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Old 01-06-2011, 04:49 PM   #1
2SLO4ME
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Default How to Replace Lower Control Arms

So I've done some searching and can't seem to find a DIY for changing out the front lower control arms. Mine have never been changed and they just started doing it at 58K. So I unfortunately I won't be having the dealer cover it under warranty.

I ordered the New Kit that comes with all four arms and will be installing them tomorrow. Has anyone changed them themselves or know a place that gives instructions... I'm assuming it can't be that hard since it is only four nuts and two bolts. Through some digging I found this picture with some specs on it, but I'm not quite sure which specs are for the arm the has the bend in it.
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Old 01-06-2011, 06:45 PM   #2
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I dont have a how to but theres a post around here where someone said they took only an hour or two to replace them, Ill see if I can find it. Ive been under the car, its only a few bolts...gotta knock the ball joints from the knuckle.
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Old 01-06-2011, 07:11 PM   #3
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It's not too terribly difficult. You need to get an alignment afterwards.
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Old 01-06-2011, 07:33 PM   #4
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can download manual sections here
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Old 01-06-2011, 07:55 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2StepsAhead View Post
I dont have a how to but theres a post around here where someone said they took only an hour or two to replace them, Ill see if I can find it. Ive been under the car, its only a few bolts...gotta knock the ball joints from the knuckle.
Yeah I figured it couldn't be too hard, just wanted to make sure there wasn't something different with this car.

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It's not too terribly difficult. You need to get an alignment afterwards.
Good to know and yeah an alignment will be done. I have SLP springs, Whiteline Strut Mounts and Bearings, LCA's and new Clevis Bolts all sitting in a pile waiting to be done. So needless say I will definitely need an alignment after all that, lol

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can download manual sections here
Thank you much!!!
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Old 01-06-2011, 08:21 PM   #6
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Subscribed so I can find this later.
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Old 01-06-2011, 08:24 PM   #7
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Im doing the same thing. just got all 4 control arms today, i also got bmr bushings for the control arms while i have them out. I also have new strut top mounts/bearings to install at the same time. it helps to know a mechanic with a lift in his garage too, he will be helping me.

JCMG8: thanks for that link it will help with more than just this task.

To those that have done this, is it safe to reuse the nuts/bolts for the control arms? I know the strut to steering knuckle bolts are single use so at minimum ill will be getting those.
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Old 01-07-2011, 01:08 AM   #8
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actually, the best deal is at drcustomparts dot com. He sells a set of DVD's that are the GM service software used in dealerships. They contain all GM vehicles from 90 something thru 2009 or 2010. It's the real deal, TSBs and search based on part name, flow charts etc. at the bottom of the prices section.
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Last edited by JCMG8; 01-07-2011 at 01:52 AM. Reason: dvd source
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Old 01-07-2011, 10:16 AM   #9
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I have done many, and it is safe to re-use the hardware..
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Old 01-08-2011, 01:37 PM   #10
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Would you re-use the single use bolts too?
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Old 01-08-2011, 02:42 PM   #11
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Yep... I have I just make sure I torque them to spec, just don't over torque them
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Old 05-24-2012, 10:15 AM   #12
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Anyone has a DIY write to replace the lower control arms?
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Old 05-24-2012, 01:34 PM   #13
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Quote:
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It's not too terribly difficult. You need to get an alignment afterwards.

According to GM you don't need an alignment.... lol… I agree with you though.
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Old 11-17-2012, 08:03 AM   #14
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I'm looking to replace the front control arm. What ball joint tool is needed? is it something advance auto or harbors freight would carry?
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Old 11-17-2012, 12:35 PM   #15
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Quote:
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I'm looking to replace the front control arm. What ball joint tool is needed? is it something advance auto or harbors freight would carry?
I have 5 different ball joint tools myself but the one I used for this car is the one from Harbor Freight. Thing is, I had to modify it a bit with my Dremel to open it up. It won't fit stock, and I'm not really sure what would :/ Advance and Autozone carry a few

BTW, get a ratcheting "Cross Force" 18mm wrench. The ones that have a twist in them. I had a set of those but it, like many wrench sets, it skipped the 18mm...
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Old 11-17-2012, 07:48 PM   #16
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No tool is needed for ball joints smack the pad with a hammer
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Old 11-17-2012, 07:59 PM   #17
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Quote:
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No tool is needed for ball joints smack the pad with a hammer
For the most part that's true, however there isn't a lot of room to get the leverage/impact you need should it be stubborn. My passenger side was stubborn and it was not coming out with a hammer of any type. I had to get some type of ball joint pry bar to get it out. My club has had to use a pry bar on a few of our cars, but normally just a hammer will work fine.
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Old 11-19-2012, 04:54 PM   #18
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Quote:
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No tool is needed for ball joints smack the pad with a hammer
Works sometimes, and a lot of the time you just need to figure out the right angle/place to strike, but this does NOT always work. Do NOT attempt this job without a ball joint separator available, because when you get to the fourth ball joint and realize that even though the other 3 came out with little issue, this one won't, you'll be screwed.
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Old 11-20-2012, 08:56 AM   #19
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Does a pickle fork work to separate the control arm?
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Old 11-20-2012, 09:25 AM   #20
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Does a pickle fork work to separate the control arm?
I'd expect that would work if you have the right size one (not sure which that would be). Not as big a fan of those myself though. I have one but I don't think I tried it on my car.
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