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Is replacing the A-Arm bushings a big job? I have no idea of what is involved, and I was wondering if someone could give me some guidance. How many hours of labor would it take?
 

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Its a PITA.
It took several hours to do only the fronts.
Getting the old bushings out is not easy.
We wound up drilling a lot of holes in them and then clamping one end in a vise and twisting the A-arms around the bushing to unscrew them, but it still took quite awhile.
Jim
 

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I just finished this. If I had to guess total time, probably 4-6 hours. I did some other things in the process so it took me longer.

Buy the ball joint press tool from Harbor Freight:
http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/ctaf/Displayitem.taf?itemnumber=38335

You'll need that and a sawzall to get the old ones out. No drilling necessary. Get the VB&P poly bushings and follow the directions. It's not hard, just time consuming. Here's some other tips:

1. Use the ball joint tool to push the bushings out of the bore a bit before cutting. This reduces the chance of accidentally cutting into the control arm
2. Use some WD-40 to clean out the bore on the control arm before installing the new bushings
3. I didn't have much luck trying to tap the round end plates onto the lower arms with a hammer as the instructions show. I used a long bolt, nut and some washers, ran it through the arm, bushings, and plates, then used an impact gun to tighten it down and seat the plates.
4. On the rears, you don't need to cut any of the bushings except one on the lower control arms. The rest push straight out assuming you have the Harbor Freight ball joint tool or comparable.
 

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I helped a friend do his rear upper and lowers this past Saturday. It is a major PITA like everyone has said and took us about 6 hours.

My friend bought the tool from Harbor Freight. Very questionable about how good the tool is. Here are some tips we learned along the way.

To get the buggers out, heat the center aluminum bushing with a butane torch that plumbers use to sweat copper. The bushing will push right out once it gets hot enough. We used a big drift punch to push it out. Next, we then heated the arm and pushed the rubber part of the bushing out of the control arm. You don't have to heat it for very long before the rubber softens. A couple minutes at the most. Once the rubbery mess is out it will clean up real nice with WD40. We used a wire wheel to clean the bushings. BTW, my friend got the kit from Eckler's, which didn't include the aluminum bushings like the VBP kit has.

When re-installing, we used gobs of marine grease during assembly. Be very liberal with this stuff or you might get the squeaky bushing syndrome. To pull the new poly bushings in, we used a long threaded rod apprx the same diameter as the center of the poly bushing. Two large washers on each end and two nuts. We tightened the nut on one end to pull the bushing into place. This also provided somewhat limited control of the bushing because while doing this procedure, you'll notice the bushings want to kick out to the side. It's beneficial if you have a hydraulic press to do this but the method I just described works pretty good. If you have a socket that will fit over the outside of the poly bushing, this will aid in getting it started. Once the flared end of the bushing gets into the arm, the hardest part is over. You can essentially knock it in the rest of the way with a big rubber mallet.

Anyway, take your time and it will all fall into place.

When dismantling the rear suspension, don't forget to mark the camber bolts with a sharpie or something similar so you can get them back to the apprx position they were in. You'll still need an alignment though when all is said and done.

Hope this helps.
 

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jub jub said:
My friend bought the tool from Harbor Freight. Very questionable about how good the tool is.
That's strange, John, mine worked like a charm. No drilling and no heating required. What problem did you guys have with it??
 

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Bob -

A-Arm is a term for a specific kind of control arm. In our case, all the control arms are A-Arms (they're shaped like an A), but you can have some variations.

So yes, they're meaning the control arms.
 

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dmtnt said:
That's strange, John, mine worked like a charm. No drilling and no heating required. What problem did you guys have with it??
If it's the same one, the sleeves were either too small or too large. The tool worked OK but it was a little slow going. The torch just made quick work of getting the old ones out and seemed to be the easier way to proceed.

My friend was actually doing the R&R of the bushings and I reassembled the suspension.
 
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