Need help with control arm bushing repair

#1

2000 Chevy Malibu, 3.1L automatic trans. I need to change out the front left control arm bushing. I am looking for help in separating the bushing from the knuckle and getting the old bushing out of the control arm. I do not have access to the special tools. a friend told me that he separates and removes the rubber from the bushing and then collapses the bushing in on itself until it pops out. Does anyone have any tricks on separating and removing the bushing?

#2

Why do you think the bushing is bad, these rarely ever go bad. They will check around the edges and some people thing they are bad, but they will still last 20 years or more.

Do you already have the new bushing? On some new cars, you have to buy the complete control arm, you can’t get the bushing separately.

Your friends way is the only way I know of. Then you have to get the new one in.

#3

Do you have a replacement bushing?

Tester

#4

If you mean separating the control arm lower ball joint from the steering knuckle then this will require either a small ball joint press or a pickle fork. These tools can be gotten from some parts houses (AutoZone, etc.) as part of their free loaner tool program.
If you use the pickle fork the dust boot will be destroyed and that will need to be replaced. Dust boots are also available.

Removing the control arm bushing will require a hydraulic press or the method your friend suggests. Reinstalling the new bushing can sometimes require some effort.
Best to let an auto machine shop do this. It’s cheap and can save a lot of aggravation for the DIYer.

Just curious. Control arm bushing failure is somewhat rare and especially on an '00 model car. Sure this is the problem?

#5

The vehicle failed an inspection because of the rubber being torn. The independent garage owner is a friend, and I asked him to look at it himself. He confirmed. I have looked at the bushing myself but do not see any damage. I have been told that the vehicle needs to be in the air to see the damaged bushing. I do have the replacement bushing. I am not worried about getting the new bushing in, have pressed in new bushings for other applications with the use of a socket and a bench vise many a times… Used to be an engineer on a ship, had to do all your own repairs while at sea… H

#6

I can’t picture “seperating the bushing from the knuckle” The knuckle is connected to the control arm by a ball joint. The control arm bushings connect to the sub frame. I will look for a picture.

#7

If you have a big enough vise, you can push the old bushing out the same way you are planning to squeeze the new one in…Use a socket to push the bushing into a short length of iron pipe that is slightly larger than the bushing…A length of all-thread, a couple of nuts and a few washers can be used to do the same thing…

#8

Good idea, I was planning on trying that before I resorted to the chisle method.

#9

That is how the manual described it, confused me too…

#10

I’ll second the opinion, let the pros do it. I’ve cut them out and pressed in my own and it’s no picnic compared to walking into the shop and back out 10 minutes later and $20 lighter. Sometimes, they are real stubborn and even a press is tough going. One suggestion if you do them yourself- put the new one(s) in the freezer for a couple of hours beforehand and only take them out right before pressing them in. That little bit of shrinkage can make all the difference…

#11

Great idea, I have used the process of freezing shafts and heating the bearings in oil for pressed fit bearings. They would pretty much slip on… I will definetly put the bushing in the freezer.