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Discussion Starter #1
As my ball joints are shot, I decided to buy used lower control arms, press the ball joints and swap the arms in order to not have to ground the vehicle for a long time.
I bought used OEM control arms from a 2005 Pilot at a scrap yard and when I cleaned up rust, I did not find the snap rings. The top of the ball joint body is flush with the ring in the arm unlike the top of the aftermarket ball joint bodies which come with snap rings. Are OEM ball joints just pressed in? Why do aftermarket parts all come with snap rings then?
 

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Considering that the ball joints are not supposed to be pressed out on this gen ..only the bushings are replaceable.. good point on the snap rings since I can buy a ball joint from auto zone it comes with a snap ring for the boot cover. I just ended up buy the hole control arm for a $100 new at autozone.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
The snap rings on the Mevotech ball joints, which I bought, is for the body to stay firmly in the arm. The dust boot just fits snug over the body's extension above the snap ring and I believe there is a steel ring inside the boot which ensures that it stays in place. OEM boots seem to have the coil spring around them for that purpose. I'll see how well these ball joints perform vs the OEM.

The total cost for me was CDN $40 for the arm and $20 for the ball joint which is less than 1/2 the price for the arm after shipping. The perceived advantage of doing that is that staying with OEM I would not have to do the alignment.

One observation I have after pressing the old ball joints out is that the standard tool kit, which auto parts stores rent out, is too short for the Honda ball joint by anywhere from 1/2 to 3/4". I had to use angle grinder to cut the tapered stem flush with the body in order to be able to press it out. The kit also does not have a sleeve which would match the new ball joint's base in order to press it in, and I would have to use a socket which I happen to have. IIRC it is for 36mm but do not hold me to it.
 

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yah..... so 20 minutes later I have two brand new lower control arms installed so while you poor sole grinding away i'm sitting back enjoying a nice cold Labbat's 50 ... LOL ...sorry m8 Glad you got it fixed though! :p

Cheers !
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Are all ball joint press kits the same size? The one I rented is too small for the Honda ball joints and I had to use sockets in place of their tubes.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
All is done. Test drove and the car was quiet as new over bumps, potholes, all kinds of uneven surfaces, but when I returned and was entering the driveway on my right hand, there was still a very small clunk from the driver front wheel.

I can't figure out where it is coming from yet. The sway bar links seem to be tight. They have been replaced with OEM at 68k miles when I bought the Pilot. Now I have new sway bar bushings and ball joints. What's next? Strut mounts?
 

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All is done. Test drove and the car was quiet as new over bumps, potholes, all kinds of uneven surfaces, but when I returned and was entering the driveway on my right hand, there was still a very small clunk from the driver front wheel.

I can't figure out where it is coming from yet. The sway bar links seem to be tight. They have been replaced with OEM at 68k miles when I bought the Pilot. Now I have new sway bar bushings and ball joints. What's next? Strut mounts?
Strut mounts is a good candidate, but I don't know how to verify. If your struts are close to 100k, you'll notice the improvement with new ones if you just want to try it.

If these are the "new to you" control arms with bushings, and the clunk is the same as before, that probably eliminates compliance bushings. Maybe subframe bushings?

I think I would start by double-checking torque on all the front suspension and chassis bolts before digging in deeper.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Now I am wondering if re-tightening the strut piston nut might solve the clunk. It seems to be only created when the wheel drops vertically.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Now that I drove on the new ball joints, I can describe the circumstances when the clunk occurs: when I am backing out of the driveway and turn my steering sharply to the right, and then go over the curb, I get two sounds like a bell rings: bomm... bomm... The same occurs if I am making a very sharp turn going forward at low speed. Everything is torqued to the spec - checked and re-checked.

City and HW driving over any kind of roads is quiet like a new car no matter what surface: potholes, cracks, rumble strips, pavement or concrete.

Could it be that the sound is coming from the worn spring dampener rings?
 
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