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Installing new bushings in Upper A-Arm

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  • Steering: Installing new bushings in Upper A-Arm

    Hi guys. I've noticed deterioration in the bushings of the upper inner A-Arm, in particular, the left side. Rubber is cracked and I think they should be replaced. Looking at their placement it doesn't look like an overwhelming job. But, is it? The manual makes it sound like a convoluted task requiring special tools etc.. The front-end shop will be doing the work. But before ordering the bushings, it would be nice to know how time consuming and/or difficult the job is.
    Can anyone give me an idea? A big thanks in advance! (This is a '59 Silver Hawk)
    Dave D.
    '51 "Bulletnose" Champion
    '59 "Silver Hawk" V8

    Smithers, B.C. "Where a Stude in hand is worth two in the bush"

  • #2
    Clark posted a great article in his blog on rebuilding the front end. A worthwhile read in my opinion. http://studeblogger.blogspot.com/200...uild-pt-1.html
    59 Lark wagon, now V-8, H.D. auto!
    60 Lark convertible V-8 auto
    61 Champ 1/2 ton 4 speed
    62 Champ 3/4 ton 5 speed o/drive
    62 Champ 3/4 ton auto
    62 Daytona convertible V-8 4 speed & 62 Cruiser, auto.
    63 G.T. Hawk R-2,4 speed
    63 Avanti (2) R-1 auto
    64 Zip Van
    66 Daytona Sport Sedan(327)V-8 4 speed
    66 Cruiser V-8 auto

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    • #3
      I bought a bushing driver tool, it looks like a "c" clamp. Sooo much easier than the shop manual method! It took me a half an hour to press out the old bushings and press in the new ones.

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      • #4
        I used the same tool. Putting the new ones in was easy. Getting the old ones out...not so much. The mentioned front end rebuild article helped a lot.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by brian6373 View Post
          I bought a bushing driver tool, it looks like a "c" clamp. Sooo much easier than the shop manual method! It took me a half an hour to press out the old bushings and press in the new ones.
          Brian, Could you post a pic of that tool? One of those just may go into my "must have" tools' box. Many of us have came up with make-shift means to get those bushings out, but if there's a tool out there specifically designed for the job, I'd like to at least take a look at it.

          Thanks,
          Joe

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          • #6
            I just completed changing all of a frame bushings in my Packard.
            I took all four a frames to my local auto parts store who still have a machine shop.
            They charged me $5.00 apiece to remove the old bushings and install the new bushings. I purchased the lower bushings from them but they couldn't locate the uppers.
            sigpic1957 Packard Clipper Country Sedan

            "There's nothing stronger than the heart of a volunteer"
            Lt. Col. Jimmy Doolittle
            "I have a great memory for forgetting things" Number 1 son, Lee Chan

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            • #7
              I am looking forward to doing upper A-arm bushings on my '64 Lark convertible. Not fun. I have a set of Delrin bushings to install, but getting the old ones out will be the tough part. Here is what I plan to do. (car is on a 4-post hoist)
              1. place jack stand under outer end of lower A-arm.
              2. unscrew upper outer bushings.
              3. remove bolts holding upper inner shaft to frame (may have to remove shock, but I have some oddball wrenches).
              4. remove upper A-arm from car.
              5. pry rubber out of bushings (one is gone already)
              6. carefully use cutting torch to slit outer bushing shells, which lets them nearly FALL out
              7. remove outer bushing shells, and inner shaft, taking care to mark which way it faced the frame
              8. remove inner sleeves, which is usually easy
              9. install new Delrin bushings, grease them, and put red Loctite on screws and tighten them (no preload issues with Delrin)
              10. reassemble control arm to car, using spreader on outboard end when replacing outer bushings

              That's the gist of it. Of course, I may find issues with wear in the outer bushings, or even the king pins, so sometimes the work multiplies itself.
              Gord Richmond, within Weasel range of the Alberta Badlands

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              • #8
                Hi Joe, here's some pictures of the bushing driver tool that I have. Click image for larger version

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ID:	1691195 The only problem I had was the driver adapter isn't quite small enough to press out the upper inner bushing as easily as pressing the lower inner bushing was. Otherwise it still was a lot easier than using the shop press and having to use braces to keep the control arm from being distorted.

                Brian

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                • #9
                  Brian, that looks a lot like what I used as well. Not expensive; does the job!

                  Clark in San Diego | '63 Standard (F2) "Barney" | http://studeblogger.blogspot.com

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                  • #10
                    I've found to remove old bushings from A-arms a air chisel works great. Just get on the inside and hit it with the bit and they slide right out.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by brian6373 View Post
                      Hi Joe, here's some pictures of the bushing driver tool that I have. [ATTACH=CONFIG]36009[/ATTACH][ATTACH=CONFIG]36010[/ATTACH][ATTACH=CONFIG]36011[/ATTACH] The only problem I had was the driver adapter isn't quite small enough to press out the upper inner bushing as easily as pressing the lower inner bushing was. Otherwise it still was a lot easier than using the shop press and having to use braces to keep the control arm from being distorted.

                      Brian
                      Thanks,
                      Having changed more than a few of those bushings, this looks like a "must have" on hand before tackling the next Stude front end. Despite proclamations each time I finish a Stude front end (that I will never do another one), there's always another one somewhere down the road.
                      Thanks Again,
                      Joe

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                      • #12
                        I've found that a little heat from my map gas torch makes the bushing come out much easier. I use an air impact to turn the press screw on removal and installations both. When you are installing the bushings you have to be sure it's going in straight on the pin and lined up with the other bushing. I have used an air chisel in the past to remove the frame spring bushings. I'm not sure that there is enough room to use this tool for that operation. These sell from about 25 bucks to over 200, depending on where you get it and how complete the kit is. The high-end ones come with many more drivers than the one I have.

                        Brian

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