Constant use of control arm bushings subjects them to wear and tear. When this happens, it will be difficult to handle the car and you can experience shaking, especially when you hit the brakes or make a turn. It is even possible to experience throbbing in the steering wheel if you increase the car speed. Thus, it will be much better if you replace your control arm bushings as soon as you possibly can. Here’s how to get the job done.
Step 1 - Take off the Wheels
To enable you to install control arm bushings, take off the wheels first by taking off the hubcaps and then loosening the bolts in the front wheels.
Step 2 - Place Jack Stands
It will be difficult to work if you do not bring your car up. Use the floor jack to bring the front part of the car up and place the jack stands under strong frame supports. When you do so, make sure that they are properly secured so that the car will not suddenly go down while you are working.
Step 3 - Remove the Wheels and the Nuts
Take out the wheels and set them aside. Next, remove the nuts in the sway bar drop link. Remove the bolts in the rear control arm bushing brackets as well as those in the inner and outer ball joints. The latter will require some work before they can be removed. Use a splitter tool to remove the outer ball joints or you can simply punch them.
Step 4 - Take out the Lower Control Arm
When you are in the process of removing the lower control arm, be sure to keep them in the exact adjustment that they are set. Remove the control arm, including the shims, if it uses one, and place them on the ground together. This is to make it easier to place them back the way they were removed. If it uses an eccentric instead, be sure to remember where the position is by marking them.
Step 5 - Remove the Control Arm Bushings
Take off the steel brackets from your control arms. Cut the steel ring of your old control arm bushings but do not go through the steel brackets. Bend the steel ring and hammer out the old control arm bushings to get them out of the bracket.
Step 6 - Center the New Control Arm Bushings on the Bracket
Align the bushings to the marks on the bracket and secure them into place by using a shop press or a bench vice.
Step 7 - Install the Control Arm Bushings
Make sure that you do this fast because the bushings will stick to the control arm. Warm the bushings and lubricate them with liquid dish soap, then put them into place.
Step 8 - Place Everything Back
Put back all the components that you have removed – the lower control arm, bolts and nuts, and the wheels.