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Thread: My rear end sqeeks!

  1. #1
    Registered User XYZ's Avatar
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    Talking My rear end sqeaks!

    Okay-
    My saga continues in the bushings replacement process. A few questions to throw out there. First, I just did the upper bushings of the rear control arms took it out for a drive and now my rear end squeaks like a new shoe. I saw in a past posting that the bushings should be greased which I did on the inner sleeve but not the outside of the bushing. Did I miss the boat here? I didn't grease the outside as I figured I would collect dirt and debris like a magnet. Second, I did not replace the lower bushings in the rear control arm as they were in pretty good shape. Other factors considered were that they are pretty small bushings and I didn't have the tools to do a respectable job removing them (or the patients). Should I expect any problems by leaving the old bushings? Third, can the front control arms be dropped/removed similarly to the rear control arms without messing with the strut tower and if so exactly what all should be greased on the urethane bushings? Finally, I replaced the bushings for the rack and pinion steering but have not yet got the thing re-aligned. On my test drive besides my new squeak, the steering wheel shudders as it approaches 50+ mph. I'm assuming this is due to miss alignment as it did not shudder at the speed previous to my tinkering. Any thoughts?

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    Yes, I think you are experiencing the squeak because you didn't grease the outside of the bushings. When I put mine in I greased the inside and outside of the poly bushing, plus I put grease on the inside of the steel insert. Anywhere you have steel and poly in contact you have an area that may cause a squeak. I even greased the outside ends so that the bushings were completely covered inside and out. I haven't driven the car yet so I can't say for certain mine won't squeak but it won't be because I didn't try to grease them enough. Sorry.

    When you say you replaced the upper bushings in the rear I believe you mean the inner bushings, as there are no upper bushings. The lower bushings you referred to I believe are the outer bushings where the strut mounts to the control arm. You shouldn't have too much trouble by not replacing them. However it wouldn't be a bad idea to replace them soon, they aren't that hard to replace, the hardest part is getting the pin out but with a little work and patience you should be able to do that without too much trouble. What you may have gained by replacing one set may be cancelled out by not replacing the other, although one set is better than worn out bushings in both places.

    The front control arms can be be taken off without removing the strut. The hardest part of this job I found was to get the control arm back in with the new bushings. I ended up using a piece of all-thread rod with 2 large flat washers and 2 nuts. I used it as a spreader as the new bushings were a little too tight to get them into the mount. Once I spread it just a little it gave me the room needed to slide the control arm in.

    Do you mean a shimmy in the wheel? If it is, you may have worn tie rod ends or some other parts that was not noticeable before you replaced the bushings. In other words it was doing it before but it wasn't noticeable because the bushings were cancelling it out with the slop they had in them. I'd check the tie rod ends first, then go to the steering coupler in the steering column, then on to the wheel bearings and maybe even check your brakes. You could have a warped rotor or a seized piston in the caliper.

  3. #3
    Registered User jcdozier's Avatar
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    Talking

    The threaded rod w/ flat washers & nuts spreader is a good tip for getting the front control arm back in place. The control arm comes out MUCH easier than it goes back in.

    As far as removing the pin in the outer strut mount on the rear, 2ManyZs may be a master at understatement, ("a little work and patience....."). You may want to schedule a full afternoon and a case of beer for that job, (a six-pack won't be enough).

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    No. I'm not a master of understatement. Mine came out with little problem, I had mine done (both sides) in a couple hours, this included sandblasting, painting and reassembling the entire strut/ control arm assembly. Perhaps I just used a bigger "persuader"?? Of course before you use the larger persuader you might want to have new pins ready in case you swage the ends of the old pins out to the point they are not useable.

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    Registered User XYZ's Avatar
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    Thanks for the info- in response to some of your questions on the rear control arm, my reference to the upper bushings means the larger units next to the differential (I'm not the best with the terminology). The lower bushings for me are the ones next to the wheel. I removed the control arm in about 10 mins. but it was the small bushings themselves that I wasn't interested in tackling immediately. Do I drill them out between the sleeve and the outer shell? How do I clean up the inside of the control arm once that stuff is out? I don't have any air tools but I do have a small propane torch I assume these buggers need to be completely lubed up as well?

    The steering wheel shimmies quicky back and forth at these upper speeds. I have replaced the steering coupler, the tie rod bushings, the endlinks on the sway bar and the rack and pinion bushings. The only thing in the front not replaced is the control arms and the bushings relative to the struts (coming soon). With all that's replaced I figured it was the alignment?!? I plan an upgrade on the brakes (maybe sooner rather than later) but I haven't done the bearings or the brakes at this point. The steering wheel used to shudder between about 35 - 45 mph (not quite as feaverishly) and then go away. Now it shimmies/shudders at a higher rate of speed, closer to the speeds I like to drive.

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    Yes, you can drill out the rubber holding the pin bushings in and knock them out with a hammer and punch. Actually they are a bit easier to do than the inner bushings since they are not "peened" over like the larger ones. The hardest part is getting the pin out. Lube them up good when you put the new ones in or you'll have another squeak to deal with.

    Your front end shimmy could be the tires (maybe one is out of balance or has some odd wear) but more likely it could be you need to check your wheel bearings. Front end alignment would give you a wandering or pull to one side or another. I would check the tires, bearings, and brake hardware and possibly the tension control rod bushings first then go towards the less likely causes. It could also be that the rack has too much play in it too, so as you can see there are quite a few things to check.

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    Registered User XYZ's Avatar
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    I'm not sure where this pin is that your talking about? I saw a pin that I had to drive up and out that held the transverse link pivot bolt in place, is that it? Or is there a little pin holding the bushing and sleeve inside the control arm hidden in rubber? Just curious as you can tell this is my first bushing replacement.

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    Sorry, I should have been a little clearer on that. The pin I'm referring to is the wedge bolt that holds the pivot bolt. The bolt itself can be stubborn enough to remove and replace but the wedge bolt is sometimes the worst. When you put the pivot bolt back in it only goes in one way, so be sure to make a note of how it came out, it will only line up with the wedge bolt one way. The pivot bolt has to be aligned pretty close or you will have trouble re-inserting the wedge bolt. I had a lot of trouble with one of mine as the wedge bolt kept trying to turn and jam into the slot in the pivot bolt. I double nutted the end of the pivot bolt so I could align the slot for the wedge bolt a little easier. Be careful when you try to get the pivot pin wedge bolt out as it is a bit soft and it is easy to mushroom the end of it.

    BTW, I had my complete strut and control arm assembly off the car so if you are doing this while it is still on the car it might make things a little more difficult, not impossible, just that having it on the work bench did make it a lot easier to do the job. And this was the first time I had ever attempted to do the pivot bushings so it isn't like I have done this over and over. Just be careful when you are driving out the pivot bolt and the wedge bolt so as not to mess up the threads, and it won't hurt to clean up the pivot bolt with a little sandpaper or Scotchbrite pad to allow it to slide back in easier, along with a little bit of grease.

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