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-   -   PLEASE ADVISE: Lower Control Arm Bushing & Front Strut Replacement (http://www.jeepgarage.org/f181/please-advise-lower-control-arm-bushing-and-front-strut-replacement-31809.html)

nick.jeff 11-29-2011 07:45 PM

PLEASE ADVISE: Lower Control Arm Bushing & Front Strut Replacement
 
Thanks for reading. I have the 3.5 RK X-factor lift with stock shocks/struts at 80K. So I ordered new Bilstein shocks/struts all around. Thanksgiving Day my brother and I get everything installed except the driver side front strut.

Turns out the lower strut fork (clevis) bolt is seized to the lower control arm bushing. When trying to turn the bolt with a breaker bar (2nd breaker bar because this bolt broke one) I can get it to rotate about 45 degrees and then it just recoils back when I let go off the breaker bar.

I took it to my usual body shop today, they quoted me $1100 to change the front LCA, stating there is no LCA bushing replacement. I didn't believe that so I checked Rock Auto and found 2 front LCA bushing OE replacement parts for about $15. The body shop said they would try and heat up the bushing to get it out if I brought them this new bushing.

My questions...

1.) Has anyone ever replaced these front LCA bushings? How hard/feasible is it to do? Is there any chance of failure or not being able to get the new bushing from Rock Auto into the LCA?

2.) Would it be possible to compress the spring and take out the strut without unbolting the strut fork and put the new one in? I am envisioning hand spring compressors, taking the spindle off and swinging the fork out away from the car to pull the strut out. I'm just not sure if this has ever been done or if you can get the spring compressed enough. Does leaving the seized bushing/bolt in place pose any harm or threat if this is possible?

mrtosh 11-29-2011 07:58 PM

Re: PLEASE ADVISE: Lower Control Arm Bushing & Front Strut Replacement
 
You can undo the 4 top strut plate bolts, sway bar link, and tie rod end, and then swing the strut out towards you. Unbolt the clevis bolt holding the strut in and pull the strut out. I've done this on my gf's XK w/out a spring compressor. No need to unbolt the spindle from the lower control arm. As for the bushing you can change it with a press or ball joint press. There's a special half socket adapter. Also you can get a whole new lower control arm from Rockauto for like $189 complete with bushings and a ball joint.

nick.jeff 11-29-2011 08:36 PM

Re: PLEASE ADVISE: Lower Control Arm Bushing & Front Strut Replacement
 
Thanks MrTosh. So you think I can get the strut/spring assembly swung out from the wheel well without a spring compressor, even with the strut forks being the 3.5" longer RK ones? Is there any harm in leaving the seized up bushing in there assuming I can get the strut changed this way?

mrtosh 11-29-2011 11:56 PM

Re: PLEASE ADVISE: Lower Control Arm Bushing & Front Strut Replacement
 
No harm in leaving the bolt in there. If you remove the clevis bolt and push the strut down into the fork before swinging it you should have no issue.


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