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A-Arm Bushings - Am I Giving up Too Easy?

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  • A-Arm Bushings - Am I Giving up Too Easy?

    I am re-bushing all my upper A-Arms on the front end of my motorhome while I have them off doing ball joints and shocks. I am having one heck of a time getting the old bushings out, and suspect I would also have a hard time getting the new ones in. I got the rubber and inner steel out of the one I tried, but the outer shell is a booger bear. The new ones come with new outer shells.

    I am trying to do this with a big ball joint separator but its in very tight and the A-Arm gets in the way. I tried heating the a-arm with my propane torch, but there isn't much heat there. I was able to bend the bushing shell (see A_Arm2.jpg picture) with a hammer and chisel, which was another suggested tip. The idea is to collapse it and take it out, but she ain't collapsing easily. Don't worry I am being careful not bend or damage the A-Arm, but its still not coming out.

    So.. I am about to give up and take it to the suspension place and let them take out the old and put in the new bushings. I wonder if I am admitting defeat too soon? I don't have a hydraulic press and perhaps this is the excuse I need. Maybe I should get one of those 12 Ton bench hydraulic presses NT has on sale for $75 and have at it with that?

    -->A-Arm1

    -->A-Arm2

    -->A-Arm3

    -->A-Arm4

    I hate paying someone $75/hour to do something I can do, since I can buy and keep the tools for the money, but sometimes you have to leave it to the experts. Any advice? Thanks.
    Last edited by smyrna5; 11-12-2007, 03:30 PM.
    Lincoln 175HD
    Miller Thunderbolt AC/DC
    Smith AW1, Dillon (Henrob) Mark III & Smith Quickbraze Little Torch

  • #2
    Hack saw relief cuts to weaken it?

    I'd cut it and take it out in pieces if it were me, but then again, I'm destructive and careless with little respect for myself ...........


    (my mom always told me that)
    I NEED MORE COWBELL!!!


    'Red' Powcon 300ST (no torch yet)
    (ok, not really a 'Red'... )
    'Blue' Miller 35 (older than me and runs great), Thunderbolt AC arc (ditto)
    'Craftsman' AC arc (who made this originally?)
    O/A x 2 (both smaller than I'd like)
    14" Milwaukee chopper
    20t HF press (crap, but works)
    Buffalo forge w/ blower
    Alot of pumps!

    "All of us know more than any of us."- TexHand

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    • #3
      I'd say get the press if the bank (wife) is ok with it.... any reason to get new tools is a plus...... I'd talk her into the 20 ton for "future needs".
      Mike
      George W. Bush saving your butt whether you like it or not!
      If there must be trouble let it be in my day, that my child may have peace.
      Thomas Paine
      Fear is temporary, regret is forever
      HH210 w S.G.
      Victor/Uniweld O/P
      Dewalt Chop Saw

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      • #4
        Run a weld bead around the inside circumference like you'd do with a bearing race.
        Trailblazer 302 * Millermatic 212 * Syncrowave 180SD * X-Treme 12VS Feeder * Spoolmate 3035
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        • #5
          I wasn't really planning on asking her, since I have been tasked with getting this motor home restored for her hobby, not mine I was looking at the little 12 ton press NT has on sale, but I wonder if my A-Arm will even clear the bottom support or I suppose I could stand the whole a-arm up under the ram and pushing through both sides. I have heard of people bending their a-arms that way (ouch).

          http://www.northerntool.com/webapp/w...029&in_merch=1

          The 20 ton is a much nicer unit, but a whole lot more.
          Lincoln 175HD
          Miller Thunderbolt AC/DC
          Smith AW1, Dillon (Henrob) Mark III & Smith Quickbraze Little Torch

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Zrexxer View Post
            Run a weld bead around the inside circumference like you'd do with a bearing race.
            Hmmm. I remember reading about that here now. I guess the theory is that the weld will cool and contract the metal, but this thing is about 2" long, so do you think the metal will have anywhere to go? Worth a try perhaps.
            Lincoln 175HD
            Miller Thunderbolt AC/DC
            Smith AW1, Dillon (Henrob) Mark III & Smith Quickbraze Little Torch

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            • #7
              Just run several beads lengthwise down the inside of the bushing, they'll do the same thing.
              *** Disclaimer ***

              As I have no wish to toy with anybody's life, I suggest you take this and all other posts with a certain amount of skepticism. Carefully evaluate, and if necessary, research on your own any suggestions or advice you might pick up here, especially those from my posts, as I obviously haven't the skill and experience exhibited by some of the more illustrious and more successful members of this forum. I'm not responsible for anything I say, as I drank toxic water when young.

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              • #8
                Shipping to me on the east coast is ~$100.
                It's common to remove the bushings with an air hammer, but you can't use it to install them. Get a press locally, and do it yourself.
                You'll have to get a good selection of big sockets, or pipe pieces to support the control arm while you press in the new bushings. It will be tricky.
                Challenger 172
                Thermal Arc 185TSW

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                • #9
                  Assemble a hack saw with the blade on the inside and cut a slot in it. I dont know if its mild steel or not so this may not work. If I was me, I'd torch a slot in them and peel 'em out. Maybe take it to a weld shop and have them torch the slot and then you peel it out. Shouldnt take too long or cost you more than their minimum....

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                  • #10
                    I've done them with the hacksaw, and it works great. Mind your cut so you just don't keep on cutting after the bushing has been pierced. I didn't try the weld bead, but, heck I will next time, the, if that does not work, its the hacksaw as the backup! New ones go in SOOO much easier than the old came out. Clean the bore up real nice, and put some lube in it, then "choke" the new busing in a bolt/washer fit-up and it'll g right in...but be sure you don't get it going crooked...but managing that A Arm at the press (plus buying the press) might all be avoided by...pulling them in with a long, big, thick bolt, and heavy washers on the ends. Might even go to an impact wrench, but it never has been necessary. The bolt works slick, and is easier to handle than the press.
                    Do not put poly bushings in...they squeak, and will drive you nuts.
                    Have fun with it!
                    "Good Enough Never Is"

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                    • #11
                      Mark/index the parts before you start. Clamp center piece in vice (not a arm but the round rod). Remove end nuts. Air chisel with straight and curved muffler cutters work for me to remove them. Cut, push and drive them out. Drive them out straight or they bind a little. No press needed for install. Support ear of a arm in slighly open vise so you can drive the new one in without bending the ear. Clean and lube the hole, choose a socket that fits over the bushing's rubber center and onto the metal surrounding it. A tight fit just surrounding the rubber is best. Drive bushing in with big hammer. Remember, support the ear so it is not bent. Next, install the center piece through the first bushing you just drove in. Make sure your index marks are lined up. Turn the a arm over and drive the other in. Again, support the ear on open vise jaws. Done. Takes 30 minutes once you do a couple.

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                      • #12
                        I recently had to replace the leaf spring bushings on a 1961 Ford F100 unibody. I tried evrything, fighting to get the first one out. Finally using a sawzall to slice the outer sleeve into quarters making sure to only cut the sleeve. Once that was done they were easily knocked out with a cold chisel. I am sure this method would work on a-arm bushings as well.
                        measure once,cut twice,beat to fit, paint to match

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by mynameisnobody View Post
                          I recently had to replace the leaf spring bushings on a 1961 Ford F100 unibody. I tried evrything, fighting to get the first one out. Finally using a sawzall to slice the outer sleeve into quarters making sure to only cut the sleeve. Once that was done they were easily knocked out with a cold chisel. I am sure this method would work on a-arm bushings as well.
                          It was pretty late when I got back on it last night, so I didn't want to break out the welder, but I did do some cutting with the hacksaw. Its that "making sure to cut only the sleeve" that is tricky, but the method does work. I didn't cut all the way through, but I have one almost completely out using a giant ball joint "C clamp" from the AutoZone loaner tool program,

                          http://www.autozone.com/in_our_store...oint_press.htm

                          and only have 3 to go. At least with that tool used on one busing at a time, there is no danger of spreading the A-Arm and not being able to get it back on.

                          I have also decided that picking up some fine thread all thread and some nuts and washers in as large a diameter as I can get in there is probably a better way to go than the hydraulic press, since there isn't much room to get by the A-arm itself. Even the ball joint tool is a bit too big to work with easily. The problem is trying to find all-thread that isn't that wimpy steel with large thread pattern that they sell at HD.

                          I don't think I can get my HH 140 gun inside to do much welding, and haven't tried with a stick rod yet.
                          Last edited by smyrna5; 11-13-2007, 09:59 AM.
                          Lincoln 175HD
                          Miller Thunderbolt AC/DC
                          Smith AW1, Dillon (Henrob) Mark III & Smith Quickbraze Little Torch

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                          • #14
                            Hi smyrna5,

                            You got a lot of good info to do on the "cheap" (vise and sockets), but do you realize they make a tool to press these things on and off while it is still on the car? It looks like a modified "C" clamp with assorted cups.

                            HTH,

                            Seth

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                            • #15
                              I saw a trick at a tire shop a few years back where they gave things a quick blast with propane ( if I remember correctly) sure made things come apart a lot easier. Mind you it wasn't motor home a-arm bushings it was on a car I believe I was working on, but it took a lot of the work out of it. I had fought them for quite awhile before taking them to the tire shop.

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