What did you do to your rl today – page 3 – acurazine – acura enthusiast community fluid in inner ear

Today I replaced the headlight bulbs in the hopes of getting rid of the intermittent flickering. I researched the heck out of the options from going in from above (per the carcarekiosk instructions) or removing the bumper. Start to finish, it took about 3.5 hours. I went in with confidence because with similar research I’ve replaced door panel arm rests, the CD changer (twice), the entire glovebox assembly, and various lesser items.

My plan was to try the hood-wise method with the bumper removal as a backup plan, so I removed the passenger side plastics from underhood and went and bought replacement bumper clips to support the backup plan of bumper removal. I also pulled the battery to avoid potential shock.

Clips in hand, I went ahead and removed the bumper using the Acura A-Spec instructions before fully starting this project, because a couple of test runs working the housing cover and electrical connector on the passenger side had me concerned about access to the bulb.


Having read that the driver’s side was the difficult side I tried to pull the driver’s headlamp assembly, but could not remove it. I gather there are 4 bolts, and I could only find 3. (I’m a visual person, and could not find pictures — goodness knows I tried, looking at pictures of headlamp assemblies on ebay to get the lay of the land, but to no avail).

So took the plunge on the passenger side with the underhood method, removing the plastic cover and the electrical connector. The clips that hold the bulb in place were a bear to remove without a visual, so I took pictures with my phone and finally got them undone and removed the bulb. After a practice run, I put in the new bulb and sealed the headlamp.

The driver’s side proved much more challenging. Even with the battery out, access was hampered by the air filter box. So I pulled off the driver’s side plastic underhood trim and removed the cleaner lid (a real challenge in itself). That didn’t provide enough room so I pulled the entire air cleaner box. And even with that removed the space was super small.

I finally worked the back cover off, removed the electrical connector, unsnapped the clips and pulled the bulb. I thought I’d do a test run with the old bulb to see how to maneuver, and while seating it in the opening it escaped my grasp and disappeared. No matter where I looked or shined a light, the fallen bulb could not be seen. I took pictures to see where it might have gone, but the space was too limited to get more than one angle. (Here’s where I wish I had an endoscopic camera). I finally figured it could only be in one place — out of view into the inboard side of the low beam housing. So I twisted around like a pretzel and managed to fish it out.

Again, I carefully tried some test fitment and managed to get the bulb into the housing, snap the clips and reassemble the lamp. I reinstalled the air cleaner lower and upper housing and put the battery in place before reinstalling the bumper, and returning all the plastic bits underhood.

Miraculously, no parts were left over, and no connectors left undone. I started the car and turned on the headlights, and they functioned. I have not had a chance to see if the flickering went away, but by this time I was happy that the car started — the new bulbs turning on were gravy.

I told my office mate that I have a job, in part, so I can pay someone to do their job (like the other work I just posted about) – but I can’t resist a project so I went for it. I could not stomach paying the dealer for new bulbs only to find out that the problem was still there and the ballast would need replacement, so I went this route as a first step.

f there’s a lesson in here, I would not recommend removing the bumper – that was pretty much a waste of time. For this job, I’d recommend removing the battery and the air cleaner to get to the driver’s side. Take your time – taking pictures with the phone really helped.

So I attempted to do the lower control arms today and failed miserably. I was able to unbolt and disconnect everything except for the lower ball joint. Come to find out after a couple of hours of trying, the ball joint separator I used to separate the upper control arm ball joint is too small. The gap is not large/wide enough to fit it around the ball joint. So, I tried hammering it, but after a few swings, I missed and ended up hitting my leg, so I decided to delay this installation until I find a ball joint separator large enough to fit. Anyhow, onto the upper control arm DIY.

I drove the car today and I definitely feel the RL drives smoother. Going over bumps and potholes, it seems like the RL can absorb the road better, and it’s tighter as it should be. For reference, the old ball joint could be moved with my hand, but I cannot move the new ball joint even with two hands. Less play = better handling.

Tools used: 14mm, 17mm, 19, 22mm sockets, 14mm combination flex head wrench, penetrating fluid, jack and jack stands, 3/8 torque wrench, 1/2 and 3/8 drives, 1/2 torque wrench, flat head screwdriver, 1/2 drive break bar if you do not have power tool.

1. Ensure car is parked on a flat surface, apply e-brake, and jack car up from the front. If you do not have power tools, then you’d need to break the lug nuts on the car prior to jacking the car up. Once car is high enough, place the jack stands on the passenger and driver side jacking points. Lower jack to allow the car to sit on the jack stands. Once on jack, I used my impact and 22mm deep socket to remove the lug nuts.

4. Then I used my 1/2 impact driver w/ 19mm socket to remove the castle nut from ball joint, but you could use a breaker bar and 1/2 ratchet to achieve the same result. Once removed, flip the castle nut and install it backward until the washer end is horizontal with the ball joint bolt. Then use the ball joint separator to pop open the ball joint from knuckle.

7. Now navigate to the bottom of the damper and remove the damper mounting nut and bolt that connects it to the lower control arm. Use a 17mm wrench to hold one end from spinning and another 17mm socket and ratchet to unbolt it from the opposite end.

11. Reverse order for installation. However, in order for you to get the ball joint into the knuckle, you will need to use a jack to jack up the knuckle. Lastly, do not remove the jack once the ball joint bolt is in the knuckle hole, as you want to load up the suspension before you torque everything down to spec listed below.

Torque specs: upper arm mounting bolts are 23 ft lb but it is not possible to use a torque wrench. Tighten it down snug should be good. Castle nut should be torqued to 43-51 ft lb. Damper fork nut of the strut is 47 ft lb. and the upper strut nuts is 25 ft lb.