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DIY: LCA bushings


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Finally here - the lower control arm bushings. Probably the most terrifying job of the suspension bits, simply because it involves the wholesale removal of the front control arms on both sides. Not a job you want to enter without preparation. A buddy along to help wouldn't hurt as well, but you can do the job yourself. I know, because I did, and I'm no racing team mechanic on the side. However, this does require some leaps of faith and a willingness to beat on your suspension bits with rubber mallet. Vigorously.

 

Now with this job, you better make sure you have a full set of tools on hand.

 

In addition to a good jack, and a set of jackstands, you will need these: Rubber Mallet, Crow bar, breaker bar, 19mm sockets, 17mm sockets and wrench, sockets or the AVO tools for pressing out bushes, beer, sweat, bandages, and a vocabulary that will make your mum wash your mouth out.

 

http://www.avoturboworld.com/images/stories/2010/08/lca/lca_001.jpg

 

Before you jack the car up, unbolt the front swaybar endlinks. If you have AVO endlinks (of course!) a 14mm socket and wrench will do. Otherwise, whichever tools necessary for the endlinks you do have on there.

 

http://www.avoturboworld.com/images/stories/2010/08/lca/lca_002.jpg

 

Jack up the car, and put the jackstands under the rails or other reinforced areas. You'll be attacking three areas to get the the LCA (Lower Control Arm) off.

 

http://www.avoturboworld.com/images/stories/2010/08/lca/lca_003.jpg

http://www.avoturboworld.com/images/stories/2010/08/lca/lca_004.jpg

http://www.avoturboworld.com/images/stories/2010/08/lca/lca_005.jpg

 

I started with the most fun part first, the ball joint attaching the LCA to the front strut and brake assembly. This is simple (allegedly), you remove the 14mm nut here, and pop the ball joint out of the arm.

 

http://www.avoturboworld.com/images/stories/2010/08/lca/lca_006.jpg

 

Simple… Unless your ball joint has rusted itself in. This is wear a rubber mallet, crowbar, swearing, and an ability to direct some anger towards your car would help. Get the crowbar in there between the LCA and the strut assembly, and start cranking away. It *will* come out - eventually.

 

http://www.avoturboworld.com/images/stories/2010/08/lca/lca_008.jpg

 

After that, you can tackle the easy part - get the 17mm socket in on one side, 17mm wrench on the other, and unbolt the arm. Just pull the big bolt out after you've removed the nut, it's not that hard at all.

 

http://www.avoturboworld.com/images/stories/2010/08/lca/lca_009.jpg

 

In comparison to the ball joint, the last bit is fairly easy as well. There's one 19mm nut and two 19mm bolts holding a bracket on, that holds in the large LCA rear bushing. You may need the breaker bar at this point to get them loose.

 

http://www.avoturboworld.com/images/stories/2010/08/lca/lca_010.jpg

 

And there you go - the LCA is off the car! If your car isn't only a week old, the arms will be covered in grime. Clean them up, it'll save you cleaning your hand every 10 seconds over the next stage.

 

http://www.avoturboworld.com/images/stories/2010/08/lca/lca_011.jpg

 

Now, getting the old bushings out and the new bushings in can be done with a big vise and a couple of extra hands. But I took the control arms down to Smart Service Shoreline on Ballinger Way. They've been good customers of ours, and were willing to let me borrow their press for an hour. Using the official™ AVO bushing removal tools (two socket-like affairs designed precisely for removal), we pressed the old bushings out. If you are using the AVO tools, don't forget to lube up the smaller socket that goes into the arm, so that you can get it back out again easily.

 

http://www.avoturboworld.com/images/stories/2010/08/lca/lca_012.jpg

 

The old bushing, now out. You can probably just make out the fact that it's ripped. In fact, both sides were ripped - pretty common with these.

 

http://www.avoturboworld.com/images/stories/2010/08/lca/lca_013.jpg

 

Now it's time to press in the AVO bushings. If you have offset bushings, make sure the offset is pointing in towards the center of the car. There is a lip on the bushings, this needs to go on top. The bushing is pushed in from the top till it's basically flush.

 

http://www.avoturboworld.com/images/stories/2010/08/lca/lca_014.jpg

 

http://www.avoturboworld.com/images/stories/2010/08/lca/lca_16.jpg

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Since I already had the control arm out, and with a bench press handy, I removed the bushings at the front as well.

 

http://www.avoturboworld.com/images/stories/2010/08/lca/lca_017.jpg

http://www.avoturboworld.com/images/stories/2010/08/lca/lca_018.jpg

 

The AVO front bushings for the LCA go in a lot easier than the big bushing - just grease them up well with the supplied grease and push them in.

 

http://www.avoturboworld.com/images/stories/2010/08/lca/lca_019.jpg

 

Then slide the metal sleeve in after greasing it up as well. It's a little tougher, but you can do it with a rubber mallet or a small vise.

 

http://www.avoturboworld.com/images/stories/2010/08/lca/lca_020.jpg

http://www.avoturboworld.com/images/stories/2010/08/lca/lca_021.jpg

 

If your ball joints were like mine, I suggest removing the rust from them. Here's what the lower control arms look like after getting everything in!

 

http://www.avoturboworld.com/images/stories/2010/08/lca/lca_022.jpg

 

http://www.avoturboworld.com/images/stories/2010/08/lca/lca_023.jpg

 

http://www.avoturboworld.com/images/stories/2010/08/lca/lca_024.jpg

 

http://www.avoturboworld.com/images/stories/2010/08/lca/lca_025.jpg

 

As usual, install is a reverse of removal. Except that everything is a bit tighter now with all the bushings. This is where the rubber mallet starts getting some real use as you hammer everything into place, especially the front of the lower control arm, as the new bushings makes this a bit of work. The rear of the control arm is a cinch in comparison. Then you get to do the ball joint last. Lube up the ball joint itself, that helps heaps in getting it back in. Then you need to basically push down on the control arm and pull the strut assembly over on top of the ball joint. Once you have the top in, put a jack underneath the lower control arm, on the nut beneath the ball joint, and jack it up to put some pressure on it to slide it in. It won't hurt to whack the strut assembly with the rubber mallet to help get it situated. [/i]

 

Whew! Job done!

 

…Whoops, not yet. First, you will want to lower the car to the ground. If you have enough space, get underneath and attach the endlinks to the swaybar. Get some ramps if you don't. Then, with the car on the ground, loosen off all the bolts holding the new bushings on, then tighten them up again. This is essential for getting them sitting properly in the car.

 

Now your done! Go for a ride, I guarantee you will enjoy it!

 

Regards,

 

Paul Hansen

http://www.avoturboworld.com

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Any ideas on where I can purchase the "AVO Bushing tools" that are referenced in this DIY tutorial. Without those, the prospect of getting those out LCA bushings pushed out w/ my press is daunting. I screwed up one Lower control arm when my jury-rigged bushing tool was off by less than 1mm.

 

The process of removing the Ball joint was a bit oversimplified here. I spent about 6 hours trying to separate it from the Hub (and only getting it out 4mm at best) and finally found a tool on the NASIOC site called Sniper's Ball Tugger which made the process painless, $45 tool but priceless in the end at removing a rust-encrusted coastal New England ball joint.

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Why not juat leave the balljoint in the knuckle and undo the castle nut holding it into the LCA?

 

That is the prefered method. Use a pitman arm puller for a Dodge or Chevrolet to pop the ball joint from the LCA. Works like tits!

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This procedure is the same for Spec B control arms but due to the fact they are aluminum you need to be sure the bushing presses in dead nuts straight or you will oblong the hole and ruin the control arm.

 

Been there, done that- even with the steel ones. That is why I'm asking for the AVO Bushing tool set.

Edited by Burock
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Why not juat leave the balljoint in the knuckle and undo the castle nut holding it into the LCA?

 

 

I guess you have never ripped the rubber boot trying to get the ball joint out of the LCA. IMO this is a much better way to do it. Let alone trying to get the the cotter pin out after it breaks, because some monkey put it in to short.

304,000miles 5/2012 ej257 short block, 8/2011 installed VF52 turbo, @20.8psi, 280whp, 300ftlbs. CHECK your oil, these cars use it.

 

Engine Build - Click Here

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Any ideas on where I can purchase the "AVO Bushing tools" that are referenced in this DIY tutorial. Without those, the prospect of getting those out LCA bushings pushed out w/ my press is daunting. I screwed up one Lower control arm when my jury-rigged bushing tool was off by less than 1mm.

 

The process of removing the Ball joint was a bit oversimplified here. I spent about 6 hours trying to separate it from the Hub (and only getting it out 4mm at best) and finally found a tool on the NASIOC site called Sniper's Ball Tugger which made the process painless, $45 tool but priceless in the end at removing a rust-encrusted coastal New England ball joint.

 

Trust me, I'm not trying to simplify the removal of the ball joint - it took me quite a bit of labor and sweat to get mine out as well! But it was the choice between the devil I knew and the devil I didn't in regards to just doing the castle nut. As I've been warned many times, getting that castle nut out has resulted in thread damage or similar so many times, you may as well be prepared to replace the ball joint if you choose that method. The ball joint method is painful, but very rarely results in damage to anything.

 

I'll be putting the tools up online in the store in the next day or two.

 

Regards,

 

Paul Hansen

http://www.avoturboworld.com

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I didn't know there was an upgraded front bushing...

 

And I don't see the front bushing listed on AVO Turboworld site for USA?

 

Unfortunately, when I use the phrase "things are getting developed at a breakneck pace" here, sometimes it's not just hype. Projects have been moving along pretty quickly, and there's several different things I've got to get up and running, the front bushings being one of them. I'll have them on the shop this week for certain - in fact, I'll try and get them up tonight. I apologize for it, but I've got a lot of catchup to do!

 

Regards,

 

Paul Hansen

http://www.avoturboworld.com

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I guess you have never ripped the rubber boot trying to get the ball joint out of the LCA. IMO this is a much better way to do it. Let alone trying to get the the cotter pin out after it breaks, because some monkey put it in to short.

 

When I did the RCAs on my STI I used a tool that looked like three fingers to pop it out of the LCA. No boot ripping pickle-fork needed. Removing the BJs from the knuckle was a PITA, and this was on a relatively new car that had only seen 2 months of winter.

 

EDIT: Here it is: http://www.harborfreight.com/3-4-quarter-inch-forged-ball-point-joint-separator-99849.html

Edited by Draco-REX
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Paul- Still don't see the tool for sale on the AVO website. Waiting for the tool before I get the AVO LCA bushings. I'm not satisfied with the Spec B bushings I just got in the aluminum control arm set and have debated AVO vs Perrin PSRS. From what I have read, AVO seems like the best compromise and your AVO fitment is usually superior. I've been quite happy with my AVO TMIC...
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When I did the RCAs on my STI I used a tool that looked like three fingers to pop it out of the LCA. No boot ripping pickle-fork needed. Removing the BJs from the knuckle was a PITA, and this was on a relatively new car that had only seen 2 months of winter.

 

EDIT: Here it is: http://www.harborfreight.com/3-4-quarter-inch-forged-ball-point-joint-separator-99849.html

 

That's one of those tools I've always been meaning to buy...

 

I have found that a 3lb hammer works well too. Just remember to leave the nut on a little in case you miss.

 

Wacking the LCA on a 01 Integra did the trick. Alway's works on Honda's

304,000miles 5/2012 ej257 short block, 8/2011 installed VF52 turbo, @20.8psi, 280whp, 300ftlbs. CHECK your oil, these cars use it.

 

Engine Build - Click Here

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