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mikaleda

DIY bushing replacement

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Does anyone have tips on how to get the bushing out of the control arm on the old subies 1980 4wd wagon to be exact I know I need to replace mine it is wearing my tire weird badly. I don't have acces to a press is there any other way to change them

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Nope. You need a press and you'll likely have to make a special press driver to push them out and the new one's back in. They are VERY tight - it's typically about 5 to 6 tons on my press before they move. I had a friend turn out a driver on his lathe so I could press these in/out on the race Brat.

 

GD

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Yeah, for people that don't have the custom set-up like GD mentioned the best option is to find another control arm with a bushing in better condition. I had a shop attempt to do the ones in my '81 and they destroyed the control arms, so even a professional machine shop is not necessarily an option. They are kind of an odd shape to mount and support and the pressure required to extract the old bushing is greater than the strength required to deform the metal of the control arm if it is not supported correctly.

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Dang, unfortunately the only one I know of I had to use in another car. I'll try my local machine shop they are pretty good hopefully they can do it.

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i've torched bushings before, burn them out, but i have no idea if that's a good idea or not ! :lol:

 

never heard of anyone else doing that so there are probably some good reasons?

Edited by grossgary

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You can torch out the center rubber part. If you torch the end of the control arm assembly, the rubber at the interface between the rubber part and the outer metal casing will melt and you can push out the whole rubber center while it's hot. Unless you are using a really hot torch, you shouldn't have to worry about weakening the metal. You still have to get the outer metal casing out. On leaf springs a lot of times people do this and use a recip or hacksaw to cut out the casing. On the Subaru control arms I would not recommend it.

 

It's possible that you could eliminate the center rubber, leave the outer metal casing intact and in-place in the control arm, extract the metal center bolt sleeve from the old rubber bushing, and find an aftermarket poly bushing to shove into the outer metal casing with the center bolt sleeve. It would have to be a really good tight fit though, and you would have to re-use the metal parts of the original bushing. If you find the correct sized poly bushing that would actually be a pretty worthy retrofit discovery. I think it's totally doable, but you have to do the research to find the right bushings. It's imperative that if you do this that the bushings fit correctly.

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You can torch out the center rubber part. If you torch the end of the control arm assembly, the rubber at the interface between the rubber part and the outer metal casing will melt and you can push out the whole rubber center while it's hot. Unless you are using a really hot torch, you shouldn't have to worry about weakening the metal. You still have to get the outer metal casing out. On leaf springs a lot of times people do this and use a recip or hacksaw to cut out the casing. On the Subaru control arms I would not recommend it.

 

It's possible that you could eliminate the center rubber, leave the outer metal casing intact and in-place in the control arm, extract the metal center bolt sleeve from the old rubber bushing, and find an aftermarket poly bushing to shove into the outer metal casing with the center bolt sleeve. It would have to be a really good tight fit though, and you would have to re-use the metal parts of the original bushing. If you find the correct sized poly bushing that would actually be a pretty worthy retrofit discovery. I think it's totally doable, but you have to do the research to find the right bushings. It's imperative that if you do this that the bushings fit correctly.

I"d be with ferox on this 1...I"ve done them and they are a pain-I"ve seen other shops do them and Oboy-that won"t drive right again:eek:!! Go with the poly!!

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It's possible that you could eliminate the center rubber, leave the outer metal casing intact and in-place in the control arm, extract the metal center bolt sleeve from the old rubber bushing, and find an aftermarket poly bushing to shove into the outer metal casing with the center bolt sleeve.

 

I'd bet if he left the outer casing in, the same bushing I used here would fit:

http://www.ultimatesubaru.org/forum/showpost.php?p=1108054&postcount=24

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A urethane replacement "split bushing" would be an option if you can find one that would fit.

 

One of the first control arms we pushed the bushing out of... Well the driver tool was a few thou too big and it swedged the bushing tube out so that a new bushing would fall right through. :-p. I really wanted to save the control arm because we had already reamed the ball joint taper to accept a legacy BJ. We ended up cutting off the bushing receiver tube and welding on a new one. I believe it turned out to be a common nominal size so it wasn't actually a big deal at all. I'll try to find out what size tube we used. At any rate you can probably find a split bushing of proper size.

 

GD

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This is interesting I will try some of these ideas out but since this is going to be my daily driver for a while, I will have to find a replacement control arm swap them out and experiment with my old one. Btw what year range should I look for in replacement control arms, I know it would have to be in the eightys and would it have to be a 4wd? Also is there any other things I should look for?

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You can torch out the center rubber part. If you torch the end of the control arm assembly, the rubber at the interface between the rubber part and the outer metal casing will melt and you can push out the whole rubber center while it's hot. Unless you are using a really hot torch, you shouldn't have to worry about weakening the metal. You still have to get the outer metal casing out. On leaf springs a lot of times people do this and use a recip or hacksaw to cut out the casing. On the Subaru control arms I would not recommend it.

 

It's possible that you could eliminate the center rubber, leave the outer metal casing intact and in-place in the control arm, extract the metal center bolt sleeve from the old rubber bushing, and find an aftermarket poly bushing to shove into the outer metal casing with the center bolt sleeve. It would have to be a really good tight fit though, and you would have to re-use the metal parts of the original bushing. If you find the correct sized poly bushing that would actually be a pretty worthy retrofit discovery. I think it's totally doable, but you have to do the research to find the right bushings. It's imperative that if you do this that the bushings fit correctly.

 

I like this idea the best just because it doesn't require any specialized tools or knowledge and would be simple enough that anyone could do it.

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I've torched out both front & rear control arm bushings using an oxyacetylene cutting head.

 

Just turn up the oxy a little higher after setting up the mixture to burn out the rubber.

 

Apply heat to the rubber & center only. As the rubber is burning it expands, pushing out the metal sleeve. Clean up the remainder with a wire wheel & cup brush.

Edited by czny
needed more info for clarity

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I've just bought some casting polyurethene, some clay and some plaster of paris. Because replacement bushes are so expensive here, I intend to make my own. To start off, I'm going to try two simple shapes for my spring-damper top mounts. I'm making a mold this evening and will let you know how it goes and post some pics later.

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Cool any ideas are helpfull. I had an idea recently also, would it be okay to freeze the bushing even just slightly? I was thinking about freezing the bushing and heating the control arm and maybe that would give me enough room to insert the new bushing.

What do you guys think?

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