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  #1  
Old 06-05-2016, 01:58 PM
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Default Lower Control Arm Bushing Replacement

Has anyone replaced their lower control arm bushing? From the Shop Manual, it looks like I have to drop the whole lower control arm from the ball-joint and frame. Can it be done my simply removing the old bushing from the frame attachment or does the whole arm have to come off?

Suspension work does not thrill me.
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Old 06-05-2016, 08:56 PM
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Follow the procedure in your Shop Manual. Make sure you use good jack stands before going under your car. Once you get the lower arm out you can work on your bench. Even so, the bushings will not come out easy. Use a big hammer and take lots of pictures. - Dave
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Old 06-06-2016, 09:57 AM
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The front end has to be lifted pretty high on the Squarebird to get the lower arms down far enough to remove the springs and A arms. Believe it was about 22 inches.

Took my bushings and A arms to a machine shop and had them press out the old and press in the new. More expensive - think they charged about $40 - but was quick and done.




Eric
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Old 06-08-2016, 11:47 AM
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Default Lower Control Arm Bushing

Quote:
Originally Posted by simplyconnected View Post
Follow the procedure in your Shop Manual. Make sure you use good jack stands before going under your car. Once you get the lower arm out you can work on your bench. Even so, the bushings will not come out easy. Use a big hammer and take lots of pictures. - Dave
Hi Dave:

Sound advice. From looking underneath the car and the manual, it doesn't appear to be too difficult procedurally to remove the lower control arm. And I expect that if I do one, I will do the other at the same time.

While I have your attention, can the issue of a bad bushing cause the vehicle to pull right when braking? I ask because I have totally redone my brakes, new shoes, turned drums, new brake lines, flushed and new fluids, new wheel cylinders, and proper adjustment. But I am still getting this pulling issue. Any thoughts?

yep, and many pics will be on the way.
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Old 06-08-2016, 04:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GeoffInCarlsbad View Post
Hi Dave:

Sound advice. From looking underneath the car and the manual, it doesn't appear to be too difficult procedurally to remove the lower control arm. And I expect that if I do one, I will do the other at the same time.

While I have your attention, can the issue of a bad bushing cause the vehicle to pull right when braking? I ask because I have totally redone my brakes, new shoes, turned drums, new brake lines, flushed and new fluids, new wheel cylinders, and proper adjustment. But I am still getting this pulling issue. Any thoughts?

yep, and many pics will be on the way.
***WARNING*** Do one side at a time. That way you can use the other side as a reference.

Shoe brakes pull. That's the nature of the beast. Sometimes they pull in one direction when cold then they pull in the opposite direction when heated up.

Why? For sure, if ANY of your steering or suspension components are sloppy you can expect a fight with the steering wheel. Another cause may be mis-matched brake linings. Each wheel needs a primary shoe and a secondary. They must be installed and bedded-in correctly.

A disk brake retrofit will stop the pulling to one side or the other. Disk brakes also stop a whole lot better. The difference is huge.

Chances are, original bushings are rotted and need to be replaced. I did mine in the driveway because I'm cheap. I used a 2-1/2" pipe nipple and a 5# hammer. This work is not for the faint-hearted, but with a little perseverance and persuasion, you can do it. I'm sure you can always find someone else to do the work for a price. Not me.

Randy Harsha lives in Fallbrook, not far from you. Send a PM to 'Randy' because he is in the middle of doing the exact same bushing and brake work on his '60 Squarebird. CLICK HERE for Randy's pictures.

Much of this work is straight forward and easier to do than to describe. Be careful and put the frame on jack stands. Then use a smaller jack under the spring before separating the lower ball joint. You won't need a spring compressor.

If you have more questions, please ask. We're here to help. - Dave
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Old 06-10-2016, 07:02 PM
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Default Awaiting parts and here we go

Hi Dave:

Ok, I am sending a note to Randy, per your connection. Thanks. I am trying to save myself about $400, and I am just dumb enough to try these things myself. The only that that concerns me is the removal of the ball joints from the lower control arm. Taking a 5# sledge and a pickle fork sounds frightening, but what the hell, right?

Here's what the right side looks like today:


Looks like it needs to be replaced. As for disc brakes, I am trying to stay as original as possible, plus I just did a load of brake work, and that was a learning experience! I'll get around to it in the future. It's the right thing to do.
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Old 06-10-2016, 08:03 PM
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Yep, looks just like a worn out bushing.
Randy is a great guy and he's easy to speak with. He will show you what to expect and how he tackled his bushings. - Dave
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Old 04-17-2018, 02:58 PM
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Default Front Strut Rod Bushings - 1961 v. '62-later

I wore out my 61 front strut rod bushings. I installed them in 2016, and now they are shot (again). From this thread, it looks like I can replace those bushings with 62-63 bushings. Before I do that, I'd like to hear how well those are wearing? I tried finding urethane material bushings, but none that will fit this year. The earliest years I can find for those is 72 T-Bird.

So my asks are:

1) For those of you using 62 or later bushings, how have they held up for you?
2) Has anyone found and tried urethane front strut rod bushings? If so, how are those holding up?
3) Why are these not lasting?

I asked some mechanic friends of mine, and they are scratching their heads. So there is nothing wrong with the front end and brakes (as you know that was a struggle). So two have suggested that the rubber materials used today just don't hold up well. I have seen some threads and conversations that those '61 bushings were not great to start with, and were modified for '62 and beyond. Obviously this was a problem. Any counsel is always appreciated.

~g

Regards,

~g
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Old 04-17-2018, 11:15 PM
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Geoff, I seriously considered merging this with the last Lower Control Arm thread you generated. The last one had many pictures but your photo hosting dropped them all so it's a checkered mess.

You answer your own question in your post:
Quote:
Originally Posted by GeoffInCarlsbad View Post
Couple of comments:

My theory is back to this being a braking issues. The Control Arm Bushing was in OK shape before all this started after I had the brakes worked. The Left side is perfectly fine, but ALL the new and old bushings on the right side, including the dust boot on the ball joint, have been destroyed, roughed up, or slightly damaged, including spring rub marks on the right hand shock absorber.

I have replaced ALL the bushings and both ball joints on the Right side. So, this tells me that the movement "jerking" to the right at braking is most likely causing the damage.

So, at the very least, I am going to have to replace that lower ball joint or at least find a dust boot to put back on there. So there will be some disassembly once I find out what I can get locally or have to order.

Secondly, the results of my test drive yesterday were as follows:

1) Upon backing out of the driveway, and beginning our drive, there was NO drift as long as the wheels were cold. As the wheels heated up, after about 2 miles of stop & go, top speeds of 45mpg, I began to feel the "pull" to the right. This is ok, since before it was a severe jerking to the right but now feels more like a drift or pull to the right.

2) As the wheels go more heat in them, the car would pull more. But there were a few times where there was little or NO pull at all.

So, this could be wheel cylinder, drum linings, shoe mis-alignment? All of the above?

One last comment, I had to tighten the nuts beneath the car before lowering. This car is so low, that there is no way for me to get my arm beneath the front chassis to do any work. I am too big and the car sits too low. I tried. I suppose I could lower the car's front wheel (sans the rim/tire) and keep it high enough, but I don't really feel safe doing that. Or I could go buy a set of ramps! Shoot, I just figured that out! Ok.....Need to figure this out, as I don't want to do all this work all over again & again. it was fun, but it was a lot of work.

I have 32 pics to edit and post, so I do apologize that it is taking me so long to post those. I am working on them.

So, in conclusion, my mission was accomplished, but the root cause of the issue has yet to be solved.

Today I will take another drive, do a lot of driving in reverse somewhere to adjust those brakes, heat them up, raise it up, and have some more fun today. The hardest part MAY be taking HOT drums off, but I would like to avoid that if possible.
I suggest you use the proper parts and you follow the Shop Manual procedures for your car. You mentioned, your 1961 bushings were ok before you worked on brakes. They lasted FIFTY+ years. Bushings normally last decades not two years. Obviously, something wasn't done right.
Your car is nearly identical to many thousands, all built on the same assembly line using the same parts, by the same assemblers. Your brakes were not different and neither are your bushings.

When you mismatch parts that are intended for cars of a different year you are asking for more problems.
Your last bout was straightened out by a brake mechanic who brought the car back to stock condition and operation. That is the goal you need to adhere to. The '61 Thunderbird is not very technical. - Dave
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  #10  
Old 04-18-2018, 04:07 PM
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Default No parts mismatched and everything in manual

There are no mismatched parts installed and everything has been done in accordance to the 1961 Shop Manual and with parts specific to the year/make/model of this vehicle. If you read the article I posted here, it indicates that everything checks out to be right.

I did nothing to cause any pictures to drop. I used the mechanism as described by this site at the time of postings. If something has changed it was from nothing I did to change anything. If my postings are all a mess, feel free to delete my postings.
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