Install the bolt and nut. Torque the nut to 47 foot-pounds. Reattach the stabiliser bar, lining up the washers insulators and spacer in the same order as you removed them. Install the link bolt and nut. Torque the nut to 16 foot-pounds.
Install the wheel and lug nuts. Raise the front of the Civic, remove the jack stands and lower the Civic to the ground. Tighten the lug nuts.
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