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Control Arm Bushing Installation

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I came cross this thread (originally was posted by @jerry in Dec. 2006) while was planning to rehab control arm bushings in my car. I read folks talk about replacing entire control arm because is difficult to press new bushings in. So I decided to give it a try on only one arm and see what happens. Well, it worked and procedure is SPOT-ON. Thanks to Author (Jerry). Following is the link to original post. The procedure is also copy and pasted here just in case the link not working properly or is broken.


folks, a big hearty thanks to Pinepig and Zenon (and another FAQer whom i've forgotton, who i took the plumbing fitting idea).

anyhow, these bushings have been installed, and with the proper setup and tips offered, this job is very much doable and rather rewarding.

the key was Pinepig's use of bailing wire to wrap the rubber bushing. i used the wire that is made to tie rebar for cement forms; commonly available and cheap.

cut off about 18 inches or so and wrap around the center portion of the bushing. it does not have to be perfect nor necessarily tight (see photo).

assemble a nice pulling tool. i saw a fellow FAQer's use of galvanized pipe and copied it. i ground to small scallops for clearance as shown (see photo). these allow it to seat squarely on the Control Arm (don't want an akward angle to add to the effort). buy a handful of hardened washers and a couple spare nuts.

i took Zenon's comment to heart, not to apply load to the rubber. i accomplished this by salvaging the center tube from the old bushing. use a hacksaw to slice it lengthwise in 2 places. you will still need to pry it off. as Zenon said earlier, these things are tough and can take the abuse. you'll notice that i still have residual rubber on my tube.

the setup should be self evident from the photos. as the bushing is pulled into the hole merely pull the wire one wrap at a time to clear it.

IT WORKS and the effort is minimal. i was able to use my wimpy all-thread rod without fear of pulling the threads apart or mashing the washers. this was tremendous difference from my earlier effort.

pull the bushing past the spot you think it needs to go so that you can properly seat the outer flange. you can adjust the final position of the bushing by reversing the tool and pulling in the opposite direction till it aligns as you want it.

That's all there is to it. Very rewarding and a much less costly alternative to replaceing the entire control arm.

Addendum (3/15/10) (I am unable to upload my photos for some reason)

I found using an ACME threaded rod and a thrust bearing to significantly ease the effort of installing the bushing. These can be purchased from McMaster-Carr.

P/N 93410A120 6ft 1/2-10 ACME threaded rod $37.59

P/N 94815A107 ACME HEX NUT 1/2-10 $2.44/ea Buy 4

you'll only need a 12 inch section of the rod. (the ACME rod is merely a suggestion)

apply grease to the threads to prevent galling of the nut while tightening (the applied loading is quite high)

Also, I strongly advise the use of Silicone grease (not petroleum grease). Dow Corning makes some for labratory glassware. the glycerine is not nearly as effective. Liquid Soap has been suggested but i have not tried it.



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