Any way to replace control arm bushing on the car?

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17,838
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Silicon Valley
mid 90s Honda Civic / Acura Integra lower control arm outer bushing (the one that connect to the strut / shock fork). I'm starting to see a tear / cracks on it and am planning to replace just the bushing instead of the whole arm, mainly because I think I will get a better bushing (i.e. Raybesto Professional or Moog Problem Solver) than what an aftermarket arm come with. I heard a lot of people just burn the rubber out and then saw out and chisel the bushing outer metal ring from the control arm. After that just pull the frozen bushing out of a freezer and put it inside the hole of the hot control arm and all is golden. My main concern is whether the heat will soften or weaken the control arm's metal, as well as the saw putting a cut on the control arm and make that a weak spot on the entire arm (i.e. will the control arm snap at that point in an accident or when hitting a pot hole). I've also watched YouTube video where people drill out the rubber then saw the control arm out just the same way. How much does it cost to press out a bushing if I take out the arm, or if I bring the car in to ask them to change just the bushing?
 
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6,170
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North Coast
Look on youtube for the how to video. I have seen a few on there for that bushing job. Most guys press them out and back in. I would think $20 to press it.
 
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7,430
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beaver land EH?
RockAuto has Raybestos lower ctrl arm assembly (comes completed w/o ball joint) for around 72 bucks.. unless you can get an indy mech to press the bushings for you for cheep, otherwise: if you are to tackle the problem yourself, better get a new lower ctrl arm assembly + new ball joints and go from there. (*in my area: it costs much more to have the bushings pressed (incl. purchasing of new bushings) labour-wise than buying new ctrl arm assembly*) Q.
 
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26,116
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MA, Mittelfranken.de
Setting them on fire is what you do on those with metal ring. Its quick and easy to do this type. Its best to press out the metal ring ones. If Moog has a new style joint bushing i would definitely go with that. I just ordered some for my GM. AFAK Moog is the only one making this new design.
 
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3,431
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USA
I've replaced just the bushings in the control arms on two of our vehicles. Rent the free ball joint press from Advance Auto and do it yourself. Get the bigger kit, as it has more adapters. That's what I've used and it works well.
 

PandaBear

Thread starter
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17,838
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Silicon Valley
Trav, Is it hard to press out the metal ring after you set fire / drill out the worn rubber? I heard a lot of people with corroded bushing ring that even a 20 ton press cannot easily press that out, and most of them saw out the ring after burning. Everyone, Is the quality difference between brands of the bushing / control arm big? The main reason I'd just press in a new bushing vs a whole control arm is I want to 1) if possible, not do an alignment, 2) make sure the new control arm is not worse in fit / finish / durability / dimension than the old one that came with the car, 3) make sure I get the best bushing possible for a reasonable price.
 
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7,430
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beaver land EH?
Panda: It can be difficult to press the new bushing if the original lower control arm hole (where the bushing goes) is rusty. One trick that seems to work ok in my case as follows: (0) do a measurement on both the hole and the new bushing to see if there's huge variances in diameter between the 2 (if so, then it's probably the new replacement bushing problem, get another one and try again) (1) put the new replacement bushing in a large ziplock bag and freeze it in the freezer for about an hour or so. (2) working swiftly, when you take the bushing off, smear a thin layer of ordinary bearing grease (vaseline ok) around the outside of the metal bearing sleeve. (3) try pressing the new bushing onto the control arm and see if it goes through smoothly. (4) repeat step (3) if it doesn't go smoothly. Instead: with a helper or someone: get a propane torch or similar to heat up the lower control arm's hole and then press the new bearing in. Bottomline: thermal differences + grease + heat is the combination that works around 80% of the time (in my case, YMMV). Good luck. Q. bushing quality wise, I have poor luck with Mervotech and Dorman (stay away from them at all cost); Taiwanese made/supplied BeckArnley works quite ok; factory is quite ok as well; not too big of a fan with Moog but heard positive response from some of my jobber friends. Deeza )if they carry the bushing for your vehicle), are mostly made in Taiwan and quite ok in terms of quality. During the past month: I've installed 2 sets of Deeza LCAs, one set is taiwan made LCA pairs on my dad's 7th gen civic; the other ones (pressed type) onto a 02 camry front LCA arms (rear side of the arms), both exhibits decent quality.
 
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3,431
Location
USA
I don't burn out the old bushings. I drill several holes in the rubber and then yank out the center part, assuming it has one. Then, cut through the leftover shell with a hacksaw. Then just use a hammer and chisel to knock out the pieces of the shell. Here's the ball joint press being used to put in a new bushing.
 
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