How to Replace Lower Control Arm Bushings?
It is better to learn how to replace lower control arm bushings when the parts are worn rather than repenting later on. A lower control arm consists of two rubber bushings, a metal frame, and a ball joint as well. The lower arm control resides between the car’s frame and the spindle or the wheel hub.
Every car has these arms; however, the number can differ. The arms maintain the swinging up and down motion when the front wheels go through potholes or other obstructions on the road. Let’s get on to the replacement-
How to Replace Lower Control Arm Bushings: The Step Wise Guide
Regularly withstanding the road conditions and the driving behavior brings the control arms and its parts to an end. As a result, the parts are worn out, and the bushing falls apart. Remember that driving with failed lower control arms or worn bushings is not a safe practice; read here how to replace lower control arm bushings.
Start With Removing the Ball Joint and the Sway Bar Link
The ball joint must be removed to start working with the replacement. Use a wrench that is about 20mm to 24mm and take off the cotter pin to access the ball joint. You need to do a hammer strike the spindle to lower the control arm once the ball joint is removed to proceed right on how to replace lower control arm bushings.
Now you need to remove the sway bar link, so it does not come in the way. Here you need a 14mm or 15mm wrench or socket, and if you see a mini taper fit there, you may need to hammer it just as you did it for the ball joint.
This way, the sway bar link will be removed that you can take away from the lower control arm mount. Now you are ready for the next step.
- Do You Know What Happens When the Control Arm is Broken?
- What to Do When the Lower Control Arm Bolt is Stuck?
Remove the Control Mounting Bolts and Lower Control Arm
Remove the control arm mounting bolts by using a wrench of 19mm to 22mm wrench or socket. In some cases, you may need to clutch the nut that is on the backside of the bolt to loosen it. Once you have removed the rear control arm bolts, it becomes easy to take off the lower control arm. You can apply some force if the control arm seems grasped to the frame.
Reinstalling Lower Control Arm
Once you have decided you need a replacement for the lower control arm, it is time to purchase a new one. You can either buy online or offline. While buying online, enter the year, make and model to find the perfect replacement part. You can also take your car to a mechanic for a professional replacement. You can either buy the entire replacement kit or the lower control arms specifically.
When you have taken off the control arms, it is time to settle the new ones. Make sure you watch the bolt holes while aligning the arm so you can get the arms there rightly. Once inserted the control arm, get the mounting bolts, and secure them by your hands. When all the blots are there, you can tighten them using the wrench.
Put everything back in order, such as the sway bar link, and secure it there using the tightening bolts. It is time to tighten the lower ball joint by using the same wrench you used for loosening it. Now insert the cotter pin and you are done with everything back in order.
Finally, you can reinstall the wheel and put your car down using the jack. Start your car, and listen to any noise that does not feel normal. There should be no noise, or if there is, it may be an indication to recheck the installation.
Doing the Replacement of the Bushings
If you are doing the replacement for the entire lower control arm, then the above steps are helpful. However, if you are going to replace control arm bushings only, then consider following these steps mentioned. Meanwhile you can grab more Maintenance Tips for a car and gain in-depth knowledge that is written by the experts.
The torn bushings make the control arm to overwork, and it causes irregular tire wear. To stop the damage right at the point, it is necessary to bring a new pair of bushings and do the replacement. Remember that the new pair of the bushing should match your old bushing for the identical installation.
Note the location and alignment of the old bushing beforehand so you won’t miss out on the new bushings. You will need a press to remove the old bushings and install the new ones. Make sure the flex part of the bushing is at the same place as prior so it can perform as it is supposed to.
Using a press cone and cup, you can push the bushing to detach from the arm. When the bushing gets detached, you can hear an audible pop, and this way, remove the bushing completely from the arm. Place this new bushing into the lower control arm while following the marks you noticed.
Note: Do not lubricate the bushing case else it would slip around, and the bushing won’t fit well.
Once you have settled the bushing in there rightly, apply the force all over, so the bushing gets in the place securely. Repeat the same process for all the lower control arm bushings replacement.
In most cases, when one control arm is worn, chances are all of them are worn. So, you should check all of them, and even if they don’t seem like completely worn, you can consider replacing all of them. This way, you won’t be fixing the remaining control arms after a few days. That is why you should buy the complete control arm kit rather than buying only one.
Experience a more balanced ride when you have all the control arms replaced. We hope you understand how to replace lower control arm bushings or both of the parts individually. In case of doubt, always take your car to a professional and let him handle the entire replacement process that would cost you between $280 and $350.