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Old 08-03-2014, 03:12 PM   #1
AndrewNance
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Default 140 control arm bushing replacement

I'm trying to replace all of the rotten bushings on this '71 but the upper control arm has me stumped. How do you even begin to press the bushings out with that control arm shaft in there?
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Old 08-03-2014, 05:02 PM   #2
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The procedure in the greenbook calls for spreading the arm enough to get a heavy slotted washer between the shaft and bushing, then using a soft hammer to drive the shaft and bushing out. It looks like a rear axle "C" clip might work. I use an air hammer with a dull chisel bit to carefully drive the bushing out by the flange.

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Old 08-03-2014, 07:11 PM   #3
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Yeah I saw that earlier on k-jet.org but I don't have any useful tools for the job. I thought there was a chance it would go smoothly because I actually put poly bushings in the front of the 122 about a month ago and I didn't need any special tools or a press. They were replaced about two years ago though so I guess that counts for something. Once I got into this car it became obvious that this thing has never been taken apart. I thought I'd be able to do the bushings and throw it back together but the ball joints that came off were scary bad so now I'm basically rebuilding the whole front end.

What if I just send them out to you? I can't find anyone local that I trust not to bend them all to hell. I need the lowers done too. I have all the bushings.
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Old 08-03-2014, 07:27 PM   #4
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If that's what you want to do, sure send them. Shipping won't be cheap though.
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Old 08-03-2014, 07:35 PM   #5
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That's cool. PM me a price for the work + shipping back to me and an address and I'll get them out this week.
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Old 06-04-2020, 10:23 PM   #6
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Not to bump a long-dead thread, however, this is the first link on google and is the only one that remotely discusses the procedure.
I'm getting ready to do this job on the 145 and found these two videos that other searchers may find useful.


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Old 06-05-2020, 08:54 AM   #7
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The process is similar to any old car with A-arms for the upper fronts. Most GM's used this set up for years.
This is basically the same process I used to remove & install mine.
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Old 07-14-2020, 11:36 AM   #8
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I will continue to drag this thread back into the present:

After watching these videos and reading the Phil Singher how-to (for Amazon/1800), I'm wondering how much of a press is needed for these, and if hammering them in is an option. I've got a cheesy 1-ton arbor press but it doesn't have the vertical capacity to fit the whole arm.

If hammering is a no-go, I'll probably drop it all of at Vol-Tech, but as always I am a cheepskate so would prefer to do it myself.
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Old 07-14-2020, 02:29 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by svinkle View Post
I will continue to drag this thread back into the present:

After watching these videos and reading the Phil Singher how-to (for Amazon/1800), I'm wondering how much of a press is needed for these, and if hammering them in is an option. I've got a cheesy 1-ton arbor press but it doesn't have the vertical capacity to fit the whole arm.

If hammering is a no-go, I'll probably drop it all of at Vol-Tech, but as always I am a cheepskate so would prefer to do it myself.
I would not hammer them in.
I have the Harbor Freight ball joint / bushing kit and an add-on kit of additional bushing fittings. This will last me well past my lifetime and did this without any issues.
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Old 07-14-2020, 04:34 PM   #10
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I would not hammer them in.
I have the Harbor Freight ball joint / bushing kit and an add-on kit of additional bushing fittings. This will last me well past my lifetime and did this without any issues.
Thanks for confirming that. I got the feeling hammering was a big no-no.

Is this the tool you used?

And this set of additional adapters?
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Old 07-14-2020, 05:03 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by svinkle View Post
Thanks for confirming that. I got the feeling hammering was a big no-no.

Is this the tool you used?

And this set of additional adapters?
Those are the sets I have.
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Old 07-15-2020, 05:18 AM   #12
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If you're going to spend the $ on those two items, why not get a heavier duty tool for about the same price?

https://www.harborfreight.com/12-ton...ydraulic+press

I don't think that c-clamp style would have been strong enough when I did my bushings.
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Old 07-15-2020, 05:50 AM   #13
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My wee 4 tonne press struggled with pushing out the ball joints and I had to use heat as well. Mine is like this: https://www.machinemart.co.uk/p/clar...c-bench-press/

When pressing the bushes out just use a 7/8 open ended spanner as the spacer on the top wishbone. What you have to be very careful with is when pressing in the new bushes; make sure you have a spacer made that fits snuggly between the arms so you don’t bend the wishbone arms.
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Old 07-15-2020, 08:36 AM   #14
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C-clamp in a vice, 1/2" impact, I think it took a 15/16" socket, no issues whatsoever. You'd be surprised how easy the ball joints & bushing came out.
But, without an air impact, you are probably correct. Unless you get a giant-ass breaker bar, or put some pipe on one to get some real leverage. Once the bond "pops", then a regular old ratchet should work.
You have to be careful not to bend the arms with a hydraulic press.
The only bushings it didn't work for were the rear control arms. I cut / drilled / burned / summoned Satan to get the old ones out, then made a tool to press in the new poly bushings.

Here's some before & after pics of the lower a-arm, done with the China Freight tool:






Last edited by sksmith; 07-15-2020 at 08:44 AM..
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Old 07-15-2020, 12:22 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alschnertz View Post
If you're going to spend the $ on those two items, why not get a heavier duty tool for about the same price?

https://www.harborfreight.com/12-ton...ydraulic+press

I don't think that c-clamp style would have been strong enough when I did my bushings.
I thought about that but I'd still have to figure out adapters, receiving cups, etc. Unless Y'all say I can do it with regular sockets.

I just bought a set that's similar to the HF tool but cheaper from Amazon . Hopefully between the included adapters and my selection of sockets, I can make it work.

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Originally Posted by sksmith View Post
C-clamp in a vice, 1/2" impact, I think it took a 15/16" socket, no issues whatsoever. You'd be surprised how easy the ball joints & bushing came out.
But, without an air impact, you are probably correct. Unless you get a giant-ass breaker bar, or put some pipe on one to get some real leverage. Once the bond "pops", then a regular old ratchet should work.
You have to be careful not to bend the arms with a hydraulic press.
The only bushings it didn't work for were the rear control arms. I cut / drilled / burned / summoned Satan to get the old ones out, then made a tool to press in the new poly bushings.

Here's some before & after pics of the lower a-arm, done with the China Freight tool:

I have an air impact, so hopefully the C-clamp tool works. My ball joints actually look really good (intact boots that look relatively fresh) so I'm hoping I can disassemble everything without f'ing them up. If I find out they're crunchy, I'll get new ones and have the tools to swap them.

That photo reminds me of the fully rebuilt, painted, and assembled front crossmember and rear end that a TB'er was selling Oregon for like $500 a couple years ago. Wish I had pulled the trigger on that.
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Old 07-17-2020, 09:26 AM   #16
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It’s really easy if you just mail them to California. Opening the beer can was the hardest part
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Old 07-17-2020, 09:37 AM   #17
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Quote:
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It’s really easy if you just mail them to California. Opening the beer can was the hardest part
That's the smart and easy thing to do, not the fun thing to do.
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Old 07-17-2020, 01:20 PM   #18
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Quote:
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It’s really easy if you just mail them to California. Opening the beer can was the hardest part
You’re right... this will probably be a classic $.17/hour job, where it would’ve been smarter, easier, and maybe even cheaper to mail them off.
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Old 07-17-2020, 01:22 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by vwbusman66 View Post
That's the smart and easy thing to do, not the fun thing to do.
Yeah, it’s more of a satisfaction thing than fun for me. Rear end bushings were super easy and kind of an instant gratification thing. The front will be more challenging for sure.
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Old 07-20-2020, 07:26 PM   #20
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Yeah in my experience the rear is pretty easy. It’s just those front, upper control arms that are a nightmare.
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Old 07-23-2020, 08:12 PM   #21
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Removing bushings with the big c-clamp tool has been easy so far.

Untitled

However, it seems one of the holes in the upper arm has hollowed out to a larger diameter. With the spindle removed, I could shake the upper arm back and forth quite a bit. The new bushing almost slips in easily, so I guess the arm is scrap metal now.

I do have the upper arms from my ‘69. It seems that the -69 arms are different from 70-74, but I can’t tell where the difference is. The bushings are the same, at least according to VP.

'71 on the left, '69 on the right. (Although, knowing this car, the "71" arm might be from an earlier car)
Untitled

Can I just swap them with no ill effects? If so, any thoughts about moving the ball joint from one arm to another? Is putting it through multiple installations asking for trouble?

Last edited by svinkle; 07-23-2020 at 08:23 PM..
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Old 07-23-2020, 08:22 PM   #22
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Also, looks like I've been running cut sprangz. On the left is a stock '69 spring.
Untitled

I've always wondered whether it was lowered. Turns out it is! I have to wonder about how well the cut end plays with the very flat lower arms with no rubber spacer or anything. I'll probably swap in the '69 springs. Any experience with paint that holds up on springs? I'd like to at least clean up the rust.
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Old 07-23-2020, 08:22 PM   #23
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It depends on the whether or not the '69 upper arm has the big or small ball joint. The change was in the middle of the year so it could have either one.



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Old 07-24-2020, 10:07 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hiperfauto View Post
It depends on the whether or not the '69 upper arm has the big or small ball joint. The change was in the middle of the year so it could have either one.
Thanks as always for the info! I guess the '69 was a late production car... the ball joint pins have the same diameter(s), so the arms are essentially identical, right?
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Old 07-24-2020, 11:51 AM   #25
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If it has the large ball joint it's the correct arm. Also, the upper arms are the same left and right so you can use either one.
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