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Thread: DIY: Just Another Lower Control Arm Bushing Swap

  1. #1
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    DIY: Just Another Lower Control Arm Bushing Swap

    Well, after seeing the toe on my car changing +/- one inch when applying a torque wrench to my lug bolts, I realized my front lower control arm bushings were shot. I ordered some '95 M3 units and installed them. Here is my story.... :12:

    As always, do this at your own risk. If you don't feel up to the task, don't do it! And use common sense and be safe about it. Consider this my legal disclaimer.

    Tommy
    Last edited by Tommy R; 02-28-2004 at 09:38 AM.

  2. #2
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    STEP 1: Look at your current LCA bushing and curse it for being so inferior.....
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    STEP 2: Remove the LCA "lollipop" mounting bolts. I believe they're 16mm. I used an impact because I'm a manly man.
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  4. #4
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    Now the lollipop is free from the chassis, but how to get it off of the LCA?
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    STEP 3: It's simple! Just use your trusty gear puller like so....

    EDIT: It makes things MUCH easier if you take a punch and pop a centering hole on the end of the LCA to locate the tip of the gear puller. Trust me on this!
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    Last edited by Tommy R; 02-29-2004 at 12:27 AM.

  6. #6
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    Unless in perfect shape, the bushing will probably tear at this point, leaving a lollipop looking something like this...
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  7. #7
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    So use your gear puller again to get the remaining part of the bushing off the LCA. I used the two prong verision of my gear puller for this part. You could also use it for the outer part, i.e. the lollipop. I realized this when doing the second bushing.
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  8. #8
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    Comes off like a charm......
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  9. #9
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    STEP 4: Now put the lollipop with remaining bushing into your vice and bust out your trusty air saw and cut two slots in the outer bushing lining from the inside of the lollipop, but be sure not to damage the lollipop! You could also use a hacksaw, but that's kind of girly.... So do that at your own discretion. :12:
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  10. #10
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    The slots should come out looking something like this.... But, be sure not to cut into the lollipop!
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  11. #11
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    Now take out your hammer and chisel and start smacking the bajeezus out of the bushing lining where you cut the slots.... It helps to get mad for this. Just think of your first girlfriend and how she screwed you over. I can't believe she slept with the whole football team! What a ho! Huh?!? Oh, is this thing still on? Uh..... Sorry! Let's get back to work, shall we? :12:
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  12. #12
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    With some gentle persuasion, the remaining bushing lining will come out...
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  13. #13
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    Now express your love one last time for that crappy old bushing...
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    STEP 5: Now to install the M3 bushing. There's an arrow on the bushing that needs to line up with a marking on the lollipop. To make this job easier, I drew a line on the bushing to make it easier to see. Line up the bushing and get it started into the lollipop by lightly tapping it with a small sledge.
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  15. #15
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    Put the bushing back into your vice like this and crank on it. You'll notice that the bushing will not go in as far as required because it will only go as far as being flush with the lollipop. I put some washers (or use any hard spacer) between the lollipop and the vice to allow some room for the bushing to press through. But, only let the bushing go through far enough to that it'll be centered in the lollipop!


    I used my jack handle to get leverage since my vice is rather wimpy. Oh, the shame....
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    Last edited by Tommy R; 02-28-2004 at 10:27 AM.

  16. #16
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    Notice how the bushing arrows and lollipop marking are lined up.
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    STEP 6: Now to install the new bushing and lollipop! Clean off the LCA with a wire brush.....and be sure never to mistake this thing for your toothbrush after a long night of slamming shots. Ask me how I know... They don't call me "Bleeding Gums Murphy" just 'cause I'm a Simpsons fan! :12:
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  18. #18
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    Bust out your favorite dish washing soap (I'm partial to Dawn :12: ) and lube up the inside of the bushing....... A LOT! Use some water to get it penetrating. Uh...huh huh....I said penetrate!
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    Last edited by Tommy R; 02-28-2004 at 10:28 AM.

  19. #19
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    And don't forget lube for the LCA!
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  20. #20
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    You can use a custom tool like Chris did at understeer.com to draw the bushing into position and that's what I was planning on doing. But, I cut my two pieces of all-thread too short. Next time I'll remember to make them longer than 12"! So, I just manhandled them and got them on. What a beyotch!! I found putting them on part way, removing, relubing, and re-trying worked best for me.

    Once the bushing is on the LCA, bolt it back up. I think the spec is 34 ft-lbs. for the bolts. Now go forth and enjoy your new bushings! Well, after the car has set for awhile. I waited overnight, just to make sure everything would be seated pretty well. Washing with some water to rinse away excess soap residue is also a good idea.

    And there you have it! Hope y'all find it useful!
    Tommy
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  21. #21
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    Great detailed write up!

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    Great write up as usual Tommy! Keep up the great work. By the time you're done all my stuff will be new as well.

  23. #23
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  24. #24
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    Those are some of the best pictures I've seen for this proceedure. Great job, but you should try to improve your choice of beer!

    :::
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  25. #25
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    entertaining as much as it is informing!

    my 1st write-up reading of yours... might just have to search and read your others (even if i already did the job, i could use a good laugh or 2)
    bf.c common-sense club of america member #3

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