The front control arm bushings on this 2001 Civic needed to be replaced. Apparently it’s pretty common for these bushings to rip. The better solution is to install the Energy Suspension bushings, they last longer than OEM bushings.
To remove the lower control arm, the lower balljoint and the front swaybar endlinks needs to be disconnected. Around here, swaybar endlinks tend to get pretty rusty. If you put too much pressure on the 5mm allen key while turning the 14mm lock nut, you easily strip the allen key and the endlink needs to be replaced. A simple solution is to clean the threads with a 10M x 1.25 die. If you don’t own one, try to find one that isn’t round. It will make it easier to turn it with a wrench since the normal die holder won’t clear the control arm. Use some penetrating oil while using the die.
Once the lower balljoint and swaybar endlinks are disconnected, the two bolts that hold the bushings in place can be removed. It just happened that the bolt for the ripped bushing was seized. Some help of the oxy-acetylene torch, a plumber’s wrench and the impact were able to break it free.
Seeing as the Energy Suspension kit also includes the other bushing for the front control arms, we replaced them as well. To remove this bushing, you first need to remove the T portion of the bushing to be able to press it out.
Nothing special needs to be done to install the Energy Suspension bushing replacement. Use a good amount of the supplied grease to prevent it from squeaking in the future.
The big bushing that’s ripped (as shown in the first picture) gets pressed out with a hydraulic press. To install the new bushing, I grease the bushing and inside of the control arm. I then use two steel plates and squeeze the new bushing into the control arm with the help of a vice. Once it’s in as shown, rock the control arm towards and away from you, and the bushing will pop into position.
To reinstall the arm, I place the rear bushing into position in first, put the balljoint in it place and use a floor jack to raise the suspension and align the big front bushing. I also use a good amount of anti-seize on the bolts to help the next person that will service this Civic.