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Replacing Control Arm Bushings


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#1
NickR

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Has anyone ever replaced their lower control arm rubber bushings, without removing the endlinks (or the balljoint)? Does it make sense to do it this way? Where did you jack up the car?

I have determined I need to replace the control arm bushings (front passenger side). The car was steering unevenly going over bumps, and on hard left turns, under power, the car would suddenly shift from neutral steering to slight oversteering. I jacked up the car, removed the wheel, and found some movement in those bushings when I put a lever on it.

My first plan was to remove the whole control arm, but I was unable to remove the swaybar endlink from the control arm. The nut turned, but it was not coming off, just turning the whole bolt as well. (And removing the endlink from the swaybar looks equally difficult, since access is harder). The endlink itself looks good, as does the balljoint, so they don't need to be replaced. Moreover, cutting off the endlink looks like it would be an unpleasant job -- a couple of hours with a hacksaw.

How easy is it just to replace the two rubber bushings (there's a front and a rear bushing on each control arm), without removing the whole control arm, just removing the bolts where the bushings are? Do I need to jack up the whole front end of the car, to take the weight off the swaybar, or can I just use my regular car jack (and a log of wood for safety)?

Anyone ever done this, or should I give up and get my mechanic to do it?

#2
vlad

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I've always replaced the whole control arm with brand new bushings and balljoints, so I don't know how hard it would be to unpress the bushing from the control arm, especially when the control arm is still on the car. But I'm sure you can technically get access to removing the bushings without actually removing the control arm, but the question is how hard it would be to unpress the bushings.

The fact that your endlinks spin inside themselves is quite common for our cars. You'll have to cut them off and replace them with new ones if you do actually need to remove them.

#3
senatorfrisky

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tips...

1. just get some decent used contol arms from mike hughs in the mx6.com parting out forum

2. cut your endlinks off! they will continue to be a very big PITA

3. get some stainless endlinks. (moog)

reasons...

1. those bushings are THE biggest hassle i've ever dealt with on any of my vehicles.

2. removing wheel and tire, strut to knuckle bolts, control arms bushing retainer bolts, ball joint pinch bolts, and cutting and replacing endlinks is 5,000X easier than doing what you're thinking of doing.

3. take the control arm out with the knuckle as one piece. it's ultimately easier to get that ball joint pinch bolt out, and the new one in.

you have been warned

#4
Bigjames02

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I dont think there is a good way of replacing control arm bushings without just taking the whole control arm off. I think it would be faster to just take the whole thing off, and replace the bushings that way.

#5
NickR

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Thanks for your advice, vlad, sentaor, and bigjames. I guess I'm going to have to have another go at that endlink.

I did notice, belatedly, that there is a hex thing in the endlink bolt, supposedly so that you can put an allen key in the bolt, to stop it turning, while you put a ring spanner( box wrench) on the nut. At least, that's presumably how it's supposed to work, but whether it does work in practice, we shall see.

I also found a thread in the MX6.com projects section about how to remove those bushings, using a neat tool he made to pull the bushings out; but it's not clear to what extent he removed the control arms. Shall ask him, before going one way or the other.




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