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How to Replace Front Lower Control Arms 03-06 Honda Element

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How to Replace Front Lower Control Arms 03-06 Honda Element

Created on: 2018-12-19

How to repair, install, fix, change or replace loose, worn, or control arms on 03, 04, 05, 06 Honda Element

  1. step 1 :Removing the Wheel
    • Loosen the lug nut covers with a 19mm socket
    • Pry off the center cap with a flat blade screwdriver
    • Loosen the 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
  2. step 2 :Removing the Sway Bar Link
    • Remove the lower sway bar link nut with a 5mm allen wrench and a 14mm wrench
    • Remove the sway bar link with a pry bar
  3. step 3 :Removing the Front Lower Control Arms
    • Straighten the cotter pin out with needle nose pliers
    • Remove the cotter pin
    • Remove the castle nut with a 17mm socket and breaker bar
    • Break the ball joint free with a pickle fork and hammer
    • Separate the control arm from the ball joint spindle by hand
    • Remove the two control arm bolts with a 19mm socket
    • Remove the control arm by hand
  4. step 4 :Installing the Front Lower Control Arms
    • Insert the front lower control arm into place, using a pry bar if needed
    • Place the bolts into the control arm by hand
    • Torque the bolts to 61 foot-pounds
    • Place the ball joint into the control arm
    • Spin the castle nut on by hand
    • Tighten the castle nut with an 18mm socket and ratchet
    • Torque the castle nut to 51 foot-pounds
    • Insert the cotter pin
    • Bend the end of the cotter pin down with a pair of pliers and clip the end of the pin with cutting pliers
  5. step 5 :Installing the Sway Bar Link
    • Insert the bottom half of the sway bar link into the control arm
    • Tighten the lower nut with a 15mm socket and ratchet and a 14mm wrench
    • Torque the lower nut to 29 foot-pounds
  6. step 6 :Removing 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 80 foot-pounds in a crossing or star pattern

Tools needed for replacement

  • General Tools

    Hammer

    Jack Stands

    Floor Jack

  • Hex Wrenches

    5mm Hex Wrench

  • Pliers, Cutters & misc Wrenches

    Side Cutters

  • Ratchets & Related

    Socket Extensions

    Torque Wrench

    Ratchet

    1/2 Inch Breaker Bar

  • Screwdrivers & Related

    Pry Bar

  • Sockets - Metric

    15mm Socket

    16mm Socket

    17mm Socket

    18mm Socket

    19mm Socket

  • Specialty Tools

    Pickle Fork

  • Wrenches - Metric

    14mm Wrench

Installation Video
Watch video

Hi. I'm Mike from 1A Auto. We've been selling auto parts for over 30 years!

Hi, everyone. Sue here from 1A Auto, and today on our '06 Honda Element, I'm gonna show you how to replace a lower control arm. If you need this part or any other part for your car, click on the link below and head on over to 1aauto.com.

To remove the tire, you need a 19 millimeter socket. The vehicle has weight on it so that I can loosen up each lug nut as I go around. I'm using a two post lift. At home, you can use jack and jack stands. Now that I have it up in the air, I'm just gonna remove all the lug nuts. Beautiful. You can discard the hubcap. 14 millimeter wrench and a number five Allen socket. I'm going to put the 14 wrench on the sway bar link nut. I'm gonna install the Allen head in the stud with the cutout and we're gonna loosen up. You get yourself a good spot and you feel like a ratchet wrench is gonna work, then you can move onto that. You can take the Allen head socket off, and you should be able to get this right off. I'm gonna take a pry bar and see if I can pull that right out of the cutout. There we go. Nice. So I'm gonna remove the cotter pin and discard that, and I'm gonna take the castle nut off. That's a 17 millimeter socket.

I'm gonna slide that right on there and break it free. Discard that. Now I'm gonna use a pickle fork to break the ball joint free from the control arm, and if you're not replacing your ball joint and you're gonna reuse the ball joint, you've got to be really careful and not to tear this boot on the ball joint. Luckily for me, this boot's already torn. So I don't have to worry about trying to save it. But if your boot is in good shape and your ball joint's in good shape, just be careful.

Work your pickle fork underneath the boot and not pinching the boot. There it is. So now I can separate my control arm from the ball joint spindle and just pull down like that and push that knuckle out of the way. Remove the two control arm bolts. Take a 19 millimeter socket. As you can see, the CV shaft has been dismounted from the knuckle. It doesn't need to be if you're just doing the lower control arm. We're also doing a ball joint. Sweet. I'm gonna take a look at both bolts. Okay, they're the same length, same shanks, same diameter, so you don't have to separate them. I'm just gonna pull this control arm out. Just rock it back and forth.

Here we have the new lower control arm for our '06 Element from 1A Auto and here we have the one that we just took out. They're identical in shape and size. The 1A Auto comes with pressed in bushings for both control arm marks where it hits the sub-frame. It's got the ear for the sway bar link and the nice, thick cast for the ball joint. If you need this part or any other part for your car, click on the link below and head on over to 1aauto.com.

I'm gonna line up the front bolt first, and I'm gonna actually thread a bolt in so I'm not fighting with that. Just want to turn it a couple of threads by hand. Then I'm gonna bring the backside up in there. That's why I wanted the front bolted in, because this is gonna take some pressure. There we go. There we go. How does it look? There we go. Perfect.

Now that we've snugged them down, we're gonna torque it to the manufacturer's spec, which is 61 foot-pounds. What I'm gonna do, is I like to make sure it's seated in there. Now I'm gonna put the new castle nut. The new castle nut is an 18 millimeter socket and we're going the wrong way. There we go. I'm gonna snug this up, pull that ball joint spindle right down through. Once I feel that snugging, the torque is 51 foot-pounds. I'm gonna torque it up. Now let's see if the cotter pin has any line up holes and it's fine. Yup, I can put the new cotter pin in.

I like to put the cotter pin so that the opening is on the inside there so that way when I bend it down and lock it into place, I can cut it easily and it won't cut people that are just doing simple oil changes or anything like that—any front end or brakes. Sometimes, these cotter pins can be more dangerous than they appear, and then I'll fold that up. So I'm gonna take a pry bar, and I'm going to slide it up through here so that I can lift that up and line up the sway bar. Beautiful. Put the new nut on. As you can see, we ended up replacing the sway bar link. So there's no Allen head on the end of the new one. Instead, it's a 14 millimeter on the inside and a 15 on the nut side. I'm gonna tighten this down. So now we're gonna torque the nut to 29 foot-pounds.

Gonna mount the tire again, and the reason why I put the tire on before I tighten the top of the strut is because I want the weight of the weight on the suspension to assure that I'm not pulling up on that cap, the strut cap and that can warp the studs on the outer edge. I want the vehicle weight down holding that up and then I can get a true torque end tightening of it.

Grab your hubcap because this particular Honda does not have extra Y cutouts for three lug nuts. Set the rim up on the hub and put your lug nuts on. So the wheel torque, now that I got the weight of the vehicle down on the tire and I'm gonna torque up the wheels and the wheel torque. Spec is 80 foot-pounds.

Thanks for watching. Visit us at 1aauto.com for quality auto parts, fast and free shipping, and the best customer service in the industry.

Tools needed for replacement:

    General Tools

  • Hammer
  • Jack Stands
  • Floor Jack

  • Hex Wrenches

  • 5mm Hex Wrench

  • Pliers, Cutters & misc Wrenches

  • Side Cutters

  • Ratchets & Related

  • Socket Extensions
  • Torque Wrench
  • Ratchet
  • 1/2 Inch Breaker Bar

  • Screwdrivers & Related

  • Pry Bar

  • Sockets - Metric

  • 15mm Socket
  • 16mm Socket
  • 17mm Socket
  • 18mm Socket
  • 19mm Socket

  • Specialty Tools

  • Pickle Fork

  • Wrenches - Metric

  • 14mm Wrench

2003 - 2006  Honda  Element
2007 - 2011  Honda  Element

03-11 Honda Element Front Lower Control Arm Pair

Honda Element Front Lower 2 Piece Control Arm Set TRQ

Part Details:

  • 2 Piece
  • Improved ride comfort and longer life
  • Direct fit - easy install, pre-greased, no maintenance required
  • No modifications, all the parts needed in one kit
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