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The Compliance bushing, on my 2001 Honda Civic needs to be replaced. Is this something a backyard mechanic can do, or are there special tools required that only a real mechanic would have?

The Compliance Bushing is part #12 in the image below, it's part of the knuckle assembly on the front end of the car.

Honda Civic Knuckle

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2 Answers

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The "fun" part is going to be getting the original bushing out - you might have to cut or burn out the rubber, then cut through the outer metal ring without damaging the arm.

You'll also need to build a makeshift tool you can use to press in the new bushing - at the very least, use a socket that matches the out diameter of the bushing and use a vise to carefully press in the bushing, making sure that you only put force on the metal ring of the bushing and not the rubber.

So yes, it's doable if you're reasonably competent and have all the necessary tools, but depending on how corroded the original bushing is, it's not going to be a five minute job.

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"if you're reasonably competent and have all the necessary tools", this is sort of what I'm asking... are there any tools that are necessary, that only a mechanic would have? –  Tester101 Aug 30 '11 at 15:49
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You'll have to have something to press in the new bush with (like a socket that's a very good match size-wise, or a piece of pipe that's an exact fit so you don't push against the rubber), plus the tools you need to get the old one out. It's certainly doable at home, but not if all you own is a bent hammer and a screwdriver :). –  Timo Geusch Aug 30 '11 at 18:41
    
One last quick question... The dealer wants to charge $450 to replace both bushings; given that the bushing is ~$10, does this seem like a typical price for this job? –  Tester101 Aug 31 '11 at 12:37
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Depending on where you are, that doesn't seem to be out of question - I'd guess they're budgeting about 3 hours work which seems fairly reasonable for both bushings. Out here the independents are charging around $100/hour so I wouldn't be surprised if the main dealers are charging between 120-150 or more. –  Timo Geusch Aug 31 '11 at 14:59
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@Tester101 - "tools ... that only a mechanic would have?" Besides computer scan tools which cost 1000's. You should be able to acquire just about everything else. Harbor Freight, Amazon, Handsontools.com, rental at Autozone... Every time you do a job yourself, do the math on how much you saved and go buy a tool. I now have a whole garage of all kinds of fun toys. Few brake jobs and you can buy a MIG welder :) –  DXM Sep 1 '11 at 18:23
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Just as a thought, have you considered replacing the whole suspension arm? You'd have to do the maths yourself, but I recently did a car and it was well worth the time saved in messing around with pressing bushes. Additionally, it means all the bushes are changed and you can guarantee they're pressed and fitted properly.

Make sure you soak the high tensile bolts (#17) well in penetrating oil before starting. These really aren't easy to cut (I had to use a reciprocating saw last time). Personally, I'd replace them, too. It might also be worth swapping the 3rd bushing (#4 / #19) while you have everything apart.

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