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'Redneck" lower control arm - LCA Bushing Press

Discussion in '2nd Gen. Tacomas (2005-2015)' started by TacoBow, Jan 19, 2011.

  1. Jan 19, 2011 at 7:04 PM
    #1
    TacoBow

    TacoBow [OP] Intentionally cosmetically incorrect.

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    So I ran into a little snag and figured I'd share a inexpensive method I used to win the battle of a seized lower control arm bushing... or in my case, 3 of them.

    I recently had my stock rims powedercoated and decided to have the trucks alignment checked after the tires were mounted. I went to a reputable local shop equipped with a computerized alignment rack and returned a few hours later to find their tech was unable to bring the truck into spec. The looming problem... 3 of the 4 cam adjustment bolts were seized in the LCA bushings.

    I took the truck home, (after declining their estimate of repair), and figured I could work on liberating the cam bolts with some break free type spray lubricant. That was the beginning... of the end.

    After numerous attempts to free them, (air / impact tools, mild heat application and a can of PB Blaster), I resolved to remove both lower control arms via reciprocating hack saw. NOTE: Those who have encountered this issue know how hard, as in hardness, these bolt assemblies are. I don't have any pictures of the LCA removal process, but suffice to say that cut off wheels in an angle grinder can get hairy fast... a sparkle wrench, aka cut off torch, is a no go based on the collateral damage potential to surrounding hard and soft parts, and that a sawz-all proved to be the most controlled method for my repair.

    With that said, don't skimp on the price of good metal cutting saw blades. I went through $20 dollars worth of the Dewalt general purpose units before buying the HD 5 pack that finally waded through the stuck fast bushing hardware.

    So, with the job of the LCA's removed, fast forward to what I do have pictures of... the extrication of the bushings themselves. Chances are, since these are dry assembled from the factory and lack serviceable grease fittings, the bushings too will be frozen in the LCA. A real press, like the 20 ton floor mounted unit in our local shop would be the tits... but, I ain't got one. Not to mention, the price I was quoted to remove the LCA's, push out the stuck bushings, press in new bushings and then reassemble the truck would have allowed me to buy one. Uh, no thanks... so I gots an idea.

    With the LCA off and in the vice, I tried a drift punch / hammer technique. This method didn't work to remove the bushing, since the blows of the hammer on the punch were absorbed by the rubber bushing material. It wasn't a complete failure though, in that I was able to slightly fold inward the thin, metal exterior diameter of the bushing captured in the LCA. This permitted a more direct application of the PB Blaster, which I'm sure aided the device I made that pushed the bushing out - my Redneck Press!

    Here's a picture of the LCA in the vice, with the Redneck press ready to get to work -

    [​IMG]

    What the press consists of is quite inexpensive... there in the center, running through the bushing, is a longer than required piece of 1/2 inch threaded rod. On the exit side, as in the direction I'm about to push the stuck bushing, is a large socket. The sockets ID will permit the bushing to enter its interior, while the OD of the socket rest firmly against the LCA. I used the stock bushings flanges, that were cut off by the reciprocating saw during the LCA's removal from the truck, as a means of securing the socket against a nut on the threaded rod on the socket side, and the other smaller flange washer as a push point, or chaser if you will, to butt up against the stuck bushing on the opposite side. Add a nut to the threaded rod below the flange washer and begin tightening the assembly with common box end wrenches. Get to twistin' on dem nuts!

    Here is a little closer image of the rig snugged up against the LCA bushing -

    [​IMG]

    Here is a picture of the process with the Redneck Press removed, to show that the bushing is indeed beginning to move -

    [​IMG]

    Keep on twisting the nuts attached to the threaded rod, (you may have to add more washers or a smaller socket on the chaser side to lengthen the pushing travel), and the end result will look something like this -

    [​IMG]

    Slide the whole assembly out and the bushing will be captured on the threaded rod... wallah, and she's out! -

    [​IMG]

    Not too painful and certainly a far cry more economical than having that completed at the local repair center.

    The reassembly is simply a matter of reversing the Redneck Press procedure... I used the same hardware to install the new bushings by pushing them into the LCA with the same threaded rod technique. To make the install easier, I chose to clean up the receiving body of the LCA with a small file and put a very small bevel on the inside lip of the LCA bushing housing after removing all the residual rust and crud that was left behind.

    I took the time, about 5 minutes each, to square up any rough edges with a flat file and used a round file to clean out the LCA housing. I took care not to remove any material from inside the LCA bushing housing, as a tight fit is require to secure the new bushings. I did however apply anti-seize paste lubricant to all the bushing surfaces, including the cam sleeve and bolt assemblies, to prevent this situation from happening again.

    Oh and I also wire wheeled and painted each LCA complete... in factory black, to make 'em look nice and add some weather resistance too. The sad thing was, none of the 3 seized bushings themselves that I had to remove were bad... in that the rubber inside each was as good as the new bushings. This issue, and I've read here it's quite common, could have been prevented entirely had Toyota lubed these critical alignment components from the go. A factory grease fitting sure woulda been nice too.

    I hope this short read helps someone else who finds their truck out of spec on the alignment rack! You too can fix 'er up with a little effort, regular hand tools at a considerable savings to your wallet.

    A final note, 1 of my 3 stuck bushings also involved a stuck mounting bolt. When this situation occurs, you will not be able to run the threaded rod through the stuck bushing after the LCA has been cut free from the frame mounts. In this case, you can still win the battle using a C-Clamp press, (a hand held ball joint style press that can be rented cheaply by the hour from any tool rental place if you don't have one), or a trip to the local shop to have it pressed out will be in order. Try the C-Clamp press first... for about 1/5th of the price you will win that battle too. Plus you can feel good about fixing it yourself.

    Cheers fellow Tacoma drivers! :)
     
    thumper72, xaqori, alphabravo and 2 others like this.
  2. Jan 19, 2011 at 7:35 PM
    #2
    NoMallCrawlTaco

    NoMallCrawlTaco © "HELL FUCK YEAH!" © COPYRIGHT FOR MY PROTECTION!

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    4" Camburgs Icon AAL 3 Pac BLHM Tacoshi Grill More to come...
    don't give shit what anyone thinks, I love resourceful thinking like this...
    not too mention saving loads of money...

    Great write up.
     
  3. Jan 19, 2011 at 7:36 PM
    #3
    Tacorossa

    Tacorossa Member

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    Wow. Thanks for this. I have a siezed bushing as well and was waiting for the weather to warm up so I could fix it. I have the bushings and cam adjusters sitting in a box ready to go.

    What size socket did you use?

    Can't wait to get on this.
     
  4. Jan 19, 2011 at 7:44 PM
    #4
    Supra TT

    Supra TT Solid Axle FTMFW!!

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    Damn nice design :thumbsup: Anything to save, it helps :)
     
  5. Jan 19, 2011 at 7:47 PM
    #5
    01tacoprerunner

    01tacoprerunner Lifted 'n Locked 4WD Prerunner

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    Is that lents in your sig supra TT?
     
  6. Jan 19, 2011 at 8:07 PM
    #6
    TBK224

    TBK224 ~THE LIGHT GUY~ Vendor

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    Great write-up. A little ingenuity goes a long ways. Way better than spending a shit load of money to have someone else do it for you. Where did you get your new parts from, and if you dont mind me asking, how much?
     
  7. Jan 19, 2011 at 8:42 PM
    #7
    Kelson

    Kelson My Truck is Cuter than Yours

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    they actually make a tool that's pretty much the same as yours...just looks like a giant socket set lol.
     
  8. Jan 20, 2011 at 7:58 AM
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    RZRob

    RZRob Well-Known Member

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    I applaud MacGyverism.

    RZ Rob
     
  9. Jan 20, 2011 at 9:00 AM
    #9
    Rhino8541

    Rhino8541 I like ze best!

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    Check out my build thread.
    Nice, I had this happen when I had my lift installed, but I didn't have to deal with it, and they didn't charge extra for it!
     
  10. Jan 20, 2011 at 5:22 PM
    #10
    JLink

    JLink Well-Known Member

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    thats awesome. ill have to remember this
     
  11. Jan 20, 2011 at 5:33 PM
    #11
    macgyver

    macgyver Well-Known Member

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    My kinda guy! Way to be resourceful!
     
  12. Jan 20, 2011 at 9:51 PM
    #12
    TacoBow

    TacoBow [OP] Intentionally cosmetically incorrect.

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    The large socket was a 1 and 3/4 inch size. Proved to be the perfect fit to line up against the LCA housing while permitting the bushing to enter the sockets ID without binding.

    You could also use a short piece of thick wall 2" diameter tubing... most Home Depot or Lowes stores have it on hand and will cut it to any length you specify while you wait. The cost would be less than buying that big socket if you didn't already have one on hand.

    I don't mind at all. I tried for two days to find aftermarket bushings but could not. I don't think anyone makes them, based on their design, other than Toyota that is. They aren't cheap either... expect to pay around 65 for the front most bushing and about 55 for the rear. The front has a separate camber sleeve and a camber bolt. The cam nut, which is something you will likely be able to save, is also a separate item that secures the bolt that passes through the sleeve and mounts the LCA to the front frame mount. You don't get any other hardware when you order the bushings... everything else is priced individually. I don't have the slip here at the computer, but three bushings, two camber sleeves, two bolts and one cam nut was close to $250 big dullas.

    The part numbers are a bit troubling... let me know if you require them and I will pull my receipts for you.

    What you speak of is likely a C-Clamp press, commonly used for ball joints. I don't have one, but I do have a much cheaper piece of threaded rod. :D
     
  13. Jan 20, 2011 at 10:03 PM
    #13
    island808

    island808 Me l've got brains.

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    Safer on the control arm than my ol hammer method.

    I have a whole drawer full of different size gigantic washers just for this purpose. Never have the right puller/press when you need it.
     
  14. Jan 20, 2011 at 10:12 PM
    #14
    kinkrider101

    kinkrider101 Well-Known Member

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    I have actually used this same method and same supplies to press in bearings before
     
  15. Jan 21, 2011 at 7:44 AM
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    Tacorossa

    Tacorossa Member

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    Thanks for the information. I believe I have a 1-3/4" in the garage. If not, I guess I could just bring my new bushing to Home Depot and see what fits.

    I ordered my bushings and camber adjusters from www.toyotapartsales.com for a reasonable price. I believe the bushings were about $40 each.
     
  16. Jan 22, 2011 at 6:14 AM
    #16
    TacoBow

    TacoBow [OP] Intentionally cosmetically incorrect.

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    You are very welcome... I just wish I had known about your parts link to purchase genuine OEM items at below retail. Looking at my slips, I could have bought the same items I needed from your link at a $64 dollar savings. :mad:

    Yet just another reason they call car dealerships "Stealerships."
     
  17. Dec 28, 2011 at 7:26 PM
    #17
    Jonyd182

    Jonyd182 What do you mean I can't go up there...Watch this!

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    I have a 99 taco that as far as I know does not experienced seized cam bolts. Is it worth taking the time to remove the bolts, add anti seize lubricant and reassemble?
     
  18. Sep 19, 2012 at 4:57 PM
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    goufcustom

    goufcustom 7.62x63mm

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    Those alignment cams are very hard, went through 3 blades in my sawzall before I got one of them cut, I only had 1 seized, but I got it replaced, and greased the hell out of everything when I put it back together. My truck drips grease when I drive around... :)
     
  19. Sep 20, 2012 at 6:40 AM
    #19
    Pugga

    Pugga Pasti-Dip Free 1983 - 2015... It was a good run

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    Good blades make a hell of a difference but yeah, they're pretty tough getting through. Lenox blades worked the best. Those 'Torch' blades by Milwaulkee are junk!
     
  20. Sep 20, 2012 at 6:44 AM
    #20
    XXXX

    XXXX Well-Known Member

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    I burnt through a couple Lenox blades I borrowed from work then I said to myself screw this. Grabbed my grinder and a cut off wheel and in a couple seconds I was right through. Just need to be careful not to hit the LCA mounts or frame. I used a "used" small cut off wheel that was worn down.
     
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