Bitchin' Auto - How To Install Poly Bushings - Front - Camaro
  • How To Install Poly Bushings - Front - Camaro

    What's up guys and gals. I thought I would post up a how-to on installing poly bushings from Prothane. I had noticed that my steering was really loose so I started checking the front end out. On the passenger side, I could grab the upper control arm and move it front and back about 1/2", not good. So, i ordered this kit and started the install on the passenger side. There are no pics from that side other than the completed pics. This is cause the drivers side is exactly the same with the exception of having to remove the master cyl to get to a shock bolt.

    So, with all of that said, onto the writeup.

    The first thing that you want to do is get the car up in the air and put it on jack stands. Take the front tires off the car, and remove the brake calipers. If you remove both calipers, be careful not to push in any of the pistons. If you push one in, you will push the other one out. This is why I recommend that you only do one side at a time.

    The first thing that you need to do after you take the caliper off is unbolt the shock from the shock tower. in the pic below, you can see that there is a bolt that is covered up by the brake master cyl. that is why you need to remove the master to get to it. Sorry for the out of focus pic on the bolt, but you get the idea. There is also a pic showing the two bolts on the master that you have to take out. You will need a T-50 Torx bit to get two of the bolts out of the shock tower. On the passenger side they are 1/2" I believe. Once you get the bolts out of the master, just pull it out and move it toward the motor just enough to get to the bolt. I had to go about an inch. Be careful of the lines and don't kink one of them.






    Now that you have the bolts out of the shock tower, you can step on the hub and pull the shock out of the tower. Now that you have it leaning toward you, you can take the two bolts out of the bottom of the shock. don't try to do all of this with the shock still on the lower mount, you will just fight it all the way. Trust me, I know lol.

    Once you get it out, you will need to separate the shock from the upper mount. For me, there was enough corrosion that I had to reinstall one of the bolts and hit it with a hammer to get it apart. You can see the bolt in the pic. I also hit the studs with a hammer as well. There is a blank on them with no threads, but don't hit on them too much. and if you slip you can destroy the threads.



    Now it's time to have some fun. Now, you need to remove the bushings from the outer steel sleeve. Here are a few pics of the stock bushings.





    So, how do we get the rubber out of the outer steel sleeve? Why with fire he he. no, I'm not kidding, fire is the best way to get them out although not the cleanest. it will fill up your garage with smoke and it stinks. here are a few pics of burning out the bushings.






    I use a propane torch to heat them up. After you do that for a little bit, it will catch on fire. just use a screw driver to scrape the rubber out of there after you remove the inner sleeve. Be aware of what is around you cause you will be dropping rubber on the ground that is on fire. After you do this for a while, you will get most of the rubber out of there. You want to get as much rubber out of there as you can. I left a little in there so that hopefully if they dry out, there is no squeaking. Here are a few pics of cleaning out the sleeve.




    Once the rubber is removed, this is what you end up with...





    Now, you need to install the new poly bushings. you will press them in from the outside with some of the grease on them with your hand. The last little bit you will have to press really hard. I had to use a large C clamp to get them to go in all the way. Now, take the new inner sleeves, lube them up, and slide them in. You will prolly have to use the C clamp on this as well. Once they are in, reinstall the A arm back in the upper mount and you are done with the top. Here is what the completed setup looks like for the upper control arm.





    Now, we need to start on the lower control arm. This one is a little more tricky cause there is one horizontal bushing as well as a vertical bushing. Don't ask me why they did it this way, but they did... For this, I decided to remove the whole setup from my car and put it on the ground so that I could hold it. The first thing that you need to do is get all 4 of the washers off the stock bushings. you will reuse these as well as the inner sleeves from the stock bushings. On the rear bushing, you will take the outer shell out of the a arm but you will use the outer shell on the front. So, here is the washers that you have to remove...





    There seems to be something missing, what do you think??? And you shouldn't let the caliper hang like this, but as you can see, there is not much to hang it on lol.





    I just use a pair of vice grips and clamp down tight on them and twist. They will pop off after a little bit and this is what you end up with.



    Now, like I said, you have to reuse the inner sleeve on both the front and rear bushings. So, you will want to heat up the inner bushing so that you can get some vice grips on it and twist it out. Again, time to play with fire.



    After you get all of the rubber out, here is what you end up with.



    Now, on the rear bushing, you have to remove the outer shell. You will want to heat up the a arm around the bushing and just hammer the crap out of it. it will pop out after a little bit. after it pops out, I took mine over to the bench vice, heated it up, and removed the inner sleeve. here is the A arm after the stock bushing is removed.



    now you are ready to install the poly bushings. The front end of the a arm is easy and just like the top. the rear is a PITA though. you have to compress the bushings and get the old washers to seat back the inner sleeve. Once they seat, they will hold it together. Now, you just need to reinstall everything.

    Now, on the lower control arm, you have to go back in with it when it's perfectly level. Otherwise you will not get the rear to line up. but, after you mess with it for a bit, you will get the two bolts in the lower arm and you are ready to move to the top. Here are a few pics of the lower arm installed.





    Now, put the shock back up in the upper A arm and stab it back up into the shock tower. Put a single nut on the shock to hold it up there. Then tighten and install the lower shock and tierod.



    Then, reinstall the brake caliper. Be sure to have some brake clean so that you can get all the oil off the rotor.



    Now, here is the tricky part. There are marks that are left for the alignment. You can see them in the pics below. You want to line these up as best as you can so that your alignment is at least close.




    Now, after you tighten everything up, you are ready to take your car for a test ride. my car doesn't dive as much under braking, and doesn't want to lift the front end as much on take off. But, I'm sure this is just cause they are new. Be sure to get an alignment when you are done cause you will never get it back perfect. I had to replace the rack and pinion and the outer tie rods so my steering wheel is about 45* to the left lol.

    I hope this helps some of you thinking about doing it. It takes a while but it's worth it in the end. Let me know what you think.

    This was done with the help of my brother-n-law on the drivers side. If you have someone to help you, it will be a lot easier. As you can see, I didn't take the ball joints apart cause I didn't want to damage the seals. But, with all those pieces, it's really heavy. So two hands are better than one in this sitsuation. But thanks goes out to Ronnie for giving me a hand with half the job lol.

    Tony
    Comments 4 Comments
    1. charchri4's Avatar
      charchri4 -
      Hey thanks for the great write up! I found it very helpful and you should post this over on LS1tech.com too.

      I wish you had a few more details on putting the new bushings in the arms. You mention it's hard and to use a C clamp but don't really say how to do it. I found a 1/2" bolt that is 4" long much easier to squeeze them together then a C Clamp. It fits the washers you have to press back in perfectly and you can put a ton more pressure on that bolt then a C clamp.

      I found the lower rear sleeve easy to get out with out all the beating you mentioned. If you cut it with a saws all about 95% through then it just comes out with a tap.

      Also there is no reason at all to leave the spindle in tact on the control arms. The ball joints just pop out with almost no effort at all. Just loosen the nut and bang the end of the stud with a hammer. It usually only takes one hit and the drop right off.

      The only other thing I would add for a newbe is over the years of working on front ends a lot I have found it much faster to work from side to side then to go start to finish on one side and move over. So I'll pull the caliper and hang it, and pop the rotor off on one side and while the 18mm is still in my hand I go do the same on the other side. I usually do about 3 operations at a time then move to the other side and do the same. To me it just seems faster over all to do it that way.

      Thanks again Tony! I hope what I added helps the next guy.
    1. Tony's Avatar
      Tony -
      That will help a lot and thank you for posting that. I never even thought about using a 1/2" bolt to push those in, but realize it would have been much easier. This writeup is a few years old now and was done back in the day when I was first starting to write. I will see what I can do about putting the refinements into the article for the next guy but it may be a while. Been quite busy with my other forum. thanks again for your input, it's greatly appreciated.

      Hope to see you post up in the new member introduction section and tell us a little about yourself.
    1. charchri4's Avatar
      charchri4 -
      Thanks Tony! Nice shot in your sig photo.
    1. Tony's Avatar
      Tony -
      Unfortunately that is a photoshopped rendering of what I would like to do to my car. Unfortunately with it being my DD, I can't set it down to do what I want to it. But some day it may look like that. Looks like you have a real nice SS according to your sig.
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