Axle pivot bushings on F150: doable without a machine press?

Just yesterday/today, I had to replace the radius arm bushings in my truck to get it to pass inspections. (Still oily and dirty from the effort: had to drill out 8 rivets on that job!)

Now sporting a sticker good until 7/2015: that’s the good news. The bad news is I retain a decent amount of high speed wobble above 65. I had the tire store recheck balance; rechecked torque on the wheel bearing. Since the ball joints are still good, process of elimination says it’s time to to get the OEM axle pivot bushings out of there!

My question is if the job is doable for a guy without a lift or a hydraulic press. I’ve pressed in balljoints solo–those were easy because I could work on the driveshaft on my workbench. Working in situ underneath the vehicle ups the “degree of difficulty!”

My plan: raise the front half of the truck. Drop the inner side of each I-beam axle (leave the other side attached to the balljoints); press out the old bushings using two sockets of appropriate size and a C-clamp. If this proves too much, saw each bushing in half with a metal blade on my Sawzall, then rent an air chisel to bash out both halves.

Is this feasible? I’m not really a genius mechanic, but I’m not all thumbs, either. I can drop a tranny, swap a cylinder head, and probably an engine swap (I’ve never tried the last though). I’m mainly worried about getting stuck at a point where the vehicle isn’t in a driveable…or even easily-towable…condition.

Check a good repair manual at the library or call a repair shop. Find out if a press is needed before you tackle this job. If a machine press is required…there is no way that you can do this job without it. If you try…you will more than likely damage the vehicle or get so far in above your head…you will need to tow the vehicle in to get it repaired.

A C-clamp and sockets should work.

This person is using a threaded rod instead of a C-clamp.


There might be some problems controlling the axle when it swings from the shock, spring and radius rod. Getting the axle lined up to install the bolt could be tough.