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Lower Control arm - tips and tricks?

 
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Old 21 Oct 2012, 07:24 am
mikelikestobike's Avatar
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Default Lower Control arm - tips and tricks?

Anyone have any tips and tricks of the pros? I'm replacing my lower control arms this weekend. Got the driver's side off out and bushings replaced, etc. but I'm having a lot of trouble getting the darned thing back in. I already pulled the caliper and disc off - that gave me a little more room and seemed to help with getting it off.

Any ideas? Thanks in advance!
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Old 21 Oct 2012, 07:31 am
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Default Re: Lower Control arm - tips and tricks?

In the Tech & Performance section of the forum, you'll find a thread entitled "HOW TO". Inside that thread you'll find a couple dozen HOW TO threads on various jobs for the PT. One of them is: How to replace the Lower Control Arm. Don't know if that will help, but can't hurt.
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Old 21 Oct 2012, 07:54 am
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Default Re: Lower Control arm - tips and tricks?

Thanks Crewzin - I actually have seen that. I have the Haynes manual as well.

They both just say "unbolt and remove, reinstall is reverse..." but it's just not that simple. Took me like 2 hours of prying and pushing and swearing to get it out. Now trying to get back in, the angles seem wrong.

Is there a way to compress the suspension up (I'm doing this in my car port remember) to move the hub up out of the way? I feel like I could get the arm in if I weren't trying to push it in at an angle....

I'm not sure. Anyone?
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Last edited by mikelikestobike; 21 Oct 2012 at 08:17 am.
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Old 21 Oct 2012, 09:28 am
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Default Re: Lower Control arm - tips and tricks?

HMM? I just did a pair on a customer's 04 in a driveway recently.From start to finish about 2 1/2h hours. Aside from the usual dirt and grime and needing to burn one busing off the install was straight forward no prying and such as you are describing? The clue is the difficulty in removing them you had. Something right there may not have been right? Now you change the bushings and the clearances are now tighter naturally the install will be harder to do. I hate to say it but something was not correct from the beginning of the removal?

Maybe a picture or two maybe we can see something? IDK?
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Old 21 Oct 2012, 11:03 am
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Default Re: Lower Control arm - tips and tricks?

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Originally Posted by NitroPT View Post
HMM? I just did a pair on a customer's 04 in a driveway recently.From start to finish about 2 1/2h hours. Aside from the usual dirt and grime and needing to burn one busing off the install was straight forward no prying and such as you are describing? The clue is the difficulty in removing them you had. Something right there may not have been right? Now you change the bushings and the clearances are now tighter naturally the install will be harder to do. I hate to say it but something was not correct from the beginning of the removal?

Maybe a picture or two maybe we can see something? IDK?
You hit on the crux of the problem, yes I made a bad choice of mechanics... as I don't really know what I'm doing. I read Haynes and on here before tackling this. I'm usually able to figure stuff out, and I did get it off. I'm probably exaggerating a little how long it took, but ...

What could be wrong, like you state from the beginning? I feel like the knuckle is in the way.
pt 1.jpg

pt 2.jpg

pt3.jpg

pt4.jpg

Any suggestions are welcome!
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Old 21 Oct 2012, 12:20 pm
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Default Re: Lower Control arm - tips and tricks?

Since I posted those bad photos (sorry) I've gotten both bolts in place - and loosely tightened, I just need to get the ball joint to go up into the hole...
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Old 21 Oct 2012, 12:32 pm
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Default Re: Lower Control arm - tips and tricks?

I looked carefully at the picture, went ate breakfast came back and examined them again. I can not see anything out of the ordinary but 2 dimensional views sometimes camouflage things?

I realize at times when I seem to post how easy things are I take for granted steps I do beyond the Chilton or Haynes or even the factory service manual. With most suspension parts I will always dose them with liquid wrench,WD40 or whatever I have handy that is a petroleum lubricate. And then when removed completely clean everything with Simple Green a good spray of water let dry and then dose everything with lubricant again. lol And yup when its all together I clean everything up again but at least at that point it is a clean cleaning. This style labor seems to make things come apart and back together easier, at least for me.

Nice to see you got it back on track. Heck by the time you read this you will be done! And I am sure you will be thinking "I am never going to do this again"!
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Last edited by NitroPT; 21 Oct 2012 at 12:35 pm.
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Old 21 Oct 2012, 12:38 pm
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Default Re: Lower Control arm - tips and tricks?

Thanks Nitro. I'm kinda stuck at this point. I'll go try again for a while. Just can't get the ball joint stud up into the hole in the knuckle. Feels like it's at the wrong angle... I keep saying that but, that what it seems like.

LOL- I guess I'll be taking tomorrow off work!
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'03 Manual non-turbo in Silver w/ Factory flames.
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Last edited by mikelikestobike; 21 Oct 2012 at 12:44 pm.
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Old 21 Oct 2012, 12:57 pm
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Default Re: Lower Control arm - tips and tricks?

Stupid question but you did angle the privet stud of the ball joint for better access entry?
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Old 21 Oct 2012, 01:11 pm
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Default Re: Lower Control arm - tips and tricks?

Quote:
Originally Posted by mikelikestobike View Post
Thanks Nitro. I'm kinda stuck at this point. I'll go try again for a while. Just can't get the ball joint stud up into the hole in the knuckle. Feels like it's at the wrong angle... I keep saying that but, that what it seems like.

LOL- I guess I'll be taking tomorrow off work!
You need to point the ball joint up at the same angle as it will be in the knuckle. Turn the steering wheel to the opposite side this will allow the strut to swing more. Pry the arm down to were you can swing the strut over the stud and let pressure off the arm while guiding into the hole. If it gets crooked just push the strut in the direction that will straighten the stud in the knuckle. Then it will pop in the hole. If there is a grove in the ball joint, you will need to align that to the bolt hole so you can push it in with your hand and not damage the threads.
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