Removing bolts from lower control arm

kenzoil

Registered Member
Original poster
Mar 12, 2014
39
Hello all,

How easy is it to remove and save the bolts and nuts from the front left lower control arm from the control arm support, without removing the control arm support from the vehicle? Also, if I have to remove the whole thing with support included, how do I torque back the support bolts to 190 ft lbs, if I don't have a torque wrench that goes anywhere near that setting? I have a 2008 trailblazer, 4.2L, base model.
thanks.
 

flyboy2610

Active Member
Aug 24, 2021
278
Lincoln, Ne.
First, unlike some at the other forum, noone here is going to insult your intelligence by insinuating that you're too dumb to work on your vehicle without dropping it on your head! (Personally, I think THAT guy was dropped on his head!)
The control arm to bracket bolts aren't that hard to remove. You may need a drift punch and hammer to knock one of them out, but it's not that bad.
If you do wind up removing the bracket, I wouldn't worry too much about getting the bolts back to the exact torque. Just get them as tight as you can, and that should be good enough to last the trip to the alignment shop, which is where you'll need to go if you remove the bracket.
I'm curious, though. Why do you want to remove only the control arm and not the bracket? To do the ball joints? If the ball joints are the original GM staked ball joints, those are H*LL to remove!
 
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azswiss

Active Member
May 23, 2021
446
Tempe, AZ
Also, if I have to remove the whole thing with support included, how do I torque back the support bolts to 190 ft lbs, if I don't have a torque wrench that goes anywhere near that setting?
You can add an extension to a torque wrench to get to the higher torque. Example & calculations in this link: Torque Wrench Extension Formula

Capture.JPG
Important Notes: The lengths L1 & L2 are measured from where you apply the force, *NOT* the total length of the torque wrench with & without the extender. Also, the extension must be in line with the body of the torque wrench.
 
Last edited:

Mooseman

Master Blaster
Moderator
Dec 4, 2011
22,842
Ottawa, ON
The control arm can be removed from the bracket leaving the bracket in place. I actually did that when I replaced the brackets, removing the A arm before removing the bracket from the truck.


First, unlike some at the other forum, noone here is going to insult your intelligence by insinuating that you're too dumb to work on your vehicle without dropping it on your head!
Which site? TV? Wouldn't surprise me. The place is a collection of jackwagons and tumbleweeds.
 

6716

Hobbyist
Jul 24, 2012
767
If you want to go all the way and also remove the control arm brackets, I had to put a 5-foot pipe on my breaker bar to get enough leverage on it. Air tools were insufficient.

Also, once you replace the brackets, you are going to need an alignment. Snug 'em up with the breaker bar you used to get them off, and then decide if you are going to drive to the alignment place chewing up your tires (like I did) or tow dolly your rig. So there's at least one reason not to sweat the torque spec too bad.
 

kenzoil

Registered Member
Original poster
Mar 12, 2014
39
I went out and got a good quality 250 ft lb torque wrench as suggested. I am installing both new control arms and control arm brackets. I bought these as both separate pieces. I have a question when installing the new gm control arm, according to the GM service manual, it says to make sure the "spacer" is in place on the front control arm bracket bushing, before installing the new control arm. I did not get a new spacer washer in my kit, nor could I find one installed on the original gm bracket front bushing. If you don't put a spacer in, it looks like the rubber of the bushing will rub on the steel of the control arm?? Should I just put in a washer in the front before installing the control arm? I checked the other side of the vehicle, and I could not see any spacer. Everything appears original.
 
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6716

Hobbyist
Jul 24, 2012
767
Can you post a screen shot or pic of the manual? I don't remember any spacer when I took the old ones off, and I put everything back together without any spacers. I mean, I might have missed something and done it wrong, but I've put a lot of miles on since.
 

kenzoil

Registered Member
Original poster
Mar 12, 2014
39
It was mentioned on numerous pages from the GM service manual (4 volume set). I'll try to get a photo of the page.
 

kenzoil

Registered Member
Original poster
Mar 12, 2014
39
This is the spacer I was referring to. I purchased the orginal equipment GM control arm from Rockauto. I also purchased an ACDelco replacement control arm bracket that had the installed bushings. There seemed to be plenty room in the forward cup to hold a spacer.
 

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6716

Hobbyist
Jul 24, 2012
767
Hmmm. The manuals I used are the ones @Mooseman provides on his website, and there is no mention of a spacer in those, at least for the 02-05. I certainly didn't have trouble fitting the control arm over the bracket, there probably is room for a spacer in there maybe. But again, my experience is a lot like yours in that there was no spacer originally, and no spacer came with the parts I bought.

Looking at a couple of parts websites, I can't find a spacer mentioned either.


This guy takes old brackets off and puts new ones on:

My guess is the bushing design changed so that the "spacer" is now part of the bushing. But that's a hunch, and not fact.

I probably wouldn't add a washer to the setup. But that's me. I think you are going to be fine just putting those parts in and not worrying about the spacer. But I'm not there, and it's not my truck, so I think whatever you do you will be living with some amount of mystery.
 

kenzoil

Registered Member
Original poster
Mar 12, 2014
39
I appreciate all your insight and help. I decided to put in a spacer. I made sure there was a slight gap between the spacer and bushing, so nothing binds. Of course, I torqued the bolt and nut to spec. Should be okay. Thanks
 
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Mektek

Hobbyist
May 2, 2017
629
FL
I found it was important to get the same alignment of the bracket bushings. The control arm won't fit if they're both pressed in all the way into the bracket. I measured the depth that the old bushing was originally installed, and then duplicated that on the new bushing that I pressed in.
My 02 had no spacers installed on the OEM bushings.
I also measured the position of the bracket before removal and duplicated that when reinstalled so no alignment was necessary.
 
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