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Lower and upper control arm bushing removal and instalation

This is a discussion on Lower and upper control arm bushing removal and instalation within the General Help forums, part of the LSx Technical Help Section category; I figure the rubber must be old and needs to be replaced. How hard is to replace them? Is it ...

  1. #1
    Senior Member JayTA98's Avatar
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    Lower and upper control arm bushing removal and instalation

    I figure the rubber must be old and needs to be replaced. How hard is to replace them? Is it just better to buy a new control arm with them installed? I'm just want stock bushings so the ride will be smoother than poly. So far what I read is a pain in the ass to remove them.

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    Smiles for 9.5 Years cammed goat's Avatar
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    I know some shops will order a replacement arm with installed bushings. The shops I have worked at have done this.

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    Smiles for 9.5 Years cammed goat's Avatar
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    If you can be without the car for a day, buy the bushings, remove the arms and take them to a shop to be removed/pressed. Don't know the cost however.

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    Senior Member JayTA98's Avatar
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    ok. my friend has a shop I guess he can help me out. is it hard if you have the right tools?

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    Smiles for 9.5 Years cammed goat's Avatar
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    Not really. An impact socket with a C-clamp works as well as a bench vise with an impact socket to drive the bushing out of the shell. If you want to go extreme, torch will melt that sucker in no time.

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    Senior Member JayTA98's Avatar
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    do the busings have an external metal sleeve? if they do how do i get the sleeve out?

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    Smiles for 9.5 Years cammed goat's Avatar
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    I believe internal. Install bushings first, sleeve after.

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    Senior Member JayTA98's Avatar
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    thanks cam. I do have a c clamp and impact sockets. I might try it. when you use heat you mean a propane torch and burn the rubber off? or you heat the rubber while crancking the c clamp?

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    I hit the metal sleeve with a air hammer to get it out and to put it back in i usually use a press, but you can set the arm on some blocks and smack it in with a hammer.

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    Senior Member JayTA98's Avatar
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    I guess if I can go to my buddy's shop it will make it easier.I dont have an air hammer but I can get one.

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    Smiles for 9.5 Years cammed goat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JayTA98 View Post
    thanks cam. I do have a c clamp and impact sockets. I might try it. when you use heat you mean a propane torch and burn the rubber off? or you heat the rubber while crancking the c clamp?
    I have seen techs use the torch to melt the rubber bushing out of the control arm. They push the sleeve out with a screwdriver and clean out the melted rubber.

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    expensive tires az gt eater's Avatar
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    I just pounded mine out with a BFH and a wood block under it. I greased the new one and pounded it in with a smaller hammer. Piece of cake. The hardest part was driving it to the alignment shop worrying about breaking/bending anything.

    I would suggest replacing the upper and lower ball joints while you have it apart. The upper ball joints are simply bolted in. The lowers are pressed in. You would need to have the new lowers pressed in at a machine shop. I used my local Napa machine shop. A word of caution, though... I bought new lower ball joints, and the machine shop told me that they were too tight to press in. I miked a lot of sources of lower ball joints, and found that they were all the same. I used a Volkswagon cylinder hone that a buddy had to hone out the lower control arm socket until it was "loose" enough to accept the new socket.

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    expensive tires az gt eater's Avatar
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    And, you may have to use some heat to remove the rubber bushing. I have a Leister hand held heat gun in my work truck all the time, and just used that, but you could use anything if you need it. Propane, a hair dryer style heat gun, anything really. I replaced every bushing in my car at the same time, so I can't remember which ones were a pain to replace, but I do remember using a drill to put holes in some of the larger bushings prior to pounding them out. I replaced all my bushings with Poly's and the ride got better, not harsher. The only harsh part of the process is when you change the transmission bushing and engine mounts. If you do decide to replace all the bushings, and you may decide to do so after you see what shape the factory rubber is in, you probably would benefit from replacing the rear lower control arm bolts. The bolt holes in the frame for these rear lower control arms are smaller than the holes that are in the control arms. Therefore, they "slap" against the bolts when you hit hard launches, speed bumps, etc. I noticed it when I crossed the gate channel set in the asphalt at my last apartment complex. Not any longer. $12 at Ace hardware fixed it.

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    Senior Member JayTA98's Avatar
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    I have poly engine mounts already. I will check all these suggestions. I have to order the bushings 1st.

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    expensive tires az gt eater's Avatar
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    Well, if you need any help, or advice, let me know. I can email pics if needed as well. It took me a day to do the rear end, and a week to do the front end. Mostly because of the need to open up the lower ball joint. I replaced upper lower ball joints, inner and outer tie rod ends and shocks when I changed out bushings. I have a little private track if you can call it that, and I noticed a big noticable difference in handling after the operation. The WS6 sits flat, and changes lanes so fast it scares people. Even at 80. I drew the line at changing engine mount bushings. It looks pretty difficult. I will tackle it one day soon.

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    Senior Member JayTA98's Avatar
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    If I decide to do aftermarket bushings, What do you think is best? Polyurethane or Prothane? I might pass on doing the lower and upper ball joints since they are in good shape. They don't have any play.

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    Senior Member JayTA98's Avatar
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    I already have UMI LCA on my rear end and they have the aftermarket bushing in them so I might as well do the fronts. I still have the OEM sway bar bushings, if I change the sway bar bushings to Poly or Prot will I notice a big difference? Or should I just save and get the UMI sway bars in the future. I just do DD and some street driving once in a while, no track time at all.

    Thanks for all the advise so far guys.

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