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Does anyone have experience with installing poly front control arm bushings?

Also, i noticed the balljoints are riveted to the control arm, although, apparently, replacements are available. I guess you have to drill out the rivets, then bolt the new ones in? Might not be a bad job, but would be easier wih a drillpress, which I don't have.

It seems like the way to go would be to try and reuse the old arms with new bushings and ball joints, if replacing ball joints is really practical. Seems like removing bushings from a new arm would be harder than pulling worn ones out of a new part.

Any advice appreciated.
 

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I just tried doing a lower ball-joint only replacement. I used center punches to pick up the centers of the tops of the rivets and cobalt-steel drill bits to do the drilling. I had done this job easily many times before on Contours/Mystiques. I took my time and gradually increased the drill bit size while drilling out the rivets. The Focus rivets appeared to be much harder than the Contour/Mystique rivets. In the end, I distorted the control arm in trying to drive the rivet remains out and had to purchase an entire new control arm with bushings and ball joint. If I have to do the other side, I'm going straight to replacing the entire control-arm.

Others have had a better experience. Whatever you decide to do, Good Luck.
 

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Taciturn. Your turn.
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I'm about replace the ball-joints soon, I'm gonna try grinding the rivets down and knocking them out with a punch, that's how most people seem to do it. The drill method scares me a little because it can be off and elongate the hole.
 

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what it be like
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try and find a used set at a junkyard and then find someone to press the old ones out that way you have no downtime....some people torch em but you dont have to on the fronts..I did mine at home with a little home made press the result was a very rough ride but a very beefy looking control arm! LOL


heres a thread with some more info
http://www.focusfanatics.com/forum/showthread.php?p=2651032#post2651032
 

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I did this job with an air chisel then to the drill and then the punch. Car was on a lift, it's doable but loud and hard. I needed replaceable ball joint cause the car is a track dedicated piece. If u don't have to just replace as a unit.
 

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I used to drive this
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I've done the LCA polly bushing and just bought new LCA's with new ball joints already installed. For the time you'd spend grinding,drilling, air hammering out the rivets for the ball joints, unless you have access to lift and shop air, isn't worth it to me. Especially after the time to burn out and clean up old bushings.

I didn't have access to a shop torch and used a MAP tank with pencil tip from hardware store to burn out rear bushing. With my new LCA's the front bushing came out with my hands. I used a sawzall to cut out inner sleeve. Pressed them in with a table mounted clamp.

Yeah, buy new LCA's. Besides makes the job sooo much easier to have the new LCA's assembled before taking out the old ones.
 

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You can buy an entirely new LCA with new ball joint and bushing for ~$45. $45 for the new arm or ~$20 for a ball joint plus lots of work drilling rivets. I just bought new arms.

I will caution that I got the Mevotech brand from Rock Auto, and the rear bigger bushing had a thin steal collar inside the bracket that bolts to the sub frame (it was the outer shell of the rubber bushing that came installed on the LCA). The Prothane bushing would not fit till that pressed out. I did the entire prothane kit and pressed all the bushings myself with a cheap 6 ton harbor freight benchtop press. Except for those Mevotech brackets. Those too a machinist friend turning a couple custom pieces to fit in and using a 10 ton press. The other option was to dremel a slot through the sleeve/collar and pry it out without marring up the bracket too much.

The sleeves that were pressed out of the bracket to let the Prothane bushing fit in are pictured below:



If you have any questions feel free to PM me for an email convo.


EDIT: Ok after going back and looking at my pics, the stock LCA had the same collars, it's just the steel outer shell to the bushing. Because it's such a large diameter with such a thin wall thickness, its a b*tch to press out. Unless you have machine shop access, I'd recommend the dremel method to carefully slit the collar and be able to just carefully pry it out without mucking up the LCA bracket to the subframe. This issue never came up on the big large diameter bushing on the rear suspension trailing arm, because for that one the rubber bushing is simply bonded to the trailing arm, so when you burn/clean out the rubber the Prothane bushing slides right in (after some cussing and getting bushing grease all over you hands obviously [:p])
 

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Or you could just buy new LCA's and simply swap in the front poly bushing and leave the big back bushing as rubber, thats the least amount of work. Though I decided I had the poly bushings, and I wanted to spend the time on that rear bushing to complete my full set. [:p]
 

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I used to drive this
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It actually didn't take too long to cut and pry out. I've done just the front bushings and after doing the fronts and rear it feels a lot tighter.

 

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Mac, thanks for the pic, I thought about that but was worried about mucking up the bracket and having sharp edges on the new poly bushing, good to see it's not a difficult task. I simply traded dinner for my friend and his wife for 2 hours of machine shop labor [:p]

And I do like the red, but I rarely see them, rear sway bar links you can see when walking up from a distance.

I did the entire set as part a full suspension rebuild, 119k miles on the stock suspension so it was definitely time!!! The poly bushings lead to more work though, figured if I had all the arms off, I may was well sand prime and repaint them. then I figured, well I may as well repaint my red brake calipers now too!

The SVT on all poly bushings was an awesome change. I now have plans to do a full poly bushing set on the mazdaspeed miata when it's suspension comes due for a re-fresh!
 

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Mac, thanks for the pic, I thought about that but was worried about mucking up the bracket and having sharp edges on the new poly bushing, good to see it's not a difficult task. I simply traded dinner for my friend and his wife for 2 hours of machine shop labor [:p]

And I do like the red, but I rarely see them, rear sway bar links you can see when walking up from a distance.

I did the entire set as part a full suspension rebuild, 119k miles on the stock suspension so it was definitely time!!! The poly bushings lead to more work though, figured if I had all the arms off, I may was well sand prime and repaint them. then I figured, well I may as well repaint my red brake calipers now too!

The SVT on all poly bushings was an awesome change. I now have plans to do a full poly bushing set on the mazdaspeed miata when it's suspension comes due for a re-fresh!

When you said that the "poly bushings lead to more work", what were you implying? That it was hard to install the bushings, or that the stiffer bushings would ware out other components?
 

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yes I just did this, I grinded down both sides they would no just punch out I had to drill the remaining rivet out..... I boogered one of the arms holes a little but not to bad, if its an issue i will drill out the holes to a bigger size and use bigger bolts to hold the ball joint on.... the ball joint bit is the biggest PITA of this job ,the burning out of bushings was easy and so was putting the new poly ones in.
 

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I had used a three jaw puller to remove the rear bushing from the LCA. I do not have a torch to burn them off, so i used a saw and a grinder to remove the excess rubber from the mount and used a air hammer to remove the inner sleeves. The bushings fit pretty well. How well do they mount up and how does it ride with the new bushings installed. Also if someone could tell me where i can find bigger sway bars to improve handling. I have a ZX3 so there is a rear bar. Any information would be beneficial. Thanks!
 

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I was going to do that= poly bushings. I replaced the arms instead w/ CFM's tubular arms.
 

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I had seen and had considered that. They would be lighter but the way they looked it looked as if they would not fit properly and that perhaps that they were labeled incorrectly as being Focus parts. How do they work for you?
 

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w/ my magic bag
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CFM tubular control arms

I had seen and had considered that. They would be lighter but the way they looked it looked as if they would not fit properly and that perhaps that they were labeled incorrectly as being Focus parts. How do they work for you?
They are beefed up focus central ones= thicker steel & have gusset's to beef up the corner's. Late '09 or so Ht Performance & CFM, started doing these. I waited for a little bit for them to get this right. CFM to over the project & got going on these. I like these better then Dom's flca's. Instead of using the nylock that comes w/ them, I used 2 jam nuts. Easier to undue if you have to. The instrution's say's to turn the heim so 3 threads are showing, I turned mine out to 4.5 threads= more camber. Lighter weight, stronger, adjustable & reduce's wheel hop too. Get the boot's also. [lockdance]
 
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