'11 LR4 lower contol arm drama...

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ugmw177

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ok, so I spent the better part of yesterday replacing my son's LR4 Lower Control Arms. I went with the Meyle HD units from Lucky 8. [seem to be really nice stuff]. Car has about 97k miles and i do not want to do this again. Anyhow, in case anyone else is facing this soon, thought i woould advise that a lot of online info states that the ball joints can be removed without pulling the drive shafts [1/2 shafts] from the front hubs. This is not true for the V8 [not sure on the petrol v6 but i think it only applies to the diesels]. So, get ready to use some brute force with a pickle fork to break the taper joint on the ball joint but make sure you can loosen the drive CV nut and drive the shaft back a ways through the hub to facilitate removal of the ball joint and LCA. Also as most have seen, i had to cut the rear bolts on both sides due to bolt/bushing corrosion. Finally one one side i just dropped the car into access mode but on the other i used my GAP to deflate all corners; that make it easier still to deal with the strut.

Interestingly i was able to mark the camber bolts/washers and get them back really close but surprisingly toe was affected as the steering wheel is off to the left by say 10 degrees now going straight. In any case, it goes to the alignment shop in the morning so should be sorted. On a positive note, all the steering shimmy/shake is gone and the clunks when hitting road imperfections are gone so it was certainly due time.
 

txfromwi

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I have now done this on the 2013 and the 2016, V8 and V6, respectively.
It's exactly the same job on either configuration.

Yes, it's a bit challenging, especially the re-install.
Yes, it needs to be re-aligned after you complete, no matter how careful you are.
Yes, the best tool for the ball joint is a pickle fork, but it only took a few medium intensity whacks.

NO, you absolutely do NOT need to remove the axle nut from the hub and drive back the axle to accomplish the lower control arm.

For more than you ever wanted to know, see below...

 

ftillier

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I've never managed to use a pickle fork without ruining the rubber boot on the ball joint. Do people manage to reuse the ball joints?
 

ugmw177

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I've never managed to use a pickle fork without ruining the rubber boot on the ball joint. Do people manage to reuse the ball joints?
nah, if you are replacing the complete arm, new ones come with a new ball joint. If you are just replacing bushings, i would also press in new ball joint with new gator as it is too much labor to do it again for a worn ball joint.
 

ugmw177

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I have now done this on the 2013 and the 2016, V8 and V6, respectively.
It's exactly the same job on either configuration.

Yes, it's a bit challenging, especially the re-install.
Yes, it needs to be re-aligned after you complete, no matter how careful you are.
Yes, the best tool for the ball joint is a pickle fork, but it only took a few medium intensity whacks.

NO, you absolutely do NOT need to remove the axle nut from the hub and drive back the axle to accomplish the lower control arm.

For more than you ever wanted to know, see below...

If you were able to do it without moving the axle out of the way, more power to ya. I spent an hour on the first one with evey thing disconnected it it ABSOLUTELY was not possible to remove without backing out the axle from the hub.
 

djkaosone

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Just remove the axle, the easy way, and takes less than a minute...
 

txfromwi

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The boot will be destroyed by the pickle fork.
I have never had any luck pressing in anything - (especially those Nissan front bearings!) - so I just don't bother any more.
I just purchase a new lower control arm and go with the everything from Rover.

The trick with the front axle it to deflate the suspension system.
If you don't deflate it, you are totally correct, you must remove the nut and back off the axle.
If you do deflate it, you don't need to do that.
 

Mozambique

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I have now done this on the 2013 and the 2016, V8 and V6, respectively.
It's exactly the same job on either configuration.

Yes, it's a bit challenging, especially the re-install.
Yes, it needs to be re-aligned after you complete, no matter how careful you are.
Yes, the best tool for the ball joint is a pickle fork, but it only took a few medium intensity whacks.

NO, you absolutely do NOT need to remove the axle nut from the hub and drive back the axle to accomplish the lower control arm.

For more than you ever wanted to know, see below...


For early LR4's, mine is a 2010 you DO need to drive the axle shafts back to get sufficient clearance. This was a pita on mine requiring an air hammer. Trick is to raise the hub a few inches before driving them inwards
 

BigBriDogGuy

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How do you know if your lower front control arms are going out? I understand it is a common problem. I haven't heard anything major. No crunching or cracking sound. The only thing I've noticed recently is the suspension doesn't absorb minor road imperfections very well, expansion cracks, manhole covers, small potholes, and the like. You feel them. It's like the LR4 has a stiff suspension, which is fine if that is the way it's supposed to be. I just wonder if it should ride a lot differently and I don't even know it.
 

Mozambique

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Its a pretty clear diagnosis. Going slowly if you pulse the brake pedal you will hear clonking. Mine needed replacing after 50k km or so. There were no other symptoms other than the clonking. Fairly straightforward replacement job, the biggest pain being that a lack of antisieze applied the the bolts means they may have rusted solid and you need a Sawzall and 20 blades to cut through them. 11hr job for me :(
 

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