HOW TO: rear control arm poly bushings
well, I blew out a rear control arm bushing, so it was time to replace. Ford, in its infinite wisdom, does not sell replacement bushings, you have to buy the entire control arm as the bushings are integral.
So, instead of buying a 55$ control arm (the little dogbone linkage) and wondering when the next one will die, I spent 120$ and can upgrade all of them. This process was quite a bit easier than doing the front poly bushings and the rear trailing arm bushing.
I got the prothane kit 6-307-BL from C-F-M.
replacement bolts are from Ford *w500744*s439
PS ignore the Moog tie rod ends, I happend to pick them up at the same time.
this would also be a good time to intall a camber bolt or swap to a new camber arm. see this thread http://www.focusfanatics.com/forum/s...37#post2745037
-15mm socket and rachet
-jack and jack stands
-lots of extensions
-air hammer (optional)
-angle grinder (maybe)
tip: like a week before you begin, it would be wise to start penetrating the bolts with the PB blaster.
tip: have a spare vehicle ready to run to the parts store to get new bolts when you find have to cut your old ones out (they're metric. 12mm wide, ~60mm long, grade 10.8) i got mine from Ford for 3$
Jack up the rear of the car. support the car with jack stands. i put them ahead of the wheel on the frame rail. alternatly u can put 2 close together on the rear subframe (but that is where i jacked from)
use the PB blaster 1 more time. if you have an air hammer, use it to vibrate the end of the bolt to try and break the corrosion free.
using your breaker bar and 15mm socket, break loose the bolts. for some of the upper bolts you might need a long extension and you can use your breaker/rachet from behind the fuel tank.
using your rachet or impact try to remove the bolts. if you are lucky they will come right out. if not proceed to step 5a
back out the bolt as much as you can before it totally binds up. get out your angle grinder and a fresh wheel (a sawzall could work, but its too slow and difficult, they are hardened bolts after all. believe me i tried). Cut through the bushing and bolt near the edge on both sides. dont damage the control arm, however you dont need to reuse the cylindrical metal bushing shell, so feel free to cut it. carefull, everything will be hot after this. the tough part might be getting the tip of the bolt that is still partly threaded in. you're on your own for that, but u could always cut the spot weld on the nut and work on it on your bench or use a vise etc.
dismantle your new bushings
once your bolts are out, take all your control arms to your hydraulic press and press out the old bushing including the outer metal shell. if you are good, you can press out the old with the new shell, killing 2 birds with 1 stone.
lube up all the parts. press in the poly parts first by hand, then press in the inner cylinder by hand.
ready for reinstallation. sometimes to get stuff to line up, i jack up the trailing arm so things weren't at such an extreme angle
tighten it up. torque specs for the rear suspension are below
Upper shock nut (sedan, hatch) - 13 lb-ft
Upper shock nut (wagon) - 85 lb-ft
Lower shock bolt - 66 lb-ft
Upper control arm (inner) - 76-85 lb-ft
Upper control arm (outer, cam adjustment bolt) - 55 lb-ft
Spindle/hub retaining bolt - 49 lb-ft
Trailing arm pivot bracket bolts - 85 lb-ft
Lower control arm (inside) - 111 lb-ft
Sway bar end links - 11-15 lb-ft
Sway bar clamps - 35 lb-ft
put on the wheels, lower the jack and you are done. stand back and admire.
Excellent write up. I will add this to the ever growing Suspension Sticky.
Did you use hardware store bolts or buy new ones from Ford?
i used a Ford bolt. it was only like 3$. i couldnt find an exact match at the hardware store, and it still would have been like $1.50.
IMG_20110903_102156 by mellephants, on Flickr
Can anybody tell me, from the picture, if I have the complete kit, or if I am missing something? I have 10 total bushings. In the pic they are arranged in groups of "like sizes":
2x Tall & Wide
2x Tall & Skinny
3x Short & Wide
3x Short & Skinny
nope, 6 arms, so you need 12 bushings. Taller ones are for the lower control arms. You just need ones for one of the camber or toe arms.
This sucks, I don't want to have mismatched bushings, and I don't want to buy a whole new set... and I highly doubt anybody will sell me the individual bushings, since I already tried, and failed, to buy a "half set" of the front LCA bushings.
I guess I could just skip both toe arms, or both camber arms.
I did a writeup with some more pictures and its for the lower arms with spring seats. Might be helpful for some people...
So far I have only replaced the bushings in the rear arms with the spring seats. The bushing kit that I bought says it is only for 00-04' Focus including SVT but the parts are the same from 00-11' so this should work on any Focus from 00-11'.
So here goes...
Job: Rear control arm bushing replacement. This should be pretty much the same on any Focus from 00-11'
Time required: 3-4 hours (leaving some time for paint to dry)
Tools: Lift (this is not something you want to do on jack stands unless you have no choice)
Wrenches/Sockets: 15mm, 18mm, 19mm, 21mm
Impact gun along with 15mm impact socket (will save lots of time if you have one)
Pry bars of various lengths
Cut-off wheel/Die-grinder with metal disc
Torch to heat up stuck bolts
6' tall jack stands or spring compressors if on a lift
3 jack stands if doing it on the ground. (1 with an adjustable head really helps) You should only need to jack up the rear end, just make sure to chock the front wheels so it doesn't roll away :)
2-ton shop press
Parts needed: 6S4Z*5K978*AA x2 $10.20 each (eccentric adjustment bolts)
*W500746*S439 x2 $4.95 each (shock bolts)
*W500744*S439 x8 $1.10 each (control/toe/cam arm bolts)(these are just the bolts. I also got a couple extra nuts but didn't need them since there's almost no rust on my car...yet....)Thanks Steve for your help on these :)
Prothane kit 6-2026. I bought it off Amazon for $177. This kit includes all bushings that prothane makes for the focus (coil spring isolators, rear control/toe/cam arms, front control arms, bump stops, etc...)
(optional)A good exterior paint (I got a Krylon paint made for farm implements which has a faster drying time and is supposed to hold up to the elements better).
Experience level: Moderate?
Extra steps: You will definitely need an alignment when this is done.
One thing to note is that as of right now I do not have a rear sway bar so if you have one there will be a few extra steps to remove that as well which is pretty straightforward. Once I get my sway bar I will try and update this post.
Lift the car in the air as high as you can and remove the rear wheels. I used a lift which makes the job so much easier since you don't have to try and work with the car 2' off the ground.
Identify the bolts you will be removing (identified in red)
Secure the control arm with a jack-stand. I used tall stands since I was on a lift but you could also do this with a regular stand on the ground or use a spring compressor tool to compress the spring so when you take the bolts off the arm doesn't come crashing out and hurt you.
I would suggest removing the lower shock bolt so that the spindle and brake assembly move more freely to allow you to get the arm out more easily. (shock bolts should be 15mm)
Take out the outer bolt (should be a 15mm) (using and impact gun is easiest and quickest) This is where the fun begins.... If your car has a lot of rust you may need to use heat/penetrating oil or cut the bolts to get the arms out. The bolts like to seize to the inside sleeve of the bushing so that they won't want to come out. If this is the case just get out your cut-off wheel and cut both sides of the bolt and the arm will come free (might need a little persuasion). Just make sure you have the jack-stand underneath so that the spring doesn't propel the arm down and hurt you when the bolt is cut loose.
Once the outer bolt is out move to the other side and repeat steps 3-5. Once that is done both arms should look like the one on the right in the picture.
Now remove the eccentric bolts from the inner arm. The nut should be 18mm and the bolt head is either 19mm or 21mm I can't remember for sure. The nut is on the rear side of the subframe. After removing the nut and the eccentric washer you should be able to pound out the bolt. If not go ahead and cut these too, that's why you buy the replacements. I did have to cut 1 out because the bolt was seized to the inner metal sleeve of the bushing. You will see in the picture I nicked the subframe a little when cutting.
The rear end should look like this now...
Your arms should look like this when they are out.
You want to make sure you keep track of which bushings you are taking out and match them up with the new ones. The bushings are not the same on either end of the arm. The bushings closes to the spring seat are shorter and have a bigger circumference. The bushings on the long end of the arm are longer and have a lesser circumference. You can sort of tell from the picture.
You have to press out the old bushings. This was the hardest part since I had to use sockets and other things to use as press cones since I didn't have the right size. Sorry I didn't get any pictures of the pressing process. I was so frustrated and needed extra hands as it was. Just be careful not to bend up the arms too much when pressing. I had to use a spacer to keep the 2 halves of the arm from crushing while I was pressing the old bushings out. If they get bent use a vice and a pry-bar or some pliers to get them straightened back out as much as possible. Otherwise when you go to put the new bushings in they won't line up properly and you will have a very hard time pressing the new bushings in.
Step 9 (optional):
My arms were starting to get a bit of rust on them so I decided to sand, prime, and paint them to hopefully give them some more life. You can also paint after pressing the new bushings in but then you have to tape off the bushings so they don't get primer or paint in them. If you paint before pressing you just have to be careful not to scratch them up, then you'll have to touch up after the pressing is done. The krylon paint I used supposedly dries in 15 minutes but I let mine dry for about an hour just to be safe. I only ended up with a couple small scratches in the paint which I touched up after the arms were installed. Make sure to remove your bump stops before painting. They just pop off with a little bit of pulling and twisting.
Prep the new bushings. You have to take the prothane bushings apart to grease them before installation.
a. press out the center sleve
b. pull out the poly inserts from the outer sleeve with your hands. They will come out in 2 halves.
The picture should give you an idea of what they look like torn down. I had already pressed the outer sleeves into the arms but the other pieces are there.
Press the outer sleeves into the arms. Should look like this when done. MAKE SURE THAT THE SLEEVES ARE CENTERED IN THE ARMS.
Put a line of the provided grease into the outer sleeve before putting the poly inserts back in.
Also grease the outside of the poly inserts before insertion.
Press the poly inserts into the outer sleeves by hand. Turn the inserts while pressing to get the grease to spread evenly inside the outer sleeve.
Your arms should now look like this...
Spread a line of grease on the inner sleeve and start it in the bushing. You will likely have to use the press to press the inner sleeves in.
Once the pressing is complete your arms should look like this...
Now time to put everything back together. Slide the long end of the arm into place and secure it with the eccentric bolt and washer. Go ahead and do both sides at the same time.
Step 15 (optional):
If you bought the complete kit replace your old rubber coil spring isolators now. Make sure the spring is seated in the groove.
Place the spring up into the upper spring seat, then lift the arm into place and set a jack-stand under it to hold it in place while you get ready to move it back into place and bolt it in. Put a rag on the head of the stand so you don't mar your new paint.
Move the arm into place and bolt it in. It usually helps to have a second person maneuver the brakes/spindle assembly while you move the arm into place. Once it is bolted back in put your bump stops back on as well. If you get the whole prothane kit it will come with new bump stops which just pop on.
Reattach your lower shock bolts and tighten.
Go get an alignment right away.
Here are a couple pics of the finished product.
Hopefully this helps some of you who either have bad bushings or just want to replace them to have a stiffer suspension setup. Hopefully I didn't miss anything major. If there are any questions I'd be happy to answer them.
great addendum to the thread!
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