2004 to 2020 Mazda 3 Forum and Mazdaspeed 3 Forums banner
1 - 20 of 28 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
197 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Had an advisory on my MOT for signs of wear on the bushes on both front lower control arms and Mazda want £500+ even with a discount to change them. Needless to say I won't be getting ripped off by them and wanna do it myself, ordered these
Ps Bought both sides
Has anyone who's done it before got any tips and advice as if I hit a problem during the job the car is off the road and I can't get to work
 

·
Registered
2018 Mazda 3 GT
Joined
·
3,027 Posts
Buy new bolts. There are 3. Getting the ball joint out requires some effort and the older generation had a pinch bolt with ears that you needed to wedge apart. Not sure on Gen 3s.
CK
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
197 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Buy new bolts. There are 3. Getting the ball joint out requires some effort and the older generation had a pinch bolt with ears that you needed to wedge apart. Not sure on Gen 3s.
CK
Was thinking about replacing the bolts, the mevotech states it comes with the mounting hardware but can only see the nut & bolt that holds the ball joint in the photos. Was thinking of buying a ball joint separator and maybe having a go undoing some of the easy access bolts whilst I'm waiting for the arms to arrive. I'm most worried about the hard to access bolt that's tightened to around 200nm being seized. I've only got ramps and the rear lower shock bolt gave me nightmares as that was seized and it's only tightened with half the torque.
 

·
Registered
2018 Mazda 3 GT
Joined
·
3,027 Posts
Forgot one lesson I learned.. using a 6 pt impact socket for higher torque jobs helps too. The 12 pt and standard sockets aren't intended for these jobs.
CK
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
6,870 Posts
Was thinking about replacing the bolts, the mevotech states it comes with the mounting hardware but can only see the nut & bolt that holds the ball joint in the photos. Was thinking of buying a ball joint separator and maybe having a go undoing some of the easy access bolts whilst I'm waiting for the arms to arrive. I'm most worried about the hard to access bolt that's tightened to around 200nm being seized. I've only got ramps and the rear lower shock bolt gave me nightmares as that was seized and it's only tightened with half the torque.
You'll need a jack and a set of stands to do this.....
 

·
Registered
2018 Mazda 3 GT
Joined
·
3,027 Posts
Yeah.. about to haul mine downstairs to remove and replace both sets of bushings on the LCA.. do some brake work (new 2 part shims, brackets and grease plus clean things up) and grease the front sway bar bushings.

Beer and Gatorade on standby..
CK
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
197 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Got a good jack & axle stands. I'm thinking an impact wrench is gonna be the key to undoing that higher torque harder access bolt (just ordered some impact wrench extensions & universal joint). Think I might struggle with a breaker bar due to the limited angles of attack with only being on axle stands just like I did with lower rear shock mount. Problem is my impact wrench is rated at around 300-400nm so think I might have to bite the bullet and invest in a cordless high torque one, not money I've currently got to be throwing around but a positive way of looking at it is my total cost of the arms and tools comes to about the same as paying Mazda but I end up with some professional grade tools to walk away with.
 

·
Registered
2013 Mazda 3 i Hatchback
Joined
·
288 Posts
I have a pretty high end, high-torque pneumatic impact gun, which will undo most bolts. But I've found that stuck/rusted bolts need more than the impact to get loose. Several applications of penetrating oil over a day or two, a torch on the nut, heating it up almost till it glows, then the impact gun will break loose most bolts. In this case, you can't do that as the bolt passes through a bushing that can't take that kind of heat. So hit it with the penetrating oil, then try the impact gun in forwards and reverse (any motion is a good thing), If that won't do it, then put a breaker bar on it and add a pipe to extend it as long as needed to either break it loose, or snap the bolt.

The universal joint should be avoided if you can. The joint reduces the torque and impact shocks delivered to the nut enough that it doesn't help. I do use them when I have to, but it reduces your chances of success on a stuck bolt.

Don't forget to put some never-seize on the bolts where they go through the bushing sleeves when you reassemble. Makes things easier for the next guy, which might be you!

Good luck!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
197 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I have a pretty high end, high-torque pneumatic impact gun, which will undo most bolts. But I've found that stuck/rusted bolts need more than the impact to get loose. Several applications of penetrating oil over a day or two, a torch on the nut, heating it up almost till it glows, then the impact gun will break loose most bolts. In this case, you can't do that as the bolt passes through a bushing that can't take that kind of heat. So hit it with the penetrating oil, then try the impact gun in forwards and reverse (any motion is a good thing), If that won't do it, then put a breaker bar on it and add a pipe to extend it as long as needed to either break it loose, or snap the bolt.

The universal joint should be avoided if you can. The joint reduces the torque and impact shocks delivered to the nut enough that it doesn't help. I do use them when I have to, but it reduces your chances of success on a stuck bolt.

Don't forget to put some never-seize on the bolts where they go through the bushing sleeves when you reassemble. Makes things easier for the next guy, which might be you!

Good luck!
Yeah all the bolts will be getting plenty of penetrating fluid, bit scared i might've ordered a wrench that's too weak now, ordered this


What torque is yours, hoped the stubby profile of this gun will give me access so as not to need the universal joint or extensions.

Been lucky enough to have access to aircraft fluids & greases so I've been using a jointing compound called jc5a instead of never seize.
 

·
Registered
2013 Mazda 3 i Hatchback
Joined
·
288 Posts
Mine is fairly large, full-sized, with a 1/2" tip, and the torque claims to be 1000. That might be marketing hype, but it does hit very hard. It has failed to bust loose a few nuts, but they were very rusted and I ended up using the method I described earlier.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,016 Posts
I have a pretty high end, high-torque pneumatic impact gun, which will undo most bolts. But I've found that stuck/rusted bolts need more than the impact to get loose. Several applications of penetrating oil over a day or two, a torch on the nut, heating it up almost till it glows, then the impact gun will break loose most bolts. In this case, you can't do that as the bolt passes through a bushing that can't take that kind of heat. So hit it with the penetrating oil, then try the impact gun in forwards and reverse (any motion is a good thing), If that won't do it, then put a breaker bar on it and add a pipe to extend it as long as needed to either break it loose, or snap the bolt.

The universal joint should be avoided if you can. The joint reduces the torque and impact shocks delivered to the nut enough that it doesn't help. I do use them when I have to, but it reduces your chances of success on a stuck bolt.

Don't forget to put some never-seize on the bolts where they go through the bushing sleeves when you reassemble. Makes things easier for the next guy, which might be you!

Good luck!
Anti-seize is my best friend. I put it on just about everything that doesn't require threadlocker. No broken bolts for me!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
197 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Anti-seize is my best friend. I put it on just about everything that doesn't require threadlocker. No broken bolts for me!
Just out of curiousity when you guys refer to anti seize is it copper grease or something else you mean
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,016 Posts
Just out of curiousity when you guys refer to anti seize is it copper grease or something else you mean
Same thing. There's the regular silver stuff that is full of fun stuff like aluminum and lead and then there's the copper based stuff that'll take higher temperatures. The copper stuff is meant for exhaust parts but it'll work on anything just fine. It just costs a bit more.
 

·
Mazda "E" Division
Joined
·
1,311 Posts
Was thinking about replacing the bolts, the mevotech states it comes with the mounting hardware but can only see the nut & bolt that holds the ball joint in the photos. Was thinking of buying a ball joint separator and maybe having a go undoing some of the easy access bolts whilst I'm waiting for the arms to arrive. I'm most worried about the hard to access bolt that's tightened to around 200nm being seized. I've only got ramps and the rear lower shock bolt gave me nightmares as that was seized and it's only tightened with half the torque.
The worst part with some dealers are their labour $$$. Mazda usually sells the complete assembly - easy for DIY and a lot easier than popping ball joints out/in
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
197 Posts
Discussion Starter · #17 ·
The worst part with some dealers are their labour $$$. Mazda usually sells the complete assembly - easy for DIY and a lot easier than popping ball joints out/in
Yeah they didn't even entertain the idea of just replacing the bushes, had to be the whole lower arm assembly. I personally think that's piss poor and highlights a likely lack of basic mechanical skills. It's not like it's an unorthodox repair as it's in the workshop manual. The nail in the coffin was the bushes in the arms assembly they wanted to fit only have a 6 month warranty, so £500 for a job they consider could fail, albeit unlikely, in a day over 6 months then I'm digging in my pockets again. I'll be ordering the bushes, or maybe even the super pro one's, and I'll fit those to the arms I take off and if the new one's ever fail again I'll just swap out the assembly again.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
197 Posts
Discussion Starter · #18 · (Edited)
Turns out the uk & European Mazda 3's have more differences than I thought. Bought the mevotech supreme control arms, destroyed the boots on the ball joints getting my original arms off, and when I tried fitting the new arms discovered the inner hole on the rear bush is 12mm in the USA and 14mm over here 🤯
Automotive tire Gas Auto part Circle Wood
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
197 Posts
Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Yeah when I had an old and new arm back to back like mirror images I put a bar through the larger hole in both and compared all the positions of the other holes, bushes and dimensions of the arms. Everything was identical except for that one slotted hole so I took measurements between the hole centres on the old arm with the 14mm slotted hole and when compared to the new one with 12mm there was an exact 2mm difference to one edge of the slot. I then just removed the material with a hand file, retreated and painted the new hole and hey presto it's fits. Got the car aligned and gotta say an amazing side effect which I didn't expect is the front end feels like new. Didn't really know the drivability had changed that much as the wear and change in feel is gradual and immeasurable when you drive it every day through that process.
 
1 - 20 of 28 Posts
Top