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Old 01-27-2004, 01:28 PM   #1
DennisWaller
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Default Rebuilding a front suspension on a 1991 Honda Civic DX 3dr hatchback

This summer I plan to replace the original struts and CV joint boots on my Civic that has 180,000 easy miles. This is a one owner car that has been well maintained. I am only interested in maintaining stock ride and increasing the usable life of the Civic; I am not interested in a "performance" suspension.
1) Is there any difference between Japanese made ball joints and the ball joints for this car sold under the Moog/TRW brand. Can you recommend a reliable source for purchasing front end replacement parts for this car?
2) Why is it impossible to purchase an upper ball joint for this car; the complete A arm with the ball joint can be purchased but not the ball joint alone
3) Since I can detect no unusual noise from the front wheel bearings or inner and outer CJ joints (they are all quiet) can I simply clean them thoroughly and regrease with the appropriate lubricant. i.e. is there are logical reason to replace the bearings or joints if they are not noisy?
4) Since I must completely disassemble the front suspension. should I take the opportunity to replace all the rubber bushings (upper and lower A arms, radius rods stabilizer end bushing and sway bars)?
5) Ditto on the upper and lower ball joints and tie rod ends?
5) The shop manual recommends a "high quality molydenum grease" to repack the CV joints. Can that grease also be used for the wheel bearings?
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Old 01-27-2004, 02:12 PM   #2
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Default Re: Rebuilding a front suspension on a 1991 Honda Civic DX 3dr hatchback (DennisWaller)

1)Im not aware of any difference in quality. I just always buy OEM, or aftermarket from the same OEM manufacturer whenever possible.

2) On the earlier years, the upper balljoint is welded to the A arm. on later arms, you can pop em out and in. im not sure exactly where to source the baljoint alone, someone might have tracked down a TSB or something for the part number from honda.

3) for a street driven car on a DX, i dont tihnk the bearings need to be replaced and the hub really doesnt need to be even touched at all. you have to press the hub in and out of the knuckle and ive found the stress of doing so stresses out the bearings and hub and help lead to failure. yes, ive had my hubs fail, but during racing. so i suggest you either replace BOTH bearing and hub at the same time, or dont touch them at all. if you really want to regrease the bearing, then press out the hub, and most likely the bearing will be separated with one half of the inner race still stuck on the hub. just leave it there, dont try to press that out to reduce the amount of unneeded stress. you can regrease and repack around it.

the outer CV joint is not meant to be a maintenence item. i would just wait til you actually need to replace it because its showing specific signs of wear like clicking and replace it with the whole axle.

4) lots of ppl like the Energy suspension polyurethane master bushing kit. will make things stiff and possibly squeeky if you dont grease properly. i would recommend just new stock rubber. but that gets expensive.

5) i would only replace the balljoints if you find the boots have been torn for a long time and the quality of the balljoint is in suspect, or you have definate play. otherwise, as long as theres grease in there, no reason balljoints should be loose and need to be replaced unless specifically abused. the tierod balljoint is part of the tie rod end.

6) i just used synthetic valvoline grease or Mobil 1 synthetic you can get from any store. pack the joints as much as possible. but dont overly pack the wheel bearings if you do so yourself.

i think in general, you just look around your suspension and replace what really needs to be replaced. since youre looking to maintain your stock ride, i think you should consider new shocks. i recommend tokico blues, they arent horribly expensive and will be totally fine. KYB Gr-2 are reasonable alternates from what i hear.

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Old 01-27-2004, 02:40 PM   #3
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Default Re: Rebuilding a front suspension on a 1991 Honda Civic DX 3dr hatchback (Tyson)

Thank you for these informative suggestions.

Can you recommend a source for OEM quality parts. Dealer prices are very high.

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Old 01-27-2004, 02:54 PM   #4
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Default Re: Rebuilding a front suspension on a 1991 Honda Civic DX 3dr hatchback (DennisWaller)

definately buy em online. http://www.hondaautomotiveparts.com or http://www.slhondaparts.com
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Old 01-27-2004, 03:17 PM   #5
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Default Re: Rebuilding a front suspension on a 1991 Honda Civic DX 3dr hatchback (Tyson)

If your thinking about buying new CV joints, just buy a premanufactured axle. It comes with the CV boot and is cheaper than paying labor and parts at some aligment shop.
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Old 01-27-2004, 04:44 PM   #6
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Default Re: Rebuilding a front suspension on a 1991 Honda Civic DX 3dr hatchback (DennisWaller)

If there's nothing wrong with it, why mess with it? Waste of time and money. I work at Honda and we don't replace parts when there's nothing wrong with it.
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