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Old 12-09-2011, 07:02 PM   #1
TypeSHPersonality
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5th Gen Prelude Lower Ball Joint Guide

Hey guys, it took me months and a lot of time and money figuring all this out. I have four leftover ball joints due to this. I am posting this as a reference hoping that it'll help someone out. That said, don't blame me if this doesn't work out for you. THIS IS A GUIDE FOR LOWER BALL JOINTS ONLY.

First off, the base Prelude only has 4 lower ball joints as opposed to the 6 lower ball joints the SH model has (2 extra for the front radius rods).

--------
Some ball joint info:

Honda TSB 99-039: Honda TSB for front lower ball joints for Preludes. This TSB was released along with a ball joint "kit" that includes two ball joints along with two axle nuts and a few cotter pins. This "kit" is very COST EFFECTIVE.
Part number: 04510-SL5-000
The ball joints in this kit, I found has the exact same dimensions as the 51220-SL5-013 ball joints. Comparison pictures below.

ALL 5th Gen Preludes have the same basic rear suspension sans rear sway bar and maybe other tidbits. That said: the rear ball joints I found are the exact same dimensions as the front lower.
2001 Prelude Base right rear knuckle:
52111-S30-C00 Part #6
2001 Prelude SH right rear knuckle:
52111-S30-C00 Part #6

-------
Honda part numbers:

97-01 Prelude base
Front lower ball joint:
04510-SL5-000 (comes with 2) or 2x 51220-SL5-013

Rear lower ball joint: THE SAME AS THE FRONT
04510-SL5-000 or 2x 51220-SL5-013

---DISCLAIMER: Honda does not sell the rear ball joint separate from the rear knuckle. Whatever reason this is, I don't know. I found that the ball joint pressed in just as snugly as the front ones. That said, they also didn't carry the front lower ball joint separate from the knuckle, yet they released the TSB.---

97-01 Prelude SH
Front lower ball joint:
04510-SL5-000 (again, comes with 2) or 2x 51220-SL5-013

Radius Rod ball joint:
51220-S30-N21 Part #4 ---ONLY HONDA WILL CARRY THIS PART--- I found absolutely no aftermarket replacement.

Rear lower ball joint:
04510-SL5-000 or 2x 51220-SL5-013

---SAME DISCLAIMER AS THE BASE---

-------

To sum up if you want to replace all of your lower ball joints for your Prelude with OEM parts, order:

Base: 2x 04510-SL5-000 (2x will come with 4 ball joints)
SH: 2x 04510-SL5-000 and 2x 51220-S30-N21
Castlenut part number: 90307-SL5-000 (4x for base, 6x for SH)

-------
Picture comparison of 04510-SL5-000 & 51220-SL5-013. They are the same. Which is which? Exactly (actually, I don't remember).

Happy Luding.





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Last edited by TypeSHPersonality; 12-10-2011 at 12:39 PM.
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Old 12-09-2011, 08:29 PM   #2
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Very helpful man, I am looking to replace all my balljoints soon on my SH and I was confused as to what to get. One question though, do the ball joint kits come with castlenuts or do I have to order it seperately? You mentioned something about the "kit" coming with them, but you also said to order six if you were looking to replace all of them on an sh.
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Old 12-10-2011, 03:24 AM   #3
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repped. good work
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Old 12-10-2011, 04:54 AM   #4
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yes good work
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Old 12-10-2011, 06:45 AM   #5
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bought and installed 04510-SL5-000 kit long time ago and still have no problem at all!
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Old 12-10-2011, 12:37 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fresh_prelude View Post
Very helpful man, I am looking to replace all my balljoints soon on my SH and I was confused as to what to get. One question though, do the ball joint kits come with castlenuts or do I have to order it seperately? You mentioned something about the "kit" coming with them, but you also said to order six if you were looking to replace all of them on an sh.
The "kit" comes with two AXLE nuts. You aren't supposed to reuse axle nuts, so Honda threw them in. You can, however, reuse the castlenuts. I just put up the part number in case anyone wanted to replace them with new ones. New balls should have new nuts. Lol.

Forgot to mention:

---Special thanks to TheJGB3 for answering some questions I had about ball joints.---
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Old 12-11-2011, 08:22 PM   #7
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How hard was it to replace these?
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Old 12-11-2011, 08:44 PM   #8
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somewhat unrelated question but if answered properly it could help others as well...

Anyways, i have a pretty sharp knock sound on larger bumps coming from the rear wheel area on the drivers side only, any chance this issue is related to the ball joint?

i checked everything just visually and it's all tight and appears intact but i am yet to check the ball joints
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Old 12-12-2011, 02:05 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by ulanky View Post
How hard was it to replace these?

Pretty hard I would say. Only thing that was more difficult working on my car was changing the clutch on my SH. It took me about 4 days working 5-6 hours to do all the ball joints, bushings, and some other suspension components. I don't recommend tackling this job without the right tools and Red Bull.

You'll definitely need an impact wrench for the C clamp press (I used an electric impact), and you'll need a Honda adaptor set. Both can be rented at Autozone. Regarding the Honda adaptor set, I opted to use a shallow 1/2" 1" socket to fit over the ball joint stud instead of what was in the set.

Item # 27023 & 27164

It's tricky to get the C clamp press set up correctly. I wish I had taken pictures. Removing the upper ball joints was much easier compared to this. A tip I can offer is to use your spare wheel and set the front hubs over the face of the spare and thread some lug nuts on the other side. It'll spin on its hub but remain steady and upright. This tip won't work for the rear though.

Another tip is to order some extra ball joint boots in case you rip one while pressing it in.
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Old 12-12-2011, 02:11 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by STLude View Post
somewhat unrelated question but if answered properly it could help others as well...

Anyways, i have a pretty sharp knock sound on larger bumps coming from the rear wheel area on the drivers side only, any chance this issue is related to the ball joint?

i checked everything just visually and it's all tight and appears intact but i am yet to check the ball joints
Sorry man, I couldn't tell you for sure. My ball joint boots were drying and cracking. That's why I replaced them. They moved more freely compared to the new ones but there was no play in them.

Search "prelude shock knock" and you might find the answer you're looking for.
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Old 12-12-2011, 05:35 PM   #11
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yeah the rubber boots are in suprisingly good shape for being almost 12 years old! looks like my search continues :/ add that one onto my growing list of prelude curse symptoms
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Old 12-12-2011, 05:47 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by STLude View Post
somewhat unrelated question but if answered properly it could help others as well...

Anyways, i have a pretty sharp knock sound on larger bumps coming from the rear wheel area on the drivers side only, any chance this issue is related to the ball joint?

i checked everything just visually and it's all tight and appears intact but i am yet to check the ball joints
There's actually a TSB somewhere about this. I believe that it has to do with the shock collar.
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Old 12-12-2011, 07:21 PM   #13
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This good info! For the front lower ball joints, Get a propane torch and heat up the metal, and then use a mallet or hammer to beat the ball joint out. It takes a little more effort, but it will eventually work.
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Old 12-12-2011, 07:41 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ulanky View Post
There's actually a TSB somewhere about this. I believe that it has to do with the shock collar.
As a matter of fact there is! funny how some promted searching can yield results If anyone else down the line needs to find it easily...

http://www.members.shaw.ca/FifthGenT...ck%20Knock.gif
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Old 12-30-2011, 09:19 AM   #15
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I just wanted to add that this write up made replacing my ball joints a piece of cake!
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Old 01-01-2012, 01:23 PM   #16
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nice write up dude.
Thanx

Re'
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Old 02-27-2012, 10:34 AM   #17
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Bumped in to a little problem with this. Ordered LBJ with this 51220-SL5-013 part number from a local parts dealer (Not honda, original would have ripped me off 140€ so..)
Anyways finally got my hands on it. Now when looking at it and it looks totally different from what pictures above are showing. Boot is totally different shape, there is only one cottery pin hole and it's missing that lower groove. Could it bee that manufacturers have slight difference between themselves?
But what i need to know now before doing anything with this are the measures of what they shoud be.. Full height, diameters of the widest point and next wide one, boot height and thread part height.. Not sure yet that is this all waste of time and do i just go and throw it in lake or something.
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Old 05-31-2014, 11:02 AM   #18
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Nice job dude. Thanks a lot for the info.
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Old 10-21-2014, 09:13 AM   #19
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So there's no difference between a 98 honda prelude sh lower ball joints.the two front are are the same as the radius rod ball joints??
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Old 10-21-2014, 11:20 AM   #20
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Ask n8rade

He did his not long ago.
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Old 07-15-2015, 02:53 AM   #21
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Hey guys I want to change the ball joints on my lude, can you guys tell what I need to change them I have the ball joint already I want to start from the front to rear. Please help!
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Old 07-15-2015, 10:14 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by preludenight19925 View Post
Hey guys I want to change the ball joints on my lude, can you guys tell what I need to change them I have the ball joint already I want to start from the front to rear. Please help!
a ball joint press that you can borrow from your local parts store and a little bit of luck. I had to heat one of mine too to get it out even with the press.
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Old 07-15-2015, 05:14 PM   #23
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Alright cool, one more question I have heard and read that the lower rear ball joint you have to buy the whole knuckle is that true or would it come out with the ball joint press and heating them up?
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Old 07-16-2015, 08:41 AM   #24
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I should take a look at mine, I did my front when I got the car, but the rears didn't look totally spent yet at that time. according to this thread the rear lower is the same as the from lower on a base. per Honda NOW, you can only get the front and rears as a knuckle assembly w/ the ball joint. that's whack. get yourself a good quality a/m joint and you'll be fine. I used raybestos pro-grade from rockauto. I think they were still like $50/piece.
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Old 07-26-2015, 08:11 AM   #25
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An fyi for any of you doing ball joints in the future, especially the rear lowers, as previously stated they are the same as the front. Also, some guy on another prelude forum said that 03 up accord front lowers are the same as well. These are much more readily available at parts stores and on short notice. After ripping a boot on one of the new ones i got online i went to autozone and got accord ones and they work just fine. Exception being you need to either add a few extra threads or shim it with a washer on the bottom inorder to get it to press into the control arm.
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