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Old 11-04-2005, 09:17 PM
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Help with Front Control Arm Bushings

Hey Ya'll, My son-in-law informed me last weekend that I needed Front Control Arm Bushings on Ruby. (See my photo album) Every time I hit a small pot hole or man hole, it made a terrible sound as if the entire car was falling into a pit, also the power steering is very loose. Ruby has a Chevelle front clip with power steering, sway bars, and dual master cylinder disc front brakes. Could someone suggest 'what' I need to buy and 'where' on line. Also, could my very knowledgeable neighbor shade tree mechanic do this? Southern Smiles, Donna

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Old 11-04-2005, 09:21 PM
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Every time I hit a small pot hole or man hole, it made a terrible sound as if the entire car was falling into a pit,
fix it(Be safe)
or have it fixed
asap..............................
very dangerous
ask me how I know................
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Old 11-04-2005, 09:25 PM
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The bushings need to be pressed out and in, without bending up the control arms, actually, they are "A" frames.. It can be done by a shadetree mechanic, but is quite heavy work. You also have a choice of stock rubber or poly bushings. You will also need an alignment afterwards.
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Old 11-04-2005, 09:26 PM
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do u need upper and lower
upper dont have to worry about spring
lower (under spring tension)
Is your whole front end shot..............
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Old 11-04-2005, 09:33 PM
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Poncho62
I seen a press today and bushing driver set
is it worth doing these repairs or go to shop
If a car needs just uppers can u press in and out on car with a tool ,
I cannot remember.
teachers in school were really
very serious when springs were involved
and told spring stories
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Old 11-04-2005, 09:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigDawgsEatFirst
Poncho62
I
If a car needs just uppers can u press in and out on car with a tool ,
I cannot remember.
OTC and ATD both make a tool for replacing the upper control arm bushings on the car, I have the ATD brand one and it worked pretty slick on my dodge Dakota.

gcrmcc
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Old 11-05-2005, 06:40 AM
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What Happened Big Dawg?

Hey Dawg, What happened? Also I forgot to mention that the steering is very loose. Ruby has power steering, but it's the loosest steering I've ever seen. Where on line can I buy the Front Control Arm Bushing 'kits?' Southern Smiles, Donna
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Old 11-05-2005, 10:37 AM
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http://www.kanter.com/ will probably have the control arm bushings. If you haven't removed control arms before be aware of the possible danger of the compressed coil spring. I would say it is not a job for a novice.

I would suggest checking the ball joints for wear / looseness as well. The loose steering may be a result of the loose control arm bushings, worn rag joint, steering box, center link idler arm or tie rods. Have someone move the steering wheel while you look for excessive movement in the mentioned components.
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Old 11-05-2005, 11:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheBreeze
Hey Dawg, What happened? Also I forgot to mention that the steering is very loose. Ruby has power steering, but it's the loosest steering I've ever seen. Where on line can I buy the Front Control Arm Bushing 'kits?' Southern Smiles, Donna
Let me put it like this
the spring should be safely controlled
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Old 11-06-2005, 12:44 PM
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The whole front end should be looked over if your steering is loose, all pivot points should be checked, if there is reputiable alignment shop in your area they should be able to check it out for you, tell you what it needs, then align it for you,
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Old 11-06-2005, 06:23 PM
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I've done this many times myself, it's not difficult, you just have to pay attention and not do anything stupid.

Break the lug nuts loose on both front wheels with the car still on the ground. Jack the car up and place jackstands under the frame so that they won't interfere with the removal of the control arms and finish removing the wheels/tires. Remove cotter pins from nuts at spindles/ball joints top and bottom. Loosen the 4 nuts 2 to 3 turns only. Holding a large hammer on one side of the spindle boss where the balljoint stud goes through, whack hell out of the other side of the spindle boss with another large hammer. This will set up vibrations between the stud and boss and allow them to separate. You may have to hit them a couple of times....hard. When they break free, they'll make quite a noise because the spring is still in place and will be trying to separate the whole mess. Don't let the thud scare you, it's o.k. because the nuts are still in place holding it all together. After you've broken the studs free, remove the shocks and insert a coil spring compressor up through the middle of the spring from the bottom. Use a ratchet on the compressor nut to compress the spring until is is free to rattle around in place (no compression left in the spring). Remove all 4 nuts completely and pull the studs out of the spindle bosses. Do not allow the spring to fall to the floor. Being compressed, it has the potential of several sticks of dynamite, so handle with care. Have your buddy hold onto it as you drop the bottom arm. Pay attention to the orientation of the pigtail of the spring in the spring pocket of the lower arm before you remove the spring.

Remove the bolts and nuts securing the bottom arm to the frame and lay it aside. Keep track of all the bolts and nuts.

Get yourself 4 baggies. Go to the topside where the upper control arms attach to the frame. Remove the nuts and drop all the shims from the left front into one bag, labeling it "left front". Do the same for the other 3 sets of shims, "left rear", "right front" and "right rear. If you put all the shims back where they came from when you go back together with it, it'll be easier to align than starting from scratch.

Easiest way I've found to remove the bushings from the arms is with an air hammer with chisel attachment. Lacking that, many times you can deform the bushings enough with a chisel and hammer that they will just drop out. Be careful to support the arm when doing this so you don't damage it.

Again, easiest way to install new bushings at home is with an air hammer with blunt attachment while supporting the arm. You can do it in a shop press too, but you'll have to have the proper size fixtures.

If you don't want to fool with driving the old bushings out and new ones in, take the arms to the machine shop and have them do it for you. Check with 2 or 3 shops for the best price.
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Old 11-06-2005, 09:04 PM
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I agree with oldschoolrods, that thing should be checked out. Are the ball joints shot? What about the tie rod ends? You describe it as loose and that could mean one or many problems. Deciding the bushings are _the_ problem without checking the other parts of the front end is a mistake, IMO.
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