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Old 12-02-2010, 04:23 PM   #31
asp
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2004 4WD EX MT
 
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I would agree with the "honda tech" that the ball joint press fit into the knuckle has likely failed because of being improperly stressed during a previous ball joint separation procedure. Some mechanics may choose to improperly use a sledge hammer, fork or even separator tool to separate the ball joint from the LCA, which might stress the ball joint/knuckle press fit sufficiently to allow the ball joint to dislodge from the knuckle. The other culprit would be a manufacturing or material defect or perhaps both? The knuckle is designed to last for the lifetime of the vehicle, and if the ball joint boot and lubrication remains intact, the joint should last for the lifetime of the vehicle.

As "Generation X Dad" pointed out:

1) the ABS sensor connection at the knuckle will corrode and it generally cannot be removed without damaging it, so what you should do if you wish to remove the knuckle and ABS sensor intact is to disconnect the ABS sensor at the plastic connector away from the knuckle and feed the wire and connector out leaving it attached to the knuckle. Then you can remove the knuckle and ABS sensor intact.

2) Regarding the Honda ball joint separator tool. It should be clean and the threads lubricated with oil. The 'blades' should adjusted such that they are flush and parallel at the peak separation stress point and the arc or "U" shape should lay flat and securely about and between the ball joint/knuckle/LCA assembly. Hand tools should be used only (no power tools) for safety, control and to prevent damage to parts and/or the tool.

Well, that's my 6 cents (2 cents x 3)
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Old 12-02-2010, 05:01 PM   #32
Generation "X" Dad
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Quote:
Originally Posted by asp View Post
...and if the ball joint boot and lubrication remains intact, the joint should last for the lifetime of the vehicle....
Try telling that to a majority of 1998-2002 Accord owners . There's a reason I've become so adept at changing them .

In all seriousness, it seems the 2001-2005 Civic, the 2002-2006 CRV and all the Elements have balljoint designs that while durable, the boots are absolute POOP on them. Funny thing is I'll see those vehicles come in with boots torn wide open (my Element is one of them) yet the joint is firm and has absolutely NO freeplay (I check mine every oil change). Yet 1998-2002 Accords come in with perfectly looking balljoints and boots and in some severe cases you can literally exhibit the freeplay by hand.

I always use the Honda balljoint separator tool now for jobs which require the balljoint to be reused as it is the safest method by far and inflicts no damage IF USED PROPERLY on the suspension components around it. I don't like the "multi-angle swing press" method .

There are C-clamp style presses out there to remove the balljoint from the knuckle (some can do double-duty and with the change of the dies can press in the new balljoint and they do work great. However in the shop when you're on the clock and customers are waiting, using a press to take the balljoint out takes time and an air hammer with a flat-ended bit works fine to drive the ballljoint out PROVIDED you are confident, careful and observant using one. This is obviously only an option for those with a hoist, a shop-duty air compressor and the tools themselves but it is by far the fastest method I've seen here.

Above all, for the sake of your safety and a LASTING repair, when in doubt or if you don't feel comfortable it is best left to an experienced technician to do the job for you. That's why I love doing what I do
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"THE STEALTH TOASTER": 2004 NBP EX 2WD, OEM EX wheels painted matte black, 215/70/R16 General Grabber AT-2 tires, trailer hitch w/ harness, SWAGMAN dual-bike rack, all-weather mats, rear cargo tray, interior privacy curtain, splash guards, fog lights, NBP tailgate spoiler, black SC "ELEMENT" badge, VVME 4300K Digital Slim Ballast Bi-Xenon HID headlight kit, PIAA Plasma Yellow foglight bulbs, painted black housing headlights, Rear glass decals.


Last edited by Generation "X" Dad; 12-02-2010 at 05:06 PM.
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Old 04-07-2011, 11:15 AM   #33
flingit
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Red face Ball Joint issues 2004

I have had this same issue on my 2004 Honda Element, my mechanic found the right front ball joint doing this "Float" yesterday.

He is working on it today.

Seems to be a pretty poor design and I am wondering if most "If any" normal drivers would even ever notice the symptoms?

My Element was in to replace the left front CV joint, and my mechanic found the right front Ball Joint issue on a test drive to check out his other handy work yesterday.

Brian
Los Angeles
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Old 06-09-2011, 10:28 AM   #34
gatdammit
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2003 4WD DX AT
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MOOG Ball Joint replacement

Gents,

I ordered the MOOG ball joints to replace my shot joints vice replacing entire knuckle. I plan on having a shop press them in.

My question is degree of difficulty getting the knuckle off. I recently did the struts and can get the tie rod and ball joint free without issue. During the strut job I had the knuckle down to floating free with the half shaft still attached. Looking at K-Dogg's photo's, I'm assuming I'll need to remove the rotor, caliper and half shaft/CV joint.

How bad is CV joint removal on this vehicle? I'm comfortable doing the rest. I have the service manual and have done CV's on older VW's and Yota 4WD's.

BTW, 03 DX AWD, 121K

Thanks
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Old 06-09-2011, 12:31 PM   #35
ramblerdan
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Once the ball joint is separated, CV joint replacement isn't difficult. The service manual says the transmission must be drained, but real-world experience indicates otherwise.
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Old 06-13-2011, 10:22 PM   #36
gatdammit
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Passenger knuckle came off as the manual read. Driver side was fused and ended up just pulling the drive shaft off with the knuckle and had the shop separate it when they swapped the ball joints.

Tie rod ends were definitely the biggest PITA. Those took a lot of leverage and cussing to break free. MOOG tie rods were very nice and have grease fittings (also pre-greased).

CTR ball joints are very affordable and seem legit.
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Old 10-23-2011, 01:16 PM   #37
skiwi
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Lower Ball Joint

I was attempting to replace my front axles yesterday. Getting the axle nut off was easy enough.

My problem is removing the lower ball joint. Nothing would loosen it. I tried the 1/2" drive ratchet method shown on line- nothing. I tried the ball joint removal tool (pickle fork) as well as a two arm puller-nothing. Even attached two extra nuts to beat the thing loose-nothing.

I even had the part which is press fitted into the knuckle come up and press against the CV joint. I managed to press that back into place with a crow bar.

I need help with a reliable method to get that ball joint loosened.

The ball joint has about 1/4"-1/2" of vertical play in it when pried. Is this normal or is the ball joint broken? I plan on ordering two more lower ball joints since the driver side boot is a little torn.
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Old 10-26-2011, 01:43 PM   #38
ramblerdan
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Welcome, Skiwi. Your post merged with an existing thread.

A pickle fork is not the way to go.

Tools and procedures:
http://www.elementownersclub.com/for...d.php?p=797942
http://www.elementownersclub.com/for...d.php?p=807130
Note: Always use Honda thread protector p/n 07AAF-SDAA100, or equivalent, to protect the ball joint stud threads.

The lever method

The threads on the stabilizer end links are often hopelessly rusted, necessitating replacement of those parts. How-to here.
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Old 12-10-2012, 10:44 AM   #39
RickH411
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Breathing some life into this thread - For those of you with the twisted boot -IMHO this should be a warranty issue due to a defective or blocked vent on the boot.

I have a 2008 EX, and the dealer showed us ripped boots and said they would remedy the situation for only $350 plus the cost of an alignment. Honda claims this isn't under warranty, despite other cars going over a decade on the original boots. And the dealer won't install a "clamp-on" boot.

I believe the vent is at fault in your case because Honda uses the same boots to cover final drive components on my Honda Goldwing and the boot there suffered a similar fate. The cure in that case was use a hot paper clip to melt a small hole; or you can use a 1/32" or 1/16" drill and carefully make a hole and re-inflate.

May your holidays and Christmas be great,

Rick
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Old 04-24-2013, 11:50 AM   #40
marksbug
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I searched but as usual I couldnt find what I was looking for,witch is balljoint boots. are there any good balljoint boots out there?polyurathane? or do I have to get oe ones?
the issue above looks strange as all the cars weight it always on that ball joint trying to pull it downward&into the spindle, not upward.I would think it was something hitting the control arm or jacking the car up by the control arm,possiably letting it down fast&stoping the jackquick causing it to move like it has. a new spindle may be in order.
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