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Thread: Urethane Control Arm Bushings Install

  1. #1
    Registered User 74FAIRLADYZ's Avatar
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    Unhappy Urethane Control Arm Bushings Install

    I have finally removed the old control arm bushings! Everyone was right about this job, it is no fun. It took me about an hour per bushing to remove them. The propane torch sure came in handy. My question now is how do I properly install the urethane bushings and collar? You can't really press the urethane in without ruining it. Do you just grease it up and use a rubber mallet and gently tap them into place? Then, do I install the collar in the bushings before the pin is installed, or do I install the pin and then drive the collar onto the pin? The collar doesnt fit on the pin as nicely as I had hoped, by that I mean it doesn't just slide on smoothly. It is one tight fit. But then again, I didn't expect this to be fun and easy. Although it was better than staying home for my wifes Pampered Chief party!

    Any help regarding the install is much appreciated!

    Travis
    Travis
    1974 Fairlady Z
    2006 Pacifica, Walter P

  2. #2
    Registered User XYZ's Avatar
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    Is this the rear control arm or front? I guess it doesn't matter that much. Did you get the second metal sleeve out of the control arm? There is an inner sleeve, rubber and then and outer sleeve that touches the control arm. If you get the outer sleeve removed then your new bushings should slide in (after greasing, after greasing) into the control arm with the metal sleeve inside that. You may have to encourage the bushing in a bit but it goes in pretty clean for 98% of the way. If you go to this thread 'rear control arm bushing replacement' page 5 of the suspension, drivetrain section you can see some pictures of the inner/outer sleeve. I actually had to modify my bushings slightly to get them to fit into the strut tower as the bushings were too wide.

    The bushings go in first, then the metal sleeve, then the control arm onto the strut tower, and then the pin through the whole assembly. It's curious that your pin doesn't slide onto your metal sleeve cleanly. Did you clean your pin ie.. polish it with some emery paper or something to remove debris, rust and other junk?

    Clean and smooth up all of the metal surfaces first before putting your bushing back in. Hope this helps.

  3. #3
    Registered User 74FAIRLADYZ's Avatar
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    Default bushings

    I have all new parts from MSA These are the rear control arms. It was late when I finished, so I wasnt thinking too clearly this morning. I guess I need to lightly sand my new pins so that they will go into the inner sleeve of the bushing. I was also thinking last night that the width of the collar on the new bushing looked bigger (longer) than the original pin. Is is possible that once I have the new bushings installed that the strut tower will not fit due to the increased size of the bushings? I might have to sand them down if they dont fit. Is this correct, or am I just being paranoid before I assembly it?

    Thanks!

    Go Sooners!
    Travis
    1974 Fairlady Z
    2006 Pacifica, Walter P

  4. #4
    Banned User V8-240Z's Avatar
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    If you have left the outer sleeve in the control arm it also
    has to be removed. This is the same for either the front
    or rear control arms. I have found the only safe way to
    remove the outer sleeves is to carefully cut them with a
    hack sawblade without cutting in to the control arm. Then
    you use a chisel to collapse the shell. I used a threaded
    rod and a couple nuts and washers to pull the urethane
    bushings and sleeves in place. I have found that once
    the urethane bushings and inner sleeves are in the
    control arm it won't fit on to the rear strut!!! so the fix is
    to put only the outer bushing and sleeves on to the
    control arm. Now put a one foot long piece of 5/8" all
    thread rod through the control arm and with 2 nuts and
    washers on the inside and spread the opening so it
    measures 5 1/2" from the inner faces of the control arm
    (there are no inner bushings) Now once the threaded
    rod is removed the control arm will spring back some.
    Using the threaded rod again put the inner bushings
    in place on each side and with the nuts and washers
    pull the inner and outer bushings and sleeves in place.
    The control arm between the bushings now should
    measure 5 5/16" If you still need to spread the opening
    some DON'T DO IT WITH THE BUSHINGS IN PLACE the
    force of spreading the control arm will tear up the
    bushings. I also had a inner sleeve that would not fit
    over the pin.I took a 1/4" bolt cut the head off and
    hack sawed a slot in the end so I could chuck it in to
    my drill and with a strip of emery paper I honed the
    inner sleeve so it would fit on the pin.

  5. #5
    Registered User 74FAIRLADYZ's Avatar
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    Default bushings

    So if I understand you correctly, I need o expand my control arm to compensate for the new bushings by using a threaded rod and nuts to expand it?
    Travis
    1974 Fairlady Z
    2006 Pacifica, Walter P

  6. #6
    Banned User V8-240Z's Avatar
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    When I did my 71 I first tried to press out the outer
    sleeves and when that did not work I then tried
    to drive them out. I think that I had collapsed the
    control arm by the time I was done. If yours with
    the bushings installed measures 5 5/16" between
    them it will fit the strut if not you have to spread
    it with the all thread rod.

  7. #7
    Registered User XYZ's Avatar
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    This probably isn't the best solution to making your bushings fit but when I installed mine, because the collars of the new bushings made the control arm assembly wider than the opening it came from on the strut, I just simply cut the collars off on the outside of the control arm with a razor knife. The net effect was the metal sleeve touched the strut tower just like the stock bushings did. Took 10 mins. I have had no ill effects from doing this (that I can tell). I spent 1-2 hrs trying to get my control arms back in from wenst they came and in my frustration got out the knife. Wish I had done it after 10 mins. I installed both pieces of my bushings just cut the collars (shoulders) off the outer ones.

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