Failed Honda Compliance Bushings after 42k miles

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22,495
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CA
Not sure what happened, though she does drive on a windy road during her commute. I installed new front compliance bushings (LCA bushing) on the fiancée's Accord at 97K. The car is currently at 139K and the passenger side bushing has a huge crack but the driver side is perfectly fine. ??? During the original installation, I tightened both bushings with the control arm raised to normal ride height (until the vehicle was no longer resting on the lift arms). But this time, I tightened the control arm bolts after lowering the car to the ground (and rolling it back and forth in neutral). Not sure if this will make a difference... I ended up using the same Genuine Honda bushings again. Even without an alignment, ride quality has improved and the steering is a bit more precise. At least the bushings are relatively inexpensive ($25/ea) and fairly easy to replace. Any ideas on what may have happened?

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*points to his signature* Welcome to Honda life. I did experiment with my 2003 when I did them a few years back and filled them with urethane before I installed them. Does it make a difference? Hard to say since I went from destroyed bushings to new ones, but I figured it was worth a shot. You could always try out the Acura TL bushings. Same size and they were a heavier car. Are they different? Dunno, they are different part numbers and I'd like to think Honda made them a little stiffer to deal with the extra weight, but again, could just be a different number. 51394-SEP-A01 - Acura TL Of all the Honda things I'm a fan of, I'm not a fan of this particular design.
 
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Indiana
The control arm bushings on her Volvo are the same way. Is there a poly version you can get? What kind of bushing press is that?
 
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1,135
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Athens, GA
There's not really a poly bushing for these styles. There's a metal version, but its $$$ and I've got to imagine it will be fairly harsh, noisy, and probably still not last forever. It looks like he's using either the official Honda Bushing tool or something similar. I use a combination of ball joint pess parts when I do mine, plus a hollowed out and shaved down old bushing.
 
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24,436
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MA, Mittelfranken.de
Typically this type of bushing fails when the suspension is unloaded eg when jacking or putting it on a lift, this has plagued some GM vehicles for years. The old bushings cant take the extra stress of being twisted to their maximum. Some fail right after jacking or lifting or shortly after, I have seen them fail on the lift. Do both sides.
 
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NH
I've noticed that they seem to really flex when I lift my wife's car, but I don't see cracking (yet). I wouldn't think an alignment would be required after this job, but, I'll ask anyhow--is it needed?
 
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87
Location
mid-atlantic, US
This bushing seems to be a particularly bad design. I replaced mine (whole arm actually) about 50K ago and like yours, I just discovered the new ones are cracking. I too also had jacked the arm up to a neutral position before tightening. This issue seems to plague this generation of Honda accords. Next time I'll just be pressing in new bushing. I have been surprised at how much empty space is in that bushing. It doesn't seem surprising to me that the small web of rubber cracks. Given the size of the bushing I would have expected more rubber and less space. The inner part of the bushing seems to be connected to outer bushing by maybe 55% of the contact area?Just seems odd. BTW. .it looks like you have a nice workshop. Is that your personal space? -A
 
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New York
Originally Posted by Trav
Typically this type of bushing fails when the suspension is unloaded eg when jacking or putting it on a lift, this has plagued some GM vehicles for years. The old bushings cant take the extra stress of being twisted to their maximum. Some fail right after jacking or lifting or shortly after, I have seen them fail on the lift. Do both sides.
I can see this happening because whenever I jack up the front and take the wheels off, yeesh the compliance bushings look like they're screaming for help with the amount of twisting they're doing LOL. This also makes any minor cracks really show, cracks you otherwise wouldn't see when they're not twisted (like if you were on the ground just looking up, the cracks would be completely invisible). One can probably assume that if they make cracks show by spreading them apart, they can probably make the cracks worse. As for replacing the bushings, I remember the service manual saying you can only replace them once at most due to the interference fit of the bushings into the LCA...
 
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835
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Florida
I use to have a chevy cobalt, replaced the same bushings with the moog problem solver solid bushings @65.00 each. Pricey but they lasted much longer than the oem's, still solid when I sold it and dident notice any difference in noise.
 
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87
Location
mid-atlantic, US
Originally Posted by NoNameJoe
I can see this happening because whenever I jack up the front and take the wheels off, yeesh the compliance bushings look like they're screaming for help with the amount of twisting they're doing LOL. This also makes any minor cracks really show, cracks you otherwise wouldn't see when they're not twisted (like if you were on the ground just looking up, the cracks would be completely invisible). One can probably assume that if they make cracks show by spreading them apart, they can probably make the cracks worse. As for replacing the bushings, I remember the service manual saying you can only replace them once at most due to the interference fit of the bushings into the LCA...
Interesting. I wonder if they are saying this because each replacement alters the hole for the bushing slightly and eventually it will fit loosely??
 
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Originally Posted by amblerman
Interesting. I wonder if they are saying this because each replacement alters the hole for the bushing slightly and eventually it will fit loosely??
More worried about the stress of pushing out the old pushing. That LCA looks like a forged aluminum part and not a stamped steel one which I can see elongating. What if you pressed in the new bushing after having it in a freezer for an hour to get the shell to ever so slightly contract which means less force needed to press in the new one? I've done a similar job on an old Lexus but with aftermarket poly bushings. I had to hack the new bushings just to get them to work.
 
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87
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mid-atlantic, US
Originally Posted by nthach
Originally Posted by amblerman
Interesting. I wonder if they are saying this because each replacement alters the hole for the bushing slightly and eventually it will fit loosely??
More worried about the stress of pushing out the old pushing. That LCA looks like a forged aluminum part and not a stamped steel one which I can see elongating. What if you pressed in the new bushing after having it in a freezer for an hour to get the shell to ever so slightly contract which means less force needed to press in the new one? I've done a similar job on an old Lexus but with aftermarket poly bushings. I had to hack the new bushings just to get them to work.
It's definitely steel. I have a spare one in basement and I just checked it with a magnet.
 
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The Northeast
Rubber parts seem to be a weakness on Hondas. My Pilot had it's compliance bushings done under extended warranty. They were cracked and leaking fluid at only 60k miles.
 
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Silicon Valley
Originally Posted by supton
I've noticed that they seem to really flex when I lift my wife's car, but I don't see cracking (yet). I wouldn't think an alignment would be required after this job, but, I'll ask anyhow--is it needed?
I'll definitely do an alignment. Every time you switch these parts they can be off by a bit, even if you are just unbolting and bolting without replacing any bushing.
 
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1,135
Location
Athens, GA
Originally Posted by carviewsonic
What are the symptoms when they are shot? Just wondering if that's something in my 2007 2.4 Accord's future?
Massive inside tire wear usually. There is some handling funkiness that will go on as well, but most people don't notice it and its not as pronounced on the I4 cars. On the V6 cars you can notice it during full throttle romps, the car will pull side to side.
 

The Critic

Thread starter
Messages
22,495
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CA
Originally Posted by ctechbob
You could always try out the Acura TL bushings. Same size and they were a heavier car. Are they different? Dunno, they are different part numbers and I'd like to think Honda made them a little stiffer to deal with the extra weight, but again, could just be a different number. 51394-SEP-A01 - Acura TL Of all the Honda things I'm a fan of, I'm not a fan of this particular design.
Thanks for the idea, I will try that next time.
Originally Posted by dlundblad
What kind of bushing press is that?
Originally Posted by ctechbob
There's not really a poly bushing for these styles. There's a metal version, but its $$$ and I've got to imagine it will be fairly harsh, noisy, and probably still not last forever. It looks like he's using either the official Honda Bushing tool or something similar. I use a combination of ball joint pess parts when I do mine, plus a hollowed out and shaved down old bushing.
http://www.9circleint.com/products/...-front-lower-control-arm-bushing-tool-3/
Originally Posted by Silverado12
Any chance oil got on them? They will deteriorate if oil gets on them.
No oil.
Originally Posted by carviewsonic
What are the symptoms when they are shot? Just wondering if that's something in my 2007 2.4 Accord's future?
For the average driver, no unusual behavior was noticed, at least not yet. I noticed the cracks during a routine inspection. Eventually the bushings will crack (completely) and cause the arm to hit the subframe, which will result in loud knocking sounds. Obviously new bushings will improve ride quality and steering.
Originally Posted by supton
I've noticed that they seem to really flex when I lift my wife's car, but I don't see cracking (yet). I wouldn't think an alignment would be required after this job, but, I'll ask anyhow--is it needed?
An alignment was performed this morning. The driver front toe required a minor tweak (.17 back to .00 on one side) but the passenger side remained perfect at .00.
Originally Posted by amblerman
BTW. .it looks like you have a nice workshop. Is that your personal space? -A
I share it with one other person.
 
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stl
Originally Posted by 1978elcamino
I use to have a chevy cobalt, replaced the same bushings with the moog problem solver solid bushings @65.00 each. Pricey but they lasted much longer than the oem's, still solid when I sold it and dident notice any difference in noise.
Similar experience on my 2001 Civic. Originals were bad at about 90k miles. Put MOOG units in, and they still look fine at 330k miles.
 
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24,436
Location
MA, Mittelfranken.de
I used the Heim joint type in my GP and they are great, no additional noise and they don't split. The W bodies, Venture vans, Century etc all use this type and fail often. You notice it right away, the front end makes noise going over even small bumps.
 
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