A arm bushings


#1

A arm bushings are shot. Are they that important to replace? Are they difficult to replace? Could this have destroyed my upper balljoints which I have to replace?


#2

Yes, they’re important, can have an affect on the upper ball joints, and can involve a little wrestling to replace.

It would help if you let us know what kind of car, mileage, etc. is involved here because bushings normally last a very long time.
On many newer cars the bushings may not even be available and considering the upper ball joint problem, the entire control arm is replaced. The control arm may be the only way the ball joints or bushings are even available.
If the uppers are gone, what about the lowers?


#3

Thanks for the quick response.
1994 Chevy s-10 pickup. 205k miles. All four balljoints were replaced 1-1.5 years ago. Lowers are still tight according to the mechanic at a local garage but the uppers were shot. I can redo those myself. Tha A arm bushings were also gone but the price to replace them was about $275. Way more than I can afford to pay right now (I’m in construction in Fl.) So I was curious if it was that important to fix immediately or if I could get away with it for a little while; and also if this is something that a pretend mechanic can handle with limited tools and a Haynes manual.


#4

It’s not a difficult job for the DIYer. The only hard part might be getting the old bushings out. This will probably require a press at the local auto machine shop. The new ones can then be pressed in or an alternate method such as a large C-clamp, large bolt/nut/washers, etc. can be used to install the new bushings.

A quick look at a web page shows the bushings are 9 bucks apiece X 4 + 20 bucks or so for a ball joint + whatever the machine shop charges to press the old ones out (should not be much). Weigh this against the price of a complete new A-arm at 175 dollars.

Front end wear can be cumulative. A weak shock absorber or strut will cause early failures of ball joints, tie rods, stabilizer bar bushings/links, A-arm bushings, etc. so make sure the shocks are good. One thing always leads to another in this case.
The A-arm bushings are not critical (although they contribute to tire wear) but I would not recommend that a ball joint be ignored. If one of those pops it can lead to some severe vehicle damage at the least or injury/fatality at worst.
Hope that helps.


#5

I bought the upper balljoints this afternoon. My next job isn’t ready yet so I was going to replace those tommorrow. Then I get to figure out where my EGR valve is and replace that this weekend. Yeaaaaa!!! Old trucks are lots of fun.
Thanks for the help.


#6

I think you’re doing the right thing by taking care of those ball joints. One day last year I went on a short hop with my daughter and I drove her Mitsubishi. As I turned a corner the left front ball joint popped and that was it. Call the tow truck. Luckily, I was turning a corner at slow speed.

The irritating part was that the ball joints had just been checked under a recall just a few months before, were deemed fine, and not replaceable under terms of the recall. Obviously they were not that fine.
The car was driving well and had no obvious noises. Just glad this did not happen at speed with her behind the wheel.


#7

I understand. I drove home REAL careful tonight. Both hands on the wheel. The whole deal. :slight_smile:


#8

With the amount of time the industry has been making ball joints why cant they get things like this right. Isnt everything already known about how to make a ball joint that has a extremely low probability of catastrophic failure?


#9

who checked them?

the new guy.?

seasond techs ,replaced them always,we did not do the sealer.


#10

The guy that checked them was, I’m pretty sure, a seasoned mechanic. Called me in under the truck to show me everything.The passeneger side appeared to be on the verge of falling off. Serious movement when he was pushing on the top and bottom of the tire. I’ll look closely at the A arm when I do the balljoints tommorrow. AND one of the lower balljoints was never pressed in fully. Amazingly the garage who did my balljoints a year ago is out of business. I guess doing a good job and being honest is just as important to mechanics as it is to us tile setters.


#11

sorry that question was for the mitsubishi (RECALL) above,

your answer is YES, and to use MOOG problem solver,ball joints and ,idler arm

they last forever.


#12

I don’t know who checked them but it was stated the wear “was within tolerance” and the boots were not improperly assembled or split.

If I had been the one doing it the boots would have been split or loose (no doubt about it) and the control arms replaced.

They’re just lucky I was behind the wheel at slow speed instead of my daughter at high speed.


#13

I did my own ball joints and my wheels haven’t fallen off yet! YEAH! I really hope my good fortune continues. :slight_smile:


#14

They are a bear to replace, but they are probably not bad. Control arm bushings hardly ever fail, even in 20+ year old cars.

The ball joints may be worn out because you got inferior replacements last time.