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Old 08-27-2010, 06:03 PM   #1
amorgan93
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Default Non-existent lower control arm bushing. How to replace?

I saw rich pins VIDEO.

My 1994 Sl2 needs the bushing replaced, where the sway bar connects to the control arm. The one that connects the control arm to the frame is fine, but the other one is literally non existent. So how do i replace this bushing? Can it even be replaced? and is it the same bushing that connects to control arm to the frame? or is it a completely different bushing? Thank you.

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Old 08-27-2010, 06:39 PM   #2
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Default Re: Non-existent lower control arm bushing. How to replace?

It can certainly be replaced. Advance sells Moog brand blue poly bushings that are much better (stiffer/more durable) than the OEM ones. I think they're called sway bar end bushings or something like that. They are a two-piece design so they're easy to install (the OE ones are one piece that's pressed in--removing it shouldn't be too hard, though, if it's worn (pry it out with a screwdriver)). I believe you must remove the control arms to do it--follow richpin's video. Then pry out the old ones, install the new ones, and put it back together.

Might want to check your ball joints first--since you'll have the control arm off, it wouldn't be a bad idea to replace it if they're starting to show some play or they have a lot of miles.

You'll need to get an alignment after you're done. Make sure you properly torque the control arm to frame bolts--if they're not tight enough, they'll move around and screw up your alignment.

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Old 08-27-2010, 09:43 PM   #3
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Default Re: Non-existent lower control arm bushing. How to replace?

Quote:
Originally Posted by PlasticCarsRock View Post
It can certainly be replaced. Advance sells Moog brand blue poly bushings that are much better (stiffer/more durable) than the OEM ones. I think they're called sway bar end bushings or something like that. They are a two-piece design so they're easy to install (the OE ones are one piece that's pressed in--removing it shouldn't be too hard, though, if it's worn (pry it out with a screwdriver)). I believe you must remove the control arms to do it--follow richpin's video. Then pry out the old ones, install the new ones, and put it back together.

Might want to check your ball joints first--since you'll have the control arm off, it wouldn't be a bad idea to replace it if they're starting to show some play or they have a lot of miles.

You'll need to get an alignment after you're done. Make sure you properly torque the control arm to frame bolts--if they're not tight enough, they'll move around and screw up your alignment.
So i need to get the bolts really tight? what are the torque specs? Why would i need an alignment after this? Im not actualyl disconnecting the shock assembly or anything.

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Old 08-27-2010, 10:46 PM   #4
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Default Re: Non-existent lower control arm bushing. How to replace?

Quote:
Originally Posted by amorgan93 View Post
So i need to get the bolts really tight? what are the torque specs? Why would i need an alignment after this? Im not actualyl disconnecting the shock assembly or anything.
You need an alignment for several reasons--first of all, the new sway bar bushing will not match the old one exactly (it should be thicker because the old one has been squashed). This will give you a bit of extra toe out. Even more significantly--the control arm, when loose, can rock back and forth a bit, messing up your toe (and possibly other alignment specs) in an undetermined direction--that's why it must be tight enough. When tight enough, the bracket that holds it will squash in against the inner sleeve of the bushing, holding it from moving at all (the inner sleeve of the bushing doesn't turn as the control arm goes up and down, the outer sleeve of the bushing turns while the inner sleeve remains still).

The FSM notes 92 lbft for the bolt and 74 lbft for the nut. I'm not exactly sure how you're supposed to torque them differently... I'd recommend just use 92 lbft, erring on the side of too high--the bolt is large and hardened--a bit of extra torque isn't going to damage it. (The inner sleeve of the bearing is also hardened--it won't deform.)

The large nut on the end of the sway bar is torqued to 106 lbft.

Be sure to liberally coat the entire control arm to frame bolt with never-seize (including the non-threaded collar). They tend to rust into the bushing, and can be very difficult to remove (I had to cut one of mine with a sawzall and replace the bushing--I was replacing the entire arm, but there's no way I could have reused the bushing, it was pretty messed up). If you can't get one of yours out, try an air chissel. If that doesn't work, you'll need to cut it, between the cradle bracket and the bushing (you'll need to bend the bracket a bit to fit the saw blade in, although you've probably already done this when trying to get the bolt out).

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Old 08-28-2010, 02:29 AM   #5
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Default Re: Non-existent lower control arm bushing. How to replace?

Quote:
Originally Posted by PlasticCarsRock View Post
You need an alignment for several reasons--first of all, the new sway bar bushing will not match the old one exactly (it should be thicker because the old one has been squashed). This will give you a bit of extra toe out. Even more significantly--the control arm, when loose, can rock back and forth a bit, messing up your toe (and possibly other alignment specs) in an undetermined direction--that's why it must be tight enough. When tight enough, the bracket that holds it will squash in against the inner sleeve of the bushing, holding it from moving at all (the inner sleeve of the bushing doesn't turn as the control arm goes up and down, the outer sleeve of the bushing turns while the inner sleeve remains still).

The FSM notes 92 lbft for the bolt and 74 lbft for the nut. I'm not exactly sure how you're supposed to torque them differently... I'd recommend just use 92 lbft, erring on the side of too high--the bolt is large and hardened--a bit of extra torque isn't going to damage it. (The inner sleeve of the bearing is also hardened--it won't deform.)

The large nut on the end of the sway bar is torqued to 106 lbft.

Be sure to liberally coat the entire control arm to frame bolt with never-seize (including the non-threaded collar). They tend to rust into the bushing, and can be very difficult to remove (I had to cut one of mine with a sawzall and replace the bushing--I was replacing the entire arm, but there's no way I could have reused the bushing, it was pretty messed up). If you can't get one of yours out, try an air chissel. If that doesn't work, you'll need to cut it, between the cradle bracket and the bushing (you'll need to bend the bracket a bit to fit the saw blade in, although you've probably already done this when trying to get the bolt out).
Thank you for your very detailed response. Can i replace the sway bushing without pulling the entire control arm? Can i do like richpins video, just disconnect the ball joint, put tension on the swap bar, and slide the new bushing it? without taking the frame to control arm bolt out. any tips on putting the new bushing in?

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Old 08-28-2010, 03:27 AM   #6
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Default Re: Non-existent lower control arm bushing. How to replace?

Quote:
Originally Posted by amorgan93 View Post
Thank you for your very detailed response. Can i replace the sway bushing without pulling the entire control arm? Can i do like richpins video, just disconnect the ball joint, put tension on the swap bar, and slide the new bushing it? without taking the frame to control arm bolt out. any tips on putting the new bushing in?
It may be possible, but I doubt it. The sway bar ends as a bolt/stud, which goes through the control arm. You must put a half of the bushing on each side of the arm, so you must remove the sway bar from the control arm. You might be able to do it by removing the sway bar to chassis brackets to slide the bar forward, however, I strongly recommend against that (when I replaced those, two of the nuts broke loose inside the frame, with the bolt loose. I had to drill holes in the frame rail and weld the bolts back to the frame with an arc welder). Not easy or fun! (Also, the welding burns off any remaining coating on the frame, making it more susceptible to rust.)

Actually, if you can find some of the OE style bushing that are just one piece, it may be possible to install those with the sway bar still in place because you push those into the control arm from one side. However, it wouldn't be easy to install (even with the arm off, they're hard to get in). Also, the poly bushings are a lot better than OE (Moog makes them, I believe Energy Suspension does too)--if it were me, I'd go with the poly bushings (you'll never have to replace them again unless you drive a lot, and they'll probably improve your handling and maybe even lessen tire wear (even when new, the softer OE ones allow the toe to change very slightly as you accelerate or brake--my old OE ones ruined my tires (cupped them really badly)).

...
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Old 08-28-2010, 07:15 AM   #7
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Default Re: Non-existent lower control arm bushing. How to replace?

If you're going to go through all the effort of popping the ball joint anyway, you might as well just replace the whole control arm. They're only $30 (which includes a new ball joint and new bushings).

http://www.partsgeek.com/catalog/199...ntrol_arm.html

I changed mine in about 20-25 minutes from start to finish. Gonna do the other side this weekend for completeness as well as both outer tie rods (the rubber boots are cracked and breaking up and new ones are only $9) before I get it aligned during the week.

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Old 08-28-2010, 07:40 AM   #8
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Default Re: Non-existent lower control arm bushing. How to replace?

I have found that you CAN NOT change that bushing with out pulling the LCA off the car.

The hardest part is getting the pivot bolt out, sometimes they slide right out easy, and somrtimes you have to wrap a ratchet strap around the frame and sway bar and pull the sway bar to the frame just a little bit to get that bolt out.

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Old 08-28-2010, 10:40 PM   #9
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Default Re: Non-existent lower control arm bushing. How to replace?

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Originally Posted by vtsl2 View Post
I have found that you CAN NOT change that bushing with out pulling the LCA off the car.

The hardest part is getting the pivot bolt out, sometimes they slide right out easy, and somrtimes you have to wrap a ratchet strap around the frame and sway bar and pull the sway bar to the frame just a little bit to get that bolt out.
thanks guys for all the help. One more question, since the sway bar bushing is literally non existant in my car, and since that one bushing has had to take all the pressure from the wheel moving back and forth, does it also need to be replaced?
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Old 08-29-2010, 01:12 AM   #10
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Default Re: Non-existent lower control arm bushing. How to replace?

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thanks guys for all the help. One more question, since the sway bar bushing is literally non existant in my car, and since that one bushing has had to take all the pressure from the wheel moving back and forth, does it also need to be replaced?
Huh? Isn't that the bushing you were talking about all along? What other bushing do you want to replace?

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Old 08-29-2010, 01:15 AM   #11
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Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by PlasticCarsRock View Post
Huh? Isn't that the bushing you were talking about all along? What other bushing do you want to replace?
Good gosh, im 17 and already senial. I meant to say, should i replace the bushing that connects the control arm to the frame, since it took all the pressure of the wheel moving back and forth quite a bit.

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Old 08-29-2010, 01:53 AM   #12
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Default Re: Non-existent lower control arm bushing. How to replace?

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Good gosh, im 17 and already senial. I meant to say, should i replace the bushing that connects the control arm to the frame, since it took all the pressure of the wheel moving back and forth quite a bit.
It happens... If your sway bar bushings are that bad, it's probably put a lot of stress on that bushing. There is some motion allowed in it, I believe, but your sway bar bushing looks like it's warn past the point of the allowed motion in control arm bushing. You'll have to look at it to determine what condition it's in, but it might not be a bad idea to replace it. However, if you're replacing that bushing as well, unless your control arms are relatively new (which is unlikely given the condition of your sway bar bushing, which comes with the control arm), I'd recommend replacing the entire control arm because the ball joint is probably on its last legs, and you don't want to have to get another alignment in a few months if you have to replace it. A new control arm will come with both bushings (all you need). However, the included sway bar bushing is most likely OE style. Depending on your desires, you may still want to get the upgraded Moog ones (~$10 for each side of the car, I think) because they'll keep your suspension a bit tighter (better handling, less tire wear) and they'll last longer. Going this route is a big more expensive than buying just the bushings, separately, however, if you plan to keep the car for a while, there's a good chance you'll need to replace the ball joint (control arm) eventually, so you might as well do it while it's no extra work and save yourself the time and money for an alignment, in the future.

For the alignment, I strongly recommend going to a SASP (Saturn Authorized Service Provider) or dealer, if there are still any around. I tried two different shops before finally going to a SASP--both refused to align the rear end of the car, which was significantly out of spec (one said it wasn't adjustable, and the other said that they didn't have the right tools--it took hours, dealing with them and the BBB to get my money back. Also, be sure to request that they align it to the exact factory recommended specs (which they should have), not just anywhere in the green range. Unless instructed otherwise, they'll typically just align it to within a range of "acceptable" figures, so it will be different on each side and far from optimal. The SASP is the only place that would even bother to align it to my own specs (I used slightly different from factory specs to improve my handling a bit). (Also, the price at the SASP was no higher than the independent shops. I had to drive over an hour each way, but it was definitely worth it.)

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