Removing front control arms

tsemmett

Member
Jul 2, 2019
80
11
18
36
US
Any tips and/or trick to removing the front control arm bolts? They appear to be free from the bushing, but they're in an awkward position and I can't seem to get an impact on them (I have to see if I have a 1/2" impact u joint). Plus the steering rack is in the way of the front set. I'm really hoping I don't have to mess with that...
 
  • Sponsors (?)


MattMan02GT

Member
Jul 24, 2018
74
5
18
30
Albany, NY
Just went through this a few months ago myself. The steering rack does need to come out, but first unbolt the steering shaft from the rack on the rack end and slide it off. Then take off the steering rack and slide it forward. Support it so you don't stress your hydraulic lines. I did not need a u joint socket, used and impact on one end and breaker bar on the other, then tapped the bolt out with a hammer.

BE CAREFUL of your coil spring if you aren't using a spring compressor. They have enough force on them to kill or seriously injure you. What is your plan for safely removing the pressure?
 

tsemmett

Member
Jul 2, 2019
80
11
18
36
US
Oh it's already stripped down to the control arms on both sides. I finished that yesterday evening and was trying to decide a plan of attack on the control arm bolts. Easing down a floor jack under the control arm dealt with the springs carefully enough (while standing in front of the car, just in case).

Thanks for the advice, I was wondering if I could just move the steering rack forward enough to get to it. I'm really not interested in messing with the hydraulic lines right now.
 

MattMan02GT

Member
Jul 24, 2018
74
5
18
30
Albany, NY
Okay perfect, I'm glad you already knew the jack trick for letting the springs down.

You don't need to disconnect the hydraulic lines. Unbolt the steering shaft (1 bolt) and take the steering rack bolts (2) out. Slide the rack forward and support it so you can get the front control arm bolts out.

Now is a good time to replace the steering rack bushings with some poly ones to take some slop out of your steering. Removing the rack is one of the easier parts of this job, just be careful of the lines
 

tsemmett

Member
Jul 2, 2019
80
11
18
36
US
I actually hadn't planned on it, but now that I look at the Prothane kit description, I think I already have steering rack bushings (it's a large kit, and I haven't looked at it in months). So, that may happen while I'm at it. I'm sure the 20+ year old factory ones could use a break.
 

MattMan02GT

Member
Jul 24, 2018
74
5
18
30
Albany, NY
If you bought the huge kit then yes hopefully you already have it and you're going to have it removed anyway. I felt the difference in mine bc I did those after the control arms. My driver's side was starting to break apart.
 

tsemmett

Member
Jul 2, 2019
80
11
18
36
US
Random question: Did you have any difficulty getting the new bushings in? The smaller control arm bushings went in fine, but the larger ones seem to be too big. The smaller lip at the start doesn't even fit in the sleeve. I even tried freezing the bushing and heating the sleeve.
 

MattMan02GT

Member
Jul 24, 2018
74
5
18
30
Albany, NY
Sorry I can't help you much with that, but hopefully someone else will chime in who has pressed the bushings! My ball joints were shot and both control arm bushings were starting to crack, so I just replaced both arms with new Moog sets because the price wasn't much more than buying all the parts separately and fighting with a press.
 

tsemmett

Member
Jul 2, 2019
80
11
18
36
US
Gotcha. I'm hoping I don't have to fight a press; these are polyurethane bushings that are supposed to reuse the old sleeves. I've got a line out to Prothane, so we'll see. Thanks anyway!
 

tsemmett

Member
Jul 2, 2019
80
11
18
36
US
Looks like this car had hydro bushings (which I read were only on Cobras), which have a second metal insert. Popped it out and the new bushings fit in just fine.
 

MattMan02GT

Member
Jul 24, 2018
74
5
18
30
Albany, NY
Aren't Cobra's supposed to have lower friction ball joints and a slightly wider track? I didn't know about the hydro bushings, but good to hear you got it figured out and replaced. Is the car back together or still in the process?
 

tsemmett

Member
Jul 2, 2019
80
11
18
36
US
I've never seen a Cobra specific control arm or K-Member, so I'm assuming they run the same track width. Not sure on ball joints; I popped a set of Moog ones in mine.

It's definitely still in progress; I've been cleaning/painting/degreasing everything until last night. Most of the passenger side is in, tonight will hopefully be the driver side. But, I still have the rear to do after this (not going quite as far with it though). Too many projects, not enough time, ya know?
 

MattMan02GT

Member
Jul 24, 2018
74
5
18
30
Albany, NY
Oh I hear you there on too many projects lol, but it sounds like you're well on your way and are doing the job right. You should feel quite a difference going down the road now if the rest of your bushings are original. It sounds like you plan on doing a couple in the rear control arms as well?
 

tsemmett

Member
Jul 2, 2019
80
11
18
36
US
Yeah. I have a set of MMR lower control arms, as well as shocks and springs for the rear. Probably not messing with the upper control arms yet; I'm considering moving to a 3 link/panhard setup. I hate the way that rear end feels now; maybe LCAs will be enough. We'll see.
 

tsemmett

Member
Jul 2, 2019
80
11
18
36
US
Did you run into issues getting the power steering rack to seat correctly? Mine's about half an inch too low on the pass side, and it seems to be hitting the oil pan when I try to work it upwards. Wondering if I have worn motor mounts (not unlikely).
 

MattMan02GT

Member
Jul 24, 2018
74
5
18
30
Albany, NY
No, I didn't hit the oil pan at all. Hopefully this picture helps you see the alignment. Don't mind what the PO did to the bottom of the radiator support :rolleyes: . Did have a chance to try jacking up the motor slightly?
633302
 

tsemmett

Member
Jul 2, 2019
80
11
18
36
US
I did attempt to raise it, but only from the front. I considered going further back and trying from the larger rear portion (behind the K member), but it was raining and I had a brake caliper to repair (tore the rubber sleeve for the upper pin on one side). I'll look at it more tonight/tomorrow, depending on the weather. Thanks!
 

MattMan02GT

Member
Jul 24, 2018
74
5
18
30
Albany, NY
Okay good luck and keep us posted. If that motor mount is indeed that shot I guess you have one more thing to add to the replacement list. I've heard it's common to have broken motor/transmission mounts on these cars, so it wouldn't be a huge surprise (unfortunately).
 

tsemmett

Member
Jul 2, 2019
80
11
18
36
US
Oh I figured motor mounts at some point. 21 year old car pushing 200k... Probably not right now though, still seriously considering a 4V swap (NPI 2V isn't exactly powerful these days), so I'd do it then. I know the transmission mount is pretty worn; couldn't find a new one locally when we did the clutch though.