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How to Replace Control Arms 07-15 Chevy Silverado

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How to Replace Control Arms 07-15 Chevy Silverado

Created on: 2013-10-22

Watch this video to learn how to replace loose, or broken control arms and ball joints. The experts at 1A Auto show you how to replace the front control arms on your 07-13 Chevy Silverado or GMC Sierra.

  1. step 1 :Disconnecting the Strut
    • Pull the wire off the 18mm nut on top of the strut
    • Remove the three 18mm nuts that hold the top of the strut
  2. step 2 :Removing the Wheel
    • Pry off the center cap with a flat blade screwdriver
    • Loosen the 22mm lug nuts with the vehicle on the ground
    • Raise the vehicle with a floor jack
    • Secure the vehicle on jack stands
    • Remove the lug nuts
    • Pull off the wheel
  3. step 3 :Removing the Stabilizer Link
    • Turn the wheel by hand or with the steering wheel
    • Apply penetrating oil to the top of the stabilizer link
    • Use a wrench on top and a socket underneath to remove the stabilizer link
    • Push down on the suspension and remove the stabilizer link
  4. step 4 :Removing the Strut
    • Remove two 15mm bolts from the bottom of the strut
    • Push down on the suspension, pull the strut down, and then pull it up and out
  5. step 5 :Removing the Control Arm
    • Apply penetrating oil to the control arm bolts
    • Use a marker to mark the control arm washer tabs for future reference
    • Loosen the 18mm nut that holds the ball joint to the steering knuckle
    • Pry on the steering knuckle with a pry bar and hit it with a hammer until it pops apart
    • Remove the 10mm bolt that holds the wiring harness clip to the control arm
    • Support the suspension with a jack
    • Remove the 21mm nuts from the control arm using a ratchet and a pipe for leverage
    • Drive the bolts out with a hammer, and a punch if necessary
    • Remove the nut from the ball joint
    • Pull out the control arm with a pry bar
  6. step 6 :Installing the New Control Arm
    • Install the grease-able fitting on to the new ball joint
    • Put the control arm into place and line it up
    • Start the bolts that hold the control arm to the frame by hand
    • Tap the bolts in with a hammer
    • Start the 21mm nuts by hand
    • With a wrench on each side of the bolt, realign the bolt mark with the tab mark
    • Preliminarily tighten the nuts
    • Lower the suspension using the jack
    • Thread the ball joint into the steering knuckle
    • Jack the suspension back up
    • Start the ball joint nut by hand
    • Tighten the ball joint nut
    • Tighten the control arm nuts to 100 foot-pounds of torque, making sure the marks still line up
    • Lower the suspension using the jack
    • Reinstall the 10mm bolt that holds the wiring harness clip
    • Use a grease gun to add grease to the ball joint until the boot begins to expand
  7. step 7 :Reinstalling the Strut
    • Reinsert the strut, with the coil spring's end on the outside
    • Lift the strut into place
    • Start threading the top strut nuts by hand
    • Insert the lower strut bolts
    • Tighten the lower strut bolts to between 70-75 foot-pounds
  8. step 8 :Reinstalling the Stabilizer Link
    • Lift the sway bar with a pry bar
    • Put the stabilizer link into place
    • Put the bolt through the stabilizer link
    • Tighten the stabilizer link bolt
  9. step 9 :Reattaching the Wheel
    • Slide the wheel into place
    • Start the lug nuts by hand
    • Tighten the lug nuts preliminarily
    • Lower the vehicle to the ground
    • Tighten the lug nuts to 110 foot-pounds in a crossing or star pattern
    • Reattach the center cap
  10. step 10 :Reconnecting the Strut
    • Tighten the nuts on top of the strut to between 75-80 foot-pounds of torque
    • Reattach the wire clip to the strut nut

Tools needed for replacement

  • General Tools

    Hammer

    Jack Stands

    Floor Jack

    Center Punch

  • Materials, Fluids, and Supplies

    Marker / Writing Utensil

    Rust Penetrant

    Bearing Grease

  • Ratchets & Related

    Socket Extensions

    Ratchet

    A Piece of Pipe (for leverage)

    Torque Wrench

    1/2 Inch Breaker Bar

  • Screwdrivers & Related

    Pry Bar

    Flat Blade Screwdriver

  • Sockets - Metric

    20mm Socket

    11mm Socket

    12mm Socket

    13mm Socket

    14mm Socket

    15mm Socket

    16mm Socket

    17mm Socket

    18mm Socket

    19mm Socket

    21mm Socket

    10mm Socket

    22mm Socket

  • Specialty Tools

    Grease Gun

  • Wrenches - Metric

    18mm Wrench

Installation Video
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Brought to you by 1AAuto.com, your source for quality replacement parts and the best service on the Internet.

Hi, I'm Mike from 1A Auto. I hope this how-to video helps you out, and next time you need parts for your vehicle, think of 1AAuto.com. Thanks.

In this video, we're going to replace an upper control arm and ball joint assembly on this 2011 Chevy Silverado. This is a 1500 4-Wheel Drive; this procedure is the same for any 2007 to 2013 Silverado and Sierra 1500. The passenger side is basically the same as the driver's side.

You'll need a new control arm from 1A Auto.com, jack and jackstands, 10 to 22mm sockets with a ratchet and extension, an 18mm wrench, and an additional wrench for some extra leverage, breaker bar or pipe for extra leverage, penetrating oil, hammer, pry bar, and a torque wrench.

From the top, there are three 18mm nuts that hold the top of the strut in place: you see one there; one has a wire loom on it there that I'm going to reach down and grab, and just pull off. Apologies for the camera shot, but you just grab the wire clip and pull it up off the stud. Okay, so you have your other one there, and your third one, there. Now, use an 18mm socket with a long extension, and remove those three nuts. Remove the center cap just by prying with a screwdriver, and if you don't have the benefit of air tools, loosen the lug nuts with the vehicle on the ground, then raise and secure the vehicle, and then remove the lug nuts the rest of the way ... remove the wheel and tire, and they are 22mm lug nuts. Turn the wheel using hands, or use the steering wheel, and then you need to remove the stabilizer link; make sure you put some penetrating oil on the top end of it there, then use a wrench on the top side, and a socket wrench on the bottom side, and remove it all the way. I'm going to speed up here a little bit; we "cheat" a little bit by just using an impact wrench to take that off. That just speeds things up for us. Then, we'll remove the bolt the rest of the way: push down on the suspension, and pull the link out of there.

Up underneath, there are two 15mm bolts; hold the bottom of the shock strut in place. I was just using a 15mm socket and ratchet; you might want a breaker bar to break them loose, but they come apart pretty easy on this truck, and we'll fast forward as we just take those out. Take those bolts out, press down on the suspension some, and bring the strut down, and then up and out.

Now with some penetrating oil, spray down the ends of the two bolts that hold the control arm to the frame. There are little tabs that come out of the frame and go through these washers; and I'm using a paint marker to mark on the washers where those tabs are, so that when we re-assemble this, we can give it a good preliminary alignment. You will want to re-align your truck after you do this repair, but this at least gets it somewhere close to where it was originally. An 18mm nut holds the ball joint to the steering knuckle; put an 18mm wrench on there, and then hook another wrench onto it for extra leverage. Loosen it up. Here, you can see we still have the nut on the ball joint; we're going to put a big pry bar in there; pry between the steering knuckle and the ball joint, and hit the steering knuckle with a hammer until it pops apart.

There's a 10mm bolt on top of the control arm that holds the clip that holds the wire harness: remove that. Now, we're going to support the suspension with a jack. Remove the nuts that are on the end of the bolts that go into the frame; it's a 21mm socket with a ratchet, and we use a pipe for some extra leverage to get the bolts going and once we have them going, they come off easier than just with the ratchet, and I'll fast forward as we finish that up, and do the other side. As you see, here, use a hammer to start driving those bolts out, and then you can work them out by hand. You may have to use a punch and drive them further through. Now, remove the nut the rest of the way off of the top ball joint there, and then you should be able to pull the control arm up and then pull it out; you might need to use a crowbar or a large screwdriver to help pry it out.

The ball joint in our new control arm comes with a grease-able fitting, so we'll install that. Put the new control arm up in place, and you just kind of wiggle it up and down, I guess, to get the bolts to line up preliminarily with the frame. Now, put the bolts back in, get one bolt started in as much as you can, and then actually, if you start the other bolt in on the other side, this kind of lines things up; you should be able to get that bolt most of the way in. Use a hammer to tap it in if you need to, and then go back, and again, if you just move the control arm around a little bit, you should be able to push it in. I'm just going to fast forward as we start the nuts on ... And now, we're putting a wrench on the bolt end, and you can see we just pull it up, and re-align that mark with the tab on the frame, and just preliminarily tighten the nuts up just to hold it in place well. Here, we're just going to let the jack down some. This just relieves a little pressure so that we can then lift the upper control arm up, and get the ball joint lined up and then back into place, and then once it's all set, we'll actually jack the suspension back up until it's basically in the position it should be when the vehicle is riding on the ground.

You put the ball joint nut on, and start tightening it; most likely, it's going to start making the stud on the ball joint spin, and if that happens, you'll see here in a second, you can put a 6mm Allen wrench into the ball joint stud. Hold it; you need to be careful: sometimes as you pull the ball joint stud through, it can interfere with the axle, and you might need to undo the axle nut and push the axle through a little bit in order to get the wrench back out. Make sure you put the wrench on there, and put the second wrench on for some extra leverage, and tighten that nut right up.

Now again, we have the suspension up in the about the same position it's going to be when it rides on the ground; you want to make sure you have it up there, and then torque the bolts for the control arm to 100 foot-pounds, and just make sure that the marks on your washers and everything still line up. Now you can let your jack back down, reinstall the 10mm bolt that holds the wiring harness clip, and use a grease gun to put some grease into the ball joint, and we generally do it until we see the boot between the ball joint and the steering knuckle start to expand. Bring this strut back in: if you look on the top of the strut where the coil spring ends, that goes to the outside, and you put the strut back in, and then lift it up into place, and then you can just start the nuts onto the top. Install all of the lower bolts, and the strut, and tighten them up; you want to tighten them up between 70 and 75 foot-pounds. We speed up as we put the stabilizer link back in place; use a pry bar to lift up on the sway bar a little bit; put the link back in place, put the bolt up through, and then tighten the nut down on top.

The,n put our wheel back on, put the lug nuts back by hand first, then tighten them preliminarily, and with the vehicle back down on the ground and secure, torque the lug nuts to 110 foot-pounds using a crossing pattern. Tighten up and torque the top three nuts to 75 to 80 foot-pounds, and put that wire clip back in place, and you should be all set.

We hope this helps you out. Brought to you by www.1AAuto.com, your source for quality replacement parts and the best service on the Internet. Please feel free to call us toll-free, 888-844-3393. We're the company that's here for you on the Internet and in person.

Tools needed for replacement:

    General Tools

  • Hammer
  • Jack Stands
  • Floor Jack
  • Center Punch

  • Materials, Fluids, and Supplies

  • Marker / Writing Utensil
  • Rust Penetrant
  • Bearing Grease

  • Ratchets & Related

  • Socket Extensions
  • Ratchet
  • A Piece of Pipe (for leverage)
  • Torque Wrench
  • 1/2 Inch Breaker Bar

  • Screwdrivers & Related

  • Pry Bar
  • Flat Blade Screwdriver

  • Sockets - Metric

  • 20mm Socket
  • 11mm Socket
  • 12mm Socket
  • 13mm Socket
  • 14mm Socket
  • 15mm Socket
  • 16mm Socket
  • 17mm Socket
  • 18mm Socket
  • 19mm Socket
  • 21mm Socket
  • 10mm Socket
  • 22mm Socket

  • Specialty Tools

  • Grease Gun

  • Wrenches - Metric

  • 18mm Wrench

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2008 - 2013  Chevrolet  Tahoe
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2007 - 2013  Chevrolet  Tahoe
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2007 - 2015  Chevrolet  Tahoe
2007 - 2016  Chevrolet  Tahoe
2014 - 2015  Chevrolet  Silverado 1500
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2014 - 2016  GMC  Sierra 1500
2014 - 2016  Chevrolet  Silverado 1500
2008 - 2016  Chevrolet  Silverado 1500
2008 - 2016  GMC  Sierra 1500
2007 - 2013  GMC  Yukon XL 2500
2008 - 2015  GMC  Sierra 1500
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2008 - 2014  GMC  Yukon
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2007 - 2019  Cadillac  Escalade ESV
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2007 - 2019  Chevrolet  Tahoe
2009 - 2013  GMC  Yukon XL 2500
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