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  #1  
Old 08-10-2009, 10:44 AM
Astrowing Astrowing is offline
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Default Bushings

As I was working on front brakes this weekend, I noticed that at least the upper bushings are going to have to be replaced. Have ya'll taken the arms out and had them pressed in and out off the vehicle? It looks like the ball joint is still an original with the rivets, which means probably everything is still original. How about the lower arm bushings? Thanks!
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Old 08-11-2009, 01:21 AM
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Doing any suspension work is not for the faint-hearted. It's very heavy, bull-work. All the bolts are real big and so are your tools.

I changed my '55. Before I started, I used a stamp set to identify where everything came from; Eg: upper shafts got stamped, 'LH' and 'RH' on the top-front of each shaft. Then I took lots of pictures as I went along.

After the arms were out, I found my cutting torch to be the very best (and easiest) tool for removing the old bushing shells. Once heated, the rubber nearly falls out. I CAREFULLY cut out the outer shell, without cutting into the 'A' arm bushing holes. Lower bushings go easier than uppers because they have no shaft.

Once stripped and painted, 'A' arm assembly can be a little tricky. Make sure you put the shaft in the holes FIRST, to see how the bushings go in. It all makes sense, but only goes together one way. My '55 shaft is longer on one side than the other:



Take your time and it will all be worth your effort. Your car will steer much better. Bushings cost ~$8/ea., or cheaper if you buy them in sets. Same story for ball joints, try to get good ol' American NOS if you can. Check upper and lower bumpers (my rubbers were missing but the studs were there).

I just bought four ball joints on eBay for my '59. Same story as you, the original rivets are there, so they must not have been changed in the past fifty years.
Hope this helps. - Dave Dare


Quote:
Originally Posted by Astrowing View Post
As I was working on front brakes this weekend, I noticed that at least the upper bushings are going to have to be replaced. Have ya'll taken the arms out and had them pressed in and out off the vehicle? It looks like the ball joint is still an original with the rivets, which means probably everything is still original. How about the lower arm bushings? Thanks!
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Old 08-11-2009, 01:56 AM
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I don't know what year your Ford is, so here are a couple more examples (they are all very similar):



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Old 08-11-2009, 10:33 AM
Astrowing Astrowing is offline
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I do have a 58 so the diagrams are very helpful. I haven't seen those particular ones before. Thanks!

I guess the question is can the bushings be pressed out by taking the arm assemblies out and to a machine shop, or will I have to resort to cutting?

I did my '72 Cougar before and don't recall them being that difficult (once the spring was compressed and removed!
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Old 08-11-2009, 05:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Astrowing View Post
I do have a 58 so the diagrams are very helpful. I haven't seen those particular ones before. Thanks!

I guess the question is can the bushings be pressed out by taking the arm assemblies out and to a machine shop, or will I have to resort to cutting?

I did my '72 Cougar before and don't recall them being that difficult (once the spring was compressed and removed!
On my '55, notice how LONG the lower arm is. I tried putting my spring compressors on but there was no room! Finally resorted to READING THE MANUAL. The manual says to, 'separate the lower ball joint and lower the arm'. It was just that easy. I had the body on stands, put a scissors jack under the lower ball joint, and eased it down. The spring FELL out. Putting it back was just as easy.

Regarding pressing:
I did everything in my driveway, using a 2" pipe nipple, blocks of wood, and a big hammer. I suppose you could bring the arms to a shop, but you really don't have to. I used my acetylene torch because it was very convenient and it did the job without any effort.

I pounded the new bushings in, one at a time. Again, make sure you put the rod in the upper arm correctly, before you pound bushings in.

Don't tighten your bushing bolts/nuts until the car sits level. It's the very last thing to do. They should be relaxed on a level car, then tightened like your life depends on it (because it does). - Dave Dare
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Old 08-11-2009, 06:11 PM
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Dave excellent stuff and very clear suggestions for the replacement. Thanks for replying to the original thread, I have printed and placed in my technical file.
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Old 08-11-2009, 08:41 PM
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James
I rebuilted my front end 3-6-6 got a Front end rebuild kit fron Kanter auto porducts cost 324.50 for everything,all ball joints and all bushings.I did one side at a time,be sure to get a good coil spring compressor to remove coil spring,I set my frane on concret blocks and jack stands for saftey you will have to drill out the rivets on the old ball joints, and when you are done get it lined up.
PS I took pictures of every thing which helped me get it back together.
Goog Luck
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Old 08-12-2009, 12:28 AM
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I have a gallery of photos on my website from when I did mine. Some thoughts from the comments thus far:

The bushings can and should be pressed out and in. I took mine to a local tire & suspension shop. Don't remember the cost, except that it was higher than I expected. $7 a bushing sounds right, but remember, there are 8 of them. That's $56 plus tax. Might have been more. For the upper arms, make sure you take your shafts in too as the shafts get placed in the arm when the bushings are pressed in.

The Kanter kit is what I used and it was great. It did not come with the bump stops, however. The stops on the upper arms on mine were shot, but the lowers were good. The Kanter kit can be bought with new shafts, which I did.

No offense to Bob, but don't use concrete blocks to support the car, only use proper jack stands, and really you should use the modern 4 leg stands versus the older 3 leg ones. Concrete blocks can and have failed in such a use, they aren't designed to support that kind of load.

The service manual has a geat step by step for removing the front coil spring. No spring compressor needed, in fact, I rented one and couldn't get it inside the spring to use it. The floor jack method from the manual worked like a charm, however.

If you have any questions about this, let me know. You can search here too as several others have been through it and there are several threads on various parts of the job.
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Old 08-12-2009, 01:56 PM
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Thanks for all the great suggestions. I think I'm also going to build some ramps/stands out of 2x8's and 2x12's like my grandfather had to provide additional blocking capability.

So, dgs, after your power ram and control valve rebuilds and hoses, how is the steering working? Did you do anything with the pump? Any leaks?

Also, the manual on the upper arm bushings shows a tool that is used to keep the arm shaft centered and aligned. Comments on how you did that?
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Old 08-12-2009, 02:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Astrowing View Post
...the manual on the upper arm bushings shows a tool that is used to keep the arm shaft centered and aligned. Comments on how you did that?
The bushings have stamped projections (stops) which only allow insertion until the two parts bottom. The shaft floats in the middle and self-centers until you tighten the outboard nuts. Mind you, all dimensions are trapped in rubber which is meant to cushion. The upper rod is directly bolted to the frame, and the upper "A" arm floats on trapped rubber. It's shown in the illustrations, but take at least 15 close-up pictures of your own. There's no such thing as too much reference.
- Dave
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