Author Topic: Control arm shaft and bushing removal  (Read 6811 times)

Offline caunchman

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Control arm shaft and bushing removal
« on: October 11, 2009, 09:32:18 PM »
  Any good tips on removing the shafts and bushing out of the control arm without doing any damage to them?  I want to replace with new bushings.

Thanks,
Chris

Offline Lt.Del

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Re: Control arm shaft and bushing removal
« Reply #1 on: October 11, 2009, 11:40:27 PM »
You don't mention what you have, 4x4, 2WD?  ???

If a 2WD, this will get you part way...I'd suggest replacing the ball joints too.  Take the coil spring out carefully.


www.delbridge.net/balljoints

« Last Edit: October 11, 2009, 11:42:23 PM by SgtDel »

Offline Irish_Alley

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Re: Control arm shaft and bushing removal
« Reply #2 on: October 11, 2009, 11:56:23 PM »
hay sgt love the k bar. If you have to get any tools go to AutoZone and rent them I just wouldnít trust a used torque wrench from them tho. Iím pretty sure your working on the c10 but the 4x4 are almost the same ideal but they pressed in the axle well part of it. Also if you haft to use a hammer on the new parts use a brass rod or something thatís softer then the ball joints so you donít cause any harm to them

If you canít tell yourself the truth, who can you tell it to?

Offline caunchman

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Re: Control arm shaft and bushing removal
« Reply #3 on: October 12, 2009, 07:38:42 AM »
Well I already have the control arms off in fact the chassis is stripped and sitting on a set of rolling saw horses...lol...I popped out the upper ball joints by grinding the drilling, I do have a ball joint press, so I'm not to worried about the lower.  My main concern is removing the "control arm shaft", well I call it that....I'm sure it's something else, but it is REALLY stuck in there!!! Oh yea that article is great, kinda reminds me of an MRC.....Seriously great job documenting SGT....

Offline Lt.Del

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Re: Control arm shaft and bushing removal
« Reply #4 on: October 12, 2009, 11:47:27 AM »
thanks for the compliment. 
I've never removed that shaft so take this with a grain of salt, but, have you tried a propane torch and get it really hot and tried to tap it out that way?

Offline Dave Kay

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Re: Control arm shaft and bushing removal
« Reply #5 on: October 17, 2009, 01:55:53 PM »
Have done this job twice on a 2WD C-20 and believe me, you should replace the entire control arm assembly w/NEW shaft, bushings and ball-joints complete, upper and lower. Yep, it's gonna' cost ya', but the question is: Do you want a nice new, tight front end that can be aligned properly and not wear out tires prematurely?

As I said, I've done this job both ways: first replacing just control arm shaft/bushings/ball joints onto my original control arms, and the second time replacing the entire assembly new. The later returns much better results because when you install just control arm shaft/bushings (new or used) onto OLD control arms you'll find that the wear in the bushing area is so great that basically they're junk.

A few years ago my local GM dealer sold me upper/lower control arm assemblies complete (about $700) and he told me they are all the same for 2WD trucks up to the mid '90's... someone correct me if I'm wrong on that, as they may no longer be available. Otherwise, if I were you I'd scout out new aftermarket control arm assembly complete... it makes the job 100 percent easier 'cause all you have to do then is compress the spring (no easy task) pop the spindle loose, remove the old arms and bolt the new assemblies into place.... then go get an alignment.

My .02 cents...

P.S. whatever you do don't use some cheap Chinese-made/Harbor Freight spring compresser--- you'll want a stout tool to do this job!

Offline caunchman

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Re: Control arm shaft and bushing removal
« Reply #6 on: October 18, 2009, 09:34:52 AM »
I'm going to give it a shot.....but I am eyeing tubular control arms....

Offline Jim Rockford

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Re: Control arm shaft and bushing removal
« Reply #7 on: October 18, 2009, 10:26:28 AM »
Nothing wrong with replacing your bushings, no need to replace the whole arm as the Arm itself is NOT a wear item, bet was though is the replace the shaf as 99% of the time the inner sleeve for the pivot bushing is rusted to the shaft anyway, so order up some new bushings and a new set of shafts and cut your current shaft in half and then use a air chisel to drive out the bushings , start by getting under the outside lip,and work it out. , for the install you can use a ball joint press to press in one new bushing , but you are gonna need a stand up press to press the other one on, just remember to install the new shaft with all washers before you press in the other bushing..lol and have something cut to where it firs between the opening between the opening on the inside of the arm, otherwise it will try and fold up the arm when you press the other bushing in, I just cut a section of exhaust pipe and that works fine. just did a set for my buddies caprice yesterday  in a hour.
1973 k20 Camper special
1980 k20 custom deluxe
2004 Crown Vic LX sport

Offline caunchman

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Re: Control arm shaft and bushing removal
« Reply #8 on: October 18, 2009, 04:10:13 PM »
Good idea......didn't even think about getting a new shaft.....

Offline Jim Rockford

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Re: Control arm shaft and bushing removal
« Reply #9 on: October 19, 2009, 08:51:30 AM »
really no need to waste money on new arms and tubuler control arms, its a truck, it would never handle well enough to need those,  if you don't have a stand up press I would just get your parts and take em to a shop and have em press em out and back in, shouldn't cost that much since they are already off.
1973 k20 Camper special
1980 k20 custom deluxe
2004 Crown Vic LX sport

Offline Dave Kay

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Re: Control arm shaft and bushing removal
« Reply #10 on: October 20, 2009, 08:50:20 PM »
Nothing wrong with replacing your bushings, no need to replace the whole arm as the Arm itself is NOT a wear item, bet was though is the replace the shaf as 99% of the time the inner sleeve for the pivot bushing is rusted to the shaft anyway, so order up some new bushings and a new set of shafts and cut your current shaft in half and then use a air chisel to drive out the bushings , start by getting under the outside lip,and work it out. , for the install you can use a ball joint press to press in one new bushing , but you are gonna need a stand up press to press the other one on, just remember to install the new shaft with all washers before you press in the other bushing..lol and have something cut to where it firs between the opening between the opening on the inside of the arm, otherwise it will try and fold up the arm when you press the other bushing in, I just cut a section of exhaust pipe and that works fine. just did a set for my buddies caprice yesterday  in a hour.

1) "Nothing wrong with replacing your bushings, no need to replace the whole arm as the Arm itself is NOT a wear item"

Not sure what kind of truck/car you are referring to but me thinks you may not have done many front end rebuilds on 73-87 type GM trucks: the A-Arm bushing area in fact DOES get worn because owners neglect greasing and once the bushings have worn completely thru, the A-arm itself takes the brunt of the wear to the point that it's turned into junk: unusable, no matter how many new a bushings you install.

2) "cut your current shaft in half and then use a air chisel to drive out the bushings"

Unless you've got a cutting torch, I'd say that's a lot of metal to cut thru.... inch and half maybe 2 inches? And if you need an air-chisel to drive out the bushings I would pretty much think that at this point the a-arm itself is trashed or WILL BE trashed when you bugger-up the bushing's mating/surface area with an air-chisel... my .02 cents.

3) "use a ball joint press to press in one new bushing"

Never used a press to either remove or install the bushings on the a-arm because they thread onto the a-arm shaft. Only the ball joints needed pressing. But then again, my original a-arms were USED (very used) and it was only later that I found the front end alignment would never take because this is where you get all the play, i. e. new bushings in OLD WORN a-arms is a waste of one's time, energy and money.

From my own personal experience, if you take the truck to a repair shop worth his salt, he won't even bother talking about replacing JUST bushings on the A-arm, he'll tell you to replace the whole A-arm Assembly--- NEW--- OR he darn sure won't warrantee the work.

Offline caunchman

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Re: Control arm shaft and bushing removal
« Reply #11 on: October 20, 2009, 09:39:24 PM »
   I have used a press before on control arm bushing.....Just never had them with a shaft through the whole darn thing....ALSO the GM service tool to remove the control arm bushing is almost identical to a ball joint press......YEA I'm sure the guy at the garage would love to see you pull up and tell ya "Yup gotta replace the whole arm....." with dollar signs in his eyes.....lol....

Offline Dave Kay

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Re: Control arm shaft and bushing removal
« Reply #12 on: October 20, 2009, 09:47:42 PM »
   I have used a press before on control arm bushing.....Just never had them with a shaft through the whole darn thing....ALSO the GM service tool to remove the control arm bushing is almost identical to a ball joint press......YEA I'm sure the guy at the garage would love to see you pull up and tell ya "Yup gotta replace the whole arm....." with dollar signs in his eyes.....lol....

What kind of vehicle are we talking about here?

Offline Jim Rockford

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Re: Control arm shaft and bushing removal
« Reply #13 on: October 21, 2009, 07:24:55 AM »
Just checked my 84 GMC half ton, and they are press in bushings, and it takes about 5 seconds to cut through the shaft with a sawsall. I just did it this weekend so I know what I'm talking about. Only difference between the car and truck arms is the lower has a shaft also.
1973 k20 Camper special
1980 k20 custom deluxe
2004 Crown Vic LX sport

Offline caunchman

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Re: Control arm shaft and bushing removal
« Reply #14 on: October 21, 2009, 11:58:34 AM »
Thanks for the tip Jim.  I'm going to try and soak that end of the control arms to see if I can possibly pop the shafts out, if not I will use your method, it is really straight forward! 

 

 


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