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Replacing Lower Control Arm Driver Side


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Hello,

I am new to the forum and I have a 2005 Lexus RX330 AWD. I am trying to replace the lower control arm because one of the bushings went bad. I have a DIY membership with AllData but this membership only have diagrams of the parts. It does not have the step to replace parts on the SUV. The Haynes manual does not say how to replace the lower control arm, it only says that you have to lift the engine in order to release the engine mount which happens to engage up to the transmission and down to the subframe. I have never seen anything that complicated than that. It could have had bolts and nuts to avoid to lift the whole engine and transmission. It would be a big and really appreciated help of any th at already have done that work on the vehicle. Thank you very much.

 

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My personnel plan on this type of work consists of calling the Lexus dealer & asking for the # of hrs. they charge u for this job. If it is over 2 or so hrs. I usually figure it is going to be a considerable chore not to be taken lightly. Also in ft. end work there some specialty tools needed to do it. If u are friends with the service dept. sometimes they will print off the steps for u. If not take it to a front end shop & have it done. After it is complete usually the front needs to be aligned which u cannot do yourself.

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Thank you Zieke,

What for other vehicles seems to be another task more, in this vehicle looks like it is quite a work to to. I went to Autozone today to buy an air filter for my other car and they printed me the steps to replaced the engine on this vehicle (2005 Lexus RX330 AWD). I have almost everything taken apart, but it looks like I am missing something because when I lift the transmission with the engine everything lift up, the transmission and the vehicle. Obviously I am missing something to disconnect. I unbolted the other three engine mounts but even though the engine does not lift just independently from the vehicle. I can't believe Lexus did such a lousy design on the engine mounts. I have never seen something like that. It is so easy to have bolts and nuts to disconnect the engine mount and release them from the transmission and the subframe but Lexus complicated it by having the engine mount with studs engaged to the transmission case, and the subframe at the same time. It is insane to have to lift the whole engine and transmission to be able to change the engine mount or in this case the lower control arm, because they had the wise idea of putting the lower control arm trapped under the engine mount. I will do it whatever it takes. I am an aircraft mechanic and I will never take to the dealer or mechanic shop something that I can do it myself as a principle. Thank you for your advise.

 

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  • 4 years later...

I know it's an old thread but did you ever figure out what you had to do in order to replace that lower a arm a guy approached me and needs his done and I'm wondering if I can do it like in a parking lot basically LOL

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  • 1 year later...

I will post the processes I went through for future reference.

 

tools needed: long pry bar, torque ratchet 50 to 250ft/lb, 14mm, 17mm, 19mm,22mm sockets, socket extensions.  Impact wrench is highly recommended as suspension fasteners are usually rust on tight.  Heat and penetration oil is your friend.  Take your time, don’t snap the bolts.  Just because you have a 24 inch breaker bar bar doesn’t means you should put all you body weight on it.  Impact tighten, spray with oil, and impact loosen.  Do it a few times and it will loosen.  If it won’t, apply heat.

1. Remove engine under cover, wheels, wheel well side cover so all engine mount bolt nuts are exposed.  Some bolt hole maybe covered with plastic inserts to protect from water, remove and save them.

2. Open hood, remove all bolt nut to remove the passenger side engine dog bone engine isolator(engine moving control rod).  There are nuts under the engine, on the subframe, that are parts of this isolator.  You can completely remove them.

3. Loosen all nuts on the front, driver side, passenger side engine mount,, top and bottom, but don’t take them off.  Leave them on with a few threads engaged.

4.take off lower ball joint’s nuts and bolt that connect them to the lower control arm, and use a long pry bar to pry the control arm lower to release lower control arm from ball joint.

5. Take off all accessible bolt and nut of the lower control arm.

6. Take a look at the exhaust  pipe coming out of the engine and note the clearance of the pipe and the hold down of the pipe.  You will need to loosen the hold down so the pipe won’t get cave in by the hold down when you jack up the engine.

7.  Place wooden block on jack head, and place it under the transmission/cvt, and slowly jack up the engine.  Take time to crawl under car to check clearance of the pipe and its surroundings every few pump.  Be sure to support the cv axles with bungee cords tight to strut.  The inner cv boot may separate if it’s not supported. 

8.  When you reach the limit of the engine mount lower nuts, take off the nuts you need to take off to raise the engine further.  Don’t go too high.  Just enough for you to wiggle the engine mount out.  Do it one side of the car at a time, as the position on different side may be different, and you don’t want to lift the engine higher than absolutely necessary.

9. After taking out the engine mount, remove the lower control arm bolts and nuts, and pry/wiggle the control arm out and put in the new part.  Take care to put the bracket that was under the engine mount back, then insert the bolts and loosely thread the nuts on, but tighten the bolt that will be under the engine mount to spec. 148ft/lb because once you mount the engine mount, you won’t be able to access it.  The bushing at the rearward has the bolt inserted from bottom, and the nut is on the top.

10. Do the other side, lower or raise engine as necessary, taking care not to let the front engine mount under stud get too far from the bolt hole.

11. After putting in the lower control arm and left and right engine mounts, thread in the nuts, slowly lower the engine, install the passenger side dog bone engine isolator (engine movement control rod) and associated parts(47ft/lb for the nuts). and tighten the front, side engine mount nuts, top and bottom, to spec.64ft/lb

12. Pry down on lower control arm and connect the lower ball joint.  Loosely thread the nuts and bolt of lower ball joint.

13. tighten the control arm nuts and bolt.  The bolt near engine mount torque  to 148ft/lb, the nut at the rearward of the control arm, at the top, torque to 152 ft/lb

14. Torque the bolt and 2 nuts of the lower ball joint to 94ft/lb each.

15. Inspect your work.

 

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Great job, I have done this twice on my RX400h and once on a RX300. Raising the engine a little is the key. On thing i do is remove the torque strut mount on top of engine to  allow free movement.

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