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Thread: Front suspension reassembly, stuck.

  1. #1
    DX User huntz0r's Avatar
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    Front suspension reassembly, stuck.

    I've been trying to diagnose a strange clunk in the front suspension that's become noticeable after replacing the front shocks with Konis. In the course of pulling and replacing/adjusting things I have created another problem for myself.

    I pulled the radius rod (the part which connects the LCA to the chassis under the bumper) to replace those bushings. On reassembly, the end that bolts to the LCA the two holes refuse to line up. No amount of pushing or pulling can make them, and I spent a good three hours trying various ways of getting the suspension bolted back together to no avail; tried putting the old bushings back on, no difference; something was always too far off to get that last bolt threaded. I would think the rod is bent, but if I flip it over the alignment of the holes doesn't change. I think there is just some trick to the reassembly that I'm not seeing... or the chassis is somehow mis-aligned... a shop replaced this arm last year (ball joint was worn out) and got it back together okay.

    Those of you who have replaced a front LCA, have you encountered a similar problem bolting up the radius rod? In what sequence did you put everything back together? My car has been on jack stands for a week and a half because I was so frustrated and pissed off after banging on it for hours and accomplishing nothing, but I gotta figure out how to fix this since I want a car not a lawn ornament.



  2. #2
    LX User vteckiller's Avatar
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    Re: Front suspension reassembly, stuck.

    Loosen the bolt that actually mounts the lca to the frame. Just loosen it up and your lca should be able to move the amount you need. Then just go back and tighten back up that lca bolt to frame.
    LIFE IS SHORT, DRAG IT OUT!

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    Accord of the Year - 2007

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    Re: Front suspension reassembly, stuck.

    I've removed and installed radius rod and bushings without removing anything else. You have to get bolts to tart threading before you tighten any down. You may also have to back the adjustment back a little to allow more play.
    -My Car thread


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    Dr_Snooz's Avatar
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    Re: Front suspension reassembly, stuck.

    Have you tried lifting the hub with another jack?
    Dr_Snooz

    "I like to take hammers, and just break stuff, just break stuff." - Beavis


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  5. #5
    DX User huntz0r's Avatar
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    Re: Front suspension reassembly, stuck.

    Yeah tried that, Dr. I was just about to the point of hauling on the arm with ratchet straps but I know that shouldn't be necessary and will probably just screw it up further.

    So it turns out I lost the LCA bolt somehow, I have no idea, but I looked everywhere for it. Should probably replace it anyway. I'm hoping the one that fits Civic/teg rear LCA will work because Honda doesn't stock parts for 30 year old Accords anymore, and dealership parts guy had zero interest in helping further.

    It seems to be the same size (10Mx80mm, original is 10x79) so it should do the job.

  6. #6
    LXi User firefighterwhite89's Avatar
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    Re: Front suspension reassembly, stuck.

    That should work being that size. If i was in your scenario, i would go with the strongest bolt at the right approximate diameter/length i could find. Like a grade 8/8.8, whether sae or metric, but it will be a metric diameter that would fit it the best.
    2nd gen preludes will fit too, as i believe first gen integras and EF civics as well, but i could be wrong on the last two.
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  7. #7
    LX User vteckiller's Avatar
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    Re: Front suspension reassembly, stuck.

    Yeah I always start a few threads in everything then go threw and final tighten orelse you won't be able to line things up. Line that rod.. For instance.
    LIFE IS SHORT, DRAG IT OUT!

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    DX User huntz0r's Avatar
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    Re: Front suspension reassembly, stuck.

    This is what I am looking at:



    It's no good. Damn thing will just not line up. Put the left bolt in, right one won't line up. Right bolt in, left one wont line up. Nothing is tightened down here, the geometry is just off. No amount of pushing or pulling works. This LCA was replaced, and the rod is not bent toward the inside, it looks the same if I flip it over.

    I am getting really frustrated because I can't understand what is wrong.

    How bad would it be to just leave one bolt off? (Yeah I know, not safe.)
    Last edited by huntz0r; 05-22-2014 at 04:51 PM.

  9. #9
    LX User niles's Avatar
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    Re: Front suspension reassembly, stuck.

    Is your frame tweaked a little from how you have the car lifted up on jacks? I would try jacking it up from a different location and see if that helps. Where is the lift point currently at?

    It's really weird that it came apart no problem if that's all you unbolted was the strut rod. If it was that crooked to begin with, it should have been a struggle to remove as well.

    Replacing those bushings fixed my clunking BTW. But I didn't encounter anything like this.
    Last edited by niles; 05-22-2014 at 06:00 PM.

  10. #10

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    Re: Front suspension reassembly, stuck.

    Those aftermarket control arms suck huge donkey dicks. But you really don't have a choice. I had the same issues with mine. You gotta have everything loose to make it work. The front of the radius rod, the bolt in the control arm to the body, and then you gotta pull the radius rod AWAY from the control arm, and shove the bolts through and try to line them up at the same time. They'll start off at some weird ass angles, but once you get the nut on the other end, you can tighten it up, and it'll pull it back into place. I know it's a pain, but that's the only way to do it. If you could find the OEM control arms and press in new bushings, there would be no issues, but those universal control arms that fit the left and right side are shit.

    Actually, now that I think about it, dropping the control where it connects to the body should let you position it where you need to get those 2 bolts in, then it would be easier to force the end of the control arm into the body mounting point.

  11. #11
    LX User vteckiller's Avatar
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    Re: Front suspension reassembly, stuck.

    Is the suspension sagging? or lifted on one side? try lifting that lca or lowering it possibly, are the lca the same? right side and left side? hmm.. ive had that happen but ive always been able to get both in eventually. crazy.
    LIFE IS SHORT, DRAG IT OUT!

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    Re: Front suspension reassembly, stuck.

    Quote Originally Posted by 2ndGenGuy View Post
    Those aftermarket control arms suck huge donkey dicks. But you really don't have a choice. I had the same issues with mine. You gotta have everything loose to make it work. The front of the radius rod, the bolt in the control arm to the body, and then you gotta pull the radius rod AWAY from the control arm, and shove the bolts through and try to line them up at the same time. They'll start off at some weird ass angles, but once you get the nut on the other end, you can tighten it up, and it'll pull it back into place. I know it's a pain, but that's the only way to do it. If you could find the OEM control arms and press in new bushings, there would be no issues, but those universal control arms that fit the left and right side are shit.

    Actually, now that I think about it, dropping the control where it connects to the body should let you position it where you need to get those 2 bolts in, then it would be easier to force the end of the control arm into the body mounting point.
    That is exactly how I had to do mine.
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  13. #13
    DX User huntz0r's Avatar
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    Re: Front suspension reassembly, stuck.

    Quote Originally Posted by niles View Post
    It's really weird that it came apart no problem if that's all you unbolted was the strut rod. If it was that crooked to begin with, it should have been a struggle to remove as well.
    Oh it was a pain to remove them. Those nuts were crazy tight, I needed a 3' pipe on a breaker bar to get them loose and then some whacking with a mallet.

    So anyway I managed to get it done. Ended up having my helper pry on the open hole with a big #3 screwdriver to line it up, then tightened the crap out of the other bolt to hold it... took a few tries... never did get it quite straight, but it was close enough stick the bolt in and drive it through with a cordless impact wrench. Just buttoning up from there.

    Also on the plus side, if you should ever need a front LCA bolt for your 2nd gen (and it's not a bad idea to replace it if you have it out), I can confirm that Honda part # 90173-SR3-003 works. It's a rear control arm bolt for the EG/EK Civic and DB Integra that is the same size as our discontinued part, with a pointy cone on the end that makes it easier to line up the threads.

  14. #14
    DX User huntz0r's Avatar
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    Re: Front suspension reassembly, stuck.

    Quote Originally Posted by 2ndGenGuy View Post
    Those aftermarket control arms suck huge donkey dicks. But you really don't have a choice.
    Yeah that must be it, the aftermarket ones don't line up right. I think on the passenger side it still has OEM control arms. But I'm not going to touch those damn things again haha. There isn't any bad noise over on that side anyway.

    Actually, now that I think about it, dropping the control where it connects to the body should let you position it where you need to get those 2 bolts in, then it would be easier to force the end of the control arm into the body mounting point.
    Tried this method, it didn't work for me. It wasn't possible to get the LCA bolt through and threaded due to the stresses on the LCA and bushing once it was muscled into that position.

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    Re: Front suspension reassembly, stuck.

    What would happen if you just ran your drill down through the hole?
    Dr_Snooz

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    LX User 2geeSEi's Avatar
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    Re: Front suspension reassembly, stuck.

    If you loosened the nut where the radius rod goes through the frame in the front, you should have been able to get both bolts in, tighten them, then go back and tighten the nut. When I replaced my bushings, I had to do it in that order.

  17. #17
    LX User 2geeSEi's Avatar
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    Re: Front suspension reassembly, stuck.

    BTW, you would never want to leave the bolt out, or drill the hole out bigger. That is what keeps your LCA stiff, and in the proper position. If it isn't right, the caster will be off.

  18. #18

    Dr_Snooz's Avatar
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    Re: Front suspension reassembly, stuck.

    But it sounds from this thread like the hole is already drilled wrong, throwing off caster. I'm just saying that drilling it to match the factory rod might be better than pushing the LCA out of alignment to match it.
    Dr_Snooz

    "I like to take hammers, and just break stuff, just break stuff." - Beavis


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