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Thread: Replacing control arm bushings

  1. #1
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    Replacing control arm bushings

    I?m replacing the upper control arm bushings on my '01 4WD Durango and have been generally following Schusterjo?s write up. I got the bushings out with a combination of drill and propane torch, but I?m looking at the metal sleeve and wondering why I have to take that out. Schusterjo shows it being split, but mine just has a little notch as you can see here.

    <img src=http://i397.photobucket.com/albums/pp58/Dbear1313/P1050738.jpg width=480>

    The replacement bushing (Energy Suspension) and sleeve are next to it in this shot.

    <img src=http://i397.photobucket.com/albums/pp58/Dbear1313/P1050737.jpg width=480>

    To make it clearer what sleeve I?m talking about. With the old bushing out, the new one slides easily into the old sleeve. I assume it'll compress and tighten up when I crank down the nut on the end of the pivot shaft? Do I need to replace this sleeve or can I just slide the new bushing in? Using the old sleeve will make this a WHOLE lot easier.

    And, if I have to replace it, is it going to come out easily? The sleeve isn?t split and I don?t have a lot of confidence that hitting the notch with a screwdriver is going to split it, unless the metal is a lot softer than it seems, and it feels like it's welded to the control arm. Schusterjo says to pry it away from the inner part of the shaft with a screwdriver, but when I put a screwdriver in there it just pushes the whole outer arm assembly away. Of course his control arm does look a little different than mine.
    David W. Barron

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  3. #2
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    The sleeves tend to corrode to the shaft and don't pivot smoothly. The old one actually is split and that mark is the joint. For proper results, the old sleeve has to come out.
    Hanson front bumper, Kennesaw rear bumper, Ranch9000xl's w/ remote, Detroit Locker, lots of other goodies

  4. #3
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    So it's not welded on, it's just corroded on?? OK, I'll see if I can get it off. Thanks!
    David W. Barron

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    The round piece with the collar that's still in the arm also has to come out for the new bushing to go in. These metal parts usually get taken out with the rubber when a shop does this. It only takes a little while to have a shop press the old bushing out and the new bushings in for you and it'll save a whole lot of busted knuckles. They usually only charge you a few bucks for this service and then you can re-install the arms yourself and get it aligned.
    Hanson front bumper, Kennesaw rear bumper, Ranch9000xl's w/ remote, Detroit Locker, lots of other goodies

  6. #5
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    OK, I've had a chance to look at this more closely now and I was looking at the wrong thing in the write-up. I was referring to the big round collar piece that the bushing slides into, in my first picture, it has the half-moon notch at almost the 12:00 position. I see now that the inner sleeve (the part that goes inside the bushing and slides onto the pivot shaft) is what has the split at about the 10:00 position in the picture. My bushing kit didn't come with those inner sleeves and that's what was throwing me off. I'll have to take it back and get another kit.

    I think MWeed is referring to the outer collar (with the notch.) That's the one I was having trouble with and the bushing kit comes with those. Do I just use PB Blaster and keep whacking at it, or is there a better way to get it out?

    I may yet punt and take it to a shop, but I'm pretty pleased with having the bushings out on one side and I'd like to see this through to the end. Stubborn? Who, me?
    David W. Barron

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    An air chisel with a pickle fork will work real well to remove it. A large vise helps too. Just don't damage the arm. You're right, bushing kits should come with inner sleeves, outer collars and the bushing. Stock ones come as a single piece and are installed that way.
    Hanson front bumper, Kennesaw rear bumper, Ranch9000xl's w/ remote, Detroit Locker, lots of other goodies

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    I think I've reached the edge of my stubbornness zone. Without an air chisel, I can see that part will be pretty hard to get off, so I'll just take it in to a shop. Is that something any auto shop can do, or do I need a machine shop?
    David W. Barron

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    If you have a trusted alignment shop, ask them as they should be able to do this. Generally this isn't a machine shop item, most garages/ full service front end shops can do it.
    Hanson front bumper, Kennesaw rear bumper, Ranch9000xl's w/ remote, Detroit Locker, lots of other goodies

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    A bench press is a nice tool for people who do suspension and automotive work. If you were local, I'd ask you to swing by.
    1999 Durango 360 FM 50, PS Headers, K&N FIPK, Rancho RSX's, SuperChips 3865, T/S lift, Hughes plenum/rebuild
    2012 Challenger SXT 3.6l, Stock 267HP, 254 torque
    2004 RAM HEMI QC LB 7" lifted 2WD FM 84MM TB, SC 3815, factory freak

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    OK, I got a shop to pull out the bushings & hardware and press in the new ones (cost me an hour's worth of time, but the collars were frozen on pretty well so maybe that's not too bad.) I put the arms back on and now the only thing that puzzles me is the ball joints?? Per the FSM, I just cranked down the castle nut to install each one. When I took them off, there was a satisfying "pop" when they came off (would have been alarming if I didn't know what to expect), but when I put them back on there was no drama? no pop, no sensation of something seating into place, etc. I took it for a very short test drive (not more than 25 mph) and nothing felt unusual and there were no thumps or strange noises. Is this normal or do I need to use a big C-clamp or borrow a ball joint press to make them pop into place?
    David W. Barron

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