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Username Post: Lower Control Arm bushing removal        (Topic#146073)
57Pontiac 
Member
Posts: 109
57Pontiac
Loc: Ste-Sophie, QC, Canada
Reg: 07-09-04
12-11-06 05:35 AM - Post#1048572    

Hi guys,

What tool do you use to remove the bushings on the lower control arms?

The tool I used for the upper arms does not fit.

Thanks!
57Pontiac
I know it's a chevy forum, but my car is using Chevy mechanical parts

My 1957 Pontiac Restoration Website


 
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tmsnyder 
Senior Member
Posts: 988
tmsnyder
Loc: Buffalo, NY
Reg: 06-13-06
Re: Lower Control Arm bushing removal
12-11-06 06:19 AM - Post#1048573    
    In response to 57Pontiac

I've heard that an air chisel works well. I used a combination of propane torch heat, PB penetrating oil, hammer and chisel to massage mine out. I can believe that an air chisel would work well.

Use the chisel to dimple the bushing inward like a stove pipe end that's been shrunk to slip into another stove pipe.

While you're tapping it the oil will work into the metal too
'56 Chevy 4dr 210 327ci
'97 GMC K1500 Suburban 6.5TD


 
Old_Longboarder 
Ultra Senior Member
Posts: 12352
Old_Longboarder
Age: 64
Loc: Long Beach Ca, near Vet's...
Reg: 03-28-02
Re: Lower Control Arm bushing removal
12-11-06 07:31 AM - Post#1048574    
    In response to tmsnyder

Air chisels work good if you use a bit with a blunt end.
"The most precious jewels you'll ever have around your neck are the arms of your children."






 
Texas57sedan 
Senior Member
Posts: 527

Loc: Texarkana, Tx
Reg: 12-03-05
Re: Lower Control Arm bushing removal
12-11-06 07:34 AM - Post#1048575    
    In response to tmsnyder

Mine, like everything else were really rusted. I used a 3lb hammer and a new chisel. Removing the bushings was probably the hardest thing I have done so far. I had to chisel off the part that ws through th a-arm. Then I used a pry bar to get it astrted moving. Ron
If you say you can't. You probably won't. www.picturetrail.com/our57chevy


 
57Pontiac 
Member
Posts: 109
57Pontiac
Loc: Ste-Sophie, QC, Canada
Reg: 07-09-04
Re: Lower Control Arm bushing removal
12-11-06 08:01 AM - Post#1048576    
    In response to Texas57sedan

Thanks for your reply.

Isn't there a specific tool for that? I tried to use brute force to remove the bushing on one arm and all I could achieved was to damage the control arm.

There must be some other way...
57Pontiac
I know it's a chevy forum, but my car is using Chevy mechanical parts

My 1957 Pontiac Restoration Website


 
tmsnyder 
Senior Member
Posts: 988
tmsnyder
Loc: Buffalo, NY
Reg: 06-13-06
Re: Lower Control Arm bushing removal
12-11-06 09:27 AM - Post#1048577    
    In response to 57Pontiac

No special tool that I'm aware of. The control arms are so delicate really that you have to be very careful if you try to press them out. I tried both ways.

That's why tapping on them with a regular size hammer (8 oz?) using a chisel works so well. If you keep the chisel on the bushing there's no way to hurt the control arm. Just put the control arm in a vise, spray some oil on it and beat on the bushing. Beat it in to make it smaller, like the end of a stove pipe, in about 10 spots around the bushing on the part that's exposed.

I used a press for half of mine and it was such a PITA with so much risk of bending the arms that I eventually gave up and went back to hammer and chisel. It really doesn't take very long, I did uppers and lowers in about 3 hours.

To put the new bushings back in find a socket that just fits on the lip of the bushing and tap it home. Again, that's another place I believe an air hammer would be nice. Instead of a hundred or so whacks with a hammer, that thing would go in with a couple thousand air driven whacks in just a few seconds!



Quote:

Thanks for your reply.

Isn't there a specific tool for that? I tried to use brute force to remove the bushing on one arm and all I could achieved was to damage the control arm.

There must be some other way...


'56 Chevy 4dr 210 327ci
'97 GMC K1500 Suburban 6.5TD


 
MikeB 
Senior Member
Posts: 9472
MikeB
Loc: Plano, TX
Reg: 08-28-03
Re: Lower Control Arm bushing removal
12-11-06 10:00 AM - Post#1048578    
    In response to 57Pontiac

I gave a mechanic $60 to R&R my bushings with a press. When I picked up the A-arms, he said he should have charged me a lot more. Best money I ever spent.

The shop manual shows special tools, but I don't know where you'd find them anymore.
Real Hot Rods have a Clutch!

1955 210 2dr: 327, Brodix IK180 heads, Jones cam, M20, Wilwood front brakes

1982 C-10 SWB pickup, 250 six, 3-speed

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57Pontiac 
Member
Posts: 109
57Pontiac
Loc: Ste-Sophie, QC, Canada
Reg: 07-09-04
Re: Lower Control Arm bushing removal
12-11-06 10:05 AM - Post#1048579    
    In response to MikeB

Thanks for your replies.

I guess I have no other choice. I'll try the chisel-hammer method and I'll let you know how it went.

Thanks again!
57Pontiac
I know it's a chevy forum, but my car is using Chevy mechanical parts

My 1957 Pontiac Restoration Website


 
bowtiefan 
"6th Year" Silver Supporting Member
Posts: 2058

Loc: Vacaville, CA
Reg: 02-19-04
Re: Lower Control Arm bushing removal
12-11-06 10:35 AM - Post#1048580    
    In response to 57Pontiac

I have the parts, but I haven't done my 57 yet, so I don't know it this will work, but I plan on giving it a try. A friend says on his 63-67 Corvettes, he drills through the rubber part of the bushings (3 or 4 times) which makes it much easier to drive out the rest.
38 & 39 2dr sedan, 41 coupe, 54 convertible, 56 Nomad, 57 210 2dr sdn, 70 Camaro RS, Corvettes; 57, 61, 65 396 coupe, 67 427 convert, 69 & 72 T-top, 88 coupe,91 ZR-1, 07 Z06, 07 Silverado, 09 BMW 135i convert.
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57belairman 
"11th Year" Platinum Supporting Member
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57belairman
Age: 64
Loc: Missouri City Texas USA
Reg: 03-16-02
Re: Lower Control Arm bushing removal
12-11-06 10:42 AM - Post#1048581    
    In response to 57Pontiac

After you get them out (and you will get them out) inspect the control arm for any damage around where the new bushing will go. Be sure to remove any burrs. Smooth the inside with a small round file and some 80 grit paper. Check fit the bushing before you press it in. Use a little grease on the bushing and the control arm so the next guy that changes them will have an eaiser job.
Life is short, Eat dessert first, I always do!!

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56TooManyDoors 
Senior Member
Posts: 414
56TooManyDoors
Age: 64
Loc: Lincoln, Nebraska USA
Reg: 07-12-06
Re: Lower Control Arm bushing removal
12-11-06 10:56 AM - Post#1048582    
    In response to bowtiefan

Quote:

he drills through the rubber part of the bushings (3 or 4 times) which makes it much easier to drive out the rest.




This is also the way I did it.

I know guys that have put the torch to them, after they catch fire... just let the rubber burn out of them. Man... does that stink!
Help me... I'm on the creeper and can't get up! 1956 Chevy 210, 4 door http://www.cardomain.com/ride/2274973 1971 Cutlass Convertible


 
raycow 
Honored Member
Posts: 16884

Loc: San Francisco, CA
Reg: 11-26-02
Re: Lower Control Arm bushing removal
12-11-06 12:51 PM - Post#1048583    
    In response to 57Pontiac

First, get the rubber out any way you can. A hole saw works pretty well and doesn't smell as bad as burning it. Then use a hacksaw blade to very carefully cut a lengthwise groove on the inside of the steel shell. Stop just short of cutting into the control arm. You should then be able to collapse the shell at the cut and it will fall out.

Ray
Live more lightly on the planet. Eat lower on the food chain. Eat vegetarians.


 
Rick_L 
Honored Member
Posts: 25455

Loc: Katy, Tx, USA
Reg: 07-06-00
Re: Lower Control Arm bushing removal
12-11-06 01:09 PM - Post#1048584    
    In response to tmsnyder

"I used a press for half of mine and it was such a PITA with so much risk of bending the arms that I eventually gave up and went back to hammer and chisel. It really doesn't take very long, I did uppers and lowers in about 3 hours."

The shop manual shows a set of tools for both upper and lower arms to keep from bending the arms as you press the bushings out and new ones back in. They are not all that hard to duplicate yourself.

Trouble is, if someone has already replaced the bushings without using these tools, or if the inner bushing shell is rusted to the shaft, things may not go all that well when attempting to press them out. The air hammer can usually take them out without further damage. In some cases you may need to do some straightening as you work the old bushings out.

Once you get the old bushings out, then you can straighten the bushing mounting area as best you can.

Then use the tools to keep from bending/distorting the control arms as you install them with a press. Other methods work too, just don't let the force of putting the bushings back in bend or distort the control arm.

 
george88gta 
"10th Year" Silver Supporting Member
Posts: 1737
george88gta
Loc: new york
Reg: 04-23-03
Re: Lower Control Arm bushing removal
12-11-06 01:33 PM - Post#1048585    
    In response to 57Pontiac

We just did this job on my brothers 1981 Vette. On my 1955 Chevy, the air hammer worked fine. On this Vette, the control arm shaft was so badly rusted to the inner core of the bushing, no amount of pounding would get them free. Finally had to burn out the rubber and then the air hammer drove out the bushing shell. Seems that the rubber acts as a cushion which absorbs the pounding from the air hammer. One trick I use on my 1955 is to cut some PVC pipe to use as a spreader bar/spacer so that the control arm doesnt collapse when installing the new bushings with a press. Works fine. Best results are obtained if you clean out the control arm hole ( sandpaper,etc) and grease up the new bushings metal shell. They then slide in rather easily. Have fun, not one of the easier jobs.

 
57_sedan_delivery 
Old as Dirt Member
Posts: 6720

Loc: Hog Valley, Fla.
Reg: 02-19-01
Re: Lower Control Arm bushing removal
12-12-06 02:47 AM - Post#1048586    
    In response to Texas57sedan

Quote:

I used a 3lb hammer and a new chisel. Removing the bushings was probably the hardest thing I have done so far. Ron




Well maybe not the hardest (rear brake drums come to mind) but a very close second to be sure. The '57 I had when I was in the service had squeeky bushings so I decided to replace them one day using the hammer and chisel and maybe even one with air assist, took the better part of one day to do just one side so it was 6 months before I was willing to tackle the other side. I have often thought if you are driving the car to spray a lube on the bushings and drive the car a while before starting the bushing ordeal to maybe start the lube and/or breakfree process.
Mike W.

Founding father Desert Classic Chevys in Phoenix, Az.

1957 sedan delivery 454 TH400
1956 windowed sedan delivery US Dept of Ag car
1956 Chevy 3100 US Navy pickup
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57Pontiac 
Member
Posts: 109
57Pontiac
Loc: Ste-Sophie, QC, Canada
Reg: 07-09-04
Re: Lower Control Arm bushing removal
12-18-06 05:43 AM - Post#1048587    
    In response to 57_sedan_delivery

Hi guys,

Just wanted to thank you for all your tips and techniques.

I was able to remove all the bushings on my 5 lower control arms in just 4 hours

I wouldn't say it went well, but it went well enough to remove the bushings without damaging the arms.

You guys are the best!

Thank you!
57Pontiac
I know it's a chevy forum, but my car is using Chevy mechanical parts

My 1957 Pontiac Restoration Website


 
acardon 
Senior Member
Posts: 9723
acardon
Loc: DFW TEXAS
Reg: 03-25-05
Re: Lower Control Arm bushing removal
12-18-06 06:08 AM - Post#1048588    
    In response to 57Pontiac

Quote:

all the bushings on my 5 lower control arms




I thought those Pontiac's were almost like the Chevy's but I didn't know they had 5 lower control arms.
What method did you use??
Don
66 Corvair (driving)
57 2dr HT (driving)
56 2dr HT (waiting to be restored)


 
57Pontiac 
Member
Posts: 109
57Pontiac
Loc: Ste-Sophie, QC, Canada
Reg: 07-09-04
Re: Lower Control Arm bushing removal
12-18-06 08:30 AM - Post#1048589    
    In response to acardon

LOL

I have 5 control arms, but will only install the 2 best ones..

As suggested here, I first drilled a couples of holes in each bushings, then twist the shaft until I could remove all the rubber.

Then, I used a chisel and a hammer and beat it in to make it smaller, like the end of a stove pipe. The secret is to make sure you see space between the bushing and the contour of the control arm hole. If one part of the bushing is still welded in rust..it won't budge.

Finally, once the bushing is small enough and "un-welded" from the control arm, I whacked on it with the hammer and chisel to get it out.

I confirm that this technique is probably the "easiest" way to do it

Cheers
57Pontiac
I know it's a chevy forum, but my car is using Chevy mechanical parts

My 1957 Pontiac Restoration Website


 
tmsnyder 
Senior Member
Posts: 988
tmsnyder
Loc: Buffalo, NY
Reg: 06-13-06
Re: Lower Control Arm bushing removal
12-18-06 08:41 AM - Post#1048590    
    In response to 57Pontiac

Awesome, I'm glad to hear the 'stove-pipe' method worked! It's patented so you owe me $1 per control arm

How many finger nails did you blacken with mishaps with the hammer? I did mine about 3 months ago and got my thumb good. My black thumbnail just recently, finally grew out enough that it's all trimmed away now. Ouch.
'56 Chevy 4dr 210 327ci
'97 GMC K1500 Suburban 6.5TD


 
57Pontiac 
Member
Posts: 109
57Pontiac
Loc: Ste-Sophie, QC, Canada
Reg: 07-09-04
Re: Lower Control Arm bushing removal
12-18-06 10:49 AM - Post#1048591    
    In response to tmsnyder

yeah.. tell me about it.

I missed the chisel and whack the back of my left hand just between the thumb and index. It went numb and swollen almost immediately and I could not hold the chisel for a while.

Fortunately I was able to continue and get the job done.

It seems I cannot work with a hammer without getting hurt. Not sure if I am clumsy or just unlucky
57Pontiac
I know it's a chevy forum, but my car is using Chevy mechanical parts

My 1957 Pontiac Restoration Website


 
55RedRagtop 
Senior Member
Posts: 1141

Reg: 12-01-03
Re: Lower Control Arm bushing removal
12-18-06 11:21 AM - Post#1048592    
    In response to 57Pontiac

A dummy trick is to clamp the chisel with a a good pair of vise grips. Then hammer away. The vise grips will not complain, when hit, and your hand will love you for it!!!!! Ask me how I learned this trick..........

Mikey

 
tmsnyder 
Senior Member
Posts: 988
tmsnyder
Loc: Buffalo, NY
Reg: 06-13-06
Re: Lower Control Arm bushing removal
12-18-06 11:40 AM - Post#1048593    
    In response to 57Pontiac

The only thing that hurts worse is when you hit the same thumb a second time!
'56 Chevy 4dr 210 327ci
'97 GMC K1500 Suburban 6.5TD


 
tarps 
"7th Year" Gold Supporting Member
Posts: 350

Loc: New Jersey
Reg: 10-18-06
02-28-07 12:04 AM - Post#1107403    
    In response to tmsnyder

Hi: I used brute force and finally heat to get the bushings off the lower control arm. I was concerned that I would damage it. Now I'm trying to figure out how to get the bushings out of the upper arm. I don't want to put too much force on it. It's not as sturdy as the lower arm. It was the heat that finally worked on the lower arm. Did the heat effect the temper (strength) of the lower arm? Is there a special tool for the upper arm? Should I apply the heat to the upper arm? So far I just put wd 40 on the bushings.
I agree with the person who said that this was the toughest task so far in his restoration project. Same here.
Thanks. Tom

 
gerard55 
Senior Member
Posts: 609
gerard55
Age: 40
Loc: Hamilton New Zealand
Reg: 02-07-02
03-02-07 03:08 PM - Post#1109649    
    In response to raycow

I did the same as you raycow.
I drilled out the rubber part of bushing, got centre out, then used a hacksaw to VERY CAREFULLY cut the outer bushing only.
When installing I took them to a tyre and suspension guy ( old timer )
He held the side the bushing is to be installed in on the control arm, in a big vice, then packed between that side of the control arm. He then lubed the opening a bit and hit it in with a socket bit the exact size of the outer part of the bushing, Easy?? Well it looked it. I was to chicken to try it myself in fear of destuction. And new control arms are along way away in New Zealand from the states!
Take note of orientatin of the contol arms side to side and also which way the shafts go in, ie take photos or make a sketch, Ya dont want to put shafts in the wrong way??
Good luck
Gerard
Save a 55
My restoration journey
http://www.cardomain.com/ride/2611111


 
redhawks 
Member
Posts: 62

Reg: 09-08-04
03-02-07 07:49 PM - Post#1109842    
    In response to gerard55

I believe you should not grease or otherwise lube up the bushings when putting the new bushings in the arms. The bushings are a press fit so they should not rotate or move inside the arm. The bushing acts as part of the suspension as the rubber twists inside the bushing. That's why you wait until there is weight on the front end before tightening the bushing bolts. If your bushings are rotating they will eventually start squeaking when the grease wears out and your car will ride rougher to boot.

 
BC57 
Forum Newbie
Posts: 82

Loc: Calgary, Canada
Reg: 02-01-07
03-04-07 06:43 PM - Post#1111276    
    In response to redhawks

When I did the leaf bushing on a 89 Jeep(yeah I know) I drilled out a couple holes in the rubber, melted the rest out with a torch, and then spent a day trying to get the 'sleeve' out.
The method we found was this: With a hack saw make 2 cuts about 1/4" apart...peel this strip out with a chisel/hammer...then the chisel has an easier time of getting under the 'sleeve', just work your way around peeling it back ...just be careful about marking up the control arm...we still ended up lightly sanding the inside before installing the new ones, so it remove the little marks we had made....Good Luck

 
Topless57 
Contributor
Posts: 649
Topless57
Loc: Frankfort, Il.
Reg: 12-26-02
03-05-07 07:29 AM - Post#1111573    
    In response to 57Pontiac

I used a drill on the rubber, hacksaw on the bushing, and an air hammer to remove it. Actually I thought the job was a piece of cake.

Jack
www.picturetrail.com/topless57


 
Jims56chevy 
Frequent Contributor
Posts: 2161
Jims56chevy
Loc: chino valley az
Reg: 11-23-04
03-07-07 02:35 PM - Post#1113789    
    In response to Topless57

I'm doing mine and I also found that drilling out the rubber and using a hack saw cut thru the sleeve and then with a big pair of channel locks around the head of the sleeve collapsed the sleeve came right out.
56 2dr 454/turbo 400


 
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