Suspension Front lower control arm bushing replacement

JohnG

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Mar 21, 2020
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I am planning on replacing my front LCA bushings, since they are original and the car is close over 275K miles on it. I did the ball joint maybe 8 years ago, so they are good. Has anyone done this successfully? I can find the bushings and understand the process of removing them, but want to know the process of properly pressing the new ones in and getting the dimensions correct. It looks from pictures that they are not pressed in flush. Is this correct? I know I can buy new LCA assemblies, but I want to keep the car as original as possible. Any thoughts or suggestions?

Also, do I need a spring compressor or will the spring release with the LCA at its lowest position/angle?
 

nickyb

WAIT,you now have a pair?
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I did mine a few years back, got urethane bushings and used existing shells. I just used a drill bit to go around the old rubber bushing and they fell out,then a wire brush wheel on drill to clean the shells. The new ones slide right in no problemo for years of daily driving.
So easy I recently did my rear diff. Uppers, got them from cj pony parts.
 

TIGGER

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I did a set for my wife’s sn95 last year. I replaced them with rubber like the originals. Before I did anything I made spacers out of some scrap pipe to keep the flanges from bending in while I was pressing them out and in. Worked good. Took some trial and error on the spacers though. I cut them big and shaved them down till they fit snug.

I used a ball joint kit to r &r the bushings along with my impact.
 
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JohnG

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Mar 21, 2020
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Thanks for your input. I am hesitant to use poly bushings, for one, I have read where the red ones will disintegrate with time, and secondly, I don't want the ride to be any more harsh. I don't track the car, and don't push her hard... much... anymore...

I did find an installation sheet from MOOG (https://www.rockauto.com/genImages/11/AXCF2716.pdf) which states I need a 5/32" gap from the flange to the arm. This answers one of my concerns. I found a washer on eBay with the dimensions I need. I'll cut one side out to make a 'U' and slide it over the bushing as a shim. I also have scrap and a welder, so making an anti-crush spacer is no problem. I was even thinking of welding it in to fully box the end, but probably won't. The spacer should suffice.

I have also read that I need an internal spring compressor for stock springs. Has this been your experience?
 

manicmechanic007

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They are pretty easy to install and the Ford tools just press them in
The collars Ford sent did not fit perfectly and had to be modified anyway
A big bolt and some sockets and washers and or using bearing races works
A lot of energy in those springs
Just be careful lowering the A arms down and removing the springs
 

TIGGER

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Boxing the control arms should make things easier. I didn't want the ride to get any harsher either so I went with rubber as my wifes car was already lowered. Years ago I put urethane bushing in my 67 coupe, and the ride difference was quite noticeable. Unfortunately I have never put stock springs back in any of my cars once I have removed the original springs so I cannot comment. But I would think it would not need much compressing to get them back in.
 

Willybill32

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Jul 16, 2019
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A friend helped replace the LCA bushings on my ‘86 last summer. AutoZone has a kit for removing and replacing the bushings, but the front and rear bushings are different diameters, and one worked OK with the AutoZone kit and one did not. We did the ball joints and tie rod ends at the same time, so it would have been easier, but more expensive, to just take the arms to a shop with all the correct tools.
 

joncash

just high enough to be functional
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I did a set of Energy Suspension bushings on my old ‘90 and it’s not a bad job, but I did have access to a real press at the time. A torch was used to heat up the stock sleeves until the rubber started burning, then you just push the blob of rubber out like it’s a marshmallow. The excess mess cleaned out easily with a wire brush.

Getting the new ones in was definitely simple with a hydraulic press, so I doubt it would be expensive if you brought the arms to a shop to have it done. Lastly, the car wasn’t any harsher than it already was after switching from rubber to urethane, and with urethane you can leave the metal sleeve in the arm so the position stays the same as it was from factory.
 

John Dirks Jr

there is enough sticking out to grab on to
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JohnG

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Mar 21, 2020
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Thanks for the replies. I have watched the poly bushing installs on YouTube, and they look fairly simple. I am trying to keep this car as close to stock as possible. I bought it new, and really like the way it runs and handles. Lots of people sell the complete A-arms, but I have had quite a bit of trouble with the quality of aftermarket parts recently. Also, I am a glutton for punishment. I consider it a matter of pride for fixing, rather than replacing. I did received the MOOG bushings last week and will plan on swapping them out soon. I think I will be renting an internal spring compressor and a ball joint press. I used the press to replace the ball joints many years ago, and it worked well. I am not planning on changing the ball joints in this go, but that depends on how they look when I get in to it.
 

manicmechanic007

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