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Old 01-20-2011, 08:50 PM   #1
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a- arm bushing replacement

hi, seems like a good idea to change these.,.mine look tired ,,easy?...and the use of poly bushings are better?
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Old 01-20-2011, 09:14 PM   #2
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Re: a- arm bushing replacement

Removing the arms and reinstalling them isn't too bad. Unless the bolts are rusted in the tube in the center of the bushings. If they are, good luck getting them out When they rust, the bolts basically fuse to the tubes. I had 2 out of 4 like that. The only way I was able to get them out was to carefully cut both ends off the bolts with an angle grinder and then gently spread the mounting ears on the k-member till I could pry them out.

Getting the old bushings out and the new ones in is a real pain without a press. I did mine using one of the c-clamp style balljoint presses. I don't recommend it. I wasn't able to press the old ones out. Most people will suggest using a torch to burn the old bushings out, and it does work. Your neighbors won't like you much though. I used a 1/4" drill bit and drilled through the bushing all around the center tube till I could hammer them out. It took forever. Wish I had bought my shop press for that job. Would have taken me all of 10 minutes per arm counting setup time. The next time I did control arm bushings for a friend of a friend's van, I used the labor charge to buy my a shop press.

When you're using a press you have to put something in between the 2 sides of the arm. Otherwise the press will crush them together.

I put poly bushings in mine. They seemed to go in pretty easily. I'm guessing it was due to the extra stiffness of the poly, but it could have just been me.

I also replaced the balljoints at the same time. They were the originals with 103k on them so I figured they probably were about due anyhow. It was also a matter of "while I have it apart...."
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Old 01-21-2011, 01:45 AM   #3
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Re: a- arm bushing replacement

Poly has a tendency to bind and squeak. If I were you I would replace them with rubber or Delrin. Global West sells the delrin bushings.
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Old 01-21-2011, 02:26 AM   #4
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Re: a- arm bushing replacement

I did poly, wish I did the delrin
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Old 01-21-2011, 07:18 AM   #5
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Re: a- arm bushing replacement

I swapped in Prothane (greased) years ago and I've never experienced any squeaking/binding that I'm aware of. That said, in the name of our "hobby," I've replaced nearly everything with after market pieces. I think I'd enjoy my car more with OE rubber (and if I had to do it over again or if I were building another car, that's certainly what I'd use). A case in point: the trans mount. I tried ES, Prothane, then OE rubber. The vibration issues with those pieces, compared to OE, which I settled on, was horrible.

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Old 01-21-2011, 07:35 AM   #6
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Re: a- arm bushing replacement

The squeak is very common, why folks grease them on install, and also a trick use to be was to do the change over with a friend and split the cost for one poly set and one stock rubber set, then divide it in half. And installed them half n half, as all poly was to stiff for many folks.

And the squeak is from the hard rubber poly rubbing on the smooth metal with such a tight fit, like a sneaker on a basketball court. A bit of grease on install stops that and lets it move around easier.
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Old 01-21-2011, 08:47 AM   #7
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Re: a- arm bushing replacement

I greased my poly bushings when I installed them in the control arms. I've never had any squeaking or noise from them or any of the other poly bushings I've installed - sway bars, end links, trans mount. I made sure to grease them all, except for the trans mount.

I would have installed the delrin aluminum bushings in my control arms had I known about them at the time. As it is now, it was such a PITA getting my arms back in that I don't want to remove them again unless I absolutely have no choice. If that ever happens I'll install the delrins.
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Old 01-21-2011, 08:53 AM   #8
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Re: a- arm bushing replacement

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Originally Posted by 92RS_Ttop View Post
IAs it is now, it was such a PITA getting my arms back in that I don't want to remove them again unless I absolutely have no choice.
+1.

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Old 01-21-2011, 04:54 PM   #9
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Re: a- arm bushing replacement

I used a large vise to get the new bushings in. As 92RS_Ttop mentioned, I had to tack in a small piece of angle to keep the arm from collapsing.

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Old 01-21-2011, 05:14 PM   #10
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Re: a- arm bushing replacement

With out the propper tools I would recommend taking it to a shop to have them pressed in. I used a ball joint C clamp and a breaker bar to get one of the bushings out, and after that I took them to the shop. I pressed my own in with that same clamp but the amount of effort it took was not worth the $15 I saved. Im all for DIY but without the right tools theres a limit.
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Old 01-21-2011, 05:15 PM   #11
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Re: a- arm bushing replacement

Quote:
Originally Posted by JamesC View Post
I swapped in Prothane (greased) years ago and I've never experienced any squeaking/binding that I'm aware of. That said, in the name of our "hobby," I've replaced nearly everything with after market pieces. I think I'd enjoy my car more with OE rubber (and if I had to do it over again or if I were building another car, that's certainly what I'd use). A case in point: the trans mount. I tried ES, Prothane, then OE rubber. The vibration issues with those pieces, compared to OE, which I settled on, was horrible.

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I have been down this road as well. I have replaced my poly trans mount and poly motor mounts with stock rubber. Much better. I did not notice a negative difference going from stock rubber to delrin on all suspension bushings however. Car rides like a champ compared to the poly motor mounts.

I agree poly doesn't always squeak, but its much more susceptible than rubber and delrin. If you are replacing the bushings anyway there is really no reason to go with poly these days.
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Old 02-25-2014, 08:47 PM   #12
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Re: a- arm bushing replacement

Is there a trick to get the a-arms back in the k-member after installing new bushings?
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Old 02-25-2014, 10:16 PM   #13
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Re: a- arm bushing replacement

Should slide in with some elbow grease. Make sure bushings set in properly and the A not bent any at the bushing ends. Try a partial in bolt in whichever easiest side first then the other. May help to hang the a-arm straight down and maneuver up into place.
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Old 02-26-2014, 12:15 AM   #14
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Re: a- arm bushing replacement

My a-arm compressed after pressing in the new bushings. I picked up a 3/4 all-thread from Home Depot along with nuts & washers. Put the all-thread rod thru the a-arm and turned the nuts until I opened the a-arm enough to fit again. I used GW's Del-A-Lum bushings.

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Old 02-26-2014, 09:54 AM   #15
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Re: a- arm bushing replacement

The problem I was seeing last night was the width, bushing to bushing, is about 1/8" too wide to go up in the k-member. I figured I will go home tonight and use my woodworking clamps to press the bushings together to see if that gives me enough to slide it up and in.
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Old 02-26-2014, 02:03 PM   #16
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Re: a- arm bushing replacement

Just got off the phone with a guy from http://energysuspension.com/ and he told me to use never-seez/anti-sieze when installing the PU bushings, like someone else already said. He said it will help prevent corrosion which will increase/cause squeaking.

He also said the bushings are design to have an interference fit, so be ready to use a pry bar, jacket, or anything else you can think of to get them up into the factory k-member.
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Old 02-26-2014, 06:32 PM   #17
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Re: a- arm bushing replacement

Quote:
Originally Posted by rwstegne View Post
Just got off the phone with a guy from http://energysuspension.com/ and he told me to use never-seez/anti-sieze when installing the PU bushings, like someone else already said. He said it will help prevent corrosion which will increase/cause squeaking.

He also said the bushings are design to have an interference fit, so be ready to use a pry bar, jacket, or anything else you can think of to get them up into the factory k-member.
That sounds VERY suspect. What purpose would an interference fit serve in this application? In my entire career I have never heard of a 1/8" interference fit. I would suggest trimming the busing sleeve down if possible.
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Old 02-26-2014, 07:19 PM   #18
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Re: a- arm bushing replacement

The 1/8" is not their design interference spec. The 1/8" to 1/16" is my eyeball interference I saw last night at midnight on my setup. One thing to note, I pressed in the metal sleeves but I did not use a press nor clamp to push in the bushings. So I plan to install anti-seize and press the bushings in.

Their design interference is only 4 thousands if memory serves me correct.
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Old 02-26-2014, 08:43 PM   #19
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Re: a- arm bushing replacement

idk what ones are better, but i do know a good way to make them much easier to install. put the bushings in the freezer over night, and before you take them out, get the a-arms nice and hot ... you will get them much easier that way
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Old 02-27-2014, 01:44 AM   #20
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Re: a- arm bushing replacement

Quote:
Originally Posted by rwstegne View Post
Just got off the phone with a guy from http://energysuspension.com/ and he told me to use never-seez/anti-sieze when installing the PU bushings, like someone else already said. He said it will help prevent corrosion which will increase/cause squeaking.

He also said the bushings are design to have an interference fit, so be ready to use a pry bar, jacket, or anything else you can think of to get them up into the factory k-member.
I had a similar problem where they were too far offset to fit. It was as if the bushings needed to be installed the opposite way.
IMO, the angle of the metal from the K-member would have been too much to sit flat if they were to be forced in.

I ended up picking up a set A-Arms with a different brand bushing installed that fit perfectly. Was interesting considering that set was from a different car while my originals no longer fit.
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Old 02-27-2014, 07:33 AM   #21
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Re: a- arm bushing replacement

Bend the little "bracket" features of the K-member open. (hammer, big channellocks, etc.)

Tightening the bolts will clamp it back tight on the bushings.
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Old 02-27-2014, 07:33 AM
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