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Old March 22nd, 2011, 09:23 PM   #1
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Cool Control Arm bushing removal

Many of you may know this trick but I have not seen it posted. For you who do not know here is an easy way to remove the old bushings from your control arms. You will need a acetylene/oxygen with a cutting torch attachment. Simply aim the flame through the center of the bushing until the rubber starts to burn. This will take maybe 30 seconds. As the first one is burning move to the next one and so-on. As the rubber burns it will push the center bushing out or if not a simple push with a screwdriver will slide it out. I laid out the upper and lower a-arms, and the rear control arms, heated each one and by the time I had all of them going, maybe 5 to 10 minutes I went back to the first one and found the inner steel shell on the floor then pushed the rubber out. 15 minutes start to finish all out. All that remained was to remove the outer shells, took the torch and split the shells then tapped them out with a punch. Worked great! If you are not confident with a torch you can split the outer shell with a hacksaw. . I learned this many years ago when changing Hendrickson suspension bushings on class 8 trucks.
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Old March 23rd, 2011, 07:21 AM   #2
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This has been mentioned before, but it probably got buried in the site somewhere. One thread mentioned drilling out the rubber, but I prefer to smudge-pot the neighbors instead.
I get to have this fun next month when I do mine.
Now where is the "quick and easy" instructions for R&R of the upper bushings? If it is easy to do, then the cross-shaft was forgotten.

Hope you get everything done by 5-14 so i can see your car. I think John said he would have a couple of his cars done by then, too.........
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1986 Cutlass Supreme Coupe - "Pristine"
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Old March 23rd, 2011, 08:10 AM   #3
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A variation on the drill-out method is to use a roto-zip tool. Almost as fast as a torch with much less mess.
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Old March 23rd, 2011, 09:28 AM   #4
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I was doing this exact thing in the garage once with my girlfriends son looking on. All but one bushing came out with an easy push and that last one was a bear. After fighting it for a bit I got out the BFH and gave it a good whack. That's when the fun started! The bushing exploded and flew out at extreme velocity hitting my right in the cheek bone under my right eye. I was lucky to say the least.
My girlfriends son? Well he ran out of the garage so fast he was a blur screaming the whole time. I didn't know whether to laugh at him or cry because my face took a nice shot. I guess the moral of the story is be careful and wear eye protection. If it doesn't come out easy just heat it more thoroughly and make sure the open ends aren't facing toward anyone.
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Old March 23rd, 2011, 11:17 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TripDeuces View Post
I was doing this exact thing in the garage once with my girlfriends son looking on. All but one bushing came out with an easy push and that last one was a bear. After fighting it for a bit I got out the BFH and gave it a good whack. That's when the fun started! The bushing exploded and flew out at extreme velocity hitting my right in the cheek bone under my right eye. I was lucky to say the least.
My girlfriends son? Well he ran out of the garage so fast he was a blur screaming the whole time. I didn't know whether to laugh at him or cry because my face took a nice shot. I guess the moral of the story is be careful and wear eye protection. If it doesn't come out easy just heat it more thoroughly and make sure the open ends aren't facing toward anyone.
I'll bet you taught the child some new words that day.
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62 F-85 Deluxe wagon (the NV desert car)
62 F-85 Deluxe wagon (the San Jose car)
64 Vista Cruiser
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70 W-30
72 442
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Old March 23rd, 2011, 08:10 PM   #6
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Red face Bushing removal

Rob you are right there is no easy way on the top. What I usually do is cut the shaft off next to the bushing on each end then drive the ends out with a punch. You can then heat and extract in the usual manner. I hate to cut a good part but it can take close to an hour with a drill and screwdriver, just a pain anyway you look at it!!
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Old March 24th, 2011, 06:01 AM   #7
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Joe I'm sure I did, lol
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Old March 24th, 2011, 06:25 AM   #8
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I have used all of the above methods and they work but I tried something new that worked great on the last ones I did I tried something new and it worked so well I don't think I will go back.

I did not touch the bushings and cut a slot with the plasma in the exposed part of the shell right up to the edge of the control arm. I then got the air chisle out with a flat hammer bit. A couple raps against the shell and they were out. I was done with the whole set in the time it used to take me to remove one.
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Old March 24th, 2011, 06:53 AM   #9
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Dave, I will bring my upper control arms when I visit Oregon so you can work your magic! They should fit fine in carry-on luggage...

Quote:
Originally Posted by gearheads78 View Post
I did not touch the bushings and cut a slot in the exposed part of the shell right up to the edge of the control arm. I then got the air chisle out with a flat hammer bit. A couple raps against the shell and they were out. I was done with the whole set in the time it used to take me to remove one.
So how did you "cut the slot" and how did you press the new ones in? Oreilly's has a tool I can rent that supposibly presses them right in.

I assume you never did the uppers since you went with aftermarket type upper arms...
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1972 Cutlass Supreme Convertible- (442 clone) -"Lady" (My mistress...)
http://www.flickr.com/photos/robsalbum/sets/
Lady's interior makeover Rally Pac stuff
Front end job Underhood resto
1986 Cutlass Supreme Coupe - "Pristine"
1978 Ford Pinto (Old Faithful) a.k.a. "the Tramp" - in the family since new.
1997 Cadillac STS
1999 Harley-Davidson Sportster - "the Freedom Machine"
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Old March 24th, 2011, 08:04 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lady72nRob71 View Post
Dave, I will bring my upper control arms when I visit Oregon so you can work your magic! They should fit fine in carry-on luggage...


So how did you "cut the slot" and how did you press the new ones in? Oreilly's has a tool I can rent that supposibly presses them right in.

I assume you never did the uppers since you went with aftermarket type upper arms...
Sorry I added that part. I used a plasma cutter. The bushing were pressed in with a press.
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Old March 24th, 2011, 08:08 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oregontopcat View Post
What I usually do is cut the shaft off next to the bushing on each end then drive the ends out with a punch.


Can't say I've ever had to do that, but I don't usually replace the cross shaft either. The torch (even a propane torch) works just fine on the upper bushings.
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62 F-85 Deluxe wagon (the NV desert car)
62 F-85 Deluxe wagon (the San Jose car)
64 Vista Cruiser
64 Jetstar 88 Conv
66 442 L-69 Conv
68 W-30
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69 442
70 W-30
72 442
84 Custom Cruiser
86 Caprice wagon (w/307 Olds)
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Old March 24th, 2011, 08:17 AM   #12
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I used the drill technique when I took mine out last weekend and it worked perfect.
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Old March 24th, 2011, 08:17 AM
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