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Thanks for the write-up! This is probably the most detailed guide I've seen yet for the 7th gen accord's suspension. Your guide looks like it would be useful for other repairs as well, such as replacing struts.
 

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That's great. Except you didn't have to take out the whole strut/spring assembly. And you didn't need a ball joint separator. I was able to get to the bolts for the upper arm with the strut/spring assembly loose just on the top side. To separate the ball joint from the fork, just knock the areas on the fork around ball joint, it will pop out from the shocks.
 

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Yeah I don't think you need to remove the strut/spring either. I did this on our 6th gen Accord so I can't be for sure with the 7th but would imagine you don't need to. Nice write up and should go in the DIY section.
 

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The service manual does show that you need to remove the strut/spring assembly but this isn't necessary. You can get an open box end wrench in between the bolt head and spring easily.
 

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This was John's first post?!?! Wow! Thanks, man. Nice job. It should be a sticky. It's like hitting a home run at your very first "at bat" in the majors.

Good use of humor, too. e.g. "do not loosen the center nut or you will have a bad day",lol And I now understand that you hand tighten things, THEN support the suspension so it is "under load", THEN torque down to spec.

But what exactly are the torque specs for each of the bolts you referred to?
 

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Excellent write up...add torque specs and it's good to go!
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks for all the nice comments, much appreciated -- this is a nice and friendly crowd!!

I have added a new version of the PDF to my original post with torque specs added.

As for not removing the strut -- that is a good idea! I am not sure whether there would be enough room that way to get a torque wrench in or not, but for sure you could get a wrench in there. It would certainly save a lot of work! I just did the job by removing the strut because I was following the service manual instructions which as t-rd said shows doing it that way.

As for rapping the knuckle to separate the ball joint -- makes sense, I think a lot of folks do it that way and it is probably faster. I just had the tool and decided to go that route.
 

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There is absolutely no room to stick in a torque wrench in there without removing the assembly. The reason I didn't do it is simply because I could not relieve the tension enough by standing on the rotor to get the assembly off so I gave up on that idea. Use common sense when tightening back up, because I knew how tight it was when I took those 2 bolts off. They are not super tight. It was a pain, however, to take off the bolt using the open box end wrench by turning bit by bit at a time. It does get the job done.
 

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I'm sorry you are correct. In order to get the torque wrench in there you do need to remove the strut/spring. It's been two or three years since I did mine but yeah you do need to remove it to get the torque wrench in there.
 

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I know this is an older thread but it was quite helpful. As well if you use a universal adapter (swivel joint) on the end of a 6 inch extension you can get power tools in there without removing the strut and presumably a torque wrench as well.
 

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For future reference, I made a short video on replacing the upper control arm on the 7th Gen Accord. I didn't need to remove the suspension fork, and chose to release the strut from the top mount and pry the lower control arm downward. Ratcheting wrenches definitely helped too.

 

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FYI - Both the PDF and video were very helpful. For anyone else doing this, you do NOT need to remove the strut entirely, the process in the video is pretty easy to do.

No ball joint separator used, came apart with a couple good whacks.

And I was able to get a ratchet AND torque wrench on the arm bolts with the strut/spring pulled outward as much as possible.
 

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I wish I was aware of the "you don't have to remove the strut assembly" tip when replacing my upper control arm. I ended up breaking this bolt and unable to remove it as it was seized in the bushing sleeve. Had to gingerly drive it to a shop where the bolt was cut, the bushing pressed out and a new one pressed in.
 

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FYI - Both the PDF and video were very helpful. For anyone else doing this, you do NOT need to remove the strut entirely, the process in the video is pretty easy to do.
Thanks, I'm glad you enjoyed my video.

I wish I was aware of the "you don't have to remove the strut assembly" tip when replacing my upper control arm. I ended up breaking this bolt and unable to remove it as it was seized in the bushing sleeve. Had to gingerly drive it to a shop where the bolt was cut, the bushing pressed out and a new one pressed in.
Yea the lower control arm bushings on these Accords tend to seize the bolts in the sleeves. At some point, it might not be worth pressing in new bushings and just getting a new lower control arm.
 

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Yea the lower control arm bushings on these Accords tend to seize the bolts in the sleeves.
Yes I learned that the hard way. Next time I do any suspension work I'm going to make sure to have a sawzall on hand. At times it's your only out, especially on cars that get a steady diet of winter road salt. By the way I'm a big fan of your videos, they're really top notch. The editing and clarity is second to none.
 

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Thanks for the write up. I need to do my upper control arm.
 

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I just did this job today on both sides. I decided on OEM upper arms because I was hesitant about aftermarket balljoint quality.

At first I tried to do the job without removing the strut. This will work, but the issue I found is that you can't use the 1/4" rod to position the new control arm. The strut gets in the way. Using the rod ensures that the upper arm is in its neutral position when you torque down the bolts, and maximizes the bushing life. The other bushings can be torqued in their neutral position easily later in the job.

Removing and replacing both struts only adds about 30 minutes to the entire job. I bought new fork nuts as suggested in the FSM just in case. I believe they are prevailing torque type locknuts which are one-time use and that's why they need to be replaced.

This was my first time ever dealing with Honda's pinch bolt strut and fork design, and being in the rust belt I thought for sure it was gonna be a struggle to get that separated. But it came apart super easily. Maybe I got lucky, I don't know.

I had some trouble removing the strut with the upper balljoint still connected, so I switched the order of those steps. But looking at this guide again now, I realize I was going about it the wrong way. So follow the pictures in the guide.

As for separating the upper ball joint, I first tried hitting it with my mini-sledge hammer, but the thing wouldn't budge. I have a pickle fork, so that worked nicely. Make sure you have the ball joint separator tool or a pickle fork on hand. Don't rely on the hammer method (shouldn't do this anyways to avoid damaging the knuckle or balljoint hole).

The cotter pin is supposed to be installed front to back, so turn the new balljoint stud to get that orientation before reconnecting it to the knuckle. I had to fight with a funny angle before figuring it out for the next side. I could take it apart again, but meh.

The pinch bolts and fork bolts have the potential to be seized. Only 1 of mine was really stubborn, but I think it's because a shop had all that apart for a lower arm replacement 2 years ago. If yours are stubborn proceed with extreme caution, that's when they could snap and ruin the whole DIY. Afterwards, make sure you scrub them with a wire brush and apply anti-seize before re-installing.

Next, I'm gonna take in somewhere for an alignment.

Other than that, this guide is spot on. It clearly follows the FSM instructions step-by-step. I suppose as my contribution I can add the relevant FSM pages.

Good luck!
 

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Thanks for the write-up! This is probably the most detailed guide I've seen yet for the 7th gen accord's suspension. Your guide looks like it would be useful for other repairs as well, such as replacing struts.
I replace struts w/ o replacing the spring, big mistake, so had to go back install complete strut replacement. 2 hours to replace both fronts.
 
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