2003 Honda Civic EX Front End


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Old 09-20-11, 03:51 PM
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2003 Honda Civic EX Front End

Just got the timing belt done at the dealer for my Civic. During there inspection they said I needed the following:

Lower Ball Joints @ $475.00
Comp Bushings @ $430.00 (what is that??)

I was thinking about doing this myself. If I do and I want to do more a thorough job...what should I replace?

Thanks
 
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Old 09-20-11, 06:52 PM
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lower ball joints used to be bolted onto control arms, and were piece of cake to replace. now they have them pressed in, so it's either hammering them out and hammering them back in, or taking control arms to a tire shop and they will press them out/press new ones in for you. Price is usually very reasonable.
I'd assume, they mention control arm bushings. they would have to remove arms anyways to get ball joints out, so it's a "do it while you there" job. Once you get control arms off, yeah, do replace them. Same tire shop will do this for you. You should easily cut price by 70%. do NOT buy the cheapist parts, buy 2nd or 3rd from the bottom up. Parts for Civic are PLETHORA.

SO, HERE'S A STUPID QUESTION. YOU HAVE 8 YO CAR AND YOU HAVE THOSE PARTS BUSTED? sorry, forgot caps. I parted with a 91 Civic last year, and they were fine. You sure? is there any REAL REASON to replace them, besides dealer desire to make more zoo-zoo at your expense?
 
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Old 09-21-11, 04:13 AM
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Have to agree with uk on that. An 8-9 year old Honda is pretty young for either to be failing, barring it being driven on a racetrack. Think I would get a second opinion at a good independent shop without cluing them in that someone has already diagnosed the parts as worn out.
 
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Old 09-21-11, 04:24 AM
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Have you noticed any abnormal tire wear? How does it drive?
 
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Old 09-21-11, 05:47 PM
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I was thinking about buying genuine Honda parts. If I buy cheap parts I could be in a worse situation. The car seems to drive fine. However when ball joints break they don't make an appointment.

Your right...I was standing at the service desk and a sign at the dealer said "After 20 years 8 out of 10 Honda are still on the road". However the service technician mentioned a vehicle a of "this age". Eight yours old is not a old car.
 
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Old 09-21-11, 05:50 PM
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Originally Posted by marksr View Post
Have you noticed any abnormal tire wear? How does it drive?
No abnormal tire wear. However i need two new tires but the wear is even. I had a ball joint break on me once and it scared the sh?? out of me.
 
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Old 09-21-11, 05:57 PM
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BTW I was told the boots were torn on the ball joints.
 
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Old 09-21-11, 06:43 PM
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you need to start rotating tires on a regular basis, then you will not need "just two".

boots are torn, hah? so what? takes more than torn boot to steer ball joint bad. find a mechanically inclined buddy, ask him to check ball joints out.


Look for a wear indicator. While the vehicle is still on the ground, look underneath the car, on the bottom of the steering knuckle attached to the wheel.

The most common indicator is a grease fitting that doubles as a wear indicator. That fitting, or boss, will stick out of the bottom of the joint’s housing by about half an inch (1.25 centimeters). As it wears the boss will recede into the housing. As long as the boss protrudes out, the joint should be fine. Once the boss is flush with the housing or has receded even further, you’ll need to replace the ball joint.
If your front suspension uses McPherson struts, look for that wear indicator, usually a grease fitting. Grasp the fitting and try to wiggle it. If the fitting moves around inside the housing you’ll need to replace the ball joint.
If you can’t find a wear indicator, or if the indicator doesn’t give you a clear enough sign, proceed to the next step.

3
Raise the front end of the car.

Place the jack under the lower control arm of the front wheel, as close to the ball joint as you can get it and raise the auto until the wheel leaves the ground.
Make sure there is no compression in the suspension when you check the ball joint. If you have control arms of unequal lengths, make sure the upper bump stop doesn’t touch the control arm. If you have McPherson struts, let the strut extend as far out as you can.

4
Rock the wheels and check for play.

Refer to the service manual to find out how much movement, if any, is allowed.
For side-to-side play, place a dial indicator (a tool that measures the amount of play) inside the wheel rim close to the ball joint. Grab the wheel at either side (3 and 9 o’clock) to push in and pull out the wheel laterally.
For vertical play, place the dial indicator against the steering knuckle stud nut or the ball joint housing, depending on the manufacturer. Grab the wheel at the top and bottom (12 and 6 o’clock) to lift up and pull down.
Read the dial indicator and check against the manufacturer’s specifications. If the movement is beyond specifications, replace the ball joint.

5
Repeat steps to check the ball joint on the other front wheel.
 
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Old 09-21-11, 06:49 PM
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I always check ball joint this way:
1. follow step 3
2. remove wheel for ease of access
3. find a strong flathead screwdriver or flat pry bar; wedge flat end in-between the steering knuckle where ball joint stud is set, and control arm; try prying steering knuckle up. If there's noticeable upward play, ball joint is bust and needs to be replaced.
audible ball joint manifestation is loud clunk coming from the front end, felt in steering, when car has wheels turned several degrees to any side, and goes down into a pothole, or, say, when you turn off sidewalk into a street. You know how there's always a dip there. If it clunks during that "dipping" - ball joints are to be well examined.
 
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Old 09-22-11, 04:47 AM
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Originally Posted by dgoode View Post
I was thinking about buying genuine Honda parts. If I buy cheap parts I could be in a worse situation.
If those original parts are worn out after only 8 years, I would seriously consider aftermarket replacement parts. The only factory parts that go on any of my vehicles are those that have no aftermarkets available.
 
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Old 09-22-11, 02:37 PM
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Originally Posted by the_tow_guy View Post
If those original parts are worn out after only 8 years, I would seriously consider aftermarket replacement parts. The only factory parts that go on any of my vehicles are those that have no aftermarkets available.
that is sadly true. Aftermarket often has much cheaper and more reliable parts, than OEM ones. Can tell from my Silverado. Just don't buy 1st price from the bottom. I always ask them to show me options, and go for 2nd or 3rd from the lowest price up. Or for lifetime warranty. I stay away from several manufacturers, otherwise, it's a huge saver.
 
 

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