Honda Accord 2003-2008 Upper Control Arm Replacement

Chassis codes: CL7-CL9, CM1–6, CN1 and CN2

  1. Accord_N22
    Difficulty Level:
    2003-2008 Honda Accord Upper Control Arm Replacement

    As there is no DIY guide for replacing an upper control arm, I thought now would be a good time to contribute.
    After having performed it on my own car the replacement went well and was a straight forward task.
    I have used many DIY guides on here and thought it is time to give alittle back.

    To replace the upper control arms for the Honda Accord

    DIY Guide Compatibility
    -Honda Accord Tourer Estate 2003-2008 (both diesel and petrol models)
    -Honda Accord Saloon 2003-2008 (both diesel and petrol models)
    Chassis codes: CL7 - CL9, CM1 – 6, CN1 and CN2

    This is guide is suitable for both front Left and Right Sides
    *Procedure may be similar to other Honda models as most models use the same type of upper control arm design.

    I won't take any responsibility for and damage or injury. You follow this guide at your own risk.
    If you do not agree, please do not follow this guide.
    This DIY has been written and intended only as a guide.
    There may be other or easier ways of performing a stage.
    Suspension components are a vital part of any car, do not rush and take your time.
    Check and double check all bolts and fittings.

    The upper ball link joint on the passenger upper control arm on my 2006 Honda Accord had some play in it. Having done some research, it seemed rather easy to replace and thought I would give it a go.

    It didn't exhibit any knocking noises, but I did notice some very slight tram lining and a hint of loose steering response.

    I never thought anything of it and continued to drive the car for several months.
    When it came to my routine 6k a year oil changes, the loose play in the joint was noticed whilst I was doing some routine checks.

    Here is a video of how loose the upper ball link joint was on my front passenger upper control arm.

    Equipment Required
    To get started here is a list of some of the tools you may require
    -Axle Stands
    -Trolley Jack
    -Needle nose pliers
    -Mini flat head screw driver
    -Wire brush
    -Metric sockets: 10mm, 12mm, 14mm and 17mm
    -Spanner (angled) 12mm (ratchet type is better if available)
    -Old Rags/Cloths
    -Your Locking wheel nut key
    -Wheel wrench for removing wheel nuts

    Parts Required (Upper Control Arm)
    Genuine parts are always advised as they last longer and manufactured exactly to the original specification.
    Yes, genuine parts are more expensive but I have also believed buying alternatives is false economy and the part would have to be replaced again in a year or two.
    Replacing such items like suspension, bearings and clutch components, genuine parts are always worth it. Do the job once and it is never repeated.
    However everyone’s budget is different and if it is not possible to buy genuine parts a good quality Blueprint part is advisable.
    i.e: ADL Blueprint or Lemforder

    Genuine Part Numbers

    *Note: On Honda diagrams, left/right is denoted as if you were sitting in the driver's seat. So left is the passenger side.
    Typical prices for the genuine parts are approx £135 per side. (as of 28-02-16)

    Places to buy genuine parts

    -Coxmotorparts Buy Genuine Honda Parts, Honda Car Parts & Honda Spare Parts Online
    -Htune H-Tune - Performance Parts & ECU Development
    -Holdcroft Honda
    -Tegiwa Japanese Performance Parts for Honda Mitsubishi Nissan | Tegiwa Imports
    -Any local Honda Dealer Find A Dealer | Cars | Honda UK

    Typical prices for a blueprint alternatives range from £40 to £60.
    Some unknown brands can be as little as £20.

    Places to buy Blueprint parts

    -Ebay Electronics, Cars, Fashion, Collectibles, Coupons and More | eBay
    -Mister Auto CAR PARTS from Mister Auto - Your Parts at discount prices
    -Eurocarparts Euro Car Parts | The UK's Number 1 Provider of Car Parts Online and In Store
    -Your local Motorfactors


    The Procedure

    Step 1

    Loosen the wheel bolts including your anti theft bolt (if you have them installed) on the side
    of the car which has the faulty upper control arm.
    (on both wheels if your changing both front arms)

    Step 2

    Jack the car up from the front and place two axle stands on either side of the front pinch points under the car.

    If unsure of the jacking point locations please see this DIY
    Safely is paramount, ensure the car is stable before beginning any work.
    *If you are still unsure, do not continue and seek additional advice

    Step 3

    Remove the trolley jack from the front as it will be required later.

    Step 4

    Remove all the wheel bolts which were loosened earlier from the side you’re working on.
    (both wheels if you’re changing both upper control arms)
    Place wheels under the side sill section of the car for additional backup support

    Step 5

    Spray WD40 on the areas below.

    (Might be a good idea to do it a day before if your under carriage is in bad condition, but generally these bolts shouldn't provide much of an issue)

    Step 6

    Start by removing the x2 10mm nuts which holds the brake line to the steering knuckle arm.
    Tuck this line to one side.

    Step 7

    Whilst you have the 10mm socket wrench to hand, remove the (TOP) ABS sensor bracket from the upper control arm

    Step 8

    Then remove the (BOTTOM) ABS sensor bracket from the steering knuckle arm

    Step 9
    Next, remove the cotter pin under the castle nut on the upper control arm. Needle nose pliers will help here but a fine flat head screw driver should work a treat.
    Some cotter pins are the twist type, on this occasion it was a clip type and was easily removed.
    Grab your 17mm socket wrench and remove the castle nut holding the upper ball joint.
    (Wire brush the thread to aid a clean removal)
    Inspect the nut and wire brush clean if you are re-using it.
    In most cases it should be fine to re-use


    Step 10

    Gently hit the upper control arm upwards from the upper ball joint thread.
    This should release it from the steering knuckle arm.
    Spray some WD40 in that area and let it penetrate. It may have slightly seized with rust.
    May require some heavy hits dependant on your under carriage condition.
    It should eventually separate.
    Excuse the pic. I didn't take one with the cotter pin and castle nut removed.
    Step 11
    Once it has separated, the next bolts that need to be removed are the upper control arm pivot bolts shown here, however their access is limited due to the shock absorber.

    8. 9.

    Instead of removing the shock absorber it can be unbolted from the top mount and slightly moved out of the way. This should give access to the bolts.
    Remove the x2 (12mm) strut bolts and the x3 (14mm) suspension top mount bolts


    Step 12

    Once removed, the shock absorber can be pushed down
    (threads to clear the top turret from the underside) and gently moved to one side.
    (You may need another helper if available but should be fine to do it on your own if your strong enough)

    This should give the access required to get a spanner to the pivot bolts.
    Once access has been granted, unbolt the x2 (12mm) pivot bolts.
    A ratchet spanner may be useful here as these bolts are pretty long. If a ratchet spanner is not available you have to just persevere with loosening the bolt manually.
    Move the shock absorber slightly to the other side by forcing the whole arm assembly down. The other pivot bolt should be accessible.

    Step 13

    Once the pivot bolts have been removed, the upper control arm can now be pulled away and removed.
    Image shows control arm removed

    11. 12.

    Step 14

    Un-wrap the new part and compare it with the part that you have removed.
    Ensure it is identical.
    Once you’re happy the part is identical, place it into position and repeat the removal process in reverse order.


    -I could not get a torque wrench to the pivot bolts so tighten those accordingly.
    -When re-assembling the upper ball joint to the steering knuckle arm, use the trolley jack to lift the lower control arm as shown below.


    By doing this you are pre-loading the damper and simulating the car being on the ground. This will make it much easier to insert the upper ball joint through the steering knuckle arm.

    BEWARE: If you do not do this and force it manually by fastening the castle nut without preloading, you can damage the ball link on the upper control arm.

    -I believe the torque setting for the castle nut is 35 ib ft. However it may need confirming.
    -When tightening the castle nut, it may need to be slightly adjusting clockwise/anti clockwise to allow the cotter pin to be inserted through.
    Once complete the upper control should look like this when complete.

    Double check all the bolts
    Put the wheels back on and take it on the test drive

    Many thanks for reading and I hope this guide has helped you :Smile:
    Version: 1.0

    --------------------------- END OF PROCEDURE ---------------------------

    Here is a video of how loose the ball link joint on the upper control arm was when it was removed.

    raza4, Nels and Ichiban like this.

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    K24 CL9 GUY
    Very thorough guide this going as deep as letting people know where to get the parts etc top work :-)
  2. SpeedyGee
    That's a top notch write up, really like the layout ! Top marks.
  3. Nels
    Great job and super write up. Thank you for sharing,
    1. Accord_N22
      Author's Response
      Thanks nels, glad to have finally contributed to the community
  4. Ichiban
    Spot on mate this is a brill guide.
    1. Accord_N22
      Author's Response
      Thanks ichiban :)
  5. Nighthawk
    Nicely done mate. How does she feel now
    1. Accord_N22
      Author's Response
      Cheers nighthawk, she feels so much more sharper. That's slightly loose feel has disappeared. I should have done both sides but the drivers side is still spot on at the moment. Glad I done it myself, was a lot easier than I thought and really enjoyed doing it.