- Raise and support the front of the vehicle on jackstands.
- Clamp a dial indicator onto the lower control arm and place the indicator tip on the steering knuckle, near the ball joint.
- Place a prybar between the lower control arm and the steering knuckle.
- Work the ball joint back and forth to check for looseness. If the movement exceeds 0.02 in. (0.5mm), replace the ball joint.
REMOVAL & INSTALLATION
See Figures 1, 2 and 3
Lower ball joints on 1984-85 Accords and 1992-95 Preludes are integral with the control arm. If the joint becomes loose, the lower control arm must be replaced.
This procedure is performed after the removal of the steering knuckle and requires the use of the following special tools or their equivalent:
- Disconnect the negative battery cable. If equipped with an air bag, properly disable the Supplemental Restraint System (SRS), as detailed in Chassis Electrical .
- Remove the knuckle/hub assembly with the joint attached. Pry the snapring off and remove the boot.
- Pry the snapring out of the groove in the ball joint.
- Using the ball joint removal tool with the large end facing out, tighten the ball joint nut.
- Position the removal base tool on the ball joint and set the assembly in a large vise. Press the ball joint out of the steering knuckle.
- Position the new ball joint into the hole of the steering knuckle.
- Install the ball joint installer tool with the small end facing out.
- Position the installation base tool on the ball joint and set the assembly in a large vise. Press the ball joint into the steering knuckle.
- Seat the snapring in the groove of the ball joint.
- Adjust the boot clip guide tool with the adjusting bolt until the end of the tool aligns with the groove on the boot. Slide the clip over the tool and into position.
- Install the knuckle and hub assembly.
- Properly enable the SRS system, if equipped, and connect the negative battery cable.