91 Civic front control arms

Discussion in 'Civic' started by Dave Wick, Sep 27, 2005.

  1. Dave Wick

    Dave Wick Guest

    My mechanic (a shop) suggested that the bushings on my control arms are
    pretty well worn ... and the bolts rusted. They claimed that the only way
    to get new bushings is to replace the entire control arm. They quoted in
    excess of $900 (with a ball joint included).

    Are they full of hooey?
    Can the bushings be purchased separately and replaced? How? Pressed in?
    Is this a job a decent home mechanic can do? I've already replaced the
    struts and done all the brakes ... the point being that I'm not TOTALLY
    clueless ...

    Any suggestions on how to get these (supposedly) rusted bolts out? Are
    there any tricks for these specific bolts?

    Thanks all!
    '91 Civic STD
    Dave Wick, Sep 27, 2005
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  2. Dave Wick

    jim beam Guest

    first thing is inspect it yourself!!! if they look bad, replace them.
    if you can find a shop with a bearing press, you can have them change
    the bushings and the ball joint. you can also do the ball joint with a
    shop vice. bottom line, if you're handy, diy won't cost you a fraction
    of the $900. google this group for bushing part numbers. if the bolts
    are rusted, buy new ones at the same time you buy the bushings or if you
    don't live in the rust belt, get them from a junk yard.

    if you're doing bushings, seriously consider the rear main bushings as
    well. tegger's got the how-to posted in the faq's. almost all civics
    that vintage have that bushing shot to heck.

    if this is a 4-speed stick, put the money you save into a 5-speed
    transmission from a junk yard. that 4-speed top gear is /seriously/
    short on the std. dremel the tandem valve restictor tab too. the std
    has it restricting how far the tandem valve can open thus limiting the
    output of that motor.
    jim beam, Sep 27, 2005
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  3. $900 seem like a lot, the parts from Honda are $150 each, you can
    find aftermarket pieces for about $150 or less for both upper control
    arms. The ball joint comes as part of the control arm, so it is mostly
    a 3 nut operation, with the hardest thing is getting the bolts out of
    bushings at the back of the arm.

    Kevin in Iowa
    Kevin in Iowa, Sep 27, 2005
  4. Dave Wick

    TeGGeR® Guest

    LOTS of work if you're doing all of them!

    I never did put anything up for that, unfortunately.

    The job was so intense, and so filthy on account of years of drippy
    rustproofing, that I just stuck to the work and gave up taking photos.
    TeGGeR®, Sep 27, 2005
  5. Dave Wick

    Dave Wick Guest


    What/where are the "rear main bushings" you're referring to?
    What/where is the "tandem valve restictor tab"?
    Yeah, I've thought about the 5-speed. Is everything else the same? I've
    done a complete rebuild on the factory shifter (WOW! is it nice now), but
    I've wondered if that (among other things) is enough different on a 5-speed
    to be a problem.

    Thanks VERY MUCH!
    Dave Wick, Sep 28, 2005
  6. Dave Wick

    TeGGeR® Guest

    (Go most of the way down, to the text "A final check.").

    And more pics here:
    TeGGeR®, Sep 29, 2005
  7. Dave Wick

    Abeness Guest

    Tegger, what's that padding between your jackstand and the car at
    http://www.tegger.com/hondafaq/misc/old-bushings/P7220902.JPG ? Is that
    a good idea?
    Abeness, Sep 29, 2005
  8. Dave Wick

    TeGGeR® Guest

    It's a piece of paint-mixing stick from Home Depot. Helps keep the metal
    jack stand from breaking the paint at the jacking points. I think it's a
    good idea.

    The paint there is already torn from damage garages have done with their
    hoists. I touch it up once in a while and do not wish to add my own damage
    to it.
    TeGGeR®, Sep 29, 2005
  9. Dave Wick

    jim beam Guest

    tegger's kindly covered that!
    on the throttle body, on the passenger side, is the tanden valve. it's
    like a choke from an old carb. if you take the air ducting off, you can
    see it operate when you press it with your finger, and on the std, it
    won't open all the way. you'll see the tab on the outside when you
    operate the valve. where to dremel should be pretty self-evident. go
    to a junk yard and mess around with an unrestricted one if you want to
    be sure of the difference.
    drive shafts and input shafts may be different. there are changes from
    the 88-89 & 90-91. also, the flywheel on the std is /way/ heavy
    compared to the others. if you go to the junk yard and can pick up a
    normal one for a decent price, consider it a good upgrade! makes
    shifting /much/ quicker. and if you really want to go hog-wild,
    consider the camshaft too. again, the std is neutered to restrict
    power. believe the ecu remains the same so it should be able to take
    the changes. the si/crx instrument cluster is a great upgrade too - has
    a tachometer. can swap out the speedo component so you keep genuine
    mileage ok.
    oh yes! 4th on the std is very close to 3rd and painfully low. the
    5-speed is much better spaced & 5th is a great cruising gear.
    jim beam, Sep 29, 2005
  10. Dave Wick

    Abeness Guest

    I don't think I have any paint left there... thanks for the info.
    Abeness, Oct 2, 2005
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