Removing and Replacing Rubber Suspension Bushings

I made my own tool for removing and replacing bushings and it worked quite well. It is similar to the factory "special tool". No scary flames or fumes and no dealing with surly machine shop guys to get 10 minutes work done on their hydraulic press.

All it consisted of was a 12" long piece of all-thread rod (diameter that fits through bushing), some nuts for the rod, a piece of pipe with an ID a bit larger than the bushing, and some washers to fit the rod that have an O.D. larger than the pipe. Total cost about $10 buying all the stuff at a local hardware store, cheaper if you have a good scrap collection. I used the long "joiner" nuts, since the rod was fairly low-grade steel and I wanted to be sure it could take the torque. To extract a bushing, put the rod through the bushing and the pipe and then on the bushing end just use a nut and on the pipe end use a washer or two and a nut. Now, when you tighten the nuts against each other, the bushing will be pulled into the piece of pipe.

Installing the bushing is the reverse, except the pipe is on the opposite side of the control arm from the bushing. Use lots of glycerin and pull the bushing into the arm toward the pipe. The pipe is there so the end of the bushing can pop through. You have to pull the rubber bushing quite a ways through to the other side before the shoulder comes all the way through. I did all the bushings (in rubber) on my '02 this way and it was a bit of work but it went fairly smoothly.

This kind of tool is handy for a lot of things, including installing bearing races in hubs, etc., as long as you have a selection of washers (even better if you can make them to exact size on a lathe...) Much more elegant than beating on things with a big hammer.


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