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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Ok so on top of my electrical problem with the interior lights.. I found out that I have a bushing on the rear upper control arm gone.. Its making a heck of a lot of noise and my first question is it safe to drive on for another week or two?... mechanic said yes.. There is a slight play on the wheel if I jack the car up and push the top of the tire, but I have not noticed anything significant while driving it.

I got a quote from NTB and they want ~$300 for each side... So that's $600 bucks..

I did some reading on it and found that it is a pressed bushing so I probably will not be able to do it my self because I do not have a press...:( I might be able to take it to a machine shop.. that could do it but I need to find one and find out how much it will cost to do both bushings on both sides.. I would like to get all four done while I'm in there. Looks like each bushing is about $45-$50 so that's $180-$200 bucks right there plus getting the bushings pressed on the arms..

Other option is to buy a whole new upper control arm from ford because I can not seem to find it any where else (That is IF both bushings will be pressed on the control arms..) The only problem is it will run me about $500 bucks for both arms.. ( link- http://www.texasmotorsfordparts.com/parts/1997/FORD/THUNDERBIRD/LX/?siteid=214462&vehicleid=1140613&diagram=FDP195 )

I'm sure plenty of you guys have run into this problem before what did you guys do? What do you recommend? If you know of anywhere else that sells rear upper control arms with bushings for cheaper that would be awesome.

Thanks!
 

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If you are talking about the upper arm to frame bushing, the bushing contains a cam because you can adjust camber of the rear wheels. Your wheel won't fall off, but will wear the inside of the tire pretty quickly.

I changed them on my Bird before (I used a press), but they didn't come out that hard and I think if I had to, I could do it with a big clamp or vice and a hammer. Tighten up the clamp/vice hard as you can, whack it with a hammer, re-tighten - keep repeating this process until it comes out (installation is reverse).

Does it look like this? They're about $35 at Rockauto. http://www.rockauto.com/dbphp/x,catalog,95,partnum,5701001,d,Raybestos_5701001.html
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I believe that's it. But I'll be replacing both the one closer to the frame and the lower closer to the wheel as the lower one looked pretty worn out too. Mmm if you think I might be able to do it with a vice grip and a hammer that would be pretty cool...

I assume the lower bushing closer to the wheel also need to be pressed?
 

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I believe that's it. But I'll be replacing both the one closer to the frame and the lower closer to the wheel as the lower one looked pretty worn out too. Mmm if you think I might be able to do it with a vice grip and a hammer that would be pretty cool...

I assume the lower bushing closer to the wheel also need to be pressed?
Wait, there are 4 bushings, upper-frame, upper-knuckle, lower frame (2) and lower knuckle. There upper arm is just a metal box arm with a bushing in each end and is the one that usually goes bad, not the bottom ones.

I also did the upper-knuckle bushings on mine, but I never did any of the bottom ones. Upper-knuckle looks like this and is about the same price (seems though I remember it was harder to change than the inner one):
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)

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If you are talking about the upper arm to frame bushing, the bushing contains a cam because you can adjust camber of the rear wheels. Your wheel won't fall off, but will wear the inside of the tire pretty quickly.

I changed them on my Bird before (I used a press), but they didn't come out that hard and I think if I had to, I could do it with a big clamp or vice and a hammer. Tighten up the clamp/vice hard as you can, whack it with a hammer, re-tighten - keep repeating this process until it comes out (installation is reverse).
Huh. I just used a C-clamp and a pair of sockets to push the old one out, same C-clamp and a pair of washers to push it back in, along with a brace so I didn't collapse the upper control arm.

But yah, you can do it without a press.

That $300 each side? Seems high to me - we're talking about 1 hour labor each side max plus the part. $300 for both is believeable to me, but not $300 for one.

Unless Victoria Secrets models come out to keep you distracted while the mechanic is working ... :diablo:

Shucks, using the C-clamp and the working around, it took me under 1 hour each side at the house ...

RwP
 

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Discussion Starter #7
LOL better be ALOT to look at for the extra $300 bucks!

See I thought the same. The guy at NTB told me about $60 for each bushing then 2-3 hrs of labor. Idk buncha damn crooks if you ask me!! :D. Firestone wanted more than that but I'll never go back there considering what happened with my A/C..

Anyways that's great, just that's what I wanted to hear; I can do it without a press! And I wont have to spend $500+ :zbeer:
 

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The BIGGEST thing is, you have to make sure you don't bend the UCA in.

It's actually held in by the friction on ONE side only, IIRC. It may be two ,but it's a depression in the metal stamping if it is.

I was very careful and lined the tang up with where the tang came out of the old one ... but I"m not sure that was all that necessary.

A press would make it easier - and if they were quoting $600, you can justify this piece of equipment to the "budget officer" : http://www.harborfreight.com/20-ton-shop-press-32879.html .

You still need to align it, so I'd toss in new spindle bushings while you have the rear end apart.

You MAY end up close to $600 if you rebush all of it ... allowing $100 of that $600 for a full alignment!

Buy the press, the bushings, tools needed, and I bet you can even get a pair of shocks, sway bar end links, and sway bar bushings, for that same $500, still giving $100 for a 4 wheel alignment!

Just something to think about.

RwP
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Is the UCA really that easy to bend? It looks pretty sturdy if you ask me.

Mmm thats a nice press there. Unfortunately I have no place to keep something of that size..

I have the sway bar end links with bushings, just replaced those about 2 years ago. BUT I do need to make sure I have all the rest of the tools to get to the UCA. Prob should pull out that chiltons book and look for some more diagrams online.
 

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Is the UCA really that easy to bend? It looks pretty sturdy if you ask me.
Depends on what force is being directed on the wheel. See this example
http://forums.tccoa.com/showthread.php?t=138841

Having never done it before, we pulled the UCA off the car, unbent it with a torch and sledge hammer, and got back to racing within 30 minutes.

It's really only two bolts. You can get to the inner one with an impact gun provided you hold the other side with a wrench.

-g
 

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S4 - not bending that way, bending the two parallel sides into each other.

A whole different kettle of fish - and easy to do from the design (the bushing isn't boxed, after all, it's just a U-channel!)

RwP
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Has anyone used a bushing puller like this guy uses?... Looks like it would be a LOT easier.. but idk if this is a universal tool that work on our cars.. and/or if it could be rented from autozone..
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KldUzESKGBw
 

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Has anyone used a bushing puller like this guy uses?... Looks like it would be a LOT easier.. but idk if this is a universal tool that work on our cars.. and/or if it could be rented from autozone..
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KldUzESKGBw
I've seen them used just like I've seen a bolt with a couple of nuts used, but I've just never used them personally. Like a couple of us have said, you'll get it with this, a C-clamp or a vice (or any combination thereof). If you're just a little bit mechanically inclined, you shouldn't have much trouble.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
lol well yeah I was more concerned with if I would have enough strength to do it myself. I read on here someone had to use a torch to get it soft enough to pull it off lol it kinda worried me.

I hope I can tackle this on Thursday if not it will be Saturday afternoon... work and school always in the way ugh.. Thanks for your help tho!
 

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lol well yeah I was more concerned with if I would have enough strength to do it myself. I read on here someone had to use a torch to get it soft enough to pull it off lol it kinda worried me.

I hope I can tackle this on Thursday if not it will be Saturday afternoon... work and school always in the way ugh.. Thanks for your help tho!
Worst case? Grab a pair from the U-Pull-It, do them, and then put them on the car.

That way, minimum down time.

Be sure to consider doing the spindle bushings. I've done those with washers, nuts, and a 24" (I'd recommend longer!) run of 3/8" allthread.

RwP
 

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Rather than put a ton of stress on the UCA, just press out the center of the bushing with a press, vice, or C-clamp, then cut the outer bushing shell and fold it in on itself with a hammer and chisel. The UCA to subframe bushings aren't very difficult at all.
 

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Discussion Starter #17 (Edited)
Thank you for your help guys! Its been great.

Ok so I am tackling this project today.

I dont think i mentioned this before but there has been some squeaking in the suspension while I am driving in a straight line. It sometimes will go away if I let off the gas abruptly, almost like a wheel bearing or a sticking break pad but when I took it to the NTB they were sure it was the upper control bushing and not the wheel bearing..

Anyways I'm doing the bushing anyway, BUT my one question is if this spring will come out at me?....
I have the lower bolt out on the UCA (at the knuckle) and it looks like I will have to unbolt the shock in order to get to the upper bushing on the UCA. so I just want to make sure this spring is not going to jump out and kill me :)

Thanks in advance
 

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already have that covered. question is how low can it go? :) i guess if i let it down slowly i will be able to tell
The control arm? Shoot, I've unhooked the shock & sway bar and let it go all the way down. Use a jack like you are and be careful because once that arm gets at such a drastic angle, it could just pop the jack out.

BE CAREFUL, GOOD LUCK, AND TAKE PICTURES! You know how much we love pictures here! :D


WAIT, seems though when I did my upper arm, I didn't lower the bottom at all. It was a long time ago, but I think I just took the two bolts out of the upper arm. :zdunno:
 
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