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DB7 - Remove Spindle, Brake Caliper, and Lower Control Arms

This project turned in to a lengthy one for a variety of reasons. However, it was quite enjoyable all the way through. My initial thought was to make this one giant post in regards to replacing the whole front end. That is not going to work as there is just too much so I decided to break it up in to smaller chunks. If I would have done this before I'd probably a few more posts out there. Anyways, let begin.

Things to note:
Please note before you start this project, to remove the upper and lower ball joints you will need a very large C-Clamp that can be rented from the auto parts or a press. There is also a specific socket adapter kit you must also rent in order to use that C-Clamp method. Honda's have interesting front control arms that won't allow you to push that ball joint out with out. In my case, I have a 4 point 66mm impact socket that worked just fine. If not, I would have needed to rent the secondary kit that comes with the extra adapters.

This kit from Advanced Auto looks like it comes with everything: Powerbuilt Tools Ball Joint...

The scope of this project was to replace:
Lower control arm bushings.
Lower shock mount bushings.
Tie rod ends.
Lower ball joints.
Upper ball joints.
Sway bar end links.
Upper, inner, A-arm bushings.

We are gonna start with removal of the lower control arm. Removal of the brake lines and ABS sensor lines from the spindle keep them from getting stretched while the arm is dangling. Removing the spindle as a whole is probably the easier method, as I was going to replace everything anyway. However I started with the lower arm first because I was doing this in stages. Anyway, let's get to it.

Tools Required:
10mm socket
12mm socket
14mm socket
17mm socket
19mm socket
32mm axle socket
1/2  Impact Gun Air/Battery
Needle Nose Pliers
Ball Joint Separator

Let's Begin:

We will need to get the spindle out of the way eventually. The first step to removal there is to take the 32mm axle nut off. There are several methods to remove the axle nut. For myself I tapped out the factory punch that keeps the nut from backing out. Then I hit it with a big 1/2 drive impact wrench. Once that is off we continue on.

The brake lines are held with two 10mm bolts.

Brake lines are held to the shock body with two 12mm bolts.

Remove the front caliper. There are two 19mm bolt that secure the caliper to the spindle. Make sure you have something to sit the caliper on as we are not disconnecting the brake lines. 

ABS wheel sensor attaches to the spindle with two 10mm bolts.

Wheel sensor itself also attaches to the spindle with two 10mm bolts.

The nut side of the shock mount is a 17mm.

The bolt side of that same shock mount bolt is also 17mm. Remove this and the bolt. There is a 14mm bolt holding the shock mount to the shock body. Once that bolt is removed you can slide the shock mount down and take it out of the way. 

The lower ball joint crown was 17mm. Slide out the cotter pin and take this guy off. See below for tool to help.

There is a very handy little tool here: Specialty Products - Ball Joint Separator. This guy has saved me many moment of aggravation. I prefer this over the pickle fork method.

At this point you have a loosed everything except the upper ball joint. Remove the 17mm crown from it. Then break the ball joint loose. You should be able to get the spindle out of the way completely now. 

There is a 17mm bolt and a 17mm nut attaching the lower control arm to the stabilizer/compensator arm. We will see more about that in the upcoming posts.

The inner most bolt that holds the lower control arm is also a 17mm.


Alright, beautiful. Now that you have every thing apart you should be able to get that lower control arm to separate from the stabilizer/compensator arm. A bit of shimming and pulling should get that off of there. Mine came out easy but, I could see needing a pry bar or a 3lb hammer to help things along. Once out you can move on to what's next. 

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Things to note:
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Please note before you start this project, to remove the upper and lower ball joints you will need a very large C-Clamp that can be rented from the auto parts or a press. There is also a specific socket adapter kit you must also rent in order to use that C-Clamp method. Honda's have interesting front control arms that won't allow you to push that ball joint out with out. In my case, I have a 4 point 66mm impact socket that worked just fine. If not, I would have needed to rent the secondary kit that comes with the extra adapters.

This kit from Advanced Auto looks like it comes with everything: Powerbuilt Tools Ball Joint...

The scope of this project was to replace:
Lower control arm bushings.
Lower shock mount bushings.
Tie rod ends.
Lower ball joints.
Upper ball joints.
Sway bar end links.
Upper, inner, A-arm bushings.

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