As I have not yet posted a Guide on Honda Karma, I thought I would start with something simple. This is a easy job and can be attempted by beginner mechanics. Just be sure to take the appropriate car when working under a vehicle, more on that later.
- Difficulty Level:
Please note I am just a keen amateur, I have a degree in mechanical engineering but no formal automotive mechanic training. This is for guidance only, if in doubt ask a professional. Please feel free to comment on my work and make suggestions. I will happily update. I hope this guide is helpful.
This guide is for the replacement of the rear Anti Roll Bar Bushings or D Bushings. These are consumable rubberised parts and tend to start to noticeably wear out around 100k miles. The rear bushings on the tourer seem particularly prone. As they wear they reduce their support of the anti roll bar, allowing it to move and wobble.
This problem is often noticed as a knocking or bumping noise from the rear of the car. This can be mis-diagnosed as a larger suspension part problem, so it is well worth changing these first to see if that fixes knocking before going to a garage.
A good indicator is if the knocking is often only noticed when one wheel hits a bump and not the other. I.e. knocking on a country track but not when going over speed bumps.
In extreme cases this problem could lead to anti roll bar damage and handling issues.
Tools and Parts
In order to carry out this job you will need as a minimum:
- 2 or 4 bushings (always change front and rear pairs together). For the tourer 03-08 rear bushings, Honda Part Number 52315 - SED - 004 - £10 to £20 a pair
- Full lifting kit - trolley jack, axle stands, chocks or Ramps
- 12mm socket
- Extension bar at least 150mm
- Ratchet Drive or small Breaker bar
I would also recommend:
- Tools to deal with a sheared off bolt (See Update)
- Saftey specs - You always get rubbish falling out of suspension into your eyes on these jobs!
- A lie down creeper makes getting under the car much easier and safer
- Good set of coveralls
Firstly, chock, lift and axle stand your car with enough space the easily get in under the back. Always take real care that your car is correctly and safely supported on stands or ramps before working underneath it.
I used the central jacking point and then fitted axle stands under the two rear side rail points.
Plenty more on this available here:
hondakarma.com - correct-jacking-points
For this job both wheels MUST be either completely off the ground or completely on level ground. I would recommend lifting them both off as even a slight angle on the car will lead to the anti roll bar being loaded.
It is good practice to have your steering straight ahead, but it helps particularly on this job as it levels out the suspension.
2. Remove Bushing Holders
The next step is to remove the holding straps for the bushings once you have located them.
For this you need and extension and the 12mm socket. Make sure your socket is fully seated on the bolt head.
I used a 12mm 3/8 with a 1/2 adapter and extension so I could use the slightly larger ratchet, you need a little bit of force to get these loose.
Remove the bolts incrementally alternating between the two so not to stress the mount. It requires a little force to get it moving but is straightforward from then.
At this stage I found it is best that you move to the opposite side of the car and remove the other holder. The exhaust side access is slightly harder but should be no problem with these tools.
When removing the second holder you will need to support the Anti Roll Bar as it will drop down from the car. I supported it with a piece of wood so not to over stress the Drop Links at each end. It only needs to be lowered by a couple of cm.
3 - Bushing removal
You can now remove the bushes from the anti roll bar. Each bushing has a split in one side so you can remove it. I found it easiest to twist it 90 degrees so the split was on top, then pry it off by hand. There shouldn't be any need for tools at this point.
4 - Bushing inspection
Put your old and new bushings side by side. Make sure they are the same dimensions, you may also be able to see visible wear on the old one. Mine were quite obvious.
This is also a good opportunity to inspect the other suspension parts, in particular the drop links at each end of the anti roll bar. As the whole bar is loose you can isolate any loose or seized ball joints in the links.
5 - Cleaning and new bushing install
I cleaned up both the new bushings and the anti roll bar at the contact point, simply to ensure no mud or rust would contaminate the new bushing. Just a dry rag.
Im not sure on this point, please comment > As far as I am aware there is no need to lubricate bushings of this type. If you do, you should use lubricant specifically for the purpose as some types will degrade the rubber.
The new bushings can be opened up and installed by hand. The left and right are identical.
6 - Holder reinstall
Once the new bushings are fitted, place the holders back over the bushings, making sure they are seated properly. Align the holders with he holes in the chassis. I then fitted all 4 bolts in loosely to ensure everything was correctly aligned.
Once everything is in place torque down the bolts incrementally as before. Make sure all 4 are secure.
A slight gap in the bushing split when tightened is normal as it is there to take up slack when it wears.
7 - Drop and Drive!
Thats it! Now you can lower your car back down.
Take it for a nice easy test drive, find some bumps and keep your ears open to see if there are any remaining knocks. Hopefully that should have you sorted out! If there are still noises it may be worth a trip to the garage.
Hope this has helped, please feel free to send me comments or suggestions on this guide. Thanks!