Ball Joint Replacement [Archive] - Honda Element Owners Club Forum

: Ball Joint Replacement


Jackson49
08-09-2010, 07:45 AM
I was changing my oil this weekend and noticed that my ball joint dust covers are torn and exposing the ball joints. This probably accounts for the occasional creak I am getting from the front end. I am thinking there is water and dirt intrusion inside so I may as well replace them. I have noticed that Moog makes a replacement ball joint assembly but it must be pressed in. If I use OEM I have to buy a complete steering knuckle assembly to get a new ball joint. If I am going to do that I may as well install new half shaft bearings while I'm at it. Anyone have any suggestions / comments. My mileage is 106K plus.

Thanks...Jackson

ramblerdan
08-09-2010, 09:02 AM
Related threads
http://www.elementownersclub.com/forums/showthread.php?t=56522
http://www.elementownersclub.com/forums/showthread.php?t=58595
http://www.elementownersclub.com/forums/showthread.php?t=53227
http://www.elementownersclub.com/forums/showthread.php?p=807130

LeadFoot
08-14-2010, 06:15 AM
Related threads
http://www.elementownersclub.com/forums/showthread.php?t=56522
http://www.elementownersclub.com/forums/showthread.php?t=58595
http://www.elementownersclub.com/forums/showthread.php?t=53227
http://www.elementownersclub.com/forums/showthread.php?p=807130

Great links, ramblerdan. I read through all of them, but still have a couple of questions with regard to a lower ball joint.

In my case, the driver side lower ball joint boot has become torn. On one of the linked threads above when somebody else asked about that, you wrote:

Since the boot alone is a $3 item, I hope that quote is for a new knuckle and ball joint combo ($180 list). Besides, replacing just the boot is risky unless you know it was just torn yesterday.

Mine was not torn "yesterday", so it sounds like just replacing the boot is out. Now - on to my questions...

A. Do I really have to go to a Honda Dealer Service Center to have the repair performed, or is the lower ball joint a standard service procedure I could have safely performed by a competent local mechanic's shop?

B. If going to Honda, do they sell the lower ball joints in single units - or will I have to buy a pair even though the other side is in excellent condition? It sounds like in the threads linked above, I have to buy the entire knuckle/arm or whatever one calls it. Part lists for $130 at Majestic Honda if that is what is needed.

C. I did speak with the nearest Honda Dealer Service Center (about 25 miles from me) who said on the first appointment I could bring it in and they would check to see what it needs and order the parts. So, does that mean I would be paying for the initial service check appointment and the subsequent return to have the repair performed?

D. Is it safe to drive with the lower ball joint torn boot until Monday when I can have it looked at by either the dealer or a local mechanic. I hear no creaking and there is no degradation in steering that I can feel. I only discovered it yesterday while changing the oil. So I have to wager a guess that it has torn in the last 5-7K miles since my prior oil change.

Thanks.

LeadFoot

ramblerdan
08-14-2010, 07:58 AM
> Do I really have to go to a Honda Dealer Service Center to have the
> repair performed

No, any competent shop can do this. If just replacing the boot, they need to be careful not to damage the bottom threads on the ball joint, since it's going to be reused. Calls for the Honda thread protector tool p/n 07AAF-SDAA100, or equivalent.

It's a bear to separate the ball joint stud from the lower control arm, as you've no doubt read, but a well-equipped garage should have a good extractor tool, either a lever type like Honda p/n 07MAC-SL00200 / 07MAC-SL00202, or a screw type commonly used on Pittman arms. They might also use the lever trick, but they should not use a pickle fork (either manual or pneumatic), as that can damage the LCA.


> If going to Honda, do they sell the lower ball joints in single units -
> or will I have to buy a pair even though the other side is in excellent
> condition?

They will sell one side, but the entire knuckle, not just the ball joint. Installation entails pressing in a new bearing and also replacing the ABS sensor, since it seems the original can't be removed without damage. That's what makes the Moog ball joint so attractive: You can reuse your knuckle, though it still has to be removed so the new ball joint can be pressed in. A Honda shop likely won't do that for you.


> I did speak with the nearest Honda Dealer Service Center (about 25 miles
> from me) who said on the first appointment I could bring it in and they
> would check to see what it needs and order the parts. So, does that mean
> I would be paying for the initial service check appointment and the
> subsequent return to have the repair performed?

You'll have to get that answer from them. If they say they'll diagnose for free (or waive the diagnosis fee if they do the work), get it in writing, or at the very least record the name of the person who made the promise and the time/date of the call.


> Is it safe to drive with the lower ball joint torn boot until Monday
> when I can have it looked at by either the dealer or a local mechanic.

99% likelihood that it's fine to drive.

LeadFoot
08-14-2010, 08:04 AM
Thanks so much for the follow up answers. The Moog sounds like the way to go and I will speak to a local mechanic about doing the job. Unfortunately, the guy who does that type of work that I trust is on vacation for a week.

I checked your Element site. I love your mods - especially the steering wheel.

LeadFoot

AztecRol
08-14-2010, 08:10 PM
Thanks so much for the follow up answers. The Moog sounds like the way to go and I will speak to a local mechanic about doing the job. Unfortunately, the guy who does that type of work that I trust is on vacation for a week.

I checked your Element site. I love your mods - especially the steering wheel.

LeadFoot

Did you see this in the Trading Post??

http://www.elementownersclub.com/forums/showthread.php?t=65159

LeadFoot
08-15-2010, 02:50 PM
Did you see this in the Trading Post??

http://www.elementownersclub.com/forums/showthread.php?t=65159

Hey, thanks for that link.

I don't need both, as it is only one side that is facaulked. Assuming, that is, that the work could be done on one of the lower ball joints that would involve swapping out from the OEM Honda fall joint to a Moog while leaving the other side OEM and as is since it is in good shape.

If I can't do it that way and I need the pair - well, that link may become useful provided they are not already sold.

So the question is: Do I need to do both at the same time, or is it okay to just repair the one that needs it?

LeadFoot

ramblerdan
08-15-2010, 05:29 PM
You can do only one if you like. Depending on the mileage, the other side might need replacement not long after.

LeadFoot
08-16-2010, 06:15 PM
You can do only one if you like. Depending on the mileage, the other side might need replacement not long after.

The other side has already been replaced (Honda part) due to an accident - so it is only 20K miles old. I bought this particular 2005 Element for my son (http://www.elementownersclub.com/forums/showthread.php?t=64884). It's a salvage rebuild.

Everything is set for a Thursday morning repair with the Moog.

LeadFoot

proteus9119
05-05-2011, 07:38 AM
my passenger side joint went out this weekend, and the other has a ripped boot. i searched around for posts and discovered that you can't get the ball joint alone you have to get the knuckle, unless going with Moog.

i just spoke to a local Honda dealer and they said they would do the ball joints with Honda OEM parts and that they did not need to replace the whole knuckle.

i also contacted an independant mech who specializes in Hondas (Honnaman, reynoldsburg, OH) who has done work for me in the past and whom i generally like very much. He said Honda would only sell him the whole knuckle, like everyone else's experience making his repair about twice the cost of the dealer's quote.

has anyone else heard of Honda doing just the ball joint? I'm worried it may be a low ball estimate to get me in the door and then i get a call saying 'oh, yeah our bad it is the whole knuckle and it'll be 3 times as much as we quoted"

lizzurd
05-05-2011, 07:54 AM
my passenger side joint went out this weekend, and the other has a ripped boot. i searched around for posts and discovered that you can't get the ball joint alone you have to get the knuckle, unless going with Moog.

i just spoke to a local Honda dealer and they said they would do the ball joints with Honda OEM parts and that they did not need to replace the whole knuckle.

i also contacted an independant mech who specializes in Hondas (Honnaman, reynoldsburg, OH) who has done work for me in the past and whom i generally like very much. He said Honda would only sell him the whole knuckle, like everyone else's experience making his repair about twice the cost of the dealer's quote.

has anyone else heard of Honda doing just the ball joint? I'm worried it may be a low ball estimate to get me in the door and then i get a call saying 'oh, yeah our bad it is the whole knuckle and it'll be 3 times as much as we quoted"


There is not a ball joint supplied by Honda specifically for the Element. There is a chance they have found one on the shelf that fits. But at this point in time the only Honda approved repair is to replace the knuckle.

proteus9119
05-06-2011, 08:24 AM
OK, that's what seems to be the word on the street.

as it turns out i may not find out anytime soon. I'm loath to post about my own dumbass attack but the mech just called and indicated that the noise was infact not my ball joint but was a loose caliper mounting bracket.

note; i had just done my brakes

So, the money i would have spent on the ball joint repair will now be going to a torque wrench!