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Replacing front control arm

Not many of you will ever have to do this, but on January 2, 2002, my Focus slid into a curb, bending the control arm up pretty badly. A little leg work and some elbow grease and I had a new control arm in. Here's how

Time Required:
45 - 60 minutes

Tools Needed:

  • Socket Set (15, 21, 18, 17 mm Sockets at least)
  • 2 Ratcheting Socket wrenches would be good but one will do if you have pliers.
  • 3/8" Drive Socket Torx T-50 Bit
  • Large slip-notch pliers
  • Jack and stands
  • Penetrating Lube. WD-40 Works but I swear by Blaster- Sold in stores everywhere, works a lot better.
  • Set of prybars
  • Tire Lug Wrench
  • Hammer (Optional but you all should have a hammer!! C'mon!!)


    Hopefully you'll never, EVER have to do this. Also note that After I did this to my car, there are still some things wrong with the suspension that I have to get fixed. If you're ever involved in a situation where you have to replace suspension parts, remember, there's a lot of things you might not notice wrong and at the very least you should have the alignment looked at. Enough disclaimer banter, let's get started!


    1) Set the parking brake, loosen the front wheel, and lift the side of the car that you'll be working on. Support it with a jackstand.

    2) Remove the front wheel

    3) Using Blaster or other WD-40ish stuff, saturate the bolts holding the control arm in. There's 4 main bolts you should get. One in front, two in back, and one Torx bolt at the spindle. Let it sit for a few minutes. You'll thank me for this part later. :)

    4) Using a Torx T-50 and a 15mm Socket, remove the bolt holding the control arm to the wheel spindle. Drive it out with a hammer if needed. Leave the control arm attached to the spindle for now.

    5) Using Slip notch pliers, firmly grasp the nut located on the inside of the front control arm mount, and get on the other end of the bolt with the socket wrench. It's on there good.

    6) Using sockets, remove the two bolts holding the back of the control arm in. It's easier to use 2 socket wrenches but not necessary.

    7) Using a prybar, and optionally, a hammer, drive the control arm pin out from the spindle using downward force. Be careful not to damage the bushings.

    8) Once the spindle is loose from the control arm, pry the front of the control arm from the bracket using a prybar. After this, the whole control arm assembly should come out very easily.


    1) Place the rear of the control arm into place. Don't insert any bolts yet.

    2) Wedge the front of the control arm into it's mounting bracket. Use a small screwdriver or the bolt you removed from the front of the control arm to assist you in lining it up properly. Use prybars to manipulate it's position. Once you can get it there, fully insert the front control arm bolt and place the nut on the end of it. Do not tighten.

    3) Place the control arm pin into the wheel spindle. Use light taps from a hammer to get it all the way into the spindle. Place the torx bolt through the spindle and place the nut on the end of it. Do not tighten.

    4) place the shorter of the two remaining bolts into the hole nearest you for the rear of the control arm. Place the nut on the end of it. Tighten slightly to assist with installation of last remaining control arm bolt.

    5) Install remaining control arm bolt into the rear of the control arm. Place the nut on the end of it. Tighten it down.

    6) Tighten the other bolt down which holds the rear of the control arm.

    7) Tighten the bolt which retains the front of the control arm.

    8) Tighten the bolt that goes through the spindle, using a TORX T-50 Bit and a socket.

    9) Re-tighten all suspension bolts to make sure they're on good.

    10) Replace the wheel, lower the car, tighten the lug nuts and you're rolling again!

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