Installing A-arm bushings - Team Camaro Tech
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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old Jul 26th, 03, 04:31 PM Thread Starter
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Location: Twin Cities (MN)
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I recently inquired at the local machine shop about pressing out and in the A-arm bushings and lower ball joints for my 69. They will do it for $8.00 a piece. This is a little more than I want to pay (on a budget). Some guys here have mentioned renting a ball joint press from Auto Zone or something like that. Can anyone elaborate on this? Is it touchy and easily messed up? Also, would the ball joint press also do the bushings? Thanks in advance.

69 LM1, 4 sp, 3:31 Posi, Orange, Deluxe, PS, PB
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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old Jul 26th, 03, 09:36 PM
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pressing in ball joints isnt too bad. as long as they go in straight. if i didnt have my own press, i'd say it is worth the $8.00.
it is definitely worth it for the bushings.
supposedly there are special tools for doing the bushings, but i have never seen anyone use them. only pictures in service manuals.

if the bushings are not seized (which they will be) you might be able to get the second one out, and the first one in with a bj press, but otherwise the control arm shaft will be in the way, and the bj press probably wont have the correct diameter collar you need for bushings anyway.

tools i typically must use for contol arm bushings-
big vice
torch
air hammer w/ chisel
4 lb sledge
excellent pair of channel-lock pliers
hone, file, or emerycloth
different diameters and lengths of wood and tubing for use as press collars, and a spacer to keep the arm from bending.

$8.00 apiece is a small price to pay to not destroy your control arms or new bushings.
the ball joints are easy, esp. with air tools. but you should have a partner to help you hold everything in place while you line up the press and fittings.
the upper ball joints are riveted in origionally (drill out rivets), and the new ones bolt in.
you will need to grease the ball joints before you drive it,
and you will need to tighten the new bushings to specs only After the car is sitting at ride height.
sorry if this isnt the info you're looking for.

If I didn't learn it from my my mentors, I learned it as a result.

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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old Jul 27th, 03, 06:35 AM
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Getting them out can be a trick. An air chisel works wonders.

The ball joint press from AutoZone will work to install the ball joints as well as the lower control arm bushings. Top bushings can be installed, using care, with a vise, large socket (to drive the sleeve in), and a hammer. You can't use the AutoZone press due to the shaft being in the way.

If you decide to tackle it yourself, be sure to use a socket or piece of angle iron to keep from collapsing the sides. You'll also need a piece of pipe or wood to keep the arms from collapsing (side to side).

$8 sounds fair. Drop 'em off, pick 'em up, install. Something to think about.
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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old Jul 27th, 03, 11:00 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the advice. It sounds like it is worth it just to let the machine shop do it.

69 LM1, 4 sp, 3:31 Posi, Orange, Deluxe, PS, PB
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