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Old 05-05-2002, 07:36 PM
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Post Lower control arm bushings. What are the tricks of the trade??

I have been working on cars for years, but have never attempted the lower control arm bushings before. I have a 69 corvette, and this will be my first attempt. I have studied my shop manual. I have the spring compressor tool, press, vice, air tools, but I am not entirely sure from the manual how to install the new bushings. Can anyone give me a step by step plan for this?? Thanks.

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Old 05-06-2002, 02:05 PM
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Jim can you explain the type of bushings these are ie. metal encapsulated, loose rubber. There are different techniques for each type but usually you need a press or big vise to do it properly.
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Old 05-06-2002, 08:55 PM
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These are the metal encapsulated type. Metel outside, rubber bushing, and then a metel inner liner.

Right now, I am having trouble removing the lower ball joint from the control arm. The book says to loosen the nut on the end of the ball joint several turns and hit the stearing knuckle with a hammer and that is supposed to separate the two. I got the biggest hammer I have and struck the steering knuckle several hard wacks right at the ball joint and it just sits there. Any tricks for this one??

Thanks for the help.
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Old 05-07-2002, 06:42 AM
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I've used a "pickle fork" for getting my ball joints out of the steering knuckle. Its basically a tapered wedge that you drive between the ball joint and steering knuckle with a big hammer and it should pop the ball joint out. You can get these at any parts store....fairly inexpensive (<$15.00 I believe). Plan on putting a new ball joint in as this method usually ruins the ball joint. I've never not been able to get a ball joint out this way but if I couldn't I would have tried heating the steering knuckle to expand it slightly then hammer away again with the fork. Good Luck
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Old 05-07-2002, 03:37 PM
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You need to hit both sides of the knuckle at the same time with two big hammers, pickle fork works too. Your bushings need to be pressed in, use two big sockets or do it on a press, I prefer doing it on a press properly supported with properly machined tools to fit the bushing and to support the arm. Shouldn't cost to much to have it done at a machine shop.
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Old 05-07-2002, 07:13 PM
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The easy part is pressing in the new bushings, the hard part is removing the old ones. The best way to get them out,I have found is using a air chisel with the end ground flat. Also heat is a big help when removing tie rod ends and ball joints. Have fun!!
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Old 05-07-2002, 08:38 PM
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OK gang I heated up the stearing knuckle and with one hard wack the ball joint seperated from the stearing knuckle. Thanks for that information.

I discovered something interesting about the removal of the coiled spring. All of my generic books state that you have to use a spring compressor to do the job. I rented a spring compressor and it would not fit thru the hole in the control arm. I took it apart and re-assemble it inside the coiled spring only to find out that the coils are too close together at the top for the compressor fingers to fit, so it was obvious this was not going to work. I dug around and found a front end service manual for my particular car, and guess what you do not use a spring compressor to remove the spring. I followed the service manual and here is how I got it out. After loosening that lower ball joint, I wrapped a chain around the spring and the lower control arm and secured it with a bolt. Then I disconected the lower ball joint and slowly lowered the control arm with my jack. When the control arm bottoms out, you just pull the spring out. Real simple when you know how.
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Old 05-11-2002, 08:08 PM
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I have completed the lower control arm bushing replacement and I have one last bit of information that may be helpful to someone doing this job.

When I attempted to re-install the coiled spring on this particular car it does not go in by lowering the lower control arm, installing the spring and then jacking it up, like most cars. Instead you connect your lower ball joint, install the spring, insert a special U shaped tool that fits under each lower control arm bushing, jack the lower control arm up(using that special tool) , pull it into position with a pry bar and put your bolts in. You need to have a safety chain around the spring and control arm while you are doing this. Also where your goggles.

Also another way to install the bushings if you do not have a press, is to support the control arm on a vise, insert your bushing, put a bearing race that fits the metal outer diameter of the bushing, put a steal bar over that and pound them in with a hammer.

Hope this info helps anyone putting in control arm bushings. It was quit a job.
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