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Honda Pilot Front Control Arms Replacement Guide
How to change the front suspension lower control arms on a first generation 2003 to 2008 Honda Pilot SUV.

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2006 Pilot Control Arm
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Dry Rotted Rear Bushing
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Front Rubber Bushing
This automotive maintenance tutorial was specifically written to assist owners of the first generation (2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2008) Honda Pilot SUV in replacing the front suspension lower control arms.

Owners of other Honda or Acura vehicles such as the Accord, Civic, Crosstour, CR-V, CR-Z, Fit, Insight, Odyssey, Pilot, Ridgeline, ILX, TSX, TLX, TL, RLX, RDX, NSX and MDX may also find these DIY instructions to be helpful.

The tools and other items needed to complete this procedure include a lug nut wrench, a floor jack, two jack stands, a spray can of penetrating oil, a 19mm wrench and/or a 19mm socket with a 1/2" drive ratchet and a GearWrench 3916D ball joint separator.

The compatible replacement aftermarket lower control arm part numbers are as follows: Moog RK621350 (Front Right / Passenger Side) and Moog RK621349 (Front Left / Driver Side).



 

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Cotter Pin & Castle Nut
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Ball Joint - Outer Edge
The first few steps are to drive the SUV on to a level surface, shift the transmission into park and turn off the ignition.

Then engage the emergency / parking brake and place wheel chocks on both sides of the rear tires to prevent the vehicle from moving.

Slightly loosen the five lug nuts on the front wheel by turning them 1/4 to 1/2 turn in the counterclockwise direction with the tire iron.

Raise the front of the SUV with the floor jack and securely support it with at least two jack stands.

I prefer to only work on one side of the vehicle at a time to keep three tires on the ground for extra safety.

Spin off the five lug nuts and set them aside in a safe place.

Carefully remove the front wheel.

The front lower control arm is held in place at three points: the ball joint with a castle nut, the forward mounting bolt and the rearward mounting bolt.

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Raise Vehicle - Floor Jack
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Remove Cotter Pin
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Loosen Castle Nut
Straighten out the two ends of the cotter pin and pull it out of the castle nut with a pair of needle nose pliers.

Loosen the castle nut at the top of the ball joint by turning it in the counterclockwise direction with a 19mm wrench.

If you have difficult turning the nut, spray it with some penetrating oil and allow ten to fifteen minutes for it to seep into the threads.

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Rotate Counterclockwise
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Ball Joint Separator
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Separate Ball Joint
Remove the castle nut and discard it.

Attach the GearWrench 3916D ball joint separator and turn the bolt in the clockwise direction until the ball joint pops apart.

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Penetrating Oil Spray
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Loosen Front Bolt
Loosen the front mounting bolt by turning it in the counterclockwise direction with the 19mm socket and a 3/8" or 1/2" drive ratchet.

Set the bolt aside in a safe place.



 

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Front Bolt Removed
If necessary, clean the bolt with a wire brush to remove any rust or debris.
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Rear Mounting Bolt
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New Moog Control Arms
Remove the rear bolt by turning it in the counterclockwise direction with the 19mm socket and a 3/8" or 1/2" drive ratchet.

I recommend buying the Moog RK621350 and Moog RK621349 front lower control arms since they have excellent reviews on Amazon from other Pilot and MDX owners.

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Old & New Control Arms
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Install New Control Arm
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Raise To Load Suspension
Make sure you remove the plastic ball joint thread protectors from the new control arms.

Install the new control arm by inserting the rear bushing in first.

Then move the front bushing into place and line up the ball joint.

It is easiest to insert the rear mounting bolt when the rear bushing is level.

I recommend sliding in the rear mounting bolt first before the front bolt.

Replace the front and rear mounting bolts by turning them in the clockwise direction with the 19mm wrench or a 19mm socket with a ratchet.

Lightly tighten the two bolts and the castle nut.

Raise the suspension with the floor jack to load the suspension with the vehicle's weight.

It would be best to use a torque wrench to tighten the bolts and castle nut to the torque specifications in the service manual.

The castle nut should be tightened to 43 to 51 lb-ft of torque.

The front and rear mounting bolts should be tightened to 69 lb-ft of torque.

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Ball Joint Castle Nut
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Cotter Pin Installed
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Control Arm Replaced
Tighten the castle nut to the lower end of the torque specification of 43 lb-ft.

Alight the slot with the ball joint pin hole.

Tighten the castle nut to the upper end of the torque specification of 51 lb-ft.

Then tighten the front and rear bolts to 69 lb-ft of torque.

Double check that the two bolts and castle nut are properly tightened.

Slide in the new cotter pin and bend the two ends to secure it in place.

Replace the front wheel and spin on the five lug nuts a few turns by hand in the clockwise direction to make sure they don't become cross threaded.

Slightly tighten the lug nuts in a criss-cross or star pattern with the tire iron.

Carefully lower the SUV from the jack stands by using the floor jack.

Continue progressively tightening the lug nuts to 80 lb-ft of torque.

Be sure to record the control arm change in your vehicle's service records.

For more, check out all of my 2003-2008 Honda Pilot DIY Repair & Maintenance Guides.
 

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