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The "Handy" Control Arm Replacement

 
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Old 24 Nov 2014, 01:31 pm
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Default The "Handy" Control Arm Replacement

It was a sad day at the Handy house this weekend. It rained all day Friday but the sun came out for a little while on Saturday. I was planning to install my very cool 2001 rear sway bar on my 2005 GT. But while driving to town, I noticed a noise when I hit a pot hole with my left front wheel. Then I noticed the noise more when I turned down the stereo.

And here's the moral of this story up front. NEVER TURNED DOWN THE STEREO! You may hear things you don't want to hear.

And here's what I found. Oh the horror! It's the dreaded failed control arm bushing.




While changing out this bushing is not what I wanted to do on this sunny but wet and nasty day, I had to get started. Here's all the tools required to remove the control arm. It took me about 30 minutes to get the control arm off. But I believe I could cut that in half now that I've done one on the PT.




Luckily, the large metric bolts are very close to the SAE sizes. I didn't want to break out the good tool, so I just used a 15/16th socket to removed the large bolt that goes through the control arm bushing.




Next, I used a 13/16th inch socket to remove the front bolt and nut from the control arm.




Then I used a 15mm socket to remove the sway bar link. The nut on the top of the link is just a round insert that goes in the top bushing. So I just held it with a pair of channel lock pliers during removal.




The sway bar had to come down. I removed the left bracket with a 13mm socket.




Then I used a 3/4 socket to remove the bolt and nut that holds the ball joint to the control arm. Afterwards, they separated easily using a standard separator fork.



I wanted the Moog Problem Solver control arm bushing. Advance Auto said they could get me one right after lunch. But then I found that Oreilly's had the whole Moog Problem Solver control arm. And so I ordered that instead. While waiting, I cleaned the wheel well and suspension and detailed it. I didn't do the brake caliper. That is for another day when I can do both.




Next came the first problem. Ordering the Moog Problem Solver control arm was a big MISTAKE. Believe it or not, the "Problem Solver" control arm does NOT come with the Problem Solver bushing. How strange is that? I couldn't believe it when I went to pick up the part. So we pulled up some photos. And sure enough, the Moog Problem Solver control arm for the PT only comes with the Problem Solver ball joint. It comes with a standard bushing. AHHHHHH!!!

Luckily, Advance had gone ahead and ordered the Problem Solver bushing for me even though I told them I was getting the whole control arm at OReilly's. That mistake turned out pretty good for me. So I got the Problem Solver control arm bushing and Problem Solver ball joint from Advance. Of course, they would have only costs half as much from RockAuto, but I was trying to get this thing done in one day.




With a big socket and a nice little hammer, the bushing came out pretty easily.




The ball joint was a little tougher.




But I applied a little heat and she popped out.




Note that the Problem Solver control arm bushing is very different than the original. This is a very good thing. But it also seems to be slightly bigger around.




And here's the secret I learned. This new Problem Solver bushing has a kind of shoulder where it starts to taper. This is a real issue with getting it pressed in. That's especially true if you have no hydraulic press. So I finally took a grinder and gently filed around this shoulder. Then with a little heat and a bigger hammer and socket, I got her together. And that's no problem since the bushing sticks through the other side further where I needed to file down the shoulder. Thus it's factory finish where it contacts the control arm.




At this point, I ran out of daylight. All the parts store running eats up a lot of time. So my control arm is back together and awaiting detailing and installation. But I have plenty of other vehicles to drive, so don't worry. I'm okay until the PT withdrawals begin.

I'll post more when I get her done.
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Last edited by Handy_Cruiser; 24 Nov 2014 at 02:46 pm.
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Old 24 Nov 2014, 04:05 pm
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Default Re: The "Handy" Control Arm Replacement

How much to do mine? lol
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Old 24 Nov 2014, 04:15 pm
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Default Re: The "Handy" Control Arm Replacement

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How much to do mine? lol
How much ya' got?
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Old 24 Nov 2014, 04:18 pm
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Default Re: The "Handy" Control Arm Replacement

Todd great write up!

For others you can purchase lower control arms that have the ball joint and bushing already installed which could save you time and expense of buying or borrowing other tools or needing run to a shop to have a difficult part pressed out/in that the "bigger" hammer wont budge.
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Old 24 Nov 2014, 05:06 pm
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Default Re: The "Handy" Control Arm Replacement

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Todd great write up!

For others you can purchase lower control arms that have the ball joint and bushing already installed which could save you time and expense of buying or borrowing other tools or needing run to a shop to have a difficult part pressed out/in that the "bigger" hammer wont budge.
Hey Lynn,

Who sells those? I couldn't find a ready source or I would have bought mine that way with the Problem Solver bushing already installed. Like I recounted in the write up, I though Moog sold it that way but they don't. I would likely spend a little extra if I could get one already put together. And I plan to do the other side soon as preventive maintenance.

PS: I can also press upward of 3,000 hydraulically with my drilling machine. But that's far below the average shop press. If I can't find the passenger side control arm already put together, I will likely go ahead and buy an inexpensive 12 ton shop press just to have one.
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Old 24 Nov 2014, 05:37 pm
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Default Re: The "Handy" Control Arm Replacement

I just picked up a 12 ton press at harbor freight i think it was like $175???
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Old 24 Nov 2014, 05:56 pm
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Default Re: The "Handy" Control Arm Replacement

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Originally Posted by Handy_Cruiser View Post
Hey Lynn,

Who sells those? I couldn't find a ready source or I would have bought mine that way with the Problem Solver bushing already installed. Like I recounted in the write up, I though Moog sold it that way but they don't. I would likely spend a little extra if I could get one already put together. And I plan to do the other side soon as preventive maintenance.

PS: I can also press upward of 3,000 hydraulically with my drilling machine. But that's far below the average shop press. If I can't find the passenger side control arm already put together, I will likely go ahead and buy an inexpensive 12 ton shop press just to have one.
Apparently the "New stock" moog arms have both the problem solver bushing and BJ. There was another user here that posted in the recent past and he got the moogs with both already present. The warehouse you got your stuff from has stale stock I guess.

This is the thread I was thinking of: control arm bushings

Last edited by myckee; 24 Nov 2014 at 06:00 pm.
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Old 24 Nov 2014, 06:03 pm
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Default Re: The "Handy" Control Arm Replacement

MOOG Restocked & updated merchandised retail outlets have the new MOOGŪ Problem SolverŪ premium (CK) control arms. If the supplier is not a distributor or high volume wholesaler of MOOG products they may still have old stock.
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Old 24 Nov 2014, 06:09 pm
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Default Re: The "Handy" Control Arm Replacement

Quote:
Originally Posted by Handy_Cruiser View Post
Hey Lynn,

Who sells those? I couldn't find a ready source or I would have bought mine that way with the Problem Solver bushing already installed. Like I recounted in the write up, I though Moog sold it that way but they don't. I would likely spend a little extra if I could get one already put together. And I plan to do the other side soon as preventive maintenance.
I found this out several months ago when I needed to have the bushings replaced on my PT. When I contacted MOOG, they told me that they don't call them "Problem Solver" because of the new bushing design, they are called "Problem Solver" because the arm includes the bushing and new ball joints, ready to install as a complete unit, rather than getting the parts separate and installing in old arms. In my case, it was cheaper for me to purchase new arms and provide them to my dealership for install, rather than their tech putting replacement parts in the old arms would have cost more. I did not find out about the "new" style bushings until I had my arms replaced. However, the arms with the "new" bushing and "old" (OEM) style, carry the same MOOG part number. Since there are no telling how many arms still in the supply chain with the "old" bushing, what they informed me that you have to do is wherever you are getting replacement arms from, your source would have to physically inspect the arm to see what style of bushing they have in them. There was someone on this forum just a few weeks ago, that reported in another thread, that he was able to get new arms that included the "new" bushings. I don't know what his source was but I think it was through a family member that worked at a parts place.
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Old 24 Nov 2014, 06:28 pm
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Default Re: The "Handy" Control Arm Replacement

Look for the MOOG part numbers starting with CK (new) not the C (old stock).
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Last edited by NitroPT; 25 Nov 2014 at 11:56 am. Reason: C not K in old stock
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