Replacement of Lower Control Arms on 95 Camry: Do it Yourself?

Greetings all. I have been told by a couple of mechanics that the bushings on the lower control arms on my 95 Camry are worn. They recommend replacement of the lower control arms and ball joints.
Is this a repair I can do myself? I have reasonable mechanical compentancy. I figure that I will have to rent a tool at the auto parts store for the ball joint, remove a few nuts and bolts, and bring the car in for an alignment once I get the parts installed.
Now my wife is adamantly against me doing this myself. She thinks that I am going to mess this up, the parts will fail at high speeds, and I will die in a firery crash. She apparently has more confidence in the repair shop grease monkey than her engineer husband.
So is she right? Is this a repair which is best left to the shop? Thank you all for your sage advice!

If you’ve done repairs such as brakes and so on then the lower control arms and ball joints should not be that difficult for you. These cars are not that complicated to do.

The only caveat might be if you live in a rust prone state which might lead to fasteners not coming loose without great difficulty.

And of course, the usual reminder about safely securing the car with jackstands AND a jack.

Several nights ago on the local news there was yet another tragedy near my location in which someone was using what looked like a ton and a half jack on a large, heavy vehicle with no stands while doing something on their vehicle in the parking lot of an apartment complex. The vehicle fell and crushed them to death. This kind of incident is not that rare.

If your doing it yourself will cause high anxiety levels for your wife, than I vote to have it done by a shop.

+1 for @mountainbike. Around my house…if momma’s not happy…no one is happy.

You can do the work but secure the vehicle with jack stands as suggested. I usually also have some concrete blocks or large firewood logs fit close to the frame as backup too.

Yes, you will need to rental tools from parts stores like a ball joint press, ball joint separator, and such. I don’t know if you need new tie rod ends but now would be the time to do them. Need new brakes??? This would also be a great time. Get all the loaner tools you might need, even if you don’t think you will need them. You get all your money back and this may save you a trip to the parts store. For example, some of the separators may come in different sizes or be for different purposes but are all essentially the same thing in a slightly different size/shape. I would get all these just in case you get into the job and find you need something different.

There will be two or more sizes of ball joint separators, a pitman arm separator, and a tie rod separator. Get them all. I had to use a tie rod separator on the ball joints of my Geo Metro as they were so small.


You only need to seperate the ball joint from the knuckle and remove three bolts to replace the control arms. And you can order the control arms with the ball joints alreadty installed.


You already have enough advice here on feasibility. As another engineer who likes to do things himself, I understand how much satisfaction this would give you, and how important it is to your self-image. However, only you and your wife can estimate the stress it would put on your marriage … and the engineer is probably wrong. There’s a whole 'nother set of criteria that we engineers usually haven’t learned how to consider. Consider this: she isn’t worried that the car will burn up in a firery crash; she’s worried that YOU will burn up.

Larry - I was chuckling about the “momma happy” routine; and my lovely wife stated I should post… Really - SHE should post. The job is so simple; that SHE could do it. Been working with me for years on vehicles; helping out; once helped to drop a friend’s fuel tank on a truck; etc. Anyway - she would have no problems doing this job. You will save a TON of funds.

Tell you what. If you are very flush, and money is no object/concern - please have a shop do it; and please feel free to make a small donation to me. I could use it.

If funds and budget are a small concern; then do the job yourself; save a bunch; and take your lovely wife out to dinner on a romantic date night - with just a partial amount of the funds you will save.