Cracks in Control Arm bushings ?

Messages
612
Location
Joplin
This is the front control arm bushing on a 1994 Camry with high miles. The car is on a jack stand so the tire is hanging down and it makes the cracks more noticeable. When the tires are on the ground you don't see them. There is no unusual tire wear or noise coming from this area and the ball joints and tie rod ends are still tight. Do these bushings need to be replaced based on the cracks or do you generally just wait until one starts getting some clunking noise, movement (or some other symptoms ?) before spending $$ on this for these 20+ year old cars?
 
Messages
1,537
Location
Georgia
Replace. These bushings will contribute much to your car continuing to feel "newer" with suspension compliance maintained. It goes hand in hand with replacing shocks and associated shock tower components and other suspension bushings (links, etc) on some regular basis. Over the years I have tried to do this at 100-120k intervals. Not only does it feel better to drive it helps in the prevention of rattles and increased longevity of many other parts. It comes down to whether you intend to keep a vehicle and what the driving experience is worth to you. I agree with changing out the whole control arm. Easier and worthwhile time/ labor wise.
 
Messages
25,426
Location
MA, Mittelfranken.de
It seems there are no OE quality aftermarket control arms for this car, Moog offers only their R series (trash) so its OE only and they cost a good bit. Rebuilding the old ones is a much cheaper alternative and you get the new style bushing which is actually a heim (aka rose) joint, this type joint is very precise and will greatly improve control arm stability they also have a very long life. No brainer IMO.
 

Cressida

Thread starter
Messages
612
Location
Joplin
Originally Posted By: Trav
It seems there are no OE quality aftermarket control arms for this car, Moog offers only their R series (trash) so its OE only and they cost a good bit. Rebuilding the old ones is a much cheaper alternative and you get the new style bushing which is actually a heim (aka rose) joint, this type joint is very precise and will greatly improve control arm stability they also have a very long life. No brainer IMO.
Do you think this aftermarket unit, that is complete, is not of high quality? http://www.rockauto.com/en/moreinfo.php?pk=1134850&jsn=3
 

Cressida

Thread starter
Messages
612
Location
Joplin
Originally Posted By: Trav
I would replace them they are toast, crispy critters. Moog offers a heim joint style for this application, it will never crack again and is more stable. Replace the 0ther one also while its out. MOOG K200913 http://www.rockauto.com/en/moreinfo.php?pk=7181592&cc=1273418&jsn=445
You don't think the "urethane" constrution will result in a more harsh ride or nosier ride vs. the traditional rubber bushings? Also, when you mention other, are you talking about the other side of the car or the other bushing in the other end of that control arm?
 
Messages
5,903
Location
DFW
1994? 22 years old. I would say that rubber bushings are just fine. Having replaced quite a few suspension components on an older Honda Accord I would go with the Beck Arnley alternative Cressida posted. When you have to start pounding and pressing to replace those things it just becomes a frustration.
 
Messages
25,426
Location
MA, Mittelfranken.de
It is not urethane it is a metal joint ball and seat joint with a poly boot, it provides the desirable qualities of urethane without the issues normally associated with it.
Quote:
providing the performance of urethane without the “squeak” normally associated with it
As far as B&A goes they were a good company with quality products but over the last few years they have become hit and miss, sometimes good other times just cheap junk like reboxed URO parts. Control arm build accuracy is critical, if its off a couple of MM it can throw the whole front end off significantly. Almost any independent shop will press bushings for you if you bring the arm to them, its an easy quick job and the ball joint on this one is a bolt in. Ask the shop first before taking it apart. Do all bushing on the same arm, if the other one looks the same do both arms. Try the B&A if you want, I am just telling you the way I would do it FWIW. Bushing Info 2cents
 
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1,640
Location
TX, USA
For around $50-$60 part, I will change it. If the bolts are all accessible without removing the motor mount, it should be easy to change. I am sure Youtube have video on it.
 
Messages
9,560
Location
Boston, MA
Originally Posted By: Cressida
Originally Posted By: Trav
I would replace them they are toast, crispy critters. Moog offers a heim joint style for this application, it will never crack again and is more stable. Replace the 0ther one also while its out. MOOG K200913 http://www.rockauto.com/en/moreinfo.php?pk=7181592&cc=1273418&jsn=445
You don't think the "urethane" constrution will result in a more harsh ride or nosier ride vs. the traditional rubber bushings? Also, when you mention other, are you talking about the other side of the car or the other bushing in the other end of that control arm?
I bought a Beck Arnley arm from the Rock for a Gen 4 Camry. Build quality is very good.
 
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Messages
2,142
Location
Chicago, IL
Originally Posted By: Trav
I would replace them they are toast, crispy critters. Moog offers a heim joint style for this application, it will never crack again and is more stable. Replace the 0ther one also while its out. MOOG K200913 http://www.rockauto.com/en/moreinfo.php?pk=7181592&cc=1273418&jsn=445
I put those Moogs in my Element's front lower control arm. The handling was noticeably tighter, but low speed bumps were harsher too. My hope is to never need to replace them again.
 
Messages
2,751
Location
Kentucky
With those types of cracks, I try to wait until something else needs replacing, like struts/ball joint/tie rod ends, etc. When one or more fail that cause ride disturbances (rattle, creaking, etc.) I try to do all of them (whole control arm, as it includes bushings, sometimes new ball joints) to avoid repeat re-alignments. My '04 Odyseey has cracks just like yours in the above picture, and it rides fantastic. But it's part I know needs attention, and when it starts giving me trouble (or other related parts,) I'll fix it once and fix it right. That usually always includes replacing other components which may not be "bad" per se, but have a lot of age and mileage on them.
 
Messages
663
Location
Modesto,CA
Those bushings are bad. Under load, cornering, heavy braking they will deflect & cause camber/caster/toe to change. Easy to replace the arm. 3 fasteners for the lower ball joint & 2 bolts & 1 nut for the control arm. You don't need to jack up the engine or anything major. Just make sure to put the caster shim back in the same spot on the front mounting bracket if the control arm.
 
Messages
25,426
Location
MA, Mittelfranken.de
Originally Posted By: EdwardC
Originally Posted By: Trav
I would replace them they are toast, crispy critters. Moog offers a heim joint style for this application, it will never crack again and is more stable. Replace the 0ther one also while its out. MOOG K200913 http://www.rockauto.com/en/moreinfo.php?pk=7181592&cc=1273418&jsn=445
I put those Moogs in my Element's front lower control arm. The handling was noticeably tighter, but low speed bumps were harsher too. My hope is to never need to replace them again.
I haven't noticed that but I can see that being the case when compared to rubber ones that have some years on them. They really do help in keeping the control arms super stable though, I noticed a big improvement on the W body cars handling and they are durable because they don't soften and flex more with age like the rubber.
 
Messages
20
Location
Georgia, USA
Replace them before they turn into this. (not mine) IIRC this car had about 150k miles on it. The ones in my car were much worse than OP, but not as bad as the picture above. I pressed the old ones out and new ones in. The bushings were either $23 total, or each. Cheap compared to control arms, but I had access to a 10 ton hydraulic press. Make sure you disconnect the ball joints in a way that will not destroy them, I prefer the "[censored] good hammer" method. After replacement, the car wallowed less under hard cornering.
 
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