I was recently notified that I need to replace my control arm bushings (upper and lower) on my 1977 trans am. Does anyone know if i can change the bushings without taking the a-arms completely out or if i do have to take them out, how difficult is it to remove and put the ball joint back on?
09-25-2010 08:01 AM
You will need a common pickle fork and a big hammer to remove the ball joints from spindle.
Bushings have to be pressed out and back in. There are tools available to rent in larger cities. But easiest is to have a machine shop r/r them.
09-25-2010 10:23 AM
Of course you don't want to use the pickle fork if you are going to be reusing the ball joint. You "can" but I don't want to. There may be a small puller that would get in there, I am not sure. But on that note, why not just replace the ball joints while you are at it?
The lower ball joint, that is the one that will wear the most it is on the control arm that the spring rides on, so suspension 101 says it is the one that wears the fastest.
But honestly, pull the upper control arm off, do the bushings and ball joint and replace that lower ball joint and bushings on the lower control arm and you have darn near the whole front rebuilt!
The rest like the tie rods and such can be done a little at a time down the road and wham, you have a whole rebuilt front end. It is almost THIRTY FIVE years old after all!
09-25-2010 06:12 PM
ya, Ill prob. get new ball joints to go with it, after all it would save taking the whole thing out again when the original joint wear out...
09-28-2010 06:38 AM
Best way to get the ball joint loose from the spindle is remove the brake caliper and use a piece of coat hanger or some zip ties and Hang the caliper up somewhere just to keep it from hanging off the line, remove the cotter keys loosen the nut on the upper and lower Bj's and leave the nut about halfway on and then smack the hell out of the side of the spindle right where the stud goes through, I couple of good hits with a BFH will knock em loose faster than you can stick the pickle fork in there, I haven't used a pickle fork in a good 15 years, This trick woks on tie rod ends too. then before you take off the nut, remove the shock .Place a floor jack with a small block of wood, flatter and wider is better, under the control am in the middle of the inside of the control arm where it connects to the frame is, jack it up to where you just have the weight of the car on it then remove the 2 pivot bolt nuts and screw the bolts out , then slowly lower the jack, till the spring falls out. that way you are not in danger of being hit by the spring.then unscrew the ball joint nuts then after the bushings and ball joints are replaced install the ball joints into the spindle and the just do the reverse of removal. If you have no idea what I'm telling you to do just take it to a shop. its not a hard project, but you will need basic tools and some common sense.
09-28-2010 01:21 PM
ok, I've done work in that area before so im familier with it, I just needed to know how to get the joints out easilly
09-29-2010 08:18 AM
09-29-2010 10:35 AM
I would remove them myself if you have the experience and buy new ball joints and bushings and hit up the local machine shop. They have the presses and equipment that can make quick work of it for a fee.
09-29-2010 07:18 PM
Yes, I believe I will do it because I have a few BFH's... :D