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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
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Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: San Jose Area, CA
Posts: 26

Car 1: 1994 Legend GS Sedan (Japan) Sherwood Green Pearl

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Control Arm Replacement (Front Upper Right) - DIY
I was chasing the rubbery creaking or squeaking noise coming from the front right side for the longest time...I suspected Blower motor assembly under the glove box, since I have fixed it years ago and added some extra weather strips,.....then suspected stabilizer bar, greased the rubberbushing ....then took out, disassemble and greased the rubber bushing of the front right strut assembly......BUT finally! the real culprit was front upper control arm bushing, which I thought can be change, but due to no parts availability....end up with new control arm.

The Things you'll need:

1 - Common sense, safety measures and precautions as always.
2 - Jack (mine is 2 Ton Aluminium with reasonably good height).
3 - Jack Stands (mine are 6 tons each and I also have smaller one 2 tons each)
4 - Wheel Blocks (I have four of them).
5 - Lug wrench or tire iron (to loosen the lug nuts)
6 - Sockets - 19 mm, 17 mm etc.
7 - Breaker bars - 1/2'', 3/4'' etc.
8 - Ratchet wrench - 1/2'', 3/4'' etc
9 - Offset Boxed Wrench - 17 mm
10 - Offset Boxed Ratchet Wrench - 17 mm
11 - Screw Driver
12 - Pliers
13 - Hard wire (cloth hanger wire) or thick rope
14 - Hammer.
15 - Puller (I used the pitman) You can use any other suitable puller or separator.

* Please consult the "Thing you'll need" at the start of the thread.

* 17 mm Offset Boxed Wrench - In the photo I didn't show this because I didn't have at that time, and bought it afterwards.

* 17 mm Offset Boxed Ratchet Wrench - It will be very nice if you have this, otherwise you'll end up turning the 17 mm nut forever, just like what I did. ( I never bought it).

Since we are jacking up the car from the front, pull the hand brake lever fully.

Block the rear tires. I usually block the tires both sides, wondering why? don't know.

2 Tons Floor Jack

If you have no prior experience, please consult the Acura Legend Service or Hynes Manual or other sources, before jacking it up on the stand.

Before lifting the car from the front:

Break loosen (ONLY) the lug nuts of the front right (passenger) tire, while the car is still on the ground with a tire iron (also called a lug wrench) or 19 mm socket and the 1/2'' breaker bar. Make sure the lug nuts are only tight enough so they can be turn loose with little effort, using tools mentioned earlier, while the car is jacked up. Trying to break loosen lug nuts while the car is jacked up will cause the tire to spin uselessly, unless you use the power tools .

Place a jack stand next to both support points at the front sides (right & left) of the car. Adjust the stands at desired height. Identify the jack lift platform (at the front center) and start lifting the car using the 2 tons (at least) jack. Lift the front of the car to the enough height, so the jack stand can be inserted under the support point on the front sides of the car. Before u release the jack, make sure to align the stands under the support point, anticipating the backward movement (few centimeter) of the car. Whole strategy is, so that the stands sits firmly either at the center or little bit off towards the back, on the support points, because if the car slides, under regular conditions it will slide backwards, while the front is jacked up.

Release the jack, make sure both support points are seated comfortably/firmly on the stands, with rear tires block and hand breaks pulled.

Remove the wheel (front right - passenger) after removing the lug nuts all the way (The lug nuts should be able to break loose easily with little effort).

Support the lower control arm with a floor jack

From the wheel well area, unbolt the ABS wheel speed sensor bracket from the upper control arm. Secure the top of the steering knuckle to the shock absorber with a piece of wire or rope. Remove the cotter pin and loosen, but do not remove, the castle nut from the upper ballpoint stud. The nut will prevent the upper control arm and the steering knuckle from separating violently in the next step.

Separate the upper control arm from the steering knuckle with a puller, and then remove the balljoint nut. The top of the steering should hang freely afterwards, as shown in the photo.

Now as the upper control arm is released from under the fender, it's time to remove stuff from the top, under the hood. First identify two 17mm mounting nuts of the control arm at the shock tower. One of the 17 mm nut is easily accessible from the right of the 3 shock tower nuts. But the second one is hidden in a tight space, under the cross bar, fat harness cable clip and thin cable coming from the back. Please remember, I didn't have offset boxed wrench at that time.

Remove the cross bar by removing the two pair of bolts from sides, and one bolt and nut from back center, of the engine compartment. Unbolt the harness clip. Unclip the thin cable (I BROKE THE CLIP!). All this gives you plenty of space to work with. You need to use forefingers to remove and afterwards thread the nut.

Since I didn't have offset boxed wrench initially, I used the ¾'' breaker bar, 17mm socket and floor jack extension pipe to break loose the hidden nut. Then I went and bought offset boxed wrench, but should have bought offset boxed ratchet wrench. It took a while to turn loose the nut all the way and remove the nut using forefingers. Then guide the arm out around the coil spring.

Whole idea was to replace the bushing, but end up buying the new part from the dealer. There is no separate bushing available.

Install the new control arm and thread the 17 mm nuts in place. Due to the tight space one of the nuts should be torque using extension pipe. First try it on the easy one, and test it with torque wrench, that should give you an idea.

Now come back to wheel well under the fender. Push the lower control arm with a floor jack to engage the steering knuckle with the stud of the upper arm balljoint. Tighten the balljoint nut to the lower torque value given in the specifications, then try inserting the cotter pin. If necessary tighten the nut a little more to line up the slots in the nut with the hole in the balljoint stud. Never loosen the nut to allow cotter pin insertion. Bolt back the ABS wheel speed sensor bracket to the new upper control arm.

Be sure to tighten all of the fasteners to the specified torque values!

382 Posts
I hope that fixes the squeak. It didn't on my '92 - turned-out to be the lower ball joint and it took about a week before it came back. (Fingers crossed!)

29 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
what do you mean it came back?

Yes, it did fix the rubbery squeaking noise, which was going on for the longest time. You can easily reproduce the noise, once you disjoint the knuckle from the upper ball joint and then try to move the control arm, up and down by hand. It always felt like a big old rusty bus.

And yes, I am beginning to start hearing the same noise occasionally from the front left, but its not that bad yet.....I'll wait till the noise becomes unbearable.

29 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I forgot to mention that to protect the body paint near where the hidden 17 mm nut is. Use masking tape or some other method to cover the area when using the offset boxed wrench. As you can see being careless, I have chipped the paint.
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