How to replace front lower strut bushings

gmcman

Well-Known Member
I meant to submit this a couple months ago, hopefully this article is complete enough for anyone to tackle this job, I guess we can edit in the future if needed.

I started this job as I was changing my front struts/springs and steering rack. I figured I would get everything into place before the alignment.

I was able to complete this job with a few simple tools, I did source a ball joint tool which is avail for rent at a parts store, I lucked out and my neighbor had one. I'm sure there are other more "dedicated" tools that could work more effectively but this turned out easier than planned. I'm confident that by viewing this thread, any tool changes could be substituted easily by the user as they see fit.

I replaced both of the lower strut bushings with the MOOG K200270.

MOOG K200270 Lower Strut Bushing

a.jpg

These were in dire need of replacement, I could easily move the RH stud inside the bushing with a screwdriver.

You will likely need to raise both front wheels and loosen both strut assemblies by their two upper mounting bolts before you remove the lower strut mounting yoke from the lower control arm, thus allowing the LH & RH suspension to fully hang down. This should keep you from needing to loosen or remove a sway bar link.

Once the front end was secured on the frame with jack stands allowing the entire suspension to hang, I loosened the top two strut mounting bolts on both the LH & RH struts to ensure there was no tension on the lower strut yoke at the bushing.


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DO NOT REMOVE THE CENTER NUT OF THE STRUT ASSEMBLY

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You may need a floor jack to lift the lower control arm to re-position the lower strut yoke onto the new bushings once installed. I used this as a secondary safety to the tire and wheel under the frame also.



The worn original bushings

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The lower strut yoke may come off with a few blows of a 3lb sledge, this side needed more persuasion.

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Once the strut yoke is free from the bushing, remove the two upper mounting bolts and set the strut assembly aside.


I borrowed a ball joint tool and used these 2 pieces in conjunction to the press:

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For removing the strut yoke mounting stud from the old bushing, the press used with the ball joint kit wasn't large enough to fit around the stud and the receiving collar on the other side. However it was fine for pressing the remaining portion of the bushing from the lower control arm.

I had to use my 8" C-Clamp which was originally delegated for compressing brake calipers.

The idea here is to force the mounting stud or post, back through the bushing housing by breaking it away from the rubber, thus destroying the bushing.

Once you begin to press the mounting stud, there is no turning back, the bushing will need to be replaced before you can operate the vehicle again so have the new one handy.

4.jpg

I used the collar that was just larger than the bushing, I believe the collar was 3". The largest part of the bushing measures just over 56MM which is roughly 2 1/4".



The RH side broke free without much force, the LH side put up more of a fight and was taking a toll on my C-Clamp. Just continue until you feel the back side of the mounting stud bottom out into the end of the clamp.

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At this point just push it through

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I could not find anything to match the size of the bore so it turns out that the large head of the strut yoke mounting stud, was the exact size of the bore.

If you have a tool this size then you could press the bushing out without breaking the rubber surround, but the stud works perfectly.

b.jpg]


Placing the mounting stud back through the bushing in the opposite direction, you can now use the ball joint press to remove the remaining portion of the bushing.

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Set the tool up in this manner


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4a.jpg


This is easier than a C-Clamp since you can use a ratchet or breaker bar on the press. Also doubtful a cheap C-Clamp would hold up to these forces.

At this point you may or may not need any heat. I didn't need any heat on the RH side, but needed some heat on the LH side. Also, some PB Blaster or equivalent is a good idea.

Once I started to press the bushing out, I had to stop and apply some heat.


25.jpg

Continue to press the bushing until you feel it break free. You will see the head of the stud is a perfect fit inside the bore, I felt no binding during the process.

15.jpg


The portion of the bushing that has a press fit is not that wide


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Continued.......
 
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gmcman

gmcman

Well-Known Member
....Continued

To install the new bushing, I would clean up the bore and remove any debris. This pic of the bore is from the RH side, but the process is the same.

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Insert the bushing into the lower control arm with the threads facing forward.


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Only strike the outer collar, do not strike the center.


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I used the old mounting stud to seat the new bushing. Lightly hit the old stud with a hammer moving around the diameter as you go, a few hits at a time.


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Fully seated

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When finished with the first side, leave the strut assembly off of the vehicle until you finish the other side, or just secure the top of the strut assembly to one side leaving the yoke hanging free. This way you won't have to fight the tension of the sway bar.

Once finished with both the LH & RH lower strut bushings, take the strut assembly and secure the top two mounting bolts but do not tighten at this time. This will allow movement to seat the yoke onto the bushing.

Once the yoke is placed on the new bushing, secure the yoke using the 24MM mounting nut and just snug the bolt. The center hex of the bushing is 8MM, I used a 8MM hex bit with a 24MM wrench to get the yoke snugged down before fully torquing, only to lessen the chance of the new stud from twisting inside the bushing. You may not need to do this.

Tighten the two upper strut mounting bolts to 33 foot-pounds on each strut assembly.

Tighten the yoke mounting nut to 82 foot-pounds on each assembly.

The C-Clamp did turn into a different tool after the LH bushing. I would advise to use a good, high quality 8" C-Clamp or larger.

23.jpg

Overall the process was easier than I expected, I thought there was more of the bushing that was in contact with the lower control arm. Not a difficult job and I would recommend this in addition to replacing the struts, especially if they have some years and miles on them.
 
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Reprise

Lifetime VIP Supporter
Excellent write-up. From recent experience in a different area, lubing the threads on the forcing screw (c-clamp, in your case) with some grease does help with lessening the force required to turn the screw.

If you did that, my apologies, but I didn't see a mention of it, and I hate when I destroy a tool, myself (which I've done, to be sure)
 
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gmcman

gmcman

Well-Known Member
@Reprise Thanks!

The threads had a tiny amount of residual spray from an earlier job, months ago, but nothing to make a difference. You are correct as some lube at the ball socket and threads would have very likely made the job easier and possibly save the clamp.
 
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Mooseman

Moderator
Noice write up! Added to FAQ: Suspension & Steering

For the longest time, we kept suggesting to replace the whole control arm as this job looked tough. Still applies if you also have to replace the ball joints and A-arm bushings.

Never would have thought of using the old stud. That's genius right there!
 
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gmcman

gmcman

Well-Known Member
Thanks @Mooseman .

I put these off for a few years as well, didn't want to change the LCA after I already replaced the bracket and a new alignment not too long ago.

Using a dial caliper, I checked the head of the stud first, then the OD of the bushing on the opposite side. I don't remember the measurement but it was very close so I gave it a shot.

Worst case it would have been sitting for a few days, luckily all worked out.
 

Blckshdw

Moderator
Great write up! I wish you had posted this before I dug into my front suspension issues, I would have much rather have done this, than the whole LCA (although they were gonna be due sooner or later)
 

Reprise

Lifetime VIP Supporter
It's funny (to me) that this thread came along, as I noticed the outer edge of one of my rear bushings was torn on the Sierra, as I was replacing the sway bar links, and I figured I needed to replace them, too.

Last time, on the 'old' Sierra, I ordered up new LCA assemblies. Which I don't want to do this time, as this truck doesn't have the original LBJs, and I consider it a waste to dispose of the metal arm assembly (which, btw, is a forged piece, on the trucks with the torsion bar suspension). They also cost 3x as much as the bushings & ball joint alone, and cost a fortune to ship.

Anyway, I had looked online for the best way to get the bushings out, and came across one of Chris Fix's old videos - he used a ball joint press, as it turns out.

Looks like the near-term will have me doing a R&R on my hydroboost module (see other post), but when the time comes, I'll try the ball joint press method and let you know of my experience.
 

MRRSM

Lifetime VIP Supporter
This probably has more to do with my side than yours... but since all of the images are listed above in their Full Sizing... many do not expand and leave only the artifact of your Number or Letter Naming Conventions. Any chance you can post them up to either Flickr.com or Photobucket.com and link them back here? Otherwise... This is the Best Format for creating a worthwhile Article EVER ...and I enjoyed 'looking over your shoulder' in the doing of everything very much.

You Get F*ve St*rs for Posting THIS One, Brother!
 
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gmcman

gmcman

Well-Known Member
Great write up! I wish you had posted this before I dug into my front suspension issues,
Thanks! I guess if you worked on your front suspension before the end of June I won’t feel as bad... :biggrin:


@Reprise When you do take on these bushings, one thought that came to mind is possibly trying a good 8MM hex with a breaker bar or two of the 24MM nuts locked together with an impact rotating the bushing stud instead of pressing it out.

Not sure which one would be easier but might be worth a try.


many do not expand and leave only the artifact of your Number or Letter Naming Conventions
Not sure what you can or cannot see. I tried opening the pics when logged out and I had to log in to see them, didnt expect that.

Would it be any better if I added a thumbnail instead of the full image?
 

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