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Old 04-17-2007, 08:07 PM
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control arm bushings

im trying to replace my front control arm bushings but i am having trouble removing the old ones. The top ones i got out with a special tool i rented but the bottom ones wont budge, i went and bought a air hammer and its doing nothing. is there anything else i can try before having to take to a shop because i wouldnt be suprised if it was $200+ (got 2 lower balljoints pressed in last year and was billed $100 )

if i have to get a shop to pull the old ones out should i get them to put the new ones in or should i be able to do that myself? i got the bushings in the freezer right now.

Car is a 82 Grand prix

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Old 04-17-2007, 08:44 PM
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Well I definitely wouldn't go back to the place that hit you for $100 if it was just to press of and on the ball joints. A press is the best way to do it but I have used some heat from a propane torch around but not on the bushing. Then beat it out but you have to have some solid suport for the arm while hitting it or you will get no where. I'm sure someone else will have a better way.
Bob
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Old 04-17-2007, 10:45 PM
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$100 for pressing in 2 ball joints? Ehhhhh? Sheesh!!! Thats pretty high alright. You really need a press for the bushings, but for what that shop is soaking you for, you could buy a small press and still save money lol. I think Id call around and find another shop, and yes, get them to press in the new ones if ya do.
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Old 04-17-2007, 11:00 PM
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Sorry to hear that you're having trouble montea!

I recently replaced all the control arm bushing on my '80 Monte Carlo "G" Body donor chassis. I used the old "Soak 'em with WD 40 and take the air hammer to them" approach and it worked great.

So, my suggestion is spray 'em with WD 40, let 'em set overnight and try the air hammer again. Might even use a little heat from a Wally-Mart small propane torch or heat gun - worked for me.

Sorry that I couldn't come up with something more eloquent.

texastomeh
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Old 04-18-2007, 06:36 AM
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thank you all for the replys

What size of press would i need to do the job? i might as well buy one if its near the same price. im going to the shop this morning and see how much they will charge to do it.

it was right around $100 for the 2 balljoints. this time i got a free tool rental from the same place and poped the old ones out in 10 mins including taking the time to figure out how to do it. i just spent $50 to get a intake hot tanked and i got it back and still had to scrape off the silicone gasket maker stuff and it still looks dirty overall, i could of cleaned it better with a can of degreaser and my garden hose lol.
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Old 04-18-2007, 08:19 AM
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There is another (albeit messy) way to get the bushings out without a press. Burn the rubber out with a propane torch. This gives off a lot of black smoke and the remaining residue is a sticky, greasy mess, but it can be done. Put the control arm over a metal bucket to catch the drippings while you do this.

Once the rubber is out, you can crush the remaining metal shell with a hammer and punch and it comes right out. To install the new ones, use grease and the appropriate size socket or pipe fitting with a large hammer. If your control arms have an open section where the bushings go, use a block of wood or section of angle iron to prevent the control arm from deforming while you pound the new ones in. I've done this on many sets of control arms with no ill effects (though now I have a hydraulic press...).
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Old 04-18-2007, 08:57 AM
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i went around to 4 shops in my area and got quoted

1- $95 per side long as its not over a hour per side and there booked for a week

2- $98 a hour and couldn't even give a estimate of approx how long

3- $96 a hour and said 2-3 hours (we all know that means 3 hours then haha)

4- $60each side to remove, $30each side to install flat rate.

at the last shop i basically realized i wont get any cheaper so i just told him to do it. he looked at them and said they look stuck in there really bad and hes going to cut them out with a bushing cutter

So looks like 180 bucks plus tax. half the price of a 20ton shop press!

joe i wish i seen your post before and i would of done it that way. oh well. i think i will buy a press for next time. next big cost is going to be the alignment, i think im looking at $200 for a full job(not just toe)

i think i need to own a shop so i can steal peoples money too! lol
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Old 04-18-2007, 08:15 PM
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got them back from the shop. totaled out at $195, they supposivly had a really hard time doing it, had to cut the bushings out in the center and then press out the little pieces in the arms. i guess im just glad he wasnt charging by the hour.
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Old 04-18-2007, 10:38 PM
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OUCH!!!!!

texastomeh
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Old 04-21-2007, 07:18 AM
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http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/cta...emnumber=32879

see above link for reasonably priced 20 ton press. Would have paid for itself in one use.

Bob
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Old 04-21-2007, 07:32 AM
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that looks very similar to the one i was looking at in my Princess auto catalog(canadian). that is now on my list to get, only bad thing is the space it would take up.
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Old 04-22-2007, 08:16 AM
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i got another question about these bushings.

do you supposed to grease inbetween the bushing case and bushing and between the bushing and the sleeve? i dont think the shop did and i dont want to install it on the car and have to take it all apart again if its somthing that had to be done.
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Old 04-22-2007, 10:42 AM
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The Harbor freight ball joint press is a good one. I have the OTC that it is a knock off of. It will pay for it's self in one trip.
When I was dong front end and brake work I always used a 2-1/2 lb machinest hammer to knock the bushings out. Don't use an air chissel it just makes a mess.
Suggestion for those changing bushings in this style of control arm.

After removing the nuts off the shaft hold the control arm on top of a good strong vise with the outside end of the bushing sitting between the the open jaws of the vise, the control arm supported by the vise. Using a machinest hammer strike the bushing next to the shaft with the tapered side so that you drive it out of the control arm.

This hammer has knocked out hundreds of bushings in this manor.

This is an illustration of where to hit the bushing. It will take a couple of well directed licks to knock it out but usually they go without a big fight.
Obviously you can't do it on the wood stove but my wife didn't want go go out in the rain to hold the hammer for the photo. If you don't have a big vise a short piece of pipe that will fit around the outside of the bushing will support it and let the bushing drop in the pipe.
Once you have this bushing knocked out, slip the shaft out flip the arm over and knock the other bushing out. You may want to mark the shaft as to which direction it goes in the A frame.
To go back together, take a pipe nipple or big socket that will fit somewhat tightly over the rubber on the bushing.
Support the A frame on on the vise so that you can drive the new bushing in and the inside end will go between the open jaws of the vise.

knock one new bushing into one side of the control arm using the pipe nipple or socket to hammer on. It should only take a couple of square licks to get it set in place.
Slip the shaft into that bushing and install the bushing on the other side in the same way with the shaft hanging down between the jaws of the vise.
Install the washers and nuts or bolts on the shaft. I usually like to wait untill the car is setting static to finish tightening them as they arn't put in a bind then. (just remember to tighten them).

It isn't rocket science and doesn't take a lot of equipment. If the suspension is powercoated or painted nicely you have to take a bit of care but it is still easy to do.
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Old 04-22-2007, 01:14 PM
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thanks for posting the pics and info chopt 48

i got the upper control arm bushings in place but when i tighten down the nut it actually bottoms out before it puts any pressure on the bushing. i am using the original shims/washers that were on the control arm shafts with these new Energy suspension bushings. i read on another forum that some guy had the same problem and phoned energy suspension and they couldn't tell him anything. another guy also said he had this problem and just tightened the nuts until they bottomed out and then ran them.

im going to give Energy suspension a call tomorrow and see what they say otherwise should i be buying a stock set of rubber bushings? i phoned my parts store today and they are around $72 Canadian for the 4 uppers
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Old 04-22-2007, 06:44 PM
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That price is probably pretty close to the norm. Napa online shows them for 19.29 ea. US That would mean he is giving you a decent price.

I'd tallk to their tech guys and find out what the fix is. Have the part #'s of the bushings on hand when you call.

After looking at their web site. I have one question. Did the bushings come with the metal shell? If you put them in without the metal shells it won't work.
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