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Mazda 6 Front Lower Rear Control Arm Replacement | Removal and Installation

Update 11-06-2013: Added a video at the bottom of the page. Also updated the article to include all three of the front control arms.

This guide will show you how to replace the lower rear control arms on your Mazda 6. Normally a control arm replacement is easy - couple of bolts and you're done. Not in this case. In order to remove one of the control arm bolts you will have to lower the rear of the subframe a little so that the bolt clears the frame of the car. There is a little more work involved but it's still not too bad of a job.

Applies To: 2002 - 2008 Mazda 6, 2006 -2009 Ford Fusion & Mercury Milan

How To Remove the Front Lower Rear Control Arm

1. You should have the car up on jack stands and the wheel removed.

2. First thing you have to do is loosen the control arm bolt on the right. Then you have to remove the control arm nut on the left. Because let's face it, you don't want to lower the sub-frame and then find out that you can't remove the bolt & nut from the control arm. You won't be able to remove the bolt completely until you lower the rear of the sub-frame. You will also want to separate the control arm ball joint from the steering knuckle. You can use a ball joint separator to do this. Be careful when using the separator, you do not want to damage the other ball joint. You can also use a hammer and knock it out from the bottom but, again, be careful - the steering knuckle bushing will most likely come out with the ball joint. mazda 6 lower control arm

If that happens, you can use a jaw puller and separate the two pieces. mazda 6 control arm bushing

3. You will need to disconnect the steering gear from the steering shaft inside the car. Why? Because the steering gear is connected to the sub-frame so when you lower the sub-frame it can do some damage to the steering shaft - unless it is disconnected. Look under the driver's side dashboard. You will see the cover for the steering gear u-joint. Remove the two plastic nuts and pull up on the cover. mazda 6 steering gear cover

4. With the cover out of the way, mark (index) both the gear and the shaft so that you know how to install them later on. Once that is complete, remove the bolt and slide the steering shaft up. Set it out of the way. mazda 6 steering gear u-joint

5. Pull back the insulation material and take out the rubber seal (green). It is clipped in place so you may have to push from the other side. mazda_6_steering_gear_seal

mazda 6 steering seal engine bay

6. Position a jack under the rear of the subframe. This will provide support as it is lowered. mazda 6 subframe jack

7. You'll want to disconnect the left cover from the subframe. You probably don't have to do this as it is only going to be lowered a couple inches at most, but better safe than sorry. Do the same thing on the other side. mazda 6 left wheel cover

8. Remove the one nut and two bolts from the sub-frame-to-body bracket. Do the same on the other side. mazda 6 subframe bracket

9. Using the jack, lower the rear of the subframe just a little, enough for the bolt to clear the frame of the car. Remove the control arm. mazda 6 lower control arm bolt

Installation of The Front Rear Control Arm

1. Position the new control arm inside the subframe and tighten the bolt to 48 lb-ft. You will need to tighten this another 90 degrees once the suspension is in neutral position. If you fail to do this, once you lower the car, the control arm is going to rotate and put a lot of stress on the new bushing. Insert the other end of the control arm (the ball joint) inside the steering knuckle. Tighten the new nut on the ball joint to 148 lb-ft.

2. Raise the subframe back up and install the metal brackets. The big nut should be torqued to 111 lb-ft and the two smaller bolts need to be torqued to 76 lb-ft

3. Install the steering gear seal and connect the steering gear to the steering shaft. Make sure the index marks line up otherwise your steering wheel is going to look jacked up. Tighten the bolt to 15 lb-ft. Reinstall the steering u-joint cover - finger tighten the two plastic nuts.

4. Secure the plastic covers at the wheel wells (if you removed them).

5. The final step is to tighten the control arm bolt an additional 90 degrees. You have to make sure the suspension is in the neutral position before you do this. If you fail to do this, once you lower the car the control arm is going to rotate and put a lot of stress on the bushing. So grab a jack and push up on the knuckle to compress the suspension. The suspension is in neutral position when you have 15.83 inches between the bottom of the wheel well and the center of the wheel hub. mazda 6 neutral suspension position

6. Install the wheel and triple check to make sure you tightened everything. The last thing you need is a control arm falling off in the middle of your commute. The end.

Watch The Video!

Comments

Giuliano Fraenza 11-10-2013 10:28
Great video. This answers all the questions on how to drop the subframe. You went through a lot of work to make it but now I now what to do without guessing.


Thank You.
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Artem Vestsorov 11-10-2013 12:35
You're welcome! I appreciate the feedback.
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Jason Ouellette 12-01-2013 13:04
This video helped me a lot. I was able to finish it in 3 hours and the dealer wanted 900 to do it with the parts costing me less than 100!
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Artem Vestsorov 12-02-2013 09:28
900? Ouch. I didn't realize it was that much at the dealer. Glad you got the job done cheaper!
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buddy wightman 12-29-2013 00:26
wil the pickle fork damage the ball joint if used when not needing to replace the arm, just removing to replace the wheel bearing?
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Artem Vestsorov 12-29-2013 17:16
It will damage the rubber boot that covers the ball joint and will squeeze a lot of the grease that is inside. If you want to preserve the balljoint and the boot you are much better off getting the spc balljoint press. I believe it costs something like $110 online.
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Brian 03-30-2014 22:25
I am going to change the lower front control arms on my 2004 Mazda 6 wagon (V6) so thanks in advance for your video. It appears a catalytic converter is going to prevent the removal of the inboard bolt on the passenger side lower front arm. Is there a way to remove the arm without removing the exhaust? Thanks.
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Artem Vestsorov 03-31-2014 12:33
Looks like the pre 06 V6 models had the exhaust going around the oil pan and blocking that passenger side bolt. I don't have a V6 so I can't say for sure but judging from the photos, you should be able to fit a long extension in there and get at the bolt. Otherwise you will have to drop that section of the exhaust. That should not be too complicated - remove the two nuts on one end, two nuts on the other end and a nut from the bracket. I would definitely spray those with rust penetrant first though.
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RegJunk 11-18-2015 13:11
I can tell you that I just did this job and no, you don't need to touch the catalytic converter. You will have room after you lower the subframe. I u-joint for your socket will come in handy.
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Richard 05-12-2017 23:25
Quoting Brian:
Is there a way to remove the arm without removing the exhaust? Thanks.


You can also loosen the passenger side motor mount and jack up the engine under the oil pan on that side. Use a piece of wood between the jack head and pan and only go as much as you need to get the wrench in. No sub-frame drop needeed.
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Ian Till 04-19-2014 20:43
Hi there, many thanks for the guide - I found it on YouTube to begin with and it was spot on. Did the whole job in a couple of hours, I wouldn't have been confident to drop the subframe on this car without your guide. Job done - thanks again. :-)
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Artem Vestsorov 04-21-2014 15:40
Nice success story, glad the guide helped!
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Scott Higgins 05-21-2014 19:01
what year/model is the video for? I have a 2004 mazda 6 V6. seems like the eshaust gets in the way for the front bolt? And I saw on onther sites where they were talking about the 2 bolts to unbolt the steering to lower the frame. Is this different as well from your video? thanks
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Artem Vestsorov 05-21-2014 21:31
The car in the video is a 2006 Mazda 6i with the 4 cylinder engine. Yes, you have a pre- 06 V6 exhaust which gets in the way of the right side control arm. Check out my comment above to address this. Most likely you will have to drop that section of the exhaust. As for the 2 bolts, that is a different way to do the same thing. You can remove the two bolts that hold the whole steering rack to the frame. Or you can remove the one bolt that secures the steering shaft u-joint (like I did in the video). That one is up to you.
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john w 06-03-2014 05:34
The best auto repair vedio I have ever seen to the point, no 1 minute of time wasted. Very clear and everything covered. Impressed! Thank You! for taking the time to make this video. I'm about to replace all this on both sides tho hoping to only replace the bushing using the pre-existing arms. Also my son's car is lowered so looking to install an adjustable ball joint.
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Artem Vestsorov 06-03-2014 16:25
No problem, thanks for stopping by!
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Chris 06-10-2014 05:46
This was a great video! I helped me a lot! One note that you may want to put in is to disconnect the power steering return line from the sub frame before you lower it. The two inch drop was enough to cause a fatigue crack in the metal tube. That tube appears to be a dealer only part and my local dealers had it for 150-300 dollars. Glad I save a ton on the other parts at rock auto!
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Artem Vestsorov 06-10-2014 17:18
Chris, thanks for your comment. I checked out the lines and I don't see why you would need to disconnect them. They (along with the steering rack) are bolted to the subframe and are lowered as one when you drop the back of the subframe. The only point of pivot in the line is in the front by the radiator and by that point the line is a rubber hose, not a tube. So I don't see any way for the tube to crack.

Can you tell me what year your Mazda 6 is and what engine it has? Thanks.
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Joe 06-21-2014 02:31
Excellent video!
I came here looking for a how to on dropping the subframe, and it was right on.
The video helped a ton. Thanks!
Whenever I'm ready to tackle the control arms, I'll be watching this video again.
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Artem Vestsorov 06-21-2014 21:51
You're welcome. Always nice to hear that the videos help.
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Boby d 07-13-2016 15:47
Quoting Artem Vestsorov:
No problem, thanks for stopping by!

Quoting Artem Vestsorov:
You're welcome. Always nice to hear that the videos help.

Can you do the stearing rack by dropping the sub frame this way
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Blake 08-06-2014 17:47
Awesome video! I'm about to tackle this job and your video has given me confidence that I can do it! I'm only replacing the lower front control arm though, do I need to do anything besides remove and replace that one control arm? Do I need to loosen any thing? Thanks in advice for your assistance!
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Artem Vestsorov 08-06-2014 19:14
Blake, if you have the 4 cylinder engine then no, you do not have to do anything else other than removing the front control arm. If you have the pre 2006 with a V6 engine then the exhaust will be in the way of one of the control arm bolts. You will then have to drop that section of the exhaust. Remember to compress the suspension to a neutral stance when tightening down the control arm bolts
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John 08-23-2014 03:35
Video is great. Much thanks for creating and posting it. How difficult is it generally to loosen the various bolts? It looks like perhaps you Pre-loosened most for the video. I am weighing doing the job myself but am concerned of having enough leverage in the tight confines under the car and also worried about the potential of breaking a bolt or worse breaking whatever they screw into. I have a 2003 v6 so the bolts have been on for roughly 12 years at this point.

P.s. I checked the coolant line Chris mentioned. Not sure whether it would break or not but there is a simple bracket with a bolt on top of the frame rail that holds the tube to the sub assembly which could be removed just to be safe.
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Artem Vestsorov 08-23-2014 19:53
Loosening the bolts was not a problem. You will need to use some type of a breaker bar or a pipe (like I am using in the video) to create more leverage.

I would be more worried about your exhaust. Since you have the v6 you will need to drop a section of the exhaust in order to reach one of the front control arm bolts.

May be better to let a shop tackle this one.
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Mmpipefitter 09-14-2014 16:46
Great video. I worked on my mazda 5 2007. I'm getting a lot of noise coming from the area. Not sure if it's the brake caliper or the bushings on the nuckle. Do you have any advice to guide my in the right direction.
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Joe 09-14-2014 21:18
Quoting Mmpipefitter:
Great video. I worked on my mazda 5 2007. I'm getting a lot of noise coming from the area. Not sure if it's the brake caliper or the bushings on the nuckle. Do you have any advice to guide my in the right direction.


If you haven't already, check out your sway bar bushings and sway bar end links.
My sway bar bushings were shot on my Mazda6 and making a lot of noise, which at first I thought
was coming more from the control arm area.
It was hard for me to narrow down too because it would only make that noise while driving and even then not constantly, just certain dips in the road would bring it out.
It took me pulling/pushing at my sway bar from different angles to find it out.
Also, check out Eric The Car Guy - suspension noise on YouTube for some great advice on finding suspension noises.
Hope this helps!
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Dellikose 10-08-2014 11:59
I asked this on YouTube as well, but I was wondering what socket sizes are required to do this job.

Thank you for the guide.
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more a question .... 01-25-2015 13:29
Brilliant video but I have a question. part of your video shows a view from the front and shows the lower front control arm There is a large bolt that goes thru from the front thru the outer [ wheel side not engine side] goes thru what looks like a 2.5 inch diameter 1 inch thick rubber/metal washer . This big rubber/metal washer pulled off my car yesterday, and the one on the other side was hanging off also. I clipped a foto out of you video if that would help to identify what this does and if it matters
any info appreciated

Trevor
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Artem Vestsorov 01-25-2015 18:07
That is called a dynamic damper. Part number GJ6A34990. Helps to cut down on vibrations.
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Justin 02-08-2015 01:13
Just out of curiosity is there any way to adjust the front alignment after the job is finished? After replacing my front upper and lower control arms my castor and camber are off and really wearing out the tires on the passenger side.
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ERB 03-10-2015 12:36
Hi All,
I know it states it is the same for 2006-2009 Fusion do you know if it will be the same for 2011 3.5 FWD? Also does anyone know the part numbers of the three Control arms i would hate to order the wrong ones.

Amazing write up and video!!

Thanks,
Elias
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Artem Vestsorov 03-11-2015 22:16
It will be the same. The 2006 - 2012 Fusion uses the same suspension setup. As for part numbers, I would call a Ford dealer and give them your vin number. They should be able to give you the correct part numbers.
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ERB 03-12-2015 11:34
Thank you Art!
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Patrick 03-24-2015 16:24
Do you have to drop the sub frame and exhaust on an '04 V6 to replace the upper control arms?
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Artem Vestsorov 03-25-2015 15:51
No, not necessary for the upper control arms.
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FRANKLIN MORALES 04-24-2015 23:37
Hi Guys. What brand are the upper and lower control arm? Motorcraft o Dorman? I see "made in taiwan", I suppose are Dorman? Quality? Durability?

Thanks
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Reggy Junk 07-09-2015 16:17
Do we have a recommendation for parts? OEM, Moog or other?
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George DeWaele 05-31-2015 18:37
Very good quality video. Thanks
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Randy 06-24-2015 17:18
Excellent Video! I have a 2012 Fusion (4 cyl, 152K miles, yes I drive a lot). I had already replaced the right front strut/spring assembly earlier this year. I now have a lower ball joint creaking/squeak ing (really annoying on days when outside temp is above 85 F). Can't tell whether it's the front or rear control arm but plan on replacing both. My question: It appears that the rear frame has been modified such that the front lower rear control arm bolt may be removed without dropping the sub-frame (might have to remove one of the bolts as it's head appears to be in the way). The 3 sided plated that connects the frames is flat (no flange) so the there no flange in the way. Can anyone confirm? Would like to know before I do the repair job.
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Tony 01-10-2016 22:09
Great info. The arm that goes through the strut on the driver side 08 fusion has a small opening to get to back bolt. What can you use to get on it and have room to turn it. thanks
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ReggyJunk 01-11-2016 05:28
I completed this job about 3 months ago. Replaced all three on each side and the drivers side axle. After lowering the subframe, you can get a u-joint on it. Getting that bolt: not terrible but not great either. Mine is an '04 v6. Slow and patient.

Had power tools.

My advise is to get a tool for removing the two lower balljoints. Not expensive. You can pound them out, I did, but it was a pita. The worst part was the front, lower rear with the dynamic damper. The bolt will almost surely break. Order the bolt. Just do it.
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Jeff 03-28-2016 22:46
When I did this (to get to the wheel bearing, not to replace control arms), the steering knuckle bushing came out with each of the lower ball joints (stayed attached to the ball joint), and I broke one. Is this part replaceable? I can't find it anywhere. Thought maybe they would come with the assemblies, but they don't. Any idea where to find this bushing? Ever had that happen?
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Artem Vestsorov 03-30-2016 01:03
As far as I know the only way to get that bushing without spending a ton of money is to buy another used knuckle assembly. Be careful though, I've seen a lot of used knuckle assemblies with missing bushings - seems its a common problem when taking off the control arms. eBay will probably be your best bet as you can look at the photos of the item.
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Jeff 03-30-2016 10:42
I did exactly what you said. First off, I went to the local Ford dealer and spent some time in the parts department, showing them the Ford exploded view diagram of the knuckle that clearly showed the bushings and the part number, but was told that part number just meant they are only included in the entire knuckle and that's the only way to get them. I asked them what happens when one of their techs happens to break one of these? Do they then force the customer to pay for an entire knuckle? Blank stare. Went to a local boneyard and found an entire knuckle assembly (with bushings intact) for just $35. The guy at the yard said he'd heard this story before. (So where is Dorman or some other aftermarket parts supplier? There is opportunity here I think with all the Fusions, Milans, and MKZs out there?) I used an impact socket and 4 lb hammer and the bushing popped out easier than expected. Thanks for your reply Mr. Vestsorov.
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Boby 07-13-2016 15:43
Mint video i was wondeing is this helps do the stearing rack by lowering the sub frame
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Lamar 09-05-2016 10:11
Any special instructions for the mazdaspeed 6? Looking to replace front arms here soon. Excellent video by the way, great and detailed info.
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Jim 12-27-2016 23:30
I am following your instructions but the subframe is not dropping more than 1/4 or so.

Any ideas?
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Matt 02-09-2017 19:25
Looking at hardware for this job and seeing a big range in prices... Oreily and Pep Boys ($550) versus 1aauto.com 6 piece set for $150. Any advice on sourcing parts, specif brands to avoid, ect.
Thanks.
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jason 02-25-2017 07:28
great video gave me confidence enough to try this. but... I am having problems getting the subframe to drop. both brackets are off but when I release the jack the subframe does not lower. It appears that something is holding up the subframe but I can not locate it. any suggestions? 2007 6i auto 2.3l 4 cyl
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Cyril 05-17-2017 18:13
I did the job on my Mazda 6s 2006 V6 with automatic transmission and the ball joints were a pain to start with. Bushings came out and had to press them in.

I ended up buying the SST from Mazda to do the job and it took me just a few minutes to finish the job vs hammering the ball joint. I paid $75 on eBay for it so it was worth it as I will have to do it again to change the CV axle. Had to do an alignment afterward as steering wheel was crooked.
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