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Thread: DIY Control Arm replacement 2010 GS

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    Default DIY Control Arm replacement 2010 GS

    Hi all,

    Just wanted to pass on some tips I for replacing the control arms on a stock, unmodded 2010 Mazda3. The instructional videos on Youtube are a good place to start, but the ones currently available are for the previous generation. There are some subtle and aggravating differences.

    When I had my tires replaced, Canadian Tire suggest I replace the worn control arms for $700. I passed on that offer. Instead I obtained Moog RK621270 and RK621271 for $131.24 each from PartSource vs $195 each for genuine Mazda from the dealer. Now time to earn $400 in savings.

    The control arm replacement is simple in theory. There's literally only for bolts and one nut.

    Suggested tools are:
    Floor jack
    Impact gun
    Metric Sockets 10, 13, 14, 17, 19, 21
    Metric Wrench 14mm
    Torx bit T25 or T30?
    Tie rod separator

    Mistake #1
    I lifted only the side I was working on. You'll understand why you should lift the whole front in a moment.

    Try to access the bolt that retains the ball joint. Realize that being able to rotate the spindle will make this much easier, so separate the tie rod and this is a breeze.

    Challenge #1
    After raising the car and removing the wheel, to access the horizontal bolt on the passenger side you'll need to remove a plastic shroud and a stamped steel cover on the bottom of the A/C compressor.

    Removing the two vertical bolts requires a lot of ground clearance if using an electric impact gun. Raise the car a lot more than if just doing tire or brake service. At this point you will note that there are actually non captured nuts on the other end of these bolts. Big wing nuts 28-66Y. The style on the previous M3 has threaded inserts welded into the control arm. Eventually the bolts will drop.

    Challenge #2
    After knocking the balljoint out of the spindle, the rear of the control arm is hung up on the sub frame. A little prying and hammering takes care of this.

    Reassembly

    Trying to get the rear of the control arm sandwiched around the sub frame is a bitch! The rubber busing and stabilizer arm need to need to be pried up out of the way. However since the other side of the car is on the ground, this arm has pressure on it. See mistake #1.

    Mistake #2
    Try to disconnect sway bar end link to be able to pickup bar out of the way. If you do this, and don't get it properly like I did, you will have horrible suspension noise.


    Advice/tips
    Lift up whole front of the car
    Do both sides at once. This will free up the sway bar. Probably will need to disconnect the links.
    Separate the tie rods with the proper tool. Save frustration of trying to do this with everything connected.
    Tighten the endlinks with a 14mm wrench and large Torx bit (I think T25, I didn't look) on a socket wrench initially until tight, then torque to 40 ft/lbs

    TL : DR
    Mazda uses the control arm bolts to fasten the stabilizer bar bushing. Sandwiching all this stuff while trying to start a loose wing nut in this tricky location. PITA.
    Last edited by Chester_Lampwick; 07-29-2017 at 11:22 AM.
    2010 Mazda3 Graphite Mica GS Auto with Comfort Package

  2. The Following User Says Thank You to Chester_Lampwick For This Useful Post:

    Stretch (08-01-2017)

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    Default Re: DIY Control Arm replacement 2010 GS

    All valid points. What also helps with ball joint separating is getting a car jack and 2x4 under the spring saddle on the shock. Taking the compression off of the spring allows the ball joint to come out easy.

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    Default Re: DIY Control Arm replacement 2010 GS

    Quote Originally Posted by morganc View Post
    All valid points. What also helps with ball joint separating is getting a car jack and 2x4 under the spring saddle on the shock. Taking the compression off of the spring allows the ball joint to come out easy.
    Actually, the ball joint was no problem at all. It's integrated with the control arm. The nub that goes into the spindle comes out with a couple nudges of the BFH.

    The other side was easy once I learned to disconnect the stabilizer bar completely. Look up disconnecting stabilizer links on Youtube in addition to the Mazda3 control arm videos. Starting the loose nuts does make this more of a challenge than an older Mazda3.

    Basically, I think you could do both side control arms in 2 or 3 hours in your driveway if you're semi handy. I really thought it would be quicker, and if I did it again it would probably take half the time. You really can't work on one side at the time effectively, so don't try to break the job into chunks.

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    Default Re: DIY Control Arm replacement 2010 GS

    So did the control arms actually need replacing or was it just crappy tire trying to score some loot? And what mileage is your 2010?


    2010 Sport 2.0L 5MT

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    Default Re: DIY Control Arm replacement 2010 GS

    Quote Originally Posted by sarujo View Post
    So did the control arms actually need replacing or was it just crappy tire trying to score some loot? And what mileage is your 2010?
    I would say somewhere between. The car did have a little bit of front end clunkiness. The car only has 120,000 kms on it. I don't have any particular tools or techniques for gauging ball joint wear, but the ones that came off seemed to feel like 0.5mm of vertical play. Again, I didn't measure with a dial gauge or anything.

    I didn't get the sense that the two bushings were worn appreciably if at all, and this is all about the ball joints. I guess it's nice to service them just the same.


    Here is the tie rod separator I used:

    $30 from Princess Auto. Worked great!

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    Default Re: DIY Control Arm replacement 2010 GS

    Interesting. Does the car feel/sound/drive better now after both replaced?

    I have same year but almost 160,000km and front end has light occasional "noise" from front over bumps but hard to tell if coming from links, sway bar bushings or control arms..''

    Quote Originally Posted by Chester_Lampwick View Post
    I would say somewhere between. The car did have a little bit of front end clunkiness. The car only has 120,000 kms on it. I don't have any particular tools or techniques for gauging ball joint wear, but the ones that came off seemed to feel like 0.5mm of vertical play. Again, I didn't measure with a dial gauge or anything.

    I didn't get the sense that the two bushings were worn appreciably if at all, and this is all about the ball joints. I guess it's nice to service them just the same.


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    Default Re: DIY Control Arm replacement 2010 GS

    Quote Originally Posted by sarujo View Post
    Interesting. Does the car feel/sound/drive better now after both replaced?

    I have same year but almost 160,000km and front end has light occasional "noise" from front over bumps but hard to tell if coming from links, sway bar bushings or control arms..''
    I don't drive the car nearly as often as my wife. Maybe once a week.

    I would say that the car is much tighter now. It was a definite improvement.

    If you could supply the parts and just pay somebody to do the labour, this would be a good sub $500 repair. I would guess I saved $400 doing it myself. I will probably have the car aligned as a precaution, so I guess a bit less than that.

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    Default Re: DIY Control Arm replacement 2010 GS

    oh man i should have done my research prior to having it replaced today! i spent $452, tax included. the local shop guy took 1.5hrs. he said he gave 2yr warranty on parts. so we'll see. did you get alignment done after?
    2010 Mazda 3 Sport GS
    Crystal White Pearl
    Mods: LED 3rd brake light, 6000k HIDs, 23% tints

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    Default Re: DIY Control Arm replacement 2010 GS

    Quote Originally Posted by tommyx2 View Post
    oh man i should have done my research prior to having it replaced today! i spent $452, tax included. the local shop guy took 1.5hrs. he said he gave 2yr warranty on parts. so we'll see. did you get alignment done after?
    I was meaning to have an alignment, but just have been too lazy to set that up. I haven't noticed any abnormal tire wear or steering issues.

    If you got both sides done for $452, I'd say that is fair.

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    Default Re: DIY Control Arm replacement 2010 GS

    I have a 2009 Mazda 3 GT with 189,000 km and it needs a replacement right side control arm as the ball joint has play in it. The dealer will replace it for $438. I am looking to get the job accomplished asap at a better price.

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    Default Re: DIY Control Arm replacement 2010 GS

    Quote Originally Posted by peteckel View Post
    I have a 2009 Mazda 3 GT with 189,000 km and it needs a replacement right side control arm as the ball joint has play in it. The dealer will replace it for $438. I am looking to get the job accomplished asap at a better price.
    It would seem to me that the dealer charges about $180-$200 for the arm at the parts counter. If you could pay for actual labour, (assuming you could buy a minimum of an hour) you should be able to save $100.

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    Default Re: DIY Control Arm replacement 2010 GS

    I got my control arm replaced today in Richmond Hill. The part cost $175 and the installation was $89. Thanks

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    Default Re: DIY Control Arm replacement 2010 GS

    Have a 2010 GT. Just got my lower control arm replaced today (not a dealer). $274+tax.


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    Default Re: DIY Control Arm replacement 2010 GS

    Quote Originally Posted by Jackal View Post
    Have a 2010 GT. Just got my lower control arm replaced today (not a dealer). $274+tax.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    did you find they were making noise? im getting a clunk / rough maybe grind, hard to tell but a noise at times when turning into the driveway and or this morning in the drive thru. just trying to put my finger on it havent got it in the shop yet but to me it feels like it would be ball joint ish.
    Quote Originally Posted by Lmmorden View Post
    Costco = good cheap solution
    Just go to automotive and ask to see their nuts
    It's like a buck a nut

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    Default Re: DIY Control Arm replacement 2010 GS

    Quote Originally Posted by Booter22 View Post
    did you find they were making noise? im getting a clunk / rough maybe grind, hard to tell but a noise at times when turning into the driveway and or this morning in the drive thru. just trying to put my finger on it havent got it in the shop yet but to me it feels like it would be ball joint ish.
    A bit of noise. But my mechanic found it during an inspection when he was doing an oil change.


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    Default Re: DIY Control Arm replacement 2010 GS

    Quote Originally Posted by Booter22 View Post
    did you find they were making noise? im getting a clunk / rough maybe grind, hard to tell but a noise at times when turning into the driveway and or this morning in the drive thru. just trying to put my finger on it havent got it in the shop yet but to me it feels like it would be ball joint ish.
    You will feel it when you steer and go over small bump, like when you park on the driveway with the wheels not straight. Steering wheel is also a bit loose .

    Sent from my Moto G4+ using Tapatalk

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    Default Re: DIY Control Arm replacement 2010 GS

    Quote Originally Posted by LiviuTincu View Post
    You will feel it when you steer and go over small bump, like when you park on the driveway with the wheels not straight. Steering wheel is also a bit loose .

    Sent from my Moto G4+ using Tapatalk
    turns out it was the struts not the ball joints. upper bearings were done.

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    Default Re: DIY Control Arm replacement 2010 GS

    Quote Originally Posted by Booter22 View Post
    turns out it was the struts not the ball joints. upper bearings were done.
    Got my rear shocks and upper mounts done a week ago. It’s about that time for the shocks and struts to go especially with these terrible potholes all over the city. Wish they’d fill them sooner than later.


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    Default Re: DIY Control Arm replacement 2010 GS


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