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  • control arm replacement help

    this week i`ll be replacing the lower control arms on my 91 wa festiva , as this is the first time i`ve ever attempted this job any input would be welcome, reason is its developed a shuddering in the front end when under load, and as ive replaced all other bushings, rack ends, brakes, all sway bar bushes etc and one side drive shaft, i assume this to be the culprit, ball joints or inner control arm bushes. any ideas or advise would be gladly appreciated

  • #2
    The 14mm hex head bolts that holds the control arm to the body can be difficult to remove sometimes. There are captive nuts welded to the body rail and they can come loose when you are trying forcefully to loosen the bolts. There are holes in the body rail on each side that provide limited access to this area. I suggest that you find these and spray some wd40 or other type of penetrating oil in there on the end of the bolts.. do this a couple of days in a row before you attempt to remove them. I use a ratcheting tie down connected across under the engine to points in front of the holes were the ends of the sway bar go through the control arms to take the tension off. This makes them much easier to remove and get the bushings back in when you put them back into the new control arms. You can also spray some penetrating oil around the ball joint shaft and bolts that hold it in before you try to remove it. The ball joint shaft usually comes out of the steering knuckle fairly easily after you remove the bolt. If not, you can spread the gap a little with a large screw driver or give the top of the control arm a whack with a hammer.

    Really the control arms are surprisingly easy to change on your Festiva (as long as those captive nuts remain in place).
    Last edited by 1990new; 02-02-2019, 04:24 PM.
    Nellie - Yellow 90 5spd LPlus (bought '05 at 44,000 105,811 as of 01/18.)

    Trixie - Dark Charcoal 89 L Auto. Bought 06/15/13 $1800 with 89,000 miles / 95,306 as of 01/18. Power windows and swoopie power
    mirrors. Rio front, Aspire rear, 165/55 R14 Miatas. Mercury Tracer front seats. Gave Trixie to my grandson 09/22/2018.
    Rosie - Red 92 GL 5 Speed Sold to Safety Guy 07/12/2018.
    Bessie - Surf Blue '90 5spd LPlus (bought new) As of 10/2018 354K. No longer in the family.. sold to a forum member 10/20/2018

    During the last 15 years I have also owned and then sold or gave away four other Festivas.

    Comment


    • #3
      thanks , i`ll make sure to give them a good squirt with wd40, i wasn't expecting any problems removing the bolts with a rattle gun, another question , will the steering knuckle need to be removed from the drive shaft to fit new arm ? i was thinking of just replacing the inner bushes and ball joints, but it was almost as cheap to just replace the whole arm which comes complete with bushes ball joints fitted, which will save me a bit of hassle as well.

      Comment


      • #4
        No need to remove the axle from the steering knuckle hub. I have always replaced the entire control arm assembly.
        I normally buy the AC Delco ones from RockAuto which come with new sway bar bushings.
        https://www.rockauto.com/en/moreinfo...128147&jsn=755
        Nellie - Yellow 90 5spd LPlus (bought '05 at 44,000 105,811 as of 01/18.)

        Trixie - Dark Charcoal 89 L Auto. Bought 06/15/13 $1800 with 89,000 miles / 95,306 as of 01/18. Power windows and swoopie power
        mirrors. Rio front, Aspire rear, 165/55 R14 Miatas. Mercury Tracer front seats. Gave Trixie to my grandson 09/22/2018.
        Rosie - Red 92 GL 5 Speed Sold to Safety Guy 07/12/2018.
        Bessie - Surf Blue '90 5spd LPlus (bought new) As of 10/2018 354K. No longer in the family.. sold to a forum member 10/20/2018

        During the last 15 years I have also owned and then sold or gave away four other Festivas.

        Comment


        • #5
          i was watching this joker on YT , he removed it
          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=36rgxqZ8MAQ&t=1544s
          but i`ll see how i go, i bought control arms on ebay, sort of cheap $100 aus. , i took a look at rockauto site , they ship to australia , so i might do future business with them, theyre cheaper than ebay seller i found with shipping included, i recently put new sway bar bushings in so no need , thanks for your input

          Comment


          • #6
            I do comparisons when part shopping too Sometimes I find better deals on the same item on Amazon, Ebay or Rockauto. Occasionally find a good deal at Autozone or Advance Auto... but that's rare.
            Just realized the WA Festiva was referring to Western Australia... I was assuming Washington State USA.

            That guy needs a shop manual.

            Reading directly out of the shop manual for LCA removal.
            1. Remove the lower control arm pivot bolt at the frame bracket (the one that is sometimes hard to start and can pop the captive bolt welds inside the frame).
            2. Remove the ball joint clamp bolt and nut from the steering knuckle assembly.
            3. Remove the stabilizer bushing cotter pin and the attaching nut from the rar of the control arm and remove the rear bushing washer and bushing.
            4. Lower the control arm, prying the ball joint stud out of the steering knuckle, if necessary, Disengage the control arm from the stabilizer and remove it.

            Installation:
            1. WIth the front bushing washer and bushing positioned on the stabilizer end, engage the control arm with the stabilizer.
            2. Raise the control arm inner end into the pivot bracket on the frame and start the pivot bolt to hold it in place.
            3. Engage the control arm ball joint stud with the clamp bore in the steering knuckle and install the clamp bolt and nut.
            4. Install the stabilizer rear bushing and washer on the stabilizer end and the attaching nut. TIghten to 64-77 N-m (47-57 lb-ft). Install the cotter pin.
            5 Tighten the pivot bolt at the control arm frame bracket to 43-54 N-m (32-40 lb-ft).
            6. Using a second wrench to hold the ball joint clamp bolt, tighten the nut to 43-54 N-m (32-40 lb-ft).

            Note: be sure to install the suspension bushing washers with concave facing outward away from the bushings.
            Also, remember it will be much easier to get the stabilizer bushing back in the hole in the control arm if you have done something to take the tension off.

            Last edited by 1990new; 02-02-2019, 08:50 PM.
            Nellie - Yellow 90 5spd LPlus (bought '05 at 44,000 105,811 as of 01/18.)

            Trixie - Dark Charcoal 89 L Auto. Bought 06/15/13 $1800 with 89,000 miles / 95,306 as of 01/18. Power windows and swoopie power
            mirrors. Rio front, Aspire rear, 165/55 R14 Miatas. Mercury Tracer front seats. Gave Trixie to my grandson 09/22/2018.
            Rosie - Red 92 GL 5 Speed Sold to Safety Guy 07/12/2018.
            Bessie - Surf Blue '90 5spd LPlus (bought new) As of 10/2018 354K. No longer in the family.. sold to a forum member 10/20/2018

            During the last 15 years I have also owned and then sold or gave away four other Festivas.

            Comment


            • #7
              There is a notch in the contol arm which fits the pivot bolt to keep the arm in place. It needs to be lined up by lifting the control arm into place before inserting the pivot bolt. You'll see what I mean. I've used a large nail in the pivot bolt hole to line it up so the bolt will slide in. Installing the new arm is a matter of getting all the fittings to line up.
              Original owner of silver grey carburetted 1989 Festiva. 105k km as of June 2006.

              Comment


              • #8
                Just a word of caution with the 'rattle gun'. The captive nut is tack welded to very thin metal, if its siezed at all and you just use an impact gun on it the nut will break loose and you will have to drill an acess hole in the frame rail to grab onto it. Spray penetrating oil in there a day or 2 before hand like he said and if it doesnt come loose easy with a wrench use heat from a torch through an acess hole on that captive nut. You dont want to break it loose.
                Also like the guy above said make sure that notch gets lined up before putting the bolt in. If you just whack the bolt in this will happen and your car will drive poorly.

                Sent from my SM-G950W using Tapatalk

                Comment


                • #9
                  huh, would never have known that, thanks for the heads up, i`ll put some "corrosion x" on it, if that doesn't penetrate into the "captive nut" nothing will. and thanks for all the info guys
                  Last edited by cathari5; 02-03-2019, 01:31 AM.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    1990.............. though i am in Australia, WA doesn't refer to west oz, well i dont think so anyway, its a just the model letters i believe, mine is a 1991 WA , 1,3L , 5 door hatchback, red in color and getting a matt black paint job right now , should look badass when finished, for a festiva anyway

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      how do i reply to individual comments/reply's ?
                      Last edited by cathari5; 02-03-2019, 01:38 AM.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by cathari5 View Post
                        how do i reply to individual comments/reply's ?
                        To reply specifically to an individuals comment click the quote at the bottom right of the comment box before you compose your reply. (As I did in this example.)
                        Nellie - Yellow 90 5spd LPlus (bought '05 at 44,000 105,811 as of 01/18.)

                        Trixie - Dark Charcoal 89 L Auto. Bought 06/15/13 $1800 with 89,000 miles / 95,306 as of 01/18. Power windows and swoopie power
                        mirrors. Rio front, Aspire rear, 165/55 R14 Miatas. Mercury Tracer front seats. Gave Trixie to my grandson 09/22/2018.
                        Rosie - Red 92 GL 5 Speed Sold to Safety Guy 07/12/2018.
                        Bessie - Surf Blue '90 5spd LPlus (bought new) As of 10/2018 354K. No longer in the family.. sold to a forum member 10/20/2018

                        During the last 15 years I have also owned and then sold or gave away four other Festivas.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by 1990new View Post

                          To reply specifically to an individuals comment click the quote at the bottom right of the comment box before you compose your reply. (As I did in this example.)
                          aha, thanks mate, good morning

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by WmWatt View Post
                            There is a notch in the contol arm which fits the pivot bolt to keep the arm in place. It needs to be lined up by lifting the control arm into place before inserting the pivot bolt. You'll see what I mean. I've used a large nail in the pivot bolt hole to line it up so the bolt will slide in. Installing the new arm is a matter of getting all the fittings to line up.
                            thanks , i will keep an eye out for that

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by WmWatt View Post
                              There is a notch in the contol arm which fits the pivot bolt to keep the arm in place. It needs to be lined up by lifting the control arm into place before inserting the pivot bolt. You'll see what I mean. I've used a large nail in the pivot bolt hole to line it up so the bolt will slide in. Installing the new arm is a matter of getting all the fittings to line up.
                              The notch that WmWatt is referring to is not always a notch.. as most of the control arms that I have replaced have a groove all the way around the ball joint stud. When the groove goes all the way around, you don't have to worry about get it lined up.. you just need to make sure you get the stud in at the correct depth for the pinch bolt to go thru.
                              The example show is not from a festiva ball joint.

                              DSC_0025.JPG?cache=0.26386270858347416?cache=0.8344390303827822.jpg
                              Last edited by 1990new; 02-03-2019, 01:01 PM.
                              Nellie - Yellow 90 5spd LPlus (bought '05 at 44,000 105,811 as of 01/18.)

                              Trixie - Dark Charcoal 89 L Auto. Bought 06/15/13 $1800 with 89,000 miles / 95,306 as of 01/18. Power windows and swoopie power
                              mirrors. Rio front, Aspire rear, 165/55 R14 Miatas. Mercury Tracer front seats. Gave Trixie to my grandson 09/22/2018.
                              Rosie - Red 92 GL 5 Speed Sold to Safety Guy 07/12/2018.
                              Bessie - Surf Blue '90 5spd LPlus (bought new) As of 10/2018 354K. No longer in the family.. sold to a forum member 10/20/2018

                              During the last 15 years I have also owned and then sold or gave away four other Festivas.

                              Comment

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